Friday, June 27, 2014

Book Review: Portals Fantasy Anthology

(Click image to see the other tour stops)

Hey everyone! I'm part of a Blog Tour for the recently released anthology called "Portals." I've always loved the idea of another world existing besides our own and was excited to see what the authors brought to the table. 

If you're interested, check out my review below! Then check out the giveaway we're having during the tour! They are pretty awesome prizes if you ask me. ^_~

Let me know what you think! I still totally love this cover. <3 nbsp="">

Genre: Fantasy Anthology (mixed sub genres)

Publisher:  Roane Publishing
Release Date: June 5, 2014

Keywords: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Urban Fantasy, Steampunk, Short Stories, Picture Prompt

Goodreads Link:

No matter what world you call home, or what your station in life, there are just some paths that weren't meant to be tread.

Ok, I'll start off by saying that I loved all the different ideas the authors went with for the portals. Overall, it's a good line up of stories.

I believe they had to write a story inspired by the cover of the book. The authors went crazy with it and I love that they were all different. No story was exactly the same. :D I'll talk about each story briefly. If you'd like to know more about them feel free to comment or shoot me an email if you'd like it private. :D

3.6 out of 5

(An ARC was provided by the author for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way.)

Maronda’s Quest by Christy Thomas - 3.6

The anthology started off strong. This story was a bit more historic/fantasy which is fine. Those who read my blog know I'm not a huge historic fan but I like them enough to read once in awhile. I would imagine it took place some time in Scotland? The accents seem to be right but don't hold me to it because I'm not great with history or geography. Anyways, I liked Maronda well enough and Lennox was sweet. It's a decent paced story and I would recommend it to those adventure types. I like the twist Ms. Thomas did with the story and the ending was nice and wrapped up. Definitely a more unusual ending but I liked it. It had good enough closure for me.

Mexmur, the Huntress by Anna Simpson - 3.8

The reason I found this anthology was because of the lovely Anna Simpson. I enjoyed her short story in the "One More Day" anthology so I wanted to read more by her in this one. Mexmur started off quickly which I was pleased about but left me confused until I continued reading. I was confused as Mexmur was confused since I was reading from her perspective. Suddenly being whisked away and thrown into the portal without an explanation, no wonder Mexmur and the reader could be confused. We do find out what's going on once our main character does. It's a slow development but we do learn why as we read on. I'm glad that Mexmur is fairly level headed unlike her male companion Prince Recser. I have to admit, I squealed a little when the dragons came. I just love dragons and Grr was freakin' adorable. I wanted him. lol Rory was pretty awesome too. Even so, you know you don't mess with dragons. The ending is sweet and wonderfully wrapped up.

Entrance of Lost Souls by Echo Shea - 4

This is one of my favorite stories of the bunch. It had adventure, mystery, and action. Even a little bit of humor at the end. It didn't have any romance which I usually like but I was totally ok with it because I feel like the main character didn't need it. Ms. Shea incorporated a little of everything I like into the story. I love urban fantasy. I like how the author was able to take some stereotypes of certain fantasy races and make them her own. It adds a freshness of the typical stories we know about them. I loved the ending, it was pretty fun. I feel like this story could be expanded and I would love to read more about it if the author chose to do so. :)

Where Once were Hearts by Havva Murat - 3.4

This story was intriguing. It's more gothic and a bit more horror than I usually read but I couldn't stop. It also has bits of steampunk in the story which I think is neat. The main character is not the type I usually read about. He is gullible, unfortunate, and naive. I can't say that I connected too much with him but I like that he had a good side instead of the typical good-looking angst male lead. I like the twists in the story. The antagonist is female but once you learn more about her life and plight you can't help but feel sympathetic. Still I can't say that it entirely justifies what she did was right. I like the ending but for me it was predictable. You will enjoy this story if you like the more darker and grim stories.

Ordinary World by Laurie Treacy - 3.5

This story takes place in a more modern time period with elements of the supernatural. I enjoy these types of stories. I like the main character Amy, although her real name is Salem (I wish we knew why she changed to Amy). I like that she trusts her guts/instincts but I wish she would act on it a little more. Her best friend Remy is ok, I don't feel like he was particularly useful in the story. Also it's be a pet peeve of mine when the main character is conveniently left in the dark because someone didn't tell them something important. That's how I felt with this story. I'm not sure what the relevance of the dates like a diary was for the story. It wasn't written in a diary form, I think it would have been fine just saying which day it was in the description. The climax and ending was great, but that was where all the action took place. I wish the pacing was a little consistent and decisive.

The Lunatic Queen by Michael Siciliano - 3.4

This story is fantasy-based. I like the idea of what people would do when the world was overtaken by constant darkness. In this story the sun is stolen, not quite sure how, but the main characters look for ways to defeat the antagonist so that the sun can return. They are the only ones willing to fight against "The Night Queen". The story was entertaining but I felt like it dragged on a bit at first. The story really doesn't pick up its pace until they meet a third character who I sort of feel could have been the main character. I do feel like the ending was a little too easy when taking care of The Night Queen. It was ok, it closed the story thread but left the ending open. I could imagine the characters continuing their quest if they chose so but the ending was adequate enough.

$10 Amazon Gift Card & paperback copy of Portals


emaginette said...

Thanks for sharing your review. If you feel like giving me more detailed feedback I'm willing to listen. I'm curious as to why I confused you. Contact me @ emaginette (at) hotmail (dot) com anytime.

I love dragons too, hoping that showed a little :-)

Anna Simpson from Shout with Emaginette

Aisazia said...

I sent you an email. :) Hope that explains it.

emaginette said...

Yes, thank you for taking the time. I feel so much better now that I understand. :-)

Echo Shea said...

Thank you for taking the time to read and review the book. I know it's dangerous to put too much on a review, but knowing that you read and enjoyed my's a very good feeling. You've made me outrageously happy today, thank you for that. I wish you a wonderful day, and I'm so happy that Anna drew you to the book. Reviews like this just make me want to write more. :-) Thank you Anna and thank you Aisazia. So happy.

Laurie said...

Thank you for featuring us today and for your review :)

Aisazia said...

I'm glad! Thanks for writing and sharing your story! I enjoyed it a lot! Yes! Please keep writing! <3 Feel free to share them with all of us (and me!). :D Glad it made your day. lol

Aisazia said...

No problem! :D Thanks for the comment!