Fading Hope (Anthology)

Fading Hope - Jack Wallen, Rebecca Besser, Eli Constant, Morgan Garcia, Thea Gregory, Claire C. Riley, Armand Rosamilia
I never realized how much I craved a happy ending - or at least a semi-happy ending - in stories until I read Fading Hope. The bleak outlooks and dire situations, where there is no correct path, no right choice to be made, made me realize that I'm satisfied with my mundane life with its potentially happy ending.
When Plans Fail – As a mother, this story hit too close to home. I tried to put myself in Rachel's situation—or at least a similar one. She is the mother of a young child desperately trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. I can't say I understand her decision, but I've never been in that situation before either.

Chick'n Soup for the Soul – Eli Constant’s “Chick’n Soup for the Soul” is a trip into a terrifying prison for humans that began when a pod of alien creatures landed on Earth. What a miserable life our narrator endures and I admit I wouldn’t last nearly as long. The creatures in this story are truly frightening, maybe because their hooded capes hide their bodies and faces, sending my imagination into overdrive. In the end, I didn’t find the “small morsel of optimism” that Eli suggested may be present, only hopelessness and a grim ending for humankind.

Perishable – Maybe I’ve read too many zombie novels in my time, but this short didn’t seem hopeless in the beginning. Suzanne is a kick-ass heroine who can take care of not only herself, but her aging mother as well. Yes, she’s stuck in a zombie apocalypse with her military husband on the other side of the world, but she’s surviving and doing a damn good job at it, too. This heartbreaking story didn’t go the way I expected, and I’m left with unanswered questions that I can’t disclose without also revealing spoilers. I suppose Morgan Garcia decided this ending would make the story that much more painful and depressing, which is fitting for this anthology.

Radio Silence – Nothing can make an already hopeless zombie apocalypse worse than when the Army begins exterminating civilians. Then throw in humans willing to do anything—and I mean anything—to survive makes “Radio Silence” a chilling and grim story indeed.

Honey-Bee – Don’t let Claire C Riley’s title for this short fool you. It’s not a cutesy tale at all. Quite the opposite. As a mother, I can relate to the narrator’s relationship to her little Honey-Bee, Lilly. She desperately protects them both from vampire-like creatures of the night, that honestly scared me. I sincerely hope Claire plans another story-line with these creatures, because I was thoroughly smitten with the creatures gorging on the human race, threatening our extinction.

Dying Days: Fear of the Dark – In "Dying Days: Fear of the Dark" Armand did something that simultaneously thrills and frightens me: make me cringe when all the lights are turned off at night. I love how he took a plain 'ole zombie apocalypse and threw in a demented, sick human to make it exponentially more terrifying. Derek, the young man who is imprisoned by the man he refers to as Sock Man, is in a no-win situation. He is impossibly trapped between a world of flesh-eating zombies and a sadistic tormentor. I’ll be on the lookout for more of this storyline in a future Rosamilla publication.

My Own Terms – I think Jack accomplished what he set out to do: write a bleak story. When I read that last sentence, I turned off my ereader with a shake of my head, incredibly thankful that I am not David, the poor soul in this story. I was surprised by the revelation in the end, and I love when an author throws an unexpected twist into a story. "My Own Terms" is well written and paced just right.

I had high hopes for this anthology; however, I was disappointed by what appeared to be a lack of proofreading. The typos were distracting and frequently took me out of the story I was currently reading. However, if you are a bit more laid back than I am when it comes to that and are a fan of post-apocalypse stories, you will enjoy this anthology.

I received this eARC for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.