Link deftly walks the line between literary and genre fiction; she's equally comfortable borrowing from Buffy or Borges. Short stories sometimes fail to draw me in because they deal with their subject matter in a cursory manner, but in this case boredom was never a problem. Link's stories are inhabited by lively characters who keep you caring and guessing, and she tends toward longer, more substantial short fiction.
As with other writers of dark/horror-infused fantasy, mysterious and unresolved endings are par for the course. Links' endings don't feel lazy or careless and are only noticeable when you read several stories back to bback. I wouldn't say the endings are as uniformly strong as the beginnings and middles, but they generally work and feel right.
Meets and exceeds my previous encounters with Link's work, and quite possibly pushes her into the select canon of my favorite fantasy writers. Amazingly there was NOT a quote from Neil Gaiman anywhere on this book, which is unusual for my reading. However, there was a Diana Wynne Jones reference in one of the stories, so I am content.
Also, speaking of metafiction, only a few days before starting this book I'd (a) gotten my first library job and (b) visited the Garment District thrift store in Boston - and the first story in this collection begins with a description of the Garment District and has scenes in libraries. It was like a spooky Easter egg just for me.
This may be a perfect book of short stories, or Kelly Link may just be the perfect writer of spooky, poignant, surreal, fantastical, metafictional, and endlessly inventive short fiction.