“Forbidden Future” by Various

“Forbidden Future” by Various

Available on: Amazon
Released on: 12 September 2013

I received this book free via the Masquerade Crew in exchange for an honest review, as part of the ‘Forbidden Future’ blog tour.

Description: Is life better or worse?

Forbidden Future by James Wymore
When a time machine technician working the graveyard shift gets divorce papers from his wife, he decides it’s time to take the machine for a ride—no matter the consequences.

Jump by Jon Bradbury
Jesse Kendall thinks he’s seen it all. He’s about to see more.

Road Trip by Matt Mitrovich
Four friends drive to a college party and take an unexpected detour into the future.

Cacotopia by James Lauren
Kayne Adamson went into suspension to await a cure, but never imagined how long his sleep would last or the world he would awaken into. Is it really the utopia it first appears to be?

Society by Terra Harmony
Take a ride on the Energy of the Future where society gets a fresh, clean start—no matter who they have to leave behind.

The Mountains Haven’t by Kade Anderson
Something is very wrong in the downtrodden town of Dignity and only the town’s Watcher, Julia, can see what it is.

Between Utopias by Michael Trimmer

Review: “Between Utopias” by Michael Trimmer: This story wasn’t uninteresting, but felt lacking in enough originality to really stand out to me. The character wasn’t particularly sympathetic, although perhaps relatable. It had a couple interesting aspects, though. A bit better editing and streamlining would’ve helped earlier in the prose to make it feel less muddled.

“Forbidden Future” by James Wymore: Again, interesting but without that unique flair to really make it stand out. Although I did find it particularly interesting that it spent less time on the details of the future and more on the cycles inherent in the story. Again, though, despite the circumstances, I didn’t find enough to make the main character particularly sympathetic.

“Jump” by Jon Bradbury: This one caught my attention better because it presented what I found was a more original angle, at least comparatively: Jesse’s job and the reason for his time jump. Unfortunately, the plot felt a little too straight line; given the set-up, I’d expected a twist at the end but didn’t get that and was a little let down. Still, I found this story and character more engaging, even so.

“Society” by Terra Harmony: This one I liked. Perhaps the first person narrative helped me anchor into the character more, but I just thought it gave me more to ground myself in both the story and narrator. I also liked that it started in the future, and had a less self-focused character leading into a slightly more…hopeful feeling at the end, despite the presented dystopia.

“Road Trip” by Matt Mitrovich: This one amused me by the random cloud-based time travel, although I don’t think it was supposed to amuse me. The story wandered and the characters didn’t engage the reader much, but it was okay, and had a couple interesting points. Steve’s drive towards the end feels a little sudden, less organically shown/developed through the story, but the ending was interesting.

“Cacotopia” by James Lauren: Harkening back to the first two, there was a rather unoriginal and predictable feeling to this one. But it still engaged me just enough to move through and feel something for the main character. And there was a certain…uncertainty in his “world view” right at the end of the story that I actually liked, since that one detail is not usually seen in these types of story.

“The Mountains Haven’t” by Kade Anderson: This is my favorite. The journal format was good and the narrator very engaging. It was also, strangely, the only story out of seven that had a female main character. The “secret” of the mountains made for a very interesting angle, and a more original twist on the time travel idea than any of the other stories. It was a good one to end on. (Oh, and the cows thing amused me in a dark way.)

Over all, this wasn’t a bad anthology although I didn’t find it great either. I only “really” liked a couple of the stories, but I didn’t dislike the rest. Time travel stories aren’t my usual read, so maybe there were subtle elements that I missed and am not giving the stories their due. I acknowledge this possibility.

So for an average total, I give this 3.5 Fireballs. It probably would’ve been a 3 (not great but not terrible), except for Anderson’s story. Which I really liked.

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