Shimmer takes the mermaid tale and gives it a fresh spin with Draven and Coral. Draven is spending the summer at his father's cottage after a heartbreak when he sees Coral alone at night, seemingly drowning herself. Draven is compelled to help Coral, but she may not need it. I really enjoyed these characters for the short time that we know them as well as the modernized mermaid mythology. I did think it wrapped up a little too quickly, but that is the nature of short stories.
Between is a modern story of the Arabic djinn brought to a modern high school. Lucy and Natasha have made peace with their bodies and have found love with each other at fat camp this summer. When Lucy returns home skinny, everything changes. She is finally accepted into the popular group, the Royals. However, being a lesbian does not fit their mold. This one made it difficult to like any of the characters, but there was growth even within the confines of the short story. I enjoyed the arc of the djinn the most and that Lucy and Sienna were able to realize that love wins over popularity.
Sunset Moon incorporates lore from the Blackfeet Native American mythology in order to reawaken a troubled teen. Eloise takes the rap for her boyfriend and now has one strike too many, it's either jail time or nine months at a juvenile work home. While there, Eloise is forced to learn about her heritage and meets Ven. Ven is bound to help Eloise through the darkness, but she must accept the light. I really liked learning about the dreamcatcher lore as well as watching Eloise find hope in her life. This is one that I would have loved to see develop into a longer story.
The Jewish Golem and Frankenstein's monster are combined in The Maker. After Brett is left with a traumatic brain injury, courtesy of his now ex-girlfriend Cassandra, his life is changed forever and he is bent on revenge. Unable to get out and about much by himself, Brett unearths his family's hidden manuscripts and makes a creature that will be sure to seduce Cassandra and humiliate her. The Maker is definitely the creepiest story of the bunch, but also the most surprising. The Golem is the best character of this story.
A Beautiful Morning was one of my favorite stories, a tale of the Mayan sun god Kinish and flower goddess Ishel. Their love for one another made perfect sense, but was forbidden. This was a sweet romance that incorporated the destructive nature of some of the other Mayan gods that may have led to the downfall of the civilization. I really enjoyed these characters and the glimpse into the complicated lives of the Mayan deities.
The Barricades turned out to be another favorite of mine even though the premise seemed really strange to me. Set in the future on another world, the Fae and humans have escaped a dying Earth. They were set to live as equals, but the Ethernal Fae's powers have placed the above the humans in every way. When the dying Eternal prince Daniel is found within the human area, a very caring human girl, Casey risks everything to save his life. This was a very sweet and action packed story laced with magic, greed and romance. A lot of development was packed into this short story that made it seem like much more.