Posts Tagged ‘Anthology’

Shattered Time Anthology by J. L. Clayton, Carissa Ann Lynch, Niki Livingston, Regina O’Connell, Ashlee Shades, Bradon Nave, Jeremy Simons, Joe Pranaitis, Genevieve Moultrie, T. Guthrie, D. A. Roach, Grace Charles.

March 13, 2017 - 12:52 am No Comments

Shattered Time Anthology by J. L. Clayton, Carissa Ann Lynch, Niki Livingston, Regina O’Connell, Ashlee Shades, Bradon Nave, Jeremy Simons, Joe Pranaitis, Genevieve MoultrieT. GuthrieD. A. Roach, Grace Charles.

Published 13th March 2017

475 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

I love reading anthologies as a way to find new authors, and although I have read quite a few of these authors there were a couple I did not recognise.

For this review, I will write about each story

Lines of Time and desire by JL Clayton: Londyn and Scott becomes friends, when Scott sends a text to the wrong person, over time their friendship becomes complicated. The way JL Clayton writes you can imagine the smaller details in the story, the giddy school girl smile when Londyn receives the texts, the desperation to meet. JL Clayton has got the knack when it comes to short stories and this was no different. Keeping the story interesting right to the end and still adding a gasp moment. Think a modern-day Lake house.

Homecoming by Carissa Ann Lynch: Astrid is in mourning, her life completely changed when her younger brother died, but with the help of an eccentric old lady, can she heal her family’s heartbreak. Whilst reading this story I felt so sorry for Astrid and her dad and could not imagine losing a child. Using the good old faithful old lady/ witch just added to this story because it was not until the end that you knew what her purpose was. The ending was an added shock as I had not got a clue how her brother died and what was the cause. A great story and I would love to read more stories about Alexandra.

A Web Through Time by Niki Livingstone: The first story with a sci-fi element. The year is 2025 Alex’s life is in danger and she does not know who to trust, can her going into the future save her life and the lives of others. Full of action and drama this had me turning the pages to see if Alex survives. Even though a future time, somethings like racism and segregation never change. As a short story this is a great introduction to Alex and I was left me wanting to read more of her story.

Willow and The Forbidden Portal by Regina O’Connell: Willow is an herbalist, with the help of her herbs she spends her time trying to save people’s lives. However, one day it all goes wrong and she is running for her life, after being branded a witch. The story flows smoothly and due to the descriptive writing, you can imagine following Willow on her journey. A magical romance that will make you look at ancient trees differently.

Cassandra’s Choice by Ashlee Shades: Cassandra was a strong-willed woman who met her match when she woke up in the 19th century. An historical romance, I enjoyed this story very much as I liked the mixture of attitudes between the centuries. The Duke was your typical 19th century gent who although had an attitude, still knew where his manners were. Hopefully Cassandra got her HEA

The Secrets Crows Keep by Bradon Nave: Mildred was haunted by secrets and it was not until a visitor came, that she had to come to terms with what she did. Throughout this story, my mind was trying to work out, how she travelled in time and why did she have a hatred for her husband. Whilst reading this story I found Mildred to be one dangerous lady. I love the spin with Time travel and explanation of Mildred and the visitor’s connection. Although if you went into the Secrets Crow keep, you would get quite a shock.

Bridging the Gap by Jeremy Simons: Not happy with his life, all Garrett wanted to do was to kill himself by jumping off a bridge, but when he finds a portal that could help change is future, he gets more than he bargains for. This was one of my favourite stories and whilst reading it I found Garret to be a self-indulgent petty person and he should have been grateful to have Terry as a friend. This story use the theme that there are consequences when you use time travel to change your past. A great ending which tied up this story perfectly.

Time’s Launch by Joe Pranaitis: Another Sci-fi theme. Captain Dyson was commanding the 1st ship with Time travel technology and on its maiden voyage, it all goes terribly wrong. This story had a Star-Trek feel to it, from the ship’s technology to the captain who is curious to investigate what is going on. I liked the idea that he found a source of information that would explain what went on with the ship and that the ending left it open for the reader to imagine what happened next, or is there more to this story.

The Salesman by DA Roach: Melanie had an accident and since that day she cannot forgive herself. After a chance meeting with a salesman can she move on with her life. The way the author told Melaine’s story had you willing the purchase to work. With every change to Melanie’s life explained, the twist at the end was a total surprise. A moving story, that you won’t want to finish.

One Cockroach left by Genevieve Moultrie: Ratsor, an alien botanist, was filming another species but after a nasty accident she stumbled on something that changed her whole attitude on life. Ratsor was a likeable character who due to her job loved to explore and valued life. The description of her land was beautifully written and you could imagine all the vibrant colours of the creatures that she saw. Yet another story that had a surprise ending but I could only imagine what happened after.

Time by Grace Charles: To aid the discussion between Space, Creation and Time the love story between Vida and Mort was used. This was a well written story, with love at first sight, a number of twist and an ending where you can imagine what happened next, this kept me turning the pages. The relationship between Vida and Mort was genuine and although complete opposites made a really great couple. A new author to me

Whispers of Forever by T Guthrie: Layla was summoned to her Great Aunt’s Victorian mansion, suffering with Déjà vu, can her visions and her fascination with the man of her dreams, help her solve the mystery. You are drawn into this story from the moment that you start to read, an old mansion, the creepy butler and the tragic deaths, having you wondering what Layla has let herself in for. The visions that Layla has help explain the story and the author has a way of keeping the secret till right at the end. Even with clues scattered throughout the story. I still did not guess, what/who had caused the tragedy. I am looking forward to reading more from this author

With a mixture of genres, it just goes to show that not all time travel is Sci-fi. This anthology should please the majority of genre lovers and if like me, you love finding new authors then this anthology is for you.

SLOW BULLETS by Alastair Reynolds.

March 10, 2017 - 9:02 pm No Comments

SLOW BULLETS by Alastair Reynolds.

Gollancz, London. 16th February 2016. £12.95 paperback, £6.99 e-book.

182 page. ISBN: 978-1-473-21842-0

Reviewed by Pauline Morgan.

 

There is almost a sub-genre of SF which deals exclusively with war scenarios. These might be between aliens and humans or between human colonies. As with all these adventures, various assumptions are made, one of which being a method of interstellar travel which gets ships from one place to another quickly. There is no point in sending out the troops when the enemy may have extinguished itself before the force arrives. Readers don’t worry about the technology involved; it is the action that counts, and the number of corpses that results. This is not normally the territory that Alastair Reynolds usually ventures into so it is refreshing to find that in this novelette, this is just the background against which the characters have been shaped.

As the story opens, a ceasefire has been declared. The factions are no longer officially at war. Always, though, there are renegades who will push the limits, feigning ignorance about the actual state of affairs, simply because they enjoy what they do and don’t see why they have to stop. Orvin likes hurting people. On the cusp of peace he has captured Scur, a soldier from the other side. He knows all about her because all soldiers are fitted with slow bullets. These devices are a futuristic version of dog tags. They contain all information about the person they are inside and it can easily be read. Normally, they move at a very slow speed through the body so that the tissues are barely disrupted. Orvin’s method of torture is to insert one going faster and causing excruciating pain during its passage. When Orvin has to leave in a hurry she has the opportunity to try and cut it out.

This is just a precursor to real action and an introduction to the device which is to play an essential part in the plot. Scur wakes up aboard a military prison shop. She and the other ‘passengers’ are being transported as cargo to Tottori in hibernation. What initially seems to be a simple problem with the ship becomes more serious as she and the remnants of crew discover that they have been drifting in orbit for hundreds of years, that all the surviving sleepers are being revived. Amongst them are war criminals from both sides, as well as civilians, and to them the reasons (basically very trivial) of the conflict are clear in their minds as well as the hatred for their perceived enemies. Among them is Orvin. Scur and her new colleagues have multiple problems to solve if they are to survive, the biggest one is to overcome the problem that the ships systems are slowly leaking information and they need to find ways of preserving it. To do that a compromise needs to be found so that the different factions are able to work together.

In this book, Reynolds wraps a number of themes in a relatively few pages. Some of them will feel like familiar tropes from the SF catalogue but it is the way that he deals with them that is original. For those who do not want to face one of Reynolds’ huge tomes as an introduction to his work, this a good place to start to get an idea of his style and ingenuity before embarking on such as Revelation Space series. Then get stuck in to the rest of his oeuvre.

Originally published in 2015 as a chap-book by Tachyon Press, it has already accumulated a number of well-deserved awards and nominations.

Once upon a Death: Tales of Love and Madness: A Novella Anthology by JL Clayton, KL Cottrell Jessica Ozment.

December 30, 2016 - 1:52 pm No Comments

Once upon a Death: Tales of Love and Madness: A Novella Anthology by JL Clayton, KL Cottrell Jessica Ozment.

Published 30th December 2016

161 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

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Having read books by these authors before, I knew I wanted this book so as soon as it was available I pre-ordered this book . As there are only three novellas I will do a short review on each story.

Death Undid Me by JL Clayton: Revona, a necromancer, works for the Bureau of Supernatural, her job was to bring back the murder victims for a short time to find out who killed them. Her job was pretty mundane until a case involved her to revive Officer Cassidy Dwight who was murdered on an undercover assignment .

Although young, Revona acted very mature whilst doing her job and this showed when she had to escape trouble to rescue Cassidy. The twist in the plot when MeShelly was introduced was brilliant and it was something I did not see coming. The twist went onto be well explained so was not confusing. Another great story that can lead to many more books about Revona or MeShelly

Pretty Guilty by KL Cottrell: Coralie had a problem, she was being haunted by Aaron, who she happened to be on a date with him just before he was knocked over and died. Will is the brother of the girl who killed Aaron. They met when Will went to apologise to Coralie for his sister killing her boyfriend.

Coralie always put on a brave face even when the hauntings got unbearable and you could feel Will’s heart breaking whilst she was falling apart. I did feel like giving Coralie a shake and get her to tell Will everything. Will was the loveable chappy always feeling that he had to do the right thing.

This is not just a ghost story but a story about guilt, love and acceptance.

Rift: An Inter-dimensional Love Story by Jessica Ozment and Brett Tahbonemah: Dr Victor Pines was a theoretical physicist who came across a portal whilst working on his latest experiment. Being a true scientist he knows that he has to go and explore and this is where the adventure begins and he meets Zaia, a princess.

Victor was your stereotypical scientist, confident with his job but not with meeting other people especially beautiful alien women. He did not care about his own safety to get results. So excited to find this portal he went without making preparations and was lucky that he met Zaia as he would not have lasted a day without her. However whilst going further on the journey with her, he changed from a blundering scientist to quite a confident man who realised that he was falling in love with the alien princess.

Zaia was how you would imagine an alien princess, curious but aloof. A strong independent woman, she knew that she had to protect Victor.

The ending of this story had left this open for more of Victor and Zaia. Reading this, you could not tell that it was a collaboration and the writing was so descriptive, you felt that you were actually following them on their journey. A great Sci-fi story with cannibals, magic and battles.

If you have not read anything from these authors then this is a great book to start with. With completely different stories that will take you on a unique journey.

13: An Anthology of Horror and Dark Fiction by Savannah Blevins, Marissa Farrar, Thomas S. Flowers, Taylor Henderson, Erin Lee, Carissa Ann Lynch, Bradon Nave, D.A. Roach, Samie Sands, Sara Schoen, S. Valentine, Jackie Sonnenberg, Luke Swanson

December 22, 2016 - 10:12 pm No Comments

13: An Anthology of Horror and Dark Fiction by Savannah Blevins, Marissa Farrar, Thomas S. Flowers, Taylor Henderson, Erin Lee, Carissa Ann Lynch, Bradon Nave, D.A. Roach, Samie Sands, Sara Schoen, S. Valentine, Jackie Sonnenberg, Luke Swanson

Published on 4th October 2016 by Limitless Publishing LLC

435 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

32188483When I saw this book advertised I knew that I had to buy it. Having read books from the majority of the authors I knew that it would be a good buy, and I was not disappointed. As I enjoyed every story I will give a short review on each one:

Mèrchante Reine by Savannah Blevins: Set in the 19th Century this a short story about Lake, an orphan who is on a mission to kill a witch who is terrorising Sanctuary. Most of this story was between Lake and Abram, the son of the family who took her in, madly in love with her, Lake did not feel worthy of his love. She was a very determined and strong minded girl who knew what she had to do to free her town. It wasn’t the ended I expected but tied up the story perfectly

Room 313 by Thomas S Flower: Will Fenning’s life has gone downhill, recently separated and a failing business. Once a brave man he ends up in an airport hotel, to do the only thing he can think of doing. Whilst reading this I did feel sorry for Will as everything went wrong for him. This story was very descriptive, full of suspense building up to a dramatic ending. Another great story by Thomas S Flower.

The Devil’s Daughter by Marissa Farrar: Set in Peru, Erika is doing a story on an ancient tribe, documenting their customs and traditions, but what she did not expect was the ostracizing of a young orphaned girl, who the tribe blamed after members of the tribe started going missing. Erika was very opinionated with her views and although she felt and saw strange things, this did not her maternal instinct kicking in. Although you know what this girl was, it was not explained till the end. An interesting story and I loved the use of the tribe to tell the story.

Haverly Insane Asylum by Taylor Henderson: No anthology is complete without a story set in derelict asylum. Lacey and her boyfriend meet their friends in the asylum and like all teenagers don’t head the danger written on the walls. At the start of this story Lacey was a wimp cowering at every noise, but the further she went into the asylum she knew something was not right. This story gave me the creeps as whilst reading this I knew something was going to happen, I loved the death scenes and the twist at the end

Anesthesia by DA Roach: Mary want to change her life, she had managed to secure her dream job and had the date for her breast reduction operation. With the support from her two friends Justin the owner of the bar she worked and Fray, who she worked with, she thought her life was perfect. How wrong she was! The way the author writes this story makes you think it is a pleasant read, but how wrong you will be. This story has stalking, human trafficking and much more. I was shocked when I found out who was doing this to poor Mary

This One’s Broken by Bradon Nave: Due to the death of their parents, Billy is Savannah‘s main carer. Making sure they are ok is Sheriff Golay. I am not saying anymore about this story as I do not want to give anything away, but they do make the most tender meat in the area. This story was dark and I loved the enthusiasm of Savannah when she was taught a new task. There was a reason for each action which made this a good story.

Ricochet by Carissa Ann Lynch: Regan had a secret, she had got a job at Adventure Town, to earn money to escape her life. Living with her brother and her drunk of a father, this is the reason she wanted to escape. The problem was that her mom disappeared when she was young after she was accused of the murder of a child at Adventure Town. Due to this tragic event, it had stayed closed until now. The only condition of Regan getting this job was she had to wear her mom’s old work shirt. This story was intense and kept my interest from the start. I love the twist at the end and was quite unexpected.

Rest in Peace by Erin Lee: Jeff had Parkinson’s Disease, and with his wife Lisa decided to die with pride and dignity. Opting for euthanasia, Lisa booked them into an old motel seeping with history. Haunted by the Ghost Widow of Coach Motel, she even booked the room where the event took place. Written in their POV, it was interesting how the author played with your emotions, when you were reading Lisa’s story you felt sorry for her but flipping to Jeff’s story she was the evil one and you started feeling sorry for him. I loved the use of the ghosts to get them to finally get to the truth.

The Virus by Samie Sands:  A prequel to the AM13 Outbreak series. What I loved about this story was each chapter was a different character’s POV about the zombie outbreak. This made the story exciting and it flowed smoothly and I as I have not read the Outbreak Series this has really made me want to read it.

The Six-Foot Ladder by Luke Swanson: Ramona Price goes on a road trip to get away from her past and to avoid the ghosts that she sees. What is strange she has no interaction with them. When her car breaks down she finds herself in a little town call Crawford.  Finding the town extremely quiet, she meets a creepy undertaker, who is there to explain the whole story. I enjoyed this story as it was so different to your usual ghost-seeing story, as the undertaker was so creepier in his actions it totally threw you, a great twist at the end

The first of Thirteen by Sara Schoen:  Written in Kelly’s POV, this story is about her life after being kidnapped by Steve. Steve is one sick individual and Kelly’s life is hell. You read and hear stories about girls that are kept prisoner for years and this story helped you understand what they could have gone through. My heart went out to Kelly and I was willing her to survive.

The Challenge by Sophia Valentine: The circus was back in town after a long break and Carla had promised to take her little brother, but when he went missing she has to go into the House of Horrors and face her biggest fears. This story surprised me so much as I only recognise the author as an erotic writer. This story was well written and you could feel the fear Carla had whilst walking the house of horrors. Each room visited was scarier than the last and I could not believe how Carla could keep going. I hope Sophia writes more horror as she definitely got the knack.

This is a must read for horror lovers, each story is a quick read and I am sure you will find a new author to follow. I hope there will be more collaborations with these authors. A good buy and well worth the money

 

 

Fight Like a Girl edited by Roz Clarke and Joanne Hall

October 30, 2016 - 11:46 am No Comments

Fight Like a Girl edited by Roz Clarke and Joanne Hall

Authors- Roz Clarke, Kelda Crich, KT Davies, Dolly Garland, KR Green, Joanne Hall, Julia Knight, Kim Larkin-Smith, Juliet McKenna, Lou Morgan, Gale Sebold, Sophie E Tallis, Fran Terminiello, Danie Ware and Nadine West

Published by Kristell Ink, Grimbold Books on 6th March 2016

249 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

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This book has a good selection of stories for fantasy and Sci-Fi lovers, each story set in different land or time, but one thing in common, each story had a woman that was not afraid to kick some ass. Every woman had a story to tell whether they were a sword for hire, a mother, a soldier or just fighting to survive, they had to act on their wits and they were there to prove that there is nothing wrong in fighting like a girl.

So not to go on for ever I am going to review the stories that really grabbed my attention.

The Coyote by KR Green: Set in dystopian Brighton, Kai is a young girl with a very good sense of hearing. This talent had helped through many a scrape. A member of the Circlet, Kai, is a highly trained fighter and is on a mission to try and bring peace to the Buddhist community. Throughout, this short story was full of action, with Kai relying on her hearing to get the mission done, this made it an intense read.

Vocho’s Night out by Julia Knight: Vocho and Kacha are brother and sister, working for the guild, they are hired to protect a mysterious cargo. After a failed attempt to steal the cargo, they work together to find the real reason why they were hired. Like most siblings they are in competition with each other to be the best and as both are experienced sword fighters this does get interesting. I found this story to be a fun read, and the ending was comical. This has been a good introduction to the Duellists trilogy which I now want to read.

Fire and Ash by Gaie Sebold: Riven is a soldier who is suffering with PTSD. The last of the Dancers, a renowned troop she lost all her colleagues in one epic battle. Not wanting to go on any more with her life, she prepares to die until a ring changes her mind. Whilst reading this story, I felt really sorry for Riven with everything she went through, but whilst on this journey her character changes to determination, she gets stronger and you are willing her to survive and to learn to live.

A quick mention about the cover, when I saw this I had to smile to myself as when I was little girl I used to have a book of paper dolls to dress up and I wish that my dolls had outfits like these on the cover.

I must be honest: I had not read anything before by these authors and I have kept asking myself why not.  Each story was well written and celebrates women. Now every time I hear you fight like a girl, I will know that it is a compliment as if I or any other girl fights like the girls in these stories then they will be strong, resourceful and not take any nonsense.

A great collection of stories that will keep your interest from the first word