Proxy is a prequel Novella to a book called Avalon releasing early next year. In Proxy we learn a little bit about the world Jeth and his sister Lizzi...moreProxy is a prequel Novella to a book called Avalon releasing early next year. In Proxy we learn a little bit about the world Jeth and his sister Lizzie live in and also what sort of work they do as members of the Shades crew.
What I liked about this Novella was how it set the world and the people within it without divulging too much about the characters in the process. For instance we learn that the Shades are compiled primarily by Teenagers and that by 20 most age out of the group. However, we don't learn the specific reasons why this is so. Another thing we learn about is Jeth's relationship with his sister. She's the greenhorn of the operation and Jeth definitely isn't happy about this. Yet, Lizzie is kept quite mysterious. We know she's tech savvy but not really how she became so since it seems Jeth is away from her quite a bit. Also it is implied she is favored by their boss Hammer but is it out of a Father's type love or are more sinister machinations afoot?
Another thing I liked about Proxy was the pacing. The suspense was kept all the way through while still providing plenty of action and drama in the process. This is certainly a credit to Mindee Arnett's writing as I never found myself bored while reading this even while being waylaid by technical jargon that could of easily killed the pacing of the story.
Lastly, I liked the characters. Jeth seems like a cross between Dean Winchester and Peter Pan. He's the older brother, the protector always looking out for Lizzie. Yet, by being older he knows his time with the Shades is limited and so he needs to seize life by the balls so to speak and make the most out of his time in the here and now while he can. I also liked Celeste. While the novella has absolutely zero romance I think that Celeste and Jeth might become something later on. Of course maybe I'm wrong and just seeing something that doesn't exist.
Final Thoughts If you like Science Fiction mixed with action, adventure and a tiny bit of drama then I'd highly suggest picking this Novella up and giving it a go. After reading Proxy I am looking forward to Avalon when it releases. Speaking of which the Novella comes with a chapter preview and it is just as good if not better than Proxy. I can't wait to see more from this cast of characters. With that being said, I will be rating Proxy by Mindee Arnett ★★★★.(less)
Review All Together Now starts at the beginning of a Zombie Apocalypse and through a series of journal entries tells how the main character survives th...more Review All Together Now starts at the beginning of a Zombie Apocalypse and through a series of journal entries tells how the main character survives through it all. All Together Now is a book that is fast paced, well written and thought provoking while still filling its pages with plenty of action, suspense and of course Zombie carnage.
One of the things I really liked about the story was the creative way the Zombie Apocalypse started. With all the chemicals in Energy Drinks it isn't so unbelievable that the wrong combination of ingredients could essentially turn everyone into mindless, shambling, corpses. Energy Drinks are addicting and the mass consumption of them by so many was a great way to get the virus into a lot of people in such a short amount of time.
Another thing I really liked was the way Ricky let us know about Chuck's demise. It's obvious he's bitten but we don't learn how until near the end. Believe me when I say I never saw it coming and it is quite heartbreaking because the character didn't either. It was a very chilling scene to say the least. However, knowing that I still don't believe Chuck should've stuck around. I get it, I do. He's your little brother and you love him but they had no way of knowing if a cure really existed and so much suffering could've been avoided if he just accepted that his brother was dead. I guess it just bugged me that he couldn't let go and it's frustrating seeing so many other characters fall by the wayside because of it.
Lastly, I liked the fact that the characters seemed real. They were selfish, annoying, ate way to much food, didn't deal with confrontations well and left me wondering how any of them would survive to not only the next chapter but the next page as well. In short they behaved exactly how I'd expect teenagers with very little real world experience to react in that sort of situation.
Now even though I really liked All Together Now it did have a few small faults that kept me from rating it a bit higher.
First, I hated Zombie Chuck. If I was with Ricky I'd have put the poor kid out of his misery while Ricky slept. It was selfish and foolhardy to keep him around. If he really wanted to keep Chuck safe until a cure was found he'd have left him locked up somewhere not led him around on a collar like some lost puppy. As mentioned above so much stuff happens because Ricky is so focused on keeping his Zombified brother safe. It was both frustrating and annoying to read about.
Second, I really wish we had seen a bit more carnage. I don't care if a mythical cure will exist 2 days or even 2 months down the road. The fact they left so many Zombies alive just in hopes of a cure made me angry. Again, so much stuff could've been avoided if they just put a bullet in the brains of those they came across. I think it speaks volumes to the mentality of Ricky though. He still saw them as people whereas his partner saw them as the corpses they were.
Lastly, I hated the second ending. I knew when Ricky gave the option to stop reading that nothing good would be coming round the bend and I was right. I won't spoil it but it was so depressing and almost ruined the entire story for me. I much prefer the first ending as it leaves things on a much more positive note.
Final Thoughts All Together Now is a Zombie story with guts and is a book that I'm glad to have had the chance to read. If you like Zombie Action combined with dark humor and a twinge of romance than All Together Now is definitely for you. With that being said, I will be rating All Together Now by Robert Kent ★★★★.
Sanctuary begins at the start of an alien apocalypse. The visitors whomever they may be haven't moved in six weeks and while the ships hovering over t...moreSanctuary begins at the start of an alien apocalypse. The visitors whomever they may be haven't moved in six weeks and while the ships hovering over the Earth are troublesome for 19 year old Jennie life must go on. That is until the ships open and what emerges is neither man, nor friendly. Now in a race for their lives Jennie, her brother Mickey and a small group of survivors try to find sanctuary in what might be the last safe hold in the city.
Alien invasions mixed with Zombie-ish creatures is an interesting concept to me as I haven't really seen it done that much before. The "Aliens" or Shisa (cross between a lion and a dog, from Japanese mythology) as they would come to be called were as scary as they were unique. I liked that the Author didn't go the route of little green men holding "We come in Peace." signs or something like the Tripods from War of the World. I knew the doors on the ships were bound to open but never expected what appeared so that was a nice surprise.
Another thing I liked about the story was it's incredibly fast paced. I read this book in almost an entire sitting and only stopped because I needed to sleep. Of course this also hindered the story in some ways as the characters weren't really fleshed out as much as I'd of liked and also plot points were rushed.
Lastly, I liked the character Hugh. He was a man with a plan and was the only one to try and find a cure for the infected. Plus he's super swoon worthy so that certainly helped.
Now while I did enjoy Sanctuary I definitely think that the story had room for improvement.
One of my biggest gripes with the story were the characters. I just didn't really connect with any of them. In the beginning I liked Jennie she was independent, had a sense of humor and also seemed like a genuinely nice person. However, during the course of the book as the Infected numbers grew she lost that independent streak and instead turned into little miss Sunday School and I didn't really like that. Also she was deeply stupid at times. I get it your little brother is well, little but c'mon man stop babying him and have him help you already. He's going to see the Horror going on eventually so why not get it over and done with. I absolutely cannot stand when people try to baby kids during Apocalyptic situations. Toddlers maybe to an extent but the kid is 5 for Christ sakes. So much bad stuff could be avoided if people and in this case Jennie would just stop trying to shield him from everything and start using him as an asset albeit a tiny one. Oh and don't even get me started on her attitude towards Brad the hot younger brother to Hugh. She obviously missed the memo of Douchebag alert stay away. Speaking of Brad, What was the point of his character exactly? Just to prove not everyone was as good as those in the congregation? Or was it just to give us someone to hate cause if so, then the Author succeeded. Nothing redeemable about that character at all.
Another thing I didn't really like about Sanctuary was the way it rushed through certain plot points while dragging out others. We get plenty of back story on Brad, Hugh and the girl Clarrisa but come the big revelation with the character Phillip towards the end and it is glossed over with just a firm handshake and a pat on the back. It was so frustrating. Also I would've liked to know what happened with all the other survivors met along the way and why more hadn't found their way to the base. Surely they'd be sending out convoys to pick people up once the group from the Church mentioned those left behind. Unless of course they were to self absorbed in their own survival and safety to care. Which in all honesty is probably the case.
Lastly, I didn't like the ending and it's all brought back to Jennie. She went from being all gung ho about Brad to being completely in lust with Hugh and this is in the span of just days not even weeks. I'm starting to think she has some deep co-dependency issues or something. Also like I mentioned above I wanted to see Phillip more and the Scientists at the base talking excitedly about him pulling through. I mean this is the first real hope they have at helping those infected and it's just glossed over so Jennie can go back to thinking and worrying about Hugh. It was just so irritating even though deep down I did actually want them together.
Final Thoughts Sanctuary isn't a perfect book by any means but in the end I did enjoy it and ultimately that is what matters. I know I'll be looking forward to the sequel whenever it releases. If you like shows like Jericho and Survivors or books like Logan Rutherford's The Visitors or Undead by Kirsty McKay than this book is definitely for you. With that being said, I'll be rating Sanctuary by Pauline Creeden ★★★.
*Copy reviewed provided by Author. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way for providing them.(less)
Ectopia is a book that can best be described as a mash-up of Children of Men and A Clockwork Orange if set against the 1980's London Punk scene. This...moreEctopia is a book that can best be described as a mash-up of Children of Men and A Clockwork Orange if set against the 1980's London Punk scene. This book is as bizarre as it is disturbing and yet for some odd reason I couldn't tear myself away from it.
Ectopia is a dark book. It is set in a world that's been literally Fucked up by Humanity. For whatever reason no Females be them Animal or Human have been born for well over a generation and the youngest one left and last born spends her time stuck in her house under the wanting eye of her overprotective Father. While this premise sounds very promising it isn't really executed all that well. We never get any really in depth answers as to why Karen is the last born female and why Animals can't breed female offspring either. I also would've liked to learn more about the girls born around Karen. Yes she was the last but what about all those born a day, week, year before her? The details on the other girls is kept to a minimum and for what purpose? To make Karen seem more special or simply because the Author didn't want to really go into depth beyond the limited scope of his Dystopic world?
Now while Karen is certainly a major part of the book it is actually her Gay twin Steven who takes center stage. Now I have no problem with Gay Protagonists but I do have a problem with Assholes and Steven definitely is one of those. He's just so damn unlikable and even during the ending which let's be honest royally sucked for him I still didn't care all that much about him. Steven and his goon Teensquad are the Clockwork Orange part of the story and for me that just didn't work. Sure I guess the Author could be commended for exploring Gender and Identity roles but I didn't set out to read Propaganda and this read like the biggest one of them all.
Lastly, I found the world building severely lacking. As I mentioned above we never really get any reasons to how things ended up so badly. Sure we learn how they are trying to "correct" the problem but that doesn't really feel like enough in the grand scheme of things. Also what the hell is with all the graphic masturbation in this book?? Sure no new females are being born but they still exist. You'd think they'd be telling everyone and anyone to try screwing each other in the hopes of a baby female being born but then I guess this wouldn't be a disturbing Dystopian or something.
Final Thoughts If you enjoy speculative fiction and Dystopian books that take not just a walk but a run on the dark side then Ectopia is probably for you. However, if you're one who likes a story with a happy ending and lots of in depth world building then you'll probably want to pass this one by. In the end while I did enjoy Ectopia enough to finish I don't think it is a book that I will read again any time soon. With that being said, I will be rating Ectopia by Martin Goodman ★★★.
Nightmare City is a book that is part thriller, part young adult mystery. In short it reminded me of the Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine that I read as...moreNightmare City is a book that is part thriller, part young adult mystery. In short it reminded me of the Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine that I read as a kid that I loved.
What I really enjoyed about Nightmare City was the way the story unfolded. It was slow and methodical. Were introduced to little pieces of the puzzle along with the character Tom and that makes the book that much more exciting since were in the dark as much as he is.
Another thing I liked were the malevolents. They were these Zombie Demons just waiting to tear apart the flesh of poor Tom. Although I didn't find them scary they were creepy and definitely weren't creatures I'd like to mess with if they suddenly were to manifest in front of me.
Lastly, I liked that although the book is short we get to learn about the type of person Tom is through a series of short flashbacks. Now normally these might bug me but in Nightmare City they served a purpose and really helped us sort through the events leading up to when Tom found himself trapped in the fog.
Now although I liked Nightmare City it did have a few small flaws that kept it from being given a higher rating. First, I didn't particularly like Tom. It's not like he was a bad guy or anything I just found him to be almost too wholesome. He actually reminded me of the character Steve from American Dad with that shrill almost nasally voice. I kept imagining that's how he'd sound if he was a real person. Yes he was a good guy and yes his morals were impeccable but also I believe he was naive and blinded by his own wants and desires. Sure his quest for the truth should be admired but he was fooling himself to believe that the truth is the only thing he was after.
Another thing I didn't like was the ending. It came so quickly and barely had any sort of proper wrap up. I wanted to see Tom take down the bastard who made him end up in the Nightmare City in the first place not just Oh well this happened and he might go away for a long time. Also what happened to Marie? Surely she'd be charged as well. I wanted my big dramatic scene of her being cuffed in the middle of pep squad and taken away while Tom looks on knowingly. Was that to much to ask for?
Final Thoughts Nightmare City is a great thriller filled with lots of twists, turns and things that go bump in the night. If you're looking for a quick and creepy read without lots of violence and gore than I suggest picking this one up and giving it a go. With that being said, I'll be rating Nightmare City by Andrew Klavan ★★★★.
When I started reading The Hole I thought I was settling in for 266 pages of Horror goodness. However, I quickly realized that this book was much more...moreWhen I started reading The Hole I thought I was settling in for 266 pages of Horror goodness. However, I quickly realized that this book was much more than just holes in the ground swallowing people up for some malevolent reason. Truth be told I would of been perfectly fine with a story like that but instead I was given so much more to work with. The Hole might be Horror at its core but it also blends in a fair bit of the otherworldly including ghosts, aliens and demon spawn. While multiple genres existing in a single book isn't new I did like that it kept me guessing as to who the true villain of the story was.Now while I did like The Hole it wasn't without faults.
First off, I really didn't like how stereotypical the characters were. We know by the accents of some of the townsfolk that this is probably a small southern town in the middle of nowhere filled with good ole country folk. You also have the town drunk who is redeemed through his selfless actions, the bumbling overwhelmed sheriff trying to do his best to maintain order, the war vet, the town Doctor who btw is way to overqualified to be working in the town in the first place and of course the annoying older lady who is also deeply religious. Everyone played their roles perfectly but it was just a bit to Horror 101 for my tastes.
Next up, I wanted to know more about the holes. Why was this town targeted specifically? Why does it seem holes only opened where groups of people resided? What's with the accompanying nose bleeds? Way to much plot development backed with few to answers.
Lastly, I hated the ending. Everyone left conveniently coupled up and those left didn't seem to care that the things in the Pods very well could've been all the townsfolk or that the nosebleeds hadn't stopped. I was also really hoping to have some sort of concrete evidence as to whom was to blame but I came away with even more questions than I had to begin with. I really hope this book has a sequel because I refuse to believe an Author would write a standalone with that sort of ending.
Final Thoughts While The Hole had some solid story ideas I just think the execution could've been better. The story started out quite strong but then petered down into this bizarre mishmash of genres and ideas. In all honestly I wouldn't be surprised if the story was born out out of the viewing and reading of several books and films which then in turn were haphazardly pieced together to create his story. While I did enjoy the book enough to finish it I can't say that it warmed me up to reading more by this Author either. Would I recommend The Hole? Yes. I think if you don't read a ton of Horror this book might be a completely engrossing and frightening read for you. Just for me personally I was reminded of to many other works to find full enjoyment out of it. With that being said, I'll be rating The Hole by William Meikle ★★★.
*Copy reviewed provided by Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way for providing them.(less)
State of Decay is a Zombie serial that I had been hearing tons of great things about so naturally I wanted to read it for myself. For whatever reason...moreState of Decay is a Zombie serial that I had been hearing tons of great things about so naturally I wanted to read it for myself. For whatever reason after buying I didn't get around to it right away. Boy was I missing out by doing so.
While this story doesn't have a ton of characters the ones were introduced to are fabulous. I loved the character Melody she was strong, brave and had a good head on her shoulders. Being the daughter of an Army Major definitely gives her an advantage when it comes to the Zombie Apocalypse and it shows. However, deep down she is still a Teenage girl lost in a world filled with shambling corpses and so she has this vulnerability as well. I also loved her Father and really wish I could've gotten to know him more.
Another thing I really enjoyed about State of Decay was the gore. This book doesn't try and pretty up the deaths of the living. I've read several recent Zombie stories where they stop short of describing anything to keep the book firmly in PG-13 territory and for me that is extremely frustrating. It was really nice to see someone write who isn't afraid to describe how the putrefying bodies smell or what it feels like to curb stomp a Zombies head in. All the little details you'd expect were included and made the story and the world it is set in that much creepier.
The only downside to the story that I found was the sudden time jump midway through the story. Going from day one to 72 hours later is one thing but 72 hours to 2 years is another. I just wish we had seen a few glimpses into those 2 years of lost time. How did Melody survive? Did the woods she was inhabiting ever have Zombies shambling through them or was it relatively safe? Did she ever see survivors on her supply runs? I'm hoping that in the next book we get to learn a bit more about her survival during that time. Is it enough to downgrade the story? No, but I still would've liked to have viewed her struggles alone in the woods so long.
Final Thoughts State of Decay combines pulse pounding suspense, Zombies and realism to create a perfect little story that reads like a full length novel. I highly recommend picking this one up and giving it a go. I can't wait to download the next episode and see what happens with the characters in the story. I have a feeling that things are about to get a whole lot worse before they get better. With that being said, I will be rating State of Decay by Peggy Martinez ★★★★★.(less)
Odium is a book that I had been looking forward to review for a couple months now. When I finally got my hands on a copy I started devouring it almost...moreOdium is a book that I had been looking forward to review for a couple months now. When I finally got my hands on a copy I started devouring it almost immediately. As far as Zombie stories go I liked Odium. The book had decent character development, the Zombies were ruthless in their pursuit of the living and I think the Author came up with some creative ways to keep the survivors safe. However, Odium is far from a perfect Zombie book and here's why:
First off, my biggest issue with the story is Nina. She starts off actually quite likable when she steps in to save Emily-Rose from a fate worse than death. However, that quickly changes when the pair head out into the Undead wasteland. Her personality changes from strong willed survivor to whiny bitch in the blink of an eye. As the book progressed I realized I didn't like her very much at all. She didn't listen, she whined about everything, she was judgmental, rude and to top it off didn't care to learn anything to better her situation. Sure, she always cared for Emily-Rose and that at least was a redeeming characteristic but it wasn't enough to keep me from wishing she'd end up Zombie chow.
Secondly, I didn't like how The Forgotten were portrayed. I get it they were the big bad of the story who shows up at the most convenient times to reek havoc on the characters lives. All stories need a villain and The Forgotten played the role nicely. I just personally wasn't convinced they were as bad as the other survivors kept saying. At least not compared to Lee whom Nina is constantly referencing as this evil tyrant who took pleasure in torturing the citizens behind the wall.
Lastly, I was severely disappointed how under prepared everyone was handling life outside amongst the dead. Nina and Emily-Rose have at least somewhat of an excuse but Britta, Mikey, JD etc... have none such since they've been living out amongst the dead since it all began. You'd think they'd be hardened pros at planning escape routes and keeping bug out bags stored in various locations just on the off chance they were overrun. One good meal and they all drop their guard, keep the vehicles out of reach and forget to carry weapons with them as well. It was just so bloody convenient that they'd be run off with nothing. Once I could forgive but twice is just plain sloppy.
Now despite all my misgivings mentioned above, Odium was still a good Zombie story. It was brilliant for the characters to convert a Wilderness Survival Course into a sanctuary from the Undead, I loved that! I also loved how Steve kept his chickens safe in the hatch of the RV it was a smart idea and a great way to transport them as well. Lastly, I liked that the Zombies were actually putrefying as a dead body should. Sure the Zombies were still scary but also it was nice to see that they weren't "Immortal". Just wait long enough and they'd eventually re-die off.
Final Thoughts While Odium is far from perfect, I still really enjoyed the book and am glad that I read it. Despite my lack of love for Nina I'm looking forward to seeing what the next book brings. Who knows maybe she'll have some growth between this book and the next even. I'd recommend checking this one out if your looking for a new Zombie book to read. With that being said, I'll be rating Odium by Claire C. Riley ★★★.
I picked up Dead Petals on a whim one day. The premise sounded unique enough but what really caught my atten...moreReviewed originally @Blood,Sweat and Books
I picked up Dead Petals on a whim one day. The premise sounded unique enough but what really caught my attention were what sounded like photosynthesizing Zombies. I hadn't really read any books like that before so naturally I had to give Dead Petals a try. Unfortunately once I actually sat down to read Dead Petals the book proved to be much more bizarre than anticipated.
First off, I did not connect with any of the characters. It's not that they were unlikable but more so that their character development was lacking. We learn just enough about each characters to distinguish them from each other but any real character development expressing the wants, fears and desires of the survivors is kept to a minimum. At least I felt so.
Another thing I didn't like was the writing. I felt like I was reading a rough draft of the story vs. a finished copy. The Author had so much going on that it didn't allow me time to process what was going on with everyone from one moment to the next. Also pacing was an issue for me. Instead of writing one cohesive narrative it jumped around from scene to scene. We'd go from a fight between two characters to a talk about the moon and stars laced with many sexual undertones the next. This was a roller coaster read but not in a good way.
Lastly, I was left confused several times throughout the story. Again I believe this has to do with the writing and the Author maybe being unsure where exactly he wanted the story to go. I believe the underlying message was about Conservation and how we should respect the Earth but then again maybe I'm just grasping at straws trying to make sense of it all.
Now while I wasn't overly in love with Dead Petals I did as expected really like the "Zombies". They were unique and terrifying in the fact they could regenerate and the fact hunger wasn't their only driving force. Plus the whole face peeling thing reminded me of a mix between Resident Evil and Predator which was pretty awesome to imagine.
Final Thoughts If you're looking for a really unique take on Zombies then check Dead Petals out. I won't promise it being an awesome, mind bending read but it is unique, fairly quick and one in the end that I'm glad to have read. With that being said, I'll be rating Dead Petals by Eric Ortlund ★★★.
*Copy reviewed provided by Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way for providing them.(less)
Escape From Eden is a book that took me completely by surprise. I knew it'd be about a Fundamentalist Cult living in the Jungle and that it'd filled w...moreEscape From Eden is a book that took me completely by surprise. I knew it'd be about a Fundamentalist Cult living in the Jungle and that it'd filled with some sort of romance as most Young Adult books these days do but I never realized how deeply disturbing and twisted the book would actually become and how far and wide the corruption would extend.
What I really liked about Escape From Eden were the characters.When we meet Mia she is already questioning the system. She loves her community but also has decided that maybe Eden isn't the right place for her. Then we have Gabriel who on the surface is your typical ridiculously good looking bad boy. Yet if you dig a little deeper he's revealed to be far more complicated then first perceived. Lastly, I really liked the fact that the community members were given distinct personalities. Even characters with barely a line were fleshed out nicely and described in detail. I definitely appreciate when an author takes the time to flesh out all the characters not just those that are the main focus.
I also really loved the "twists" in the story. Yes, they were disturbing and I may have even taken a shower after finishing the book but above all they were great and ones I didn't see coming. While Escape From Eden is a fictional work it didn't make it any easier reading what was actually happening to these characters most of which were young girls and boys.
Lastly, I loved the ending. While it infuriated me to see the flock agree so obediently it does sort of drive home the point of why Cults are dangerous. I am thankful that the Author kept the details at the end to a minimum. I'm not sure after all these people had been through that I'd be able to stomach it in all honestly.
Now while I really did love Escape from Eden I do have two very small gripes. The first is that I wanted to know why so much focus was put on Bridgette who is Mia's bunk mate. It seemed like an unnecessary amount of time was spent focused building up her and Mia's hostile relationship but we never really get told why they dislike each other so vehemently in the first place. I kept waiting for a significant twist in her storyline to happen but it never did and this was a letdown. I just feel like she was being built up for something grander than just shacking up with someone she wasn't supposed to. Another small issue I had dealt with the 11 who ate the cookies. With life being so "Valuable" it just felt out of place. I kept hoping the 11 would pop back up on the "other side" but sadly this wasn't the case. Looking back at the event it really didn't make sense to me. Maybe that's the point though.
Overall, Escape From Eden is a book that will stick with me for quite some time. While it did have a few small flaws they weren't enough to ruin the story for me. I highly recommend picking this title up when you get the chance. Elisa Nader is definitely an Author I'll be looking to read from in the future. With that being said, I'll be rating Escape From Eden by Elisa Nader ★★★★★.
Reviewed originally @Blood,Sweat and Books *Copy provided by Author. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any which way for providing them. (less)
Pendomus is a book that can best be described as bizarre. This is a multi-genre book if ever I read one and yet somehow this works to create a masterp...morePendomus is a book that can best be described as bizarre. This is a multi-genre book if ever I read one and yet somehow this works to create a masterpiece of sorts. Told from differing points of view the story follows Runa and Trae on this journey across Pendomus trying to uncover a plot that might bring salvation or destruction to them all.
One of things I really enjoyed about this book was the incredibly world building. The Authors imagination clearly knows no bounds. I could picture every structure, every rocky outcropping and snow flaked tundra perfectly. The details are packed into this story and yet I never felt overwhelmed by them.
Another thing I liked was the technology. It felt fresh and unique to this story. The way the system of Pendomus runs might be a technological achievement of sorts but I just found it terrifying. The rulers of Pendomus control every little facet of life. The humans don't even sleep anymore they just sit in a chair get zapped by some machine and like good little drones get right back to work. Nor do they utilize speech. Why bother when you can just communicate telepathically.
Now while both those things really worked for me Pendomus is not without faults.
First off, because the story constantly swaps back and forth between Runa and Trae's point of view I never really felt like I had the chance become as intimately connected to either character as I would of liked.
Secondly, the pacing is all over the place. This book read like a roller coaster. When it was up it was terrifying and wondrous but when it dropped down cruising at an even speed I found myself bored and skimming through the scenes.
Lastly, I felt the book took way to long to reveal information about the plot. We get little bits and pieces as the story progresses but it's not until we reach well over the halfway mark before we see any real evidence of what is going on. I think this story really would of benefited from a prequel instead of trying to cram in all this history of the colony and the world with that of Runa and Trae's relationship with each other and that of the colony. So much world building (which again I do love) left little room for character and story development.
Final Thoughts While I highly enjoyed Pendomus I did find myself struggling at times to stick with the story. If you love films like Avatar or the Matrix or books like Feed, Divergent or Starters then I'd definitely suggest picking this one up and giving it a go. I look forward to reading the next book in this series and seeing where Runa's story heads now that she's equipped with new knowledge about Pendomus and herself. With that being said, I'll be rating Pendomus by Carissa Andrews ★★★★.
These Broken Stars is a novel that I knew I had to read the moment I heard about it. Part Science Fiction Survival story and part turn of the century...moreThese Broken Stars is a novel that I knew I had to read the moment I heard about it. Part Science Fiction Survival story and part turn of the century romance, These Broken Stars combines several genres to complete it's marvelous and sometimes terrifying world.
When I started on These Broken Stars I was instantly attracted to the world the book was set in. I wouldn't quite call the book Steampunk but it did have many elements reminiscent of that style. Also while the world felt very modern the mannerisms and attire of the characters made me believe it was set in a past world that somehow just had superior technology at its disposal. It was this blending of the past and present that really sold me on the world the story was set in.
Another thing I really loved was the way the story unfolded. We learn quite a bit about the characters while still aboard the Icarus and yet enough is withheld to keep the character development interesting throughout the entire book. Also I was amazed that the Authors really delved into the survival aspect of the story. These characters go through hell during their journey. The struggle they go through from lack of food to sifting through decomposing bodies for supplies is bared for all to see. It would've been very easy for the Authors to omit these things but instead they chose to keep them in and I applaud that.
Lastly, I love the characters. Lilac and Traver reminded me a lot of Rose and Jack from Titanic. She being the upper crust daughter of a mega rich entrepreneur and he being from a working class family whose had to literally fight his way to earn a spot aboard the Icarus. The romance that develops between these two is simple and sweet and yet has this simmering underbelly to it just waiting to erupt though decorum dictates they act otherwise. I also think Lilac is one of the best female protagonists I've read lately. She's a lady and a fighter rolled into one and I love that she doesn't apologize for being that way. She surprised me quite a bit while reading this story and I can't wait to see what awaits her in the next book.
Final Thoughts With its blend of modern technology and old school charm These Broken Stars is one of the best books I've read this year bar none. I highly recommend picking this one up and giving it a go once it releases. If you like books like Across The Universe by Beth Revis or Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi then you'll love These Broken Stars. With that being said, I will be rating These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner ★★★★★.
Reviewed Originally @Blood,Sweat and Books *Copy reviewed provided by Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way for providing them.(less)
Lucretia and the Kroons is a book I actually read last year. Due to its entirely bizarre plot and my feelings being in a state of confusion I chose t...more Lucretia and the Kroons is a book I actually read last year. Due to its entirely bizarre plot and my feelings being in a state of confusion I chose to not review the book at the time. Recently however, I decided to reread this Novella and give it another shot. Here's my thoughts:
Lucretia and the Kroons can only be described as Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland meets Stephen King's insert book of choice. To put it bluntly this Novella will screw with your mind. I've read this twice now and I'm still not entirely sure if events happened the way I read or if I'm trying to somehow formulate some semblance of a story to cover my confusion. Of course thinking about it further this is probably the intent to begin with. Is Lucretia actually seeing these things and going through all these horrific experiences or is she just trying to come to grips with a reality that is less than ideal? If someone figures it out, please let me know.
One thing I will say that Lucretia and the Kroons has going for it is the Horror element. This book was scary and gory and satisfied my cravings for things that go bump in the night. As a Horror book I loved this story. The Kroons were terrifying and actually had me holding onto my throat in disgust at places. I also feel that the writing was good despite my misgivings about the story. I'm tempted to read the companion to this book The Devil In Silver but don't know if I can handle another trip down the rabbit hole aka the mind of Victor Lavelle.
Overall, Lucretia and the Kroons is a well written if not bizarre little horror tale. Like I said above I've read this twice and I'm still not sure what I read so maybe you'll take my recommendation to read this with a grain of salt. However, I urge you to at least give this Novella a shot even if you just borrow it from someone. The Horror in this story is superb and I really feel that the Authors creativeness with the world deserves recognition. With that being said, I will be rating Lucretia and the Kroons ★★★.(less)
Quarantine: The Saints picks up pretty much right where the first book ended. Running towards freedom W...moreReview originally posted @Blood,Sweat and Books
Quarantine: The Saints picks up pretty much right where the first book ended. Running towards freedom Will and his entire group of Loners have almost made it out when the unthinkable happens and they are locked back inside. Dejected and starving Will, Lucy and the handful of Loners left return to the stairwell they call home to regroup. Since the majority of the Loners did make it outside Will quickly finds himself back on the bottom of the food chain and is close to starvation when new guy asks Will to join his group The Saints. Tired of living on the fringe and delirious from hunger Will has no choice but accept. However, acceptance comes with a price and for Will, that might just mean losing his life.
I admit I actually had forgotten the ending of the first book so it took me a page or two to realize what was going on. While the story in Quarantine: The Saints did progress I was a bit disappointed that they were still trapped in the school. It would have been nice to see the main characters escape only to realize that it was safer to return then try and survive outside. Or at the very least have them trapped outside but still essentially in Quarantine as the outside of the school could have had a huge multi-story wall built around it. Then the story could've been them trying to either break back in or find a way out.
Now I know it sounds like I didn't like the story but I assure you I did. I really enjoy the writing and the characters. However, I feel also that the story inside the school is over. It is time to get these characters outside and exploring. No more "graduation" or trying to fight with each other over supplies. I want to see people head in different directions no longer bound by titles like Freaks, Sluts, Pretties etc.. I want to see them find other teens who managed to escape or visit their parents homes only to realize they've moved on without them. I also think its high time we see some adults die. Maybe the teens become organized and start an Army where it becomes an us vs. them scenario. Just give me something beside the damn school!!
So what did I like about Quarantine: The Saints? I really enjoyed the character Lucy. Her progression from Pretty to loner to slut has been great. I think she's really found a good place to be at and I can't wait to see where her character heads in the next book. I also liked that Will finally came into his own. In the first book he was more David's annoying little brother. In The Saints he grew from boy to man, quite literally actually. Lastly, I really enjoyed the ending. Those last few chapters were jam packed with action, romance, terror and mystery. Also the end has some face ripping. OMG guys I nearly lost my lunch. I read Horror like I drink water and even I found that scene disturbing.
Overall, I'm happy with the sequel. Sure, it wasn't perfect but it did hold my attention and I read it in one sitting quite quickly. I definitely hope the sequel moves out from the school but even if it doesn't I know I'll still read it. I need to know what happens. If you like survival horror with a Battle Royale feel then you need to pick this one up. With that being said, I will be rating Quarantine: The Saints by Lex Thomas ★★★★.(less)
Concealed Power is a book I stumbled on one day while browsing through Amazon. The story sounded uniqu...moreBook originally reviewed @ Blood,Sweat and Books
Concealed Power is a book I stumbled on one day while browsing through Amazon. The story sounded unique and my interest was piqued by the mysterious Death Plague. I'm so incredibly happy that I decided to take a chance on this book. While not exactly the book I was expecting it was still a great story overall.
One of the things I found highly enjoyable about Concealed Power was the main character Adenine. This poor girl just cannot catch a break. Yet despite her circumstance her attitude remains mostly positive. By the end of the story I just wanted her to have some happiness and while she does in a small way it also comes with more tragedy. I'm so happy Concealed Power isn't a stand alone. I'm hoping in the next book Adenine's life turns around and she can succeed in her mission. I just don't think I can handle another book of her being dealt so much sh*t. Even the strongest willed person has a limit and I feel Adenine has nearly met her quota.
I also really liked the Author's writing style. The story flowed off the page. Every character was easy to distinguish and I actually enjoyed the first person narration which for me can really make or break a book. Thankfully in Concealed Power the first person narration works.
Lastly I liked the world this story is set. In many ways I kept thinking this book was set in the same time period as Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. I could even imagine Adenine coming across those characters in court even if they had no clue they were both in separate stories. Once I had that visual in my mind it was easy to picture everything else. I might be completely off base but for me this world and that one felt interchangeable. Obviously the stories are completely different but the era to me felt the same which is probably why I enjoyed it so much.
Now even though I really liked Concealed Power I did have just one small gripe. I really wish the story had a bit more action. There were a couple instances where I felt once I turned the page something explosive was about to happen but when I actually did make it to the next scene either the characters moved on or they were still talking. I know the author isn't shying from violence so I can only assume that she wanted to keep the tension high. If that's the case then she was successful.
Overall, Concealed Power was a great story and one I can't wait to continue in book 2. If you like a real character driven story then I highly suggest picking up Concealed Power. With that being said, I will be rating Concealed Power by K.J. Colt ★★★★.(less)
Zombie Revelations starts with a wedding being interrupted by the Undead. From that point on things escalate quickly and the action is pretty much non...moreZombie Revelations starts with a wedding being interrupted by the Undead. From that point on things escalate quickly and the action is pretty much non stop. Considering the length of Zombie Revelations it was a great short story. Most surprisingly of all is how the Author managed to fit in a bit of back story, potential cause for the plague and character development successfully in only 26 pages. Really, well done. Since the ending is definitely left open I'd really love seeing more of this story. I'm not sure if Zombie Revelations will be expanded into a full book but I certainly hope it is. (less)
Contamination: St. Matthews takes you right to the onset of a mysterious Zombielike virus being unleashed on a small town. The story starts in a rural...moreContamination: St. Matthews takes you right to the onset of a mysterious Zombielike virus being unleashed on a small town. The story starts in a rural sheriff's office somewhere in the middle of Arizona. The town drunk Frank has been locked up again and the sole cop on duty Dan is left to deal with him.
From the moment Frank is introduced I knew he was a dead man walking and I was fine with that. Every good Zombie story needs a patient zero. However it's what happens after Frank is killed that the book takes an odd turn. Enter cop #2 Howard. At first I assumed Dan and Howard would end up together with a town overrun by newly turned Zombies. Nope, Dan instead goes home where he finds his wife in a near catatonic state clutching a knife. When his wife "turns" and attacks him Dan calls on Howard to help. From that point on I felt like I was reading a completely separate book. Howard it turns out is a sleeper agent whose perfectly OK with murdering a town full of people. Dan seems to lose his backbone and spends way to long trying to reason with his wife. He's a cop, why he never busted out the cuffs to try and restrain her is beyond me. Then you have Dan's daughter running around and constantly finding herself in run ins with the turned townsfolk.
To be quite honest the book was a hot mess. Had it been established some conspiracy was brewing from the onset Howard's personality turn wouldn't have felt so jarring. The way it happened felt instead like a cheesy plot device to give the book a bad guy. I also had no emotional attachment to Dan's daughter. She seemed like a brat and by the end I was rooting for her demise. Sadly, that was not to be.
Overall, I can see the potential in Contamination but I'm not sure if potential is enough to make me want to continue with this series. That being said, I will be rating Contamination by T.W. Piperbrook ★★★.(less)
Ruination follows a small group of survivors as they seek safe haven in a world overrun by Zombies. Marin is 17 years old, has just lost her companion...moreRuination follows a small group of survivors as they seek safe haven in a world overrun by Zombies. Marin is 17 years old, has just lost her companion and is desperately trying to make it to Tribecca a town rumored to be Zombie free. Alice and Zac are siblings who happen to find Marin in an abandoned school and reluctantly agree to let her join them in their travels.
The plot of Ruination is your standard Zombie fare. Zombies bad, people sometimes good, Government is in disarray etc... if your looking for something fresh and unique this isn't the book for you. However, if you don't mind the standard Zombie formula you might actually find this enjoyable.
Some of the things I did like about Ruination were the pacing and the world building. I breezed through this book and it kept me pretty sucked in despite the very entertaining movie on TV demanding my undivided attention. I also liked that we get to know enough about the characters and the world they live in despite the book only being novella length.
On the other hand I do have some complaints with this Novella and unfortunately they are some big ones.
First off, I hated Marin the majority of the time. Her character is just to stubborn for her own good and despite being told time and again not to do this or that she defiantly doesn't listen. How she ever survived as long as she did is honestly beyond me.
Secondly, nothing tees me off more than people insisting children need protection during the Zombie Apocalypse. I'm not talking about keeping them safe. It's a given children should be kept from physical harm. I'm talking about shielding them from every bad thing that comes along or my favorite no cussing allowed around them. Um hello?!? It's a Zombie Apocalypse. Sunshine, daisies, puppies, all that is gone. It is survive or die. Once a child is past toddler stage it's time to stop the coddling. If any child is going to successfully survive a Zombie apocalypse they need to get used to the Zombies. They need to know not all people are helpful and that good people are sometimes killed not just by Zombies but by their own hands as well. Zac keeps his sister so well protected that when a real threat pops up she runs straight into its waiting teeth arms.
Lastly, I felt the ending was a bit rushed. Everything was plodding along nicely and then it just went from safety to kissing to oh look security breach the place is overrun. Had a few more pages been spent on them settling into life in the safe zone the breach might have had a bigger impact. The way it happened it didn't really feel like that big a deal that they lost it so quickly.
Overall, I liked Ruination despite all its faults. I might even read the sequel whenever it's written and released. Which I guess begs the question. Would I recommend this Novella? Yes, but I like I mentioned above if your wanting something unique this isn't the book for you. With that being said, I will be rating Ruination by Wendy Owens ★★★. (less)
I didn't want to spend money on this book since I had a feeling it would end horribly. Instead I spent 20 minutes grazing through it at the store.
Thi...moreI didn't want to spend money on this book since I had a feeling it would end horribly. Instead I spent 20 minutes grazing through it at the store.
This is my conclusion.....
If I could somehow get this gif to show Dead Ever After being thrown on the ground I would do it.
Seriously though wtf Charlaine Harris. Please never write another series. Could of ended it as the fans, nay the series had been building up to all along but noooo...... had to just go and f*ck with it. I don't know whether the Author was angry at the fans for liking the show better or if it was simple boredom with her characters. Either way this fan was soo not impressed.
Out of pure unadulterated rage I almost feel like setting my entire series on fire. Sure you already have my money but at least I'll have some satisfaction. Which is more than I can say about the conclusion to this series.