Story #1 Another heartbreaking story. I pretty much cried with this one. Rune can see and talk to ghosts. And during a zombie apocalypse, that can be a hard burden to carry. Especially when your family could be those spirits. But despite the trauma Rune goes through in the beginning, he is a resilient man. He knows how to take care of himself. He's a good guy but he can also be bad when he needs to be.
I was shocked by what he did to get revenge for the spirits who died in ways no one should, ways that can be worse than zombies eating you alive. He will not stand for the evil humans left in this earth, and he is making his displeasure for them known in a big way.
The best part was Rune being able to talk to ghosts. That really changed things up. I love how they could help and guide him. In the end, every zombie book needs that scary hero that has no limits.
Story #2 I almost gave this book 3.5 stars because of this story. I know Senator Paige was suppose to be a badie, and that's fine and all, but dedicating such a pretty big part of this book to her story irritated me. I didn't like her, and I didn't care about her story. I ended up skimming a lot of this one. But I can say she is deliciously evil.
Story #3 This story made me want to read the original series so bad. This shows us the aftermath of the final battle in Siege, the last book in the As The World Dies Series. And I loved every minute of it. But before all that we meet Emma, a great mom. After the zombies come, she becomes a major zombie killer. Her story is pretty heartbreaking in the beginning. No mother should have to go through that. But it did make her a stronger, more resilient person. And she needed that to survive the things she did. I am still awed by what she accomplished. Emma is one amazing woman.
Verdict Despite the annoying Senator story, the other two stories were amazing. I think this book made me get a better idea of what to expect in the original series.
Story #1 Katrina is a kickass chick and you would have never known she had it in her. Her background is pretty grime and sad. You feel for her right away. Then everything changes while she is finishing her shift at a café. A man comes in injured and dies. But he comes back biting. Katrina is shocked by the turn events...for like 3 seconds. Then so goes all Rambo and kills that mofo. And then she kills more zombies, but with a sense of detachment. I am pretty sure she was in shock when she does all this, but whatever it was, it helped her survive. With her on a mission, nothing can stand in her way.
Story #2 This story gave me the chills. A husband, a soon to be ex-wife, their twin boys and baby girl, a secretary, and a manager are all trapped in an orange juice factory. They might make it out of this zombie invasion if it wasn't for the psycho wife. She is convinced her husband is cheating on her with the secretary. The wife was simply horrible, as both a mother and a wife. She makes up stories in her head and does some crazy crap because of her delusions. I felt so bad the rest of them. None of them deserved the kind of hate she spewed and she only made a bad situation worse. I was shocked by the lengths she went to get "revenge." This is a shocking story that will leave you with your mouth hanging open.
Story #3 This was the longer story of the three. For some reason I could never quite get into the characters of Ken and Lenore. Their story started out great. It was exciting and scary, and the ending made me almost crap my pants, but the middle was pretty boring. Ken just got on my damn nerves the whole time, and Lenore was pretty blah the whole way through.
Verdict If it wasn't for Ken and Lenore's story, I would have given this book 4.5 stars. But the other two stories made this worth the read.
Story #1 Katie and Lydia are an amazing couple. Even with this very short story, I could see the love they shared for each other. You can't help but want to have a love like theirs. Even though I knew it was coming, I was devastated with what happened to Lydia, but her story was inspiring even with the short amount of time she had left.
Story #2 Monica was pretty badass. Another very short story but it packs one hell of a punch. She is just trying to survive, but some of the other survivors can't handle the new world they live in. So they do some crazy things. Monica, unfortunately, has to deal with one such crazy survivor, and you won't believe how that one ends. Wow.
Story #3 Now this is the story that you want to buy this book for. It is pretty long, which I loved after the others were so short. Eric is planning on proposing to his model girlfriend, Brandy. We learn pretty quickly how nasty Brandy can be but it's also understandable why Eric doesn't see it. Then the zombies strike and Brandy heads one way while Eric and his dog Pepe stay at the bed and breakfast they had been vacationing at.
I was completely enthralled by Eric's story. He doesn't seem like the hero type. And he breaks down just like many would after the zombies come, but he does pick himself back up. He's smart. He finds a way to survive, he plans and prepares. I loved Eric and his relationship with his dog. It really brought a heartfelt element to the story.
When Ashley shows up and brings Eric's life further upside down, they head out on a journey full of despair, hope, and friendship. I am so happy with how their story ended. It was scary, exciting, and all around entertaining.
Verdict This was the best book in the Untold Tales. I loved every story so much.
At A Glance I'm still not sure how I feel about Anomaly. I didn't know about the Christian elements in this book until after I jumped in. I do not like religious books but I found myself transfixed to the very end.
The Good Though I did not like the religious and spiritual elements, I have to say that Anomaly really blew me away in many ways.
Anomaly kept me scared out of my wits the whole way through. The world Thalli lives in is just straight up frightening. If you show any sign of emotion, you are eliminated right away. The Scientists can't have people mucking up their plans, whatever they may be. They don't need people asking questions. But all Thalli has is questions. Especially when this spiritual man comes and tells her about The Designer. God and religion has been eliminated from society. But as Thalli learns more about this spiritual entity, the more she feels like she has a purpose. And her growing feelings for Berk only further justify her emotions as a good thing, no matter what The Scientists say.
I really did enjoy watching Thalli grow as a person. She has always felt different. She isn't like people around her. She wants more out of life. She wants to be able to enjoy things, ask questions, even...love? My heart went out to her the whole book. The Scientists really mess with her and it was sickening to watch. Even her her old friend Berk, who is training to become a Scientist, could only help her so much. But Thalli took risks for her friends not matter the consequences. She was far braver than I would be in that situation.
We didn't get to know Berk as much as I hoped, but his feelings for Thalli were obvious. He does everything in his power to save Thalli from experiments and even death. Berk is the kind of guy you know you can trust.
The twists and turns were often shocking and chill-inducing. I still get the creeps just thinking back to this story. The utter disregard for human life was mind-boggling. This is an intense story that will leave you breathless.
The Bad Truthfully, if I had known that this book had a lot of Christian elements, I would have never read it. I don't like being preached at. And yes, this book does get a little preachy for me, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Would I read this book again, no. Would I read the next in the series, maybe. My reasoning is not because it was a bad book, it's just for the simple fact that I don't like books with heavy religious elements. Also, Anomaly really sells the idea that God is good and science is bad. I get that it's a piece of fiction but it kind of got on my nerves.
This is a very slow book. I wasn't necessarily bored, I just found myself wanting to skip ahead. I think things were too dragged out.
The ending was just silly. Wasn't believable to me. Yes, the twist was interesting, but I just don't think it was plausible.
Thalli's acceptance of death because she believed in heaven and God annoyed me to no end. Fight for your life, dammit!
The Snuggly This is very much a young adult book. Very minimal touching. I actually can't even remember if Berk and Thalli kissed. They might have near the end. But they do have a deep connection that builds throughout the book that I found so innocent and adorable. These people don't know about love or sex, so the lack of affection made sense.
Final Thoughts Do not read this book if you don't like religious books. But if all you care about is a thrilling concept and intense story, then Anomaly may be for you. It all depends on your tastes or reading preferences. I can't say I would recommend this book to many people, but I can say that despite the God heavy concept, I had fun reading Anomaly.
Quotes Berk closes his eyes. Then he places his hand on my elbow and walks me away from where the light can find us. This feels very different from when Monitor touched my elbow. This feels wonderful, like his fingers contain heat that drips into my bloodstream, making my arm tingle, my heart race. When he removes his hand, my arm feels like ice.
"What are you doing to me?" The water is giving me some strength. I pull against my restraints. If I can get up, I can fight this man. I can escape.
John removes his hand from my shoulder. "I am not your captor."
He speaks with a strange accent. Almost musical.
I look at him again. "Then who are you?"
"I am like you."
John laughs. The sound of it hits the walls and echoes back in my ears. I have only heard laughter a few times in my life. I like the sound. "No, my dear. We are not malformed."
At A Glance The story was amazing, but the writing dragged this book down a bit.
The Good This is the kind of story that will stay with you. So much happens in so few pages but none of it feels rushed. Bullion knows how to create characters that we can root for no matter their faults. I was sad for it to end because I felt like I got to know Sam and Aaron personally and I didn't want to let them go.
Samantha does a lot of growing in Dead Living. She has had a hard life and is use to fending for herself. She doesn't let anyone get close to her, or vice versa. She doesn't help anyone without a price. And she is straight up rude, making sure no one wants to befriend her. But at one of her worst moments, she meets Aaron. She assumes he's like every other male in her effed up world. But she soon realizes Aaron is different. Aaron brings out the best in Sam with his easy personality and constant smile. I loved watching Sam transform from this cold person to someone with heart. She starts to see the world differently and how helping others can be a good thing. No matter how hard Sam pushed Aaron away in the beginning, he stuck with her. And she returned the favor ten fold. The things Sam did to keep Aaron safe were amazing and almost frightening.
Aaron grew up like no other person. He has been mostly kept away from the zombie life even though he only knows a world involving zombies. He knows love from family and friendship. When tragidy strikes, he finds out he is different. The undead don't see him as food. They don't even acknowledge him. Now his life is all about the undead. He lives among them because they are simple, they are predictable. Then Sam slams into Aaron's life. Sam is a spitfire and he finds himself liking her for her tenacity and will to live. He sees Sam and he wants to make her life better, he wants to make her smile. Sam also pushes him to try new things and meet new people. Aaron is her salvation, and she ends up being his too. Aaron is a freakin' sweetheart. He is the kind of person who has an infectious smile. You naturally want to follow his lead because he is capable, he is safe. Aaron was just pure awesomeness. He is one of my favorite characters right now. He is both kind and strong, and you can't help but love everything about him.
Though the zombies weren't that scary, the evil humans sure were. Sometimes I forgot I was reading a horror book because I would get caught up with the love story, then I got slammed with the realization that humans can be pure evil. There was a lot of horrific things that happened that made my skin crawl. It's hard to believe people can do these kinds of things to other people, but we know it's possible, which makes it so much more stomach-turning. Though I hated feeling this way, it was a great indicator that Bullion could make me feel so much hate and disgust with only his words. I applaud him for that.
The action was awesome, the romance was magical and deep, and the pacing was perfect. Dead Living kept my interest the whole time.
The Bad Despite my love for the story, the writing was not so good. There is a bad case of telling instead of showing. The POV shifts are just atrocious. Then the peeks of omniscient POV are jarring to say the least. I could go on and on about the writing but I think you get the point. No need to beat the dead horse.
I don't know if this is a bad thing but I thought I should mention that this zombie book isn't very scary when it comes to the zombies. I was more often scared of the bad humans, but the zombie aspect seemed to fall into the background a little after the beginning of the book. Dead Living is more of a romance, which I liked, but others expecting zombie galore might not.
The Snuggly The romance is very much young adult when it comes to steam, but the build up of Aaron and Sam's relationship was perfect the way it was. This book doesn't need sex because this couple's connection goes so much further. Aaron and Sam make this book. They are truly amazing, complex characters that obviously belong together.
Expect sexual assault and rape. We don't see the rape but we hear it.
Final Thoughts Though the writing was somewhat off-putting, the story made up for it. As I writer myself, I can't give this book more than 3 stars because of the writing style, but I can show you all how much I enjoyed the story with all my praise for the characters and plot. Recommend for those who love zombies and romance.
Quotes "I just killed two people," she said. "Uh, good for you?" "They couldn't keep their d*cks where they belonged." "I will try to keep my d*ck in my pants." "Good. I have no problem killing you." "Okay. You're welcome, by the way." "I didn't thank you for anything." "I know. It's called sarcasm. Kinda like a joke." "I know what the hell sarcasm is. I'm not in the mood." "I can see that"
Denise kept a hand clamped over her mouth while tears streamed down her face. She heard the father and son screaming in agony, then they were quiet. She heard the sounds of the mob feasting. Disgusting, horrifying noises. She saw shadows on the back wall that hinted at the Hell that was happening. The office itself was locked, the glass window didn't lock at all. They weren't safe.
This review has minor spoilers. I do mention what supernatural creatures are in this world besides the zombies.
At A Glance Well that was a hell of a thing. Zombies, Vampires, AND Spirits! This is the kind of book that you end up loving for it's uniqueness.
The Good The Harvesting blew my mind. I never expected it. It gives off the persona that it's just another zombie book. But it's a lie. This isn't just a zombie book. This book has everything: fantasy, horror, folklore, zombies, vampires, spirits, romance, action, drama, death, and survival. I was drawn in from the beginning when Layla's grandma foresees the zombie apocalypse and helps Layla prepare for the coming fight. When Layla helps her hometown survive and thrive during the zombies. And when Layla does everything--like walking into a nest of vampires--to protect the people she loves.
The first thing that made this book different from every other zombie book is that there is not much fighting between the humans. Zombie books always seem to portray people going after each other as the world gets consumed. But in The Harvesting, the town works together, very effectively I might add. Sure, there are a few glitches, but it was nice to see a town that can work together in a world that is falling apart.
Layla is an amazing character. She isn't super woman or anything. She has her moments of fear and insecurity. But she is one tough chick overall. She knows a lot about weaponry, both from her job in ancient weapons and through her grandmother's teachings. She takes her "crazy" grandmother in stride. She humors her when she makes Layla gather supplies and board up the house, knowing her grandmother may have a good reason for being paranoid. And when the zombies come down on the town, Layla risks her life immediately to save the few people left who are not infected. She is an amazingly thorough leader who knows how to delegate tasks accordingly. I respect people like that. I am all about take-charge attitudes from people who are competent.
I really liked both love interests in this book, but for different reasons. There is Ian, the old boyfriend who left Layla heartbroken. Then Jamie, Ian's brother, who is like a brother to Layla but might be something more now. I loved to hate Ian. He isn't a bad guy per se, just a screw-up. His actions are not always appropriate. Jamie is just pure awesomeness. He also has a take-charge attitude, like Layla. The three of them made a pretty great team. But it's Layla's feelings for Jamie that was the funniest to watch. Layla's struggle between the two love interests was completely believable, and it was nice to see her work through her feelings slowly.
The supernatural element--besides the zombies--made this book even better. We get these mystical forest spirits that help Layla with her rough journey. Then there are the creepy vampires who use the zombie apocalypse to their benefit. It's a pretty good set-up on their part, but what a creepy concept. Zombies wanting to eat you is one thing, but throw in vampires wanting to eat you, DOUBLE WHAMMY.
The action was really great. Melanie does not hold back on the horror and gore of zombie killing. The world-building was amazing. I was sucked into the writing style right away. The story flowed easily; I kept forgetting I was even reading a book. The twists and turns kept my adrenaline going the whole way through. I can't wait for book two.
The Bad I think the first half of the book with zombies was the best part, the second part with the vampires lacked a little.
The ending left us with a lot of questions on what's going to happen next, so it was a bit frustrating.
The last chapter of the book confused me. I am assuming it is a segue to the next book, but it left me scratching my head with why it was included at all.
The Snuggly This is not a romance heavy book, which is common in zombie books. We have an interesting sort-of-but-not-really love-triangle that works out perfectly. I loved the slow build and past love drama. I great addition to spice up the story. No sex though, but some sexual situations.
Final Thoughts I was so pleasantly surprised by The Harvesting. It seems like books from blog tours have been really disappointing me lately, but The Harvesting broke the bad book streak. I will be keeping my eye on this author for now on. She knows what she's doing. Highly recommended.
Quotes "Who would have thought that the end of the world would bring me the one thing I thought I wanted most."
“If you ever need to slice someone’s head off, this is the blade you want.”
"The world, it seemed, had gone silent. It was something we knew but did not talk about. We were alone."
“Now, this is .44 Magnum, like the Dirty Harry movie. It has good stopping power. Lift up the safety and boom,” Grandma said pulling the trigger. The gun barrel let out a resounding noise, shattering Grandma’s old mantle-piece vase. “The man told Grandma this is a kill-shot gun, very powerful.” (less)
At A Glance I really loved Doomed. It was fast-paced and it kept my attention. I just wish the ending was a bit better.
The Good Wow. I have never read a book like this before. I am so not a gamer, so I wasn't sure if Doomed would be for me. Boy was I pleasantly surprised. Doomed pretty much had everything I look for in a book: fast, consistent action, great suspense, scary world, and a little romance. I was sucked in from the get-go and I never wanted to be spit back out.
What's funny is that this book didn't go where I thought it was going to go. I really thought it was going to be all gamer and techie, but it wasn't. It had everything. When Pandora unwittingly downloads a computer virus her estranged father sent to her through a popular computer game, everyone is affected. Now the world is left without electricity and power plants are on the verge of exploding and wiping out the human race. It's up to Pandora and the hot step-brothers next door to save the world. They must pass the levels of the game while following Pandora's father's clues across different cities and states. This is all while they are being chased by Homeland Security, the FBI, and gang members.
Pandora was a great character. She was both strong and vulnerable. You couldn't fault her for her occasional freak outs. If my father made me take down the world in a matter of a few mouse clicks, I would be horrified too. But Pandora always found her strength and the will to go on. I think she did pretty well for the situation she was in. Despite the decimation and violent people in the new broken world she lived in, she still held on to her humanity. She tried to save other people when she could, even when it put her in danger.
Eli was the charming guy who you couldn't help but fall for a little. His charisma was off the charts, but his roughness with Eli and his tendency to pout showed us all that he was not the guy for Pandora. It's Theo who captures all our hearts. He is very moody and dark in the beginning. He has had a rough past so you can't blame him for is attitude. But he starts to slowly open up as Pandora breaks through some of his hard shell. And when that happens, HOLY CRAP! He's as hot as all get out. He has that whole computer genius thing going on with that dark, sexy exterior that makes you melt. Got to love the sexy, smart types. Plus, he was so protective over Pandora. To know a man would put his life in danger to save yours is a great feeling.
The action and suspense were the best part. I loved the puzzles they had to solve and the adventures and horrors they experienced during their road trip. I was surprised how violent some scenes got. Like with the gang going after them. My heart pretty much beat right out of my chest. It's scary to think about how violent any of us can get when left with the choice to survive by any means possible or die.
I had so much fun reading Doomed. It's like a thrill ride I will never forget. It kept up my adrenaline while it slapped me in the face with some horrific scenarios I never want to imagine myself in. As far as I know, this is not going to be a series, but I would love to read the second book if there ever was one.
The Bad I found the lack of separation between the crew playing the game and real life to be odd. The computer avatars did and said things that I just didn't think were possible. Sometimes I didn't know if we were in the game or in reality. It took a while for me to get use to that. There were also other thing that happened that were pretty unbelievable, as in, logically they seemed off. But I didn't mind most of the time because I was all about the story, not so much the technicalities. I just wanted to mention it.
The ending was too fast and easily resolved for my tastes. After everything Theo, Eli, and Pandora went through, I expected something more.
The Snuggly Though I am so over love triangles, I didn't mind this one. Eli was so charismatic, I didn't begrudge Pandora for liking him. But though it took some time for Pandora to see past Theo's mood swings, I was so happy when they started flirting. Well, it wasn't flirting really, it was a connection that couldn't be severed, and they couldn't help but look into each other's eyes and just know they were meant for each other. OMG, the sexual tension was yummy as well. This book is YAish though, with just some kissing.
Final Thoughts I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved Doomed. It wasn't perfect but it was pretty damn close most of the time. I think gamers will love it, as well as young adult, dystopian lovers. It had something for everyone. Highly recommended.
Quotes "This is what I do," he answers. "Play video games?" He lifts an eyebrow. "Hack systems." I look at him, standing there in his button-down shirt and khaki pants and can't imagine him as anything but a rule follower of the highest order. I mean, even his shoes are perfectly polished. But then I make the mistake of meeting his eyes, and they're not cold anymore. Instead, they're totally bad ass. Filled with confidence and the thrill of the chase.
"Leave the door open," Mackaray tells me when we get there. "What?" I stare at him incredulously. "You heard me." The face staring back at me is implacable. “Where am I going to go? There’s no other way out of the bathroom!” “Take it or leave it.” Something moves in his eyes, and I know he’s waiting for me to leave it. But I won’t give him the satisfaction. “Does your wife know you get your kicks by listening to teenage girls pee?” (less)
At A Glance The concept of this Trilogy still fascinates me, but the plot really needed to be more focused in Seeds of War.
The Good I was excited to read book two of the Eden's Root Trilogy because I have been dying to see what was going to happen next. For the most part I wasn't disappointed. I was truly shocked by the developments in this book. The Truthers, the religious group who are strongly anti-technology, are gaining followers and are taking drastic measures to spread their version of what the world should be like. The Lobos, a dangerous gang, also make appearances. They still scare the crap out of me. They are as vicious and violent as ever, and this time, they have goals. A group of killers with a goal to accomplish can make one hell of a force to be reckoned with.
We also learn how the famine came to be. OMG, the stupidity of some people is limitless. Believe me, that's how you will feel when you find out the cause of all this. It was a twist I didn't expect.
Fi was the same strong leader we have come to love. But she goes through some issues of faith in Seeds of War. Because though the Truthers go about it the wrong way, their message sometimes rings true to Fi. I was surprised to see Fi waver in her convictions, but it was interesting to see her work out her problems. Asher was there with her every step of the way. And though Fi and Asher don't always see eye to eye, they always find a way to compromise and do what's right or for the best.
I was more excited to see Sean and and Sara become close. Sara was an interesting character. We see her as a somewhat shy but friendly person in Eden's Root, but in this book her ferocious side comes out. She trains to become a part of the Seeders along with Fi, Asher, and Sean. She turns out to be one of the best fighters of the group. Sara has a fire inside her because of her past, and she doesn't let anything hold her back. I both respected her and was fearful for her because at times it seemed like she let her past eat away at her.
I was so excited this time around because we start to see the rebuilding of communication, government, and cropping. Life is slowly starting to get back to normal. Of course there is a lot to still fix but the small steps taken so far look promising. The reality of this topic makes this Trilogy fascinating. All this could easily happen to us. Scary, right?
If you were waiting for the answers to the many questions we all had after Eden's Root, then Seeds of War will not disappoint. You leave this book with a sense of understanding and hopefulness. The Truthers are still a major obstacle to overcome, which makes me anxious to read book three as soon as possible.
The Bad Though I enjoyed Seeds of War, I also found a lot of stuff that bothered me. First, the plot. There was no focus, it was a little all over the place. There was really no set goal or main conflict. This is a book of sub-plots.
I loved the romance that Asher and Fi finally had, but the build up was non-existent. They did no more than kiss and spend some time together then all of a sudden they are getting married and having a romantic wedding night. I wish we got to see their relationship build more.
Then last, the pacing. It was so odd. We would get all this lead up to this dangerous mission that will last months, then once the mission starts, it ends in a matter of a dozen or so pages with nothing huge happening, just minor set backs. I just don't understand all this tension being built up for a limp conclusion.
The Snuggly Despite the lukewarm relationship building, I did love Asher and Fi's relationship right before and after the wedding. They were very sweet together and though the sexual tension was YA-ish, it was still steamy in it's own right.
Final Thoughts The plot was not focused they way I hoped it would be and the pacing was sometimes off, but I still enjoyed Seeds of War. We get both hope for a better future and the ominous feeling of something bad to come. How much worse will it get before it gets better? Who knows. But I will for sure be there to find out. Recommended for those who love the concept of this book.
Quotes "Fi, ordinary people pushing themselves to become extraordinary is our only hope if we're going to pull together and reconnect this broken world."
"Mr. Grey," her voice wavered. "Would you be so kind as to help me out of my dress?"
He was grateful that it took only two steps to reach her, because his legs seemed to have turned to mush. He nestled behind her, so close that his body skimmed hers in places, each touch sending little shocks zinging through him. Fi dropped her hands with a shy smile as he reached for the clasps. (less)
At A Glance I liked the concept but the execution wasn't great.
The Good I LOVED the concept of this book. The crops are dying and aren't growing back. A famine is on the horizon. Only a select few know about it. Before he died, Fi's dad warned her of what was coming. So Fi has prepared herself mentally and physically for the chaos that is about to descend on the populace. Because it is her job to take her Family to a place where they will be safe, where healthy food grows and thrives.
I was so excited as I started this book. I have never read a book like it before. And after finishing it, I knew this book would stick with me forever.
Fi fascinated me. She did exactly what someone should do when they know a famine is coming, she prepared. She trained and learned how to fight, how to use weapons, how to live off the land, and how to be an adult at age 13/14. I was so proud of her. She didn't shy away from the things she had to do. She didn't allow herself to break down as her father died and her mother got sick. When the violence and cruelty started all around her, she lead her Family (her real family and others who joined along the way) with precision and courage. Even when she had to do things that ate her up inside, she kept on a brave face in front of everyone else so they wounldn't be frightened.
I was so happy to see Sean and his family go with Fi. They had been best friends and neighbors since forever. Without Sean, I don't know if Fi could have braved through the whole trek. Sean was her sidekick in a way, but he was also her emotional support. With Fi's mom weak from her sickness, it was Sean who supported Fi every step of the way as she had to protect both adults and children from the outside world.
I was so tense throughout Eden's Root. I couldn't imagine being in this situation, having to lie, steal, and even kill to survive. Fi and her Family faced some horrible situations. Fi usually came back from food raids internally traumatized by what she faced each time. When Fi finally met Asher, I was shocked by how Fisher had them meet. It was pretty horrific. But Asher was really amazing. With his trusty sword, he had survived the unthinkable. Gangs had been after him from the beginning, but he made it through and stronger for it. I felt so much better when he joined the Family because he was a fighter like Fi.
Eden's Root was a suspenseful thrill-ride. The characters made you want to keep reading to see what would happen to them next. I loved how they all uniquely contributed to the group in some way. It was a unique idea that hit close to home because I have a family member that got very sick because of processed and altered food. He can only eat organic food now. But his life is forever changed because of this.
With the way we genetically alter our food, who knows if this is our future. It's a scary thought. I also think it's a wake-up call. I think going back to organic, non-processed/altered food is important to our futures and our health.
The Bad I think the biggest problem with this book is the execution. There was a lot of little things that kept bothering me. First, it was often very hokey and cheesy. The concept and story were very serious but the characters would joke around sometimes and it felt forced.
Then the idea that these educated adults and their children would follow every word of a 14 year old girl was sometimes unbelievable. I just didn't buy it. And with only a few months of training, I just didn't see Fi being that great of a leader.
Another thing, the book felt too long. One-third of it could have been cut and it would have been stronger for it. The beginning preparation Fi went through took too much room in the book as well.
Lastly, I often felt like I was being taught a lesson. It was all too much scientific info and moral lessons.
The Snuggly We have to wait a long time for the romance to start but once it did, I loved it. Fi and Asher were so cute together. But just kissing between them, that's all.
Caution, there is a rape scene in this book.
Final Thoughts I have to admit, there is a lot about this book that didn't quite hit me right, but I really did enjoy it in the end. The concept alone made me want to read it and the characters' journey kept me reading. I hope this isn't our future, but I am happy Fisher shared this story with us. Recommended.
Quotes “Love is like water,' Fi murmured, 'You can't squish it down and make it any smaller. No matter how you squeeze it,' she held Kiara close as her chest tightened. 'It just keeps busting out. So when you lose someone, you don't lose the love. It stays with you just as big in your heart as it always was. We may want the ache to go away, but we can't give up the love. So you live with both.”
“Seriously." Asher whispered. "You are pretty badass. It's a good thing you're little or I would be afraid of you.” (less)
At a Glance It's as simple as this, Rotter World is the best zombie book I have read by far.
The Good Flesh Craving... There is no need to summarize this book because Baker did an excellent job of that in his own book summary. So let's get down to the nitty-gritty. I loved this book so much I had a hankering for some flesh once I turned the last page. After satisfying my hunger by chewing on my pinkie for a bit, you couldn't stop me from spreading my love of this book. A zombie book is a zombie book, until you read Rotter World. A story of raw emotion, gore beyond comprehension, and the lengths self-righteous people will go to justify their hate.
The Leader... We spend a lot of time in the perspective of Mike Robson, once an officer of the law, now the leader of the team that goes into the thick of zombie territory to find supplies and survivors. Mike was the perfect hero. Loyal to a fault, caring but strict when needed, and a strong sense of morals. He is the kind of guy you would want to follow. I knew with him leading the group, with him being the voice of reason that no matter how bad things got, he would find a way to help the others survive.
Angels of Death... Natalie was another great character. She was the leader of the Angels of Death, a group of girls who she taught to shoot a gun and take care of themselves. The stories of what these girls had to go through to survive were gut-wrenching. The many rape gangs roving the world has made zombie-land even more terrifying for the female population. Natalie showed these women who have been victimized to fight and survive. I love reading about women who don't let their horrible pasts dictate who they are now. It added a lot of emotion to the novel that made me feel for the characters even more.
Zombies vs. Vampires... I loved the added twist of vampires amongst the Zombie Apocalypse. I really felt bad for them though. Their brethren had pretty much started the end of the world by releasing this virus on the population. Too bad for the vampires that they were not immune to the virus either. Now there are only a few vamps left in the world and almost every human would relish wiping them out. The vampires aren't too keen on having to rely on humans to survive. They need someone to watch over them during the daylight hours. This vulnerability only strengthens the vampires' hatred for the humans that wish them dead. Dravko was the secondary leader of the small vamp group, and he did a great job of keeping them safe. He remained logical the whole time, never letting his emotions get the best of him. He knew who was a threat to his team, and which humans he could trust. I like how some of the humans and vamps started to work together as a common threat emerged.
Humanity is Gone... The themes in this book were thought-provoking: How human frailty can destroy communities. How disaster rarely brings people together, but dismantles the basic structure of humanity. How morals and chivalry are often set aside as each person fights for their own life. How to some people hate and revenge are worth more than the rebuilding of a thriving society. I don't think anyone could really say what kind of person they will become if put in this kind of situation, but we can only hope we keep at least a thread of compassion and civilty even during the end of the world.
Can't We All Just Get Along? It was so easy for the people in Rotter World to blame the vampires for the destruction of life on Earth, but hate is what will continue the road of complete human elimination. When we are met with despair and a bleak future, one can only try to make things better by working together, not against one another. In Rotter World, some people just couldn't let go of their disdain and distrust and it got them killed. It also got innocents killed along the way. But Rotter World also showed us that there is always hope for humanity. Even when surviving seems impossible, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. People make mistakes but holding that against them and continuing a feud during a larger war is just counterproductive. I loved reading about a group that comes together to overcome the impossible. It made me want to cheer out loud.
Zombie Apocalypse... Rotter World was gory, terrifying, and heart-wrenching. It took my breath away and made me shiver at the same time. The action was sublime and the pacing kept my attention till the last page. I couldn't put this book down. There was a constant sense of dread the whole way through. I wanted so bad for everyone to survive, but that kind of wishful thinking is useless with a zombie book. People die, we mourn, and then move on. Because after killing the first fifty zombies, a hundred take their place. The Zombie Apocalypse waits for no man...or vampire.
The Bad Only two things bothered me. The beginning (after the initial zombie scene) was pretty slow but it was understandable since Baker had to introduce us to all his characters. Then there was a bit of a lull about three fourths into the book, when the crew finally gets to the underground facility.
The Snuggly We get some fun sexual tension and sex scenes. Yaaay. I like my zombie books with at least one sex scene. What the hell else are these people to do when they might be eaten any second?
Overall This is the kind of zombie book I have been looking for. Nothing was held back. I was face deep in rotting skin and gooey innards as Baker took me on the ride of my life. I loved the characters, even the bad guys. They all contributed to producing one hell of a zombie story. Highly recommended to all.
Excerpt "What's in there?" Sam asked nervously.
"Trust me," said Natalie, "you don't want to know."
"We'll see." Sam yanked Natalie off the truck, knocking her into the grass. He stepped back and spoke to the others. "Check it out. If you find anyone inside, kill'em."
The three gunmen climbed up onto the loading dock. The lanky one pushed aside the curtains with his AK-47 to allow the mustachioed gunman and the one in the Harley Davidson vest to enter, and then followed them inside.
A moment later, a scream emanated from the back of the Ryder, followed by gun shots and a growl, an ungodly guttural sound that was neither animal nor human. All three men started screaming now, the intensity of their panic terrifying. Then, one by one, each cry devolved into a muffled gurgle. The mayhem stopped as quickly as it had started, leaving in it's place an eerie silence. (less)
The Good How to be a Vampire... This is a story about one girl's journey after her world is turned upside down. Her life as a scavenger, to her life as a vampire in training, to her life as a wandering vampire who hides amongst a group of humans, hoping, maybe, to be a part of the human world once again. Instead, she finds peace with what she is, monster and all.
Life's a Bitch, Then You Die... Allie hates vampires. They have turned the world into a place of fear and despair. Unless you willingly donate your blood to the blood suckers, you are stuck in the Fringe. A place where you live on the streets and scavenge for food just to stay alive. Not really a life at all. But then Allie is attacked by rabids (crazed, mindless vampires) and the vampire Kanin gives her a choice: Die or become what she hates the most. Survival mode kicks in and Allie chooses a life as a vampire. But while Kanin is teaching Allie how to be a vampire--how to feed, fight, and survive--Kanin's past comes back to bite them both on the butt. Now Allie is on her own, traveling the deserted roads outside the city walls. When she comes upon a group of humans searching for a place that is void of vampires and their disease, she decides to tag along, in disguise as a human. And that's when things truly start going downhill.
A New Kind of Monster... Though Allie's life as a human at the beginning of the book wasn't the most interesting way to start off the story, I was pulled into Kagawa's world very easily once Allie became a vampire. At first, I got a whole Daybreakers feel. Though The Immortal Rules idea was very similar to the Daybreakers movie, the more I read, the more I realized that this book was actually very unique for its genre. This wasn't another YA vampire book. The focus wasn't the world Kagawa created or the bad guys within it, this was a story about Allie's internal and physical struggle with what she has become. Accepting that she is a monster, but embracing the kind of monster she chooses to be. One that still cares for human life while finding peace with the idea that humans are also her food. She may be a monster, people may fear her, but Allie finds that vampirism actually makes her more human than she was to begin with. She has always been strong, brave, and tough as nails. But Allie's new life has put things into perspective. Now she has the understanding how precious life is, even if it's an undead one. Adding in her new strength and fighting skills, Allie can do almost anything she wants, and she chooses to help others, to fight, and to live.
Zeke... I think each and every character in this book was integral in making this novel so dynamic. The characterization was amazing. The badies were very bad and the goodies were good. But even the good people were confused or a little misguided on what good really is. Zeke was probably the second most important character. His relationship with Allie goes through so many ups and downs, especially since Allie is parading as a human. But eventually her vampiric tendencies start to show. Zeke has been taught that every vampire is a demon who will kill you without thought. Normally, very true, but we know Allie is not that way...Zeke doesn't. So as you can imagine, that whole situation was fascinating to observe.
The Narrative... I liked the distinct separation of Allie's ever-changing path. How she went through huge changes in such short amounts of time, and how this confusing journey affects who she is and who she becomes. If it wasn't for Kagawa's awesome ability at narrative, I don't think The Immortal Rules would have worked, especially since the goals within the plot were pretty nonexistent most of the time. Kagawa also knows how to write kick-ass fighting scenes. The action was so intense that it gave me the chills. The horror, suspense, and character maturity was well above young adult levels, which I think was a great decision on Kagawa's part. This book will appeal to both young adults and adults. It has the essence of both.
Surprise!!! The mystery was very well done. I never guessed the shocking secrets Kagawa revealed throughout the novel. It's rare that a book can surprise me but The Immortal Rules did. I read this book with a constant sense of excitement. Excitement for Allie's growth, for the amazing fight scenes, for the smidgen of romance, and for the possibilities of book #2--which this book sets up nicely at the end. I wasn't expecting the dark, gritty, and emotional story that I got. Boy, do I like being surprised. :)
The Bad The plot and storyline was very vague. There was never any goal Allie was working towards, until the end. I just couldn't grasp the direction of this book. Allie pretty much wanders aimlessly for much of the book.
I found the beginning to be boring. There was a lot of background and description that was dumped on us from the get-go and I really just wanted to skip it.
Kagawa wasn't very aware of her character's surroundings when writing. For example, Allie would be covered in dirt and blood, and her cloths would be shredded but when she is trying to blend in, no one seems to notice her state of disarray.
The Snuggly There is definitely a budding romance in the making, but don't expect a lot of romance in this book. Allie and Zeke are kind of a couple destined to fail, but I would love for them to make it. This is a clean book when it comes to romance.
Overall Maybe the plot was a bit vague, but I can't deny that this book pulled me in and never let go. I was expecting another YA vampire story. I got so much more. I was actually going to give this 4 stars but while I was writing this review, I realized that the more time that went by, the more I loved The Immortal Rules. I think the writer in me kept yelling at me, saying the technical parts of this book weren't so great. It doesn't follow the rules. Screw the rules! Kagawa's storytelling abilities are just too amazing to discount. A highly recommended read.
Excerpts "If you run, you'll be dead before you take three steps."
I stopped, heart pounding. I believed him. Gripping my knife, I turned around, staring at him over the bodies of the dead, waiting for his next move.
There was no doubt in my mind. I knew what I faced, what stared at me across the tunnel, so still he might've been a statue. I was down here, alone, with a vampire. And there was no one who could help me. ~~~~~~~~~~
I swung the light around, taking a breath to shout a warning to the others.
Something pale and terrible rose from the grass behind Rat, all limbs and claws and shining teeth. Before he knew what was happening, it yanked him off his feet. I didn't even have time to shout before he vanished into the weeds and darkness with a yelp.
Note: I decided to repost my review of this book. I originally took it down for the many cyber attacks I received for my opinion of this book. I under...moreNote: I decided to repost my review of this book. I originally took it down for the many cyber attacks I received for my opinion of this book. I understand many people view this book differently and are upset by how they interpreted the content. If I reread this book today, would my opinion have changed? Probably. But this review below was how I felt about the book a long time ago. I can't change that. I just ask that you please not bully or attack me anymore for my opinion. I respect how you feel about this book, please respect me back. Thank you.
The Good Eden lives in a dystopian world where the darker your skin, the more desirable you are because those with dark skin can more easily stand the excessively hot environment that the earth now nurtures. Eden is a Pearl, a white person, which pretty much categorizes her as the dregs of society. Eden can only hope that a desirable Coal, a black person, will pick up her mate-option. But the story really begins when Eden and her father are swept away by Ronson Bramford, one of the most desirable and wealthiest Coals, and taken to a secluded part of the rainforest. This is after Eden compromises her father's vital experiments and Bramford is turned into something between beast and man. But Bramford's new transformation might be the key to helping society gain a semblance of what it once was, with everyone on more equal footing and with a better adaption to the environment.
To tell you the truth, I was scared out of my mind while reading this book. I always put myself in the position of the protagonist and to live in the world Eden lives would be like a death sentence without a defined date. To be so disposable and surrounded by people who hate your kind is just terrifying. But despite my fear, I devoured this book in one night. I don't often read dystopian type novels, but I have to admit this was a great introduction to the premise.
Eden was an interesting character that I couldn't help but feel sorry for. She tries to do the right thing but seems to always make things worse. Even though she has learned to be subservient and fear her superiors, she still has this inner strength that I think comes from her father's determination, her mother's love for life, and her "aunt" Emily's beautiful words. Oh, I can't forget to mention that. I think Foyt's concept of making Emily Dickinson Eden's "aunt" was wonderful. Her integration of Dickinson's poetry was quite fascinating. It brought a sense of realness to an otherwise fantastical world.
Bramford was a mystery most of the book. We can see that he views Eden not as a Pearl but as a woman, even when her childish actions say otherwise. But his past haunts him and his future is very much uncertain. He envisions a better world, just like Eden's father, but it has cost him some of his humanity. Though Foyt doesn't provide a very detailed description of what Bramford looks like after his transformation, I can't help but think of him as hot. It's the way Eden sees him that helps me visualize his undeniable masculinity and inhuman strength.
Watching Eden and Bramford fall in love was quite endearing. They couldn't be more opposite but they find something special in each other. It's as if they see the real person inside, the one each had to hide from the rest of society.
I think Foyt did a great job of writing a story that speaks to the many issues we face each day. How our culture defines what beauty is and what such beauty gets you. The issues of racism and the ever-increasing destruction of our environment and earth. The plot was intriguing, the characters were eye-catching, the action was amazing, and the concept was unique. Oh, and the mystery. Most of my question's didn't get answered till the very end, but I liked that. To keep guessing till the last turn of the page made it so much more exciting.
The Bad It's hard to pinpoint exactly what I didn't like about the book. One thing that was a little annoying was that from the summary and blurbs about the book I was expecting a different story. With the emphasis of the Coal/Pearl relationship and dystopian type world, Revealing Eden didn't focus too much on this aspect. The majority of the book was set in the rainforest away from the oppressive society I assumed was going to be the focus of the book.
The other thing that bothered me, though this is probably just me, the relationship between Eden and her father was depressing and how it was "resolved" was very unsatisfactory. And I know Eden can be a pain in the butt but you can't fault her for the decisions she makes when no one would tell her the whole story or truth.
The Snuggly We get some kissing and a little touching. This is a young adult book all the way, though we do get a little cussing.
Overall Though young adult is not my primary source of reading material, I have to say this book surprised me. It caught my attention from the get-go and never let up. Though the story took a turn I wasn't expecting, I still enjoyed myself till the end. I can't wait for part two. And I wanted to thank Foyt for signing my copy. Revealing Eden was the first hard-copy ARC I ever received, and your message only made it that much more special. Highly recommended for all ages. (less)