Werewolves on motorcycles, in suburbs, locked in the basement; family curses, aquired diseases, accidental side-effectsRunning with the Pack offers up 22 werewolf stories from a variety of modern urban fantasy authors. Those offerings are plentiful and brief, and werewolves are an engaging base premise, and so the collection is more consumable than most short story anthologies. However, few of the stories stand out: there's a number which are decent but forgettable, just as many which are disappointing, and only a handful I'd consider good--of which only two are must-reads. Too often the stories are written to theme, even if they weren't written for this collection; they rely on the fact of their werewolves, putting all their energy into basic world/monsterbuilding, and say little more than that: where werewolves are an analogy, it's cursory or blatant; in large part, there's nothing alive or wild in these beasts. Downum's "The Garden, The Moon, The Wall" is one exception--her story is dreamlike, liminal, and haunted. Palwick's "Gestella" is another, a brutal experiment in voice which turns werewolves into incisive social critique. "Blended," "The Direwolf," and "Inside Out" are also pretty good, and some of them are unique to this collection. But on the whole, Running with the Pack is uninspired. It can be an addictive mix, and offers an interesting (if not particularly promising) overview of modern urban fantasy authors, but that's about all. I can't recommend it.