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Manifesto UF [Kindle Edition]

Lucy A. Snyder , Jeff Salyards , William Meikle , Teresa Frohock , Zachary Jernigan , Betsy Dornbusch , Kenny Soward , JM Martin , T S P Sweeney , Tim Marquitz , Tyson Mauermann

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Product Description

Product Description

From angels to vampires, dragons to wizards, Manifesto brings together twenty-three stories full of action, snark, and unadulterated badassery.

Featuring stories from Lucy A. Snyder, Jeff Salyards, William Meikle, Teresa Frohock, Zachary Jernigan, Betsy Dornbusch, Kirk Dougal, Karina Fabian, Adam Millard, Timothy Baker, Ryan Lawler, Andrew Moczulski, R.L. Treadway, Abhinav Jain, TSP Sweeney, Nickolas Sharps, Jonathan Pine, Kenny Soward, Joshua S. Hill, Jake Elliot, Lincoln Crisler, J.M. Martin, & Wilson Geiger


The time has come to make a statement, to define a genre. This is our manifesto

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 708 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615875580
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Angelic Knight Press (23 Aug 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EQUSJYE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #623,886 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb anthology full of wonderful short works of urban fantasy 10 Sep 2013
By Wende - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I don't know what I expected when I began reading this anthology, but it wasn't to be blown away from page one. Each story is remarkable, well written and utterly intriguing. My personal favorites were "Naked the Night Sings" by Teresa Frohock (a beautiful, dark tale of music and demons and the price a man pays to make his dreams come true) and "I'm an Animal, You're an Animal, Too," by Zachary Jernigan, which was also beautiful and dark and made the reader actually feel something akin to sympathy for the darkness. This is one of the very best compilations I have ever encountered, and would be an excellent read - not only for urban fantasy fans but for readers of all genres. Each story was absolutely original and thought provoking. After I read Teresa Frohock's story, I couldn't get it out of my mind. I found myself thinking about it all day, and wanting more. I mention the two stories that stood out to me the most, but each story in this book was remarkable and I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good collection of short fiction.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An anthology to define the Urban Fantasy genre 31 Aug 2013
By Frank R. Errington - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Review copy

One year and one day ago I posted a review of Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous, by far my favorite anthology of 2012 and one of the best books I read last year.

Here we are, a year later and Tim is back. This time enlisting the help of Tyson Mauermann. The two have assembled 23 stories they hope will entertain and at the same time provide a message of what Urban Fantasy should be.

Although, I'm not a fan of Fantasy (Sword and Sorcery), Urban Fantasy is another story entirely. I'm always up for a new Dresden Files novel and I've been a Richard Kadrey fan for years. Vampires (the non-sparkly kind), werewolves, fairies, fae, angels and demons, plus a little snarky dialog, sign me up.

As is the case with many anthologies I read, Manifesto UF, has a lot of really good stories, but there are a few that just don't quite measure up to the rest.

Manifesto UF starts on a strong note with "Rev" and the killer opening line, "I remember the first time I died." The author, Kirk Dougal, delivers a well written story of a revenant (someone who died, but wasn't wanted by either side so they sent him back to Earth). When in the hands of a writer who "gets it" Urban Fantasy, it can be a lot of fun and Dougal definitely "gets it'." "Dump me in a vat of blood, blow brains all over my face or let me smell a three-week old corpse sitting in the trunk of a car in August and I was fine. Let a rat run across my foot and I'd scream like your little sister."

A great start, but then it's a while before we get to another good one. I just couldn't enjoy a story with a talking dragon working as a private investigator. There's suspending your disbelief and then there just plain silly.

Another gem of a story came from Adam Millard and "Savage Rise." A truly disturbing story with an unknown horror which killed all the residents in a high rise exactly one year ago, and now it's happening again in another high rise across town.

Timothy Baker has what is one of the best stories in the collection, "Front Lines, Big City." His protagonist is a Mage. If you're familiar with World of Warcraft, you'll know what a Mage is. Simply put, a spellcaster. This one living as a self-made prisoner in downtown New Kansas City. A former soldier in the Magical Marine Corps. When the Second Civil War ended he became a fugitive on the run after an act of congress turned him and his comrades into criminals.

The award for best title in the anthology goes to Nikolas Sharps and his story "Toejam and Shrapnel." Turned out to be a fun story as well.

Lincoln Crisler has a very good story in here called, "Queen's Blood" and Jeff Salyard's "Beneath a Scalding Moon" delivers with a story of an older woman dating a younger man. This after having been bitten by a mountain lion. This leads to one of the best lines in the book. No spoiler from me, but it's worth it.

I'm not going to go into a lot of detail about every story here, but I will say there were enough good ones to make this a worth while read. Not as good as last years' Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous, but much better than some I've read in 2013.

With that said, I can definitely recommend Manifesto UF which is available now at Amazon.com

Manifesto UF
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A deliciously, dark anthology showcasing the imaginative length and breadth of urban fantasy! 21 Nov 2013
By M. Wanchoo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: This anthology was something I was looking forward for twofold reasons:
a) It focusses on urban fantasy, a favorite sub-genre of mine.
b) Because Tim and Tyson were helming this project. Both of whom are capable editors in themselves and also are good friends of mine.

The blurb can be read above in the product info and I'll be commenting about each story as it simply helps in elucidating what I liked and disliked about each story (apologies in advance for its length):

Rev by Kirk Dougal – The anthology opener is one that focuses on Revenants and the protagonist of the story is one seeking escape from his undead lifestyle. An old Welsh legend might be the key to his salvation but can he beat fate? This story was an interesting one with an odd twist to the usual zombie story and the way it ended made me curious as to whether a sequel would be written. A good opener if not a stellar one.

I’m an Animal. You’re an Animal, Too by Zachary Jernigan – The first thing I liked about the story was the title and coming from Zachary, I didn’t quite know what to expect from this one. The story is simply about an initiation unlike any other and with enough doses of savagery and black humor made this story the first gem in this collection. Dark, brutal and with a few cameos, IAAYAAT gives us the first clue that this is not like most other urban fantasy anthologies, very highly recommended!

Los Lagos Heat by Karina Fabian – Los Lagos Heat focuses on Vern and is a short story from The Case Files of DragonEye series. In this world wherein the Faerie and the Mundane have met and struck up awkward symbiosis of sorts, Vern gets handed a case of a missing dryad. Of course nothing is as ever simple in any P.I. story and in this one, there’s crime, magic and gods muddying the waters. An interesting story with a good conclusion, Karina Fabian really intrigues the reader via her protagonist Vern and the curious world he calls his abode. Another fun and intriguing addition to this collection.

Savage Rise by Adam Millard – Savage Rise is the second time I've come across any of Adam Millard’s work, rest assured it won’t be the last. Savage Rise focuses on Frank who recalls the horrific event he underwent nearly a year ago in Birmingham, UK. This story has quite a bit of horror to it and the way the story expands, readers will be hooked to see what happens in the end. I loved this dark tale and should the author expand it to a novella or book, I would among the first in line to buy a copy.

Front Lines, Big City by Timothy Baker – This story was something more in line with Myke Cole’s Shadow Ops series and features an unnamed narrator who is caught up with a terrible situation. This short almost seemed like a chapter out of a longer story and perhaps left me with a longing to read it in its entirety. For some that might be a plus and for others, it might be detracting so it will be up to the reader to decide. Overall it was an interesting story.

Break Free by Ryan Lawler – The way the author had paraphrased writing this story was his story would mix Matthew Reilly’s explosive story style with magic and it is a very high-octane story. Max is the protagonist who is trying to break free his father from a prison high up in the clouds. A fast-paced story that has a huge, serious twist in the end, this was another plus point for this collection.

Naked the Night Sings by Teresa Frohock – This was another story, whose title was attention-grabbing, plus it was written by Teresa Frohock and so I was assured of two things; elegant prose and dark settings. Not only does the author does her best in creating a rich, dark atmosphere but she also goes about creating admirable characters who leave you hooked onto the story. Another fine dark gem from an author who is fast becoming a solid favorite of mine.

Double Date by Andrew Moczulski – This was another surprise in this collection. Focusing on two individuals who take different routes to get to the same pest, the author explores a neat concept. The story is told through the eyes of Eric Margrave who is a hunter and has a strange partner. His most recent mission however will bring him into more trouble and a competitor as well. A great urban fantasy short with a strong narrative voice.

That Old Tree by R.L. Treadway – This was a very confusing story set in a neighborhood with a typical cast of characters. The way the author has written it can be a tad cumbersome in regards to the actual happenings in the story and some of the dialogue of the narrator. A tale about retribution that is seen through the eyes of an ancient one, That Old Tree was a story that will liked depending upon your temperament.

Dharmasankat by Abhinav Jain – This was another favorite of mine as Abhinav Jain basically subverted urban fantasy with an Indian twist and also at the same time, used a cool mythological story to tie it in with his set up. The story focuses on Vikram, a warrior in training to be a Dharmayoddha. He gets tasked to deal with a rather obnoxious guru whose wishes seem to be unholy to say the least. A very nice story which will require some understanding of Indian terms and mythology and another strong, diverse addition to this fabulous collection.

Nephilim by TSP Sweeney – This one was first story to focus on angels and it had a good noir-ish edge to it. Focussing on Dantalion, a fallen angel who is hunting the source of a new drug called “neph” in Hong Kong. Dantalion soon finds that there are more things in Heaven and earth than thought of by Horatio or him and that might soon be the end of him. A taut story which has a nice twisted ending, Nephilim reminded me a lot of the indie horror Gabriel, with a tad touch of Tad Williams’ current trilogy. Another shining effort from this collection.

Toejam & Shrapnel by Nickolas Sharps – What can I say about this story, simply other than this story was best in terms of fun and subversion of urban fantasy tropes. Beginning with a quirky title, the author neatly lays down a clichéd story about a writer named Cathan Keene who is trying to write his new mystery while being in a locked room of sorts. Pretty soon he finds out that things are going south at a rate he can’t manage and thus he finds himself in the company of our titular characters. What happens next is something that you will have to find out yourself as after finishing this story, I proclaimed myself (with the blessings of the author) as the first T & S fan. A highly enjoyable story that mixes fun, intrigue, death & Middle eastern mythology in a combination that is almost unheard of. Very highly recommended and possibly one of the top three stories in this collection.

Green Grow the Rashes by William Meikle – This was a strange story and perhaps one that I didn't quite understand. The story opens up with a person who via his monologue explains certain things about the environment and the plot happenings. A story that will perhaps endear itself to certain readers who enjoy an understated approach.

Under the Dragon Moon by Jonathan Pine – This was a story that felt as if it was a chapter of a larger book or at least part of a series of shorts or novellas. Kyle is a person who has lost his love and soon finds that there might be people who had a hand in it. They however don’t know what they might be facing. Another short that has a tense ending and leaves the reader wanting to know more about what has happened previously & also what could happen.

Gold Dust Woman by Kenny Soward – Gold dust Woman is a story that takes several different elements and genres to combine itself into an urban fantasy beast, which is one of a kind. Celix is a drug addict who is running away from troubles that cant be contained. Unfortunately for her, her pursuers have sent someone that could be a friend. Whom does she trust and can she still find the power within her to say no and survive. A story that ends on a totally unpredictable note, Kenny Soward showcases some deft skills with this one.

Wizard’s Run by Joshua S. Hill – Wizard’s Run is a story that leaks the plot with its title. The eponymous wizard of the story is shown to be running through the streets of Melbourne (Australia) while being pursued by an unknown number of assailants. Those who are familiar with the city might very well enjoy the author’s descriptions and factoids about the city which are liberally sprinkled throughout. The ending is a quick one and with a nice hook left for sequel stories to follow.

Chains of Gray by Betsy Dornbusch – Chains of Grey is a story set in recent times but occurs in an unnamed place. Suriel is the protagonist of the story and also a Grigori, despised by the angels for his love of mankind. However recent angel deaths have forced Gabriel to seek his aid and when Suriel discovers who is behind all of it, he will be forced to make a tough decision. Another story featuring angels but one that showcases their internecine struggles. Betsy Dornbusch keeps the story moving at a rapid pace but doesn't quite manage to make it entirely unpredictable.

Bloody Red Sun of Fantastic LA by Jake Elliot – This story had an intriguing title and it featured angels and demons particularly focusing on Mikael and Ba’al. The author does a terrific job in describing a confrontation between the two aforementioned entities in the streets of Los Angeles and over it. However after finishing it, I couldn't really say that it had the narrative strength of the its predecessors nor did it offer anything different from the other stories featuring angels.

Queen’s Blood by Lincoln Crisler – Queen’s Blood was a story that features a guy called Max who retrieves things for people who can’t be helped by the police. In his most recent case, he’s trying to recover a young girl who’s been kidnapped and also figure out who is behind it all. A quirky story that features a very likable protagonist with a fascinating condition, Queen’s Blood will easily leave you wanting more of Max.

Beneath a Scalding Moon by Jeff Salyards – This was another surprise for me, I didn't know what to expect from Jeff Salyards and he further compounded it by having a story that mixes Desperate Housewives with True Blood. Cassie is the protagonist of the story that has a cavalier attitude towards life and her sexual partners. Going gung-ho she discovers that perhaps all is not well with her, but the optimist that she is, she never lets it get in the way of her next lay. A very weird story that will have a few chuckling and others shaking their heads, but the audacity of the author in presenting this story can’t be questioned. A very different UF story that shows the scope of this collection.

Separation Anxiety by J.M. Martin – Separation Anxiety was a surprising story that incorporates several mythologies and also showcases a post-apocalyptic theme smartly. To reveal more about the story is spoilery so I would leave it for the reader to discover its charm. An interesting story mix that has an equally interesting plot to go with it.

Blessing and Damnation by Wilson Geiger – A story about what happens when a demon decides to break all accord and nomenclature that has been set since the heavenly war. Norshael is the other demon chosen to stop the previous one and his task has him co-opting a human body whose owner might be more than what he thought. A surprisingly brisk story which leaves the reader asking for more of Norshael.

Jesse Shimmer Goes to Hell by Lucy A. Snyder – Lucy Snyder brings up the last story in this intrepid collection and she focuses on her debut series character Jesse Shimmer. Jesse is forced to look for a person named Miko however Miko might not entirely amiable to being found. The story has a breakneck pace and ends on a surprising note. Quite a strong finish to this collection.

CONCLUSION: Tim and Tyson have compiled quite an eclectic collection of stories, they encompass the vast swath in the urban fantasy sub-genre and some push the line even further. I happen to be a fan of urban fantasy and therefore this collection was a gem in that regard. Perhaps a tad extra focus was provided on angels but each story highlighted a new aspect dealing with angels and so my complaints were muted.

Some of the stories like those by Zachary Jernigan, Teresa Frohock, Nick Sharps and Adam Millard were absolutely delightful and in my view the ones I enjoyed the most. While those by Ryan Lawler, Abhinav Jain, TPS Sweeney, Jeff Salyards, Lincoln Crisler showcased the innovative twists and plots as devised by the authors. All in all this is a must have and must read for any UF fan and those lamenting the pitfalls seen in this genre.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Urban Fantasy with something for everyone 13 Nov 2013
By Matthew Scott Baker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have to commend Angelic Knight Press; they just keep getting things right. Every book they release is great. And no, I'm not just saying this because I am one of their published authors. The proof is in the reviews. Go to Amazon or Good Reads and look up any one of their titles. You will see an average of 4+ stars on almost all of them. The readers have spoken...and they like what they're reading. MANIFEST UF is one of these books, and it definitely needs to be in your collection.

In case you didn't catch it, the UF in the title stands for Urban Fantasy. By definition, Urban Fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy defined by place; the fantastic narrative has an urban setting. Many of these stories are set in contemporary times and contain supernatural elements, however there's no set designation for time period.

And there's plenty of diversity in MANIFESTO UF. I would daresay that there's something for everyone here. As mentioned above, you'll find vampires, angels, werewolves (sort of), changelings and much, much more inside these pages.

Each story is written well and flows nicely. The unique voices from each author help to create a nice mixture of talent here, and the result is a collection that never grows stale. If I were forced to find a flaw with this group, I simply couldn't.

One of my favorite stories is titled "Beneath a Scalding Moon" by Jeff Salyards. In this tale, a single mom takes a young man home from a bar...only to discover her sexual appetite has awakened something primal deep inside of her...something deadly. She is actually a lycanthrope, but didn't realize until it is too late. This story is well written and even has a smidgen of wry humor to it. My favorite line in this story is this: "She couldn't believe she had two "times of the month" to keep track of now."

MANIFESTO UF is a definite win for me and I suggest snatching up a copy as soon as possible. The book is available now in a variety of formats.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars shocases the range of Urban Fantasy 14 Feb 2014
By MC - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There are many stories in this collection dealing with Christian mythology-- angels and demons, heaven and earth and hell. Further, there are monsters of urban legend and ancient monsters released into the jungle of modern times. This is a great introduction to the urban fantasy genre and the diversity that can be found therein.

As a collection, I give this 3.5 stars.

These are the most notable offerings in this anthology for me:

NAKED THE NIGHT SINGS by Teresa Frohock: From the title to the story itself, Ms. Frohock showcases her sophisticated, lyrical style. She knows how to establish a tone and mood appropriate for an eerie tale. The story is a smooth blending of urban fantasy and horror, with a subtle and ominous quality worthy of Hitchcock. It is about frustration, desire, temptation and regret, with the fate of the world on the line.

TOEJAM AND SHRAPNEL by Nickolas Sharps: A sassy title with a definite urban fantasy vibe. This is one of the best offerings in this anthology, a delightful surprise. It demonstrates the quintessential elements of an urban fantasy tale-- a familiar setting with skillful injections of fantastical, occultist elements and sassy, sympathetic characters, and an easily imaginable modern quandary. T&J is an empathetic, eerie, contemporary tale. Sharps establishes an effective pace, neither rushed nor plodding. The natural progression of the story keeps the reader firmly at the center of events as they unfold. Interest is piqued and increased with every portentous clue and it's eventual occurrence. Last but not least, T&J delivers satisfaction. It is like a well-executed alley-oop play-- good set-up, flawless execution, SCORE! Nickolas Sharps is now on my radar.

BENEATH A SCALDING MOON by Jeff Salyards: This is one of the hidden gems in this collection. I'd read Mr. Salyards' SCOURGE OF THE BETRAYER and I never would have predicted this story. It deals with a woman's unexpected transformation and how she deals with the transition. Any change involves a crossroad, a point of decision-making. Cassie, the lead in this story, must determine how much value she places on freedom, desire and satisfaction. A very enjoyable, intriguing and visceral story. Plus, it is a naughty tale with strong infusion of humor.

SAVAGE RISE by Adam Millard: An invisible malevolence attacks buildings once a year. Urban fantasy with a hardboiled detective lead and a good dash of horror. Good build up. Great potential for expansion into a full-length novel.

GREEN GROW THE RASHES by William Meikle: Quite different from the other stories in this collection. A short but beautiful story about finding new spirit after being burnt-out and weighed down by life's tragedies.

I'M AN ANIMAL. YOU'RE AN ANIMAL, TOO by Zachary Jernigan: The interesting title is enough to hook you in. There is no denying Mr. Jernigan's visceral, evocative style. There is a crispness, a tangible quality to the way he describes people and places. This was a good story with haunting imagery. I will confess I wanted more of the tragic elements of the characters' predicament, for Mr. Jernigan to take it to a more horrifying extreme. Certainly well-written but I get a bit of a tongue-in-cheek vibe which was cheeky and saucy to be sure, but I do miss more of the profound emotional undercurrents I've noted in Mr. Jernigan's other works.

DOUBLE DATE by Andrew Moczulski: This story had a classic, unadulterated urban fantasy feel-- easy dialogue, huge dose of attitude, a collection of familiar magical creatures and a dash (or two) of unconventional romance. Most of all, it was engrossing and Fun.

BREAK FREE by Ryan Lawler: A heartwarming story of a son's attempt to break his father out of a magical prison floating amidst the clouds. The story is fast-paced and entertaining, incorporating a form of vapor magic that lends extraordinary strength. I do wish the emotional relationship was further explored.

SEPARATION ANXIETY by J.M. Martin: Creepy, post-apocalyptic tale populated by various legendary creatures a la 'Cabin in the Woods' (but with a better story). Without giving away the complex plot, this is like a turf war on a grander scale. It is always wise to determine who exactly you are starting a war with.

CHAINS OF GRAY by Betsey Dornbusch: A moving story about an angel who had long been banished from the heavenly fold for his humanly love of a mortal. Suriel is called upon to aid angels in solving a crime. In doing so, Suriel is forced to revisit the events of his estrangement. This is a story about redemption, not necessarily of the traditional vein but redemption through the eyes of the individual faced with such opportunity.

DHARMASANKAT by Abhinav Jain: urban fantasy with a strong infusion of ancient Indian mythology. I like the exotic setting and Mr. Jain's description of it. Vikram is assigned an unusual quest, one in which he entertained serious doubts.

*****************************

This is my short review of the other stories:

FRONT LINES by Timothy Baker: Interesting for the most part but, ultimately, it left too much to speculation. While I certainly do not want to be spoonfed as a reader, a story should also not have numerous gaps. It leaves me thinking I likely missed the writer's intent. This felt to much like a serial where much is left hanging in anticipation of a subsequent installment.

LOS LAGOS HEAT by Karina Fabian: Lead is a private investigator that happens to be a dragon. This is one of the weaker offerings for me. Except for the novelty, it seemed unnecessary for the lead to be a dragon. It certainly didn't add anything to the narrative and made it seem bumbling in some parts. Unfortunately, without the dragon, it wouldn't be much of an urban fantasy tale either.

NEPHILIM by T.S.P.Sweeney: There seems to be a plethora of stories lately with Christian mythology, particularly angels and demons. Nonetheless, this was enjoyable and a fast read, if more than a tad predictable, with a wickedly satisfying ending.

UNDER THE DRAGON MOON by Jonathan Pine: A tale of revenge and justice. Blends crime fiction, nice twist at the end.

GOLD DUST WOMAN by Kenny Soward: Rather interesting imagery. Very other-worldly feel, with a science fiction vibe. While interesting, I just didn't feel much of a connection with this story. It didn't draw me in.

WIZARD'S RUN by Joshua S. Hill: This felt like one long chase scene. It wasn't a poorly written one-- it had a good pace and the eventual confrontation with weapons and magic was not without excitement. But it was essentially just that for me-- an action scene. I didn't feel like I got to know the characters, the setting or the underlying motivation for the chase and confrontation.

BLOODY RED SUN OF FANTASTIC LA by Jake Elliot: A showdown between Mikael the Archangel and Ba'al in the streets of LA. The action scenes were good but I couldn't quite care about either of the combatants. If anything, Ba'al was the sympathetic one for me. Moreover, the conclusion had a deus ex machina quality.

QUEEN'S BLOOD by Lincoln Crisler: Not sure I get this. I felt so detached to the story while reading it. Interesting parallel world angle though.

BLESSING AND DAMNATION by Wilson Geiger: A rogue denim threatens the tenuous peace that exists in the world. Another demon, Norshael, is dispatched to stop him. A demon can only move on earth by appropriating a human body. Norshael serendipitously inhabits the body of mortal with unexpected skills. It may just be Norshael that ends up being saved. Good but not particularly remarkable.

JESSE SHIMMER GOES TO HELL by Lucy A. Snyder: A fast-paced, action-packed, magic-heavy tale about rescuing trapped souls, with a dash of revenge thrown in for good measure. Fun, reads like an anime sequence, but not too much emotional content.

**************************

I don't generally read short stories, at least not much anymore. It's a tricky thing to be able to introduce characters and reveal enough about them and their motivations at such short length. I'm also more interested in the exploration of emotions and an in-depth look at characters which, again, is not easy to do in a short story. Many stories in this anthology did manage to do that and there were quite a few pleasant surprises. Ultimately, the enjoyment of any particular story is a personal matter, largely dependent on preferences and experience.
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