Lovey Dovey Books's Reviews > Make Believe

Make Believe by J.A. Belfield
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The Make Believe anthology features short stories with paranormal themes that will make minds ponder impossibilities. While not as emotionally in depth as J. Taylor Publishing's previous anthology, Tidal Whispers, Make Believe's fairy tale-like essence will capture readers' attention from the first suspenseful story of sacrifice.

Terry Rochenski's Sacrificial Oath was an excellent portrayal of faith and love. When an impossible oath is laid before a young woman, faith in her goddess and love for her father are the only causes of motivation. The connection between Alesuelah and her father was powerful and a great focus point for the plot. Following is J. Keller Ford's Amulet of Ormisez, which is surely the most mysterious of the six stories. The story is detailed and features a less commonly written about creature, the selkie. The plot excitingly unfolds bit by bit as readers are introduced to Elton who returns home to a changed brother and a web of events to unravel. I love that Ford managed to weave a little romance amid all the action!

Lynda R. Young's Birthright and Kelly Said's Petrified by far the most unique stories with unfamiliar story lines. Birthright glimpses into the life of a grieving woman who only wants to get away from bustle of the city. The small town she chooses to settle holds more than the key to recuperation as she discovers the powers her mother and sister once warned her about, her birthright. Petrified changed the pace of the anthology by bringing on two perspectives. The story opens with Sterling, a son looking to solve the mysteries of his father's illness and his kingdom's strange weather, and then introduces Lochlyn, a healer of sorts who has just lost her mentor. The plot is interesting and though-provoking, which makes Petrified one of the six stories that stood out the most for me.

The last two stories of the anthology: Jennifer M. Eaton's Last Winter Red and J.A. Belfield's Escort to Insanity were a little longer and felt to be the lighter stories. I say with certainty that Last Winter Red has the best setting. I was pretty much in awe at Eaton's thorough conception of the post-apocalyptic type of world in which Emily believes that inside the borders of Terra, the Reds are safe. Outside the wall are the Grays and a dangerous, contagious sickness. All angles were covered: disease, less than perfect living conditions, an untruthful Council, death, betrayal and little romance, too! Escort to Insanity provided the strongest connection to its main character. Cole had a big personality, even when she felt constricted by the demands of her father. One classy function with a paid-for escort, though, changes her perception of the world, herself and her relationship with her father and gives this story a twist I did not see coming!

While I wish every story had as strong a character background as Cole's, Make Believe turned out to be a hit anthology that I can't wait to revisit! The wonderful authors who contributed will definitely force readers to feel the cold, while enticing them to believe in the unimaginable.

*eARC won from publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Also published on Lovey Dovey Books
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Reading Progress

May 31, 2012 – Shelved
Started Reading
November 25, 2012 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by J. (new) - added it

J. Ford Thank you so much for that detailed and lovely review! I'm so glad you enjoyed the stories.

Lovey Dovey Books Thank you J. I definitely enjoyed the stories :)

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