Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What are your thoughts on Anthologies?

I have been thinking on anthology books.  I just finished reading Inked with 4 wonderful authors; Karen Chance, Marjorie M. Liu, Yasmine Galenorn, and Eileen Wilks.  If you would like to read my review click here.

But in thinking after the fact of reading this book and hearing of many other anthologies out or coming out, I have come up with a question for you...  Do you think you get a good feel for the authors writing style, for the characters, and of the world being built?

I got my anthology, Inked, because I had read the Hunter Kiss books by Marjorie M. Liu and loved them, so I wanted to keep going with the story.  I was also excited to meet new authors in this book as well, as I am always looking for more books to read and enjoy.

I did how ever have a few fears going into this book:
1.)  I was afraid all the stories where going to be of series the authors have already done and I would be totally lost.
2.)  I would not get a feel for the world or characters in hand here.
3.)  That the authors stories would feel rushed and incomplete.

In thinking they really only have an average of 120 pages (give or take) to get you up to speed on the characters, fall in love with them, and understand the wondrous worlds they are creating; then with this all in tail to tell a story as well.  And not just an average story but one to keep you going then come back for more and buy their books.  To me this sounds like a tall order to fill.

With reading Inked I was very impressed with each authors abilities in such a short story to fill these areas.  Of the four authors three of them where completely new to me.  One, I was not big on the main character but she finally came through for me in the end of the story, but the world created was amazing.  I fell in love with the world built and would really like to read more in it.  Then, one author I really loved the characters and got just a touch of the world they were in, but the mystery and description to the details was wonderful.  And the third author really got me hooked to the characters along with the world like ours with magic.

Of these three authors I would love to buy books by two of them for sure.  The third I will have to think on.  I think I will try the first book in her series as a curiosity to see if the character clicks with me better or not.  As I have heard great things of that author.

I was impressed with these authors abilities and after reading this anthology I would definitely read others.  I had a great experience with this one and look forward to reading more anthologies.  I currently have a few on my list now to get.

Please leave me a comment on your thoughts on Anthologies.  I am curious as to what you think too.


  1. I both love and hate anthologies. I love that I am sometimes introduced to new authors though reading anthologies but I have a really hard time getting into the story and characters when its a limited amount of pages. I have mixed thoughts and honestly I have disliked them more then liked them however reading your review makes me want to give it a try again.

    Happy Reading - The Book Guru :)

  2. I don't usually try multi-author anthologies, maybe because I've had bad experiences where most of the stories weren't to my taste and I enjoyed only one or two of the entries...
    it is a great way to sample new authors' writing though, so even if I won't buy them, I may borrow one from the library =)

  3. I like anthologies. They give me a glimpse into others writings I may have not heard of before. OR they give me more stories from those authors I already love. Mostly I agree with your well written statement. :)

  4. Lindsey - Welcome to the blog! I have to say the reasons you listed in your comment are the reasons I was afraid of reading anthologies. I am so glad I am not the only one with the thinking. Then there is that chance to find a great new author to read of.

    Ninefly - Another great point! I have wondered on what the stories are or if they will be something I would even want to read. I try to do some research on the authors, so I will have to keep that in mind when looking at anthologies too. Thank you!

    Melissa - Thank you for the complement, *smile* you are too kind. I am glad you enjoy anthologies, and thank you for commenting! I like the idea at times of the shorter faster read stories.

  5. I like anthologies. A well-written short story can be just as satisfying a read as a good novel. Plus, if there does happen to be a story or two that isn't to my liking, I haven't completely wasted my time or money.

  6. Hey Melissa! I love anthologies, but I am a little hesitant to buy them too. Not sure if I have to read the rest of other series to understand what I am about to read. But when done right, oh I do love a quick story!! And it is always nice to get a little bonus of finding a new author!

  7. Pixie - you are really correct on not wasting money. I like the idea of hoping to at least liking a few of the stories I am reading. It doesn't feel like such a waste of money as not reading a whole book.

    Cecile - Hi! I am so glad to hear I'm not the only one worried on anthologies. But they are great quick stories to pick up in between books.

  8. Excellent post! I'm a big fan of anthologies as it gives me the opportunity to discover new writers without having to pay for an entire book I may not enjoy. Think that short stories are long enough to let me know if I like the writer's style, but short enough that I don't get bored.

    I see anthologies as sort of like an appetizer, giving me just a taste of the story. If I like it, I buy one of their books. If I don't like it, I move on to the next story with no regrets. Does that make sense?

  9. I'm of two minds on anthologies, for the most part I enjoy them as a vehicle for reading shorter pieces from my favorite authors that sometimes explore even further some of my favorite characters. The down side, for me, with anthologies is that the quality of writing isn't consistent and it can make it hard for me to read the whol book.

  10. Alexia - Thanks! I am trying to learn when I have a thought on books to try and put it in a post. I have had thoughts before and then it seemed someone did a post on it. So I am going to try and do the same thing. Thank you for commenting. I really appreciate the comment and ideas. And it does make sense. That seems to be part of the pull to the anthologies, but then I worry on it again.

    Ryan - Thank you for sharing your thoughts on anthologies. I worry that the writing wont match up and I wont like the story. I worry on that. I wonder if the authors worry about that as well?

    Great comments!

  11. Hmmmmm, I think you are onto something. I am fairly new to anthologies and what few I have read were excellent.

    From my little experience I noticed that if an author can achieve a complete short story with all the needed elements then their writing must be excellent in other novels.

    I started with anthologies when I wanted to read a piece/spinoff of a series. I then read the other stories and found a few other authors!!=)

    Great posting!!!

  12. I'm not big on anthologies, they aren't usually the authors best work, some times it seems very half hearted

  13. Chasity - I am very new to anthologies as well. The reason for starting for me as well, was on the spin offs and extras for characters I already love. So far I have been lucky on my picks. I think I may keep going with them for now with a thought in mind not to get my hopes up to high.

    Deb - I have been worried about trying anthologies because I was afraid they would not be all that great of work in such short length.


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