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Imagine a place just a little removed from reality, a place where nothing is as it seems, and where anything could be just around the corner. Imagine no more: The Endlands is here... These are not specifically science fiction, or fantasy, or horror stories, but the sort of stories that could easily be made into episodes of The Twilight Zone TV show. In fact, the book is dedicated to Rod Serling. These stories will give the reader a kick in the psyche, and they are very good. --Dead Trees Review (vol 1)
There is little more primordially frightening to us than the unknown. The Endlands is a collection of short stories aimed to frighten and ponder what we all fear the most, what s behind that corner, what is there to antagonize us and what we simply cannot explain. With plenty to ponder and plenty to make it quite hard to put down, The Endlands is an excellent read and very highly recommended. --Midwest Book Review (vol 1)
A strong collection filled with predominantly good stories, a couple of exceptionally good stories, and four amazing stories. Sadly, it also contains one story which I loathed to such a degree that it literally dragged my rating of this collection down an entire star.
First, the amazing standouts:
Not one but two wonderful Allison M. Dickson stories: "The Shiva Apparatus" and "Under the Scotch Broom." True confession - I have completely developed a reader crush on this writer and have a mission to read all the things she writes. Her descriptive abilities continually draw me in to her universe. Also, having read a bit more of her work at this time, I'm delighted that she doesn't let herself get locked down into one genre. I've now read horror and sci-fi by her and found both to be equally well written.
"Five Steps" by Michael Federico left me with the midnight nightmare fragment sweats. I recommend reading this in bright daylight surrounded by people you love (preferably well armed people who would die for you). Incredibly creepy in the good way.
"The Diner" by Nathan Palmer found me telling a character what to do - out loud (picture those people who shout out things like "Look behind you!" during a scary movie only yelling at a book).
And the bad.... In all honesty, I would have given this book 5 stars instead of 4 if it were not for "A Game of Bones" by Jordan Benoit. I understand that sometimes stereotypes can be used to make a meaningful social statement, but if that was the intent in this story, then the statement is far too subtle for me to detect.
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I reviewed an e-book copy provided by the publisher.
Review of The Endlands #2 5 stars
Can I borrow the trite statement "something for everyone"? This anthology of 16 stories goes that one better: I believe each story is for everyone. Literate, involving, riveting, and dramatic: the horror just rolls on, and with it, it brings some sci-fi, some mythology, some metaphysical; but every single story is a treasure and deserves a wide readership. These stories are not tossed-off, hurriedly-done entries; they are well-thought-out, articulate, and the kind of reading that will not quickly say goodbye and go home; rather, each lingers in the mind, sneaking into the reader's thoughts to say, "hey, did you forget about me?"
If you're familiar with these authors, then you already know how good they can be. If they're new to you, what a fine introduction to their writings this anthology will be. I find that is one of the best reasons for reading an anthology: I always discover authors new to me, and sometimes am reminded of former favourites I had overlooked.
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