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I received an ARC for review, but I decided to purchase it because I wanted to donate to the cause, too. There are so many people out there who have been touched by cancer in one way or another--either facing it themselves or a loved one. I am no different. Two very close, very loved family members of mine were both diagnosed with the same type of brain cancer and succumbed to the illness a little over a year after diagnosis. I was eleven when my maternal grandpa died fourteen when my mom died. My life and the lives of my family members have been irrevocably changed forever--there is no going back.
I also follow Rockstar Ronan, a mother's blog about her little boy, who died from stage 4 neuroblastoma cancer. There are many days I can't bring myself to read her posts, and having children myself, I can't imagine the kind of pain she and her family have been in since the time he had been diagnosed. If you haven't visited this blog, I highly recommend that you do. The mother, Maya, has a strength and fire you rarely find in someone who has experienced a trauma such as she has, and she expresses herself so beautifully and eloquently, you feel every inch, every mile the family has walked as if you're walking the path with them.
As for the book itself, I really loved it. Every story, every author made me want to read all of their works. As was expressed in the release day post, Furthermore consists of seventeen stories that include prequels, alternative views, and new scenes to each author's series. I own at least one book by every author who wrote for this anthology and am excited to read the novels the characters in these stories are in.
The stories from The Darkness Through the Light Series penned by Rebekah Campbell made me wonder why in the world haven't I read this series already. :) I liked the characters right away and was drawn into the story quickly. If you plan on reading this anthology but haven't yet read the books in these different series, never fear--you won't be lost nor is anything given away. I don't know how these authors did it, but they did!
I read The Moon Dwellers by David Estes and will be reading The Star Dwellers soon, so I was excited to read more about Tawni and events that occured before the start of the first book. Reading the two stories was like an answer to my wish to find out more about one of my favorite characters, Tawni and to know what happened the day of the lottery, which was how people were chosen to live underground and escape the coming destruction to Earth, something I would never want to see come to fruition in "real" life. Eep!
The Syrenka Series by Amber Garr is a must read on my tbr list with the wedding day drama and the different characters' perspectives...wow! It was a lot to take in, and I'm ready to plunge into this series head first. Eviana is intriguing, and I'm torn between feeling sad for her and feeling sad for the people she has hurt with her choices. Amber Garr's Leila Marx novels is also a series that I am planning on reading. I'm very interested in Leila's gift and want to learn more about her world.
Karen Amanda Hooper's story, "The Sound of Love", was emotional, and in the short time I had to get to know the characters, I was so sad for them when tragedy struck. I'm happy to know this is a series and there's more opportunity to get to know these characters and their life together.
I read the stories by Stephanie Judice that are companions to her Saga of the Setti series and was taken from 1352 A.D. to the present day to the near future. I thought the story telling was clever and was interested to read about the three different time periods. I thought about Game of Thrones in the beginning due to Muirne living as Torvald's slave, and the lust he felt for her. It reminded me of the girl who was forced to marry a man she didn't love, who looked at women as property rather than human beings. I'm ready to follow these characters into whatever situations they might find themselves in!
Leigh Michael's "Fate" is divided into sections, each from a different character's point-of-view, and it was nothing short of fabulous. Reading the events that happen from different perspectives really enriched the story and gave me a deeper understanding of what was happening and the motivations of the characters. I'm looking forward to reading Annabelle's Story.
To every author who contributed their time and work to this anthology, to everyone who has purchased the book, to everyone who has steps towards fighting this atrocity that's called cancer, and to Amber Garr who dreamed up this idea and made it reality, I just want to say a heartfelt thank you. The existence of this disease in all its forms is absolutely unacceptable, and with everything in me I believe the proceeds from this book will definitively make a difference. Thank you.
I must say I LOVED the Amber Garr stories. We get a peek into Leila's past with Russ and when she first met Terez, and there's another of Mac opening his shop and hiring Blake. I can't wait to read Garr's Syrenka series; there are two stories in this anthology about those characters and they are a couple of my favorites.
Karen Amanda Hooper has a fabulous story in here about Mary and Nathaniel from a previous life that had me chuckling and smiling the whole time.
This is a great collection of short stories and I definitely recommend picking it up. Even if you haven't read any books by these authors you can get a feel for their writing style. Plus, ALL the proceeds from this anthology are donated to cancer research and support! Go pick this one up - you can't beat reading good stories and helping out a great cause in the process.
**I purchased this book, but I also received a copy from the tour host in exchange for an honest review. No incentive was offered or accepted for a favorable review or rating.
The first few short stories where written by Rebekah Campbell. The first was a nice short story that was easily read, but the short stories after that were just plain confusing. I haven't read any of her books and I had no idea what was going on. I just felt like I missed pieces and I think these stories are more enjoyable if you hav actually read her books.
The two short stories after that were written by David Estes, I have read the 3 books in the Dwellers series so far and I love this series. I loved getting to know more about Tawni and Anna. These two short stories already made it worth picking up this anthology.
I actually have to say I don't remember much of the short stories after that. They didn't make a lasting impression although I do plan on reading some of the books these authors have written because I am interested in reading more of them.
The last three short stories by Leigh Micheal where short stories I really enjoyed. Even though I haven't read her series yet, I enjoyed the short stories and enough explanation was given to still understand what was going on. I really am looking forward to read this series and I loved getting introduced to this world and her writing style in this way.
To conclude: while I normally an not a huge fan of anthologies I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Some short stories were really confusing, but I enjoyed getting a glimpse of different stories and writing styles and I added quite some books to my to-read list thanks to reading this.
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