Book Review of Burning Up: Blood and Roses / Whisper of Sin / Shifting Sea / Here There Be Monsters

Burning Up: Blood and Roses / Whisper of Sin / Shifting Sea / Here There Be Monsters
reviewed on + 108 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8

Meljean Brooks "Here There Be Monsters" made the purchase of the whole anthology worthwhile. What an amazing new world, extremely well thought out, intricate, creative, and full of great characters. This was the best short story Ive read in a very long time. As it was the reason I even wanted to buy this anthology in the first place, Im extremely happy that I did. I am not one who usually likes short romance stories because I dont feel most authors can create a believable romance in the span of 65 or so pages. But this managed to be both epic and an intimate portrayal of love, which is not an easy thing to do. Meljean Brook has truly grown as an author (especially considering how much I disliked her first short story, "Falling For Anthony") and I cant wait to revisit this world in The Iron Duke this October.

The rest of the stories in this anthology were not huge offenders of the genre, but not particularly memorable either. I gave the overall anthology 4 stars based on the power of Brooks story alone. The rest of the stories Id individually give 2 or 3 stars.

Angela Knights "Blood and Roses" was the worst story of the bunch. She had what could have been an interesting concept but mucked it up with cardboard characters and dumb villains whose illogical motives never made sense to me. In fact with the amount of sex she managed to get into the plot, I felt the story was mostly sex with a few connecting lines that tried valiantly to make a plot of the whole thing, but ultimately failed.

This was my first introduction to Nalini Singhs Psy/Changeling series in "Whisper of Sin" but I was left underwhelmed. I just finished her Guild Hunter series, which is far more creative and has a better hook. I just couldnt get into this story despite it being well written.

Virginia Kantras "Shifting Sea" evoked some powerful and amazing imagery of the sea and I honestly felt immersed in the scenery. But nothing really happens in the story so the power of her detail and scene-setting is lost in a pretty uneventful plot.

Bottomline: I would recommend the purchase of this book purely on the power of Meljean Brooks contribution which is truly awe-inspiring and no less so for its brevity. I found myself wanting to re-read it right after Id finished it which is the mark of a keeper to me.