Day 46: END: An Apocalyptic Anthology
Summary From Goodreads:
END features stories about the end of the world from indie publishing’s rising stars. The Mayan Calendar ends on December 21st, 2012, and some people believe that heralds apocalypse. What better way to go out than with a collection of shocking, thrilling, and sexy stories?
END features six short stories featuring various apocalyptic settings. It features Kendall Grey, author of the Just Breathe series, Ron Vitale author of the Cinderella’s Secret Diary books, Angela Kulig author of The Hollows Series, Amelia James author of the Twisted Mosaic Series, Dennis Sharpe author of The Coming Storm books and Morgan McCoy.
As there are six tales in this particular anthology I decided to cut it in half and talk a little about three of the stories ranging from ones I kinda liked to my favorite so as to give the best overall representation of the anthology without delving into every story and making this post a mile long:
3. Such Sinners We Are – I’m not usually one for spiritual pieces, it has nothing to do with my personal beliefs, just that talking about what’s in them seems to always end in conflict one way or another and I try to avoid that if possible. Such Sinners We Are by Ron Vitale discusses one of the most common apocalyptic scenarios, a good vs. evil battle to claim humanity. The story is told from the point of view of Tommy who is given the ability to see whether people are good or evil and his inner battle to choose to give the power to his little sister or to give into temptation and use it for his own sake. The writing style itself is a bit all over the place in quality, I liked the first part where it seemed pretty clear what the perspective was and sounded like an actual person might (bonus points, seriously in apocalyptic stories especially it’s amazing how often this isn’t the case) but later on the writing got a bit simplistic/repetitive for my taste. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. Decent.
2. Whimper – If even the military can’t control those with powers things could get messy pretty quick. That is what the world shows in Whimper by Morgan McCoy where Levine, someone who has powers but that are defensive in nature, must try and finish the nightmare she’s been living for so long after Maggie, an offensive type, killed her brother. Even though it wasn’t Levine’s intent to do so, once she encounters Maggie that’s all that is left to do, but does she have the strength? Whimper jumps repeatedly back and forth between the past, when Levine’s brother Nathaniel was alive, and the present as she trudges on through the remains of the world. While that takes some getting used to the writing is compelling and the parts about the military are thought provoking. Solid.
1. A Starshot in Hell – An example of what humanity might become at the end of the Earth, ruthless, with only the rich being able to survive. A classic way of looking at things, though not an untrue one, A Starshot in Hell by Angela Kulig shows the worst that humanity might do, stealing, plundering and abandoning their fellow people that are worse off then them to survive. Eden as the main character, one that remains on the charred Earth, is stoic and all but broken. Daniel, conversely, is sent from the ship (of the space variety of course) to rescue her as payment to her father, but can he convince her to leave what home she has left for a man she doesn’t know and a father who left her? A Starshot in Hell definitely made me want to read Kulig’s other works even more since this piece could have been 10 times as long and I would have ate it up. Very good.
Overall I thought END was a solid anthology with a good mix of established writers such as Grey and up and comers like McCoy. The stories were short but pretty good in quality overall, if you enjoy apocalyptic tales then this is a good easy read for you. Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 47!