Thursday, 20 April 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! 

These books were all read in February/March 2017.

Brad Manuel-The Last Tribe
A deadly flu sweeps across America but the Dixon brothers and their children seem to be immune. They decide to lie low for fear of being used in vaccine experiments, and when winter is over, the remaining members of their family will go north to the relative safety of the family home in New Hampshire to be together.

The book started fine with the story of Todd and Emily being the only family left in their neighbourhood, John being stuck in South Carolina while his son Greg is alone at boarding school in Boston and Paul and Hank head out together after their families die. But Emily goes whiny when her kids don't share her interest in exploring historical houses, Greg gets whiny and dumb when he arrives at New Hampshire to find nobody there despite being told countless times that they won't arrive until the spring, and Rebecca is a little smart arse who knows everything. I liked following John, Paul and Hank, Todd was ok but the teen angst story of Greg and Rebecca bored me and with it being such a long book, my attention was wandering every time we went over to them. Just too slow with a patchy plot.
Read February 2017.
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

Mike Foster-The Right to Bear Arms
Mark and Lisa are preppers so when the riots get closer to their home, Lisa and the kids take on a dangerous journey to relative safety of the farm while Mark, a doctor, continues to work at the hospital as things gradually fall apart. 

The first issue for me were certain obnoxious characters and the plot not really moving forward. Lisa's brother Greg is a spoiled, lazy, rich boy who think he can let his kids run wild, and lies in bed all day to avoid doing his share. His spoiled brats are whiny, lazy, and obnoxious, complaining about everything. They are allowed to behave badly while Lisa and her kids and Greg's wife Sarah do all the chores with Lisa's parents, who I liked very much. Mark meanwhile has his hero complex and refuses to leave the hospital, forcing his wife to make a dangerous journey alone with the kids which is almost fatal. As more people flee the area, he still stays despite there being nothing more he can do there. By the time he decides it is too dangerous to stay (having been shot at by armed looters again), it's deadly out on the streets. 

The same thing was happening daily in the hospital scenes-doing rounds of patients, moaning about lack of personnel and supplies, riots getting closer...over and over. I wanted him to get his butt in gear and LEAVE. I also didn't enjoy the government faction working with Islamic terrorists conspiracy sub plot. While I liked aspects of the farm plot and some of the characters, I felt the endless hospital scenes bogged the book down and the plot stagnated. The actual writing was decent enough but it just wasn't for me.
Read February 2017. 
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

Jeremy Dyson-Rise of the Dead
Blake was never one for taking chances. He lived in a world of statistics and probabilities where everything could be controlled. That world disappeared the day the dead got up and began attacking the living. Now he must struggle to survive and to make sense of a new and chaotic world that is quickly spiraling out of control. 

This was not a bad story but was let down by the plot holes and confusion towards the end. Blake is on a train that breaks down and he is suddenly caught up in panic as a zombie apocalypse surrounds him. Taking refuge inside the racetrack with other survivors, they must plan their survival. I liked these parts of the book and how they escape and end up at the fortified restaurant. But this is where the book fell apart for me. The plot inside the dark Castle becomes very confused and disjointed. Melanie gets a head injury on the journey and Blake fears she might turn so he leaves a kid to guard her with a gun. OK firstly, she was knocked unconscious in the car and there was no mention of her having a bite or being ill. So how does she turn? We are never told why or what actually happens to her, except the kid is killed. If they really thought she'd turn, a kid should not have been left to guard her! Everyone else was running around in the dark going missing or getting injured but I didn't have a clue what was going on as it wasn't explained well. This is a book that started great then got confusing, and the ending was all too convenient for me. It was a decent enough read overall but not enough to read on with the series.
Read February 2017.
2.5 stars.

Scott B Williams-The Pulse
Artie and his brother Larry are sailing a boat to St Thomas but near the end of the journey an EMP hits. Getting ashore safely, they plan how to get back safely to America. Artie's daughter Casey is stuck on campus in New Orleans but teams up with prepper Grant to try to leave the city.

Artie and Larry are interesting enough and I could happily have stuck with their story and read on with it, despite the info dumps about every system on the boat. I think their journey home might have had some interest. However, we alternate that with the trope filled Casey story. Ooh the world has ended and it could get scary but Grant is so HOT and this is a great excuse to hang out with him! Oh please! Her whiny friend Jessica spends the whole book complaining about her dreadful boyfriend but demands he comes with them if they go. Both girls then drag their heels over every suggestion Grant makes. If I was Grant, I'd have left them all behind instead of wasting precious time trying to convince them to go to his safe cabin! Stupid teen angst nonsense switched me off from the book and I lost all interest in it. 
Read February 2017. 
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

L Michael Rusin-Avalon 
A nuclear bomb blows up in Atlanta and Mike puts out the emergency call to his friends to set off for their retreat in the mountains. By the time he is on the road, DC has been hit and the world as he knows it starts to fall apart. He can only hope that all of his people survive the journey.

What a frustrating book! I really enjoyed the description of the journey and the rescue of a few of their people trapped by bad guys. I liked the refuge of Avalon which sounded like a great place to see out the apocalypse. I liked the characters though there were too many for me to get everyone straight in my mind without writing it all down. What drove me to distraction were the massive info dumps about the history of the railway near the retreat and the life history of every previous owner of Avalon itself. I found this dull and boring, it had no relevance to the current situation and added nothing of interest to the story for me. All it did was pad out the number of pages. When you start missing out chunks of a book because they bore you, a DNF is usually just around the corner. I was also annoyed by the sexist portrayal of the female characters who were all rated on their attractiveness, bra size, leg length and whether or not they were on their period. This is just really annoying and I find it lazy by the author. This book had the potential to be really good but the sexist stuff and mass info dumps put me right off.
Read February 2017.
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

Chris Fox-No Such Thing as Werewolves
A pyramid predating all known cultures appears without warning. Its discovery throws into question everything we know about the origins of mankind. Inside lies incredible technology, proof of a culture far more advanced than our own. Something dark lurks within, eager to resume a war as old as mankind. When it is unleashed it heralds the end of our species’ reign. A plague of werewolves spreads across the world. A sunspot larger than anything in recorded history begins to grow. Yet both pale in comparison to the true threat, the evil the werewolves were created to fight.

A team are sent to Peru to explore a pyramid but when it opens a werewolf escapes and attacks them, killing two people. Now the dig site is protected by heavy security as scientists try to get into the inner chamber, while the werewolf watches and waits. I so wanted to love the book with the fantastic cover but I was very disappointed by it. The main story seemed to be relationship angst between the main characters. Bridget was with Blair but had an affair with his best friend Steve, breaking his heart and Bridget's friend Sheila hates her because she loves Steve. Now that Steve is dying of radiation poisoning and they are all at the dig, Bridget is flirting with Blair again. Pass the sick bucket. The werewolf is off attacking innocents nearby though we don't really see much of it. Then it's back to the Love Pyramid and some kind of Egyptian Goddess Cult being revived. This is all about the dig, the love lives of the scientists and weird Egyptian cult whose goddess is guarded by the werewolf. I found it dull and boring. DNF.
Read March 2017.  
star rating photo: 1 star orange-1star.jpg

8 comments:

  1. Damn. Werewolves and Egyptian pyramids should have been awesome. Too bad it didn't pan out.

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    1. I loved the cover and so much wanted to love the book!

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  2. Lots of two stars in there with a one star to mix things up ;)

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    1. I had such a great time with these books! *giggles*

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  3. Lots of flops today. I enjoyed No Such Thing As Werewolves. Funny how what doesn't work for one person, does for another. LOL

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    1. That's the fun of books isn't it! One reviewer's trash is another's treasure!

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  4. Oh man with a cover like that, No Such Thing As Werewolves should have been good lol. What a bummer! I never understand why books like this go overboard on the extraneous stuff. I mean yeah you want to know the characters, but... werewolves please. Focus. :)

    The Pulse and Right To Bear Arms both sound like they had potential too, too bad they weren't quite up to snuff...

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    1. A few of the books had potential but other stuff just got in the way throughout. I hate potential that is not realised. That dumb love quad in the werewolf book really bugged me.

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