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review 2018-06-13 13:19
The perfect way to end the series. A must read for #dystopia genre lovers and those who love great characters.
UK2 (Project Renova Book 3) - Terry Tyler

I was offered an ARC copy of this novel and freely chose to review it.

I have read and reviewed the two previous books in the Project Renova series, by Terry Tyler, had read great reviews about the third book in the series, and was eager to catch up with the characters after what had happened in the previous two books. I will try not to spoil any of the surprises in the novel, but I want to advise anybody thinking about reading this book that they are written as a series and they should be read in the right order (first Tipping Point, then Lindisfarne, and UK2 third), as the story and the characters’ arcs grow as it goes along, and it is the best way to fully enjoy the story. There is also a compilation of short stories about some of the characters called Patient Zero (I have that one on my list but haven’t managed to get to it yet), but it is possible to follow the story without having read that one, although I’m sure you’ll feel curious enough to grab that one as well when you’ve finished the three main books.

I thoroughly enjoyed UK2. The novel is divided into three parts, and big events (and big secrets) are discovered in each. Readers who have been following the series will have been eagerly waiting for some of the things that happen in part 1, but in this novel, the action is divided between what is happening in Lindisfarne and what takes place at UK Central (the planned new capital of the UK post-virus). The brains behind UK Central are trying to gather as much of the population together as possible and that means some of the characters choose to move, and readers are given the chance to see how they are affected by their new circumstances. Their fates seem very different, to begin with, but, you won’t be surprised when I tell you that things are not as they seem.

This book is told from a large number of points of view. Many of the characters are given a voice, and here most of them tell the story in first-person, therefore allowing us to see them as they really are, rather than as the personas they try to portray to others. Some of them come out of it very badly (yes, Dex, I’m talking about you) but in other cases, we see characters who grow and develop in front of our eyes. This might come at a cost, but we get the sense that it is well worth it. There are brief interludes written in the third person, some about characters we know whose circumstances change, and others from an omniscient narrator, giving us an insight into what is going on in the world at large and helps create even more tension and anticipation.

The characters remain consistent throughout the series, and there are clear developmental arcs for them. Vicky fluctuates but after some more bad news manages to bounce back, Lottie remains one of my favourite characters and gets some new allies, and there are some surprises, like Flora, who slowly but surely comes into her own. I also enjoyed getting to know more about Doyle, who is another one of the characters who grow through the series, from being quite self-centered and doing anything for a quiet life, to developing a backbone and taking risks.

The quality of the writing is excellent, as usual in this author’s work. There is a good balance between fast-paced action and slower and more reflective moments, but there are gruesome and cruel scenes and sad events that take place as well, as should be the case in the genre. It’s impossible not to think about current politics and wonder what would happen if something like this took place. Let’s say that it feels scarily realistic at times and the novel is great at exploring how human beings can react when faced with extreme situations, with some becoming a better version of themselves, and others… not so much. But, this book is far from all doom and gloom and I loved the ending, and I think most readers will do as well. (Yes, I could not help but cheer at some point!) My only regret was that I had to part with the characters that have become friends by now, but I was reassured by the author’s promise to publish some companion novellas and another novel set in the far future.

Even if you’ve read the other two novels some time ago, you don’t need to worry because the author has included a link at the very beginning of the novel that allows readers to read a brief summary and catch-up on the action so far.

A great follow-up and closing (sort-of) to the Renova Project series, and one that shouldn’t be missed by anybody who’s been following it. A great ending, a beginning of sorts and a reflection on what extreme conditions can do to the human spirit. Unmissable.

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review 2018-05-20 17:44
4.5 Out Of 5 "Zombie Love" STARS
White Trash Zombie Unchained - Diana Rowland

 

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

White Trash Zombie Unchained

Diana Rowland

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Angel Crawford has finally pulled herself together (literally!) after her disastrous dismemberment on Mardi Gras. She’s putting the pieces of her life back in order and is ready to tackle whatever the future holds.

 

Too bad the future is a nasty bitch. There’s a new kind of zombie in town: mindless shamblers, infectious and ravenous.

 

With the threat of a full-blown shambler pandemic looming, and a loved one stricken, Angel and the “real” zombies scramble to find a cure. Yet when Angel uncovers the true reason the plague is spreading so quickly, she adds “no-holds-barred revenge” to her to-do list. 

 

Angel is busting her ass dealing with shambling hordes, zombie gators, government jerks, and way too many mosquitos, but this white trash chick ain’t giving up.

 

Good thing, since the fate of the world is resting on her undead shoulders.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I'm thinking this could be the conclusion of the series…if it is, I'm fine with that it tidied everything and everyone up well.  I will miss it, though.  Angel has really grown on me.  I do believe she is my favorite zombie. Her and Liv (iZombie) are running neck and neck. 

 

Somebody finally listened to me griping about the covers because this one is perfect.  This book (the whole series, actually) is a guilty pleasure at it's best…overtly cheesy at times, but sometimes cheesy is okay, at least when you really come to know and love the characters in a story, it can be.

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

4.5STARS - GRADE=A-

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

 

 

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 5/5

Main Characters~ 4.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.3/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4.5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.3/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5  Cliffhanger~ Nope…

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Book Cover~ Hands down the best cover of the series.

Narration~ 4.5 -As always Allison McLemore is the voice of Angel Crawford

Series~ White Trash Zombie #6

Setting~ Louisiana

Source~ Own on Audible

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review 2017-10-17 09:57
That rare thing. A strong second-book in a trilogy.
Lindisfarne (Project Renova Book 2) - Terry Tyler

When I read (and reviewed) Tipping Point, the first novel in the Project Renova series, I guessed that setting the next story in Lindisfarne would bring things to the boil. If the first book introduced us to the main characters and set up the background of the story (how the population of the world had been decimated by a virus, the conspiracy that was behind what had happened, and a group of survivors set on creating a new life for themselves), the second one moves on from there and places a number of characters, with their personal crises, their problems, and their different origins and values, together in a very restricted environment. Lindisfarne is a wonderful place, but as I had observed before, is it not easy to hide there, and emotions are bound to ride high when people who would not normally have chosen to live together are thrown in close proximity to each other with no easy way out.

The author does a great job, again, of creating and developing characters that are real, with complex motivations (not all black or white), and whom we get to care about (well, some we get to truly dislike). The story is told the points of view of several characters. Some of the accounts are in the first person. Vicky, the woman who was the main character of the first book is still the central character here, but she shares her first-person narration with her daughter Lottie (who just becomes more and more fabulous as she grows, and she talks and thinks like a girl her age, even if a very strong and determined one) and Heath, the man she loves (but whom she has difficulty committing to). Some are in the third person. We are given a privileged insight into Wedge’s twisted mind (he is a biker who escaped prison in the first book and he reaches the island looking for revenge, and well, yes, he finds it), and the story of Doyle (a guy who was a data analyst and was involved in the running of the Renova project at a worker-bee level) who wanders alone most of the time until he stumbles across the next stage of project Renova is also included, although he is not part of the community. The stories of those two, Wedge and Doyle, are told in the third person, perhaps because they are the characters that are more closed-off and we are less likely to identify with (although we still see things from their points of view, not always pleasant, I might add). Doyle’s character also allows us to get a glimpse into what is going on in the world at large and what the forces pulling the strings are planning next. There is a chapter, a particularly dramatic one, where several points of view are used, for very good reason, but in the rest, it is clear who is talking, and there is no head hopping. The different points of view help give readers a better sense of the characters thanks to the varied perspectives and also provide us with some privileged information that makes us be less surprised by what happens than some of the characters are.

Vicky, who matured during the first book, continues to get stronger, but she goes through quite a few harrowing experiences in this book, she still finds it difficult to make decisions (she always thinks about everybody else’s needs first) and is sometimes two steps forward and one step back. When she comes face to face with the man she thought she could not live without again, she makes an understandable choice, but not one we’ll like. Later on, things take a turn for the better, but… The rest of the characters… I’ve mentioned Lottie. She’s great and I loved the chapters from her point of view. And we have an official psychopath baddie, but, well, let’s say he’s not the worst one of the lot. (To be truthful, I prefer an all-out ‘honest’ baddie to somebody who pretends to be good and do everything for others when he’s a lying, good-for-nothing… Well, you catch my drift).

I don’t want to give you too many details about the plot, but let’s say that we discover quite a few secrets, we come to meet characters we’d only heard about before and see them in all their glory (or not), there are strange alliances, issues of law and order, cheating, fights, and even murders. And we get a scary peep into what the future holds.

As I had said in my review for the first one, due to the care and attention given to the characters, and to the way the small community is configured (we get to know everybody and it is a bit like soap opera but in a post-apocalyptic environment), this book will be enjoyed also by people who don’t usually read this genre of novels. There is a fabulous sense of place and the author manages to use the island (its history, its landscape, and its location) to its utmost advantage. The books need to be read in order to truly understand the story, the development of the characters, and their motivation. If you haven’t read Tipping Point, I recommend you start with that one and keep reading.

I know there is a book of short-stories being published later in the year and the third novel next year. I can’t wait to see what will happen next after the epilogue (and what Dex will be up to next). A great series and one that makes us question what makes us human, what do we really need to survive, and what makes us civilised (if we are).

I was provided an ARC copy of the novel that I freely chose to review.

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review 2017-09-11 14:56
Rezension | Joe Hill: Fireman
Fireman: Roman - Ronald Gutberlet,Joe Hill
Wer den Klappentext verfasst hat las den Titel und nicht das Buch. 
 
Was habe ich erwartet: 
Eine Geschichte über eine apokalyptische Krankheit und einen mysteriösen Fireman. Irgendwas mit einem coolen Endzeithelden, gespickt mit feinen Mystery- und Horror - Elementen. (Entschuldige, Joe Hill, aber ja, ich messe dich an Daddy.) 
 
Was habe ich bekommen:
Ja, was habe ich bekommen? Ein Endzeit-Dschungelcamp? Eine Gesellschaftsstudie am Rande einer Apokalypse? 
 
Man hätte es genau so gut „Marlborough -Mann“ nennen können und behaupten, eben jener wäre die größte Gefahr der Menschheit.  Ja, ein „Marlborough- Mann“ kommt vor und ja, er ist eine Gefahr. Zumindest für einen Teil der Menschheit. Damit wären wenigstens zwei Aussagen des Klappentextes als wahr erfüllt, denn es gibt tatsächlich einen „Fireman“ in diesem Roman, aber er ist nicht die letzte Rettung der Menschheit. 
 
Die Krankheit ist cool. „Dragonscale“, feine Muster, die auf deiner Haut erscheinen und dazu führen, dass du in Flammen aufgehst. Mit dem Menschen nach und nach die ganze Welt. Gut, dieKrankheit zu haben ist nicht so cool, aber die Idee ist gut.  Verschwendet, aber gut. 
 
Harper, die Protagonistin folgte ich sehr gern durch den Verlauf der Geschichte. Sie ist erfrischend normal, nicht perfekt, aber auch keine Damsel-in-Distress. 
 
Der Firmen war am Anfang als mystischer Retter interessant, wurde aber sehr schnell de-mystifiziert. Er ist nett. Also nicht im Sinne von „nett ist die kleine Schwester von…“, sondern nett. Mehr aber auch nicht. Er kommt nicht so oft vor und er macht auch nicht sonderlich viel. Aber er ist … nett. 
 
Die Romanze fand ich zu erzwungen und fehl am Platz. Sie tut nichts für die Geschichte und macht wenig Sinn. Lass die beiden sich mal verlieben, weil … Keks. Das ist eine „Thor“ - Romantik. Kennen sich ein paar Stunden und verlieben sich unsterblich weil es der Plot so will. Nein, nicht der Plot, der Autor. 
 
Joe Hill arbeitet mir epischer Vorausdeutung. Das erfüllt seinen Zweck, man möchte weiter lesen, aber es verrät auch viel. Zu viel Info zu früh nimmt Überraschung weg. Ich mag es lieber, wenn ich nach und nach herausfinde, wer die Antagonisten sind, als wenn ich vorweg mit der Nase darauf gestoßen werden. Ein oder zwei Wendepunkte der Geschichte lässt er offen, die größten, aber weniger vorweg greifender Erklärung hätte dem Buch gut getan. 
 
Längen gibt es. Der Mittelteil im Camp zieht sich hin, während das aktionsreichere Ende im Vergleich recht kurz ausfällt. Ich wünschte mir mehr und früher Aktion und weniger Aufbau. Die Etablierung des großen Personals braucht Zeit, ja, aber Joe Hill sollte auf sein Talent vertrauen viele Figuren differenziert darzustellen. Das kann er nämlich. Hat gut von Daddy gelernt.
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