Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

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*No Spoilers*

Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat—blindfolded—with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

I know I’ve stated in the past that I don’t read what’s popular and trending. However, I think the hype about the Netflix Original Birdbox has died down enough to where I feel comfortable finally getting around to seeing what all the hype is about.

I found the premise to be intriguing, most of us heavily rely on our sense of sight to function day to day. When you have a threat to take that ability away, you suddenly are forced to learn how to hone your other senses that aren’t as heavily relied on.

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This novel caused my fiancé and me to have a discussion of the premise. Something that normally doesn’t happen much when I’m talking to him about the books I read. I’m really thrilled that this actually gave us something to sink our teeth into.

I liked most of the main group of survivors. I felt like each one was a real person who made their decisions whether it was for the better or the worst of the group’s survival. Just like other apocalyptic novels, you have several people who each have their own motivations and goals.

I wouldn’t say that I found the ending to be predictable per se. Without spoiling the ending, I’ll say that it was a pleasant surprise that I hadn’t guessed the ending completely. The ending was nice and sweet, I felt like the journey for the trio was wrapped up nicely.

Overall, this novel was well worth the wait, I enjoyed the theme and tension of the unknown. This book is just the right length to get a grasp on what’s at stake without having much fluff. I’m glad to finally have read this novel.

I would highly recommend this novel for those who loved the Netflix adaptation of Birdbox. If you love a good mystery, and some horror definitely please check this novel out.

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner

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*No Spoilers*

An enduring classic, this book offers a dramatic and prophetic look at the potential consequences of the escalating destruction of Earth. In this nightmare society, air pollution is so bad that gas masks are commonplace. Infant mortality is up, and everyone seems to suffer from some form of ailment.

I had never heard of this novel until recently. I was surprised how this novel was originally published in 1973, and how much this book rings true in today’s world and tomorrow’s possible future. I was shocked.

There’s an ingrained distrust in our society of highly intellegent, highly trained, highly competent persons. One need only to look at the last presidential election for proof of that. – The Sheep Look Up- John Brunner

This novel was terrifying in a subtle way. This novel reminded me of the battle with the anti-vaxxers, the vegans, and others who are “different”. The Sheep Look Up also discusses the issues of racial tension and prejudice that seems to have to be prevalent in the news again.

This novel does suffer from one common problem with apocalyptic aspects, too many characters. I don’t like having to take notes while I’m reading a book if I wanted to that I’d go back to college [heavy sarcasm].

Even so, I felt this novel was an excellent discovery and a terrifying read. Everyone wearing gas masks, everyone catching all kinds of diseases just by trying to survive, and all of the animals going extinct.

 

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Here’s my Doctor Who reference for the month!

 

With the fear of bees going extinct, and the rhinos and elephants being killed for their ivory, it is mostly foretold in this novel. The discussion for environmental change is on every page. Even though there are those of us who are trying to slow down the destruction of the world, the rest can’t seem to break those old habits.

You can’t blame the people who can’t hear the warnings; you have to blame the ones who can, and who choose to ignore them. – The Sheep Look Up – John Brunner

I would highly recommend this classic novel to those who enjoy the underrated classics. I think this novel is also for those people who like dystopic and apocalyptic future of our current world and possible future. This book is a great read if you’re looking for an apocalyptic read, but don’t want the zombie kind.

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Rise Again (Rise Again #1) by Ben Tripp

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*No Spoilers*

Forest Peak, California. Fourth of July. Sheriff Danielle Adelman, a troubled war veteran, thinks she has all the problems she can handle in this all-American town after her kid sister runs away from home. But when a disease-stricken horde of panicked refugees fleeing the fall of Los Angeles swarms her small mountain community, Danny realizes her problems have only just begun – starting with what might very well be the end of the world.

Danny thought she had seen humanity at its worst in war-torn Iraq, but nothing could prepare her for the remorseless struggle to survive in a dying world being overrun by the reanimated dead and men turned monster. Obsessed with finding her missing sister against all odds, Danny’s epic and dangerous journey across the California desert will challenge her spirit . . . and bring her to the precipice of sanity itself. . . .

I thought I’d make a return to the zombie subgenre after a hiatus. This novel definitely satisfied my craving for a good zombie apocalypse. There’s action, suspense, violence, and plenty of blood and gore.

My major complaint with this novel was I felt like there were too many survivors that the author focused on. I found it difficult keeping track of who’s who and what motivates them.

I did like how the author made the protagonist a female veteran. Even with what she’s seen during her service and the injuries she’s suffered from, she was still able to feel fear and confusion throughout the novel. I felt this made her more likable and relatable.

My favorite character was Amy, the local veterinarian. Even though she worked on animals before the apocalypse, she was still able to help fellow survivors and give first aid when needed. She slowly gained the ability to lead the others after Danny goes alone to look for her sister.

When Danny goes rogue from her group to go look for her sister, the finality of the apocalypse sets in really strong during this time. Towns abandoned, littered with corpses and abandoned cars. It also foreshadows the coming conflicts between various groups of survivors. You can feel the tension as Danny is on her selfish mission.

I enjoyed this novel, and I am highly interested in reading the next one in the series. I would also recommend this for lovers of female protagonists, zombie apocalypse, and science fiction.

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Remaining (The Remaining #1) by D.J. Molles

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*No Major Spoilers*

Captain Lee Harden is tasked with a mission if the government ever was to collapse. To survive, rebuild, and conquer.

Lee is hiding in his high-powered, well-stocked, government bunker. Meanwhile, an illness has erupted worldwide. The bacterium destroying the victims’ brain, all except for animalistic instinct. The need to hunt and to kill.

When Lee leaves the safety of his bunker, fast-paced chaos ensues. This novel will leave you breathless by the end.

In the vein of post-apocalyptic/zombie novel, this one sticks out to me. Not only is Lee a Captain in the Army, he was trained for this kind of apocalyptic future.

The pacing of this novel is really well-done. It starts off slow, and as soon as Lee realizes this epidemic is real, it picks up quick.

One of my favorite non-spoiler parts of this novel is how you realize how society might become if it was ever to collapse. The psychos and the “doomsday preppers” end up surviving whereas others do not.

One of my favorite mini-spoilers is when Lee first leaves the bunker to go on a recon mission to gather intel about the world around him, he comes across one of the “Infected” (The name of the type of zombie in this story) and she attacks him and stabs him in the leg with a small knife. She was hiding under his porch during the early morning hours.

Those were a couple of the more interesting parts about this book overall. Overall my conclusion would be this is an interesting story and really geared towards and recommended for anyone who is a zombie apocalypse lover. The unique twist I also found interesting was the zombies having weapons of their own instead of just using their teeth and hands to bite and claw at the living humans.

Other Zombie Apocalypse Book Reviews Here:

REVIEW: Day by Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne

REVIEW: Resident Evil #1, The Umbrella Conspiracy by S.D. Perry

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Day by Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne

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*NO MAJOR SPOILERS*

When an epidemic suddenly starts in China and rapidly hits the USA, a former military soldier will have to use all of the training he has to survive in a world overtaken by the living dead.

Along the way, he meets some fellow survivors. Their odds are bettered, however, there are more mouths to feed. They will have to make choices that are life or death. Nothing is easy in the world of an apocalypse.

This story is told in a journal style, which is a very interesting way to write a zombie apocalyptic book. There’s no dull moment in this book, each journal entry is either an update on the situation or recounts of the actions of that day.

With the main character being military-trained, it brought a more interesting viewpoint into the story that allowed for a unique take fighting against zombie hordes.

From being trapped in an airplane control tower, to being attacked by other raiders. There is not a slow moment in this book. This book is quite the thrill ride. Even though there wasn’t any particular character I became attached to, the book held my attention and was exciting from cover to cover.

I can’t wait to get ahold of the next book in this series just because I find it so interesting how it’s written and the story itself is very riveting that I want to know what happens next!

I would recommend this to anyone looking for a different take on the zombie apocalypse genre and to people who love the show “The Walking Dead”.