Posts Tagged ‘Post Apocalyptic’

The Wolves of Winter BlogTour

January 8, 2018 - 6:01 pm No Comments

I have been asked to get involved in the The Wolves of Winter blog tour. A post-apocalyptic book set in the cruellest season. Below is my review:

The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson
Published by HQ on 11th January 2018
384 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

First came the fires, then the nuclear bombs and finally when the world could not take anymore the Flu, not just the sniffles but full-blown flu which in some cases resulted in death. Gwendolynn (Lynn) her brother and parents fled from their home, after it got too dangerous to live there. Losing her dad to the flu, they eventually ended up in Yukon, they had a simple life, keeping themselves to themselves until a stranger entered their lives bringing trouble directly to their door.
The story is told from Lynn POV and with the detailed description, you understand how basic her life was. She was a strong and determined young woman and this really showed when she crossed paths with Immunity. Her memories that run through the story help explain how she became the woman she was and just how close she was with her father and the part that he played in the world’s destruction. When she came across Jax, you realise just how much she needed company from outside her little community.
Jax was a mysterious character, a loner who’s only companion was a husky. When we first meet him, he is portrayed as a regular joe who is trying to get away from the conflict, but as the story continued, you soon realise just how special he was. The longer he stays with Lynn and her family, the more you discover how much he needed human contact.
The authors style of writing was descriptive, and you could imagine just what sort of life Lynn and co had. Set over the winter months, with no electricity and little fresh food, just showed how hard it was for the family to survive. The story flowed easily, the scenes involving Immunity were intense, highlighting the dangers the family were in. There was always something going on in this story. I found this book compelling and I was reading it into the middle of the night, waking up with a book hangover. Saying that I did not want the story to finish and hope there will be a second one to come. One of my favourite quotes in the book was “Grief isn’t the footprints in the snow. It’s the empty space between”. As a lover of post-apocalyptic stories, I knew that I would enjoy, however I did not expect it to love it so much. Will look out for other books written by this author.

The Veil (Testaments I and II) by Joseph D’Lacey

January 10, 2017 - 7:29 pm No Comments

The Veil (Testaments I and II) by Joseph D’Lacey

Published by Horrific Tales Publishing on 26th November 2016

144 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

I bought a hardback copy of this book at the launch party, but for convenience I also downloaded it on kindle unlimited.

Set in a world where everything mechanical stops. Cars don’t run, mobiles are silent The Veil is split into 2 parts or testaments, each one telling the story of a survivors set in 2 countries trying to escape the Stricken/Commuters

Testament I: A group of survivors are trying to stay alive. In a block in America these survivors are up against The Commuters. What was different about this disaster was it only changed white collar workers, the working class were left alone.  We follow Sherri, a hairdresser in her former life but now an integral part of the Kill Crew, she spent her days looking after Trixie a young orphan and her evenings killing The Commuters. This story was full of suspense which only built when Sherrie and her 2 fellow member left their sanctuary.

Testament II: Set in the Cotswolds UK, Rob and his family try escape the unrest, they find themselves in an isolated farmhouse. The longer they stay together, cracks start to appear in their relationship. On one of his many travels to get food, Rob makes a fatal escape, which will change all their lives for ever.  I read Rob’s captivity with unease thanks to the descriptive way the author wrote these scenes.

Both stories had one thing in common, the main characters had the need to survive and to protect their family.

This book is completely different to anything I have read before. I enjoyed reading both experiences of the same horror and although I had no idea what attacked the planet and what the creatures were, this did not spoil my enjoyment and my imaginative went into overdrive trying to work out what they were.

A great post-apocalyptic story that has it all.

The Fireman

August 9, 2016 - 5:07 pm No Comments

Author: Joe Hill
Release date: 7th June 2016
Publisher: Gollancz
Page count: 768pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

 

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As novel openers go, this one is a doozy, grabbing you from the outset.
School nurse Harper sees her first person burn, literally, in the flesh. She’d seen images on the news, knew about the virus, but this was right in front of her in the playground. In front of the children.
Visceral and grim, but written in a matter of fact tone that belies the stark nature of the content, ‘The Fireman’ is an emotional, scary, yet darkly humorous exploration of human nature and our reactions in extreme circumstances. When Harper gets back from school after treating forty kids in shock she’s greeted by her husband, who, like most of America, thinks it can’t happen to him. “I thought it was in filthy places no one wants to go …”
Like bird flu, Swine flu, the recent Ebola outbreak,  the majority of humanity in this world assume it won’t reach their perfect little bubble.
There is a definite post 9/11 sentiment to the novel; a growing fear, shocking footage on the TV, the dawning horror that yes, you could be next.
No one knew how the virus started, but the earlier symptoms were Dragonscale; a rash or bruise on the skin which would start to spread and meant it was in the contagious stage. And from there; spontaneous combustion.
When Harper volunteers at the local hospital working with victims waiting to die, her whole world will change when she meets ‘The Fireman’. Enigmatic, mysterious and passionate, the encounter with this stranger will impact her in ways she never imagined.
With religious undertones and a ‘lead’ who is both strong and determined in Harper, Hill delivers a post apocalyptic masterpiece.
What a way to burn!

Mythmaker

October 21, 2015 - 3:08 am No Comments

Mythmaker

Theresa: Tell my readers a little bit about yourself

Marianne: I’m an Australian feminist SF/crime/YA writer with a passion for speculative fiction, cake, TV series, knowledge, and exercise. I’ve been writing professionally for about twenty years and have published 17 novels. The best way to find out about my work is to visit my three websites. www.mariannedepierres.com is the overarching website, but at www.burnbright.com.au you can find out about my young adult and children’s writing, and at www.tarasharp.com.au you can find out about my crime writing. My life has been about books and family.

Theresa: Your new novel is partly set in the Australian outback. Why is this?

Marianne: Well, actually, in my new series there isn’t much outback left! There’s one giant park that encapsulates what remains of the outback in Australia, which is one of the themes in the story – conservation. But I also puddle about in a bunch of other ideas, including the influence of mythology on human behaviour, social inequality, dislocated communities, and other things. Having lived in the outback for some years, I enjoyed writing the physical descriptions of the park, and I tried to get across both its ferocity and its fragility.

Theresa: What is it about fantasy/SF that appeals to you

Marianne: I’ve thought about this a lot over the years, and I keep coming back to the same notion of the “sense of freedom” it allows me as a writer. In futuristic narratives I can change the world, or invent new worlds. It’s the ultimate escapism. It also stretches my intellect and imagination. The phrase “use it or lose it” applies here. The more I stretch my imagination, the better my imagination is.

Theresa: If the world was about to end what three objects would you take with you, one of which must be a book?

Marianne: Wow, I think I could spend a lifetime just thinking up an answer for this question! But right at this moment that would be: The Greater Oxford Dictionary, a rug, and a pillow.

Marianne de Pierres is the author of the acclaimed Parrish Plessis and award-winning Sentients of Orion science fiction series. The Parrish Plessis series has been translated into eight languages and adapted into a roleplaying game. She’s also the author of a bestselling teen dark fantasy series entitled Night Creatures and writes award-winning crime under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt.
She lives in Brisbane, Australia.
Visit Marianne online at her websitewww.mariannedepierres.com and follow her @mdepierres on Twitter.

Mythmaker: Peacemaker Series Book 2
Author: Marianne de Pierres
Publisher: Angry Robot
Release date: 1st Oct 2015
Page Count: 432pp

Virgin Jackson is in a tight spot.
A murder rap hangs over her head and isn’t likely to go away unless she agrees to work for an organisation called GJIC (the Global Joint Intelligence Commission). Being blackmailed is one thing, discovering that her mother is both alive and the President of GJIC is quite another, particularly as her mother abandoned her as a child in favour of her career.. Then there’s the escalation of Mythos sightings and the bounty on her head. Oddly, Hamish is the only one she can rely on. Life is complicated.

Set within the glorious backdrop of a desolate Australian outback, Mythmaker blends the energy of an old style Western with the splendour of classic SF. Hypnotic, lyrical language adds depth to this background, which Virgin is desperately trying to conserve. The technology used in this future world is also feasible and realistic.
I enjoyed the tense and fraught relationship Virgin has with her partner, Marshal Nate Sixkiller. There is a burgeoning chemistry here. It doesn’t help that Virgin is a strong female character with her own eagle spirit guide, Aquila, with its own personality, and she will argue any point with Nate.
I felt comfortable reading this sequel without having read the first book in the series, and easily picked up on the mythology of the Mythos. Mythos are other-wordly creatures from classic myths and legends causing chaos in our world. One of the most interesting creatures in the book is the Pocong; “a burial shroud wrapped around a dead ‘un”
The mixture of creatures such as Aswang, outside the norm is interesting and adds dimension. Altogether an excellent book I would highly
recommend.

Phoenix Rising

June 5, 2015 - 2:52 pm No Comments

Phoenix Rising_Blogtour banner

I’m with #PhoenixCrew

PHOENIX RISING
By Bryony Pearce
Pub Date: 1st June 2015
Price: £6.99 Format: Paperback Age: 13+

From award-winning author Bryony Pearce comes this fast-paced and gripping YA trilogy set in a future world where fossil fuels have run out and democracy has collapsed.

An outlawed pirate crew fight for survival on their ship, the Phoenix, kept afloat by whatever they can salvage or scavenge from the debris-filled seas. Toby’s father is a wanted man. For as long as Toby can remember, they’ve been on the run. The Phoenix has become their home, their backyard the junk-filled seas surrounding it.

The crew of the Banshee lives for hunting down the Phoenix and now they’re closing in. Ayla has spent her whole life fighting – preparing for the moment when the Banshee will face its ultimate enemy. But Toby doesn’t want to run any more and Ayla is his only hope. Can he turn an old feud into a new alliance? The future is in their hands.

To survive, would you join the #BansheeCrew – feared and fearless – or will you ally with the #PhoenixCrew – trusting and true?

Bryony lives with her husband and two children in a village on the edge of the Peak District. She was a winner of the 2008 Undiscovered Voices competition and has also won the Leeds Book Award and Cheshire Schools Book Award. She is the author of two published novels; Angel’s Fury and The Weight of Souls. Bryony has never shied from writing about substantial topics as Angel’s Fury has the Holocaust at its core and The Weight of Souls explores the idea of vengeance. In Phoenix Rising, Bryony examines a dystopian, near-future setting resulting from environmental and political collapse of the world based on scientific and political predictions.

Readers are swearing their allegiance @StripesBooks – Which crew will you join?

@StripesBooks @BryonyPearce

Read the excerpt below for a taster!

Phoenix Rising Extract
Bryony Pearce

“You, there. Stop. All hands below deck.”
It was with a kind of awful relief that Toby realized he had been spotted. Even as his heart sunk, he straightened, tightened his hand around Nix and turned.
A single member of the Banshee’s crew stood silhouetted above him.
“You’re not crew. Who are you?” The voice was high, undoubtedly female.
Toby’s hand tightened on Nix and he sidestepped as the figure cartwheeled from the deck to land in front of him.
As she flew, a long coat like Nell’s flapped behind her. Her booted feet landed with a bone-jarring thud. Next to her the scrawny cat landed on silent paws. Toby watched as it wound itself around his legs, claws ticking through the puddles on the walkway.
Then it went to sit beside its mistress, growling low in its throat, as if daring Toby to move.
As the figure straightened, Toby stared. He was facing a girl who had to be about his age. His hand loosened on Nix.
All the crewmen of the Banshee that Toby had seen so far were shaven and tattooed; men or women, it didn’t seem to matter. This girl wore her long hair loose. Tiny braids decorated with beads and feathers kept it from falling into her eyes. Beneath the decoration, her hair was the colour of oil – a shiny black with prisms of colour beneath.
Toby balanced against the rise and fall of the ship and stared. The girl’s eyes were shockingly green – algae on seawater. Her face was as tanned as Toby’s own, but her skin was not as salt-burned or work-rough. She hadn’t the perfect face of the girls Toby had seen in his dreams. Her cheeks were hollow, her nose had clearly been broken at least once and she had a thin scar bisecting her lower lip.
As he exhaled, his breath shivered in the air between them and the girl put her hands on her hips to reveal black leather trousers and a tight waxed jerkin beneath her coat.
“Polly want a cracker,” Polly muttered, her warning obvious.
The cat hissed and Polly squawked angrily.
“I told them that boy was too young to be Ford’s son. You’re Toby, aren’t you?” The girl frowned. “Then who do we have in the cage?”
Toby growled. “That’s Hiko. I’m taking him home.” Finally he stepped backwards to run and the girl grinned.
“I don’t think so, boy.” Before Toby could react, she had grabbed his shoulders, slammed her forehead between his eyes, released him and leaped back.
Toby reeled from the sudden viciousness of the head-butt. Flashes of light burst in his vision and pain stabbed through his head. Half blind, he staggered, secured his grip on Nix and swung blindly.
The girl had already drawn a long knife from her belt. Nix clanged into the knife and struck on the hilt with an impact that shuddered up Toby’s arm.
He pulled free. “Sorr—” Half an apology slipped out, but the girl was already taking back her knife and lashing out with steel toecaps. Instinctively Toby blocked with Nix, making barely a dent in her thick boot leather. At the same time he remembered Callum’s favourite move from their sparring sessions and stepped in closer to her, his elbow aimed for her face.
The girl blocked with her own elbow and swung her left fist. Toby spun backwards, trying for the leg sweep, but the girl was also spinning, her coat flying behind her with a snap. Both missed.
They paused, panting and glaring at one another. Toby held Nix up and the girl held her knife in one hand, weaving it back and forth in front of her face. The other fist was closed in front of her sternum, protecting herself.
“Who are you?” Toby gasped, but the girl shook her head.
Then they were moving again. She slashed for Toby’s throat, but Nix flew, blocking her attack. Toby pressed against her knife and shoved her backwards. Then he lashed out with his feet, trying to plant his heel in her stomach. The girl shifted, but he caught her side. Air flew out of her, then she was already hacking towards his ankle. Toby moved, but not fast enough; pain burned and his blood dripped on to the deck. He hopped, sparing a quick glance downwards. A line of scarlet ran down his shin. He put his injured leg behind him, and raised Nix high, pinning his eyes on the delicate fingers that held the knife.
Polly flapped anxiously and the cat yowled, swiping upwards with wickedly sharp claws.
As Toby glanced towards his parrot, the girl feinted. Toby went to block, only to find a fist hammering into his kidney. It hurt, but he’d survived worse from Peel. He was lucky she had missed his injured rib. Somehow Toby managed to turn his lurch into a low block, caught her next slice on his leather glove, put his back to her and planted his elbow in her sternum.
The girl’s howl of rage was silenced by the outrushing of air. As she bent, Toby pressed his advantage by turning and hammering his fist into her side. Then he leaped backwards, leaving her to totter into the hull and lean on the wall, retching.
Toby gave her space. “You know who I am. Tell me who you are.”
The girl curled her lip, panting heavily. “I’m the one who’ll be taking you in.”
“Then tell me your name.” Toby pointed Nix towards his feet.
Eventually the girl shrugged. “My name is Ayla and I am second in command on the Banshee.” She raised her knife. “And seeing as you’re so fascinated by names, this is Boudicca.” She gestured with her blade to point to the cat. “I’ve been easy on you so far, but not any more. Will you come quietly?”