I would recommend buying this book just for the simple reason that all proceeds go to RIF (Reading is Fundamental) which helps bring the joy of reading to children across the country, but happily, there are other reasons to pick this book up as well. Twelve-Worlds has a little something for lovers of paranormal, fantasy and science fiction alike. Some of the stories will make you laugh out loud as the characters scramble to set things right, and others will make you think about such things as a world without music or the need for vengeance and its cost. There were several stories in the anthology that stood out for me:
By a Whisper by Kevin O. McLaughlin was the story of a young man sent to stop a magician from setting free an evil that would not only destroy, but forever torture, an entire community. The main character is charming and engaging and I would love to read more about his adventures. Not to mention the adventures of the cat who helps to save the day.
The Accidental Muse by Amy Rose Davis was a lovely story of music and love in a world where music is controlled by gods who can wreak havoc or give joy. The writing was sweet and the ending was just how it should have been.
Together They Die by Brian Drake was a supernatural tale of a ghost who needed to be set free from her hold on this plane. With the help of two determined detectives and a psychic, the ghost gets her revenge but all does not end well. It would have been interesting to read about other adventures these men had.
The Star Eater by K Gorman was a tale of stars, not the Hollywood kind, the space kind. Stars with magic and the bodies of humans. When a woman is killed, her sister must follow the magic that will lead to the killer and along the way, she gains some unexpected help.
Man-Maker was an intriguing tale of a society that valued allegiance to country above all else. When a patriotic young man who has already proved his allegiance balks against a required ceremony on the grounds that it could destroy the person he loves most, he is forced to live as an outsider. His resolve and ingenuity are compelling and the reader will find him or herself rooting him on as he struggles to hold on to his determination at all costs.
Daddy Issues A Black Knight Chronicles Story by John G. Hartness is a story of two vampire private detectives. There were several scenes and some dialogue in this story that made me laugh out loud as they battled a zombie for their client. This story definitely made me want to read more adventures of these two and I was happy to see that there are some available.
The Light Stream by Jaylin Baer was an intriguing tale of a woman who finds that she has the ability to rewrite her life through the power of dreams. A very compelling idea, indeed.
Admittedly, I did not enjoy all the stories. There was one that I did not finish reading because I do not read fiction that involves the brutality against and/or rape of women. Several other stories I found were just not for me. The stories I listed above were well written and made me want to research the authors to see what else they have written but some of the others I found to be a bit slow, the story did not capture my attention, or they were simply not a genre that I care to read. The stories I did enjoy were enough to make me recommend this book with a four star rating. I believe that most lovers of paranormal, fantasy and science fiction will find a story in Twelve-Worlds that will make the purchase of the entire book worthwhile.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)