on Oct. 28, 2011 :
An interesting collection of short stories spreading across a range of fantasy sub-genres. Not all of the idea themes are well developed.
(reviewed 8 months after purchase)
on April 2, 2011 :
I will say that I enjoyed reading a sampling of stories from the different genres. It kept me interested, but I will admit, I don't read story after story - but read one here and there.
The stories themselves were entertaining, however some seemed to end abruptly. The one that first comes to mind is "Reality". It moved right along until the end, when it seemed liked the author had been interrupted and someone else stepped in and quickly finished it. The flow was lost, and it was truly a disappointment.
The stories were entertaining and a very light read, but be warned - there are many grammatical errors. (Please note - I have a version from mid 2010, so it may have been updated and corrected since then.)
(reviewed 8 months after purchase)
on Oct. 15, 2010 :
Have not read a collection of short stories for a long time and this made me wonder why. Enjoyed most of the stories, especially serial and shockers.
Worth reading, good to have a collection of different genres - it makes for much more consuming reading.
If only I could get around my loathing of e-books.........
(reviewed 60 days after purchase)
on Sep. 29, 2010 :
Nightmares from Eberus is a collection of eleven short fiction stories of a variety of genres. Tales of the future, stories of vampires, horror stories and other odd tales of the present are all part of De La Torre’s “Nightmares from Eberus”.
The storyline in each of the various stories is well written, and one leaves each story satisfied - not wondering where the end is.
Though I found this ebook, “Nightmares from Eberus” a great read, it does still need some editing for missed or extra words in a few places. Once finely tuned however, J.C. De La Torre’s book of short stories is a fine book!
I received this collection of stories as an ebook, and as part of a member draw on Librarything.com.
Member of goodreads.com; librarything.com and the Penguin book club. Smashwords.com
(reviewed 50 days after purchase)
on Sep. 12, 2010 :
Nightmares From Eberus: A Speculative Fiction Collection by JC De La Torre is a wonderful collection of stories that spark multi-level emotions and further imaginings. The author provides a fair range of genres in this collection, horror, sci-fi, paranormal, speculative etc. did find myself wanting to know more about a number of characters throughout this collection, asking, ‘what could have been?’ or thinking ,this could have been a great novella or novel if the premise had been further developed’. As I read a great deal of horror and sci-fi, I found myself wanting more stories like the creepy ‘Serial’, ‘Gator Country’ and ‘Shockers’, my favorites here. ‘Lucifer's Lament’ will most assuredly provoke some level of outrage in those that would deem it near blasphemy, however, for those that can appreciate the author’s take on the story line and can, for a short time at least, think outside the religious ‘box’, it should spark the reader to at least get a chuckle at some of the ideas and views that truly push at, or explode past the ‘box’ edges. The other stories fall somewhere in the middle. Overall, worth the read and I for one am looking forward to more from De La Torre.
(reviewed 26 days after purchase)
A. F. Stewart
on Sep. 7, 2010 :
Nightmares From Eberus, A Speculative Fiction Collection by JC De La Torre is an interesting mixture of stories that create a book that is shaken and stirred, leaving it a bit murky around the edges. The majority of the short stories contained in the book are dark fantasy or creep into horror, but there are a couple of sci-fi tales thrown into the mix.
I liked the author’s take on the world of dark fantasy, with the standout tales for me being Shockers and Serial. Shockers is both a takeoff of ghost hunting shows and a chilling paranormal story, while Serial is a nice old-fashioned vampire tale. However, I really felt the author was off his game when it came to the sci-fi stories; they didn’t quite gel in my opinion, veering too near to caricature for my taste. Continuum Force – The New Guy in particular I didn’t enjoy; it seemed to be in need of a good edit. The idea behind the story was very fascinating and thought-provoking, but it just required more substance.
On average, the stories in Nightmares From Eberus are reasonably enjoyable, ripe with intriguing premise and often tinged with a nice edge of satire, although sometimes that satire moved too close to unrealistic exaggeration. Still, it was a satisfying enough book to read, if not an exceptional one. At least for me.
(reviewed 25 days after purchase)
on Sep. 2, 2010 :
Not usually being one for picking up short stories I can honestly say this is one of the reasons why. Most of these are rather boring and / or cliche. Others have a few things that got them positive votes.
'Continuum Force - The New Guy' had a typo on the first page and thus set the quality of the first two stories. 'Serial' was interesting, despite being obvious anti-twilight, and would make a decent mystery novel. 'Gator Country' was tacky and predictable, as was 'Reality'. 'Shockers' would have given me nightmares if it where a movie. 'Lucifer's Lament' was ... interesting. It appealed to my experience that various religions tend to be rather similar and no one religion (or history) is perfect. I wouldn't mind reading a full novel length version. 'Killing Osama' had some interesting language but was otherwise boring. 'Until the End of Time' made for a good laugh. 'Rise of the Ancients - Alulim', well, if I can find a copy I may decide to read the series it's based on.
Overall, the writing could definitely been better but the ideas where entertaining.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Sep. 2, 2010 :
The premises of the stories were very good. I like the dark flavor of the stories. The grammar and misuse of words was more than I could stand. i.e. A mafia don is the Patriarch not the Matriarch. The stories felt rushed. I think the author needs to slow down. Quantity does not make up for quality. Keep trying J.C.
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
on Sep. 2, 2010 :
It is both interesting and disconcerting to read an author seemingly influenced by the very books one read as a teenager and young adult. Or, perhaps, the author was influenced by reading books written by other authors who were influenced by the books one read as a teenager. Sometimes these recognitions of influence result in delight -- ‘that is a wonderful direction in which to take that idea’ or ‘that is a much neglected old friend that I am really glad to see revisited’ and sometimes they result in frustration as the reader believes they know from the first line where a familiar story is going. The reader may become impatient as the author introduces to a new audience a familiar story line or they may be surprised as the author decides to take that familiar story in a new direction.
The short story is itself a form that may short circuit golden opportunities or safeguard an author from making a particular bad stumble. The reader may be frustrated that they were given just a glimpse of a fascinating universe or relieved when a story they find uninspiring ends just before becoming tedious. At the same time a collection of short stories may give a reader a chance to explore the versatility of a newly discovered author. If the first story in the book does not delight the second may send the reader online to find out if the author has written anything else in the same vein.
The short stories in this collection range across a number of genres. Continuum Force - The New Guy, reads as if it is the first of many stories to be set in the same universe. It has a slightly Strossian feel and is an interesting variation on the by now overly-familiar ‘what happens if we go back in time and change something?’ story. Some of the more existential implications of the story are not explored but the author leaves open the possibility that there will be a return to that universe. Tawney’s Stars feels like a lineal descendent of an early Heinlein story with the twist that it modulates Heinlein’s underlying misogyny through objectification. The best audience for the story is probably quite a bit younger than this reviewer. Sequel is again a story set in a universe that the reviewer would welcome returning to. The wonderfully anti-Twilight and True Blood premise was a breath of fresh air to a reader who has read more than their fair share of overly “emo” stories about vampires. Gator Country is reminiscent of early King short stories and though the reader knew there was going to be a twist it wasn’t quite the twist expected. The story was short, sweet and with that moment of frisson that one looks forward to. Reality, like Sequel, is a venture into modern horror. The story is rather formulaic and ends just at the point where this reader thought it was really beginning to take off. Shockers starts off as if a tribute to Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House then transforms into another deconstruction of reality television and finally mutates again into a chillingly down-to-earth and matter-of-fact examination of the aftermath of a night of terror. The effect of reading this was, for this reviewer, much like reading a pianist running through variations on a theme--as if the author was demonstrating their skill at varying tone and pace. In Lucifer’s Lament De La Torre plays with an interesting idea though it feels as if it is the wrong length--that it would have packed more of a punch had it been half as long although it had enough ideas in it to be a novel. There are too many characters in this story for the reader to become emotionally invested in any one of them and the shifting of voice and point-of-view distance the audience. It would be interesting to see the author return to this story and rework it in a longer or shorter form. Killing Osama begins by playing into one set of stereotypes, finds an interesting way to insert the war on terror into the mix, undermines another set of stereotypes and ends with a nice twist. Until the End of Time opens strongly and once again departs from the expected denouement. Unfortunately the author has not yet developed an ability to convincingly vary his writing style to reflect the different time periods the reader glimpses. Rise of the Ancients - Alulim might read better if it were encountered earlier in this collection as the author returns to themes touched on in several previous stories. Once again the story is both too short and too long--long enough to introduce a large number of characters and too short to allow the reader to come to know them well. As is true in a number of the other stories the author does quite a bit of world building and ends the story in a way that suggests that more is to come.
In summary. This is a collection of stories that will probably best be appreciated by a reader younger, and less well acquainted with the various genres, than the reviewer. The author excels at beginnings and interesting premises but in general does less well at delivering on them. Two of the stories, Sequel and Gator Country, stand out as well conceived and well worth rereading and several of the stories brought back to the reviewer the fun they had reading when first exploring science fiction, science fantasy and horror.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
on Sep. 1, 2010 :
The introduction is written in a funny style making curious about the stories that will follow.
I loved the vampire story, the island story and the haunted house story was my favorite - it scared and shocked me, letting a bad feeling in me :).
Killing Osama is captivating but I would have preferred a other end t it. It kind of depressed me.
All in all I really enjoyed reading this book, once a story started I couldn't stop before the end.
The only story I didn't like was the last one, it is not my kind of thing.
Looking forward to the next short stories book!
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Sep. 1, 2010 :
Books can be tricky when it comes to defining your "taste" but it is always nice to have something that provides a sample of different stories that enevitably help you as a consumer, refine your future literary preferences. With that said, overall, Nightmares From Eberus (not Nightmares from Erebus which I agree would of been better) is a good read. It danced through so many topics and raised so many questions that I couldn't help but explain some stories to friends to discuss the possibilities and question of our own preconceived notions of truth. Obviously this book does need some grammatical fine tunning but that is not my area of expertise and nor do I wish to bore anyone with those corrections or comments. I do not want to review each story to be fair to the reader's preferences but I will comment on the one's that I found particularly juicy and left me craving more.
J.C. De La Torre started out Nightmares From Eberus on a unsuspecting strong foundation. Continuum Force-The New Guy (I think there's a better title out there) blew my mind. I am a big history buff and I have never thought about any alternative histories that might have been or could have been. This chapter also took me by surprise for I was expecting a more "nightmarish" (if that is a word) book. Nor did I expect string theory to get mixed up with roswell and the fall of the Roman Empire, but for me, that made this story and book even more unique! The only story that left me remotely "scarred" (not really but I would let it fall in that genre), I would say it's more creeptacular, was Serial.
As a twilight fan, I did enjoy this story, but I think I enjoy vampire stories in generally because I also enjoy the classics. Maybe it's the immortality, mysteriousness, and power but realistically, when it comes to brass tax, would you really want to become one? A life of savagery (not just drinking blood but essentially devouring people and/or their organs), "cleaning-up" meals and evading, essentially becomming a loner, but when one finds themselves in flight or fight, live or die circumstances, it's the bodies natural reaction to fight and live, but what if that was the consequence? Think about that one Twilighters and see if you are still wishing to be "vegetarian, sparkling" vampires!
I loved the perspective the story was told from, I loved the characters, I loved the return to the more mainstream mentality of vampires but I did like the twist, and truthfully when I finished the story, I felt like reading serial again. I really think with the popularity of vampires right now and using this new twist could attract a larger adult audience and become a huge seller. If I were to explore, expand, and continue one of these stories, it would most definitely be Serial!
Inspiration for Shockers was instantly recognizable but the story did become interesting when things seemed to be "wrapping up". More detail could have been used about the paranormal activity to make it a little longer, creepier, and provide that "blair witch" or "paranormal activity" effect. Again, this story reads like a movie and when that happens for me, I think that is some great writing because no one enjoys re-reading a page just to get the facts straight. Plus this story had an awesome historical set up, reader familiarity, suspense, climax, and creepy resolution. Great formula.
The last story I will touch on is Lucifer's Lament. I do not have many words to say other than, wow. I know my history and religion and once again JC De La Torre has thought outside of the box and provided a new but unsuspecting viewpoint. I was hesistant to read a story involving religion for obvious reasons (everyone has their opinions) but this is a great story to step back from thinking of religion as a belief, idea, and way of life and just listening to all sides as a mediator. The story has not changed my personal beliefs but it has definitely given me something to chew on (which makes me wonder if chewing on it is wrong;)(Food for thought, but wasn't it food that got the ball of mischief rolling?). That last bit would make a little more sense after reading that story.
Summary: Nightmares From Eberus contains 10 fictioal short stories that mainly can be classified under sci-fi. The book has some great stories that will get those wheels turning about "what-if" possibilities. It is another good conspiracy book. Every story may not be for everyone but I am sure if you enjoy fiction, sci-fi, paranormal, vampires, short stories or fantasy, you will have no problem finding some entertainment value from this book.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
on Sep. 1, 2010 :
First off, my guess is that Darcia Helle (who wrote the other review here) is either a relative of, friend of, or has invested money in JC De La Torre. Do not be fooled by the four-star review given to this collection of short stories. At best, Nightmares from Eberus is a book of rough outlines for stories, because nothing in this collection has even been proof read. It is plagued by horrible grammar, punctuation, and overuse of cliches and underuse of characterization. At worst, this book is a sloppy attempt to take $3.99 out of your pocket in exchange for a few hours of headache inducing fiction.
Although this review may seem like "internet hate," I am only posting this way to warn people away from purchasing this book, which I feel I have been bamboozled into reading.
For a more coherent and in-depth review, please visit: http://ratingwriting.wordpress.com
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Aug. 14, 2010 :
This is an eclectic collection of short stories from a talented author. Topics include time travel, vampires, twisted reality shows, psychics, mythology, and mobsters. Truly, how can any reader not find something to love within these pages?
I'm a sucker for character-driven fiction and De La Torre doesn't disappoint. His characters are all unique, a little crazy, a lot of fun, and keep you turning pages. Great entertainment!
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)