Please see Divine Magazine for my full review of each individual story - https://www.divinemagazine.biz/book-review-one-pulse-anthology/
Cover – Very nice!
Would I read it again – Some stories, yes.
Genre – LGBT, Contemporary, New Adult, Shapeshifters, Pulse
** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK FOR MY READING PLEASURE **
Reviewed for Divine Magazine
When I first agreed to read this, I was unable to start right away. The Pulse shooting was still a very emotional thing for me and I was unprepared for how that would effect me when I began. I don't think it helped that the first story centered around a shooting in a club. Perhaps if it had eased me in with one of the non-tragic stories that came later, I'd have been able to read and review this immediately.
However, after finally getting round to taking the plunge, I was initially disappointed. The first few stories didn't go well and, to be quite honest, the amount of time it takes to stop after each story, write my review, fill in all the info and then get back to reading makes it feel like it takes forever to get through. There is an overwhelming volume of stories – 30 in total – and some are so short that you don't get to feel 'comfortably settles' in the story before it ends and you move on. Most of the lesser rated stories I've read could have benefited from more time to expand upon the issues I had.
There is also a very mixed bag of storytellers and stories, with some well experienced DSP authors and some that I haven't heard of or read before.
I didn't read five stories, in total. This is because there is one FF, which I don't feel qualified to review since it's not a genre I read, while the others were due to being linked stories for series I haven't read yet. However, for the series that I do plan to read in the future, I'll come back and read the shorts then.
For now, I've taken an average of the stars I've given the stories I did read and used that to rate the entire anthology.
There were a lot of authors in this anthology that I'd never read or heard of before. There were a few that I'll definitely be keeping an eye on from now on, thanks to their moving, sweet and funny stories within this anthology.
I have to admit that I probably wouldn't have managed beyond the first story – with the club shooting – if it wasn't for the fact that I was reviewing this. It's the reason it took me so long to actually sit down and delve in. Once I got past that, very few of the stories relate to Pulse and it allowed me to feel less emotionally raw and settle a little more comfortably into the anthology. I'm also not sure if it was a suggested theme or not, but there are a whole lot of stories in here all about Pride parades, but we never get to see one in action.
I do think that there are just too many stories. It's quite exhausting even thinking about sitting down to read thirty short stories, but to actually do it requires either a lot of picking up and putting down or a whole lot of dedication put into the time spent reading. I easily spent nearly two days reading this with only short breaks for my eyes in between.
What kind of disappoints me is the lack of diversity. Though I don't normally read FF or trans stories, they were both seriously under-represented here. There was one FF story, but no trans or any of the other facets of sexuality. It was all gay, with the occasional bi. It's a shame that more effort wasn't taken to make it more inclusive of lesbian, transgender, demi, pan or even ace sexualities. I had hoped that, with thirty stories overall, there would be a little more equality amongst the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.
The anthology claims to “celebrate the triumph of love over every obstacle” however there is no real theme here, to link the stories. In previous DSP anthologies, the theme helped orientate a world or setting for all the stories, making it a more natural to flow from one to the other. This one, however, varies so much that a dedicated 'theme' would really have helped the flow from one story to the next.
However, there are some true gems in here. Two stories made me cry, there was some humour, joy, celebration and grieving. Covering a whole host of emotions, the anthology took me on a rollercoaster ride and left me, overall, satisfied.
Most romantic: Chasing Tyme, by M.A. Church
Best self-discovery: Cucurrucucú, by George Seaton
Bite-My-Lip Good: Dance, by Jayce Ellis
Most heartwarming: Everyday Miracles, by Bree Cariad
Beautiful but disturbing: The Tithe, by KC Burn