I received a free copy of this to review from the Goodreads Firstreads program. I've been a big fan of Kathleen Mallory since stumbling upon the booksI received a free copy of this to review from the Goodreads Firstreads program. I've been a big fan of Kathleen Mallory since stumbling upon the books two summers ago. This one did not live up to my high expectations. It was still an OK book, but I was hoping for so much more. I was particularly disappointed not to see any development in the relationship between Kathleen Mallory and Charles Butler. This has been dragging on in limbo for too long. Maybe it's time for the author to end this series. I did like the character of Bugsy. ...more
I received a free copy of this book from the Goodreads Firstreads program. This was a cozy mystery with a murder occurring at a large multi-county faiI received a free copy of this book from the Goodreads Firstreads program. This was a cozy mystery with a murder occurring at a large multi-county fair. I happened to read this at the same time that Kansas was holding the state fair, so it was somewhat fitting, although I did not go to the fair this year. The author did a great job creating characters with odd quirks and exploring the somewhat unusual (to me) world of hobby farming. The murder was not as interesting - the person who died was not one of the interesting characters, so it was hard to care if they caught his killer. Overall, the writing was clever but the plot only lukewarm. ...more
This book started out with the line, "I only go out at night." This made me think of the Hall & Oates song "Maneater", which is strangely appropriThis book started out with the line, "I only go out at night." This made me think of the Hall & Oates song "Maneater", which is strangely appropriate for the monsters in this story. I finished this in a day, and I would go out and buy the next book in the series today if I could. Amy is fourteen when her world as she knows it ends. Alien monsters invade and quickly kill almost all of the world's population. Only those who are able to hide in fallout shelters or highly secure zones are able to survive. Amy's environmentally conscious father has made their house self-sufficient with solar panels and rainwater collection; Amy's paranoid mother has installed a security system with an electric fence. From the relative safety of her home, Amy is able to observe the monsters' behavior. She learns enough about them to be able to safely conduct night foraging raids for supplies. On one of those raids, she finds Baby, a young female toddler who has somehow been able to evade the monsters. Amy and Baby survive on their own for three years, until finally they are found by a collective of survivors.
At this point, the writing style changes. The point of view shifts back and forth in time. One narrative describes Amy and Baby's experience in the first few days in the collective; the other narrative flashes forward to a future where Amy is receiving psychiatric treatment and is unable to clearly recall recent events in her life. As I read more about the group of survivors, I was reminded of Walden Two and Brave New World & Brave New World Revisited. I knew Amy would somehow escape; I had to keep reading to find out how.
From an entertainment standpoint, this book is five stars; it caught my attention and kept it. I downgraded to four stars for two reasons. One, there are characterization issues with some of the minor characters. Some of the characters seemed to exist solely to move the plot forward. I think depth of characterization was sacrificed to keep the pace fast in the second section of the book. Two, the main character is selective about when she experiences moral qualms. In her first encounter with another survivor, she ends up killing the guy. He was presented as a would-be rapist, so it is a justifiable homicide. I just think it would be more emotionally disturbing than presented.
I'm trying to decide if a third point is a positive or negative. This book reminds me of other books and movies. I haven't read World War Z yet, but I did see the movie, and this has some similarities. I'm leaning towards positive.
I was SUPPOSED to win a copy of this book via the Goodreads Firstreads program - however, I never received a copy of this book. I did receive two copies of The Girl in the Clockwork Collar, so I think someone somewhere messed up. I had to order a copy via interlibrary loan....more