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Crack the Darkest Sky Wide Open

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  275 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Of humanity there are darker tales. Stories that take some squinting to see through. Unconventional stories. Tales that threaten to break the heart by cruel twists of fate, the dogs of war, or demons that are all too real; whether they be of unrequited love or a karmic slap in the face. Happy endings take a time in coming, and some never arrive. But through all the darknes ...more
ebook, 148 pages
Published May 17th 2013 (first published May 16th 2013)
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4.10  · 
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 ·  275 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Jan 31, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: mine
My first venture into self publishing! So, Eric Arvin decided one day that he wanted to self publish an anthology. I had a story I was getting ready to submit when it was suggested I send it to him to see if it fit in the antho. Sure enough, it did. He gathered some of the best authors working in the genre today for stories a little bit... outside... of what they normally write. (seriously, check out those names!) We are going to show you what happens when you crack the darkest sky wide open...

Jason Bradley
Feb 04, 2013 marked it as i-wrote-it
Shelves: anthology
Couldn't be more excited about this.
Jayden Brooks
May 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a range.

Most of these stories aren't what I'd typically select to read. I heard the warnings of what to expect... *Shrug* I bought the sucker anyway. I will admit, without a lick of shame, to being a big ol' T.J. Klune fan girl. So it was a given that I'd buy it. My OCD ensured I didn't just skip to the end of the book to get my Klune fix. I'm glad I did read them all, even outside my comfort zone, they were powerful stories written by talented writers.

The Demon of Jericho by Eric Arvin
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Yep, I still have lingering feelings for this anthology...

My blog partner, Cindi, sent me to this anthology. She felt I would like it and that a couple of the stories would be up my alley. I would have to say she is right. All of the stories were for me, some may be more up my dark little alley, others up my sentimental laneway. I thoroughly enjoyed every one in its own unique way. But my fabulous blog partner, Cindi, has already reviewed this anthology beautifully at On Top Down Under Book Re
4.75 stars

Full review can be found at On Top Down Under Book Reviews.

Normally when I read an anthology I rate each story individually. I am not doing that in this case. Each story is unique. One is gruesome. Others will tear on your emotions but for different reasons. One is so disturbing that I am still bothered by it several hours after finishing it. Then there are the ones that will make you stop and think. You may say "What the hell did I just read?" more than once or you may be cussing an
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anthology
Wow! Every one of these stories is amazing.

The Demon of Jericho by Eric Arvin
The Demon of Jericho is perfect mix of horror and fantasy. The hillbilly talk took a bit of getting used to but it fit Jeb’s character and he was impossible not to like.

A Cruel Thing by Abigail Roux
If it hadn’t been a part of this anthology I probably wouldn’t have read this since I’m not a fan of war stories. I’m so glad I did; A Cruel Thing is action packed and gives you a glimpse at what these guys go through durin
May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Anthologies are a hard thing to rate cause you're never going to like all the stories to the same degree, especially when they're written by different authors. I've been waiting for this book to be released because a couple of these authors are some of my favorites but it also allowed me to check out some I'd never read before. I wasn't really sure what to expect but I was impressed by all six stories. Yes, some more than others but I think we all have preferences when it comes to what styles of ...more
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I’m on an Arvin kick right now. In the last 2 weeks I’ve bought everything with his name attached to it.
Roux’s minion?
*raises hand*
Yep. I can't deny that either.
So, imagine my excitement when I find out this collection not only has these two faves of mine, but four virgin-to-me authors I’ve been eager to try.
*bounces in seat*
To kick things off, I gotta share this....

"Foreword (is Forearmed)

I be a writer! Aye, a writer with balls!
I’ve got me some friends and this be our caterwaul
We’re boun
I have very mixed feelings about this book. I pretty much read it because Abigail Roux has a story in it. However, I am pretty much a princess of happy endings. I knew better before I picked it up but I let my better judgment get away from me.


The Demon of Jericho by Eric Arvin - 3 stars
I'll be honest - I read this one about 6 months ago. I remember thinking it was well written but I don't remember details.

A Cruel Thing by Abigail Roux- 2.5 stars
I feel like I got bogged down a
Anthologies are difficult beasts both to put together and to read.
There are a whole bunch of masterful storytellers in this one, and it is dark, then it goes darker.

The Demon of Jericho - Not my cuppa, but with fabulous and creative writing.
A Cruel Thing - a period piece and unfortunately I'm all warred-out, so war stories don't do it for me. Except that this one had writing that was absolutely amazeballs.
Wrong - Harsh and weird. Not sure about this one yet. I'm too much of a fluff-ball.
Care Blackstone O'Flaherty
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I came to this book almost completely blind. The only thing I knew was that Abigail Roux had a hand in it. I didn't know it was an anthology, I didn't know what the jacket blurb said, I didn't know anything.

I'm going to review the stories individually, for the sake of thoroughness and really, just because they all deserve the review.

The Demon of Jericho by Eric Arvin
This was a genuinely unusual tale for me. I tend to be a huge fan of PNR, and seeing even slight variations in theme is always inte
LiveYourLife BuyTheBook
"The Demon of Jericho" by Eric Arvin is a dark, tense, well-written story of the angel Goshen who is sent to save the hill town of Jericho. It is an effective blend of creepy and grisly and not for the faint of heart. There is not too much that can be said about this story without major spoilers, what I can say is you will be on the edge of your seat, pulled into a dark, vivid world of the fantastic. I try to avoid gruesome and harsh, but I'm so glad I read this. I loved the strong writing, th ...more
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have to say that this was the best anthology I think I've ever read - including one of my favorites, "The Irregulars." Usually I avoid anthologies because you often have one or two good stories mixed in with a bunch of crap and whatever the cost, it feels like wasted time and money. But not this one, all six writers are excellent at the craft and while I didn't love all the stories equally, there was not one that made me think (as I usually do), "How did THIS one get in here?!" Six wonderful w ...more
♣ Irish Smurfétté ♣
This is an anthology filled with intense emotion, violence, honesty, and characters that grab a hold and make you hang on for each breath with them. Let’s go…

The Demon of Jericho by Eric Arvin – 5 stars
This opening salvo is impressive in its demand for our emotions and how easily it does just that. No surprise from this author.

When one character imprisons another, simply because they are different from them or others they see as worthy of freedom, it doesn’t make them powerful. Instead, it doe
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best anthologies I've read. Every story was masterfully told. Bold, original and superbly written, this is definitely worth reading.

Beautiful writing. Suspenseful, engaging, interesting and fantastical story. And an angel! I really enjoyed the unfolding of this tale.

A CRUEL THING - 5 stars
I’m generally not a fan of historicals, and I certainly have little interest in stories set in wartime. So I would have been unlikely to have read this story,
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Turned the last page and I think It ruined me for a while. I finish a good book and I can't start anything new until my brain refreshes itself. This is what happened with CTDSWO. I didn't have a favorite story in this anthology because each story touched me in one way or another.

The Demon of Jericho story made me want more details. I wanted a full novel out of that story. I usually don't read (fantasy?) but this made me want more. Eric's bad ass writing always takes me to wonderful place in my
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just excellent! Such a good collection. Very well done! Thank you, all!
Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, all-stars, anthology
This has to be one of the best books I've ever read and that's saying quite a bit given that it's an anthology and it's quite easy to hit a wrong note when there are so many authors playing. But everything is perfectly pitched and simply took my breath away. Picture a roller coaster and the building up to the first hill, the amazing view and breath taking realization that the world is just about to drop out from underneath your feet and then the heart pounding twists and drops that follow. That' ...more
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow. So many emotions I can't even begin to describe the feelings that these stories evoked in me. I cried and cried, then cheered out loud. It was exhilarating and exhausting, and oh so worth it. Great job.
Barb ~rede-2-read~
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Barb ~rede-2-read~ by: Jen4607
What did I think? I think that if I liked all the stories as much as I liked the ones by Abigail Roux and T.J. Klune, I would have given this a 5 star plus rating. Here's my breakdown:

The Demon of Jericho - Eric Arvin - Great story. This author has a fantastic imagination, full of creativity and alternate voices. This is a paranormal romance between a country bumpkin and an angel who manage to banish an evil demon from the town of Jericho. The adventure of how they meet and what happens is told
Will Lutes
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was definitely a mixed bag so the brief star list I'll rate as follows (from least to most favorite - because they literally ran the gamut):

2 Stars (couldn't connect with this even through multiple readings (so I really tried)-

Anguish - Jason Huffman-Black

This one didn't quite fit with the other tales in the book. I would have given it one star but the author obviously is talented. The prose was tight and moving, just not the subject matter. I couldn't find the groove to sink in and absorb.
Finished reading through my tears.

Anthologies are not my favorite to read. I do read them, usually because a fav author has written a story or has added to a fav series. I feel myself lucky to at least like 1 or 2 selections. If I like half of the offerings I feel I have a good anthology. I have never loved ever one of the stories in an anthology until now.

Eric Arvin is a spiritual writer. His mind seems to go places no one else thinks about or if they do, they do not write them with his qualit
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
“The Demon of Jericho” by Eric Alvin
This wasn’t really a “romance” as such. There is a couple in it but the relationship between the two since what I’d call a romance. The story involves angels, a demon, a bad sheriff, a hunter, and a cursed city called Jericho. The writing is interesting in style. The story has an almost fairly tale flavor to it. The story is extremely shallow though. I think the author was going for mysterious, which just made me a little confused. I never really got into the
May 16, 2013 rated it liked it
This is not a book you read at the beach, you're going to want a bottle of liquid courage and a dark corner with lots of pillows. It is a collection where the authors did just as they wanted, stretching and writing something they normally don't. If you like bawling your eyes out [I don't] T.J. Klune has you covered, it's a well crafted tale, clear from the beginning as to where it's heading. Abi Roux, too will bring tears (and no thanks to her, I can't seem to not read another military story thi ...more
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
So, I really wanted to read this because I love Eric Arvin's imagination...getting additional stories was just icing on the cake.

Eric Arvin and Abigail Roux really started this anthology off with a bang and I absolutely loved both of their stories.

Jason Huffman Black's was so concisely painful, such a short story that really got you. Looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.

SA McAuley, the only other book I've read by this author was a 5 star read for me, and this story did
Jane (PS)
Jul 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Jane (PS) by: Laura
Shelves: kindle, mm
Whoa - this really IS dark! I'd read the precis, but it didn't really prepare me for a couple of stories in this anthology. My overall comment - not much romance, and in some cases, absolutely none. Be prepared for some violence and rape.

Having said that, all the stories are well written, with Eric's descriptions being just beautiful! His use of words is so clean and clear, a little romantic and not excessive.

The last story, John & Jackie by TJ Klune - OMG, have tissues ready (actually, have
Mickie Ashling
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I don't normally read anthologies but some of my favorite authors put this together so I couldn't resist. Overall, this was a challenging read, and that's what I expected going in. Be prepared to read through fingers, reach for tissues, and take several deep breaths as you go along with each writer on a dark and unpredictable journey. Recommended for those who like to be pushed out of their comfort zone.
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm-faves
I Seriously cannot recall the last time I have enjoyed EVERY SINGLE STORY in an anthology. I don't think I ever have come to think of it. As usual TJ Klune of course manages to pull and tap dance on my heart strings. A great collection of awesome stories penned by authors that consistently deliver every time I crack open their books. If you're looking for a great anthology, purchase this one. You won't regret it.
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This collection is amazing - the stories all evoked such strong emotions. I found all of the stories to be very well written and they all reached for a different emotion deep inside me and pulled it to the surface. I cringed, I cried, I hoped, and above all else I felt. To the Crack Crew - bravo!
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Magnificent. Heart-wrenching. Heartbreaking. Disturbing. Dark. Beautiful. Read it in one sitting and shed so many tears.
« previous 1 3 next »
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The Backlot Gay B...: John and Jackie by Tj Klune 1 21 May 24, 2013 07:30PM  
The Backlot Gay B...: The Hotel Luz by S. A. McAuley 1 13 May 23, 2013 07:17PM  
The Backlot Gay B...: Wrong by SJD Peterson 1 17 May 23, 2013 07:11PM  
The Backlot Gay B...: A Cruel Thing, by Abigail Roux 1 20 May 23, 2013 07:07PM  
The Backlot Gay B...: The Demon of Jericho - Eric Arvin 1 10 May 23, 2013 07:03PM  

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Eric Arvin resided in the same sleepy Indiana river town where he grew up. He graduated from Hanover College with a Bachelors in History. He has lived, for brief periods, in Italy and Australia. He has survived brain surgery and his own loud-mouthed personal demons. Eric is the author of WOKE UP IN A STRANGE PLACE, THE MINGLED DESTINIES OF CROCODILES & MEN, SUBSURDITY, SIMPLE MEN, and various ...more
“When his mind turned to look back at the memories of a life gone off the track, everything appeared murky, like looking through a stagnant pond, covered completely with green algae, black beneath with the overabundance of bacteria and rot that made it incapable of supporting any other life besides. Through the murk he saw love, love that wasn't cultivated, love that was left to wither and die on the vine in his vain attempt to find happiness. Happiness that he didn't even know he might have had in his hands, had he done his part.
He saw missed opportunities, roads not taken, chances that asked too much of him. And his life, like a beautiful room that slowly emptied of all furnishings until it came down to only himself and the worn soiled carpet beneath him, the walls darkening to make the hell he thought would be his happiness - the hell that was his life.”
“I stood and followed a confident Judas out of the restaurant. It was not the arrogant prick I followed, but the allure of financial gain I was money's bitch, not Mr Mattox's.” 3 likes
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