Another Slice of Fear by Andrew Allen Smith is a colorful anthology of thrilling short stories that range the spectrum of fear. Each of these short works of fiction brings up some sort of emotion that leaves you with an emotional response. Smith brings us a variety of genres touching fear, these short stories seeming to range from the traditional horror story to some with a more contemporary fantasy feeling. Yet despite the range in sub-genre feel, they are all stories that make you feel a sliver of fear in one way or another. It may not all be things that go bump in the night, though we are given some very impressive monsters, Andrew Allen Smith certainly does his job of making you feel.
Another Slice of Fear By Andrew Allen Smith was one book I inhaled quickly. Its collection of fear-inducing stories each affecting my emotions as I read through them. Some ended in fear, others excited because the fear was conquered and others curious because there seemed to be such an open ending that full novels could have been taken from it. One story in particular ‘Monster’ was such an emotional ride that I went back to read it a second time and I will probably go back and read it again in the near future. Fear is a curious emotion and you do not always feel it at the object that you think you would. Andrew Allen Smith pinpoints the parts of each story that will make you feel it. The man knows fear and each story had a point that just wiggles inside of your mind and makes you wonder.
Reviewed for Reader’s Favorite
Oliver of the Silver Hand is a story by S. Marie Diegutis. It is a short story and prequel to the Dragon Hatcher series. This short story combines commonly known myths and legends such as Merlin and dragons, along with the author’s own characters. This gives the story an interesting feeling of originality while using the wizard we all know from Arthurian legends. This short story is certainly an entertaining one.
Short stories can be a little difficult, particularly when they are attached to a larger series. An author has to connect it to the larger story, while also giving us enough information in the single short story to stay interested, instead of just wanting to skip it and go pick up the novels it’s attached to. Thankfully, with Oliver of the Silver Hand, Diegutis keeps you interested. Tidbits of information are given to us, though enough is left out to make the reader want to pick up the series when it is available. I know I will be looking look for this series when it comes out.
As touched previously, the story uses the Arthurian character Merlin. This is done well and interestingly using lessor known stories about the magic man having a sister, which ties him to Oliver, the main character as his brother-in-law. The Merlin in this story is certainly not limited to the wise and carefully guiding character we are used to, he’s a bit of a drunken playboy in this story. An interesting take on the character and worth reading. As for the other characters of the story, they are equally worth reading about, though of original creation.
As stated before, Oliver of the Silver Hand is a prequel, so there are questions left out that make one want to read the rest of the series. Such as more about the dragons and their various abilities, as well as some of the main character Oliver, who even so early in the series seems to have a huge history that could be fun to learn about.
Over all, Oliver of the Silver Hand is worth reading, and should be picked up by fans of fantasy. Hopefully, the rest of the series will be as entertaining as it’s prequel!
I got my copy of Oliver of the Silver Hand on Reedsy Discovery! https://reedsy.com/discovery/book/oliver-of-the-silver-hand-a-fantasy-short-story-prequel-in-the-dragon-hatcher-urban-fantasy-series-s-marie-diegutis#review
This time of year, October, if you are reading this at another point in time, I like to seek out scary and thrilling reads to get in to the seasonal mood. So upon being asked to review one story from Ékleipsis the abyss, a collection of short stories by Tamel Wino, I thought, hey great timing! After taking a very brief look at what was offered, I agreed to read and review The Descent, a story about a pilot who risks his life to save someone from certain death and finds himself needing to seek that thrill again. That sense that he is defying death by the skin of his teeth.
This is a short story, so a lot is packed in to the page count. The main character, Chris goes through some serious emotional ups and downs. He is a naturally selfish person, ending up always putting himself before everything else, even when he seems to have everything in order, he ends up back tracking to his selfish ways. This story is told in the first person, so the tale is all from Chris’s point of view. You briefly hear his opinions of the side characters. They are as colorful as one can assume after getting to know the main characters.
Now as for the thrill Chris seeks, and readers of horror often look for, oh, oh you will get it! You will get it in the most jaw dropping way. This story was amazing, and it ended with me on the edge of my seat. This is well worth the time to read. When I have a chance, I will go back to read the rest of the stories in this book as well!
Short stories can be difficult to write, you are expected to get a lot of information and make people feel for your characters in a short amount of time. This is even harder to pull off when you do it in a second person’s point of view. Maria DeBlassie however, manages to produce an excellent story this way with Hungry Business. A story about dating, and zombies, that feels far too relatable to anyone who is in, or remembers, the dating scene. After all, how many times have we all gone on a really uncomfortable date with a person who is just staring at us like a piece of meat?
Hungry Business is well written. The main character walks you through their complicated dating life. Trying to cope with the loneliness of dating in a world where most would just be happy eating you rather than dating. Finding small ways to cope with the loneliness eating them away inside, the narrator talks about life as they desperately look for another warm body to cling to.
As touched on before, the story is old in the second person point of view, which is difficult to pull off in most narratives. Before this I have only seen it in game books, and choose your own adventure stories. However, the viewpoint works well with Hungry Business, giving it the feeling of perhaps a friend who is desperately trying to relate to someone they are letting their dating woes out to.
So is Hungry Business worth the read? It feels experimental, yes, and it may not be for everyone. However, I highly suggest this short story for anyone with half an hour to kill and a memory of their dating days. It is relatable and entertaining in the way it is told! Pick it up!
So if you are anything like me you get pretty annoyed by how women are depicted in most spy or assassin movies and stories. They are often the unsuspecting honeypot or the villain’s girlfriend who later ends up falling for the hero and blah blah blah. So upon being asked if I could review Like Only a Woman Can, I was honestly excited to pick up a contemporary short story regarding a female assassin.
First this is a short story so there isn’t much in the way of character development to go over. So we’ll just focus on the main character. She is a self-assured woman who is good at her job and knows what she is capable of. She’s not usually given jobs based on her gender, but this guy needs a female touch. Now this consists of her taking off her cloths and tricking the guy in to getting close. I won’t go in to detail, it’s a short story after all, you can read it. But she knows what she’s doing.
Now aside from the well written main character who despite the short story is far from the cliche assassin girl, the story itself is entertaining. It is written from a first person perspective and the speech is crisp and to the point, as you would expect it to be with this kind of character.
Like Only a Woman Can is a solid short story with a solid lead character. Fans of the genre and capable female characters should pick this story up. It’s short word count makes it a quick and enjoyable read to get your fix. You will enjoy yourself!
Dragon Hill and Other Stories is a colorful collection of short stories by Stephen E Seale. The stories are of different genres but each one is well written and entertaining. With four stories, the book as a whole is a quick read, but this is far from a bad thing. Each story gives you a little taste of the author’s ability to work with different worlds and genre. This quick read will leave you grasping for more of Seale’s work.
This book is great for fans of short stories, scifi and fantasy!