(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I wasn’t completely sure what to make of this book when I first read the blurb. Even though I do like logic in my stories, I was drawn by the concept of these short stories.
The first short story did a really good job of setting the tone of the rest of the collection. I thought the connection between Mary and Millie was creepy, but also a bit sad at times… even though it took me a little while to figure out exactly what was with them.
I felt All The Devils was an interesting version of the Jack the Ripper and it was easy to see the fear the main character experienced… but also her emotions later, in being drawn into something she didn’t understand, but felt the pull towards.
Skin was especially disturbing. I had a lot of sympathy for Patricia’s character, but by the end of the short story, I did develop a strong dislike for her. Then again, I could understand why she flipped so much, due to what she was driven towards.
I did find Mermaids quite a confusing read. Although it was intriguing and had some nice imagery, the ending raised a lot more questions.
Phantom Pain had a couple of surprises that I wasn’t expecting, but I felt that a lot of the story was missing.
I felt a lot of sympathy for the main character in Unbreakable Heart. The ending was gruesome… but also understandable. I would have liked to know a bit more about the world she was in, but I found her easy to empathise with.
Syren was another character I felt sympathy for. It would have been good to get some background on her in Saltwater Assassin, but I still found her easy to empathise with. And the ending was violent, but I felt it did fit.
In Her Image was another confusing story at first, but by the end, I thought it succeeded in becoming quite creepy. It was an interesting concept, though.
I liked the fact that Undead Girl was a bit longer. I felt a lot of sympathy for her and it was nice to see her able to connect with someone… though there was a lot of mystery still to be expanded upon.
Don’t Touch Me was an interesting concept. There were a couple of things I wasn’t expecting and I thought the idea was a fairly unique one.
Although I don’t normally read poems, Three Poems was interesting with some good imagery. I didn’t really understand what was going on, but they were still well-written.
Ruby was especially disturbing to read. There was a good air of mystery in the story, but it was still gruesome… and I didn’t really understand why Ruby had to get her cut.
I would have liked to see UnTamed expanded upon. Leana was a sympathetic character, but the story seemed to have a rather abrupt end. There were hints and elements of the world that were really interestng to read.
Made For This was particularly disturbing at the beginning, but it was interesting to see how the man had to deal with what happened.
From The Inside was another fairly intriguing story in a world I would have liked to see more of. Anika was an interesting character, but I was confused about her self-mutilation. The concept of the tattoos coming out from inside, with living ink, was interesting.
Rudy and Deirdre was an interesting look into the thoughts of two different people. It was really short, but still an entertaining read.
I would have liked some more explanation in Daedalus’ Daughter. The concept of the feathers was interesting and it was good to see how someone else viewed what was happening to Isha.
The world of The Zealot was interesting and it was good to get something of the background of the storyline. While I still felt like I was missing a lot of the story, the characters were interesting and it’s a world I would have liked to see more of.
The Well-Rounded Head was an interesting concept, though I really hated the wife. I felt sorry for her husband.. but she was extremely dislikable.
I also really liked Reserved. There were some really sweet moments between Pete and Rory, even though I did think Rory was quite a stereotypical character. It was nice to see Pete respond to Rory and that the two of them seemed really good together.
Scars: First Session was really hard to read, but it did draw me in and I had a lot of respect for Abigail by the end.
All in all, this anthology was really interesting to read and I think a lot of the authors are ones I’d happily read more work from in the future.