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Friday, 12 June 2015

Flying Toasters - The Dead Pixel Tales

Title: Flying Toasters - The Dead Pixel Tales
Author: Various
Publisher: Dead Pixel Publications
Read Type: Amazon freebie
Stars: StarStarStarStar

You can purchase a copy of this book from Amazon (International)
You can find out more about the author on Dead Pixel Publications website. For details on individual authors please see the link at the start of the relevant review

Book Blurb
FLYING TOASTERS – THE DEADPIXEL TALES is a collection of engaging short stories that range from gritty to haunting. Thought-provoking to ridiculous. The authors of DeadPixel Publications craft tales that will appeal to all readers through solid storytelling, crossing genre lines, and focusing on brilliant characters and twisted plots.

Publisher Bio
We're just a bunch of people with day jobs, writing for the pure love of the craft and hoping for a little success along the way.

By joining forces we help promote each other and create a community of sharing and collaboration with one goal in mind:

Helping the public find some kick ass books to read (if we do say so ourselves).

Strong language: Some
Drugs: No
Violence: Gruesome descriptions of after effects
Sexual content: Some, non-explicit

I received a copy of this anthology via a free promotion.

The Man Upstairs by Hanna Elizabeth
3.5 Stars
This is a story of a ghost trapped on this plan without knowing if he has to fulfil a destiny or if this is life. This was an interesting look at the afterlife. The powers the ghosts had were woven into the story well, as was the background of the relevant human characters without any info dumps. I felt it meandered in places a bit, I'd like to have seen more drive and intention from John, the primary ghost.

Overall a fun read, and there was one scene I think women will love while men will cringe away from. Way to go, Hannah!

The Cave by Brian L. Braden
4 stars
Western is a genre I don't generally choose to read. I was pleasantly surprised. The story had good tension and mystery throughout. The POV was interesting, not your usually TV stereotype. I was drawn into the world with its strong characters and refreshingly direct approach that engaged me enough that I actually went looking for a few more westerns and am now enjoying them, particularly the more romantic ones.  This story was an unexpected pleasure that avoided the TV tropes.  In this story, no cowboy goes bang, Indian goes twang, cowboy goes bang, Indian goes twang, cowboy goes bang, Indian goes twang, etc. All around, a great read.

My Dead Friend Nancy by Robert Brumm
4.5 Stars
A slightly confusing story to start, but it soon transitions into a full colour, Dolby Surround Sound, HD movie of pirates and other undesirables heading to newly discovered America to look for the fountain of youth… or treasure if you are one of the more sensible of the party. Or are you?

The language flowed, the voice was strong, I loved the concept. My only complaint, I wish it was longer, like long novel long! Great job Brumm.

The Lightgiver by Thomas Cardin
4.5 Stars
An amazingly rich world built layers with great care, leading us into the heart the true story. The ideas behind this story were creative and intriguing, and to pull it off in a short, or possibly a novella, was incredible. I felt at times the imagery distracted me slightly from the bigger picture of what was happening and what this world was, but overall, it was greatly crafted with strong characters. Though there was little dialogue, it was well placed and used to give a feeling of forced servitude and fear.

Altitude Sickness by C.M. Saunders
4 stars
A long aeroplane flight. Time to catch up on some reading, take in a movie, or just sleep. That’s James’s hope, until he gets the chatty passenger that just can’t take the not-so-subtle hint of headphones!
Not being a huge fan of air travel myself, I felt the tension built well, smoothly transitioning from the air travel itself to the creepy passenger. Until…

Prism by John Gregory Hancock
4.5 stars
In a world of old, where kings can call humble shoe makers before them without explanation or notice, our story begins. Liam has a most unusual disability for his profession, but one the king thinks may save the kingdom.

I found the writing immersive, and while long, it never lost my attention. Always something new to see. I particularly like the scenes with the creatures causing the issues, and the way the “new boy” handled them when the soldiers couldn’t. I found the ending satisfying.

The Ballad of Azron by Berzon Steven Wetherell
4.5 stars
This story started with rich descriptions of a thriving town running on thievery. Soon it moved into energetic action with a side of humour.

We followed our thief, Azron, as he was thrown into a tough situation, and repeatedly failed to escape, something he seemed very unaccustomed to. Given the humorous start to the story I was surprised at the depth of the characterisation and emotion that was achieved without losing the humour or the rich language. There was plenty of action making this a good all-rounder of an adventure.

The 411
This anthology showed a good selection of the high-quality work produced by Dead Pixel Publishing. The majority was set in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and things otherwise not quite of this world. I enjoyed the rich quality of the work, the language, and the variety of subjects within the book. The works were a decent length, allowing me to get a good sense of the author’s style without appearing to monopolise the anthology.

This introduced me to many new authors who I’d enjoy working with.

Overall I give this anthology 4 starts

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