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review 2017-10-29 10:26
Grip
Grip: A SciFi Dystopian Thriller (The Slip Trilogy Book 2) - David Estes

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

Keeping on catching up with my NetGalley readings. I finished the first book earlier this week, now on to book 2, which was also a good one in its own way, and not the dread ‘second book syndrome sufferer’ I usually fear in such cases.

It does pave up the way to the ‘grand finale’ of book 3, of course, among other things by introducing new developments and therefore a third way, so to speak. It’s not about the hunt for Slips only, not anymore; the Lifers are also involved, and no party is all black or all white. The action is not only about running away/reacting this time, although the book does have its share of such scenes since they’re part of its premise, however the characters also start making moves of their own, instead of only the villains setting plans in motion. And even if said moves are a little on the clunky side, the characters are clearly proactive and taking on their enemies now.

The story has its share of twists. Like in the first book, they are partly predictable (e.g. the one where only the audio part is played), yet at the same time some of them are of the gritty kind, that I wouldn’t necessarily have expected in a YA story (this is not YA for 12-year-old, for sure). And as far as I can tell, there’s one major twist that is a definitive one, there’s not going to be any ‘surprise, I’m back’ scene (I hope there won’t be because it was a sad moment, and retconning it would cheapen it).

The ads and propaganda inserts are interesting, too. At first I didn’t care much for them, but little by little they’re helping draw a more comprehensive picture of the world (the technology people have at hand, the comments—both published and deleted—on newspaper articles

The characters keep evolving, Harrison especially is going on a path I like: at first he felt to me like he was ‘just there’, some kind of afterthought patched onto Benson’s story, yet here he takes action, initiates moves that have their own ethical backlashes, gets to go through ordeals as well, discovers betrayal... At the same time, while he does resent his father and seems to unconsciously prevent himself from properly grieving, he’s also accepted his brother like, well, a brother. He’s an interesting counterpoint to Domino: both children had very similar backgrounds (a Slip sibling, one parent being constantly away to take care of the Slip), but Harrison is going a completely different path. On the other hand, I don’t care that much for the Destroyer, perhaps because at this point he’s so broken that even his fighting against his leash doesn’t look like there’ll be much development her, apart from ‘yay I get to be a psychopath 100% of the time now’.

A few new characters get introduced, like Destiny (another Slip, who goes through her own dark moments because of the mistakes she made, and has to learn to outgrow this—all the while showing her inner strength and resourcefulness in terms of survival techniques, -she- didn’t have a Michael Kelly to craft a false ID for her after all!). Or the Agriculturists, more in the background for now but with an agenda of their own.

Conclusion: A solid second book that furthers the overarching plot.

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review 2017-10-27 17:54
The Blood Will Dry by Kate L. Mary
The Blood Will Dry - Kate L. Mary
The Blood Will Dry is a post-apocalyptic story that starts off minutes before the first attack. That gives you long enough to identify with the main character, Diana, and you immediately want her to survive. You already know she does, but you know what I mean, surely?! Fast forward five years, and Diana is surviving, but not living. She is still trapped inside a bubble of survivor's guilt, getting by from day to day. However, bubbles burst, and hers has some help from a face from the past. Bryan was her husband's brother, and the last time they met, he wasn't very nice. Diana has to come to some quick realisations that life now is not the same as it was then.
 
This was a gripping story that kept me turning the pages. I loved how Diana is a 'normal' human being. She gets injured, she isn't Wonder Woman even if they do share the same name! She makes mistakes, she hurts. Above all that though, she tries. She doesn't give in, and she will continue trying until her last breath. Now, of course, we have a few communication issues with her and Bryan, but I was pleasantly surprised by how minor they were in the general scheme of things. It appears that the author is content to let the story stand on its own legs, and not let miscommunication win the day. I loved this! With everything going on that goes on, communication is important in every aspect.
 
This book was very well written, with no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading flow. The pacing was smooth and the scenes flowed from one to the next. I would love to read more about Diana and Bryan, but maybe from Daisy and Tyler's point of view. Definitely recommended for all Post-Apocalyptic fans!
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/thebloodwilldrybykatelmary
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review 2017-10-26 19:34
Slip
Slip (The Slip Trilogy Book 1) - David Estes

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

I hadn’t read anything by David Estes in quite a while, and when I saw this series on NetGalley, I thought, well, time to address this state of affairs. I shall also confess that nowadays, I do have a bit of a love-hate relationship with YA dystopias in general, for various reasons, and I was glad that this book, while it is a bit predictable and uses expected tropes, avoids what are the usual pitfalls of the genre for me.

The main characters in general were likeable. Benson is a good mix of resourcefulness, emotions and inner strength. Luce is the obvious ‘love interest’, but without falling in his arms, and with a past that makes it possible (while awful for her) to develop this relationship more slowly and believably than what usually happens in YA novels; she’s also resourceful, daring, and doesn’t hesitate to stand by her friends (well, OK, I guess her decision to face danger with Benson who lied to her was kind of stupid, but...). Michael Kelly as well is an interesting man, torn between his job and his mission of killing unauthorised babies and children, and his desire to protect his son. I didn’t care much for Harrison, though, perhaps because of his ‘perfect athlete and student’ record, and I thought that his mid-book decision came a little out of nowhere, considering he wasn’t seen pondering much about it (and his feelings) before. And I’m on the fence about the Destroyer, in his case I believe I -would- have want to see more of him before he became a Hunter, for his evolution into a psychopath to be better pitched against him as a child (in a way, I love to hate him for his appalling personality, but he’s too one-sided as a villain).

The world in which these characters evolve was also better rounded up than usual in dystopian YA novels (where I often get the feeling of a ‘pocket world’, totally isolated from the rest of Earth, which always makes me wonder where are the other countries and why they’re not poking their noses in). The population control method in those new USA is harsh, however the situation that led to it makes sense: climatic change, rising water levels, drowned coasts, less resources left to feed all the people, and it is logical to expect that the rest of the world has met a similar fate, hence if everybody stays in their corner and develop their own policies, it’s not unbelievable. This world is all the more creepy because it’s not such an impossible future, all in all.

Minor pet peeve: I really have a hard time with the name ‘Pop Con’, that just looks so much like ‘pop corn’ to me. XD (But I do see the naming convention roots à la 1984.)

I found the beginning a little slow, possibly because it devoted quite a few chapters to a part of Benson’s life that I felt I didn’t need so many details about—the story becomes more interesting after the boy grows up and we meet his friends. After that were more action scenes, especially once ‘the chase’ gets into motion (that’s no spoiler, of course at some point people would realise who the Slip is!). There was a bit of a plot hole/flimsy explanation, though, regarding the Wire/Jumpers/Lifers connection; it would’ve demanded some more preparation to be more logical, I think.

Conclusion: 3.5, not perfect but definitely enjoyable, especially its second half.

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review 2017-10-26 18:21
One Sentence Review – Dead by Dawn by Bret Wellman #BretWellman
Dead by Dawn: A Vampire Horror Thriller Novel - Bret Wellman

Bret Wellman and I have some Halloween Horror coming your way in this fabulous vampire apocalypse, Dead by Dawn.

 

Dead by Dawn

Goodreads  /  Amazon  US  /  Amazon UK Amazon CA

 

MY ONE SENTENCE REVIEW

 

You’ll want some fire, some wood, some silver, some holy water and a cross to deal with these old time vampires since Bret Wellman has done a fantastic job of coming up with some new, gut wrenching ways to die in an apocalypse, and I fear for all the characters, especially the one that holds my name, Sherry…Hits a little too close to home in what has turned out to be one of my favorite vampire stories.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

 

GOODREADS BLURB

 

At first it appeared to be a normal sickness, but when the bodies began to drop, the nightmare rose.

 

When a video goes viral of a man’s dead son walking around, people begin to speculate. These speculations only continue to grow as a new virus sweeps its way across the east coast, killing thousands. It soon appears that someone is trying to contain this disease, snatching almost every infected body during the night. As the government steps in, the people become aware that they are under attack from something much worse than a virus. Now they must ban together and fight for their lives against the creatures of the night.

 

Filled with suspense, fright, and action, Dead by Dawn is sure to be one of the best vampire fiction novels of the year. One of the greatest vampire plagues that you’re not going to want to miss!

Read more here.

 

  • You can see my Giveaways HERE.
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Source: www.fundinmental.com/one-sentence-review-dead-by-dawn-by-bret-wellman-bretwellman
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review 2017-10-26 17:55
Monday Mini – Armageddon Has Arrived – Hell Holes by Donald Firesmith @DonFiresmith
Hell Holes: What Lurks Below - Donald G. Firesmith

Perfect for the Halloween season, Hell Holes by Donald Firesmith.

 

I love the cover (by Ellie Kay Bockert Augsburger) and horror, so I was super excited to get a free copy from Amazon, but be sure and check for the ‘0’.

 

What Lurks Below (Hell Holes, #1)

Goodreads Amazon US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA

 

MY REVIEW

 

Hell Holes by Donald Firesmith was everything I had hoped for and more.

 

They were asked by Exxon to come up and check out the Hell Holes that had become a threat to the pipeline. Stowaway photographer, Aileen O’Shannon, is quite a handful and so much more than she appears to be.

 

Have you ever thought about not just climate change, but all the holes we punch into the earth? Could we be destroying the planet we live on…or is there something else happening, something so monstrously evil we cannot imagine.

 

What had been a secret, which I love to have revealed to me, was on the verge of becoming Armageddon. Bloody, gory, slasher type horror. Demons rise from hell, hungry and I sure don’t want to meet them on a dark lonely highway…or anywhere else, for that matter.

 

Characters fall, so be careful who you become attached to. I love when an author does that, leaving me wondering who will be taken out, how they will be taken out, and who will be left standing. I also love when an author can surprise me and I did not see the direction the story would go when I began. Nice job, Donald.

 

I wasn’t ready for the ending!!!!! but end it did. Does not stand alone and I am left hanging…

 

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

 

GOODREADS BLURB

 

It’s August in Alaska, and geology professor Jack Oswald prepares for the new school year. But when hundreds of huge holes mysteriously appear overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle, Jack receives an unexpected phone call. An oil company exec hires Jack to investigate, and he picks his climatologist wife and two of their graduate students as his team. Uncharacteristically, Jack also lets Aileen O’Shannon, a bewitchingly beautiful young photojournalist, talk him into coming along as their photographer. When they arrive in the remote oil town of Deadhorse, the exec and a biologist to protect them from wild animals join the team. Their task: to assess the risk of more holes opening under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the wells and pipelines that feed it. But they discover a far worse danger lurks below. When it emerges, it threatens to shatter Jack’s unshakable faith in science. And destroy us all…

 

Hell Holes, Book I:  What Lurks Below was FREE at time of posting.

 

Read more here.

 

  • You can see my Giveaways HERE.
  • You can see my Reviews HERE.
  • animated smilies photo: animated animated.gifIf you like what you see, why don’t you follow me?
  • Leave your link in the comments and I will drop by to see what’s shakin’.
  • Thanks for visiting!
Source: www.fundinmental.com/armageddon-has-arrived-hell-holes-by-donald-firesmith-donfiresmith
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