The stories in Kelly Link's latest anthology, Pretty Monsters (Viking, 2008), are brilliantly written, with turns of phrase that delighted me. They have great, memorable characters. Many are examples of fabulous, intricate, world-building. Several were creepy. Several I loved. And the book itself is a thing of beauty, with each story introduced by a black and white illustration by Shaun Tan.
So why did I find reading this anthology a little vexing?
Because I fell really hard for the second story, "The Wizards of Perfil," and even though it was long for a story (50 pages), I wanted so badly for it to be 300 or so, and every other story that followed wasn't those missing 250 pages.
Although it helped that the one that came next, "Magic for Beginners," is an utter joy.