Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Chuckles Mini Reviews Catch Up


I review everything I read, on my blog and on Goodreads. Most reviews are of a decent length but sometimes you don't have much to say about the book because of its length or you DNFed it or various other reasons. In cases like that it makes sense to write a few mini reviews in one post and clear them out your way! So lets catch up with reviews from earlier this year.

Boyd Craven-Agony of the World (The World Burns #9)
John and Caitlin seek to take down the enemy in fast moving ambushes while the new government threaten Blake to stop him leaving his FEMA job, showing that lessons haven't been learned. He makes it clear that he will quit before Sandra gives birth. Michael and King are going after the bad guys and discover that DHS are working with the IS troops. With reports of cannibalism in the area, things are getting dangerous for the good guys.

I loved this series over the first seven books but after the Boss Hogg story, the series has turned in a new direction that I don't feel is as compelling and had the books not been short, I would have quit by now. I'm just not enjoying the storyline or finding it as tense and enjoyable as I did in the beginning.

Read January 2017.
2.5 star.

Matthew Gilman-After the Day
Following a steep economic downturn Washington DC is bombed, a few days later the power goes out leaving the nation with no communication and limited resources. This is the story of the individuals who are left with only their wits and skills to help them survive.

In the aftermath of a nuclear attack on Washington DC, ordinary people try to deal with the new situation. Chuck wishes he had taken time to prepare more and Tom decides to stay at the hospital with other staff and patients and is ready to defend the building from looters.

I didn't greatly enjoy the format of the book. We follow Chuck and Tom in the immediate aftermath, which I did enjoy reading about but then we skip ahead to catch up with them surviving months later. Then we jump forward in time to meet new people three years on who were not in the aftermath stories. Next we catch up with the woman Tom tried to help in his first moments after the disaster but it is three full years since we last heard her mentioned. For me this style is too choppy and we fail to capture the real day to day tension of the apocalypse by only getting snapshots of each character's journey. It is harder to care for the characters when you only see them briefly before jumping on months or years.

The book itself is well written so I think the author does have talent. I just think the story lacks tension and development throughout due to the chosen format and as I reader I don't feel involved or invested in the story. 

Read January 2017.   
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

Devon Vondarin-The Crash 
A diplomatic standoff with China over workers rights has triggered financial meltdown. Mike the alcoholic violent homeless ex Vet is drunk enough to miss the entire start of the apocalypse. Derik
is a drug dealing, drug addicted violent thug and all around asshat, who is a career criminal who squandered every chance given to him in life, and  sees the chance to get payback on everyone who has wronged him over the years with society starting to break down. I didn't greatly like either of our 'heroes'. 

We get the details of Mike's drunken stupors and the fact that he has no clue what is happening and we get every detail of every crime Derik has ever done and every jail sentence he has ever received, which I found really dull. Following these two guys in the SHTF scenario was not keeping me interested. There was no emotion in the collapse because Mike slept through it all and the reader doesn't get to see society breaking down which is one of the things I love best about this genre. It just lacked interest for me. I also wasn't convinced by the main plot-would the US really risk a financial meltdown by trying to fight for workers rights in China? I would seriously doubt it. It just didn't feel realistic to me. And the book really needs an editor because the mistakes in it were everywhere.
Read January 2017.
 star rating photo: 1 star orange-1star.jpg

Stephen Birch-New World
This was one of those books where I pretty much hated every character within seconds of seeing them on the page which dooms any book for me. Beth is ok but her daughters are 14 and 16 and all they do is whine, complain and fight with each other. They are more like childish six year olds and drove me nuts. Nick is the loner who is determined to be alone and avoid people, giving him no personality at all. Dan is a moronic boy with no common sense. The two thug brothers were like pantomime bad guys that you cannot take seriously and toddlers could outwit them.

Nick has a policy of avoiding trouble. So he for some insane reason intervenes when Dan is being attacked then has no interest in helping him further, and just heads back to his camp in the woods. For a survivor, he is dumb and does not check to see Dan following him and is unhappy about Dan wanting to stay with him. Well if you don't want company, you should have walked on by instead of half helping him and leading him to your camp! Dan has the common sense of a wet sponge and on seeing Beth, jumps up yelling 'GIRLS!' and alerts the whole world to their location. Idiot.

I wanted a book about the aftermath of the flu pandemic in the UK but instead with these character's got Idiot Hour which I wasn't impressed with. It was definitely not for me.

Read January 2017.
star rating photo: 1 star orange-1star.jpg

Owen Baillie-Aftermath 
Australia has fallen to a zombie apocalypse and a group of friends camping together are just coming back to discover that the world has changed forever. It is books like this that remind me why I try to avoid YA dystopia as much as possible because of the dumb tropes getting in the way of the story, and boy did this have tropes. Teen angst, non stop fighting, love triangles and a determination not to believe what has happened.

Sherry the complete bitch has cheated on Callan, our druggie hero, with his friend Johnny who pulls out of the trip so of course Callan's old enemy Dylan is invited to replace him by Callan's sister Kristy who fancies him. Callan's best friend, alcoholic Greg fancies Kristy and Callan wants them to get together. Is everyone still following me? It takes ages for us to get to the zombies because of the angst, fighting and tropes which bored me senseless. We then get the zombie denial which frustrates me while they continue their petty fighting. I hate it when the characters can't work out that it's a zombie or insist on shooting them somewhere other than in the head as in the modern world zombie culture is popular and mainstream...if it is trying to eat you and looks like that IT'S A ZOMBIE!!! And I could have walked home quicker than they seemed to be doing on this endless journey to nowhere. I really ate books with dumb characters who think their petty crap is more important than a zombie apocalypse.
Read January 2017.
 star rating photo: 1 star orange-1star.jpg

Andrew J Morgan-Noah's Ark 
When Alex Latham and Michael Beecham are brought together by a series of explosions around the world, little do they know that things are about to go from bad to worse. Tasked with saving mankind from extinction, they battle a powerful evil, but soon they discover that what they're fighting is far beyond anything they ever thought it could be...

I found this book so confusing that I couldn't follow the plot. Alex escapes the city somehow and is rescued by a stranger. Michael is quizzed by a psychiatrist over killing a work colleague but Michael is sure he was being attacked by a creature, not a co-worker that day but nobody else saw what he saw. Alex has a dream. Alex is kidnapped by aliens for three days. Michael is in a prison complex. Alex is left by his wife months later because he is acting weird.

Um, what is going on? Did the apocalypse happen or not? Was Alex kidnapped by aliens or is he having a breakdown? What is real and what is delusion? It jumps so suddenly between different people, places and timelines without anything being explained that it was like brain overload. It is so fragmented and confusing that I don't even know what it was about. I'm not the kind of reader who is going to wait half the book to find out what the hell is actually happening. I've seen reviews of the book saying it is like the Matrix...well for me that says it all. 
Read January 2017.
 star rating photo: 1 star orange-1star.jpg

Belinda Frisch-Cure
A hospital is doing illegal medical experiments on the dead and dying and kidnapping women from the town to use in these tests. Using sperm from a zombie and a new cancer drug, women are being impregnated to deliver a baby immune to zombie virus and capable of providing cancer cure cells. But people connected to the missing are starting to ask questions about the hospital.

This is not a traditional zombie novel in spite of the series name, which is what I hoped for when I got it. The only zombies we see are captive ones used for the experiments. This is a thriller about an evil doctor willing to do anything to get his cancer cure and the families of the missing trying to track down the missing women. Not a great deal happens and I just found it too slow and lacking in zombies for me.
Read January 2017.
 star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

8 comments:

  1. What a disappointing bunch! Great mini-reviews which are still longer than my regular reviews, haha :)

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    1. Ah but the quality of your reviews is good! These weren't great but it gets them completed and out the way. The books I've read recently have mostly been a better standard.

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  2. Yikes. If a book can't answer whether the apocalypse happened or not then there better be some real fine writing to cover for it.

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    1. It was certainly a very confusing plot! I don't know yet what this book was really meant to be about.

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  3. After The Day sounds like it could have been good, sorry it didn't quie work. And all these various nuclear and other apocalypses better not take my internet again lol.

    LOL about New World. I HATE it when I immediately despise the characters!

    Aftermath- these reviews crack me up. "Sherry the complete bitch" :) And zombie denial- sigh. I wish that would go away.

    I like the covers of Noah's Ark and The Cure. Sperm from a zombie though... eww.

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    1. I think After the Day could have been really great if we'd followed those characters through the early days of the apocalypse then maybe jumped ahead in time in the second book or something. The writing itself was a good standard so it's a pity I didn't like the format. I'm always looking for UK based zombie books but they so often disappoint! This was another example with New World. Yeah The Cure is a bit gross!

      Those with zombie denial deserve to get chomped!

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  4. Too bad none of these really worked for you. Hope your next reads are better!

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    1. January was a very poor month for good books.

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