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review 2019-12-03 06:08
Review: Penitence by Mark Campbell
Penitence - Mark Campbell

I am a sucker for an apocalypse novel, especially if there are killer viruses afoot. One of my favorite mobile games is about trying to develop a disease that wipes out the population of the planet, so this is something I have a dark fascination about. I am always willing to pick up a novel with that theme. Often times they disappoint, this did not.


We start the book with Teddy. He is our main character and I expected him to be more of an anti-hero. You don’t want to be rooting for him because he was in federal prison for doing bad things to people, but the world is ending and he’s one of few who survived so go Teddy! He was a bit of what I expected, but also came across as a really big boy scout. I mean, come on, we all know the things you did. We all know because you told us fairly quickly and bluntly. So can we please stop acting like he’s a good ole boy who just got caught in an unfortunate circumstance? I really didn’t like that about him. You don’t end up with a life sentence in federal prison because you had a bad day. But, regardless, the plot was enough to move me along despite my irritations with Teddy. In the end I just had to disregard what I thought his character should be and accept what he was and then we got along just fine.


Jane and Danny were fantastic. Jane is a woman after my own heart and I would like to think that in similar circumstances I could show the same resilience. I enjoyed them both immensely and I sincerely wanted to see the three of them ride off into the sunset together. They made me laugh, they made me cry, and I love it when that happens. The plot was not quite what I expected but I liked how it worked out, which is always a nice surprise.


I didn’t expect so much of the story to take place in the prison. But despite not expecting it, I loved it. A completely contained environment that gets infiltrated by a virus that kills nearly everyone it infects. How do you keep order and at the same time try to keep people healthy too? You’re still dealing with bad people who are violent and unpredictable in nature, add in the threat of death and things can spiral out of control very quickly. And spiral out of control they did. It was deliciously devilish. I liked how the book ended.


I understand that the book is expected to be a series, so it makes sense in that aspect. But if I never read the second book I would also be satisfied with how it ended. Teddy is still looking for redemption, trying to be the man that he might have become if not for the prison stint, and being put into a situation that is at once completely alien but oddly familiar. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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review 2019-09-01 01:37
Ben Franklin's in My Bathroom - audiobook
Ben Franklin's in My Bathroom! (History Pals) - Mark Fearing,Candace Fleming,Malcom Campbell

Audience: Grades 3-5

Format: Audiobook/Library


Olive lay on her belly under the kitchen table.

- first sentence


This is a funny book about what would happen if Ben Franklin was somehow transported to today's world. Nolan & Olive find a strange radio on their front porch and as they are playing with the buttons, suddenly Ben Franklin appears. They try to hide him from their mom and everyone else, but his curiousity gets them all into a bit of trouble. Ben is fascinated by everything in Nolan's world, from electricity to libraries.


This was a funny book that kids in grades 3-5 will most likely enjoy. There are illustrations on many pages and when Ben tells a story, Nolan imagines it in graphic novel form. I listened to the audio, so I missed most of that. I would recommend that kids read the physical book so they can enjoy all of the illustrations.


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review 2018-09-24 03:06
Fracked - Mark D. Campbell

An accident at an oil-drilling site unleashes a plague that causes all (human or, as I sadly found out, animal) who come into contact with--living or dead--to be turned into mindless (and fast) zombies whose only purpose is to infect others. The plague comes in the form of an oil like substance...I kept picturing something sort of like that oil slick from the "The Raft" segment of Creepshow 2.


Anyway, it's well written and fast paced. The two main characters, a married couple named John and Rebecca, were likeable enough. Both work for the company that owns the site where the accident happened. John worked in the field, and Rebecca for a hospital set up by the company in their small town. After the accident, John ends up in the hospital where Rebecca works and from there they have to fight their way free and try to make their way back home in order to gather supplies and make their escape.


This is a stand alone novel, though I admit there were times I thought it wasn't going to be.


Overall, it was good, not great, but good.

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text 2018-09-24 02:54
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Fracked - Mark D. Campbell



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text 2018-09-24 02:23
Reading progress update: I've read 77%.
Fracked - Mark D. Campbell

Dog didn't make it. :(

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