Fighting Against Time

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Viral Misery 2 cover     Author and Wendy Steele have been reunited and are continuing their quest to safeguard their property and the ever-growing family of orphans. The Rudolph flu has been kinder to infants and young children. So, every time the Steeles go out for supplies they seem to find more kids. But, soon leaving the homestead will become too dangerous as wildlife and nature go unchecked.

The Watsons’ second book in the Viral Misery series, Miracles follows the Steeles as they expand their house and teach their young charges how to survive. Even with all the little ones around they still miss their son, Joseph very much. Author continues to take advantage of the fear invoked by The Caravan Man. Though they refuse to take in the adults they come across, they do offer help to those that genuinely seem willing to work to survive.

Again, the Watsons had me laughing out loud at the many antics of the younger kids, especially Robin. And, they had me cringing over some of the methods used to dispatch their enemies. The ending was quite the shocker. Overall, a well-rounded emotional rollercoaster.

The one thing that I still find hard to believe is how well behaved all the children are. With minor infractions by the youngest members, no one else seems to ever bicker or act out. The adults get into more squabbles than anyone.

I do have to say that this has become my favorite post-apocalyptic series and I can’t wait for more!

5 out of 5 stars.

Under Cover of Smoke & Fire

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Rebel Blaze cove   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.

Does Gilead Fall?

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The Testaments cover     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.

 

Does Safe Refuge Exist?

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Harbor cover     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.

Wanderlust

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A Night On THe Town cover   Sarah hates to be confined indoors. To relieve her stress, she often takes to wandering around the city at night. Tonight, her wandering has a purpose. There’s a predator on the loose.

Sivils’ short-story, A Night On The Town takes an intimate look at Sully’s partner, Sarah. As a companion to the Inspector Thomas Sullivan Thriller Series, we obtain more insight as to how Sarah thinks and does her job.

It’s a very satisfying quick read.

5 out of 5 stars.

Evil From Within

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Compound Fracture    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.

No Rest For The Weary

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Hero

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.