After having read Masque of the Red Death and The Raven, I looked forward to this anthology and mix of shorts, poems and scenes but... Maybe it's justAfter having read Masque of the Red Death and The Raven, I looked forward to this anthology and mix of shorts, poems and scenes but... Maybe it's just not for me, and I wasn't as captured by the imagery as I was with the titles mentioned above. Still, glad I read it....more
A lot of readers have been mentioning that they were disappointed by the lack of new stories, that the stories published in this anthology have alreadA lot of readers have been mentioning that they were disappointed by the lack of new stories, that the stories published in this anthology have already been published elsewhere. I'm a reader who hasn't been fortunate to have found these stories earlier on and elsewhere, I found them in this anthology and I have to say that I was very pleased with the diversity of the stories found.
Not all of the shorts were to my taste, surprisingly some of these from writers I know and like. Others that I did enjoy were from authors I wasn't aware of or ones that I had previously read before and not found to my taste.
It just goes to show that you should probably give authors more of a chance to impress by reading one or more pieces of their work.
The short stories vary from outright paranormal cities to contemporary. As promised by the title of the anthology, even the contemporary stories aren't clear cut, always that sense of the weird about them. I found that one of the short stories that worked as a great definition for the title of the anthology was The Adakian Eagle by Bradley Denton. It was one I was unsure of at the start but ended up changing my mind about, completely, by the end of it. Definitely a sense of the weird, but gripping just the same.
Ilsa J. Blick's The Key was the short story which had my favourite main character of the lot, and where I felt that the character was most complimented by the narrative style. Very enjoyable too and I loved the mythology. It ticked all the right boxes for me. Another that stood out was Cryptic Coloration by Elizabeth Bear that was right up my alley.
Those weren't, by any means, the only good stories in this anthology, merely the ones that ended up being my favourites. I'll be looking in on new authors found here and trying out their novel length works too because there's some really good and intriguing writing here.
Whether you've read them or not, these make a neat little collection, nice to settle down with now and then, or for an afternoon, with some nice snacks and huddled under your duvet on a snowy day (it actually was snowing when I was reading them and it did feel quite nice lol).
END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT by J.P. Barnaby What I thought: I di3.5 stars (because I liked it it quite a bit!)
The stories that I enjoyed the most :)
END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT by J.P. Barnaby What I thought: I did enjoy this, although the changes in POV kind of bothered me. But enjoyed the way author handled the prompt. The sex was bittersweet goodness.
MASOCHISM 101 by Kim Dare What I thought: Hot. I liked the angle on the story, the stage of their relationship when we entered it.
BRIDGES by M.J. O'Shea What I thought: From enemies to friends, sweet young romance. It was a lovely read, enjoyed it very much.
My overall opinion was that it was worth the read and didn't let me down and I'll re-read some of these fondly (including other stories not named in this review).