Read this not only without playing any of the games, but without any real knowledge of the Shadowrun universe in general, and what I can say after reading is that I’d rather keep it that way. Not that I wasn’t already leaning against even trying the games, despite getting them for free, just because I had the pretty clear impression that the world they take place in is an awful one that I want no part of, but these stories confirmed it.
About the stories themselves… Well, they’re short stories and I don’t really care for short stories in general, and the awful world definitely doesn’t help, plus that the first impression was poor because the beginning of the first one struck me as poorly written. And the last one seemed to me to be the weakest. However, the others, and even the first one once you get past the beginning, are generally written well enough, connect in some ways and are likely to mean much more to those who know and appreciate this universe. While too much seemed to revolve around the Union, I did rather like the story titled Cherry Bomb. On the other hand, Never Alone also seems to stand out in some ways, but that one’s so creepy that I shy away from it.