Monthly Archives: October 2017

Is it time to cut your losses?

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Point of No Return cover

 

*****RELEASES NOVEMBER 14, 2017*****

Mark Bishop has options to weigh and life and death struggles to deal with. Part way through their move from Idaho to Colorado the Osprey went down in blizzard conditions. Those with loved ones on that bird are pleading with him to mount a search and rescue. But, where would they even begin to look? They have no coordinates, the weather continues to deteriorate, and life in the silo is far from stable.

Back in Idaho Jax knows that staying there will be the death of all who remain. He is willing to lead anyone who dares to go on a suicide journey at best in the direction of Colorado in hopes of making it to the silo. Knowing the Osprey has gone down they have no other option if they hope to survive.

There are so many questions surrounding the loss of the Osprey. Did it crash and kill all aboard? If there were survivors, how long will they make it before succumbing to the elements?

Shaw’s third novel in The Surrender the Sun series, Point of No Return: A Post Apocalyptic Dystopian Thriller, showcases the worst possible scenario for those caught in the new world of the Maunder Minimum. Mother nature pities no one. If it can happen, it will and it won’t be pleasant.

The world building in this series is so well done that I was cold! The covers make me shudder. The way this novel ended was clear that Shaw means to finish here. But, I can easily imagine ways to continue the series if her fans ask it of her.

I loved the way that she made Jax appear to be a hard-hearted bastard when he really has a heart of gold. I think I like him even more so than Bishop. His backstory is bound to be fascinating. (hint, hint)

On a side note – Jet!

If you enjoyed the first two books in this series, you won’t be disappointed with this one at all.

5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Is This The Last Battle?

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Battle Cover

*****RELEASES OCTOBER 30, 2017*****

Marcus Battle had hoped that residing in what was left of the small town of Baird, Texas as their sheriff would lead to a peaceful coexistence with the post-apocalyptic world south of the wall. His past decided otherwise. It followed him with a larger than life profile of the man who wanted only to be left alone. Some called him ‘Mad Max’ and a legend was born. They came from far and wide, alone or in small groups, to challenge Battle in a duel. They seek fame and fortune in hopes of being the one that bested Marcus. Many tried and all failed.

Meanwhile, something is brewing north of the wall in the area reclaimed by the government. A storm is coming. A storm worse than the Scourge. A storm that could bring a second apocalypse. And, it’s headed towards Texas.

Marcus is growing weary. He’s older now. His body reminds him of all his past transgressions. Death seems to follow him wherever he goes. All he wants is to live a quiet life away from his past. Will this new threat finally be his downfall or will he walk away from it and everything else forever?

Abrahams’ fifth novel in The Traveler series, Battle: A Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian Adventure, follows Marcus in the waning years of his life. He has loved and lost it all twice. Twice as many as any man should have to bear. He lives on the edge of insanity. He is reckless and cunning. But, is his time running out?

Life appears to be back to normal north of the wall. There is electricity, clean water, and jobs. But, looks can be deceiving. What is the price one must pay to enjoy all those things? And, who decides? Is life really any different north of the wall?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had one of the funniest scenes I’ve ever read. “Marcus, however, was not the skilled thrower that Lou was, and the handle hit the guard instead of the blade. It bounced harmlessly to the ground.” I found that to be hilarious especially since the scene itself was so intense. You’ll have to read the book to fully appreciate how funny that really is.

5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Situational Awareness Must Be Learned

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Opus Odyssey cover

Rick Carpenter has made the decision to marry Tina. The values instilled in him by his father demand that Rick seek approval from Tina’s father first. Deciding to make the trip to meet Tina’s parents into an adventure the couple along with the ever vigilant, Opus, head out sharing their experiences on Facebook.

Trying to anticipate every possible hazard along the way is nearly impossible. And, while Rick thought he was well-prepared life keeps throwing him new challenges. He seems to attract bad luck. The only good thing about this situation is that Tina is on board with him every step of the way.

To add to their troubles an adversary from their past is released from jail and threatening messages keep popping up. Strange stuff shows up on his computer leading Rick to believe he’s been hacked. Does he have a deranged fan stalking him? Is the former jailbird harassing him?

Craven’s second novel in the One Man’s Opus series, Opus Odyssey: A Survival and Preparedness Story, picks up a year after the first book. Rick and Tina have become serious, Opus has finally healed from his wounds, and they all three are ready to take on a new heading in their lives.

While Rick’s fans are loving the video shorts on Facebook about their trip, someone much more nefarious is using them to track Rick and Tina down. A violent confrontation sends Rick, Tina, and Opus out into the desert with little more than the clothes on their backs.

Their attacker has made it perfectly clear that he has no fear of dying. Can Rick and Tina escape his relentless pursuit and find help? And, what is his motive? Is Opus able to save his humans?

Rick wants to be a prepper, yet he has a lot to learn about situational awareness. He’s finding out that it isn’t just about what you have. Because if you don’t have it when you need it, then it isn’t doing you a bit of good.

This book isn’t quite up to the same level as the first. Prepping was mentioned but seemed to take a backseat to Rick and Tina’s romance. Most of the story is about Rick building up the courage to talk to Tina’s father.

4 out of 5 stars.

Asking Questions May Get You Killed

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After Impact cover

Avalon Adams is woken from a cryogenic sleep 100 years after an asteroid struck Earth. She is among the 5,000 chosen to reestablish civilization. Her awakening was triggered by accident and before her scheduled time. She could have easily died if Ilium, the resident physician hadn’t been close by.

The society set up within HOPE (Humanity’s One Plan for Escape), the underground facility designed by her father, is not at all like the world she left behind. Not only that but people are dying from a virus they were all supposedly vaccinated against when they entered the habitat. People are also disappearing without a trace. And, a cryptic message left for her by her father to trust no one leaves Avalon feeling all alone.

Ilium seems to be trustworthy and has sworn to protect her. Then there is the President’s son, Kael, who seems genuinely attracted to her. Can she find out what is going on by getting close to Kael without losing the friendship she has with Ilium? Love triangles are so overdone and cliché.

Stark’s first novel in the After Impact series, After Impact, is billed as a futurist dystopian with a mysterious twist. It is more of a new adult who-done-it. Avalon is too curious to let things play out. She must know who or what is causing the viral deaths and to what end.

About halfway through the book, things turn paranormal. I was unprepared for that. There was nothing up to that point or in the book’s description that leads you to expect it. I’m not a fan of paranormal, so it was hard for me to keep reading. But, this in no way affects the review.

Avalon’s character is 18 and still full of teenage angst. Several of the other characters, while supposedly older by a few years, exhibit childish behavior. Based on the reasoning for which they were chosen I would have expected more maturity.

This book is a fast-paced, engaging read. The writing is obviously by a new author who has a lot of potential. It will be interesting to see what Stark does in the next book of the series.

4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A Worthy Compliment to 1984

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The Phoenix Cycle cover

Steve and Leslie have reached their Phoenix Cycle. They have been handpicked to join the Guard, for Steve, or the Inner Circle, for Leslie.  They have the option to decline and live the remainder of their lives in the New San Francisco district called Edingburg, all of this overseen by the General. This is their opportunity to rise or forever condemned to the slums.

The IRA has been tried to fight and overthrow the General for twenty plus years. Steve has that fight in his blood. But, what about Leslie? Is she as committed to the cause as him? Steve wants all the citizens of New San Francisco to know the truth and join them in their fight.

Collopy’s novel, The Phoenix Cycle: The Best Shall Rise is full of philosophy and tends to be a bit over my head. But, that is my limitation, not yours. The perspective changes from time-to-time. It’s a true dystopian similar in nature to Orwell’s 1984.

It is also a very long book. So, if you are not into philosophical debates, then I would not recommend it. Otherwise, it appears to be a very well received book, especially in the United Kingdom.

4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

One Cool Detective

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Liquid Cool cover

Cruz is thrust into the role of private detective by his life-long friend, Run-Time. Before, he was classified as a laborer who spent most of his time restoring hovercars. Their mutual friend, Easy Chair Charlie has been gunned down in a shootout with police. Or, did something else happen that was made to look that way?

From the moment that Cruz accepts the case of Easy Chair Charlie someone tries to kill him. He solves the case almost instantly but the shootings continue. There is more to the case than one originally thought.

Other cases come his way and word quickly spreads that Cruz is in business through his frenemy, Phishy. He hopes his newfound profession will sway his future in-laws’ opinion of him. He has hired Punch Judy, a former felon with bionic arms as his secretary/office enforcer.

Dragon’s first novel in the Liquid Cool Cyberpunk Detective Series, Liquid Cool is a fun read and a real page-turner. It is well written and edited. If you like detective stories in a futuristic setting, this is the book for you.

The story has layers upon layers of mystery that must be uncovered to get to the bottom of Easy Chair Charlie case. It seems that almost everyone connected tries to lead Cruz in a different direction. Cruz has a lot of street smarts and is an expert at nonconforming. He tends to see what others often miss.

The ending is satisfying though there was no way to have known from the information provided how it would turn out. I personally like to be able to cobble the clues together and guess at the who done it. That won’t be the case when you read this book.

It is also a long book that takes several chapters to get you engaged. Don’t give up on it though. It’s worth the read.

4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.