dEaDINBURGH-Mark Wilson

Edinburgh, 1645:
The bubonic plague rages. In a desperate attempt to quarantine the infected, the city leaders seal the residents of Mary King’s Close in their underground homes.

2015:
Mary King’s Close is reopened, unleashing a mutated plague upon the city residents.
The UK government seals the entire city. Declaring it a dead zone they seal the survivors inside alongside the infected. dEaDINBURGH is declared a no man’s land, its residents left for dead and to the dead.
2050:
Joseph MacLeod, born onto the cobbles of the Royal Mile and stolen from the clutches of the infected is determined to escape the quarantined city. Under the guidance of former marine Padre Jock, he leaves the confines of the city centre and hones his archery and free-running skills.
Alys Shephard, born into an all-women farming community believes a cure lies in the south of the quarantined zone. The finest combatant in the dead city, Alys burns with anger. The anger of an abandoned child.
Something much worse than the infected waits for them in the south, in the form of a religious cult led by a madman named Somna who collects gruesome trophies and worships the dead body of a former celebrity. Added to this the enigmatic Bracha, a supreme survivalist and sadistic former Royal with his own agenda, stalks the teenagers.
A self-contained story, dEaDINBURGH is a character-driven Young Adult/Horror/Dystopian novel exploring the human capacity for good, evil and for survival (taken from Goodreads)

Imagine growing up in an isolated community, spending your entire life fighting the dead and simply trying to stay alive. For Joey and Alys that is all they have ever known. Joey grew up amongst the monks who live underground and worship the undead until Padre Jock takes him under his wing and teaches him to be a warrior.

Alys grows up in a woman only community with a mother who’s idea of love is to make Alys become the best fighter she possibly can be. Her mother expects her to be the very best but Alys very best is never enough.

when the two unite they become an unstoppable team but life within the fences of Edinburgh is not all it seems and when the pair find out the truth it becomes even more dangerous than before.

A tale with so many levels, just when you think you know what’s going to happen next, a new subplot jumps up at you. from silent monks who believe the dead are a gift from god to a sociopath who stalks the young fighters and is intent on killing them, on to a complete nutter and his cult, who believe the dead body of a former celebrity talks through him, though not all of his followers are as loyal as they seem.

There are a great deal of mysteries and unexpected turn of events within these pages. A very enjoyable read that runs at a high pace throughout. I look forward to reading more from this author. Although this is a self-contained novel there is a second book in the series and once I have read it I will let you know my thoughts on it.

8/10

Happy reading everyone and I hope all those south of the equator are staying warm now that winter has well and truly kicked in. Its freezing here in New Zealand tonight with snow all around the place, expect in my wee corner of the coastline, it always passes us by which is a shame, I love a good snow fall.

Please leave a comment if you have enjoyed reading this post. Take care one and all.

End Times–Shane Carrow

         

New Year’s Day: midsummer in Australia. In Perth, twin brothers Aaron and Matt have graduated high school and are enjoying their last few months of summer holidays before adulthood – while on the other side of the country, something has fallen from the sky, heralding the dawn of a new age.
As a terrifying plague spreads across Australia and the world, Aaron and Matt find themselves scrambling to survive, fleeing the city, refugees in their own country. Tormented by strange dreams and beset by violence, they must struggle to find the remnants of their family and survive the Rise of the Undead. (taken from Amazon.com.au)

Zombies come to Australia and no-one is safe. Aaron and Matt are enjoying their last summer of freedom, trying their best to keep adulthood at bay for a few more months, but when something falls from the sky on the other side of the red continent, bringing with it a mysterious virus that quickly spreads to all corners of the country, the boys are forced to grow up and find a way to survive and escape suburban Perth and find their father who was caring for their dying grandmother when the virus hits.

The first two books follow the boys as they go from disaster to tragedy to near death experiences. They meet some good people and some very bad people on their journey as they struggle through a rapidly declining civilization. They fight through hoards of undead, escape death by the skin of their teeth more than most people would be able to, all the while managing to stay together and keep each other sane.

The third book starts toward a path that is more supernatural than zompoc, though the undead do feature they are not the only stars of the show. Aaron and Matt have been having the same dream for awhile now, and while Aaron believes they need to follow where the dreams lead them, Matt wants nothing to do with them and tries to pretend its all in Aaron’s head. But before long fate puts them on the path they can’t avoid, the path to the Snowy Mountains and something hidden in the deep snow filled valleys. Something needs the two young men…

And unfortunately that is where I ran out of book, I hate that, don’t you? You get so engrossed in this bizarre twist and hello…end of book and the next in the series has not been released yet. The third book Blood and Salt was released just last week, so looks like it is going to be a bit of a wait to read the next one in this six part series. I am so not good at waiting!

Blood and Salt left a big cliff hanger as to what is going to happen to our wayward Ozzie brothers but I have a few ideas that I will keep under my Aukbra for now. Oh and lucky for us, there is a dictionary in the back of the books to translate Aussie into English, though I did get most of the obscure words, after a few trips over the ditch to visit my big brother and his band of Mossies (Maori Aussies, Maori kids that have grown up in Australia) After more than a decade living in New South Wales my nieces and nephews are more Australian than they are Kiwi now and they have taught me the language quite well. I still can’t stand the beer though lol.

Great summer reading if your living in the Northern Hemisphere and are hitting the beach or for curling up by the fire if your a southerner like me.

8/10

Happy Reading where ever in the world you maybe.

Man Crush Monday

I thought I might try something new this week, I’ve picked a male protagonist out of one of the books I have read lately and I’m going to do a little write up about him. Something different for this cold Monday morning.

WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS!

The man I picked for this inaugural MCM is from Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series. Rather than pick the obvious, the main protag William Herondale I have instead chosen to do a profile on James Carstairs, more commonly known as Jem.

Born in Shanghai to a British father and Chinese mother, Jem was orphaned at the age of 12 when a greater demon killed his parents and tortured Jem by poisoning him with a drug called Yen Fen, a demon drug which is highly addictive and once addicted,it is impossible to be cured and slowly kills the user.

Jem is sent to live at the London Institute, where he meets William Herondale and Jessamine Lovelace, who are also wards of the Institute. Jem and Will become fast friends and train together whenever the illness caused by his dependency does not cause Jem to become incapacitated.

Eventually the two young boys become Parabati, a ceremony where they pledge to fight together and be there for each other for the rest of their lives. Whereas Will is reckless and often in trouble, Jem is a more thoughtful and careful character. He has a gentle disposition and a very caring nature. Because of his illness and careful nature, he tends to be more introspect than his Parabati, thinking things through before he acts.

The series start when Jem and Will are 17. Shortly after Will rescues Tessa Gray from the Dark Sisters. Tessa is a warlock though at the time she didn’t know that. Jem meets her for the first time when she hears him playing the violin late at night and follows the music into his bedroom where he has been overcoming the latest attack of illness caused by the Yen Fen. Straight away Jem finds himself drawn to her. Eventually, after a number of adventures, they become engaged.

But the drug he is addicted to is now making him sicker and sicker. Will desperately searches for a cure, scared of losing his best friend but Jem begs him to stop looking. He accepts the fact that he is dying and will never get to marry his true love but fate has another plan instore for him.

While Will and everyone thinks he has died, in truth he becomes a Silent Brother and is given the name Brother Zachariah, his mortal life is now a thing of the past but he still meets Tessa once a year, at the bridge that had become their special place.

Meanwhile Tessa marries Will and together they run the London Institute until Wills death. Because Tessa is a warlock she is immortal and for 129 years the two meet at the bridge but have no hope of a future together until the Yen Fen is burned from his system by Jace Herondale, a descendant of Will Herondale’s, using heavenly fire.

Now cured, he is released from his service to the Silent Brotherhood and the next time he meets Tessa on Blackfriars Bridge he tells her that he never stopped loving her and the two live happily ever after. They marry and move to Los Angeles where the only descendant he can find, Emma Carstairs, lives with the Blackthorns at the Los Angeles institute.

Jem is one of the best characters written by Cassandra Clare, he is intelligent, gently yet fierce when he needs to be and has an exceptionally caring nature. Even when he becomes Brother Zachariah, that sweet nature shines through. Plus he is a cat person, he rescues Church who goes on to become the London Institute cat and lives a long long life. Jem is reunited with Church when he leaves the Silent Brotherhood.

I would love to see a book written about Jem’s full story, from childhood in Shanghai to his time in the Brotherhood to being reunited with Tessa and what happens from there. I imagine it would be a lovely story and a great addition to the Infernal Devices/ Mortal Instruments series.

I hope you enjoyed this first Man Crush Monday. Let me know in the comments your thoughts and any recommendations for future profiles.

thanks for visiting. Happy reading.

Noah’s Ark Series–Harry Dayle

May 1st 2014 the Earth is scorched by a stray asteroid, wiping out almost all life. Almost, but not quite. Three thousand souls aboard a cruise ship visiting the north pole are spared by a freak of nature.
The ship’s First Officer, Jake Noah, was looking forward to getting back to dry land once and for all. But then the world ended, and now he finds himself reluctantly in charge of the last handful of survivors of the human race.
The limited resources on board mean that just staying alive will be a struggle. With the threat of mutiny ever present, can Jake rise to the challenge and lead his crew and their passengers on a quest for safety, or will he take the easy option and leave anarchy and chaos to prevail? (taken from Goodreads)

Survivors is the first of a five book series about life aboard a cruise ship after an asteroid wipes out nearly all life on earth. First Office Jake Noah never wanted to be a seaman, he only took the job to make his father happy, but when the Captain and First Mate die he, as senior officer has to take charge of the ship. The lives of all three thousand passengers and staff aboard are now in his hands.

A well written, well researched series, though it did run out of steam now and then. For a five book series it managed to keep the interest going through all the novels which is unusual,  most writers who write long series like this start to flounder by book number three but Mr Dayle managed to keep a solid storyline going throughout, with lots of action and intrigue.

Between mutinies, mysterious viruses, toxic ash, scarce resources and uninhabitable lands as well as not knowing if their family and friends back home are alive or not, the passenger and crew of the Spirit of Arcadia go through some of the worst experiences you could go through but the reluctant captain and his team battle through it all to find the survivors a new place to call home.

Noah’s Ark is full of excitement, intrigue and some of the worst people imaginable. Mr Dayle is to be admired for his imagination, when he throws his poor hero into some really horrible and terrifying situations he does nothing to soften the blow, but rather jumps in feet first, with all guns blazing.

Honestly, I know I say this a lot, but add this series to your reading list, though perhaps not if you are planning a cruise.

8/10

Happy Reading

The Train to Busan

T

I don’t tend to write reviews on zombie movies, mostly because I don’t really watch a lot of them and the few I do watch haven’t been worth the effort, that is until now.

The Train to Busan, released in 2016, is a Japanese zombie movie that is playing on Netflix at the moment. Usually I can’t be bothered watching sub-titled movies but this one was recommend to me by Rhiannon Frater and it looked to good to pass up, so I put my reading glasses on and it was really worth it.

This is edge of the seat zombie thrill at its best, language was not a barrier to enjoying this movie. It really does take you on the train ride from hell. It is a stellar script with a cast to back it up. I dare you to watch this movie and not fall in love with the sweet little girl who plays Soo-an, not only is she adorable but she is one of the best child actors I have seen in a long time.

The critic’s loved this movie and its clear to see why. It had none of the American style over the top acting drowned in special affects, more like a realistic British style of telling the story, full of emotion and fear and grief. The special affects, though great, are few and don’t distraction from the story, but rather take it up to a new level. There was nothing expected about this movie, you can feel the fear spilling from the characters as they race from disaster to disaster. It keeps you on the edge of your seat from the start.

It all begins innocently enough,a divorced father who works to hard and a little girl who just wants to spend her birthday with her mother, who lives in Busan. The father agrees to take her to Busan and from there it escalates into the most terrifying and twisted train ride in the history of trains. With carriages full of the undead, lots of gore and blood and lots of unexpected deaths, just when you think they are safe, they aren’t and they have to get moving again. It is a full on, fast pace, race to a safety than seems unattainable.

I enjoyed every moment of it, even the moments that made me jump. And the ending, well that will bring a tear to your eye.

So, take some time off this weekend and give your eyeballs a treat. And then come back and let me know what you think of The Train to Busan

9/10

Happy viewing.

Divided–R L Blalock

Back in February I reviewed the first book in the first book in the Death and Decay series Devoured as well as the prequel The Darkest Days. Divided, the second book in the series by the very talented writer R L Blalock will be released tomorrow and I was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy last week and I can tell you now, this is not a book you want to miss.

Divided is written from Olivia’s husband, Colin’s viewpoint and tells of his desperate bid to find his wife and child as the world falls apart and the undead rise. When he receives a terrified phone call from Olivia as she is fleeing from the bridge at the beginning of book one, Colin isn’t sure if he should believe her or not. That is until he steps outside the shop where he works and witnesses the chaos firsthand.

He flees with his workmates and a woman they rescue from her undead boyfriend and tries to get to Olivia. But there is a river between them and all the bridges are blocked by abandoned cars and zombies. They decide the best course of action is to get out of the city, they meet up with Colin’s  cousin, Samuel, and they all escape together to look for a place where they can get across the river and find Olivia and baby Elli.

Along their journey they meet other survivors, some friendly and so decidedly unfriendly. They find a safe haven but Colin still burns to find his family, he stays as long as he can to help the survivors but when he goes to leave he is confronted by members of the group who don’t think he should leave and that he and the small team he is taking with him, are far to important to be allowed to just go their own way. And that is when the serious division happens.

I won’t say any more, just be prepared for a zombie novel like no other. There is the normal fight for survival but there is so much more to this story, a lot of unexpected twist and turns and some very real scenes, the author does not gloss over the consequences of actions that the survivors take and as Colin slips further and further from the person he once was, as he does things he never dreamed he would, he starts to loses himself, the only direction he can take is the one that takes him back to his family and as close to normal as this terrible new world will allow.

And to top it all off a new big bad arises that will need to be dealt with in book 3, which I can’t wait to read. I have said it before but I will say it again, Don’t miss this series, its original and exciting and terrifying all at once. With each book it just gets better and better. So head to Amazon tomorrow, the 15th May (which is today here in NZ, very confusing lol) and pick up a copy of Divided by R L Blalock, devour the book and don’t forget to leave a review. Good authors deserve good reviews and R L Blalock is awesome!

9/10

Happy Reading

The Noru Series–Lola StVil

From the author of the Guardians series, Lola StVil now tells the story of the children of the Guardians, The Noru. So far I have read 5 of the 7 novels, all of which have their own merits.

The story follows Pryor, the daughter of Death and Guardian angel Marcus and at 14 years old, is the leader of the Noru team, a team which she deserted a year ago on the day they where suppose to be announced to the angel world as the new guardian team. She leaves the angel world to go to a human high school and makes friends with Randy, a geeky human boy. When she turned her back on the angel world she also turned her back on the boy she is in love with, Aaden, son of demon Rage and the teams second in command.

The team come back together when a new evil emerges and wrecks havoc on the angel world. But a year is a long time and the members of Pryor’s team have been through more than she knows. And the new evil turns out to be someone well known to her father, leading to betrayal and pain for Pryor.

The six members of the Noru team, Pryor, Aaden, twins Key and Swoop ,Bex, future Kon (king) of the paras and Easton, a Quo, are joined by Randy to protect the human world from the new evil.

The first five books are a rollercoaster ride of fear, fighting, love and heartbreak, Pryor must leave her youth behind and step up to be the leader she was born to be. She will have to reunite her team and build them back up to the demon fighting unit they once were, while dealing with the lose of a family member and being torn away from her parents.

There are things about this series that are not popular amongst readers, there are a number of rather graphic sex scenes that aren’t really suitable for the YA genre. To put it in a mothers point of view, my 11 year old daughter won’t be reading these books for a few years. I don’t think the scenes are necessary but they do add a depth to the books. Most of the reviews I have read on this series are not happy about a 14 year old losing her virginity which I can completely understand, if it was my daughter I would freak, but Pryor is no normal 14 year old, she has been killing demons since she was a toddler, I would imagine that would make one grow up quickly.

There is a bit of predictability about these novels, the very Twilight style love triangle and on again off again love affair, and the expected teenage drama, but there is enough solid storyline and realistic stupidity, like getting drunk and getting into trouble, that make them worth reading. The storylines are not just fight, fight, win and next please, the characters deal with some very realistic problems, such as drug addiction and teen pregnancy amongst others.

In the very basic sense its normal teenagers that are very mature and have super powers and have to save the world while trying to keep up with their homework and life’s everyday challenges . Except these teens are a brand new species of angel and no-one in their world knows what to expect from them, if they are good or evil or somewhere between.

If you are looking for something a bit different, something that has that little bit of predictability thrown amongst the completely blindsiding then this is the series for you. If your looking for boring teen romance, yeah this is not going to be your thing, move along. The books are well written with a lot of thought and imagination put into them and personally I am looking forward to reading the next two books.

7/10

Happy Reading, until next time.