Episode Two of Love and Decay finds Reagan on the road with Haley and The Nelsons. Things heat up between Hendrix and Haley as they continue to fightEpisode Two of Love and Decay finds Reagan on the road with Haley and The Nelsons. Things heat up between Hendrix and Haley as they continue to fight not only zombies, but their growing feelings for each other. Trouble is destined to follow them though, right into a zombie road block perpetrated by a nefarious militia. Things are not quite as they seem among the militia and their fort and the group can't leave soon enough; however the militia's hold on them clings even after they leave the compound and trouble ensues.
This books has plenty of teenage angst among a zombie infested world. Reagan, Haley, Hendrix, Vaughan and even little Page seem to have some developed characterisation, but the verdict is out on the rest of the group. I continue to be intrigued regarding this journey to Peru and the likely perils they will encounter, thus on to Episode Three. ...more
Reagan and Haley are teen BFF's who have been fighting for two years to survive the STD induced zombie apocalypse. As they raid the junior section ofReagan and Haley are teen BFF's who have been fighting for two years to survive the STD induced zombie apocalypse. As they raid the junior section of a department store they find themselves surrounded by zombies. While attempting a hopeless escape, they are rescued by a handsome and literal band of five brothers, The Nelsons, who along with their kid sister Page offer them shelter. The reprieve is short lived as they find zombies once again knocking on their door leading them to a cross country track in a Hummer. The ultimate goal is to travel across crime ridden Central America and escape in the Andes Mountains of Peru where Reagan's family has established a safe house.
Not sure how to rate this one, but probably 3.5 stars. Total teen zombie book with a Buffy the Vampire attitude; however there is enough intrigue and the fact this is a novella, so a quick read, that I'm inclined to enjoy this book and continue to read the next episode. ...more
Hurricane Dan is about a selfish, lazy drunk named Dan who brandishes a nasty attitude and general hatred for the world. Dan finds himself living in tHurricane Dan is about a selfish, lazy drunk named Dan who brandishes a nasty attitude and general hatred for the world. Dan finds himself living in the streets stealing alcohol from any glass he can get his hands on. A hurricane rips through Manhattan and with it a zombie epidemic breaks out. Dan finds himself on the run for his life with the mentally unstable, but deeply lovable Barnes, also a homeless alcoholic. He also meets Zoey who he forms a romantic attachment to, despite the chaos the surrounds them.
I loved the seriously flawed Dan...he is truly despicable, clinging on to a stolen briefcase of cash; however he begins to peel off the natural man that is seeking his next fix. Instead Dan emerges as a leader and a hero, quite a turn around, but it made him relatable and somehow likeable.
As far as the zombie story goes, a fairly predictable plot of zombie horror and survival, BUT huge props to Bret for the subway scene. The creep meter went through the roof on that one. Dicky's demise was deliciously horrible.
Overall, very entertaining and worthwhile! Excellent and original characters made for a gruesome zombie story. ...more
The Earth Dwellers is the grand finale of The Dweller and The Country Series, where the world above meets the world below. Once again we are reintroduThe Earth Dwellers is the grand finale of The Dweller and The Country Series, where the world above meets the world below. Once again we are reintroduced to all of our favorite characters as they join forces against the glassies or Earth dwellers who seek to destroy the tribes from Ice, Fire, Water and Storm Country while keeping the dwellers under the evil thumb of Borg Lector. Despite their differences, the tribes and the dwellers find commonality and a united desire to take down Lector and bestow equality for all citizens. Equality comes at a steep price, but it is a price they are willing to pay.
David Estes did not disappoint readers one bit with The Earth Dwellers. How in the world he managed to bring back the characters from all six books and infuse their personalities and orchestrate so many story lines is beyond me...it's genius really! With so many feisty, brave warriors battling the evil and technology of the glassies, it was pure mayhem and carnage. I was a little sad to lose so many beloved characters, but freedom from tyranny comes at a cost. I thought it very clever and so poignant that we are introduced to another world, a heavenly one, and the reunion there made me a little teary eyed. Throughout these books, Ive felt like a privileged guest feasting at a scrumptious book banquet and The Earth Dwellers was the perfect dessert to conclude with.
FIVE STARS!!! Lauren Nicolle Taylor deserves every single star and probably more for her sequel to The Woodlands, The Wall. The Wall picks up where ThFIVE STARS!!! Lauren Nicolle Taylor deserves every single star and probably more for her sequel to The Woodlands, The Wall. The Wall picks up where The Woodlands left readers and takes you through Rosa's harrowing physical and even more powerful emotional journey. Rosa is a complex, puzzling protagonist whose internal dialogue takes the reader through every emotional up and down....I whole heartedly felt and experienced the story through Rosa's mysterious eyes. As she discovers the depth of her maternal instincts, when she deals with the obsessed perpetrator who severely abused her, as she wrestles with the need to return to rescue her mother...the tangled nest of emotions is wonderful to watch Rosa unravel. If you can love a fictional character then I love Rosa and I wish she were real...much like Katniss Everdeen or Sienna from Fire Country. Every reader of YA books needs to be introduced to this amazing unforgettable character.
Now don't think this book is some tormented emotional roller coaster, it's not an Oprah book club book, it definitely offers so much more. The plot is full of action, so much so that when you get to the end of the book and look back, you'll be amazed at truly how much has happened to Rosa and her "family." It's sort of a mini odyssey set in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world that is devastated resource wise and yet incredibly advanced scientifically...makes for an interesting dichotomy. I love the fact that the ancient Wall continues to stand among the ruins of the world...I think the book is appropriately named and it came as a sweet surprise.
Above all else, this book is chalked full of unique supporting characters that enrich and often complicate Rosa's life. Rosa really discovers so much about herself as she deepens her feelings for Joseph and Orry. Most poignant was the development of Rosa and Apella's relationship which is mighty special...that's all I'm saying. I so appreciated the wisdom and bond between Rosa and Addy, dang I love that old lady and of course who wouldn't love Deshi? So many questions I had about the characters after reading The Woodlands were answered (see my review of The Woodlands), yet now I'm left with many more that will leave me impatiently waiting for the next book. In the meantime, I'm going to bask in the afterglow of reading an exceptional book since a book this good only comes along every so often, but I will miss Lauren's beautiful, poetic writing until that time. ...more
4.5 Stars! In Red River (Tent City #2), Dani is dealing with the aftermath of a world turned upside down by the never ending plaques and the devastati4.5 Stars! In Red River (Tent City #2), Dani is dealing with the aftermath of a world turned upside down by the never ending plaques and the devastating loss of Tent City and all it represented. Dani tries to navigate through the physicality of survival, while dealing with the emotional strife of teenage angst, as well as deep seated anger and the need for revenge. If that isn't enough, Dani feels the strain and burden of Brody's safety, not to mention she is torn between two lovers who are brothers! Phew! That would be enough to make anyone crazy and Dani is no exception. She is confused, tired and needs an escape from the pain, but escape costs Dani dearly as she delves into addiction, thus complicating her life even further. Although Dani has some major slip ups, she manages to learn from her mistakes and her trials make her stronger...a heroine's journey if ever there was one!
Before you think that Red River is an emotional downer and way too heavy, let me assure you there is plenty of exciting elements, including these amazing enhancements or superpowers that continue to develop. Also, two complex and endearing new characters are introduced and play a critical role in Red River: the self-sacrificing Hannah and the smooth musician Milo. I love both of them and I'm intensely convinced that Kelly has a whole other story or two to be told from their POV. I also love the role that Dani's father plays, but I'm not giving anything away. Finally, big kudos for a plot with many twists and turns and a finale that is hot...I'm just saying! I highly recommend this series and I'm already dreaming about the next book...please tell me there's more!? ...more
When I come across a book like Future Gone I end up in a rating conundrum and here is why: the ratings are based on a "like ability scale" and some boWhen I come across a book like Future Gone I end up in a rating conundrum and here is why: the ratings are based on a "like ability scale" and some books are brilliantly written and original and yet leave you feeling like your mind was violated. How can you rate a book as "I really liked it" when the book is in no way intended to be used for recreational or pure pleasure reading? Here is what I've come up with...write an honest review about your overall emotions surrounding this book, BUT give credit in your starred ratings for excellent writing.
Future Gone is a strange, macabre collection of short stories that deal with dreams (often perverse), death and justice. These stories are meant to stretch your mind; they are highly complex and sophisticated with the purpose of providing the reader with a twisted puzzle to unravel. Some of these stories I really loved including: The Construction Site, The Discontinued Flight and The Machine; however other stories were too confusing and I felt slightly repulsed upon conclusion. These stories are not for everyone, but they are reminiscent of some great short story authors like Edgar Allan Poe (The Pit and the Pendulum and The Tell-Tall Heart) or Daphne du Maurier (Don't Look Now). I felt a similar ickiness after reading Poe or du Maurier, but are their short stories highly cerebral, original and well-written? Heck, yeah and so is Future Gone! So if you are looking for a fluffy, feel good story, this is not your book, but if you want a challenge, read Future Gone. ...more
3 1/2 stars: Imaginative Dystopian short story with a strong protagonist's voice dealing with teen pregnancy in a world highly regulated by WOMB a big3 1/2 stars: Imaginative Dystopian short story with a strong protagonist's voice dealing with teen pregnancy in a world highly regulated by WOMB a big brother like organisation that detains pregnant girls who are never to be seen again. This book deals with familial relationships, particularly among twin siblings, and the lengths sisters will go to protect each other.
This book starts with a great set-up and introduction to Foundlings dystopian world and the characterisation was easy to grasp. My problem with Foundlings is that after the great beginning, it cuts to the end rapidly and skims over the drama and romance. It's almost like the author had this great idea for a book, but after writing a couple of great chapters, got bored with it and rushed to conclude. I think this could have been an interesting novel, but the flame burnt out too fast and fizzled. ...more
**spoiler alert** 4 1/2 STARS! Rosa Bianca is a sixteen year old girl living in Pau Brazil, a settlement that is part of The Woodlands. The Woodlands**spoiler alert** 4 1/2 STARS! Rosa Bianca is a sixteen year old girl living in Pau Brazil, a settlement that is part of The Woodlands. The Woodlands is a dystopian society that rose from the dust after The Race Wars and subsequent apocalypse. It is controlled by Superiors who have ruled through intimidation and violence for hundreds of years. Rosa doesn't accept the rule of the Superiors or that of her evil stepfather and rebels at every turn. When she discovers that her mother is pregnant, Rosa chooses to advance to The Classes two years early due to the one child rule. Part of Rosa's motivation to advance to The Classes is due to her newfound friendship with eighteen year old Joseph who is also advancing.
After a series of tests, Rosa finds she is assigned to Construction classes in which she exceeds, but just as she is about to accept recognition for her woodworking skills, her fierce, rebellious soul rears up and disrupts everything. Instead, Rosa finds herself pregnant and under mind-controlling drugs that make her blissfully unaware of her condition, at least until she finds a way around the situation. Rosa eventually gets a roommate, Clara, who is also pregnant and also free from the controlling drugs.
It isn't long before chaos ensues and Rosa and Clara are able to escape with the help of Joseph and his gang of misfits. Thus begins a journey into the unknown, abandoned world, on the run from The Superiors and forced to survive. Through these experiences, Rosa goes on an emotional odyssey in which she discovers a lot about herself and overcomes her fear of trusting and loving others.
Without a doubt, Lauren did an exceptional job creating a strong, fierce character in Rosa. Characterisation is where Lauren excels. By putting a rebel with an uncontrollable smart mouth and an inescapable compulsion to be true to herself in a controlling dystopian society, well that is just a recipe for a perfectly, pesky flaw to drive an awesome story. By the time Rosa struggles with her feelings for Joseph, the reader gets it by evaluating her father's "abandonment" and her mother's rejection, not to mention her difficulty making friends because her tenacity scares everyone away. Although Rosa frustrated me at times, I just love her as the protagonist.
Another thing that Lauren did really well, she told a remarkable emotional story that also had a fast, multi faceted plot. I must say that there are all kinds of questions that plaque me: What happened to Lenos ... is there more to that story? What about Rasheed...I miss him? Who are these survivors and what is their deal with The Superiors? Why is reproduction so important to Superior Este? Where did the ideology of All Race come from? Deshi needs a story too, right? Does Joseph recover? What do they name the baby? Please tell me there is a sequel?!
Despite all of these questions, I think the story ended in a poignant and well played place. I really love the fact that Rosa doesn't feel this immediate connection to her baby during pregnancy and even feels a detachment after the baby's birth. After every tragedy and the evil circumstances surrounding the pregnancy, Rosa's baby finds his way into her heart...sweet conclusion. ...more
It seems like every time I read a Jeremy Bishop book, I'm left slightly stunned and utterly amazed at his psychotic genius! I mean really...zombie whaIt seems like every time I read a Jeremy Bishop book, I'm left slightly stunned and utterly amazed at his psychotic genius! I mean really...zombie whales, but strangely it works. How does Bishop come up with this stuff? This book was one messed up Moby Dick meets Alien meets Titanic all rolled up into a big mess of parasitic worm infested, horror ridden goodness. The best part is the feisty Jane returns, although reluctantly to take on the Queen, once more cracking me up along the way. From the moment The Raven sets sail, it's all out gore and gruesomeness....I think I serious turned green a few times. Overall, a seriously original 2nd book in this horror series. I can't wait for the next book. I'm going to miss Jane until she returns. ...more
The Sentinel is one twisted, adventured filled, blood, guts and gore laden horror story at its entertaining best! The story begins with the thirty somThe Sentinel is one twisted, adventured filled, blood, guts and gore laden horror story at its entertaining best! The story begins with the thirty something Jane Harper aboard an anti-whaling activist ship, Sentinel, in the midst of a "battle" with the Greenland based whaling ship, Bliksem. Jane is working undercover for WSPA as an investigative reporter to look into some shady activist dealings, little does she know the evil designs set in place by The Captain of the Sentinel, McAfee (a modern psychotic Captain Ahab). As the battle between the activists and whalers ensues, catastrophic events lead to the sinking of both vessels. Jane saves the lives of two comrades, Jenny and Peach and flees into the cold Greenland sea in a survival raft.
Jane and crew find themselves stranded on a frigid island that holds untold horrors including polar bears, zombie/vampire Vikings, and a virus that could destroy the world. Jane encounters survivors from the Bliksem including the Captain Jakob, his heroic and handsome son Willem and their side-kick Alvin and they join forces. They soon discover that they have unleashed a frozen, ancient nightmare from the island caves that will terrorized and kill them to extinction unless they fight and fight they do.
Jane as the strong, feisty, hilariously jaded heroine is the perfect character to take readers on this crazy ride. She is supported by rich supporting characters whose flaws are demonstrated practically every minute in every action they take. Sure mayhem and death befall most of these characters, like the course of every good horror story, but you can't get much better than this in the department of gruesomeness....seriously!
I know the idea of virus infested, zombie/vampire Vikings sounds completely outrageous, but Bishop writes a fast-paced fantastical plot that blows your mind and keeps you rapidly turning pages without a care for reality...this is fiction in its wildest, untamed form. Bishop's writing is smart and reminds me a bit of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child books with some Bridget Jones-like humor...just plain good stuff and entertaining to boot, I want to read more! ...more
Of Beast and Beauty is the story of a blind princess, Isra , who lives in a post-apocalyptic world in the civilization of Yuan, a domed city. Isra isOf Beast and Beauty is the story of a blind princess, Isra , who lives in a post-apocalyptic world in the civilization of Yuan, a domed city. Isra is a lonely girl, living in a tower, primarily cutting herself off from the citizens of Yuan due to her insecurities regarding her appearance...she believes she is a scaley mutant. Isra is raised to believe she will fulfill the blood covenant by sacrificing herself to feed the "Dark Heart" magic garden roses in order to maintain the sustainability of the dome and her people. Isra's world changes dramatically when she meets a mutant from outside the dome, Gem, who seeks to steal the magic of the roses to save his dying people. Gem becomes a prisoner of Yuan after the murder of Isra's father, the king, is pinned on Gem and his cohorts. Isra finds herself thrust in the spotlight as queen and under the control of Junjie, the King's advisor and his amorous son Bo. In the meantime, Gem and Isra work together in the gardens, both with hidden agendas and yet the find themselves developing an abiding relationship...a relationship that's love could break the curse.
I love a re-telling of a fairy tale and Beauty and the Beast is my favorite; when the setting is in a post-apocalyptic world, well that's about as good as it gets for me. Stacey Jay has a lyrical quality to her writing that "sounds" like a fairy tale of old and yet her spin on this classic is original, while still maintaining the underlying theme of Beauty and the Beast, love conquers all. I was completely enthralled at the beginning of this story, but I admit I was bored through the middle because I felt like the reader needed more action and a little less sap. I was happy to find the plot picked up dramatically in the end and kept me reading. Based on just likability, I would give this book 3 stars, but the excellent writing merits 4 stars. I must add that the book cover is absolutely stunning! ...more
3.5 Stars! I received Ghostland in exchange for a honest review from author C.A. Marshall.
Ghostland is the story of 14 year old Lucy who finds herse3.5 Stars! I received Ghostland in exchange for a honest review from author C.A. Marshall.
Ghostland is the story of 14 year old Lucy who finds herself on the run with her mom, dad and older sister Cassie from "ghosts" AKA zombies after a world wide virus. They head through the zombie infested city to a remote, closed bed and breakfast where they try and hide in order to survive.
They encounter another group of human survivors including teen Gabriel, his dad Ted, Veronica a doctor and her toddler son Michael. They work together to fortify the bed and breakfast, scavenge the desolate cities for supplies and learn how to kill the occasional ghost that disturbs their home. As the years go by, they find themselves running low on supplies and hope until they encounter another teen girl Emma who brings a hourde of ghosts and trouble along with her. She also provides news of a possible ghost free island; therefore providing hope.
Ghostland has promise as a new zombie series. All of the characters are relatable and I like the family dynamic. I really like sweet little Michael...now that kid acts and sounds his age! I had a little difficulty capturing the personality of Lucy until the last third of the book, but she was a worthy protagonist. Although this story is about settling in and hiding to survive, I was happy that they finally venture out in the end. Of course Marshall leaves us hanging for the next installment.
I must make a comment regarding the need for some serious editing. This is a ROUGH copy...missing words and punctuation; paragraphing needs some help; once Michael is actually spelled Marshall...it's just rough. With that said, I think the groundwork has been laid for a nice series. ...more
Rapture is the story of a half-demon/half-human teen named Sam who is raised and trained in fighting, particularly with swords, by his foster father HRapture is the story of a half-demon/half-human teen named Sam who is raised and trained in fighting, particularly with swords, by his foster father Hikari, in preparation for his role to kill the anti-Christ after the rapture. The author, Phillip Simpson, thoughtfully mixes Sam's current lonely state after the rapture with poignant flashbacks of his life with his foster father Hikari and Hikari's daughter Aimi. In Sam's post-rapture world, he was shunned by society and only found acceptance and love from Aimi and Hikari. Having lost them due to the rapture, Sam is once again thrust into a world of solidarity and horror as demon attacks are a nightly occurrence.
Sam leaves on an odyssey of sort to reach Los Angeles and kill the anti-Christ. Although the fight scenes are spectacular, I would have liked a few more adventures along the journey. Yes, Sam does gather some comrades and travel buddies along the way, but besides the Vegas scene (which I think could have been extended for more encounters) and the visit to Hell, I would have liked a few more quests and a little less redundant demons fights.
I felt Simpson excelled at developing a complex character is Sam that pulls at the reader's heart strings. His struggle of hopelessness for himself was spot on...how would you feel if everyone you loved was taken during the rapture to Heaven, a place where you could never dwell due to your half-demon status? He is willing to take up the fight for humanity, despite the way he has been treated, and he feels a connection to Jesus Christ and is a believer. I must admit, as a Christian, the scenes with the smiling Jesus statue almost put me over the edge. His weakness for acceptance almost catches him a time or two, being tempted by Succumbi and being enticed by Satan.
I did feel a connection to Hikari and Aimi as well, but I felt very little for Grace or Joshua (I guessed his role long before the ending I'm afraid). Due to Sam's loneliness, I really wanted him to develop real emotions for his friends and take on a role other than that of protector. When I take all of this into consideration, I'm pleased to say I really liked this book and normally I would stay clear of a book with demons, angels or any sort of religious fiction for that matter. It will be interesting to read what the future holds for Sam in Tribulation.
Hope is book 2 in the Harvester of Light series. In this book, Skye finds herself under the evil influence of her biological mother, the Queen. The QuHope is book 2 in the Harvester of Light series. In this book, Skye finds herself under the evil influence of her biological mother, the Queen. The Queen succeeds in turning Skye into a harvester devoid of human emotion. As a harvester, Skye is desensitized to the horrors of the harvester camp which are grim and cruel. She also finds herself in complete allegiance and devotion to the Queen at the expense of all those she formally loved; Jace, Zoe, and Ian. The Queen uses AI to impregnate Zoe with triplets, the father being Ian, in hope of creating babies with a multitude of superpowers. Although humanity tries to creep into Skye's psyche, Zoe's pregnancy and the birth of the triplets awakens the human in Skye, especially Hope, the baby with a birth defect. This causes Skye to renew her fight against the queen and restores her integrity.
I did like this book, but I wasn't as excited about it as I was the first. At times, the superpowers aspect was a little over the top for me. The time traveling and appearance of Ian, Simon and Rose from the future was a bit unbelievable, especially when Ian brings back supplies for the babies from the future...please! I found Skye's narrative as a harvester interesting and the diabolical, twisted actions of the Queen towards humans in the harvester camp was riveting. I also appreciated a glimpse into the Queen's childhood and troubled upbringing, even if there could never, ever be an excuse for her evil ways.
Although I didn't love this book, I'm still invested in the series and I'm starting book 3 immediately. ...more
Harvester of Light #1 is the story of a girl named Skye who has been on the run from Harvesters for five years with her best friend Ash in a post-apocHarvester of Light #1 is the story of a girl named Skye who has been on the run from Harvesters for five years with her best friend Ash in a post-apocalyptic world. Harvesters are former humans who were implanted with nanites that cause skin and bone to be immortal; however the Queen, the scientist responsible for nanite technology and the ruler of the new world, made a miscalculation and internal organs still deteriorate. Harvesters steal organs from real humans through kidnapping and murder, as well as forcing humans into breeding camps.
After a run in with Harvesters, Ash is hurt and a mysterious woman named Rose appears to take Ash away for necessary life saving medical treatment. She instructs Skye to find her way to the allusive Southern Kingdom, a Harvester free safe zone that is surrounded by a radioactive barrier. Skye and her one eyed dog Blue meet a naked, amnesiac guy named Jace who only remembers one thing, that he is in love with Skye whom he has never met. The two head off to find their way to the Southern Kingdom, collecting friends along the way like Dorothy on her way to Oz. Their journey is filled with crazy adventures including nuclear bombs, being sold into slavery at a Harvester prison and mysterious superpowers. It may sound like a bunch of unbelievable fluff, but this story was unique and kept surprising me chapter by chapter.
Great leading characters, steamy love triangle, wild plot twists and turns, great fight scenes, awesome supporting characters and the best part of all, it's a trilogy and all three books have already been released!
Branded is the story of a girl named Lexi who is on the verge of committing suicide when low and behold "The Commander's" guards chase and arrest herBranded is the story of a girl named Lexi who is on the verge of committing suicide when low and behold "The Commander's" guards chase and arrest her for violating one of the seven deadly sins, lust. In fact, Lexi is innocent, but nevertheless she receives a blue brand on her neck which labels her for the world to see. Instead of being cast into prison or left to rot in the streets, Lexi is actually given a personal body guard an escort named Cole that happens to be gorgeous. Lexi is assigned to work at the hospital under the direction of Dr. Sutton a secret rebel leader.
As a branded women, Lexi is leered at and coveted by all men who constantly try to rape and molest her. I know she is beautiful and labeled as a slut, but come on! Lexi has terrible nightmares that plague her from the heinous abuse she received at the hands of her evil stepfather. Cole and his Great Dane Zeus constantly save Lexi, conveniently just in the nick of time and most of the time it is because Lexi is careless and stupid. I was getting really tired of Lexi's victimisation and her constant puking. Her character was weak and helpless. Of course she did befriend a dying girl in the hospital, but even that relationship felt contrived and lacked roots for the sentiment that was played out. There was an effort to transform Lexi into a strong fighter, but I didn't see a believable evolution in her character.
I had trouble with the story line of the revolution that was happening. There is chaos and violence throughout the book, but it is unclear where it is coming from until the end. The identity of The Commander was obvious...no surprise there. The romance between Cole and Lexi had potential, but it lacked something and if I had to put my finger on it I would say, even though the relationship was forbidden, it lacked real conflict of emotion and angst. My other big problem with the book is that the seven deadly sins idea was never really incorporated as doctrine for this Dystopian society....why did "The Commander" create these standards and enforce brands? How did these moral standards become a dictate for this depraved society? If you are going to create a Dystopian world, as a reader, I want to know how this world came to be. This book just had too many holes and needed more development.
4.5 STARS!!! Raksha is a total gem of a story that I stumbled upon on Amazon for only .99 cents! Raksha is the story of Kit a girl who is essentially4.5 STARS!!! Raksha is a total gem of a story that I stumbled upon on Amazon for only .99 cents! Raksha is the story of Kit a girl who is essentially a mind controlled gladiator slave living in an enclosed Dystopian society called Sanctuary. Kit is controlled by a collar or Halo worn around her neck that delivers emotion desensitising drugs whenever emotion is felt or heightened, thus keeping Kit completely unfeeling and numb to the murderous world of the Colisseum in which she fights to the death. Kit finds herself pitted against her trainer and "friend" in the arena named Cai who essentially sacrifices himself for Kit. Cai's collar has malfunctioned unbeknownst to anyone allowing him to feel real emotion and discover his love for Kit. In the wake of Cai's death, Kit discovers clues left behind that allow her to escape the collar and flee into the unknown world beyond the Sanctuary.
Kit is befriended by a boy named Ryka who invites her to seek refuge in Freetown, a tent city controlled by strange Priestesses and customs. As Kit begins to discover emotion and love for the first time, she struggles with the comfort that the collar affords versus the myriad and turmoil of emotions. Kit also becomes embroiled in the lives of Freetown's residents and joins a rebel force that breaks back into Sanctuary to rescue other citizens whose collars have failed. Once Kit is back in Sanctuary she is forced to face her former life and family.
I found this story to be actioned packed and reminiscent of The Hunger Games or After the Fear, but with the emotion controlling dystopian feel of Delirium. I think Frankie Rose did a wonderful job creating a complicated, but likeable character with Kit. The way Kit's emotions are discovered and unraveled was convincing and poignant. Ryka is definitely a worthy love interest for Kit, but I have to admit that I would love to see Cai return somehow (maybe he's not really dead). I just have to wonder how Kit would react to seeing Cai without being controlled by the collar. Bonus points for the "surprise" reveal for both Kit and Ryka when they return to Sanctuary! I'm not going to spoil it for readers, but I for once didn't see that one coming. This book has some great dystopian villains in Lowrence and Miranda, as well as the High Priestess who is as creepy as they come! There are loads of great supporting characters too...Jack, Olivia, Penny and their characters are so well developed I feel like I know them. If I had one complaint it would be that I'm frustrated to find that there is not a release date planned for the sequel. I'll be waiting for it! ...more
3.5 Stars! Out of Darkness is the story of Mora a girl living in a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic world where her small community is dwindling due t3.5 Stars! Out of Darkness is the story of Mora a girl living in a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic world where her small community is dwindling due to lack of protection from zombies or Greyskins. In order to save her community, as well as her little brother and grandmother, Mora sets out to meet up with the notorious Jeremiah, the leader of a network of guards that provide security to isolated communities. It turn, these communities provide resources such as food to Jeremiah and his conglomerates.
We first meet Mora as she runs out of gas in a ghost town and is overrun by a zombie horde. During her desperate flight from the zombies, Mora discovers a previously hidden superpower, the power to move objects with her mind. Mora runs into Conner, a sharp shooter who helps her escape and takes her to his community that is under Jeremiah's protection. Mora discovers that Jeremiah's protection may not be all it is cracked up to be.
In the meantime, Mora meets Conner's brother Aaron, who has a power of his own. Through Aaron, Mora discovers that there is a network of individuals called Starborn that have unique superpowers and they are in opposition to Jeremiah's regime.
Here's what I liked about this book: Jeremiah is truly the kind of villain that makes makes my want to keep the lights on at night...he's diabolical and twisted. Jeremiah's background story provides fuel to the creep factor and his character is perfectly written. Mora as a leading character is head strong and has great loyalty and integrity. The love triangle that is forming between Mora and the brothers Conner and Aaron seems to be confusingly appropriate as a love triangle should be, but I'm not sold on Aaron yet.
Here's what I'm still a little confused on: How in the world did the superpowers suddenly come into play? It feels a little disjointed and not fully explained...alien superpowers in a zombie world, really? If I'm going to go there as a reader, I need it to be believable and the writing didn't convince me yet. With that being said, I'll gladly read the next book and give the Starborn a chance. ...more
4 Stars: Imagine a Dystopian society that exists of two cities; one city, Dahn, sits at the center and houses the rich and powerful and another city,4 Stars: Imagine a Dystopian society that exists of two cities; one city, Dahn, sits at the center and houses the rich and powerful and another city, Neech, that surrounds it with the poor and working class. Barriers exists between cities and around the perimeter to keep out the evil that lurks in the post-apocalyptic unknown called The Further. Both cities are controlled by "The Corporation" run by Mr. Akin Hughes. Citizens of Neech and Dahn receive tattoos or marks at their Jatis or coming of age ceremony at the age of 8 years old. The marks can be scanned like a credit card, designate their career and they are "paired" for marriage...all decisions made by The Corporation.
Karis works for as a seamstress and lives in Neech with her young brother and father. Karis' pair is caught getting an illegal tattoo, which also makes him deathly ill, and banished to the Further along with his family. This corresponds with Karis' little brother Ajna coming down with a mysterious illness. In order to save her brother, Katis must obtain an illegal tattoo and enter the inner city of Dahn to find the cure.
This story would not be complete without a mysterious, incorrigible love interest for Karis named Ethan. He is a rebel that spreads illegal propaganda throughout Neech that informs citizens of The Corporation's nefarious dealings. Karis first meets him in Neech, but also discovers he has a life in Dahn where he is quite well known. Although Ethan's true identity wasn't a mystery for me at all, I thought the relationship between Karis and Ethan was well played. I also give huge props to RaeLynn Fry for writing a devious dystopian villain...Mr. Hughes gives me the creeps for sure! I also really like the set-up at the conclusion which clearly leaves a reader ready and eager for the next book. ...more
Frances Hardinge's A Face Like Glass has all the wild imagination and an inconceivable, complex plot reminiscent of Lewis Carroll's Through the LookinFrances Hardinge's A Face Like Glass has all the wild imagination and an inconceivable, complex plot reminiscent of Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass with the old world mysticism of Harry Potter. In fact, Neverfell, the protagonist, is very much like Alice having been lost in the underground city of Caverna at age five, with no memory of her past and a naïveté and trusting innocence that is rare. She is discovered and hidden away in the secret lair of Cheesemaster Grandible working as his apprentice. Although Neverfell has never seen her own reflection, she knows her face must be hideous for she is forced to wear a velvet mask when encountering those who make deliveries to the lair. By age twelve, Neverfell is lonely and all it takes is a brief encounter with the famous Facesmith Madame Appeline to set off a chain of unstoppable events. In fact, my favorite line in the book is from Grandible himself which seems to foreshadow the crazy plot to come, "...I do not try to pull a thread free from a cobweb and use it to darn my socks. Pull on a thread and you pull on the whole web and the spiders come out." Neverfell, in fact, unleashes the spiders and becomes a pawn at court.
Caverna is an underground network of caves and tunnels where the Court is ruled by the Grand Steward, five hundred years old with a body trying to die, but a soul struggling to hold back death by enticing it with luxuries. The master craftsman create cheeses, perfumes and wines with mind altering powers for the bipolar Grand Steward who rules Caverna with his madness and keeps the drudges or slaves under his thumb. Court is a wicked, cutthroat circus with plots and schemes running amok. When discussing the machinations of Caverna's Court Grandible says to Neverfell, "It is a giant web, full of bright-winged, glistening insects. All of them full of their own poison, all entangled, all struggling to live and to kill." Yep, that about sums it up!
There is no way I can express the brilliance and originality of this book. If I could peer into Hardinge's mind I'm sure I'd find a manic genius with ideas I could never even begin to fathom. I know I compared Hardinge to Carroll in creating an insanely brilliant world, but where Carroll was high on hallucinogens, Hardinge carefully crafts twists and turns that develop into a plot of intrigue that keeps you guessing and second guessing and then being utterly surprised! I've never read a book like this and I read a ton! This book will be running around in my head for years to come and I'll be recommending it to everyone of all ages. ...more
2.5 STARS Yikes! I really wanted to like this book, but darn it...I don't feel much of anything about it except maybe a little confused at the plot. I2.5 STARS Yikes! I really wanted to like this book, but darn it...I don't feel much of anything about it except maybe a little confused at the plot. It started out okay...Olivia and Joshua are childhood best friends who at 18 years old find themselves placed together in a government arranged marriage and suddenly find an attraction for each other. I gleaned a little about Joshua's personality as he stood by Olivia through a rough childhood and I get the whole falling in love with your best friend thing, but it unfolded in such a blasé kind of manner that as a reader, I just didn't care.
Here's the Dystopian twist, Olivia is possibly the last female to be able to naturally conceive a child and must be destroyed or I guess the government will lose their control of the people...huh? They escape through a tunnel that was hidden in where else, but Olivia's convenient basement. They escape to another city that wants to exploit Olivia. As a side note and strangely I might add, teleportation was thrown in randomly at this point and didn't fit the story. Olivia is tracked by the government and the city attacked and Olivia and Joshua escape in a vehicle successfully driving without any prior driving experience out to the unknown to find a city discovered on a hidden map. They are attacked by some random loner, escape and find the mystery city. They take on aliases and are put in a training program that is bogus and are injected with soldier superpowers...yes, I said soldier superpowers including telepathy (other recruits can create fire with hands or obtain super strength). They pass this "test" of sorts and join a new faction against the government that wants to use Olivia as a guinea pig and restore natural reproduction. What the heck?!
Final thoughts: convoluted plot that needs more development; reproduction as the Dystopian controversy wasn't well supported; too many out of place science fiction add ons; the beginnings of some strong characters; rambling directionless story that left me confused. I feel terrible that I didn't really like this story, but I've got to be honest. ...more
FIVE STARS!!! David Estes had done it again, writing another brilliant book that stirs up a myriad of emotions (including tears) and makes me blissfulFIVE STARS!!! David Estes had done it again, writing another brilliant book that stirs up a myriad of emotions (including tears) and makes me blissfully content at the conclusion. It is truly mind boggling to me that his writing has gotten better, because it is oh so good, but it really has! The vivid imagery of the Soaker's life at sea that David created simply swept me away in the first few chapters. There's a poetic quality to this book and yet it is not just stuffed with monotonous adjectives, but instead it feels real and true. The other thing I noticed that David has perfected is the way the character's subconscious dialogue is woven throughout what they are experiencing. It is perfectly choreographed; including The Evil that is Sadie's inner voice of blind hatred and revenge and Huck's inner voice of self doubt and blame.
The Dweller and Country Sagas have the richest characters that make the reader really feel like you know them; great characterisation continues with Huck and Sadie. I loved Huck's vulnerability as he tries so desperately to meet his father's expectations and become a man. Huck discovers his own independent voice and as he gathers the courage to rebel against his father's evil idealism, he transforms into a man of integrity and valour. It was awesome to witness this change in him and how it affected, not only him, but the very actions of those around him.
I'm not sure how David Estes manages to continue to write with such originality and produce beautiful characters and stories so quickly, but as a fan and reader, I'm happy to indulge in the fruits of his literary labor. I seriously can't wait to read The Earth Dwellers and I will be counting down the days until the release September 5th! ...more
I'm a little torn on an accurate rating for my feelings regarding Tent City. This stems from a personal conflict I have between the things I appreciatI'm a little torn on an accurate rating for my feelings regarding Tent City. This stems from a personal conflict I have between the things I appreciate in this story and the things that fell a little flat. What I liked (not loved mind you) is the transformation that Dani goes through from being a typical, teenage girl to a strong minded and capable leading character. The love triangle didn't feel deep rooted in emotion, although I really like Jack...Bentley I could do without. Part of that is because I feel like I know Jack; he's kind, selfless, tender and self-sacrificing, but a bit obvious as the love interest. Although Bentley is a good leader, he's cold, sometimes heartless and demonstrates excessive violence, and deep down he seems a little manic. I liked Kit's spunk...she reminds me of the goofy best friend from Full House, BUT her character just melts into the background once they reach Tent City and I'm not sure what her purpose is. Brody is perfect, but I predicted the big reveal on the last page (no spoiler here), as well as Burke's true identity (and what's with Dani's sympathy for him at the end?).
The plot follows a pretty typical apocalyptic script...a run, survive, hide, fight and rescue format...I draw direct parallels to the story outline for Star Wars with Jack being the "frozen" Han Solo and Burke the not so fatherly Darth Vader. Here's the thing, I can't think of a single original element. Oh wait, there is one acception, the introduction of "advancements" or supernatural gifts, but it was so late into the story and came across as a strange diversion and felt out of place, as well as Brody's guardian wolf...just hit way out in left field. The other thing that bothered me was the dialogue at times felt contrived and didn't "sound" right...it was sort of canned and ordinary. Maybe I'm getting a little jaded or too picky because I love this genre and I've read so many apocalyptic books that it's hard to find something fresh and inspiring.
I do like the book cover and I will read the next book in this series because Van Hull does set the reader up with a little intrigue at the conclusion, but for a rating , well that's a tough one. I liked it, so it deserves at least 3 stars. I think Van Hull is talented and the writing got better and better as the story continued, which leaves me hopeful for the sequel. I'm going to have to go with 3.5 stars. ...more
The last thing Fiona remembers is being a 14 year old girl living in a world plaqued by the bee virus; a virus created in an attempt to save the endanThe last thing Fiona remembers is being a 14 year old girl living in a world plaqued by the bee virus; a virus created in an attempt to save the endangered bee, hence saving humanity. Unfortunately, the attempt to save the bee has backfired and consequently thrown the world into chaos. Fiona wakes up in a post-apocalyptic world as a 17 year old with a strange tattoo on her arm, with very little memory and finds the world has changed and it's terrifying.
The beginning of this book was fresh and original in the genre of YA Dystopia/Post-apocalypse. Although threaded throughout the story were elements I've read many times before (world virus, sewer dwellers, militia, walled city, fighting arena), I still found myself clinging to the pages of this book and reading it with fervor. Wiggins cleverly sets the reader up for sequels with many avenues of exploration left in this story. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series.
4.5 Stars! The Fifth Wave isn't my typical quick pick book...it's about an alien invasion after all, BUT it is YA dystopia/post-apocalyptic writing at4.5 Stars! The Fifth Wave isn't my typical quick pick book...it's about an alien invasion after all, BUT it is YA dystopia/post-apocalyptic writing at its best. Huge kudos to Yancy for writing complex and oh so perfectly imperfect characters that I absolutely love! Cassie's lonely journey from violent distrust to falling for the enemy read seamlessly and every word had me hooked. Cassie's relationship with Sammy and her dedication to him was endearing and self-sacrificing, but her strange relationship with Evan was reminiscent of The Host or even Twilight (although WAY better). Of course, then there is Ben, Sammy's saviour, Cassie's crush and of course the tragic hero. All YA authors out there need to take notes from Yancy on how to weave the characters story lines, backgrounds and just plain how to create rich back stories that bring the reader in sync with each character's core. If I could, I would give a standing ovation and deep curtsy to Yancy for creating book escapism at its best. ...more
Thank you to the author of The Fallen, Jack Ziebell, who sent me a message letting me know this book was FREE on Amazon this weekend. The premise of tThank you to the author of The Fallen, Jack Ziebell, who sent me a message letting me know this book was FREE on Amazon this weekend. The premise of this book is that "the swathe" or outer space EMP hits Earth knocking humanity on its butt. Basically, humans turn into maniacal, mindless freaks with the exception of a few survivors who were either geographically in the safe zone or consist of those lucky few buffeted from the "blast". This story follows some of the survivors and how they deal with the havoc and aftermath the World has found herself in, but most importantly it's a story about the ethical dilemma of killing the insane to survive and to what degree they will go. Although this story wasn't completely original, I found it an easy read. The way the story fast forwards to the ended ticked me off, I must say, but I still found the story worthwhile. ...more