Monday, October 21, 2013

Book Review: Paranormal Anthology with a Twist

This anthology contains 11 stories. I will go through each story in the order they come in the book, and then in the end I will tell you which ones was my favorites and what I thought overall about this anthology. But before I get there, you should know that this anthology IS with a twist. Each story had to have a twist in it – and let me tell you, some of these I did NOT see coming!

So, let’s begin with the first story:

 Voices of the Soul by Rene Folsom

Orella (Ella) has been hearing voices all her life, but never truly understood what they were. She just thought she was losing her mind. When her mother and herself get critically injured in a car accident, Ella learns she is a soul-seer. Ella loses her mother and tries to move on, which isn’t easy.

One day, she meets a boy – someone kinda like her. Not entirely, but almost. Both are drawn to each other like moths to a flame, and quickly they become a part of each other. But is it real? Will it last? And who is Jonah Chantrey really?

I did like this story, although I have to say it did remind me a little bit of Twilight. And no, I do not mean that in a bad way. I enjoyed Twilight, but have found MANY other authors since. I’m just saying, I could relate some of the things to that book. Voices of the Soul starts out with a tragedy, turns into a love story…. Right before the twist is delivered. And I know many romance Lovers will sit and scream of vengeance, but for me, this ending was a really good one, one that made me want to read the next book in her series; Eyes of the Soul.  
Find Rene here: Goodreads ~ Facebook

Number 18 by Michael Loring

In Number 18, we follow a man, who has chosen his target for the night, every thought he has about her and her boyfriend. There’s no doubt about the fact that what he has on his mind for the night, will not be pleasant for the poor girl.

But you know, sometimes Karma strikes back – HARD.

I’ve got to tell you, this was a GREAT story. I really want to tell you the so amazing twist the end has, but I’m tying my fingers into knots. NOT going to spill! I liked that we got to see the “bad guys” point of view in this story, and not the victims. It was different, and I liked it. If this is how Michael normally writes, then I’m definitely going to look into his books!
You can find Michael here: Goodreads ~ Facebook

Sweet Lenora by Bart Hopkins

Lenora is tired of listening to her mother, of always doing the right thing. Every day, her mother (bound to bed by illness) starts the day by “preaching” to Lenora about her duty, of the dangers outside.

So, each day is a steady routine for Lenora. And it goes well… But Lenora is a young girl, about to turn seventeen, and we all know how teenagers at some point will try and unfold their wings, to try and fly, right? So does Lenora. But she does it the only way she knows how to; making friends with a young boy, Charlie Swain. According to her mother’s standards, he is not worthy of notice, his family was new money and new to town.

So, imagine the respond from her mother when she finds out. (shivers) To make sure Lenora doesn’t grow too fond of the Swain boy, she arranges a date for the Fall Fair and expects Lenora to go.

So, will she end up with the young, correct man, her new friend, or maybe something else entirely?

Hmm, I’m not entirely sure how to feel about this story. It was well written, don’t get me wrong, but somehow, I did see this ending coming. In a way, I would have liked Lenora to fight more, but maybe that’s a story coming later in her life. Who knows?

I did like the writing style Bart Hopkins created, and the action in the story, so I have yet another author to put on my TBR list ;-)
You can find Bart here: Goodreads ~ Website/Blog

Truth or Dare by Jon Messenger

This is a story about how a dare got out of hand amongst friends. Jill, Jake, Whitney, Brent has a relaxing night, drinking and playing a game of Truth or Dare. But suddenly the game turns into something a bit scarier; Jill is dared to stay in a graveyard for an entire night…. Alone.

Arriving to the graveyard, Jill settles in to win the game, little does she knows, her nightmare is about to start…. Or did a lot sooner than entering the graveyard.

This story tugged at me, at my heart. I have no other words, than well written Jon. This might be a story of fiction, but the truth behind it – could happen for anyone who does what they do.
You can find Jon here: Goodreads ~ Facebook

Suburban Zombie by Anthony Lance

Ever read a story from a zombie’s point of view? Well, you got the chance here! In this Town, zombies are the normal thing. Guess what happens when a well groomed young man comes along?

This was a funny read for me – we always see the zombies being the bad guy, the ones infecting everyone else with a disease – this time, the tables are turned, and it was hilarious to read!
Find Anthony here: Goodreads ~ Blog

All I want for Christmas by Jason Brant

This story is in diary form, written by a thirteen young girl. All she wants is to be treated like an adult (my thought was… uhmm, yeah… you’re thirteen, not eighteen…)  But what she want the most is Stevie. In this short story, we get to follow her for the entire month of December, her attempts to get Stevie to notice her and her fight with the popular ones in school.

The end was certainly a nice surprise (well, not for everyone involved, but shhh…) I liked that this was a dairy, we could follow her through a difficult time in her life – although I have to admit, she was younger than what I would have liked her to be. But then – it was some time ago I was thirteen, and my concern was about other things than boys. But, getting back to this story. Liked it a lot, the twist was a good one too. :-)
You can find Jason here: Goodreads ~ Facebook

In the Eyes of the Beholder by Penelope Bartotto

Very few manage to put too much into a short story without cramping it, mangling it. Ilona Andrews can do this, and to me delight, so could Penelope.

This story’s focal point is Dominic and his gal Rose. Dominic is a trucker, so most of his time is on the highway, with his beautiful truck; Betty Lou.

Rose is living the life – dating a man who might be The One, and have another one wrapped so tight around her fingers, she gets everything she wants from him. But when Dominic texts Rose to let her know he will be in her town the next day, and he can’t wait to see her, he is unknowingly thwarting her plans for Mr. Right. What’s a girl to do? Well, I know what any SANE girl would do – but then, this story wouldn’t be as interesting, would it?

I was amazed with this story. Penelope manages to put so much into the few pages she had available, and I closed this story wanting to know more about so many things!! Rose’s character is VERY interesting, I did NOT see her like that in the beginning!! Reading about her first plotting and then executing her plan was… amazing! I would love to know more about her, just like the subplot with a certain truck needs an explanation! Couldn’t put this story down!
Find Penelope here: Goodreads ~ Facebook (blog)

Little Tchotchkes by Nicki Scalise

Starting reading this story, my first thought was… “Another vampire-story…” Well, I was wrong. Luckily. It’s not that I’m tired of vampire stories it just takes a little extra to make me like them now. They need a twist, something new.

And Little Tchotchkes isn’t “just” another vampire story. The POV is from the male character, Marcus. We follow him through his hunts in the night, and when he stumbles over a different girl, someone who is the opposite if him, in all ways. Or so he thinks.

This story is well written but doesn’t really speak to me like some of the others did. I liked that it was different, and certainly the ending was a surprise, but there wasn’t really anything there that made me want to go and read more of this author. Not based on this short story. I’m not going to cross her off my list or anything, because I have been pleasantly surprised in the past by some authors who wrote short stories that I didn’t like, but when they got the space they needed to evolve their characters, it was amazing to read.
You can find Nicki here: Goodreads ~ Facebook 

I am Serna by Magen McMinimy

I’ve read the first book in Magen’s Immortal Blood series, and I liked that one, so I was curious to see if she would be good at writing short stories as well. She can. I found myself drawn into the story about Damon and his hunt for Serna, his protection off Ariel, a White Witch niece.

Just as Damon arrives to the bar where Ariel works, Demons swarm upon them, and they have to fight for their lives. Although Ariel swore she didn’t need protection, it might look like she needs it after all. Trouble is, will either of them keep their heads level when the attraction grows between them?

I liked this story, although I would like to issue one complaint –but that’s for later. I got caught into this short story, and loved it – then twist delivered in the ending was spectacular. This was one I did NOT see coming! If you liked this short story, then make sure to read Magen’s Immortal Blood series as well – you will see exactly how amazing she is there!

Oh, that’s right… the complaint? The story was too short! ;-)
Find Magen here: Goodreads ~ Facebook 

Bloodlines by S.L Dearing

Sascha and Eduard are on the run from General Heinrich Muller. They don’t understand why, all they know is that he took their mother when she didn’t divulge where they were. The General WANTS them, but the reason is unknown. He might work for the Fuhrer, but he isn’t his Boss. Now the children are in France, hiding. But not with just anybody. The children do not know, but the man who is hiding them is their grandfather, and there’s more to their bloodline than what meets the eye. Before the end, secrets will come forth, and their Faith will be tested.

This story was amazing to read. It was short (it IS an anthology after all), but Dearing manages to give a full story to perfection. The twist was beautiful made, and showed me that we shouldn’t judge a book (or human) by its cover. There’s sooo much more than meets the eye. Definitely an author I will look into – I happen to know she just re-released her book; The Gathering!
Find S.L Dearing here: Goodreads ~ Facebook

Metronome by Eaton Thomas Palmer

I think this one was the one that baffled me the most. When I started to read Metronome, I didn’t quite understand it. I mean, I know and understand why the bad guys are in prison – but I’m getting ahead of myself. This story takes place in a maximum security prison, where a Dr. Edgar Collins has designed a special program in a try to normalize some of the prisoners. There’s one patient/prisoner, who is… well, he’s not responding as he should to the treatment. Everyone thinks he’s insane, and maybe he is. Who am I to judge? The reason why he is in prison is not normal, but that’s a different story, and one you really should read yourself. Gave me the chills though.

The best thing about this story was… the end actually. I really thought the twist Eaton delivered was freaking genius. And truly a work of Karma. The rest of the story.. well, it was good, but.. It wasn’t my favorite amongst the stories here. Sorry, but that’s my opinion.
You can find Eaton here: Goodreads

All in all, looking at the entire Anthology… It was a good one. I liked the fact that the authors HAD to have a twist in their story, that was the reason for this anthology. It started as a contest actually.

I’ve read anthologies where I bought the book for one story, and the rest was.. blah. I’ve read anthologies who directed me to new favorite authors, where the one story I wanted to read was disappointing. This is one of the rare anthologies where I can sit down afterwards and say; I liked every story in this book. I didn’t love every story, but there wasn’t a story that I skipped or shimmied. I read all of them, liked all the stories, even loved some of them, but didn’t dislike or hate anyone of them. So that is a freaking amazing in itself.

So, if you like your stories with a twist, I suggest you make sure to click on some of the buy links in the end. You’re not going to regret it. I know I don’t. :-)  

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