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 Hunger by Alma Katsu

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*Historical Spoilers* 

This historical fiction novel is loosely based on the tragedy of the Donner Party. The Donner’s and many others decide to give up the life they’d known and travel across Indian Territory to California to start life anew. Many dangers face them along the way, as well as inconveniences and mishaps.

Will they survive the trip? Will they get to California before winter hits? What lies in the darkness just beyond the campfires?

I’ve had to think long and hard about how I feel about this novel. Entertainment wise, I enjoyed it. It was slow at first, got to get the wagon train moving. Once I got about halfway through the book, I couldn’t put this book down.

Historical wise, it was alright. I’m not necessarily looking for a count for a count of what happened to the Donner Party. Most of them died in the woods in the middle of winter with no food and little shelter. So even though they continue to find evidence of what actually happened, it’s kind of fun to put a supernatural twist on the story.

The characters, those based on historical people, and those that are fictitious, were great. They were believable and I could relate to each one on some level or another. The story is told from several characters perspectives. It was confusing remembering who was who, but I quickly got the hang of it.

I would recommend this for lovers of supernatural, historical fiction, and books loosely based on historical events. This is a good book for those looking for a good western adventure! Overall, this was a good book.

Buy this on Amazon

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

ARC REVIEW: Bodie on the Road: Travels with a Rescue Pup in the Dogged Pursuit of Happiness by Belinda Jones

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*No Major Spoilers*

**Thanks to SkyHorse Publishing for letting me read this lovely novel early**

***Bodie on the Road by Belinda Jones will be hitting your local bookshelves on June 5, 2018,***

In this touching and emotional memoir, Ms. Jones takes us on an adventure with her newly adopted pup, Bodie. They make a trek along the west coast to visit friends in Portland, Oregon. Along the way, they discover new sights, smells and inner feelings towards each other and past relationships.

The cover of this book looks gorgeous with the bright blue background, distant mountains, blue lake and the grassy field. The smile on Bodie’s face warms my heart and the cover is what made me choose this book to read.

This journey is a testament to dog-lovers and travelers alike. The bond between humans and their canine companions is unbreakable and unyielding. This is a positive read for all those who love dogs, feel-good road trips, and yummy food.

I loved how Ms. Jones added the details of all the delicious food she and Bodie dined on while on this trip. It made me hungry for maybe some food-related books from her. I am a food person, and I wanted to go to a lot of these places and try one of everything!

I was hesitant at first to read this novel. Most of the dog-related books I’ve read such as Marley & Me, Where the Red Fern Grow, and Old Yeller, the dog gets sick and gets put down/dies. This is not that book. This book isn’t about the life of Bodie, it’s just a story about how his life was renewed when he was adopted by Ms. Jones. This is the chapter of this dog’s long and happy life.

I was a little put off with the British slang/words. I felt like it took away from the book somewhat. It’s not that big of a deal overall, I thought it was worth mentioning.

I had three dogs growing up, and Bodie made me miss them very much. There was so much personality in the way the author and Bodie interacted I was able to put myself there.

If you love a genuine love story about a person and their dog, this is the book for you! I thoroughly enjoyed this touching story!

Pre-Order it on Amazon (not sponsored)

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Ballad of Black Bart by Loren D. Estleman

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*No Major Spoilers* 

Between July 1875 and November 1883, Wells Fargo coaches were robbed in the middle of gold country. One bandit, in particular, robbed these coaches a record of 28 times. Soon this mysterious bandit became known as Black Bart, the Po8.

Others know the notorious Black Bart as Charles E. Bolton. A well dressed middle aged man enjoying the riches of the mining industries. Living in the booming San Francisco, Bolton can live in the high life without looking too suspicious.

Hot on the heels of Black Bart is James B. Humes. Lead investigator for the Wells Fargo company. Tasked with the jobs of catching the criminals who dare try and rob from the company. It becomes a battle of wits, luck, and vigilance to bring the infamous Black Bart to justice.

I am not a fan of westerns, being raised with a father who loves westerns (good and bad) and trying to read Louis L’Amour; didn’t leave a good impression of the genre with my young self. I did start liking Bonanza when I got older, however, Gunsmoke still makes no sense to me.

This book, however, caught my eye. The imposing stagecoach, the gentleman in the bowler hat holding the stagecoach at gunpoint made me pick up this book from my local library. I thought I’d give westerns another try.

The story was great! The development of characters and their motives were relatable. Being in California both during the Gold Rush and after the rush would drive anyone to rob just to keep food in their bellies.

In the afterward, Mr. Estleman stated that he took a few liberties with the story. The poetry was fiction, but I think it made the story better. I could tell this author did his research with his novel.

Now for the negatives, the vocabulary at times was difficult. I tried to look up the words so I could understand, but it got so tedious that I quickly gave up and just took my best guesses at what the words meant.

This is a good book, for anyone who loves westerns will enjoy this novel. It’s a nice quick read, and I enjoyed reading this novel. I would say unless you have an excellent vocabulary, or don’t mind having a dictionary on hand as you read, you can decide whether this book is good for you or not.

Buy it now on Amazon (not sponsored)