Sunday, November 3, 2013

Irony of Survival (Zharmae Anthology Series #2) - Ashley's Review (Book III)

*I received this anthology from The Zharmae Publishing Press in exchange for an honest review*

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Title: Irony of Survival

Edited by: Anna McDermott
Year Published: 2013

My review of Irony of Survival: Book I
My review of Irony of Survival: Book II

Synopsis: Futures teetering between fate and chance unravel in fantastical realities spanning time and space; each bringing us face-to-face with the unexpected in Irony of Survival – a dynamic collection that explores how life’s ironic twists and turns challenge and, at times, ensure mankind’s survival. 

Never before has the role of irony in challenging our perspective, questioning consequence, and disrupting equilibrium been more distinctly illuminated than in this artfully spellbinding work that provides readers a looking-glass through which to view their own tales of survival. 

Experience firsthand how an unlikely instance, in an instant, can be the turning point of destiny.


Review: Since this anthology is split into three different books, I think I'll review each story, with the reviews separated by Book. Anthologies are always so weird for me to review.

1. The Hollow Temple by M.A. Ligocki: This story tells the tale of an adventurer with a cursed sword and an elf whose paths cross as they both seek the same treasure. The beginning is kind of slow, and I think too much time is taken to describe their fighting and the temple. Then, things start to pick up as they get weird. I actually enjoyed the weird part of it, and I think that the ending saved this story. 3/5

2. Hall of the Slain by Maria Herring: A doctor, Torny, is killed on the battlefield and finds herself amongst warriors in Valhalla. I was so confused at first because I had no idea what was going on, but eventually it made sense and the story was actually not so bad. I still had so many questions at the end though, and I think it ended very abruptly. 3/5

3. Machines by Michael Simon:In a futuristic world, humanity is at war with the machines. Humans must become more like the perfect machines in order to have a chance at victory, but the machines are always one step ahead. I think this story jumps back and forth near the beginning, and it was a little disorienting. Then the main character is drafted and things are a little more linear. It was an interesting concept that would have made a better book than a short story, I think. 2/5

4. Nowhere to go but Mars by Barry Nove: Colonies are being set up on Mars, and people have begun terraforming and attempting to create a new inhabitable world. America has become a third world country, and many children between the ages of 12-20 have decided to migrate to Mars in hopes of achieving a better life. I liked the concept, and I thought it was pretty well done... but then it ended without ever wrapping anything up. If the ending had been better, I would rate it higher! 3/5

5. ARK-11 by Jak Kavan: ARK-11 is a ship transporting a group of people to a new planet light years away so that they can start colonizing it. People are mysteriously being awoken and others dying though, so most of the story focuses on why/how people are dying. And then... spiders. I personally hate spiders, so that was terrifying in and of itself. The idea and the characters aren't terrible, but I do think this story was too long to be included in an anthology like this. If it had been trimmed down some, I think it would have been better. 2/5

6. The Sun of a Distant Horizon by Corbin Maxwell: A young boy wants to go to Mars in order to help his struggling family. He's tired of life on Earth, and is willing to do drastic things if it means he can leave. Most of this was really graphic and gross and not at all my style, so I found myself skipping ahead quite a bit. It also ended up being some sort of romance story mixed in with everything... it was just really weird. And the main character is like 12 and that just made it worse. I didn't really enjoy this story at all... 1/5

Overall, Book III would be a 2/5 for me. This Book was didn't have stories in at that I enjoyed as much as some of the ones in Book II, but it was more consistent as a whole than either the first or second one. This anthology is a decent look at life's twists and turns and mankind's survival in spite of or thanks to the events that happen. If you're looking for a sci-fi/fantasy anthology, this one might be the right one for you.


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