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

The Dead City by @dylanjmorgan #TuesdayBookBlog #PostApocalyptic Thriller reviewed for #RBRT

  • 2016-374 eBook Dylan J Morgan, The Dead CityAuthor: Dylan J Morgan
  • ARC Review
  • Category: Post Apocalyptic, Horror, Thriller
  • five-stars

Nuclear war devastated the planet of Hemera and shattered its main city, Magna. A century later, its sister planet, Erebus, despatched a team of soldiers to the city to rescue Hemera’s president and restore that world to its former glory. What the reconnaissance team found however was a violent mutated population—all they discovered there was death. 

Several weeks after the first contingent of soldiers were despatched to Hemera on an ill-fated reconnaissance mission (The Dead Lands), another larger, elite force has travelled from Erebus to Hemera in order to rescue any survivors. Headed by Colonel Paden who couldn’t really care less about his soldiers, and has his sights firmly set on the treasure he believes is buried beneath the presidential palace. The Superior Armed Forces are aware from previous reports that Hemera’s capital, Magna, is overrun by mutants, but were unprepared for the magnitude of their task and the swarms of creatures which greeted their disembarkation.  Continue reading

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five Challenge ~ The Vagrant by Peter Newman

Rosie’s Friday Five Challenge, involves taking only five minutes to choose a book cover which appeals instantly. So take a break with coffee and cake…..and have a browse.

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In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book, and any other details.

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

Science Fiction and Fantasy was this week’s choice and the cover image of The Vagrant by Peter Newman stood out.

TheVagrant

The book description reads: 

The Vagrant is his name. He has no other.

Years have passed since humanity’s destruction emerged from the Breach.

Friendless and alone he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape.

As each day passes the world tumbles further into depravity, bent and twisted by the new order, corrupted by the Usurper, the enemy, and his infernal horde.

His purpose is to reach the Shining City, last bastion of the human race, and deliver the only weapon that may make a difference in the ongoing war.

What little hope remains is dying. Abandoned by its leader, The Seven, and its heroes, The Seraph Knights, the last defences of a once great civilisation are crumbling into dust.

But the Shining City is far away and the world is a very dangerous place.

So far, so good.  There are 22 reviews, 16 of which are five star, the others four and three star and it has an overall rating of 4.5 stars. The reviews I looked at were positive and full of praise, even the lesser ones were fairly good.

Kindle price ~ £6.99 

No of pages ~ 400

Buy or Pass ~ I’ll PASS

I was tempted but it’s too high a price for a Kindle book and a debut novel. The paperback is only £2 more. If this came down in price I think I’d give it a go. There’s a huge number of books in this category and I’d read a quite a few that came up initially, a couple of which were only £1 and the highest was £3.66. I chose the audio in that one though. Out of 18 reviews on Amazon US 12 are one star and all are because of the price; a whopping $19.90 for a Kindle copy! Which at the moment converts to £12.85! Who sets these prices.

I had a quick check of some reviews on Amazon UK and there were several of the short, couple of lines five star variety and hadn’t reviewed books before, which made me wonder. The in-depth reviews I looked at were from reviewers who had a list of book reviews. So, in the end, it’s a pass because of the price, which is a shame. A lesser price would, I’m sure, result in more sales. 

That aside, I love The Vagrant’s cover. It says Post Apocalyptic, epic quest and lone hero winning out over any odds the destroyed world can throw at him. That appeals to me. It kind of reminds me of Jay Posey’s book, Three, which I love. The sample ‘look inside’ was promising and I could have carried on reading.

If you’d like to enter next week’s challenge check out Rosie’s blog to read about the Friday Five Challenge.

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

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.

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