Vanessa-Jane Chapman's Reviews > Make Believe

Make Believe by J.A. Belfield
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really liked it

I was really looking forward to reading Make Believe after having followed the build-up to it via some of the author's blogs, and it certainly lived up to my expectations! I don't generally read anthologies because I prefer to live with characters for longer than you can in a short story, but I do look at anthologies as a good opportunity to sample some authors that I haven't read before and/or some genres than I wouldn't usually choose. This book ticks both of those boxes. I also love the idea that they all wrote a story from the same picture prompt; it's really interesting to see the different interpretations on the same picture.

When I do read an anthology, I always read the stories in the order they are presented. I figure somebody probably spent a long time deciding on the order so as to take the reader on a particular journey, and I like to respect that. So this is the journey I went on...

(I haven't outlined the stories here, these are just my thoughts on them).

Sacrificial Oath by Terri Rochenski:

A great choice as the first story. It catapulted me instantly away from my daily life into a delicious fairy tale for grown-ups. A roller coaster of hope and hopelessness. This is a perfect example of trying something different for me that works; it's the type of story that I wouldn't usually go for, and yet ended up resolving to read more of this type!

The Amulet of Ormisez by J. Keller Ford:

J. Keller Ford is a true storyteller. There is a confidence about the world and characters she creates here that makes you believe she lived amongst them. The confidence in the writing gave it the feel of a legendary story that has been handed down through generations, and then given a fresh new lease of life.

Birthright by Lynda R. Young:

After the historical fantasy world of the first two stories, I was taken aback at first by this modern, down-to-earth setting. For me, it felt slightly out of place in this anthology; of course that's not the author's fault, they each wrote their stories independently without knowing what else would be in there. I can't quite put my finger on why it doesn't quite work here for me; it was a good solid story, but maybe it seemed more of a YA than an adult. However, it certainly wouldn't put me off reading other stories by this author.

Petrified by Kelly Said:

A great story. This somehow had the feel of an epic novel for me, with a lot of different elements, but yet there was space for it all so it didn't feel squashed. It took me a little while to get into it and at one point I was thinking I would have to start it over to understand what was happening, but it all came together in the end. The world that was created here should definitely be used again.

Last Winter Red by Jennifer M. Eaton:

This dystopian tale was definitely my kind of story. I love twists, I love stories where there is hope amongst gloom. Very clever and very well written. Out of all the stories in the anthology, this is the one I would have liked to have written! Really enjoyed it, and could definitely see it expanded into a full novel.

Escort to Insanity by J.A. Belfield:

With this story being the headline act as it were, I knew it would be good, and it didn't disappoint. To me, this was written for the screen, I don't mean it doesn't work as a story to read, I just mean that I could totally visualise it as if I was watching some kind of modern day Twilight Zone tale.

In summary, Make Believe is a truly wonderful bedtime storybook.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
November 1, 2012 – Finished Reading
December 31, 2012 – Shelved

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