The Price by Anne Bishop, featured in Powers of Detection, edited by Dana Stabenow
I picked up this book at the bookstore for a lot of reasons. I pulled it off the shelf for the cover art, which I think is phenomenal. It's very intruiging, and I was looking for short stories as I currently have the attention span of a fruit fly.
What made me take it home was that it featured a story by Anne Bishop, who quickly became one of my favorite authors after I bought The Black Jewels Trilogy because, well, they had pretty covers. I had a gift certificate.
I didn't care if the story was based on the world of the Blood or maybe her other series, which I haven't read yet. But it turns out it was based on the BJT, and is a continuation from after the last book. I haven't read Dreams Made Flesh yet, so I don't know how it interacts with those stories.
Surreal is the main character of this story, which made me happy because I would say that she ties with Lucivar for my favorite character in the books. Daemon and Jaenelle are great, but Surreal has so many facets that never got explored. I hoped this would finally give us another one.
In a way, you did get to see a little more of her, but the story suffered greatly from being short. There is too much telling and not enough showing, and things wind up a little too neatly. Though I was happy to see Daemon and Jaenelle show up, they seemed like cameos made just to appease fans, and not vital to the story in the end.
I really wanted to see Surreal on her own, maybe with a new character, but not needing help from the other "mains" of the story. The end came too quickly and too neatly, with too much "inner thought" instead of action, despite a fabulous beginning. I also thought the ending didn't have near enough "bang."
For people who, like me, are in love with the world of the Blood, this is something you should read. But it absolutly isn't a place to start, and if you're only lukewarm to the BJT then don't read this as it won't offer you much.