Firebirds Soaring: An Anthology of Original Speculative Fiction
A year or so ago, I picked up the first Firebirds anthology. I was substantially impressed, so when I saw this one, I bought it without a second thought.
This third book, unfortunately, is not as strong as the first. It's a collection of pretty good stories, but few of them are really outstanding. In part, that may be because it's so very narrowly focused on an audience of teen girls. Nothing wrong with that, but it's certainly not me, and, more important, not what I had been expecting. An entire anthology of that became a little wearing.
The one really strong story in the book is The Ghosts of Strangers, a short novel by Nina Kiriki Hoffman - an unexpected find, though from an author I already knew I enjoyed. Many of the other stories are good, though not really memorable. Unfortunately, there's also one story that is simply bad - astoundingly bad. I ended up skimming it, and simply can't understand why it was included in what was otherwise a decent collection. That story by itself (and it's fairly long), brought the anthology down from a 3.5 to a solid 3.
All in all, worth looking into as reading material for daughters, nieces, etc., though some of the stories are on the dark side.