Category Archives: Dystopia

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.

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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 #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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