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review 2017-03-12 15:00
Emerging (Subdue #2) Review
Emerging (Subdue) (Volume 2) - Thomas S Flowers

Emerging is the second book in the Subdue series by Thomas S. Flowers. I reviewed the other book, Dwelling, several months back.  Dwelling gave the reader interesting characters, and a good setup, but basically no action. Emerging, thankfully, drops right into the thick of things. Also, even though it had been a while since I’d read the last book, I had no problem picking up the threads of the story again.

 

Emerging is an easy read for the most part. I finished the first half of it in a ridiculously short amount of time. The pacing in this one is better than in the other. The dialogue is fine. There are some great lines in it. I giggled at the Pastafarian reference in particular. It was the first time I remember seeing His Noodliness mentioned in a book, and it cracked me up.

 

The characters are just as good in the second book as they were in the first. But Ricky is probably the most interesting character. Well, the most memorable at least. It’s hard to not to fixate on the insect-infested zombie who keeps showing up to his PTSD-affected best friend. Especially when you realize that he’s not there to haunt Johnathan. Instead, he’s trying to care for his wife from beyond the grave for as long as he can. Bobby was a close runner-up.  I did find that I didn’t feel as much for Jonathan as I did in the first book. He pulled some stupid moves in this book that just made me want to slap him.

 

But, the repetition got to me. Emerging got off to a great start, and it held strong at first. But I got tired of reading about cicadas, and bulbous red eyes, mandibles, and the sounds that they make. The odd emphasis on the word cicadas near the end of the book. Flowers has talent, but he seems to have let himself fall into lazy writing habits for the last part of the book. It brought the quality of the book down a good bit. It could have ended on a such a strong note, but didn’t. In fact, the closer I got to the end, the angrier I got about what I was reading, because I knew he could do better.

 

Overall, Emerging is a decent read, but it doesn’t come close to being as good as it could have been.

 

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author for review consideration.

Source: www.scifiandscary.com/emerging-review
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review 2017-02-20 00:29
Review: Conceiving by Thomas S Flowers
Conceiving (Subdue Book 3) - Thomas S Flowers


Conceiving is the latest book, and the best so far, in the Subdue series by Thomas S Flowers. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't perfect, it needs editing to fix a few repetition issues, spelling errors and wrong words, but I enjoyed it much more than the previous two books.

 

A lot of my enjoyment was due to Luna's character, she felt real and relatable. I was actually interested in her and her story. I got to experience and enjoy her storyline without being sidetracked by too many characters. The whole reading experience flowed better, it wasn't as busy so there was less distraction, fewer side characters jumping in between me and the main storyline.

 

The pacing was better, the characters were better, and the storytelling was smoother. I got to know the characters better this time round. I experienced their stories rather than them being told to me like in the previous books.

 

There was a lot of my favourite horror elements in Conceiving. It had a touch of Rosemary's Baby and Frankenstein and as an added bonus there was a werewolf and some voodoo going on. I love me some voodoo in horror!

 

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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review 2017-02-15 23:51
Review: Emerging by Thomas S Flowers
Emerging (Subdue) (Volume 2) - Thomas S Flowers

 

Many of the things I pointed out in my review for book one also apply to book two. Like book one, due to my own personal taste, I kind of zoned out a little during the military flashbacks etc. The music and movie references are still prevalent and the characters still at times overshadow the story progression, but there are more horror elements to this one and the story progresses quite a bit more. The ending resolves better than the previous book while still leaving enough there for the story to continue, and there's no huge cliffhanger like before thank goodness!

 

Emerging does, however, read more like an extension of book one rather than a book in its own right. I still believe book one and two would benefit from being tidied up and merged into one.

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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review 2017-02-14 03:34
Review: Dwelling by Thomas S. Flowers
Dwelling (Subdue Book 1) - Thomas S Flowers


Choosing what to rate this one created a bit of a dilemma for me. On its own, I can't say I loved it, or particularly enjoyed it, but I did finish it. I'm honestly not sure if I would have gone ahead and read the next in the series, but because I already had book two and three on my kindle I figured why not? Thankfully, the series did get better as the story progressed.

 

It took me quite a while to get into Dwelling. Partly because there was a lot of military flashbacks and scenes which I'm personally not a fan of, but also because it felt like there was too much character building and backstory within the book and not enough actual story progression. The progression of the story was buried underneath all the characters, world building, and backstory, which incidentally was being told to the reader rather than being shown or experienced alongside the characters. There wasn't enough story progression there for me and when the story and pace did finally begin to pick up, it was all over. The book stopped mid-story, finishing rather abruptly with no conclusion, and on a cliffhanger to boot.

 

There was also a lot of music and movie references throughout that I feel were being overused as a tool to take the reader back to a certain period in time. I found myself starting to get irritated at how often they were used. I found the same problem with different descriptive aspects within the story. It was rather repetitive at times.

 

As mentioned above, the repetition, character building, and backstory overshadow the main storyline and I feel book one and two would benefit from being tidied up and merged together. It would, in my opinion, have created a much better and more complete reading experience.

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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review 2017-02-11 16:49
Dwelling - Thomas Flowers
Dwelling (Subdue Book 1) - Thomas S Flowers

The Suicide Squad is the name a group of adolescents from the 90's gave themselves after getting their hands on the comic book of the same name. Ricky, Maggie, Bobby, Jonathan, and Jake's lives were changed forever that September morning when terrorists rammed their jetliners into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Ignited by patriotic fever, the boy's enlisted to go fight in the desert. Their lives would never be the same. Ricky is killed in combat, leaving his now wife, Maggie, all alone. Jonathan lost a leg in the same attack that killed Ricky and suffers from PTSD and guilt for not being able to save his friend. Heavy drinking doesn't seem to help the PTSD or the haunting vision of the dark creature he saw just before rocket was fired at their Humvee. Bobby is now a homeless vet that brought back more than haunting memories, and it rears its ugly head when the moon is full. Jake is a minister that has lost his faith due to the nightmares that followed him back from Iraq. The war has shattered all of their lives and they can't seem to deal with it on their own. But the remaining members of the Suicide Squad are being called back to a mysterious house on a remote Texas prairie in the small town of Jotham. Do the answers they seek to rid themselves of their nightmares reside in the house, or are their current nightmares just the tip of the iceberg to whats about to come?

 

 

First and foremost, Dwelling is Book One of a trilogy and it reads as such. If you're trying to decide whether or not to give Dwelling a try based off of reviews like this one, keep that little nugget in mind. I've read a handful of reviews from people bitching that the writing was good but nothing was solved or wrapped up by the end of the book, therefore they hate the story. People, people. Do a little research. Yes, Dwelling is open ended. Yes, you'll have to continue to read the rest of the series to find out what happens. That's why they call it a trilogy. Why am I ranting here? Because, I think that Flower's has received some very unfair (and very silly) criticism for the way he wrote Dwelling. Look. It's a very good book. The writing and pacing is amazingly mature for a newer author. The characters are well fleshed out and their problems that center around PTSD and loss from the war makes for a compelling read. The fact that Flowers is a vet himself comes through nicely in his writing. It adds that dose of realism that many authors lack when they write about a place that they've never been to. Dwelling is shadowy and haunting that feels all to real when you're reading it. Yeah, there's some shades of Stephen King's It permeating through the story, but show me a chilling, coming-of-age tale that you can't compare to It? There's definitely a nod to King, but Dwelling is definitely it's own monster. I'm looking forward to jumping into Book 2 - Emerging - and continuing the saga of The Suicide Squad. Won't you join me?

 

 


4 1/2 Rocket Launchers out of 5

 


I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

 

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

 

http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

 

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