Format Read: Kindle book
Source: Purchased with a coupon provided by one of the authors, J.A. Campbell, in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Buying Links: Smashwords | Amazon* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from Smashwords:
Ancient reptiles escaped the great flood via a portal and now wish to return.
In the desert a dragon lures children, animals and adults to its lair, and only a brave dog can rescue them.
A dragon arises in China and seeks to keep its hoard, while two con men try to steal it.
Searching for his father, a young man solves an ancient riddle and discovers an awful dragon truth.
Nanites, demons, and other mythical creatures join or battle the dracos, as do the humans who encounter them.
These and other tales await within these pages, because here - be Different Dragons
The title is "Different Dragons" and the stories definitely live up to the name and the theme of the collection. There's a wide range of styles and of dragons, including some unexpected choices. I enjoyed most of the stories and the variety of stories. In many anthologies, you have only a fe3w stories that you like and the rest are meh or awful. In this anthology, most were good. The theme was different dragons and the stories live up to that. If you want traditional dragon stories, this is not the book for you. However, there was a strong lack of proofing, with numerous typos, wrong words, missing words, etc. There were some sentences that I had to read several times to make heads or tails of them.A few stories were predictable and I knew where they going but some surprised me.
I was going to do a short summary of each story but changed my mind. I enjoy reading anthologies but reviewing them is another matter. :D Instead I'll highlight a few that I really liked. I was unfamiliar with most of the authors in here, having heard of Dana Bell but not having read anything by her and being a fan of J.A. Campbell. I have found some authors that I want to read more by and some I'll probably skip.
My favorite stories were:
Reintroduction by Sarah L. Byrne ~ It needed a little more background and was somewhat predictable but was well-written and made me think.
The Maltese Dragon by Sam Knight ~ Just as the title says, it was inspired by The Maltese Falcon. It was a little confusing and some elements were traditional but it had several interesting twists.
Phagan's Shadow by M.R. Williamson ~ A sweet romance and I'd like to see more set in this world.
Drakkon by Pamela M. Nihiser ~ Cute and a nice take on the Arthurian legend. I figured out one of the twists but not the ending one (though I really should have).
Descendants of Before World by Kaitlyn Wooley ~ I liked this one a lot. It mixed dragons, evolution, the Christian creation story and romance. While much of it was predictable, Wooley had an easy, pleasant voice.
Homefall Search by Dana Bell ~ Minimal use of dragon but a good mix of fantasy and sci fi that reminded me of early Pern stories by Anne McCaffrey.
Brown and the Sand Dragon by J.A. Campbell ~ The reason I got the book in the first place. :) I hadn't read any of her Brown or Doc stories before but I like her other stuff. I had qualms about the book being told from the perspective of a dog but it worked; not too sentimental and she was careful about not introducing info that Brown the dog, couldn't know. Her use of dragons, the Old West and magic also worked. I liked it.
Overall, it was a good anthology with a good mix of stories, most of which were well-written. But the proofing, or lack thereof, really got to me. So much it was sheer carelessness, there's no reason for those errors to be in the final, on-sale edition.