- File Size: 1996 KB
- Print Length: 150 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Evolved Publishing LLC; 1st edition (December 28, 2013)
- Publication Date: December 28, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B006OEFCUE
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,829,687 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Evolution: Vol. 1 (Anthology of Contest Winners) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 150 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
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The second story, "The Last Earthling," by D.T. Conklin, was a difficult read for me because of the setting conflicting with my belief system. However, you have to give credit to the story living on in my mind's spare moments for more than a week later. The story was well-written, with empathetic characters in a creative world, so I kept reading. The ending had the type of surprise you hope for in good fiction, and is left open for your interpretation. I spoke with the author, D.T. Conklin, and he mentioned how this story highlights how important forgiveness is to him. In that we both agree, and this story is highly recommended because of the type of discussion it evokes. Read it and tell D.T. I sent you.
The third story, "Timothy," by Anjuli Bowen, is fantastic. I love the concept of a man who doesn't age, and who decides one day to bring the sand jar that keeps him alive outside and risk dying. Emotional and satisfying.
Lane Diamond's story, "One Last Thought," is a complex picture in prose of a man's dependency on a woman. The twist surprised me, but I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to take from this story. I can't really get into it without spoiling the twist though.
Jeff Burton's story, "A Building This Size," is a mystery built on clever dialogue that emphasizes the power and motive behind what isn't said. I really enjoyed this one as well. There is definite reread value on this one. I even made his story a Saturday Spotlight post, and highlighted his future and published novels.
"Courage through Fear" by Ruby Standing Deer. This story caught me off guard with fear and concern for the main character. This 21 year old girl grifting cross-country with alcoholic husband finds out too late the cost of their freedom. Emotional attachment and the temptations for survival prevent her from escaping just as they would anyone else in her situation. This is a story that will keep your firm attention till the end. There is a brief content warning, though I won't say what to keep the surprise.
Ruby has a book out with Evolved Publishing called Circles. In her bio, she says "Life presents us a path; how we choose to navigate that 'circle' is up to us." I would say this philosophy is part of what nailed me into the hero's quest in "Courage through Fear;" I was captured by her dilemma and cared deeply for her to find her way to safety. I imagine her novel, Circles, will evoke the same sense of connection with the main character's quest. I'm in contact with Ruby for a future Saturday Spotlight post and possible reading.
Overall, I rated this anthology as a 3.8, but will round up to give it 4 stars because I really enjoyed reading it. There are three five star stories in here, "Timothy," "A Building This Size," and "Courage through Fear." The rest are good stories, and with this variety, I imagine you might find more five stars than I did.
The best story in here by far is the grand prize winner, "If I Should Die," by Amanda Papenfus, which is not really a genre story at all, other than that the story is about death. The first line hooks you: "Does this coffin make me look fat?" This morbid teaser suggests any manner of horror or black humor or speculative fiction premise, but after this hook, you discover a beautifully-written, touching story about a young girl facing her own death. This was a well-deserved grand prize winner, and I hope to find more stories by this young author.
My other favorites included "Courage Through Fear," by Ruby Standing Deer, a whiskey-soaked, desperate tale of unfortunate drifters, con men, and sinners, yet also about love, the sort of love that can almost ruin you if you don't find the courage to take control of your life, and "A Boy and His Monster," by Matt Mok, an unusual and tender story set in 1940 London during the Blitz about a terrified little boy trying to survive with the aid of an invisible, magical bear at his side. "Timothy" by Anjuli Bowen grew on me after a second reading; reminding me a little of the Benjamin Button movie and a few Twilight Zone episodes, the story had a quiet, firm tone, with a sad but fitting ending to it.
This anthology is "Volume 1" (and "Volume 2" just came out in late summer 2012), so it looks like this may be the beginning of a series, hopefully all contests like this one, which will showcase new talent. All the stories are a fun read, with varying moods, emphases, and talents -- for the Kindle price, it's a fantastic beach read!
There wasn't one story I disliked, and though I am partial to certain genres, I found each story intriguing, beautifully written, and the characters drew me in. It didn't matter if the story fell in a genre I read or not--it didn't matter.
So which was my favorite? I'm staring at the titles right now and having difficulty in choosing. I loved THE BOY AND HIS MONSTER. I was also, maybe because I'm a woman, partial to Ruby's work COURAGE THROUGH FEAR. It was quite terrifying on an emotional level. Each story drew me in and propelled me to read it's entirety. There wasn't one story I skimmed or skipped.
In this collection, there is a story for everyone. I guarantee it.