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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable
"Land of Ash" is an anthology of short stories by David Dalglish, David McAfee, Daniel Arenson, John Fitch V, Michael Crane, and Robert Duperre. The premise is simple: The Yellowstone Caldera erupts, covering the world in ash, and that's the unifying theme between the eleven different stories. It's all about survivors, and how they deal with total devastation in a land...
Published on December 11, 2010 by Amanda Hocking

versus
43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong Concept, Slick Writing, but doesn't pay off
The notion of an anthology of short stories, modeled after THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES, by different writers is a damn good one... and David Dalglish has certainly created a compelling springboard with a lot of potential that, unfortunately, isn't quite met. That said, there's a lot to like about this collection, particularly from Dalglish himself. Dalglish's voice is strong,...
Published on February 10, 2011 by Lee Goldberg


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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, December 11, 2010
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This review is from: A Land of Ash (Kindle Edition)
"Land of Ash" is an anthology of short stories by David Dalglish, David McAfee, Daniel Arenson, John Fitch V, Michael Crane, and Robert Duperre. The premise is simple: The Yellowstone Caldera erupts, covering the world in ash, and that's the unifying theme between the eleven different stories. It's all about survivors, and how they deal with total devastation in a land covered in ash.

I read Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King a few weeks back, and I like Land of Ash better. Not that I didn't like Full Dark, No Stars - because I really did. King is a master of the underrated medium of short stories and novellas. But I still enjoy Land of Ash more.

My favorite is "Shelter" by David Dalglish. It's about a father and his small child holing themselves up in the house after the ash comes. There's something so simple and bittersweet about it that's perfect.

That's not to say there's any bad stories in it - "Beach Puppies" is somewhat lighter than most of the other stories, and "Last Words" brings it down to a more personal level and less apocalyptic, if that makes sense
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54 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing--Couldn't put it down, November 14, 2010
By 
S. Mahon (Connecticut, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Land of Ash (Kindle Edition)
I haven't stayed up all night reading for a long time, but I started reading this and just couldn't stop. Usually when I buy a book of short stories, I read one here and there between other books--kind of a way to cleanse the palate of my mind between books. With these, I started reading and just couldn't stop. From the first one, "One Last Dinner Party" to the last, "Let it Continue", I couldn't stop.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong Concept, Slick Writing, but doesn't pay off, February 10, 2011
By 
Lee Goldberg (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Land of Ash (Kindle Edition)
The notion of an anthology of short stories, modeled after THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES, by different writers is a damn good one... and David Dalglish has certainly created a compelling springboard with a lot of potential that, unfortunately, isn't quite met. That said, there's a lot to like about this collection, particularly from Dalglish himself. Dalglish's voice is strong, assured, and compelling and there are lot of powerful images and sharply drawn characters (the descriptions of the Rio Grande in "A Harmless American" will stick with you long after you've finished the book). He sets the bar high with his opening story, but also a template that subsequent writers followed far too closely. His stories, and those by David McAfee and Daniel Arenson, are by far the strongest and most tonally consistent in voice and vision, but too many of them are simply vignettes about people awaiting their deaths rather than tales with any sort of beginning, middle and end...or complexity. That's also a problem with the collection as a whole. It's a shame there wasn't a larger, loose arc to the stories instead of just a collection of standalone character vignettes. There was nothing unifying them into a more satisfying, narrative whole. I wanted to feel like I was heading towards something...instead the collection just sort of petered out. But there's still much to enjoy in this collection and a chance to sample the work of some really terrific writers.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From "Red Adept Reviews", January 2, 2011
This review is from: A Land of Ash (Kindle Edition)
Plot/Storyline: 5 Stars

What stood out most for me about this collection was the arrangement. It was so expertly done that it gave the feel of a novel told in short stories. Therefore, I'm going to deviate from my usual Short Story Collection Review Style and write this somewhat as though it were a novel.

The first few stories were about people who were either preparing to die from the ash conflagration or were attempting to get somewhere safe. The most heartbreaking was "Shelter," written by David Dalglish. I couldn't put this one down until I finished.

"Toward the Storm," also by David Dalglish, was another notable story in this excellent collection. This one was just creepy enough to be compared to a Stephen King tale. It could have been taken right out of The Stand. I think it was so disturbing because it showed the seamier side of humanity that could survive such a catastrophe.

"Secret Mission," yet another by Dalglish, yanked at the heart strings and brought me to tears. Seeing a refuge camp through the eyes of a child was gut wrenching.

"The One That Matters," by Robert Duperre, was an opposing force to "Toward the Storm." Instead of evil, it depicted a true hero, albeit an unsung one.

I've only mentioned my favorites among these eleven stories. However, all of them had something to add to this collection.

Characters: 5 Stars

Each story was peopled with characters that I could relate to or care about. The people in each of the stories were just average; they could be your neighbors, friends or co-workers. That was a big part of what made the collection so interesting, horrifying, and fun to read, all at the same time.

Writing Style: 5 Stars

The writing style in each story was so smooth that I never felt the transition between authors at all. Each of these authors have mastered the short story form and deserve kudos for their contributions.

Editing: 4 1/2 Stars

There were a few editing errors, mainly capitalization and punctuation issues. However, there were not so many as to spoil the reading experience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eleven riveting short stories, May 27, 2011
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This review is from: A Land of Ash (Paperback)
"A land of Ash" is an anthology of 11 short stories, contributed to and edited by author David Dalglish. The paperback is 124 pages in length while the Kindle e-edition is a 396 Kb download. Interestingly enough the Kindle edition was free at the time of writing this review.

The anthology is written around an fictional apocalyptic event; the eruption of Yellowstone Caldera, resulting in a nuclear-type winter that descends over the world but most severely, over the continental U.S.A.
The eleven stories presented here are unrelated to each other, but share in common the human emotions and traits that so often come to fore when tragedy strikes...emotions and traits the can be stunningly beautiful or, shockingly deplorable.

I must mention that I don't usually like short story anthologies because I find invariably there are some (or several) that I don't like, maybe because of poor writing, uninteresting characters or just a boring story. Yet because I've started the book, I feel I must try to slog them through them in an attempt to finish what I've started. However, I was very please with this set of tales, every story was riveting and held my interest throughout. There were characters in these pages who, although you meet only briefly, become indelibly fixed in your mind.

Conclusion:
Eleven splendid fictional short works that focus around human action and reaction to an unexpected natural disaster that has global implications. 5 Stars.

Ray Nicholson

P.S.
As a personal note, I've just recently finished reading some of author David Dalglish's other works, the five book "The Half-Orcs" series and the first two books of his new 'Shadowdance' series. David is an up and coming young writer with tremendous potential, especially in the fantasy genre. What really surprised me here was the quality of the pieces he contributed to this collection. Some writers have difficulty once they leave the confines of their comfort zones...it seems he has made this transition with apparent ease.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, Even for 99 Cents, April 2, 2011
By 
E. Lindgren "badata2d" (New Fairfield, CT USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Land of Ash (Kindle Edition)
Given the cost of this "book" I had fairly low expectations going in. I was left feeling like I had overpaid. This is essentially a collection of stories telling how people died from the eruption. Not long struggles for survival or poignant stories of battles to protect their families. Just stories telling about how people chose to die or did die. I am certainly a glass half-empty kind of guy, but I couldnt even think of more depressing or less thoughful story lines. Well written, not overly amatuerish, but just not very interesting material.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense Human Drama, December 10, 2010
By 
Grandma Bethany (Somewhere in the World) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Land of Ash (Kindle Edition)
What would you do if you knew the exact time of your demise? Do you ever stop to think about the last words you say to someone in anger? Have you ever wondered when life is too important to throw away? Is there anyone you would risk everything for?

These stories make you really think about the answers to those questions and more. They are heartfelt, sometimes dark, sometimes horrifying pieces of human drama set within the backdrop of a devastating disaster. It is a collection of stories from author's who I think are some of the best writers you will find.

I highly recommend this collection of short stories, you will enjoy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyble read, February 6, 2011
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This review is from: A Land of Ash (Kindle Edition)
Novella length (124 pages) collection of short stories which examine how people react when faced with a national catastrophe that affects the entire country. I liked the fact that the stories were all written about the same event just from a different time (right before, during, after)or perspective. The first story for example is about people who know what is going to happen to them, the second story the person is not aware of what is happening. Enjoyable read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Writing., July 10, 2012
This review is from: A Land of Ash (Kindle Edition)
This is a collection of short stories that deal with the aftermath of a huge natural disaster. The writing is top-notch, and the descriptions are wonderful. The book, however, is just a bunch of short stories that really have very little to do with each other. Different characters, waiting to die in many cases. It just didn't really keep me as interested as if we were following one or two groups of people as they try to survive.

As I said before, the writing is excellent. It just didn't grab me. Something was missing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Self-published Books Are a Gamble, May 28, 2012
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This review is from: A Land of Ash (Paperback)
Only three of these very short stories were, in my opinion, worth reading. Self-published books, readers are learning, are a gamble - some are great finds and some are not. There may be a reason no publishers took a risk on this little anthology. Most seemed to be equal to high school English class writing assignments - and not even AP English. The best story here seemed to be "One Last Dinner Party" by the editor of the book, David Dalglish. Because of that story and a couple of others, I gave it two stars, but only barely. My advice: pass on purchasing this book. Or order it from your library.
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A Land of Ash
A Land of Ash by Michael Crane
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