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And the Rainbow Award goes to:

1 Hammer and Bone by Kirby Crow
Paperback: 198 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (July 30, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626492050
ISBN-13: 978-1626492059
Amazon: Hammer and Bone
Amazon Kindle: Hammer and Bone

Carnival mystics. Zombie tribes. Bad magic in the Bayou. Mage-princes, alien cities, and soul-stealing priests. The grim monsters in the worlds of these dark, speculative tales are true horrors, but it’s the people you should fear the most.
People like Michel, a boy pining for his best friend, Ray. But a presence in the swamp calls Michel to avenge another lost love, and he must decide which summons to answer. Or Angelo, a prescient cop who denies his visions until they endanger the man he loves. Or Bellew, an overseer in a shantytown of criminals sheltering a revenant and feeding it from their ranks.
From ruined lands of steam and iron, to haunted Southern forests, to brutal city streets where hope and damnation flow from the same spring, only a few stubborn souls possess the heart to challenge evil on its own terms. Some wield magic, some turn to rage or even love, but the ones left standing will survive only if they find the courage to carve their own paths to freedom.
Even if it means carving through flesh.
So many worlds, each intricately crafted and fully formed--so different from one another, yet fully, gloriously brought to life in the space of a short story. Breathtaking characters, and stories that impact like a punch to the gut. This is how speculative fiction should be done.
Sooo creepy. The setting for the book, for the different stories contained within were so wonderfully described that as each story revealed its creepy, horror, paranormal aspect it only served to increase the tension, the creepy factor. Each character within the story were interesting, and they maintained their intrigue throughout. There was very little character development with each story being so short, and the intent of the author for the overall vein of the book/collection, but I still would have liked to see the characters stretch and grow more. The plot of most of the stories was interesting, though some of them were just too confusing or disjointed. An overall great read.
Wow. Just wow. What a freaking journey this was! When it comes to world-building, Crow is a master of her craft. An imaginative collection of weird tales that suck you into their dark fantasy world and won't let you leave without a couple of dents in your heart and a fond memory of every character in each different world. Taking these stories beyond expectations, the author delivers us stories with happy endings and far-less-than happy endings, and both gay and lesbian pairings. Sad and bleak and depressing took on new meanings in this anthology of splice-of-life tales. More than once I was left heartbroken, most of all by Hangfire, a beautiful story of love and loss that left me in tears. The author's creativity deserves a definite thumbs-up!


Runners Up:
2.    Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus by Rachelle Lee Smith   
3.    Hope and Love Anthology by Áine P Massie





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