Three friends (since their teens) pay to participate in the grand opening of the next generation of virtual reality games called “The Apocalypse Game.Three friends (since their teens) pay to participate in the grand opening of the next generation of virtual reality games called “The Apocalypse Game.” Players pay $5,000 each to be enclosed in a glass pod, interface with the gaming system to try and outlast an apocalyptic scenario of their choosing. Those that perish during the game wait out the rest of the 24-hour session in a “death dream” – a pleasant interlude tailored for the player while the clock runs down.
Of course, something goes terribly wrong and when Jack, Kelly, and Reis successfully survive the first game, they are sent into a second scenario. At first, players think they’ve been rewarded for their initial successes, but as they keep continuing into new games and the scenarios keep getting more bizarre, it becomes apparent they are trapped inside the system while their physical bodies deteriorate inside their glass pods.
The author touches on many different end-of-the-world game scenarios and it is very entertaining. The main characters all have interesting back stories that slowly come to light as the games unfold. Kelly, the young, grieving widow, looking to reunite with the spirit of her game programmer husband. Jack who is there to watch out for his sister (Kelly) and scope out the Apocalypse Game for his adventure tour company, undergoes some real soul-searching and revelations. Reis, Jack’s partner in the adventure tour company is, and always has been, in love with Kelly. Interesting NPCs (non-player combatants) and other players pop up throughout the various games, a few of whom I really became attached to. The story ends well but somewhat abruptly leaving several loose ends and questions. Only one of the three main characters (I won’t say whom) is featured in the ending and we have no idea what has become of the other two, let alone the rest of the players. Significant looks and pauses between others in this scene lead me to believe there was way more going on in the world than just a malfunctioning game though. I look forward to reading book 2 to resolve the cliffhangers. ...more
When Ellie Fisher met Hudson King in a Miami nightclub, she had no idea that the handsome, caring hunk of a man was actually the Super Bowl-winning quWhen Ellie Fisher met Hudson King in a Miami nightclub, she had no idea that the handsome, caring hunk of a man was actually the Super Bowl-winning quarterback of the Los Angeles Devils football team incognito for the night. He had no idea that she was going to be “the one.” Failing to get her last name or any other vital information, he wakes up alone in his luxury hotel suite and unable to discover any way to reconnect with her. Ellie, not the type for a one night stand in the first place, is embarrassed and appalled that she slept with a stranger – even though it was a wonderful, magical night of mind-blowingly, awesome sex – and hastens out of the hotel without waking her still sleeping lover. She marks it down as a result of being fresh off the shocking discovery of her fiancé, Don, in bed with another man and the immediate cancellation of their impending nuptials. Life goes on for both with Hudson playing football and volunteering at his old alma mater, New Horizons Boys Ranch, and a miserable Ellie continuing to work at the same lab as her former fiancé and his now publicly-acknowledged partner, Leo. And then the other shoe drops…Ellie discovers her night of passionate abandon has resulted in a surprise pregnancy with no means of contacting the baby’s father. She doesn’t even know his last name until she attends a work Super Bowl watching party featuring the Los Angeles Devils and spots him on television. Now, armed with his full name, Ellie tracks Hudson down so she can tell him the blessed news. It does not go well.
Author Brenda Novak’s latest installment in her Silver Springs series is a whirlwind of drama and emotion with Don & Leo hounding Ellie for the baby and Hudson deciding he really wants to be part of his child’s life. I was pulled through this book wondering if the one night stand that has led to the creation of a new life lead both Ellie and Hudson to a new life together?
The story is populated with a couple of great characters from past books and many interesting new ones. Along with the surprise pregnancy storyline there is another one regarding the mystery surrounding Hudson’s birth and parents. I can highly recommend this book to readers that enjoy plots that involve unplanned pregnancies, Cinderella stories, romantic mysteries, and just darned good emotional romances. The Silver Springs series just keeps getting better and better....more
As always, the latest tale from the Bubble is ghastly and imaginative!
When Geppetto (the Gutter surgeon and 'parts' dealer from "The Organ Scrubber")As always, the latest tale from the Bubble is ghastly and imaginative!
When Geppetto (the Gutter surgeon and 'parts' dealer from "The Organ Scrubber") receives the "Save the Date" (awesome touch!) announcing the Merging ceremony of his only child (only daughter) Simona, he leaves his home outside the New York bubble and travels back to his home country, the Roman Bubble. The announcement has taken its time finding and getting to him in the Gutter and he must leave immediately as the ceremony is to take place in 2 days time. Arriving in his former home, he discovers the ceremony has already taken place and Simona has already "become one" with her intended, Neville. To recognize their new relationship and state of being, they have taken a new name, Sidney, a melding of both their birth names. But Geppetto cannot find the true essence of his beloved daughter in the new being and sets about to rectify the situation as only a surgeon from the Bubble World would do!
This slice of life in the Bubble World adds to our knowledge and understanding of author Werbeloff's universe and we get to see some of the backstory of characters that appeared in the very first story: Geppetto and his niece, Florenza. I particularly was surprised by the introduction of Geppetto's ex-wife, Lilly White. I was suitably horrified by this latest installment in the Bubble World saga and look forward to more....more
I've been waiting for this story ever since I read the preview that was included in Finding Our Forever, book 1 of the Silver Springs series. What hooI've been waiting for this story ever since I read the preview that was included in Finding Our Forever, book 1 of the Silver Springs series. What hooked me were these two main characters, Sadie Harris and Dawson Reed, both struggling to overcome tragic situations and survive in order to build a future, not for themselves but for someone else - someone that depended on them. For Sadie, trying to disengage herself from a terribly dysfunctional and abusive marriage, the goal is to protect and provide for her young son, Jayden. Dawson, on the other hand, has just been acquitted of the brutal murder of his foster parents and released from a year-long stay in jail, while his beloved foster sister has been waiting anxiously for him to bring her back home from a state-run facility for the mentally challenged. Dawson needs an onsite caretaker for his sister at his farm. Sadie needs employment that earns more than the wages she can get at her current waitressing gig. The two meet when Sadie comes to interview with Dawson for his advertised position.
From this starting point, I was hooked. I wanted these two to get together and find a happily-ever-after, not only those that depended on them, but for themselves. What follows is a story with a load of suspense, the mystery of who actually murdered the Reed parents, and the sweet and sexy romance between Sadie and Dawson. The chemistry was just so right for a great story.
Really enjoyed the story but was bothered by the execution somewhat.
Princess Ni Soung's father is the lord of the region. Phong Quay is the leader ofReally enjoyed the story but was bothered by the execution somewhat.
Princess Ni Soung's father is the lord of the region. Phong Quay is the leader of the rebellion against him. When Ni Soung is sent out from the palace she is warned by her close friend, Akiko, not to go. She knows something is wrong but just can't bring herself to defy her father's wishes. As expected, she has been used as bait to draw the rebel leader into the hands of her father's soldiers. She is taken hostage by Quay's rebels and this begins the story of their journey on the run from her father as well as from each other. They are immediately drawn to each other. Soung just KNOWS that there is something familiar about Quay - something in their past that she cannot remember, something that she has blocked in her memory. The story is rife with secrets and hidden agendas that Soung knows nothing about. It is a sexy love story with a back and forth between the two lead characters. Unlike some similar stories of relationships I've read, these characters seem pretty strong - no whining or mamby-pamby self-introspection every chapter - that was great!
On the downside, there are grammar problems throughout the book that made for a bumpy read. The wrong words are used (i.e., "sorted" for "sordid). Dialogue was occasionally too modern with current slang and figures of speech (for me.) Some adult language seemed misplaced (to me) as well. I'd probably give this a 4-5 rating if the book was edited for the grammar and word usage issues though.
I do recommend this book. I liked the setting, the characters, and the basic storyline all in all....more