The Fierce Reads Anthology is a free ebook from Tor books. It contains five short stories and the first chapter or two of the authors’ respective novels. Do these free short stories entice readers to buy the novels? For the most part, I think so. I’m going to say a bit on each story (which I'm going to write before starting then next story). It’s going to be longer than my last few short story reviews because, there are only five stories/authors. Plus, there are more than just five short stories in this anthology.
Legacy Lost, by Anna Banks
I reviewed Legacy Lost a few weeks ago as part of Short Story Monday. See review here. In sum, I liked it and the sample of Banks' novel, Of Poseidon
The Witch of Duva, by Leigh Bardugo
Poor Karina. She was trying so hard to save the girls. I wonder if Nadya's mother knew... Or her brother. I wonder if he’ll turn out like his father... Because there are supernatural elements to the story, you think it's about a monster, when the monster of the story is more real than we like to think. It was a fantastic story. I already wanted to read Shadow And Bone, but now I want to read it even more.
Prophet, by Jennifer Bosworth
Maybe it’s because I don’t like overly religious stories, or people who proclaim themselves to be a prophet (cult leader), but Prophet didn’t appeal to me. It also felt entirely too short*, like a set up or a flashback in a novel, instead of a story on its own. The writing itself wasn’t bad, but the story didn’t grab me the way the first two did. I’m sure Bosworth’s fans would enjoy it, but it’s not for me. I also don’t really have an interest in reading Struck, Bosworth’s novel. Prophet seems more like a prologue to the novel. I suppose all the stories in this collection are, but at least the others had more defined beginnings middles and end.
Dress Your Marines In White, by Emmy Laybourne
Crazy! Do people not know they’re creating the end of the world when they’re creating the end of the world? I guess not. Otherwise, we would have so many post-apocalyptic stories. Dress Your Marines In White kept me tense all the way through to the end. I knew the ending was going be bad. The narrator, one of the lab assistants, is drinking and clearly traumatized by the events that are the subject of the report he has to write. I want it to work out, but the looks on his bosses face make sure you know it won’t. Emmy Layborne is the author of Monument 14, which I’ve heard lots of good things about. Before reading the story and the excerpt from the beginning of the book, I had already decided that I didn’t want to read it. Not because I thought it would be bad, but because of the subject matter. The idea of those kids trapped in the grocery store had me thinking about Under the Dome and Lord of the Flies. I haven’t even read Lord of the Flies, but I’ve heard so much about it, that the idea of the children trapped together gave me way too many creeps. Now, I’m on the fence about Monument 14 The beginning seems really good and I thoroughly enjoyed the short story, but I don’t know if I could handle the novel. They’re children. If it was just teens, maybe, but there are little kids there too….**
Glitches, by Marissa Meyer
I want to give Cinder a hug! Glitches is Marissa Meyer’s prequel short story to Cinder. I already wanted to read Cinder. I enjoyed the story, but I don’t know if it stands well enough on its own. I felt that in order to appreciate the story fully, I would have to read the novel. The story felt like part of a series. Also, Meyer was the only author not to have the first chapter or two of her novel available to read. That was disappointing. I was confused when I reached the end of the ebook, that there was no more book (if it was a physical book, I might have noticed this sooner and maybe been less disappointed). It seemed odd or maybe because Cinder is already popular Tor didn’t feel the need to include a bit of Meyer’s novel.
I think the Fierce Reads Anthology was very enjoyable. It’s nice to get fun, entertaining short stories for free! If you’re a fan of short stories, fantasy, sci-fi and young adult, I’d definitely download the Fierce Reads Anthology or read it online on the publisher’s website, Tor.com. There’s a second installment of Fierce Reads that I’ve already downloaded, (though I’ve read a lot of short stories lately and I’m in the mood for something else.) If you’re a fan of Anna Banks, Leigh Bardugo, Jennifer Bosworth, Emmy Laybourne or Marissa Meyer, I would definitely get this ebook.
*Odd to say for a story I didn’t really like, I know.
**Definitely longer than I intended.