March 3rd, 2016

Cat with book: Swipe

Book #13 of 2016: Tails of the Apocalypse

Tails of the Apocalypse
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

This book made me emotional, but in ways the authors did not intend. First it disappointed me, then it frustrated me, then it made me outright angry.

Tails of the Apocalypse is a collection of short stories about animals during or after the end of the world. About half the stories were written from the animal's POV, the other half from a person's POV about the animals.

One of the most important thing in stories like that is that the animals be believable. Out of the dozen or so stories, only three had believable animals in it. In a collection of stories about animals, that's a big black mark against it.

With the exception of three stories (those same three stories...) none of them were well-written at all. Some of them (barely) hit the 'okay' mark, but most of them fell well below that.

I don't read many collections of short stories, but when I do, I dislike the ones that are set in existing book series; if you haven't read that series, generally you're not going to get as much out of the story as you would an 'original' one. Almost every story in this book was set in another series...

One of the author's only qualifications for writing a story for this book was that he posted a lot on Anne Rice's message boards. I wish I had brought my Kindle to work with me so I could give the direct quote, but he outright said he posts a lot and she gave him a special title for it, thus he's qualified to contribute a short story for this book. (Spoiler: It was the worst written of them all.)

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When I got a copy of this book, I had assumed it wasn't self-published. I guess I hadn't thought that anthologies could be self-published, which is kind of silly.

My angry/annoyed feeling about this book comes from the suspicion that the editor knew that most stories weren't very good. Three of the first four were great, and none after those were even good. I suspect they ordered them that way to trick us into reading them all, in hopes of more great ones.

In addition to that, the "about the author" sections after each short story was a quarter the length of the stories themselves, and filled with promotion/links/sales info. That made this book feel more like advertising than an honest attempt at offering stories.

If not for the couple stories I like, I would have rated this a 'hated'.