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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-07-09 16:23
Sadly, the Killer Bees In This Story Didn't Kill It For Me!
The Colony: A Novella - Craig Anderson

 

 

 

This was a giveaway win that I won on the very awesome group, Apocalypse Whenever as part of their June giveaway. I'd like to thank both the author and the group for the book!

What I Liked:

I liked the males cloned by the AI, Eve, were programmed to reach maturity within a few months. Since the AI had been constructed to figure out the bee problem, it likened the maturity rate to like the one found in bees.

The Melior apis were terrifyingly awesome.

description

I loved the deviousness of the AI i.e. how she figured things out, made the men play poker to learn how to deceive humans, deliberately failed the Turing tests, and her whole plan to clone more men and use them as her army. The last part is problematic though, as you will read below.

What I Didn't Like:

The book started off as YA but that changed by the end of the story.

I almost never notice proofing and editing mistakes but there were quite a few of them so, it was hard to miss. Spelling mistakes etc. are always a big turn off for me!

The events of the story are too predictable. I sighed out loud when the main character, Ben, was pitted against his only friend, Frank, in the final fight.

If the ozone has finally given in and collapsed as the story mentions, then how have humans managed not to become UV-riddled pincushions? If it isn't important to the plot, why mention it?

Another minor quibble, if the Melior Apis is the name of a species, then it should be written like, Melior apis or Melior apis

Say, Eve clones more of Frank-men and sends them to the women for reproduction. How would that work? The women accepted Ben because of his unselfish nature. Why would they treat the Frank-men the same way? Wouldn't Ben tell them what Frank was like? Moreover, why would the army of Franks want to take over the women camp? Wasn't Frank competing and winning all the contests, so he could get out and get with the ladies? I think there are some plot issues that need to be sorted out!

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review 2017-07-08 20:57
Book 39/100: This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer
This World We Live In - Susan Beth Pfeffer

This book was a disappointment after the first two in the series, both of which were vivid and riveting. Fortunately, I had been forewarned that this one was a bit lackluster, so I didn't go into it with expectations that were too high.

Mostly, it felt like a sequel that didn't really need to be written. I think the author (or publisher) felt compelled to tie the first two books together, but both of them are strong standalones and tying them together in this third volume felt forced. Plus, a lot of what happens in here is not very different from what happened in the earlier books -- the struggle to find enough food, the windfalls and disappointments, the highs and lows of living through an apocalypse, you know, that sort of thing.

And even though it's shorter than the other books in the series (I think), it has a lot more characters, so there was quite a bit to keep track of in the second half. The book started to feel "crowded" since several of the characters were not developed all that well. Also, I noticed some really weird gender things in this book that either were not present in the other two books or that just didn't strike me in the same way. But I think that Pfeffer might have some internalized sexism going on ... Miranda's mother was always very insistent that Miranda stay home while the boys were able to strike out and explore/adventure/etc., and Alex seemed to think that for some reason he got to decide what his sister's fate would be even though she was old enough to have some say in the matter. (Also, I think the decision the author made regarding Julia's storyline was absolutely atrocious). I liked Alex less in this book than in the book that is actually about him -- in this volume he came across as controlling and almost stereotypically pious.

For whatever reason there is yet one more book in this series, which I may or may not read. The first two books are great, but as far as I'm concerned you wouldn't be missing too much if you just stopped there.

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review 2017-07-08 04:45
Review - Sea of Rust by C Robert Cargill
Sea of Rust - C. Robert Cargill

There are not enough stars to indicate how much I love this book! We're only half way through 2017 but I'll go so far as to say that this is my favourite book this year and I honestly can't imagine anything that would knock it off that spot. I loved this from the very first chapter and literally couldn't put it down. I cracked it open within 10 minutes of it falling through the letterbox and didn't look up from it again until the last page was turned.

It's very rare for me to gush about a book but this one is just made of awesome. I'm all about Post Apocalyptic fiction and I can't get enough of it. It's usually zombies that I favour but really it doesn't matter how the world ends, just so long as it DOES end. Nuclear, aliens, plague, climate change...it's all good. Apocalypse by robot though is rare enough to get bumped up the TBR list every time. I thought Robopocalypse was good when I read it a few years ago but Sea Of Rust just blows that one out of the water.

I was hooked right from the get-go when Brittle's (great name) interaction with Jimmy got me right in the feels. Gah, my heart broke a little bit. Best introduction to a character I've read in a long time. All of the characters were easily pictured though, even the very short lived secondary ones, due in part to absolutely pitch perfect dialogue. Mercer is the best kind of villain, the kind you love to hate without really hating them, and the interactions between him and Brittle never got old. I was on the edge of my seat more than once when things looked bleak for Brittle and I alternated between racing to the end to see how it all came together for her, and trying to pace myself and spin it out so it lasted as long as possible. It was a thing of beauty to watch it all unfold and I could happily have read on for another 400 pages. I marvel at the mind that brought this concept to life and made me forget at times that I was reading about robots while at the same time ramming it home that this was a world populated by machinery. Mr Cargill is a very talented man.

I would LOVE to see this made into a movie and have no doubt that it won't be long until I get my wish. It's just crying out to be on the big screen and I can't wait! This fellow can definitely write and I'll follow him wherever he goes from now on. Hugely enjoyable story and I can highly recommend it without hesitation. Best book of 2017!

*I received this paperback from the publisher*

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review 2017-07-04 13:35
post apocalyptic writing at its very best!
Lying In Ruins - Jami Gray
Charity is a Hound, she uses her skill to find things, people, information. When her task means she crosses paths with Fate's Vultures, a band of highly skilled people known for delivering a ruthless hand, Ruin sets off all sorts of alarm bells. Charity sets Ruin's alarms off too. When Ruin's enemy turns out to be Charity's, they have to work together. I've read everything by Jami Gray, and this one holds its own against those other books. But this is a far bloodier book that what came before. And I loved it for that!! Charity and Ruin makes no apologies for who and what they are, and if killing someone as slowly as possible gets them their answers, they will do that. But they don't just dish it, they take their beatings too,and the way Gray describes it, makes you feel with every single punch thrown and delivered! Set in a post apocalyptic world, some things remain the same, some things don't. I loved how Gray used buildings for things that was not their intended purpose, but she describes these places, you know exactly what they were. I loved the world building, or destroying as it were. You don't get it all in one go, and for me, that's the best way to deliver information, little bits at a time. I'm left with questions. Lots and lots of questions!! Who is behind it all? When did Ruin and Charity meet before, because that was hinted at and never explained. Is there another book?? How many books?? I want to know what's going on between Simon and Vex, because clearly there IS something. So many questions!! But that's a good thing, a really good thing as it kept me engaged and excited and interested from from to back. So, if you like your characters with a bit more bite, with secrets, with hidden agendas,and all those sorts of things, and your worlds a far more deadlier place, then this is for you. I've filed it on the darker/grittier and the over 18 shelf, because of the long and detailed violence. I can't give it any other word, I'm afraid! 5 full stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2017-06-19 02:18
Pilot bait
City of the Fallen - Diana Bocco

I went into it looking for a short fast candy.

 

It was all that, but I'm not convinced.

 

Beyond the issues I have with the insta-lust/love, heavy enough to make a gal betray her species, and all the hypocrisy going on here, I do not like cliff-hangers. Specially of this type, because it makes the purpose of the book little more than foundation for a hook.

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