Project Elfhome: Elfhome #4.5 (various short stories)
by Wen Spencer
This is a fun book of short stories. I had read a couple of the stories before (as eBooks) but most of them were new to me. I’m not going to go into detail for each story – in my opinion, this set of stories is mostly meant for people who are already fans of the series. This is not to say that you can’t start with these stories and come to enjoy the series; however, I think it’s more likely that you’ll enjoy the stories if you already love the world.
Also, there are MAJOR spoilers for the novels in some of these stories. I highly recommend reading this AFTER reading the first four books (Tinker, Wolf Who Rules, Elfhome, and Wood Sprites – in that order). Some of the stories are essentially stand-alones, but others happen between the main novels and it’s hard (or impossible) to tell where each story lands when you are starting the story.
I guess as far as the compilation itself goes, that’s my only real complaint. The author has a section at the end where she goes into at least a little detail about the different stories, but it would have been nice to have a very brief blurb before each story that placed it into the novels’ timeline.
I think my favorite stories were the Pittsburgh Backyard & Garden ones – partly because I really enjoyed the characters in those stories, but also because they are tied in the closest (kinda) with Wood Sprites, which is the Elfhome novel I read most recently. It was a lot of fun to learn more about someone who was a minor character in the novel and a major character in the shorts.
So, is this worth picking up? Yes. But as I mentioned before, I would definitely wait to pick it up until after you’ve read the first four novels. And if you’re anything like me (and at least one friend who read the novels on my recommendation) you’ll finish the novels in record time and will then devour the shorts in order to get anything more on Elfhome.
In fact, I think it’s (already) time for me to re-read the novels again. This world is that fun.
Rating: 4 stars