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Book Review: The End of Utopia Character Anthology by Ross Ellison

Before I dive into this, I want to make readers aware that I met Ross just last year at an Open Mic. It was a relief to see that I would not be the only fantasy writer and fan at the event and later in the group of local Orlando group called “Central Florida Writers and Thereabouts” and thus, when he released this book I could not help but grab a copy and experience his work first hand.

This is a great assortment of short snapshots of various characters who span a long range of Fantasy types such as Paranormal, Magic, Demons, Warriors, Assassins, and much more. I must admit, each story leaves you thirsty to read more, to follow the characters further and builds the want for another book after this piece.

The order of the stories does a great job spinning you around the different angles and sides this world holds and by the end, you are aware of the fact all of these characters will cross paths somehow and someway in a much large span of work. The cast of characters span cynical and dark to a whimsical magic using Treasure Hunter to even a vampire who has exceptional survival instincts.

You will find that weapons, magic, demons, mind erasing, curses, technological savants, and more fit will together in the world the author has created. Each one having their own lists of pros and cons, each pushing and pulling one another to fuel the plots of each character’s life in some shape or form. Top notch worldbuilding and care was taken in how the strings connect even through only the snapshot of a couple of characters.

Ross has a very unique voice as he we’ve his stories which serves as a bridge as we dive from different cities, minds, and events. Whether its a mysterious and intriguing moment we are given or diving into something dark and disturbing, the narration and storytelling is consistent. At times, there is a line here and there where the reader feels as if the author is talking to them, breaking the fourth wall some to give us a wink or hint at something.

After reading this collection, you will wish Mr. Ross had something else for you to dive into, so with utmost encouragement, I look forward to future installments from him. Readers beware, some of this may be too dark for your tastes. Definitely a fun read for Fantasy fans who like a full spectrum that dips its toes into every type.

I give this a 4 out of 5 since there was a sentence or two that I had to re-read (Though it could have been me) and that I don’t normally read material that dives this hard into the realm of Dark Fantasy.. that and this anthology will leave you wanting more! Not necessarily a bad thing, but I am aware that some short story readers may not care for that element.

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