Down and Dirty

Down and Dirty - Roger Zelazny, George R.R. Martin, Walter Jon Williams, Pat Cadigan, Stephen Leigh, Edward Bryant, Arthur Byron Cover, John J.  Miller, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Leanne C. Harper A lot of people think this is where the series starts to noticeably weaken, but I still liked it a lot. The stories weave around a gang war between the Shadow Fists and the mafia. Some of the characters and situations seemed a bit contrived - a mafia princess working as an assistant DA in NYC, and nobody knows about it? But, that's the sort of thing you put up with when you read pulp. Another issue I have with this book is there wasn't any real transcendence for many of the aces and jokers we've come to know and love, this book's main characters are nats who are using wild cards for their own ends. I like the new ace, Wraith, and I hope she has more appearances in the rest of the series.

In all honesty, I'm writing this review a couple of weeks after I finished the book, so I can't really go into any details. In retrospect, it feels like it's less about the wild cards and more of a gangwar thriller with some superpowers thrown in. There were lots of characters, perhaps more than we've seen in the other books, but nobody really gets an indepth treatment of their inner life. I felt that was disappointing, I was hoping Jack and Bagabond would have a chance to tell more of their story.

In a series this long, there always has to be some volumes that are a bit weaker than the rest, but that doesn't necessarily take away from the series. This book is an example of that phenomena.