pluralise's review against another edition

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I took way too long to read this... But that's the great thing about short stories. You can take a break in the middle for as long as you want.

Anyway, like all compilations, there were some that were better than others... But nothing I strongly disliked. (Yes, Becky, I am capable of disliking things.) I appreciated the variety of dystopias represented, as well as variety of relationships.

Favorites: Berserker Eyes (interesting premise - kids with recessive berserker genes are locked away until they either serk or get old enough to be presumed safe), Foundlings (twin stories are all close to my heart except THAT BOOK cough[b:Her Fearful Symmetry|6202342|Her Fearful Symmetry|Audrey Niffenegger||6382826]cough), The Dream Eater (faint resemblance to [b:The Giver|3636|The Giver (The Giver, #1)|Lois Lowry||2543234]? but different.)

I really wanted to like Nina Kiriki Hoffman's story, since I loved everything I read of hers in high school, but it was just so... I don't know, it reminded me of [b:The City of Ember|307791|The City of Ember (Book of Ember, #1)|Jeanne DuPrau||2285229]. Which I liked but did not particularly love.

bookiesncookies's review against another edition

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February 2016 Wrap-Up |

I’d only read Kiera Cass’ and Jeanne DuPrau’s writing before this anthology, so I appreciated getting to sample some other authors. I had heard of Carrie Ryan, though.

Hidden Ribbon-[a:John Shirley|61958|John Shirley|] 3/5
AKA “Dome Life Ain’t So Grand”

Similar to [b:The Supernaturalist|45432|The Supernaturalist|Eoin Colfer||1019140] by Eoin Colfer and the movie Elysium and includes POC characters.

I’d really like for John Shirley to point me in the direction of musicians he’d consider “thug-jugger” today. ALSO, the title is mentioned in the story which is my favorite trope.

“‘I got something else too. A truck full of food. And my gun, in the backpack behind your seat.’ She veered the truck around the corner, and glanced at him. ‘And something else-someone.’
It took him a moment to realize she meant him. And he suspected that… if it wasn’t for him, Felice probably wouldn’t have taken the chance of stealing the truck… Really, it was more than a suspicion. He could feel it, through the hidden ribbon that twined the two of them together.”

The Salt Sea and the Sky-[a:Elizabeth Bear|108173|Elizabeth Bear|] 4/5
AKA “Ireland is beautiful, but I need to leave”

This seemed like a new concept with an age-old element of a desire to journey to new places. Includes an LGBT+ romance and POC characters.

I LOVED the setting (IRELAND, I’m obsessed, in case you didn’t know) and the concept of shared community to make life more sustainable, but that the main character wants freedom outside of ease of life. Rightminding sounds quite a bit like behavioral brainwashing a lá The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Billie, I just, does Shaun matter to you at all? I extremely support the idea of choice and decisions in a relationship, of fully choosing your partner, but also choosing your own path, but this just felt weak and unresolved.

“It was a little after four in the morning, and the sky was already streaked with peach and silver, the stars washed away by light.”

“Out in the Irish Sea, a tall ship cruised under box sails-the ship still in shadow, the sails lit by the sun-and I changed my mind: I could imagine this was the nineteenth century, the age of exploration and ail, and that I was on my way to Dublin to meet the ship that would take me to America, to Asia, the the world.”

In The Clearing-[a:Kiera Cass|2987125|Kiera Cass|] 4.5/5
AKA “Feelings in the Woods”

Reminiscent of [b:Uglies|24770|Uglies (Uglies, #1)|Scott Westerfeld||2895388] by Scott Westerfield and [b:Matched|7735333|Matched (Matched, #1)|Ally Condie||9631645] by Ally Condie.

Did Kiera watch Sonny with a Chance to find the character names? Dylan and Mackenzie, so... Also, obviously a Kiera Cass main character if they love strawberries.

I enjoyed the alternating POVs and overall concept of emotion and feeling manipulation.

“Well, what would happen if you told the person they were wonderful? Anything at all? Or maybe they don’t really want you to think they’re wonderful…”

Otherwise-[a:Nisi Shawl|806782|Nisi Shawl|] 3/5
AKA “My girl is leaving me for a dude”

Reminiscent of [b:The Host|1656001|The Host (The Host, #1)|Stephenie Meyer||3328799] by Stephenie Meyer and [b:Uglies|24770|Uglies (Uglies, #1)|Scott Westerfeld||2895388] by Scott Westerfield and includes LGBT+ and POC characters and romances.

This is a very strange world where adults are absent in their drug-induced fantasies and kids become adults. The action-y scenes were very difficult to follow and poorly written. Oh, Lo, my heart was aching for you. CRAZY, INSANE LOVE TRIANGLE TWIST THAT I SAW COMING, BUT IT WAS STILL A SHOCKER.

“She wanted to be with him. I loved her anyhow. To the edge of the continent. All the way. I would follow her. But tonight I would sleep alone.”

Now Purple With Love’s Wound-[a:Carrie Vaughn|8988|Carrie Vaughn|] 5/5
AKA “[b:Catch-22|168668|Catch-22|Joseph Heller||814330] with Love”

Reminded me of a story which I can’t say because that will ruin too much, but kind of like a Viking/warrior take on the [b:Matched|7735333|Matched (Matched, #1)|Ally Condie||9631645] series. This is the epitome of the perfect short story because it leaves you hanging in a way in which you want more, but don’t know what will happen afterwards.


“How else am I to prove that I love you?”

Berserker Eyes-[a:Maria V. Snyder|445303|Maria V. Snyder|] 4/5
AKA “Bloodlust & Love”

Divergent-y. The narrative was very simple and easy to follow in a new voice I hadn’t heard before. Would definitely read a full novel of this, though I feel like it’s been done.

"Will I be next?"

Arose From Poetry-[a:Steve Berman|224189|Steve Berman|] 2.5/5
AKA “Dude Gets an Erection in YA Fiction”

Reminded me of the Grishaverse, though I’ve only read [b:Six of Crows|23437156|Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)|Leigh Bardugo||42077459], it had that vibe, though the stories are extremely dissimilar.

LGBT+ Romance. Rebellion and a Russian-like government and Poetry. Still vaguely confused about what the whole story was?

“No one will grant us deliverance,
Not god, nor tsar, not hero.
We will win our liberation.
With our very own hands.”

Red-[a:Amanda Downum|2861133|Amanda Downum|] 3.5/5
AKA “Zombie Love”

[b:Warm Bodies|15842439|Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1)|Isaac Marion||10090210] meets LGBT romance.

It took FOREVER to learn the narrator’s name, but she does have one. I could feel the Texas heat while reading this, and stories that fully immerse me in the setting are the best. Kind of gory at parts, just to warn you.

“In the dream I’m in a garden. In the dream I’m not alone. A girl stands beside me, a girl with eyes red as poison apples. She takes my hand, and her skin is cold. ‘We have to go north.’”

Foundlings-[a:Diana Peterfreund|119848|Diana Peterfreund|]3.5/5
AKA “Teen Mom in the Future”

We never learn the narrator’s name? And it’s taunting me? Was this intentional? Was this a mistake? I’m so confused. Interesting take on how pregnancy could be viewed in the future when many women are infertile.

“The secret to accomplishing anything is to break down the process into a series of manageable steps.”

Seekers in the City-[a:Jeanne DuPrau|2347|Jeanne DuPrau|] 4/5
AKA “Cuties on a Train”

Very reminiscent of the short film Paperman and [b:The Gift of the Magi|143534|The Gift of the Magi|O. Henry||171430].

I really appreciated that the only thing dystopian about this was just the intricate government and how crowded the city was. I like how it isn’t explained how the world came to be, it just is, and can even be believable as a vaguely futuristic New York City, London, or even Washington D.C…. with more smog.

Owen and Miranda are percious. I could identify Jeanne DuPrau’s writing style and this was a lovely dystopian rom-com.

“It’s sad that they have to live in a cage. But at least now they’ll have each other.”

“A quest is supposed to be hard.”

The Up-[a:Nina Kiriki Hoffman|12991|Nina Kiriki Hoffman|] 4.5/5
AKA “City of Ember with Legit Diversity”

Very similar to [b:The City of Ember|307791|The City of Ember (Book of Ember, #1)|Jeanne DuPrau||2285229] and [b:The Host|1656001|The Host (The Host, #1)|Stephenie Meyer||3328799]. POC Characters.

Amazing setting, even more amazing ending. I liked the concept of retreating to below ground should the world above grow unsustainable for life. It’s a little freaky how the mates are chosen from such a small group of survivors, yuck.

“There was so much open I got dizzy and felt like I would fall.”

The Dream Eater-[a:Carrie Ryan|1443712|Carrie Ryan|] 5/5

Your heart will break with the Doctor Who S9E11 Heaven Sent feelz.

It took FOREVER to learn the narrator’s name, but you do learn it. I can’t get over how much I love this story and these characters and the heartbreak of it all.

I’d read a full novel of this story. Heck, I’d read a full 20 part installment series of this series.

“The Cruce knows everything. Your emotions are not your own. She has taken them from you. You have failed the Cruce.”

“‘Why are you letting me forget?’ ‘Because I love you.’”

357-[a:Jesse Karp|4127083|Jesse Karp|] 4/5
AKA “The Orpheus Retelling”

Doctor Who S3E3 Gridlock feels (I hadn’t realized how dystopian the early seasons of Doctor Who were).

Akil is stuck on the 357th floor, but risks everything for Persephone. Great mythological allusions in a futuristic style. Though the character’s name is Persephone, this is much more like the Orpheus and Eurydice tale. I'd definitely read a full novel of this story.

“Somewhere below, in this world of machines, was Persephone. Her quiet greeting, her welcoming gaze, the relief of her cool hand on his fevered cheek. So Akil chose a direction and ran, looking for his love, in darkness.”

Eric and Pan-[a:William Sleator|14004|William Sleator|] 4/5
AKA “Clyde and Clyde”

LGBT+ and POC romance.

Interesting concept to write in 2012, but with the advances with the U.S. Supreme Court and the legalization of gay marriage, this didn’t resonate with me as deeply since it doesn’t seem as plausible. It was still a story worth writing because not all writing needs to stand the test of time. It’s just as vital for writing to touch on the issues of the time.

The Empty Pocket-[a:Seth Cadin|4723244|Seth Cadin|] 1/5
AKA “What Did I Just Read?”

Most similar to [b:The Supernaturalist|45432|The Supernaturalist|Eoin Colfer||1019140] by Eoin Colfer, if I had to choose.

Whatever story existed was hidden under so much metaphor, I could not follow. I see now why it was the last book in the anthology.

serenitymoon's review against another edition

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I just realized rating an anthology is hard because it's basically a collection of a lot of really different stories. Some of the stories I loved, others not so much. And then there are others that I just plain don't understand. I guess it's pretty good introduction to some new authors but other than that it's not that amazing.

cjmartin1987's review

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Had some really good stories in it! I liked that it included couples of all different sexual orientations!

pericooper's review

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Actual rating: 4.2 overall

larisa2021's review

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Grabbed this one at the library solely for Carrie Vaughn's 18 page contribution. Which is an excellent piece of short fiction with a teeth-gnashing, abrupt ending. The premise is hair-raising and deliciously controversial when compared to our current society.

prationality's review

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Prelim Review: The interesting thing about this collection is that quite a few of the authors aren't normally YA authors. Amanda Downum for instance writes fantasy and John Shirley writes a lot of media tie-in fiction for games and movies. Also there's about twice as much LGBT fiction in here then any other anthology I've read in genre fiction (not specifically geared in that direction). In that, I found this worth reading.

It fails however in that yes its a dystopic future, but very few of the stories give us plausible reasons why, implausible but at least entertaining reasons why or even any reason why. "Otherwise" implies its because everyone began taking the drug (which may have been legal at one point?). "In the Clearing" likewise implies that its because of the drug...but we're only given a very small idea of this drug's effects on the population. Is everyone using this drug to keep the people docile? Is this a government thing or is it a corporation thing? Why?

Many of these stories fail to give a reason how the story got to be in a bleak (or at least strictly controlled totalitarian regime) future. And that's frustrating. I also wish there was a more unified approach to length of story. I read this on my Kindle, so I don't know the exact amount of pages, but some really seemed to drag on while others just abruptly ended (which may have more to do with the writing then the length).

Full review to be posted at Poisoned Rationality