Good evening readers! I’m excited to bring you a book review today. I’m sharing my thoughts on a short story anthology I just finished – Order and Chaos!
You may recall that I read and reviewed another short story anthology earlier this year. Taking Liberties was a great anthology that got me to read something different. When Stephanie Bretherton, an author contributing to both these anthologies, approached me for a review for a second time, it was an easy decision!
Order and Chaos
Genre: Short Stories
Publisher: Breakthrough Books
Publication Date: 31 Oct 2023
Ancient gods in conflict and a zombie on welfare, a disappearing boyfriend and AI with daddy issues, a balloon bound for icy danger and a mysterious theft at the museum, a sinister woodland cabin and a pleasure house that’ll cost much more than you can afford.
Raiding parties in dystopia, art classes in the city, opposites attracting and love catching fire. Separations and siblings, life and death decisions, flying into trouble and traveling to self-discovery…
Which comes first, chaos or order? The cycles between may seem inevitable, and change may be the only constant, but what does that mean for the human experience?
Sixteen authors from the Breakthrough Books collective explore our relationships with nature and technology, science and the sacred, each other and ourselves, offering an array of stories as individual as every reader.
Eli Allison, Mark Bowsher, Stephanie Bretherton, Jamie Chipperfield, Jason Cobley, Stevyn Colgan, Sue Clark, Samuel Dodson, Miles Hudson, A.B. Kyazze, Pete Langman, Virginia Moffatt, Eamon Somers, Nicole Swengley, Damon L. Wakes, PJ Whiteley.
Also from the Breakthrough Books collective, Taking Liberties , a short story anthology on the theme of freedom.
Much like Taking Liberties, Order and Chaos is an anthology of stories that loosely fit around the titular themes. Otherwise, they are very varied! In the grand scheme of things, the themes of the book can be interpreted very broadly… and they are by the authors who have contributed to the book. From stories with science and/or futuristic settings, to modern day encounters, it’s all here!
Order and Chaos is a quick and engaging read. I found it easy to pick up and put down around my busy schedule this month. In truth, I read the book in three sittings, but could easily have read it sooner if I’d read for longer sessions.
The beauty about short stories though is that you don’t have to do that. You can read stories one at a time, or maybe a couple in one go. With none being that long in length, they can fit into a bite-size break as and when time is available. For readers who are on the go, or need to make the most of small window opportunities, this would be a great book to do that with!
Even though Order and Chaos doesn’t require much in the way of commitment to read, the stories are still immersive and emotive. Quality isn’t compromised as a result of the quantity. I enjoyed each of the stories within for different reasons. What they all have in common are characters that I cared about.
If as a reader you are unsure of what to read next, need a spice of variety and/or a palate cleanser between books, look again at anthologies. They are a great way to sample new authors or settings to you decide if you want to explore them further. At least one of the stories in this book references additional material should you want to expand on the story just read if you liked it.
Order and Chaos is a fun anthology that brings together the diverse works of multiple authors around these common themes. Easy to pick up and even easier to read, I enjoyed the flexibility of shorter narratives and being able to try the works of different authors. The change of pace has been enjoyable in the busy days over Christmas; as a result, I recommend this to anybody who wants to try and make the most of even short breaks to pick up a book and read!
If you’re setting yourself a New Year’s resolution to try and read a little more, wouldn’t this would be a perfect start?