The Fierce Reads Anthology: I Can't Believe I Read the Whole Thing!

Slight exaggeration.  I actually wanted to read almost all of these.  I mean, Emmy Laybourne/Monument 14 prequel?  Me:

Just a slight exaggeration.

Actually, I can't believe I read the Anna Banks story in toto.  She writes books about merpeople, which is totally fine, but they're also very romantic-he-looked-into-her-liquid-eyes-and-was-mesmerized-by-her-gently-curved-lips, if you know what I mean.  I don't do that.  My friends know I don't do that.  Generally, all of that woo-wah lovey-dovey stuff introduces a) angst, b) a love triangle, or (lord help us all) c) BOTH OF THOSE, which I just cannot handle.  I mean, why add more unnecessary angst to your life (unless it is angst Weetzie Bat-style, in which case, carry on)?

I think some of these stories were individually available as well, but I liked having them all together in one (free!) collection.

First up, Anna Banks' Legacy Lost.

So, I know Anna Banks' series is about merpeople called Syrena and it has very kissy-looking people on the cover.  I know what I like and what I don't like, and I am just not a romance person.  However, I read the story. It had ... love in it.  Yikes.  But ... it wasn't bad.  It was intense, but not vomit-inducing.  Basic premise: merprince has to mate with a merprincess who he thinks is a total brat, but then she ends up being SUPER HAWT and they have this mystical connection .  She's a daredevil and he's not, but I guess their babies are supposed to have mystical powers or something.  I didn't read the full books and I think fans of those would appreciate this more.  I did, however, like the ending.

The Witch of Duva by Leigh Bardugo

I had harsh words for Bardugo's first entry in the Grisha Trilogy.  But after this story ... I'm tempted to go and read the second two.  Really.  Bardugo has a great command of the fairy tales she's working with, and the twist about who the monster really was floored me.  Two thumbs up.

Prophet by Jennifer Bosworth

So, Jennifer Bosworth's full-length novel is Struck, which I just happened to put on display so it stuck in my mind.  Her short story is an interesting exploration of extremism in religion.  The transformation of the main character from defiant boy to mad prophet is believable because of his extreme circumstances and unusual background.  Bosworth paints a deft portrait of his family life with just a few paragraphs.  I'm intrigued and now I'm considering adding Struck to my already hefty TBR.

Dress Your Marines in White by Emmy Laybourne

Okay, this is the real reason I downloaded this anthology (followed closely by Marissa Meyers' story, but still.  Emmy Laybourne first).  I am a huge Monument 14 fan and this really rounded out the story.  It's an explanation of the biochemical weapon that affects humans' by blood type.  The official report v. what really happened format is extremely effective, and frighteningly plausible.  This one was gritty and satisfying.  Yum.

Glitches by Marissa Meyer.

Two words: Cinder's backstory.  You're welcome.

Overall, I highly recommend this anthology.  It's free on Google Books (not a paid endorsement, etc.) and completely worth it even if you're a fan of only one of the authors or their stories.


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