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review 2017-03-26 18:57
RazorWire by Troy Hallewell
RazorWire: A Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian Western (RazorWire: After Civilization Book 1) - Troy Hallewell

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Rock is an indie wanderer, traveling from place to place trading news and whatever he might have come by in between. He meets Caroline and her powerful father and is given a mission to escort her to the Wall. There her mission will begin as she attempts to find and bring back the last unscathed and powerful remnants of humanity. A tide of warriors is sweeping the land. They don’t trade, they don’t take tribute and submission. Instead, they seem bent on wiping the land clean of inhabitants and Caroline won’t let that happen without a last desperate attempt to push them back. Rock will have to figure out where his loyalties lie.

Basically, this was a Western given a little post-apocalyptic flare. It followed a pretty standard, and, at times, cliched, script. The beginning held a lot of promise and I was rather excited to venture into another destroyed future that was mostly desert and full of folks who have their own agendas. Once they started circling the wagons and shooting at warriors on horseback, I had to roll my eyes a little. This is a Western, which can be fun if a bit tired and worn.

On the plus side, Rock is an interesting character if a bit standard. I always have a thing for those strong silent types that are good in a fight but bad in relationships. Still, I was rooting for him the whole way. Caroline was your standard plucky female wild west woman. She’s beautiful and knows how to shoot but is a bit brash and wants to rebel. Still, she’s dead set on saving her people, if she can, even if it kills her. There were very few women in this story, which might explain why the world hasn’t managed to repopulate itself yet. There’s Caroline (who has plenty of lines), a mysterious female leader of the warrior tribe that is sweeping the land (who has perhaps 3 lines), a little baby girl that gets to be cute and cuddly for a scene or two, and then Rock’s remembrances of his own mother (who has 3 or 4 lines as well). This story could definitely improve with some gender balancing.

I also feel the need to comment on how the invading hoard all seem to be brown skinned, instead of a greater mix of ethnicities as I had been expecting with humanity surviving an apocalyptic event. Perhaps they are akin to a Mongolian tribe or perhaps akin to a Native American tribe. Since we haven’t met any of them individually, other than that brief encounter with one of their female leaders, we don’t know much about them. Still, their feathers, beaded clothing, horse skills, and archery all add to the Western story tone of the book.

Now I am very curious what lies beyond the Wall and why everyone thinks their saviors may be hidden in that direction. After all, no one has survived their journey over the Wall and returned to tell about it. In fact, bones of those who died shortly after traversing the Wall can be seen from it. I think Caroline definitely has her hands full in attempting this quest.

Over all, if you enjoy your standard fare Western and want a little more sprinkled in, then this is a good book for you. For me, it was so-so. It started off promising but the middle was very predictable. The ending has promise for the series with the Wall and beyond.

I received a free copy of this book through Audiobook Jukebox.

Narration: The author performed his own narration of this book. It was mediocre. First, the production quality wasn’t all good but it wasn’t all bad either. The volume goes up and down but never so loud as to blow out your ears. Also, sometimes it sounds a bit tinny and sometimes it’s good and clear. Hallewell does do a good job of keeping each character distinct. However, most of his voices appear to be based off old Western serials, which adds to the whole cliched Western flavor of this book. His female voice for Caroline is OK.

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review 2016-09-18 05:57
This is One Call You Can't Ignore! - 4.5 stars...
The Call - Peadar Ó Guilín



"Imagine a world where you might disappear any minute, only to find yourself alone in a grey sickly land, with more horrors in it than you would ever wish to know about. And then you hear a horn and you know that whoever lives in this hell has got your scent and the hunt has already begun. Could you survive the Call?"


I seem to be on a roll this week reading really good books! This is another fantastic book but it's so different I'm at loss at how to even describe it. It's like a cross between a horror, dystopian survival & Irish folklore fantasy story all rolled in to one. Different can be a good thing though and that's one of the reasons I liked the story so much. The world building was so creative! It is very dark & grim and after reading about the horrors they suffer through at the hands of the Sidhe fairies, you probably won't want anyone to touch you ever again. It's a pretty intense ride, especially just waiting to see who was going to be "called" next! If you're looking for something different to shake things up a bit, this will do it! 


I couldn't tell from the ending if there's going to be a sequel but if there is, I'll definitely come back for more!


*I received this ARC from Edelweiss & Scholastic Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! 



**I read this for my 2016 Halloween Bingo: ~Creepy Crawlies~ square 

because it will definitely give you that feeling and more. The grey lands are filled with all kind of horrors like like spider trees hungry for flesh. : )



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review 2016-09-17 01:12
ReMade: Season One-Episode 2 "Hungry"...
Hungry (ReMade #1.2) - Gwenda Bond,Andrea Phillips,Carrie Harris,Kiersten White,E.C. Myers,Matthew Cody

Hungry is the second episode in the ReMade serial and it's written by Andrea Phillips. It continues the story of the 23 teenagers that are dropped into this new post-apocalyptic world.


In this episode specifically, the survivors are getting to know one another and they're trying to work out the basics of surviving- looking for food, finding shelter and figuring out how they got there and why....


Honestly, the writing style and content just has too young of a vibe to it for me. I read a lot of YA dystopian/post-apocalyptic books as long as they're geared toward adults too but I feel like I'm out of my comfort zone with this serial. As long as the content stays age-appropriate, I think a younger audience would enjoy this a lot more then I would so I'm going to call it quits with this episode. There's nothing inherently wrong with it, it's just not for me.


I know I've said it before but the Bookburners serial is fantastic and more my speed so if you like serials, I would recommend 'adults' to check it out first. There's also another a serial published by Serial Box too that I was looking into yesterday called The Witch Who Came in From the ColdI haven't read it yet but it sounds really good and I plan to check it out soon. It's a fantasy style serial set during the Cold-War featuring magic, sorcerers, spies etc.


*I received this ARC from NetGalley & Serial Box Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!


Professional Reader Reviews Published 2016 NetGalley Challenge

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review 2016-09-15 03:57
REMADE: Season One-Episode 1 "Shadows and Dreams"...
Shadows and Dreams - Gwenda Bond,Andrea Phillips,Carrie Harris,Kiersten White,E.C. Myers,Matthew Cody



Remade Synopsis:


"Every minute, 108 people die. On October 14th, 2016, from 9:31-9:32 p.m. EDT, 23 of those deaths will be teenagers. Now they are humanity’s last hope for survival. 


Awakened in a post-apocalyptic world and hunted by mechanical horrors, these teens search for answers amidst the ruins of civilization. Fate, love, and loyalty face off in this adrenaline -pumping YA adventure."


Episode 1- "Shadows and Dreams" Synopsis


"Holden Black never imagined his crush knew his name, much less that he’d suddenly be driving her to a party. But life can change in a second, especially when you’re 16. A look. A flash of headlights. A scream. What do you do when the unexpected jumps straight to the unbelievable, the dream becomes a nightmare, and waking changes everything except your heart’s desire."



Remade is a new YA post-apocalyptic serial written by a collaboration of authors: Matthew Cody, Kiersten White, E. C. Myers, Andrea Phillips, Carrie Harris & Gwenda Bond, and published by Serial Box Publishing. There are 15 episodes and each episode will be released weekly and feature one of the six different authors I listed above.


I have to admit, when I started reading the first episode, Shadows & Dreams, written by Matthew Cody, it didn't grab me the way the Bookburners serial did but as I read further into it I became more intrigued. I haven't quite made my mind up if I'm going to read the full season yet because so far I've only really got a glimpse of what's to come but I'm definitely going to stick around for another episode and see where the story leads. There's a fantastic cast of authors so I expect the serial will only get better and better but we'll see. I'm going to reserve my full opinion until I get a little further into it.


*I received this ARC from NetGalley & Serial Box Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!



Professional Reader Reviews Published 2016 NetGalley Challenge

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review 2016-08-23 06:44
Apocalyptic Invasion...
Orbs: A Science Fiction Thriller - Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Even though I've really liked all of the other books I've read by Smith, when I first saw the cover of this book, I was thinking I probably wouldn't like it very much because I didn't like the cover at all, but you know what- I absolutely loved it!  That's a perfect example of why you should never judge a book by its cover!


Of course after I finished reading it, I saw online that Simon & Schuster has given this series a complete makeover and the covers are gorgeous! Honestly, if I would have seen the new covers before I read the book, I wouldn't have hesitated one second to read the story. But hey that's reality, we do it everyday with books, products, people etc. 


So I guess the moral of this review/rant is: this is a fantastic post-apocalyptic book so don't let the (old) covers fool you! The characters in this one could have been fleshed out a little more but other then that, if you like a good action-packed, apocalyptic invasion, then you can't go wrong with this series. Really, you can't go wrong with any of Smith's books. Hell Divers is my ultimate favorite but Orbs is a close second behind it! 


*I received this ARC from NetGalley & Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! 


Professional Reader Reviews Published 2016 NetGalley Challenge

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