Dark Beyond the Stars Anthology where space meets story…. Space opera at its finest; or so says the blurb, is a very diverse compilation of stories that delve into several ideals and ideologies of space life and travel. As with all anthologies there were some I enjoyed more than others. Waiting until the end for 2092 by Rysa Walker was hard to wait until the end for but very much worth it. Her glimpse into the Chronos world she writes so brilliantly was very emotional and moving as well as insightful. Dragonet by Sara Reine held me captive as her character realized what was really the motivation behind her enemy’s defence of their planet and what she did to help save the extinction of a race. Winner Takes All by Elle Casey was a fun escape that left this reader with a taste for more including finding out the basic rules for the game of givit and if we have a human version available to play. Animal Planet by Patrice Fitzgerald was another that captured my interest as it twisted the ideals of evolution of man after restarting life on a new planet.
There are 11 stories in all in this anthology which are followed by a brief interview of the author that not only gave their “background story” but in some cases were a funny and entertaining story in itself. I was very impressed by this novella compilation despite, if I am being quite honest, the fact that space opera’s or rather most books set in a futuristic world don’t always end up high on my TBR list. Yes there were favorites and they tended to be the ones that drew me in on more of an emotional basis but as a whole I was very much entertained by them all. Take a chance on this one. I am confident that readers of many genres will find it an entertaining read.
Here are a few of my personal favorite stories……
2092 by Rysa Walker
Chronoton readings on the planet XE7 that Mila had brought to the attention of the Voshti have them salivating about winning their war with the Lor. Her orders to initiate 20 areas of attack and hope that the people of this world can agree that the attacks were from out of their known world then deceive the inhabitants in this world into believing that they must join the Alliance and fight with them against the Lor. Taking a risk and going after the Chronoton herself is dangerous but when she finds a way to not only take the powerful tool with her but possibly change her own past, saving the one who still held her heart as well as her people from the wars that follow trusting in the right people will be the biggest risk of all.
Dragonet by Sara Reine
Aja Skytoucher was calculating the damage her carriage had already taken when one of the inhabitants of Drakor III attacked her ship. With only one other body on board to help her evade the massive talons of the dragon that hunted them down after their carriage had taken a massive hit she used what she could to both take out the enemy and to make the crash landing as safe as humanly possible. Following the wreckage of her attacker they find an amazing site just beyond. Realizing what must be done and accepting her fate for her choice Aja is nudged into seeing the truth by an unlikely body.
The Event by Automn Kalquist
A powerful novella that brings to light so many of humanities best and worst qualities. Life, death, love, destruction, hate, religion…. All lived by one that holds the fate of the handful of those left to rebuild a future on a new planet. A chance to try again or to put that hope aside and turn off the lights once and for all.
Animal Planet by Patrice Fitzgerald
Jane Blake wanted to volunteer to see the planet…. They needed females and she was female, who really cared that she was 72 and not in her 20’s. Headed to Endrosa and Fort Beta she was leaving behind her entire world.
At Fort Gamma Roark and Curtis found one of the animals that had taken over both Fort Alpha and Beta lumbering towards them. Ready to take it out they stopped when they noticed the recorder that had initially been attached to the first inhabitants on the furry creature. Capturing it they watch the recording of one of the early settlers and how she got separated from her group but as to what happened to her that allowed this creature to have her camera was still a problem to solve.
Protocol A235 by Theresa Kay
Beth is a part of the maintenance crew on their way along with thousands of humans towards Zenith…. One last ditch effort to save humankind. Waking to take her first 30 day stint she finds irregularities…. And what’s more, she finds put the truth behind Protocol A235 and what she must do to save what’s left of the human race.
Winner Takes All by Elle Casey
Langlade was all for a good game of givit and when a pretty young thing was offering up her V-card he had to get in on the deal. Putting up his ship against her offer didn’t harbour a second thought but when she pulled out a hand that next to nothing could beat he knew that he had jumped in water that was too deep.
Below are links to the author pages at amazon please check them out for yourself!