Dane Talbot uses the cover of the apocalypse happening all around her to exact revenge on those who have harmed her and her family. As a firefighter who has achieved the most sought-after position of a smokejumper, she quietly takes advantage of her position to hand out vigilante justice. Societal breakdown has a way of going in both directions for Dane. Will she be able to escape her actions, or will her actions take her down too?
Shaw’s first novel in the Remember The Ruin series, Rebel Blaze, follows Dane as she comes to the realization that the only one who can avenge her is herself. A departure of sorts from Shaw’s post-apocalyptic writings brings a refreshing new genre for her. She weaves a tale of suspense with just the right amount of tension.
Dane’s story is heartbreaking. The reader is quickly drawn into the emotional turmoil she is facing. I am anxiously awaiting the next installment.
5 out of 5 stars.
Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments follows Aunt Lydia and June’s daughter, Hannah from the first book, The Handmaid’s Tale some 15 years later. It also includes narrative from Nicole, June’s daughter introduced in the Hulu series. If you read past here, you will certainly encounter spoilers.
The three testaments are interwoven to follow a timeline. Aunt Lydia tries to explain why she has done the things she has in Gilead in order to survive. If her story is supposed to excuse her actions and evoke sympathy for her, it did not do so in my case. She goes where the wind blows to most benefit herself. A rat that sees the ship about to sink, she sends proof of crimes committed by Commanders and others to Mayday.
Agnes/Hannah provides us with a good look at what it is like to be raised as a Commander’s daughter. I’m guessing that Aunt Lydia has a soft spot for her since Agnes is June’s daughter and helps to protect her when it matters most.
Daisy/Jade/Nicole has been raised by foster parents in Canada though she believes they are her birth parents. Once her parents are murdered her whole world changes as she finds out that she is the famous Baby Nicole.
There are a couple of things that bothered me about this story. First, why didn’t Agnes find out that her real name was Hannah when given her bloodline information? Second, the math doesn’t add up. If Agnes is 14 when she becomes a junior aunt and it is 9 years later when she meets Nicole that would make her 23. Yet, Nicole is 16 when she meets Agnes and Agnes is supposed to be 8 or 9 years older. That would make Agnes 24 or 25, not 23.
The book left a LOT of questions unanswered that I do hope Hulu covers in future seasons. All in all, I felt cheated. I expected more. If Atwood wanted to wrap things up in this book, she failed miserably. Yes, it had a “happy ending”. Yes, we find out that Gilead does implode but after these testaments. And, you find out how really evil Aunt Lydia was.
3 out of 5 stars.
Marcus Battle has secluded himself in the backwoods of Virginia. He wants to stay as far away from trouble as he can. But Lou needs him. She is the one person that can pull him back into society. He will do what he must to help get her and her family safely to the Harbor.
Abrahams eight and final book in The Traveler series, Harbor brought out a lot of emotions from me. I laughed out loud as he helped Andrea. I cheered when Lou ran into Rickshaw. And, I cried first when Norma saw Battle and then again when he said his last words. These are the scenes that stand out the most to me.
This novel is probably the best of the series. It’s a bit philosophical in nature. I loved how Battle has aged. The back and forth between him and Lou always bring a smile to my face. And, the other story arcs are interwoven in such a way that they help move the story along.
The book could have been better edited. One whole chapter has the sun beaming down in the wrong direction. I hope that by the time you read this that all the errors will have been corrected.
4 out of 5 stars.
Robert Hardwick feels like a caged animal waiting to go home from his friend’s compound in north Georgia. A greedy congressman has waged war against the compound with the intent of overtaking it and occupying it. During the current stalemate, Robert has an idea that might get the congressman to leave them alone. But, at what cost to Robert and his friends?
Horton’s third novel in The Locker Nine series, Compound Fracture see Grace and her friend, Tom have made it to Robert’s compound where they are awaiting his return. Robert declined to leave with Grace so that Sonyea had time to heal enough to travel. Now, with Author’s compound in lockdown, there seem to be limited options for them to leave.
This fast-paced book is full of surprises. There’s betrayal and new found resolve. The true meaning of friendship is tested. Family dynamics are examined. There’s a little bit of something for everyone.
5 out of 5 stars.
Marcus Battle may have disappeared, but he is neither gone or forgotten. Nearly a decade after leaving the town of Baird, Texas and going north of the wall friends from his past seek his help. Battle isn’t young anymore and had hoped his days of vigilante justice were behind him. But, the only people that he loves are in trouble, and he will step back into the world to do whatever it takes to keep them safe.
Abrahams seventh book in The Traveler series, Hero: A Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian Adventure brings back an even harder and more grizzled Marcus Battle. We see a mixture of familiar characters with some interesting new ones. The new ones foretell of a future story arc.
This has to be one of my favorite series. It’s a shame the author rushed through this book and made it so short. It wasn’t one of his best edited either. It seems really weird that ALL of the women waited until they were about to give birth to try and leave. Why not flee when you find out you are pregnant? Or, at least not so late term. And, ALL of the women brought their other child. Why couldn’t other relatives have taken them or possibly the daddy?
In Chapter 13 Lou has labor pains. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” she said. “Now?” And, again in Chapter 19. “Now?” she growled. “Are you kidding me?” Lou has more depth than that. The dialogue is almost the same.
From Chapter 24: He counted a half dozen women.
Nope. There were only 6 to begin with. One was shot after giving birth. Another was shot while behind the horse with Lou and Andrea. Andrea is behind the horse with Lou. So, the most he could see would be 3.
Otherwise, it is a good story, and I love Marcus Battle.
3 out of 5 stars.
Nelson Jackson is no more, only the Reaper remains. The group of Sin Eaters that he leads is wreaking havoc on those that seek to take down the Republic. It is their greatest hope to help the Republic regain control of our nation. The Federal States is bent on destroying those that try to exercise their constitutional rights.
Watson’s fifth novel in the Forgotten Forbidden America Series, Sin Eaters is the most intense yet. What was once just an annoying gnat to the Federal States is now a swarm of angry hornets. And, any other nation that tries to assist the Federal States has the Sin Eaters visited upon them.
As dark as the writing is for this book therein lies several moments of levity. It is well balanced and helps break the tension. Watson does an excellent job of bringing out all of the reader’s emotions. What remains to be seen is if there is hope of rescuing Nelson from his Reaper persona should the Federal States be taken down.
5 out of 5 stars.
Westley Flagg continues to tell us his story of survival with his grandparents on their farm after a CME has caused what is believed to be a nationwide or possibly worldwide blackout. Things haven’t really changed all that much on the farm. It’s the world around them that is devolving rather quickly.
Craven’s second novel in the Still Surviving series, All Dark expands upon Wes’ relationship with Jess while following the unspeakable actions of the horde living at the Crater of Diamonds. When he finds out that Jess’ group will do nothing more than watch as atrocities are committed he knows that he must do something on his own. And, that may put his life at risk.
While the story is intriguing Craven has so many typos and contextual errors it is distracting. All his books seem to be this way. I truly don’t understand why he doesn’t use an editor or at least a beta reading group to help him out.
3 out of 5 stars.