B Is For Broken Anthology

BROKEN
B Is For Broken Anthology
Edited by Rhonda Parrish
Publisher: Poise and Pen Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Contemporary, Historical, Action/Adventure
Length: Full Length (296 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Broken people, broken promises, broken dreams and broken objects are just some of the ways these 26 fantastic stories interpret the theme of ‘Broken’. From science fiction to fantasy, horror to superheroes the stories within these pages cover a vast swath of the genres under the speculative fiction umbrella.

Featuring original fiction by:

~ Brittany Warman ~ Milo James Fowler ~ C.S. MacCath ~ Sara Cleto ~ Samantha Kymmell-Harvey ~ Megan Arkenberg ~ Gary B. Phillips ~ Alexandra Seidel ~ Jonathan C. Parrish ~ Simon Kewin ~ Beth Cato ~ Cory Cone ~ Cindy James ~ Alexis A. Hunter ~ Michael M. Jones ~ Steve Bornstein ~ BD Wilson ~ Michael Kellar ~ Damien Angelica Walters ~ Marge Simon ~ Michael Fosburg ~ Suzanne van Rooyen ~ L.S. Johnson ~ Pete Aldin ~ Gabrielle Harbowy ~ Lilah Wild ~ KV Taylor ~

Science fiction has a creepy side. You can read about it here.

The titles of these tales give away major spoilers about what happens in them. Ms. Parrish used this same creative technique in her previous anthology, A Is For Apocalypse. Once again I will be referring to the author’s name in this review instead of the titles of their contributions so that other readers will remain just as surprised as I was by what happens in them.

Ms. Cleto caught my attention immediately. It was fun to figure out what a Snow Queen with a rare, magical gift could possibly have in common with an ordinary teenage girl like Gwyn. I enjoyed jumping back and forth between their timelines as I attempted to piece all of the clues together. The ending worked particularly well for the short story form due to how quickly the plots were sketched out.

This doesn’t happen very often when I read anthologies, but I enjoyed every single selection in this book. Some of them would have worked much better as novellas or full-length novels, though, due to their complicated plots. Ms. Simon and Mr. Fosbury’s piece of fiction was a good example of this. It showed what happened to a village midwife named Hessura after she made a difficult choice for one of the pregnant women she had helped. The premise was fascinating, but the plot simply didn’t have quite enough time to fully develop.

As soon as I started reading Mr. Phillips’ entry, I couldn’t wait to discover out what happened next. He described a little girl named Adina who born with an unusual birth defect. Her mother soon figured out how to turn this anomaly into a steady source of income for the family. The character development was incredible, especially considering how quickly the author needed to work in order to pull everything together. I never wanted to stop listening to what Adina had to say.

I’d recommend B Is For Broken to anyone who loves contemporary science fiction as much as I do. There is a lot of great material to explore in this collection!

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