Category Archives: Apocalyptic

Book Case #91 – Haven (Part II Breadwinner)

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Part II of The Breadwinner Trilogy.
To review “Breadwinner” Click here.

Book and Author Details:
Haven on Good Reads
Haven on Amazon
Stevie Kopas’ Website
Stevie Kopas’ Author Facebook

Description from Author:

Having barely escaped the clutches of the undead, the survivors of The Breadwinner are headed into the unknown to continue their search for solace in the post-apocalyptic landscape. Once a paradise for the living, the city of Haven is now crawling with flesh hungry creatures–yet it could be their only hope.

Veronica, Samson and the others take a chance on the promises of Gary, a solitary survivor. Is the light-hearted newcomer all that he seems or are there sinister motives hidden behind his hospitality?

Can Michelle and Lulu, two ordinary women faced with extraordinary horrors and obstacles, make it to safety? Or will they each become just another undead face in the hordes roaming the streets of Haven?

When tragedy strikes, worlds collide, and the survivors must band together against their common enemy. But remember, who you were does not determine what you will become in the face of a catastrophe. The dead may no longer be their greatest threat.

Welcome home. Haven is hell.

My Review:
I started “Haven” last night around 7pm and promptly finished this morning at 6am. This book was fantastic, I want to say even better than the first one,Breadwinner“.

Haven opens right up to the group that fled in Breadwinner. They’re still on the boat, and running out of gas and supplies. They’ve found themselves close to the shores of a multimillion dollar community called “Haven”. There’s one survivor in Haven, Gary. He helps bring them ashore and introduces them to the fortress he’s created alone. The group gets settled in, and Gary convinces them to help him with a supply run in town.

This is we are introduced to a new set of living; Michelle, Lulu, Catherine, Desmond and Francis. They’ve been living in the strip mall that Gary’s group planned to pillage. The two connect and things get interesting. There’s a doctor, narcissistic sociopath and a emotionally fragile one.  

This book has become so much more than a zombie survival novel, it’s become a story of interpersonal relationships. There’s cohesive survival, but not just against the eaters, but against the fellow living. Will Ben and Gary’s group survive after taking in these new characters?

Stevie Kopas, author of this FANTASTIC series, has found her calling. Her stories are easy to follow, intense, thought provoking, and entertaining. I find myself eating and chewing my way through her written work, much like a zombie to brains. I cannot wait to read the last, and final installment, “All Good Things“.

Do not miss out on this new, up and coming, strong author. You’ll find yourself deep in the middle of a kick ass zombie survival book.

Book Case #87 – The Breadwinner

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Book and Author Details:
Breadwinner on Good Reads
Breadwinner on Amazon
Stevie Kopas’ Website
Stevie Kopas’ Author Facebook

Description from Author:

The end of the world is not glamorous. In a matter of days the human race was reduced to nothing more than vicious, flesh hungry creatures. This three part story takes you into the world of the survivors, coming from different generations and different sides of the tracks, they all share one thing in common: who you once were can no longer determine who you will be in the face of catastrophe.

Samson, a once wealthy and powerful criminal defense attorney struggles to keep his family safe and keep his sanity intact when the world comes apart at the seams. Veronica, the high school track star races to get her brother out of the city and into the safety of Franklin Woods. Along the way we come across the struggles of finding solace, finding out who you really are, and making decisions in a post apocalyptic world. The Breadwinner is a three part story and the first book in a planned series that will leave you craving more.

My Review:
So, you all know that I’ve been really overrun with a lot of zombie, apocalyptic, dystopian type of book lately. This is one of the books I received prior to putting the brakes on zombie novels. I read a few none zombie based books prior to chewing into this one.  I am glad I did. I was able to get right into this book and finish it within two nights.

It’s the same basic pretense of most zombie apocalyptic novels; groups of survivors continuing to survive. The groups come across both the undead trying to eat them and the living trying to rape, plunder and pilferage. The protagonist in this novel is Veronica, who made a snap decision to kill her father when he was bitten. This decision forever changed her view on the new world ahead of her. She’s a fast runner, athletic teenager who aged and matured many years on that quick decision she had to make.

The decision she makes, after the loss of her family, is to head to the Bay. Along her travels she meets Ben, who ends up being a life saver. By the end of the book, the troop of humans have separated and finally reconnected at the Bay. When they were separated, Veronica meets Samson, the name sake for the book. His story is a bit twisted; think American Horror Story – Zombie Apocalypse.

All in all, this was a fantastically written zombie trope. The author constructed the story line rather well. However, more importantly was the character development. I believe that’s the main reason I clung on for dear life until the end of the book.

My thoughts on the book: I am not sure why it was titled Breadwinner, when that aspect of the book was so small compared to Veronica and her storyline. I mean, I got where the title came in and how it played out. But it seemed so much more insignificant in regards to Ben & Veronica.

This has nothing to do with the author or the book, just a personal experience. I also had no idea it was a series of books. I was mildly irritated it ended the way it did. Once I found out, today even, that there was a book II, I actually did a little cheer. If it had ended this way, I would have been completely bummed out.

Fantastic book. Wonderful character connections and development. I will actually read book two!!

Book Case #83 – Time of Death

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Book and Author Details:
Time of Death – Good Reads
Time of Death – Amazon
Shana Festa – Author Website
Shana Fest – Author Facebook
Time of Death – Permuted Press

Description from Author:

When no one or nowhere is safe, where do you go to escape the monsters?

In a few short days, 37 year old Emma Rossi’s hard work will finally pay off. She will don her cap and gown and graduate with a degree in nursing, but not before she loses her first patient and is confronted with a new reality. In Cape Coral, Florida, a storm approaches. The dead are coming back to life.

And they’re hungry.

Infection ravages the Eastern Seaboard with alarming speed while attempts to contain the spread of infection fail. Within days, a small pocket of panicked survivors are all that remain of civilization. Fighting to survive the zombie apocalypse alongside her husband Jake and their dog Daphne, Emma comes face-to-face with her worst nightmare.

Relying on snarky wit and sheer determination, she is forced to commit atrocious acts to protect her family and avoid joining the ranks of the undead.

My Review:
I received this book from the author, Shana Festa, in exchange for my honest review. This is the first book in a series with zombie-apocalypse being the plot line. I have had a huge flux of zombie ARC copies for review. Most of these novels are darker horror with a strong gore content. Time of Death is actually a bit lighter with a bit of snarky, dry humor. I enjoyed the humor.

The main character, Emma, a nursing student, finds herself in the middle of a zombie virus that has taken out most of civilization. She is set forth, with her ex-military husband and their dog Daphne, to survive and make it through. She uses quick quips and humor to manage through the chaos and horror taking place around her. Survival, zombies, scavenging,fighting both the living and the undead; will Emma, her husband and their dog pull through?

Pros: 
The humor, as mentioned above. I connected with the main character for the most part. The story is almost not stop action packed. The author does a wonderful job in the description process of each event, fight and survival. Truly, there were no holds barred. I was left questioning who was going to survive and who was going to be killed off.

Shana’s writing strength shows well enough for this being her first novel. Grammar was strong. Spelling and punctuation were good. There were only a few areas of editing needed. This was a great first novel. It is a quick read that I was able to get through in one night. 

In the almost over done narrative of zombies, apocalypse and survival, Shana’s novel has its place among the shelves. 

Cons:
There were some decisions she made that left me in a bit of a quandary. The conflict over saving her dog or saving her husband had me be really confused. I mean, I love my dogs and I’ll fight tooth and nail for them, but if I had a husband, I’d probably fight harder for him.

There were a few areas that seemed to drag on with description, survival fights, and redundancy. I found myself reading slower, losing interest and pushing myself towards the end of the book.

All in all, this is a good book. It opens the gateway to the rest of the series, which is something I’m going to look into. Intense and gripping. Gore factor manageable. 

Book Case #81- Working Stiffs

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Book and Author Details:

Description from Author:

Working Stiffs is a hilarious, action-packed tale of survival in the fast-paced world of pharmaceuticals. Something has gone horribly wrong in the Pro-Well Pharmaceuticals factory and ex-meth dealer Marshall Owens, the company’s owner and drug genius, must keep the surrounding Pittsburgh area from finding out.

Unfortunately, the undead assembly line workers have other plans. The infection spreads and chaos reigns supreme as the surviving Pro-Well employees battle their way through offices with whatever weapons they can scrounge from the supply closet. They must get outside. But they don’t know that The General is out there amassing a shambling, rotting army of Pittsburgh’s finest.

Will the employees make it? Will two repulsive workers find love in a janitor’s closet? How many office workers can one man take down with the blade of a paper cutter and some staplers? Will Marshall Owens go back to selling meth? And most important of all, will Pro-Well’s stock value plummet? Find out all the answers in this brilliant new horror/comedy novel reminiscent of style of Christopher Moore.

My Review:
This is Lucy Leitner’s first attempt at novel writing. I’m split on my view of this novel. Although the writing is strong, the styling is just too overboard.

PROS:
I am going to start with what I think are the pros for this author and story. 
The author’s marketing is freaking brilliant. The company in the book is called ProWell Pharmaceuticals. The author created a website for this company:
ProWell PHarmaceuticals <— This is beyond hilarious. Not only did she create a website for the company, she created a zombie workout site for survival:
FITApocalypse <—- She really has an edge with her marketing plan. 

CONS:
To me, it had a very Stephen King vibe, not in the story, but in the descriptions; where he goes into pages of description for one person. Another dislike for me was that the author goes on and on about humanity, and whores and women, etc. The story itself was really good. The idea, the flow and thought process from beginning to end.  For a female author, she’s really rough on women. I feel she tries too hard at throwing in pop-culture references.

Overall, this is really midline for me. It was easy enough to read, but I found myself skipping pages and skimming the story, just to actually get through it and finish it. 

Book Case #66 – Bleeker Hill

Author, Book &/or Publisher:
Bleeker Hill on Good Reads
Bleeker Hill on Amazon
Russell Mardell’s Website

 

Description:

“They are just stories, there’s nothing to be scared of in stories.”

Britain of the not-too-distant future is a country at war with itself. After years of anarchy and chaos, of bloodthirsty gangs and citywide destruction, The Party are now fighting to restore order through whatever means necessary – the fist, the bullet and even the terrifying practice of The Wash. It is a war between the lawless and their self-appointed judges, and neither side will relent until the other is destroyed.

After an attack on their headquarters, a small band of Party members flee across the country, seeking refuge in a safe house deep in the snowy forests around Bleeker Hill. But as they near their destination, it soon becomes clear that the enemy they are running from may not be the biggest threat they will face. Because Bleeker Hill is far from safe…and they are not alone.

As night closes in and the tensions within the group threaten to spiral out of control, each of them is soon forced to face a nightmare from which it might not be possible to escape.

Bleeker Hill has a dark history and many stories to tell, and it will be heard…

My Review:
A very dreary and dark novel based in a dystopian era written by UK novelist Russell Mardell. The book is really well written and can easily be seen as an adapted movie; one that I would definitely watch. This is such a engaging novel filled with suspense, horror and all to real view of what the world could be like in an dystopian society. I found myself fond of the characters, rooting for their survival as well as disdain for the enemies. It was so disturbingly beautiful that I could not put it down until I was finished (thank goodness for unemployment lol). 

The character development seemed so real, as if the author was describing close friends; all the way down to witty and clever lines to small individual attributes that makes a person unique.  Essentially you follow this group in people through a broken system/government in Britain. They make it to a safe house that isn’t all that safe. The main character, Sullivan, is forced to join a new ‘established’ government called “The Party” when he is released from jail. But like any new type of power hungry government, we find that The Party has taking things to a horrific point. 

A group of survivors gather together to heading to Bleeker Hill, a town filled with safe houses from The Party. However, the main safe house gets attacked and the group finds themselves again and trying to survive this apocalyptic society. “The Party are now fighting to restore order through whatever means necessary – the fist, the bullet and even the terrifying practice of The Wash.

This book mirrors many other stories throughout history. The ones that come to mind immediately are “V is for Vendetta“, “1984” by George Orwell, and even “The Walking Dead” comics (Minus the Zombies).  One of the most common themes in these stories are survival, anti-government ideals, and fighting for your life against other survivors. It is common that our biggest enemy is ourselves. It is also echoes WWII Nazi experimentation; The Wash takes prisons, experiments on them and they never return.

Each member of the group, just as anyone who survives an apocalyptic event, carries in their heart anger, distrust, hurt, remorse and memories of loved ones. Mardell does a wonderful job bring each of those internal tragedies to light in the results of  frustration and survival.

Only downfall of this book for me was getting into it. I started the book and found that it was rather slow catching. I put the book down, moved across my state, and picked up again when I got settled in. I wish I had stuck it out and finished it when I originally picked it up. Truly a hidden gem. I would love to see it adapted into a movie.

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Book Case #62 – Vigilance

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Author, Book &/or Publisher:
Vigilance on Good Reads
Vigilance on Amazon
Vigilance & Author on Facebook
Author on Good Reads

Description:

It started as whispers on the internet so unbelievable that by the time zombies showed up on the doorstep of Main Street America, the plague was unstoppable. Armies were slaughtered, governments fell, and the world as we had known it was gone. The vaulted accomplishments of humanity lay beneath the festering heel of a zombie horde.

Over a century later, the hidden city of Vigilance still thrives. A sanctuary against the many dangers of the new world, it is protected by an elite warrior caste known as “Hunters”. These guardians scour the wastes for supplies and recover what they can of the past. Contained within their secret archive are stories that provide valuable historical insight into not only surviving the fall, but clues that might one day help humanity rise from the ashes.

My Review:
I LOVE LOVE LOVED this novel. There was no way I was ‘shambling’ through it. I am thoroughly happy the author gifted me a review copy to read. It was the perfect novel for me to read right now. Man! This book.. Right here folks.

This is a compilation of archived journal entries that were documented when the zombie apocalypse began. The entries are made from various walks of life; from 19yr old clueless teen  to a hardcore Navy Seal. Every. Walk. Of. Life. The crazy part of this book is that it’s totally fiction. It’s so well written that it feels and reads totally real. There’s even a SUPERHERO!! Yes, a real life superhero. I effin loved him. he was my favorite person in the whole book… him and the archivist. Too bad the two of them couldn’t get together.!!.

The author does so well at penning the voice of each individual, he created a wonderful reality within his novel. I found myself believing that this was true accounts. I was completely engaged and mesmerized by the stories.

There were so many stories I cheered when they were saved. There were some I wept for. The journal entry of Betty Simmers was one. The journal of Catherine Bellon was another. My heart broke for these women.  But reading their story, as well as so many of the others, I quickly began to assess who I am and what I have to offer if the end nears. I loved how some of the stories merged together within the book. I loved the viewpoints and takes the author makes. I loved the bitterness I began to feel against our military government. 

This book isn’t just about surviving the zombies. The tagline for the book is, “Quiet: The dead can hear you.” Screw that. “Quiet: The Living Can Hear You!” It becomes a cathartic reality to read that if you’re a graphic designer, run of the mill office assistant, hell .. a soccer mom, what use will you be in the end? One of the things the author touches base on is the evacuation camps and how the military “processes” the living. Or how evil and sick animal instincts in human nature pines us against one another.

Favorite Stories:
Beth Sanderson (because honestly, this would be me in the end).
Nathan Brill – BRILLIANT idea behind their story. 
St. Miles Thompson
Bobbie Grader

Negatives:
These aren’t really “negatives” per se’, just observations that I made.
1. What was the time elapse? – I wish the archivist in the beginning, or in the end, would have made a notation of the date of the first journal entry to a date of the last entry. In one aspect I thought the apocalypse was only a few years. In another story it seemed like it was 30+ years. This had me just a lot confused. At the end of each chapter there is a inscription of additional notes. This would be a great place to put something like, “Year 12 After Zombie Rise” or something to that effect. Just so the reader has a timeline of events.
2. I needed to read the story of Vigilance itself. – There is nothing about Kane and how he got his start. There is no introduction into how Vigilance got started. I mean we learn about Beallie and his refuge, but Kane? With a name like Kane? I need to sink my teeth into his start and what got him into building for the inevitable.
3. Kanes –  In the Prologue we learn about Jeremiah Kane. He’s the founder of Vigilance. However, in Nathan Brill’s story, we learn the leader is Phillip Kane. I don’t know if it’s a time lapse and a predecessor took over, or, if in fact the author confused his leader’s name. This goes back to the dating the entries in #1

The two journal entries I didn’t like were, ironically, both of the pastor’s stories. They just didn’t engage me the way the others did. 

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Book Case #41 – Roms, Bombs and Zoms.

1397913_228407027325469_904090861_oAnother AMAZEBALLS!! Book by:
Evil-Girlfriend-Media

Book and Author Details:
Roms on Amazon
Bombs on Evil Girlfriend Media
Zoms on Facebook

Description from Publisher:

When hearts rot, fuses ignite.

Super geek gets the girl, a righteous preacher and his undead wife, fantastical zombies, the tantric art of zubbing, mindless hive workers, and traditional flesh eating walkers, this anthology has a bit of everything. Our twisted tales pull you into the darkest of darks, where hope is lost, and sustaining life is no simple feat.

Twenty-one authors congealed romance, bombs, and zombies into stories that are diverse, witty, and occasionally gut-wrenching. Travel through time to walk in alternate histories, visit magical realms, and face down pestilence that will literally rot your insides. This collection is sure to warm your cold, dead, heart.

My Review:
Another faneffintastic anthology put out by “Evil Girlfriend Media.”
FAN_EFFIN_TASTIC!

So, if you recall, I wrote a review on their first book, “Witches, Stitches and Bitches” and anthology with, well, witches, stitches and bitches throughout. I loved the book and loved the idea of an anthology.

The idea behind, “Roms, Bombs and Zoms” each story within this anthology has to incorporate each word or word meaning: Romance, Bombs and Zombies. OMG… late night reading a go! This book includes everything from Medieval Zombies in the story, “The Tower” to futuristic, survivalist zombies. It has Russian mobster and Trailer Trash Back Woods tramps.  The zombies range from typical viral zombies to chemical warfare zombies to weird virus worm zombies. So much creativeness stuffed into the pages of a thrill ride on paper.

I love it. It’s so gritty, dirty, entertaining, and FUN! The stories throughout are strong, well written, and imaginative. I think, for any author, it would be a definite privileged to be chosen to be apart of any of Evil Girlfriend Media’s anthologies.

There were a few incredibly creative, strong short stories written in this compilation.  Here are the top 3  of my favorites:

When the Last War Ended by Paul S. Huggins
This story definitely did not turn out how I was expecting it to. This story made me cry. Yes, a zombie filled romance, made me weep like a baby.  Job well done, Mr. Huggins, job well done! I would have to say that this is my most favorite story within this book. I could not wait to contact EGM and let them know how I felt about this story alone.

Mama by Jay Wilburn
Killer story! (Hhahah see what I did there… Killer..*snicker* )

Church of the Risen Dead by Tom D. Wright
The only thing I can say about this story, is a quote from His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama: ” This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the  is kindness.”

Some other honorable mentions: 
I’ll Come Back by Michelle Kilmer
Though She Be Little, She Be Fierce by Michele Roger

Some additional thoughts:
The story “From Safety to Where” by Kris Freestone NEEDS TO BE MADE INTO A LONGER STORY!! What happened to Ava. What happened to the others? What happens….AHhhhh!

awefaeacc

war

soul ties

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The Cure /Afterbirth – Belinda Frisch

I have been saying from the moment I finished reading the first book
THIS IS A MUST READ!!! 
I got addicted to the first book in the series, “The Cure” and immediately became enthralled in the second, “Afterbirth.”  I wrote reviews on GoodReads for both books. It is definitely a book to read and own! I cannot promote these books enough.

Amazon is having a .99 deal on their kindle edition!!
GO NOW, DON’T DELAY.
Buy it today and have a great read over the weekend.

Medicine meets horror in this thrilling escape tale about the evil men do in the name of progress.

Welcome to the Nixon Healing and Research Center, playground for the maniacal Dr. Howard Nixon whose medical research has him dabbling in the undead and has the women of Strandville disappearing.

Desperate to find a cure for the lethal virus which turns its victims into zombies, Nixon kidnaps Miranda Penton, a security recruit with a past that won’t let her go. He doesn’t count on anyone coming looking for her, least of all her ex-husband, Scott.

A warning call brings Scott to Strandville where he bands together with a team of locals determined to bring their own loved ones home. Together, they infiltrate Nixon’s staff, hatching a plan that releases not only the surviving women, but the virus on those left in the hospital.

Nixon locks down the center to contain the spread, turning patients, visitors, and staff into a dangerous horde that is almost impossible to escape. Miranda and the others fight for their lives. The town of Strandville is ground zero for the zombie apocalypse and Miranda must get free because the fate of humanity lies with her unborn child.

Book two, “Afterbirth”, has recently released and 8/8 reviews are 5-star. Get in on the series for less than a dollar.  😉