Review: “Transcendence,” Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Pros: Some fascinating stories
Cons: A few that felt as though they ended early; some confusion
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Review ebook provided free by publisher for this review.
Expected publication date: 5/22/2015.

Danielle Ackley-McPhail’s Transcendence is a collection of stories and poems. The poems didn’t wow me, but some of the stories were quite enjoyable. There are evil twins, magic mirrors, prisons, time-jumping, the Fates, dragons, and souls in need of help. Skippy is the evil twin story, and the supernatural part of this story comes quick and hard. The Kindly One involves prisons and mother-daughter relationships. The Misses Morai is a story about fate and the Fates with a sad but understandable end. Ruby Red is about… uh, colors… sorta. I enjoyed it, but I couldn’t understand why the color white didn’t seem to cause the same problems as other colors.

Purgatory is when
something inside of you
is certain you’ve been damned.
Hell is when it’s right.

Even in purgatory there are power struggles to be had and choices to make.

This is going to be such a brief review! When stories are this short, it’s very difficult to say much about them without risking giving too much away. Some of the stories have pacing and action and surprises, but many of them are quick and to say anything about their events would be to say too much. I felt that some stories dove into their subjects a little suddenly, and that others could have used a denouement rather than a quick ending. It’s hard to make that judgment with short stories, though. There are some excellent conceptual pieces that will make you think.

Almost all anthologies get a mixed-review, from me at least. With such a range of stories you’re likely to find at least some stories that wow you, but also some stories that don’t impress. I think that’s true of most people. So like other anthologies, this one gets a rough, middle-of-the-road score from me.

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2 comments on “Review: “Transcendence,” Danielle Ackley-McPhail
  1. Thank you for your kind review. I am glad you enjoyed the stories for the most part.

    Regarding Ruby Red and your question regarding white. Technically white is not a color, it is the absence of all color and so in terms of the story, safe.

    Best regards,

    Danielle Ackley-McPhail

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