Year One (The Chronicles of The One #1) by Nora Roberts #FridayReads ‘As This World Ends, A New One Begins’ #PostApocalyptic #Fantasy

Author: Nora Roberts

Publication Date: 5th December 2017 by Piatkus

Category: Apocalyptic, Post Apocalyptic, Fantasy, Book Review

With one drop of blood, the old world is gone for ever. And in its place, something extraordinary begins…

They call it The Doom – a deadly pandemic that starts on a cold New Year’s Eve in the Scottish countryside. There’s something mysterious about the virus and the way it spreads. As billions fall sick and die, some survivors find themselves invested with strange, unexpected abilities.

The story begins in Scotland in the run up to New Year, with the extended MacLeod family on an annual trip to their farm. As Ross MacLeod and his twin brother, Rob, were out in the fields shooting pheasant for the pot, they could have no idea of the horror that would be unleashed that day.

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Patient Zero ( Project Renova #3 ) by Terry Tyler #PostApocalyptic @TerryTyler4 #ShortStories #FridayReads

Author: Terry Tyler

Kindle Edition

Category: Post Apocalyptic, Short Stories, Book Review

The year is 2024.

A mysterious virus rages around the UK.

Within days, ‘bat fever’ is out of control.

Patient Zero is a collection of nine short stories featuring minor characters from the post apocalyptic Project Renova series. All stories are completely ‘stand alone’.

This collection of short stories is a perfect accompaniment to the Project Renova series, or if you haven’t yet read Tipping Point or Lindisfarne, just as stand alone book. They showcase different scenarios from some characters on the periphery of the main story line.

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Morrighan (The Remnant Chronicles 0.5) by Mary E Pearson #TuesdayBookBlog #YA #PostApocalyptic

Before borders were drawn, before treaties were signed, before wars were waged anew, before the great kingdoms of the Remnant were even born and the world of old was only a hazy slate of memory told in story and legend, a girl and her family fought to survive. 

Although this is a prequel it can be read as a standalone novella. I haven’t yet read any of the Remnant Chronicles so I’m not sure of the connection to the series. From what I can gather the characters in this don’t feature in the main storyline and are, perhaps, ancestors.  Continue reading

Down ~ Project Eden #7

AudiobookReview

  • 530 Brett Battles ecover Exit NineAuthor: Brett Battles
  • Performed by MacLeod Andrews
  • Published: March 2015 by Audible Studios
  • Category: Post Apocalyptic, Suspense, Thriller
  • five-stars

Matt Hamilton’s last words have led Daniel Ash and his team to the snow-covered town of Everton, Vermont. On a field just outside city limits sits an unassuming hut. But this is no innocent building. Inside is the entrance to the secret Project Eden base known as Dream Sky, the key to the project’s success. Or its defeat, as Ash hopes. To give the team the best chance to succeed, resistance groups have moved into position outside project installations around the globe. The purpose: to create diversions that will draw project attention away from Dream Sky. These groups have been waiting for the signal to attack. The wait is over.

The world population is down to just over seven hundred million in the months since Project Eden’s implementation day and the release of the Sage Flu virus from specific points across the world. Daniel Ash and Chloe White have learned what Matt Hamilton’s last words meant; Dream Sky is Project Eden’s top secret base and the one they need to neutralise in order to stop the Project once and for all.

Working in conjunction with each other, individual groups from the Resistance are targeting Project Eden facilities with the purpose of giving Ash, Chloe and their team the chance to take Dream Sky. Robert and Estella from Isabella Island are part of the team in Everton, Vermont at Dream Sky. Sanjay, Kusum and Darshana in Jaipur, India, working in direct contact with the Resistance headquarters in the US, play their very important part in the drama. In Cairo, Miami, Berlin, Shanghai, Madrid, Tokyo and Guangzhou in China the teams rescue survivors and destroy installations. Pax, Gabriel and Nyla are in Los Angeles after liberating the survivors centre there.

But what the Ash and the team find at Dream Sky defies belief… and Chloe begins to remember…

Earlier that night, when she’d first seen the hut entrance to Dream Sky, she had a strong feeling she had been there before. A possibility that was not entirely out of the question, given that, with the exception of the last few years, she could remember nothing about her previous life. When she looked at the steeple though, the feeling wasn’t that she might have seen it before. She knew she had. Knew she’d been inside the building. Flashes in her mind – laughter, a handshake, a forced smile.

I really enjoy the way the narrative spends time with each group, building up the tension and moving the story along while giving an overview of everything that’s happening. The storylines are all brought together wonderfully in this final episode with no loose ends. The characters are authentic and engaging, as they have been throughout, the books so well written and with a succession of really good action sequences.

This is an extremely tense and exciting series that kept the suspense going throughout, and is one that I’ll definitely revisit. It’s a realistic, if utterly chilling and very sad, sequence of events which lead to an enormous question. How do you restart humanity?

If you’re a fan of the genre it comes highly recommended, MacLeod Andrews does an amazing job with the pacing, voices, accents and expressing the mood of the narrative.

Book links ~ Amazon Uk Amazon US

View all my reviews on Goodreads

About the author

BBBrett Battles is the author of over twenty novels and several short stories. His novel THE DECEIVED (part of his Jonathan Quinn series) won a Barry Award for Best Thriller. He is one of the founding members of Killer Year, and is a member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. He lives and writes in Los Angeles. More info available at www.brettbattles.com, Facebook and Twitter

The Turning Of The World

  • TheTurningAuthor: John Privilege
  • Kindle Edition published October 2014
  • Category: Apocalyptic
  • four-half-stars

It was all going so well. Bobby Reynolds leaves Canada and travels halfway round the world to begin a new life with Sally in Northern Ireland. They have a nice house in Carrickfergus, good jobs and are looking forward to starting a family. But out in the world, a tipping-point has been reached. A devastating new disease emerges in a Vietnamese town called Quang-Tri. Suddenly, it is no longer far away, or on the news; it is outside in the street. With frightening speed, the familiar, the cherished are all stripped away. Northern Ireland teeters on the brink, then collapses into bloodshed and violence. Bobby, suddenly a stranger in a foreign country, quickly discovers that there are worse things than Quang-Tri Flu.

Sally and Bobby have just moved into their dream house on the outskirts of Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. Meeting Sally had changed Bobby’s life completely, bringing him from his native Canada across the world to somewhere that had not even been on his radar. He is looking forward to his new job as a lecturer in engineering and he and Sally are socializing and getting to know their new neighbours. Then reports begin to filter through on the radio and TV. The outbreak of a new strain of flu in the far east. 

As the summer progresses the reports become more frequent and increasingly urgent, all downplayed to the point of deliberate untruths, by the government. It turns out the Quang-Tri flu is deadly and spreads like wildfire. If the disease is caught, it kills, there is no cure. The frightening part is the infection can be passed on even before an individual is aware they’re sick. It only takes one person unknowingly mingling in a crowd to spread the disease to thousands, which then multiplies even more…

There was talk of the flu spreading to Hong Kong and Shanghai. Neither of these massive cities were strangers to disease. I’d seen it for myself in Hong Kong with their facemasks and the notices on buses declaring that the vehicle would be routinely disinfected. Even there, the rumours said, the authorities couldn’t cope. It wasn’t long before the government in London was forced to issue assurances that no cases had occurred in the UK. They said that the World Health Organisation was near to completing a vaccine. There were more than adequate stocks of anti-viral drugs.

The very realistic and gritty storyline is vividly described in chilling detail. The fallout after a catastrophe of such immense proportions is horrendous. As the survivors attempt to find loved ones, a place of safety and to just stay alive from one day to the next, their ever-changing situations and  feelings are illustrated extremely well. Their world is falling apart and, living in constant fear and with the lack of everything they took for granted, the situation brings out the absolute worst, and occasionally the best, in people. There are those who will go to any lengths, and do whatever it takes to survive.

It’s a grim scenario with looted and burnt out houses everywhere, stripped of anything and everything, and people killing each other indiscriminately. Trouble in one form or another, could and often does, happen at any given moment, painting a stark picture of an apocalyptic world where nothing is as it was. There are some lighter moments and a small number of people who manage to mostly hold fast to their values and principles as much as they can under the circumstances. All in all, a really good and very thought-provoking read. John Privilege is definitely an author to watch.

Rosie's Book Review Challengers 1I reviewed this book as part of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team

Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US

 Author linksTwitter Goodreads

Morningside Fall (Legends of the Duskwalker #2)

AudiobookReview

  • MorningsideFallAuthor: Jay Posey
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Published: February 2015 by Audible Studios
  • Category: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Apocalyptic/Post Apocalyptic
  • four-half-stars

The lone gunman Three is gone. Wren is the new governor of the devastated settlement of Morningside, but there is turmoil in the city. When his life is put in danger, Wren is forced to flee Morningside until he and his retinue can determine who can be trusted. 

They arrive at a border outpost to find it has been infested with Weir in greater numbers than anyone has ever seen. These lost, dangerous creatures are harbouring a terrible secret – one that will have consequences not just for Wren and his comrades but for the future of what remains of the world. New threats need new heroes….

In a post Three world, young Wren is now the governor of Morningside after the death of his father, Underdown. His mother, Cass, acts as his advisor, protector and companion. Although Wren has special abilities, and is sometimes able to ‘awaken’ Weir, including Cass and his friend Painter, he’s not equipped to deal with Morningside’s politics. It becomes clear not everyone in the Council is in favour of Wren’s governorship and his life is in danger. Following a failed murder attempt the situation escalates and Cass, Painter and Wren are forced to escape the city, along with Wren’s team of elite bodyguards, even though it means travelling the bleak wastelands between refuges and leaving themselves open to attacks by Weir.

Reaching the outpost Ninestory, they encounter Weir in huge numbers. An enormity never before witnessed. Posing an even deadlier threat, appearing quite different and much more menacing, their presence places everyone in jeopardy. More so than is apparent initially. The little group battle against impossible odds, with help from an unexpected quarter.

After the surprising and shock ending of the first book I did wonder how the second would fare without the compelling and mysterious central character that was Three. The pace is slightly slower to begin with and there’s no main focus on one particular hero. The writing however, along with the post apocalyptic world and Weir are just as compelling. 

Wren is central to the story, a child who in some ways is older than his years, but nevertheless acts mainly as a boy of his age would. He has benefitted from all he learned from Three and his character does develop quite a lot towards the end of the book. The secondary characters, most especially Wren’s contingent of elite bodyguards, helped in some way to fill the void left by Three. Those passages featuring Gamble, Sky, Swoop and Wick are terrific, their interactions, dialogue and personalities, even though there’s no back story as such for them, are interesting and distinctive.

The prey turned to face the Thing. Unsurprised. Unafraid. Waited calmly. Raised its hand. The Thing leapt. It felt its claws puncture, but the instant it made contact, the Thing experienced a piercing cold that bored into the centre of its forehead and streaked through to the back of its skull. It cried out involuntarily, a static burst of while noise. The cold became white-hot behind the Thing’s eyes. A cleansing fire, like cobwebs vanishing in a flash of flame. And as the Thing fell to the ground, it remembered.

The story opens with a short but excellent prologue. Painter is quite a tragic character who invites sympathy but his personality takes a very unexpected turn towards the end, when he decides to leave and strike out on his own. The mysterious Blindfold Man of the cover image (who I initially thought was a grown up Wren) is intriguing and very powerful, not someone to be taken lightly. He appears at the beginning of the story and then again more substantially in the last few chapters. His identity is left unknown for the longest time and is a surprise when revealed. For me, the story didn’t have quite the same impact as Three, but having said that, I did enjoy it a lot and look forward to the third book, which actually could go in any direction given the ending. I’m enjoying Jay Posey’s writing style and Luke Daniels’ performance, as always, is just so good and brings out the atmosphere and emotion of the story, as well as giving the characters distinct voices and personalities. 

Book links ~ Amazon US Amazon UK

About the author

JayPoseyJay Posey is a professional typist with a face for radio and a voice for print. He’s the author of the novels THREE and MORNINGSIDE FALL, published by Angry Robot Books, and is Senior Narrative Designer at Ubisoft/Red Storm Entertainment, where he has spent many years contributing as a writer and game designer to Tom Clancy’s award-winning Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six franchises. 

He blogs occasionally at jayposey.com and spends more time than he probably should hanging around Twitter as @HiJayPosey.

Firefight (The Reckoners #2)

Firefight

  • Audiobook Review
  • Author: Brandon Sanderson
  • Performed by MacLeod Andrews
  • Published: Orion Publishing Group – released on Audible January 2015
  • Category: YA, Post Apocalyptic, Sci-Fi
  • five-stars

They told David it was impossible – that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet, Steelheart – invincible, immortal, unconquerable – is dead. And he died by David’s hand. 

Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life more simple. Instead, it only made David realise he has questions. Big ones. And there’s no one in Newcago who can give him the answers he needs.

Firefight continues the story of David Charleston and The Reckoners, the group of resistance fighters sworn to rid the world of as many Epics as possible. Epics are humans endowed with super powers, who use those powers to subdue, control and kill the human population. 

Following on from Steelheart (and a novella, Mitosis) Newcago is a free city now that David defeated and killed Steelheart, avenging his father’s death. David had been working towards this goal exclusively for all the years since his father’s murder. But now the Reckoners have another problem…

Sourcefield had come to Newcago earlier in the week. She’s started killing immediately – random people, no perceivable purpose behind it. Just like Steelheart had done in his early days. Then she’s started calling out for the citizens to turn in the Reckoners, so she could bring us to justice.

A twisted brand of Epic justice. They killed whomever they wanted, but to strike back was an offence so greatly could barely conceive it. Well, she’d see soon enough. So far, our plan to bring her down wasn’t going terribly well, but we were the Reckoners. We prepared for the unexpected.

Regalia, a very powerful Epic, who controls Babylon Restored, previously known as Manhattan, has been sending lesser Epics to Newcago to kill the Reckoners in retaliation for the death of Steelheart. So David, Prof and Tia, along with new team members Exel, Val and Mizzy journey to Babylon Restored to eliminate Regalia. Killing Steelheart might have solved an immediate problem but ultimately has created more. The Reckoners find an assortment of Epics in Babylon Restored including Firefight, which causes a huge dilemma for David and a division in the team.

David has spent forever studying Epics, their superpowers and trying to find their weaknesses. Although he is no longer fuelled by the need for revenge, he condemns the Epics for killing innocent people. At the same time his views are not as straightforward as they once were. Realising all Epics aren’t bad David wants to understand why their powers corrupt, and if it’s possible to reverse them. He hopes so, more than anything. 

There’s lots of action, challenges and a good deal of new information about the Epics, what drives them and how their powers manifest. Surprise and dramatic reveals arise throughout and the stakes increase hugely towards the end. 

The characters are strong, realistic and well-developed; David’s growth is noticeable and I like the fact he can admit to his mistakes and is willing to rectify them. He’s still impulsive and acts without thinking on occasion which tends to cause problems for everyone, himself included. But he’s also reflective and thoughtful in equal measure as he works things out, even though he doesn’t always want to go in the direction his logic takes him. There’s more background relating to Prof, Megan and Tia, too. The plot flows incredibly well with perfect pacing and lots of unexpected revelations.

The world building is so very imaginative and descriptive. A colourful (literally!) story full of fun, romance, fights, friendship and deception but also addressing serious subject matter and ethical concerns. And the ending! What a twist that is!

MacLeod Andrews is the perfect choice for narrator, David’s teen ‘voice’ is just right, Prof’s (my favourite) too and all the other characterisations are extremely well done and have distinct personalities. 

About the author

BrandonSandersonI’m Brandon Sanderson, and I write stories of the fantastic: fantasy, science fiction, and thrillers.

January 2015 marks the release of Firefight, the sequel to Steelheart. When only evil people gain super powers and become tyrants, it’s up to normal people to hunt them down. There is a free 5-chapter preview ebook of Steelheart here on Amazon that you should check out, with a corresponding sampler audiobook on Audible. My Firefight book tour in the US lasts throughout January.

Recent short releases are Legion: Skin Deep (sequel to Legion), the further investigations of an average man whose many hallucinations are all experts in their own fields, and also my novella Sixth of the Dusk, set in the same universe as Mistborn and Stormlight, revolving around an attack on an island trapper’s way of life.

My biggest recent epic fantasy is Words of Radiance, written as a love letter of sorts to the epic fantasy genre. It continues the story of the Stormlight Archive that began in The Way of Kings, and it’s the type of book I always dreamed epic fantasy could be. October 2015 and January 2016 will also see the release of two new Mistborn books, Shadows of Self and Bands of Mourning.

Mistborn and the Stormlight Archive are among my most popular works, as are my concluding volumes to Robert Jordan’s epic series The Wheel of Time. My novella The Emperor’s Soul won a Hugo Award in 2013. That year also marked the release of my first young adult fantasy, The Rithmatist.

Sample chapters from all of my books are available at brandonsanderson.com/library — and check out the rest of my site for chapter-by-chapter annotations, deleted scenes, and more.

Brandon can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. Please click on the book cover for Amazon UK and here for Amazon US.

The Dead Lands

  • Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00014]Author: Dylan J Morgan
  • Published: September 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing
  • Category: Post Apocalyptic, Sci-fi, Horror
  • five-stars

Rosie's Book Review Challengers 1

Lane is a bounty hunter for Erebus’ corrupt government, his life a constant battle against past demons. Framed for murder, Lane is offered one option to avoid the death penalty: rejoin the army and partake in a covert operation to the apocalyptic world of Hemera, Erebus’ sister planet.

The story begins on the planet Hemera, in the capital city of Magna, where the president, his family and key members of his staff are being cryogenically frozen before Hemera is completely destroyed by a nuclear war. A century later, on Erebus, a distress signal is received from Hemera. A small group of operatives are chosen to travel to Hemera to investigate, find the President and help to restore the planet. Intelligence reports state the planet is uninhabited and barren, without the existence of any life forms, so they should encounter no difficulties.

Lane studied the man who had kicked him out of the army five years ago. Bald and overweight, Colonel Paden had to stretch forward to rest his forearms on the desk’s shiny surface. His smile caused a third chin to materialise around his neck, and as he arched his eyebrows, four creases of fatty skin bubbled across his scalp.

Lane, a disgraced former soldier, believes he is being given a final chance, albeit by the corrupt Colonel Paden, to clear his name while escaping the death penalty for a trumped-up charge of murder used to coerce him into joining the mission. The team destined for Hemera have no reason to doubt Paden’s assurance the assignment will be straightforward and without complications. Nevertheless, it becomes apparent immediately on entry into Hemera’s atmosphere, all is not destined to go as smoothly as the team hoped.

The once beautiful and thriving Hemera is a desolate wasteland peopled by gangs of marauders and mutants brought vividly to life by the clear and descriptive writing. Dylan Morgan makes it so easy to visualise the group travelling through the rubble, debris and ruined buildings, fighting the bandits to reach their destination. Their fear and revulsion for what awaits them in Magna. And their ultimate fight for survival against all odds and the most horrific of antagonists.

This is a very well crafted story with perfect pacing, the drama unfolds with consistency to keep the narrative flowing effortlessly. The characters are well-developed and real, Lane especially, but all the personalities are drawn brilliantly, whether you love or loathe them. I think this story covers every eventuality with action, of which there is plenty, greed, deception, horror and sadness. Balancing out the negatives are loyalty, a touch of romance and truthfulness. And the promise of satisfactory karma for the villain of the piece.

It’s graphic, gruesome, gritty….and great! 

Please click on the above cover to find the book on Amazon UK and Amazon US can be found here

About the author

DylanJMorganNow living and working in Norway, Dylan J. Morgan was born in New Zealand and raised in the United Kingdom. He writes during those rare quiet moments amid a hectic family life: after dark, with limited sustenance, and when his creative essence is plagued the most by tormented visions.

The Project Eden Series ~ the audiobooks

 

Captain Daniel Ash is woken by his daughter’s cry. As he stumbles into her bedroom he is catapulted into the beginning of the worst nightmare imaginable. His life is going to be turned upside down and inside out. But at that moment Ash can’t comprehend what has happened and is happening to his wife and daughter. Only his son seems ok for now,  just confused. And no wonder.

There’s something terrible going on and after over a week incarcerated in a cell, not knowing why and believing his children are dead, Ash is rescued in the nick of time and taken by stages to a safe place. What happened wasn’t an accident and there’s worse, much worse, to come. Ash has a hard time believing the devastating truth.

Sick starts out with a terrific, although moving and tragic, scene which pulled me in immediately and didn’t let go from then on. It’s intense, scary, heartbreaking, action packed and exciting.

The fundamental threat that is the basis of the story is mind-boggling, especially when it’s introduced by a dark and shady organisation run by calculating activists. The confusion, rage and determination Ash feels fairly jumps off the page, or in my case out of my ear buds ^_^

There’s so much going on (in a good way) including the sad descriptions of the people succumbing to the virus, the cold deliberation of the ‘soldiers’ in helicopters firing on civilians. The news anchor whose brother falls foul of the killers and a nail-biting, daring rescue. These villains are the worst possible with no regard for human life and so no remorse for their actions. This story sets up the series brilliantly.

Ash and his children have new identities and are living quietly in Iowa.  That is, until members of the Resistance show up at their house and ask for his help…The Resistance, including Matt, Rachel and Pax, who orchestrated Ash’s rescue in Sick are doing their utmost to stop Project Eden and their plan to eradicate 99% of the world’s population. They have only one mole left undercover with Project Eden, who manages to get information to the Resistance indicating a possible location for Bluebird, Project Eden’s secret base somewhere in the Arctic Circle.

When it becomes obvious the teams already sent out haven’t succeeded in their mission Ash is recruited and joins up with Chloe and several others in a last-ditch attempt to find and neutralise Bluebird. They only have a few weeks to try and stop the horror from being unleashed on the world.

“Even after what Ash has seen, what he’d been through with his children and living through the outbreak that killed his wife, he never thought it would get to this or even could get to this”

Project Eden’s plans are well under way and they have set up sites globally in different regions for the release of the Sage Flu on what they are calling Implementation day

This is another fast and furious ride, intense and exciting. The good guys are compelling and likeable, easy to relate to and care about. The supporting characters, who are portrayed really well, are working as they believe, for corporations that promise better things for themselves and their community, but are in fact being manipulated. This part of the storyline goes a long way in racking up the tension.

The narrative hops from country to country and cleverly shows the scope of the planned operation. The disturbing and nightmarish scenario created in Sick develops into something even more horrific. And oh my! the ending! 

The opening of Pale Horse piggybacks on the cliffhanger ending of Exit 9. Ash, Chloe and their team are at BlueBird, Project Eden HQ, trying to stop implementation of the virus but Olivia Silva has her own agenda. All it will take to change the world irrevocably is a click of the computer key.

All over the world something strange is happening with the shipping containers. Matt gives Bobby and Tamara the go ahead to upload their ‘worst case’ video in the hope of saving some lives. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, all is not going well. Their location has been discovered and they are under attack. Taking refuge in the Bunker Matt decides on drastic action to safeguard their position while Sims, and his men, part of the special operations and commanding one of the projects tactical strike teams, are searching the area.

After what has already happened to them all Ash was determined his son would have some basic knowledge of how to take care of himself and had been coaching Brandon before he was recalled to the Resistance. And when Brandon finds himself alone in the woods after the attack on the compound he remembers his father’s lessons.

Pale Horse continues the suspenseful story of the attempt by Project Eden to restart humanity. as before there are several story lines running simultaneously which definitely keeps the tension at a high level. There are various supporting characters, all of which are strong and add to the story albeit tragically in most cases.

My favourite, though, is Sanjay in Mumbai. He discovered what Pishon Chem are really up to after he found his cousin was so sick with the flu. He now knows the anti malaria spray is no such thing and they all have been duped. He will do whatever it takes now to save Kusum and her family.

The devastating significance of what has happened is written with vivid representation which drew me in completely…again! The suspense and tension continue.

Ashes begins after the release of the virus by Project Eden. Ash is badly hurt while trying to find Brandon and Chloe races against time to get him the medical help he desperately needs. The doctor Chloe kidnaps is a good surgeon but it’s touch and go for a while.

Brandon Ash is on his own in the wilderness until he’s picked up b the army and taken to a facility for children left on their own. He doesn’t know when or if he is ever going to be reunited with his dad and sister. Chloe, Miller and Josie are on his trail but will they reach him before the Project Eden people.

Martina Gable and her family thought they would be safe in a cabin in the mountains. Dominic Ray runs a luxury holiday complex on a private island and hopes he can keep everyone safe by not letting anyone come onshore and keeping all boats away. He misses one. Sanjay and Kusum, whose little group has grown considerably. And Ellie, the little girl found with her dead parents. 

 All the survivors in their groups dotted about the globe thinking they may have a chance. Then Project Eden launch phase two of their deadly plan.

 This continues to be an enthralling series. The supporting characters are all wonderfully developed and show the utter horror and sadness in the aftermath of the release of the virus. Their stories are told with a poignancy that can really be felt.

It’s New Years Eve and a message is being transmitted across the world, supposedly by the United Nations, urging any survivors of the Sage Flu pandemic to go to designated checkpoints for immunisation against the flu.

Belinda Ramsey has been shut away in her dorm room at the college throughout the holidays keeping a journal of her thoughts, feelings and day-to-day life. When she heard the message she was so relieved to think her self-imposed exile would be over soon.

Sanjay and Kusum, however, are not fooled and attempt a daring rescue at the Mumbai ‘immunisation’ facility.

Pax and his team have been marooned on Amund Ringness Island by a storm since they arrived to search for Bluebird. They’d had no contact with the outside world for a week. Pax had no idea if Ash had succeeded in the attempt to stop Implementation Day. 

The tension and suspense remain sky-high in the fifth story of this amazing series. The skipping from place to place and group to group helps to maintain the level of anticipation and foreboding. The character development is wonderful and the isolated groups of survivors and their stories all combine to make this an edge of the seat ride.

It was interesting to get to know how and why the Resistance was formed, I couldn’t help but feel for Matt. But will his dangerous plan succeed.

What will happen to Martina and will she find Ben. Has Belinda made the right decision. Will Sanjay and Kusum and their ever-growing group continue to survive. Are the people on Isabella Island safe at last.

What an ending…again! Who saw that one coming. This has to be one of the best series ever. 

  • 20530045Dream Sky ~ book 6
  • Author: Brett Battles
  • Released: March 2014 by Audible Inc
  • Performed by MacLeod Andrews
  • Category: Crime/Suspense/Thriller
  • five-stars

After the shock ending in Eden rising the Resistance needs to pause and regroup although not for long as the human slaughter by Project Eden is not over. Rachel is having a hard time coming to terms with Matt’s loss and has taken a back seat.

Ash, who has become the leader of the Resistance, and Chloe are doing their best to work out what Matt meant by ‘Augustine Dream Sky’ 

Pax is having problems getting the survivors off Isabella Island before a fly over by Project Eden members checking for anyone left alive after they saturated the island with the Sage Flu virus. Pax manages to get the ferry out into the open sea just in time but Robert doesn’t make it to the ferry in time. There is a speed boat in the harbour  but he can hear the drone of the plane’s engines in the distance.

Martina and Ben are still searching for each other and Ben’s search leads him to a survival station. It doesn’t take long before Ben suspects all is not as it seems. Belinda also makes it to a survival station but she too is suspicious and wishes she’d stayed at the dorm.

In Mumbai Sanjay, Kusum and their friends find an abandoned station which proves invaluable to the Resistance.

Top marks to Mr Battles for racking up the suspense and tension even more, if that’s possible, while keeping up to date with the groups of survivors. It’s impossible not to be drawn in, it’s like being there, part of each group and willing them to succeed.

There’s so much evil running through the Project Eden people and it’s intensified in this story in comparison to the good work the Resistance is doing trying to save as many people as they can at great risk to their own safety. The parallel stories and characters are so well written and the final section of the story is amazingly nerve-wracking with the world-wide co-ordinated attacks on the survival stations.

Ash and Chloe finally understand what Dream Sky is and means and Ash is ready to give the go ahead for their part in the operation. Watch this space! I’m emotionally drained 😉 but I so want the next instalment!

MacLeod Andrews always delivers the perfect narration, breathing life into each character and actually taking on the personalities, with all the emotions expressed wonderfully. No mean feat. There are countless characters  and accents and all are performed seamlessly.

Buy the books Amazon UK and Amazon US

Three: Legend of the Duskwalker, Book 1 ~ the audiobook

 

  • 17863242Author: Jay Posey
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Released: August 2013 by Angry Robot on Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Post Apocalyptic
  • five-stars

The world has collapsed, and there are no heroes any more. But when a lone gunman reluctantly accepts the mantle of protector to a young boy and his dying mother against the forces that pursue them, a hero may yet arise.

In a post apocalyptic and ravaged world lives Three, a mysterious bounty hunter, a loner who appears harsh and unyielding.  Yet underneath his emotions lay hidden by necessity.

He’s in town to collect a bounty and finds himself reluctantly and against his better judgement the guardian to a mother, Cass, and her young son, Wren, who are clearly in some sort of trouble. 

All Cass wants is to keep her son safe but she is far from well and very vulnerable. Three is moved by her plight even though his considerable misgivings are multiplying. Cass has an addiction that’s spiralling out of control and is on the run from brain hackers who want her son and are prepared to kill her. There’s a lot more to Wren than a confused, frightened little boy.  He has a very special ability.

The world is a dark and dangerous place peopled by Weirs with glowing blue eyes, zombie like creatures who kill any humans out after dark. The humans who survived the devastation of the earth have enhanced powers and abilities but still must lock themselves away during the hours of darkness.

Five star narration and voice characterisation from Luke Daniels. I found it impossible not to be moved to sadness or feel the tension and suspense.

It took a little while to get hooked because there’s no back story but once the story took hold there was no letting go. Three is especially intriguing, compelling and charismatic in an offbeat kind of way and all the characters are multi dimensional from the start.  It’s easy to invest in them.

It’s a fascinating and gritty story, full of action, intrigue and suspense. The action scenes are vividly described with no holds barred.  There are teary moments involving Cass and Wren and the ending is totally unexpected…and sad.

Buy from Amazon UK and Amazon US

Steelheart ~ the audiobook

 

  • cfa0d67825b34bff42772d35239e17e7The Reckoners ~ Book 1
  • Author: Brandon Sanderson
  • Performed by MacLeod Andrews
  • Released: September 2013 by Audible Frontiers
  • Category: Young Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Apocalyptic/Post Apocalyptic
  • four-half-stars

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

A very descriptive and sad prologue sets up the storyline, the trauma suffered by David and how that affects the choices he makes.

In a post Calamity world ruled by dark and chilling Epics, humans who gained fearful super powers, a small group of resistance fighters, The Reckoners, are killing Epics to try to undermine their hold on the world. 

David wants revenge against the most powerful ruling Epic, Steelheart, for the murder if his father 10 years ago. He joins The Reckoners (great characters) and they devise a plan.

David knows Steelheart has a weakness, he saw him bleed, but he doesn’t know for sure what the weakness is or how to utilise it to The Reckoners’ best advantage.

A good narrator makes all the difference to an audiobook but an exceptional narrator takes it to a whole new level. MacLeod Andrews comes into the latter category. He brings David to life and gives him personality and moves easily between each of the characters giving them all distinctive ‘voices’ and emotional depth as well as intenseness to the whole of the story.

Although this is classed as a young adult title it kind of hovers on the mid line between YA and adult.

There are morality issues to confront and lessons to learn, several unexpected twists and revelations turn things upside down. The characters are solid and likeable and I love how David is portrayed. He’s had to grow up fast but still has teenage moments of impulsiveness and acting without thought of the consequences. The banter between the group is appealing and comical at times.

Imaginative storytelling, which leaves enough unsaid to make me want to follow on with the next book, lots of fast paced action and suspense. In the Epic world superpowers are used for destruction and corruption but the Reckoners have a few tricks up their sleeves. 

The writing style appealed to me, very well done with vivid imagery and clever world building and I liked that there’s a darkness to the story. 

The book is available at  Amazon UK and Amazon US