It's when they creep out of the shadows that you should beware. The good ones will hold your hand when you're having a nightmare; the bad ones BECOME your nightmare, seeping into your very soul and burrowing in the darkness until they've completely taken over.
Ten authors. Ten stories. Many supernatural beings you've come to know and love.
Once you plunge into these pages, you won't want to leave.
REBIRTH A. Denner Immortality always comes with a sacrifice. But how can Nova finish the deed when her Prey is the only one that can save her?
GABBY’S FUTURE Mikki Noble A future-telling tree offers Gabby an unpromising future she must try to change. Will that change make things better or worse?
LIFE AND DEATH Nita Pan Brimming with love and betrayal, the courtship between two gods explores what it means to have humanity. Is the divine romance between Life and Death doomed from the very beginning?
CHOSEN Jennifer C. Colvin Stolen away to the Philippine Underworld by a mysterious goddess, dutiful and meek Bituin, a young girl from a small hidden mountain town on Cebu Island, discovers the gods have chosen her as a Babaylan (shaman). Newly imbued with powers beyond her wildest imagination, Bituin’s spiritual awakening sends her life into upheaval and rocks the foundation of her quiet town.
BROKEN PROMISES Evelyn Chartres A young woman finds herself isolated from all she knows when her home is set ablaze. Despite insurmountable odds, she must risk traversing unfamiliar and hostile territory to find help, or declare her life forfeit.
CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET? Carmen Adams Palkar Village is a bloodthirsty place for those of the supernatural, and after years of senseless persecution the Sorcerer community sought refuge elsewhere. For decades the Earth Sorceress Alina lived peacefully among her kind in a deep forest until one night of magic changed her world. The Sorcerer community lived in secret tranquility for decades...but would things stay that way?
HAVENLESS Ryen Lesli Bitter Regret creates beautiful betrayal in Havenless.
SULFUR NIGHT Abby Paul Cursed. Tainted. Marked. The children born on the sulfur night aren’t like the rest of us. They can serve only one purpose. Perhaps the new gods are as blood thirsty as the old.
THE LOCKSMITH Ari Meghlen For Cara, a non-magical human, in a world of magic, picking locks is how she makes a living. Her quiet life is threatened when a mysterious traveler brings her a complex lock that makes her the target of a powerful enemy.
ORDINARY FAE Melony Paradise The only way to hide from a Fae king is to live among humans – as a human. Can Izbella Rane have the normal life she wants, or will she be forced into a world her family fled from?
Mikki, the eccentric Canadian, has been writing in some form or another for nearly a quarter of a century; since writing her very first poem at age eleven. She lives in Ontario, Canada, with her cats, guinea pig and rabbit. She found her niche in teen fiction because it’s captivating, open-minded, fast-paced, and every sense is heightened. And that’s also the reason why it’s her favorite genre to pick up at a bookstore.
Mikki has a diploma in both, Business Administration and Creative Writing. She loves creating things, animals, books and movies, trying to make people smile, and talking to her social media friends.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours and Mikki Noble Publications for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
I love that I get to enjoy a taste of new authors through anthologies like this. Especially when it comes to my favorite genre in the entire world. I absolutely adore YA fantasy novels, and getting to read ten short stories in one massive action packed and intense novel was freaking great!
I personally didn’t write any mini reviews on all of the stories inside, and I usually don’t because I feel like it would just make my reviews on anthologies way too long, but I’m sure that others will do so and you can check them out.
I will say that I enjoyed every single one of these stories, and I felt like each of them really brought out each of the authors’ voices to make them unique and entertaining. Again, I won’t pick out a favorite because I liked them all for different reasons, and it feels weird having to pick just one when they are packaged together, you know?
I also feel like having the creative license to be able to write a short story in such a vast genre such as YA fantasy really helps to make sure that the reader doesn’t get inundated with too much of the same plot devices or fantasy storylines. Does that even make sense? I think you know what I mean. It’s different when authors have to focus on one type of story or subject, but it also gives them a better sense of direction. When it’s more broad like this, wow they can write just about anything. So I guess it could be either a good or bad thing, because you can literally have anything come up at you, from gods to fae to shamans… just about anything as long as they have the imagination and time to write about it.
I think that’s what made this novel really enjoyable for me. And I’m actually super bummed that I never heard of any of these authors before I got to read this novel. They definitely need more spotlight out there, and I hope that more people get to check not only this book out, but others from these authors as well.
Once you plunge into these pages, you won't want to leave.
And I could stop here!
Writing a (good) short story is, in my opinion, harder than writing a full-length novel. The rules are stricter, space is definitely restricted. The author has to give all needed background information, to build the set and the tension, reach the climax and give the (unexpected) denouement in just a few pages. I was happy to discover not one, but ten authors who did a good to a great job, even if some rules were not respected.
My favourites are Can You Keep a Secret and Broken Promises. I also really liked the Life and Death (and the approached issues) but I would say that it is more of a poem than a short story. Given the differences between how we define the literary genres, maybe I should have said, instead of poem, dramatic poetry? With regard to the Broken Promises, I would have not added the final part. Without it, this story will have ended with a bum, "drop the mic" effect. The reason for the last part should have been satisfied at the same time with the discovery of the truth. If these are my favourites, it doesn't mean that the rest of the stories are not interesting. I'm sure that they will be somebody else's favourites especially if we remember one of Kurt Vonnegut's short story rules: "Write to please just one person...".
In addition to the challenge of writing a short story, it comes the mastership of putting together an anthology. From Ashes to Magic contains stories which, while united by the central theme, are different and cover different genre(s), styles and supernatural creatures increasing this way the range of their future well-pleased readers.
So, yeah, even if you don't like what I like is still very probable that "Once you plunge into these pages, you won't want to leave."
Some of the stories I really really enjoyed. But I think my expectations for an anthology are that the stories should be complete. A one shot in essence. Make me want to look up more of the author. But the story itself should be complete. But this anthology had a lot of stories that seemed like first chapters rushed through to try and be a story. I didn’t enjoy the majority of those, but I think that’s due more time my expectations than any fault on the writer.
This book is like other anthologies where you will like some, not so much others, but I was pleasantly surprised by them. It has a good mix of stories and authors to try out. I definitely have some new favorite authors to look for more work on after reading this.
I don't often read multi-author anthologies but this beautiful cover reeled me right in, and then the first story had me hook, line, and sinker. The book is filled with bite-sized fantasy that features all sorts of - admittedly unexpected - creatures and settings. I find myself completely unable to choose a favourite because they somehow managed to all be completely different and have a thought-provoking ending.
A fantastic mix of anthologies. A wonderful smorgasbord of stories, each by a different author. I loved the difference in each one and really liked them all. The doors to their imaginations are just awesome! Loved this book!
I'm a fantasy lover and a practicing pagan, so this book was a treat on all levels. There are stories from a more classic lord/lady time period to a time with bombs and hints of mechanized warfare as well as a series of poems between life and death in a call and response format. All authors used strong imagery to build their worlds with care. Recommended read.
I thoroughly enjoyed the short stories in this book. The writing is colorful and has incredible depth. These are the types of stories I like to dive into, especially the prose. The authors have done a fantastic job. I'm an eclectic pagan, and this was just the book for me.
Amazing!! This anthology was such a pleasure to read - all of the contributing authors are incredibly talented and each story is an adventure. Congratulations to each author and thank you for sharing your talent and stories! Highly recommend!
This collection was an absolute mixed bag. Some of the stories I found incredibly creative or gorgeous, but with others I was very confused about and didn't like at all. There were a few I didn't feel strongly about.
However, the two stories I liked the most made me feel like the purchase was worth it. I really enjoyed the delicious writing and mythological feel of N. Pan's "Life and Death," and the creativity of A. Meghlen's "The Locksmith" was superb. Those two stories alone made me feel like the book was worth reading, but those two stories weren't all that made up the selection.
Several of the stories felt incomplete, or more like the first chapter of a longer narrative than something created for a short story collection. I think people did things like this back in the Golden Age of sci-fi and old short story compilations as a sort of ad for their novels, but it irks me and I dislike unfinished shorts.
Something else I found odd was that this compilation may just as well have been about witches (or witches with a different title). A full half the stories either had witches or closely involved witches within their storylines, and two of the remaining five involved half-demons/devils. The other three beings were gods, a vampire, and a ghost. The book is billed as an array of magical creatures, but the variety was limited and all were humanoid.
Lastly, some additional editing could have helped. I was caught off guard by several mistakes. Many stories were clean and flawless, but a few could have stood another look-see.
An intriguing collection of stories. Full disclaimer: I don't often read short stories, and this is actually the very first anthology I've ever read. But I was super keen to check out the work of my writer friends, and I was NOT disappointed! This was an eclectic mix of fantasy tales inspired by all kinds of supernatural beings, some of which I'd never encountered before. There's something here for everyone, so definitely check it out!!
I don't tend to read all that many short stories, or anthologies, but I was pleasantly surprised by this collection. Firstly, I was drawn to the cover which is beautiful, and then the stories just made it better and better. All the Authors had quite different stories and they were all interesting in their own way, unsure which I would class as my favourite. I wouldn't hesitate to read books by any of these authors in the future.
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
I was very excited when I heard this anthology was coming out, and I can tell you it was well worth the wait.
Each author has a strong distinctive voice that shines through their respective stories, and yet this collection tied together so well for me even outside of the common theme of the supernatural. Based on my reading, I found that each story carries the elements of Survival, Strength, and Freedom.
Fun compendium of stories. Love the variety of stories contained in this book. I read a lot just before bed, so shorter stories work perfectly. Plus, this was a great opportunity to check out new to me authors. All stories were grounded in some type of supernatural being or magic. Many left me wanting more. Rebirth and Life and Death were two of my favorites, although all the stories were good.
This is an anthology I enjoyed for the most part. There were stories in it that were not to my taste, and some that felt more like opening chapters of novels than complete short stories that could stand alone, but I found something to like about all the stories I read.
There were some major highlights in this collection for me, which I’m aware are subjective, but those were enough to warrant a 4* review and make the collection worth buying.
I think the fact that there were several stories that didn’t do a lot for me is just evidence that the editors of the collection included a great range of writers and subjects, and shouldn’t be taken as a negative!
"From Ashes to Magic" is an anthology of stories featuring supernatural beings. Each story is written by a different author, which is great because it gives you the chance to discover some new favorites. The best stories for me were "Rebirth," "The Sulfur Night," and "The Locksmith," but every story was worth reading.
The only thing I didn't like was that some of the stories felt like excerpts from a novel rather than self-contained stories. Some felt incomplete. Others had overstuffed plots and rushed endings. That said, there was still at least one thing I loved about each story, hence the four-star rating.
This book was amazingly good. I was pleasantly surprised. I usually avoid anthologies because it is usually by authors I have never read. I liked all the stories and would be hard pressed to pick a favorite. The stories were magical and compelling.
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
It's the first time I'm reading a collection of YA fantasy stories so I have no idea how to rate this. The first story was fine, not breath-taking but not horrible either (2 stars). The second story was more interesting than the first but I didn't like the ending (3 stars). The third story was original and was pretty enjoyable to read (4 stars). The fourth story was the one that piqued the most my interest, it featured Filipino gods and culture (4 stars). I dnf the fifth story half way, I was confused and a bit lost (1 star). The sixth story was enjoyable and I wouldn't have mind reading a few more pages (4 stars). I dnf the seventh story, I simply wasn't drawn to it (1 star). The eighth story was as the first, good, but not extraordinary (2 stars). The ninth story was the one I enjoyed reading the most and if ever it was to be made a whole book, I would read it (5 stars). The tenth story seemed a bit rushed toward the end but was still a good story (3 stars). On the overall, I would rate From Ashes to Magic 29 stars out of 50.
I didn't end up finishing it, because I just lost interest which, but I like most of the stories that I did read. My personal favorite was the one with magic in the Philippines. It displayed a unique dynamic for magic, but I would've like to see that story expanded into something longer. Overall, it was a good source of entertainment for when I was flying to and from Japan.
From Ashes to Magic is a collection of intriguing short stories written by ten authors. My personal favorite is Life and Death by Nita Pan. Ms. Pan blew me away with her creativity. The love affair between Life and Death is genius. Rebirth by A. Denner and Gabby's Future by Mikki Noble are memorable stories: Both are beautifully written and kept me pinned to the pages.