Short Story Review: Soul of the Universe

Soul of the Universe is a music-inspired anthology from ‘The Anthology Club’, the writing in this collection will captivate you, it will pervade your senses and it will absolutely enchant you.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ~ Plato

SotU72logoPlato said “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything”. In this book you will find a varied selection of haunting, thrilling, surprising tales from some of the most talented independent authors around. Although the tales differ wildly, they do have one thing in common: music. Each story was inspired by a particular song, which is explained briefly in each instance by the author.
Enjoy these tales. They will leave you with a song in your heart and a smile on your face.”


Soul of the Universe is a collection of stunning short stories that can leave you smiling, crying or just in a state of wonder. Each story in this was so very different that I want to speak about each author separately.

“”The hash looked familiar so, on a hunch, I tried an old key I used to use a long time ago. A very long time ago.”
“You mean…”
“Yeah. It’s from Ophania.”” ~ Michael S. Manz (To Ride the Wind Dancing)

Michael S. Manz:
‘To Ride the Wind Dancing’
This story from Manz is loosely inspired by Led Zeppelin’s “Achilles Last Stand”, his writing compels and brings you into his imagined futuristic world. Science fiction elements are spoken of as though you know what they are which only adds to the reader feeling a sense of involvement with the characters. The dialogue is dynamic, portraying relationships between the characters perfectly, and the technology used is wonderful to read of.
I loved reading ‘To Ride the Wind Dancing’ and I loved that the ending was a beginning…

Michael Wombat:
‘Blood on the Ground’ and ‘Moth Girl vs. The Bats’
Having read Wombat’s ‘Moth Girl vs. The Bats’ before I am already a fan of his Steampunk work and was excited to read what he had in store for me next.

“Out of the moonlight they sped in their thousands, swift as death, razor wings glittering in the pale glow of the Wolf Moon.” ~ Michael Wombat (Moth Girl vs. The Bats)

‘Blood on the Ground’ is an unexpected Western inspired by the Rex Wells version of ‘Blood on the Saddle’. Wombat writes with wonderful description conjuring fantastic images in the reader’s mind pulling you deeper into the story. ‘Blood on the Ground’ often switches between the past and present which is difficult to do well but Wombat accomplishes this with ease allowing for a smooth transition between scenes leaving you excited for more.
‘Moth Girl vs. The Bats’, which you can buy as a standalone on Amazon, is a fantastic steampunk adventure with a feisty protagonist inspired by ‘Start As We Mean To Go On’ by Thea Gilmore. It is full to the brim with vivid imagery and stunning description, bringing wonderful mechanical creations bringing his steampunk world to life in your mind.

Michael A. Walker:
‘Stella’ and ‘Light On’

“The skin on her face was embellished with a multitude of colorful blemishes, pock marks,  and creases that bore evidence of stories that begged to be told.” ~ Michael A. Walker (Stella)

Walker’s writing is emotionally stimulating, both ‘Stella’ and ‘Light On’ left me with tears running down my face. Now that isn’t to say that these stories will leave you depressed and deflated, but if you’re anything like me, they will make you cry.
Stella is inspired by ‘Just Breathe’ written by Eddie Vedder and originally performed by Pearl Jam. This story is about dementia and the relationship growing between Stella and her husband’s nurse, Vera, full of truly stunning prose. Walker uses certain sentences and words to connect people and times allowing you to notice these small things and feel something more as you read.
Light On is inspired by ‘Light On’ performed by David Cook (and I’d like to thank Michael Walker for introducing me to this song, I love it!) This story also gives you an emotional hit, just like in Stella; Walker uses description to his advantage helping the reader to feel emotionally involved with the characters.
I would have to single out Michael Walker’s stories as my favourites in the anthology. (Though I loved every story in it.)

Marissa Ames:

“In another era, under another king’s reign, Lana would have rejoiced that Darrion had inherited his father’s gift. Now she just wanted to steal him away while he still had a childhood left.” ~ Marissa Ames (Darrion)

Darrion is actually based in the world of her debut novel ‘Minstrel’ which I have been planning on reading and certainly will after reading this stunning sample of her work. This story is inspired by ‘Village Lanterne’ by Blackmore’s Night. Right from the offset of Darrion I could see I was going to love it, this medieval, magical story is full of descriptive imagery and wonder. Ames’ characters are full of depth making you really feel for them, you want them to succeed. Darrion leaves me looking forward to reading Minstrel.


Soul of the Universe gets all five stars from me. This anthology has such variety that it can appeal to many different people, from fans of westerns or Steampunk, to science fiction or fantasy, there really is something for everyone.

I would recommend this anthology to young adults and adults. Some of the stories have hard hitting storylines.
If you enjoyed Burn by Daniel Swensen or Minstrel by Marissa Ames, you’ll enjoy this anthology.



Soul of the Universe is available on Amazon here:

You can also find it on Smashwords:

If you’re on Goodreads you can find the book to add to your ‘to read’ list here:

If you want to find out more about The Anthology Club visit

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Disclaimer: I was sent an ARC* of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions in this review are completely honest, I would not lie to my readers.

*ARC is an Advance Reader’s Copy. This means I was sent a copy of this book prior to its release.



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