Sunday, 21 October 2012

Earth's End: A Review

Earth's End is an apocalyptic collection of shorts edited by Rebecca Besser, published by our friends at Wicked East Press.

So after my last review where I skewed off into a whole different genre, what was it like slipping back to the comfort of a bit of dark fantasy, a bit of sci fi, a bit of horror?

Interesting.

Firstly, it would be remiss of me not to mention the editing of the book. Whilst I would not normally mention the editor personally in a review, it has to be said that Rebecca Besser has done a stand out job. With small press publications, I have seen many people bashing the editor for not doing a good job - for making mistakes - but never do I see anyone congratulating the editor on a fine job. And this is a fine job. But enough back-slapping of editors. Onto the content.

The anthology contains work by authors: Kris Triana, Suzanne Robb, Mark M. Johnson, Nicky Peacock, Pedro Cerda & Daniel Stiles, Rebecca Besser, Darren Gallagher and Kim Curley (novella).

The stories are good. They are well told and convey largely what they are supposed to. The only issue I had was that two of the stories just needed... more story. As my complaint is that I wanted more, is that really a complaint? It is also not that the two stories were rushed, or incomplete. I just wanted to play in the worlds created for me, more.  This is my only note-worthy gripe and it is extremely personal. Most people I'm sure would disagree.

Ranging from (and being vague because I don't do spoilers) religious overtones (as one expects in apocalyptic tales) to monsters crawling around the wasteland, the collection has something for everyone who is a fan of the genres. It is also worth saying that the collection works extremely well together. Jumps from character hard pieces to science fiction and then action horror can be jarring and a tough sell. This collection works. 

As I said, it is well edited, so it flows fault free, the authors clearly know their aims in story-telling and how to work their genre and the requirements of making a world that you cannot see believable, particularly in such short word counts.

For me the stand out story was 'Hell on Earth' by Darren Gallagher. It is action heavy, reliant on Darren's ability to draw a scene quickly with a great deal of movement. Certainly a hard sell in a short story. It is done extremely competently. Not only does Darren move from locale to locale taking just enough time to paint the picture - but not too much - he also sells the characters and slips in a twist. It is a shock, as well.

If you are a fan of dark fiction, fantasy, sci fi or horror, or just well told stories, go and buy it. Buy it now. It is available on Amazon US and Amazon UK.  

2 comments:

  1. Wonderful book review, Mark!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read Earth's End. I'm very proud, and blessed, to have been a part of this anthology.

    To have my first published piece included with all the other talented authors still amazes me. I hope I get to continue to work with all of these creative souls in the near future!

    Again, thank you, Mark, for taking the time not only to read Earth's End, but for your wonderful review! Appreciate your support!~Kim

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    1. You are more than welcome Kim. I enjoyed the book greatly, and will continue to keep an eye out for more work by the authors.

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