Genre: Horror

Book Review – Angelfall (Penryn and the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee

Posted August 13, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA / 2 Comments

Book Review – Angelfall (Penryn and the End of Days #1) by Susan EeAngelfall by Susan Ee
Series: Penryn & the End of Days #1
Published by Self-Published on May 21st 2011
Pages: 288
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Fantasy, Horror, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: World After

five-stars

It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

What an outstanding debut novel by Susan Ee! Don’t be fooled by the pretty glittery cover, or even the title of the book, or the fact that people are calling this young adult, or the fact that you think ‘ooh! It has angels in it!’ so you automatically think of something like this:

This is dark fantasy straight up, nothing cute or froo froo about this. And MAN was it awesome!

This was a marvelous novel that hooked me from the beginning. From the very first page you’re thrust into the gloomy post-apocalyptic society that Earth has become since the angels of the apocalypse invaded 6 weeks ago. The main character Penryn is in charge of protecting her seven year old paralyzed sister Paige and their schizophrenic mother. Penryn’s purpose in life at this point is to do nothing but protect them and she’s completely devastated when her sister is kidnapped by the angels. She proceeds to do whatever necessary to get her sister back and get her back quick when she resorts to teaming up with another angel, Raffe, and makes a deal with him so he will take her to the angels aerie.

Pendryn is a total badass and I loved her. She could totally hold her own, she knew what it took to survive… she was one tough cookie.

High Points
Okay, so, with most books these days where there’s a side story that involves a ‘romance’ it usually tends to sway towards instalove. I. Hate. Instalove. It’s corny, irritating, and it makes me want to pull my hair out. I am pleased to inform you all that I did not hate the way Penryn and Raffe’s relationship progressed; it ended up being quite realistic and believable. *phew* What a relief.

About the last 20% of the book, things started happening that were CRAZY! I mean seriously dark twisted crazy ass shit. No morphing into a YA teenage melodrama here yippee! I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll just leave it at that.

The ending was well timed and it wasn’t a cliffhanger that made me turn into a crazed madman that made me need to know more NOW. I mean the book has to end somewhere and I think that was an appropriate place to do it. I did end this book and proceeded to frantically search for any future released dates of book 2. Alas, I failed to find any but I will definitely be on the lookout, no doubt about that. There are several questions that I’m dying to have answered View Spoiler »

I’d like to take a moment to thank Michelle for not only convincing me to read this but also loaning it to me. You’re the best. 🙂

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Book Review – The Reapers Are the Angels (Reapers #1) by Alden Bell

Posted August 11, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA / 4 Comments

Book Review – The Reapers Are the Angels (Reapers #1) by Alden BellThe Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell
Series: Reapers #1
Published by Holt Paperbacks on August 3, 2010
Pages: 240
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror, Zombies
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

Zombies have infested a fallen America. A young girl named Temple is on the run. Haunted by her past and pursued by a killer, Temple is surrounded by death and danger, hoping to be set free.

For twenty-five years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can't remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption. Moving back and forth between the insulated remnants of society and the brutal frontier beyond, Temple must decide where ultimately to make a home and find the salvation she seeks.

This contains some spoilers and is a bit of an ‘all over the place’ type of review. I had a hard time gathering all of my thoughts into an organized review.

The world that Temple lives in is the only world she’s ever known. She never lived in a world where there weren’t any zombies, a world where everyone was peaceful and didn’t have to wake up and fighting to survive each and every day.

“The world, it treats you kind enough so long as you’re not fightin against it.”

Temple is a great character. She somewhat reminds me of Saba from Blood Red Road, but Temple seems to have a better grasp of the English language. She’s a survivor and definitely far beyond her years; I never would have pegged her to be 15. This is obviously due to the world she’s had to live in, the things she’s had to do to survive, and the things she’s had to experience. She’s a very emotional character and it’s quite sad how she keeps it all inside.

She ends up on the run from Moses Todd after accidentally killing his brother. I was a bit upset at that whole aspect of the story because it lacked a purpose. He became intent on killing Temple as retribution for his brother but there seemed to be another reason entirely that was never explained and something I never ended up understanding. I really wish the ending had been different… it ended up being an awkward piece that didn’t quite fit the rest of the puzzle.

High Points
The author’s writing is outstanding. Even though this seems to be your typical end of world/zombie novel where it’s not another person out there trying to survive… it’s not. It’s another book where I would say it’s not even a zombie novel per say, it’s a novel about survival (not just from zombies) and about living.

Temple is the main focus and what a great character she was; definitely a multi-faceted character with each new facet a new surprise. Don’t take her at face value – she’s more than meets the eye.

Low Points
I enjoyed this book. That said I love books that have fabulous world building that manage to completely absorb me into the story. This book lacks any sort of world building so that was kind of disappointing for me. When reading a new dystopian novel I always find it interesting to see how the author decides to create the world and how the world came to be how it is. A lot of things weren’t exactly explained and I ended up questioning a lot of it: how she’s able to stop at several gas stations and there are peanut butter crackers, how she’s also able to stop at several gas stations and be able to fill up her car, how do people have electric fences set up around their property, and where did they get the chicken, peaches, and everything else for dinner?? And will somebody please explain to me the tracker used on Temple’s car?

Like other reviewers, I had a big problem with the lack of quotation marks. At times the author would get so into describing things and situations that when someone would start speaking I’d have no clue and be so confused I’d have to backtrack to figure out what the hell was going on. At first I thought that it was an issue with my ebook, but apparently others had the same issues.

My main issue didn’t even have anything to do with the book or the story itself; I loved the story. I have a huge problem with books that are tagged as YA that I would never let my children read in their teens. Just because the main character is a 15 year old girl does not automatically make it YA. (view spoiler)

The Reapers are Angels is a sad, very moving and emotional read but still highly enjoyable.

”And the beauty he looks over is fathomable only by a girl who would have felt the measure of it as deep as to her dazzled soul.”

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Book Review – Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind

Posted August 9, 2011 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 / 1 Comment

Book Review – Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick SüskindPerfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind
Published by Penguin Books on September 12, 1986
Pages: 272
Genres: Classics, Horror, Literary Fiction
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Pigeon

five-stars

The year is 1738; the place, Paris. A baby is born under a fish-monger’s bloody table in a marketplace, and abandoned. Orphaned, passed over to the monks as a charity case, already there is something in the aura of the tiny infant that is unsettling. No one will look after him; he is somehow too demanding, and, even more disturbing, something is missing: as his wet nurse tries to explain, he doesn’t smell the way a baby should smell; indeed, he has no scent at all.

Slowly, as we watch Jean-Baptiste Grenouille cling stubbornly to life, we begin to realize that a monster is growing before our eyes. With mounting unease, yet hypnotized, we see him explore his powers and their effect on the world around him. For this dark and sinister boy who has no smell himself possesses an absolute sense of smell, and with it he can read the world to discover the hidden truths that elude ordinary men. He can smell the very composition of objects, and their history, and where they have been, he has no need of the light, and darkness is not dark to him, because nothing can mask the odors of the universe.

As he leaves childhood behind and comes to understand his terrible uniqueness, his obsession becomes the quest to identify, and then to isolate, the most perfect scent of all, the scent of life itself.

At first, he hones his powers, learning the ancient arts of perfume-making until the exquisite fragrances he creates are the rage of Paris, and indeed Europe. Then, secure in his mastery of these means to an end, he withdraws into a strange and agonized solitude, waiting, dreaming, until the morning when he wakes, ready to embark on his monstrous quest: to find and extract from the most perfect living creatures—the most beautiful young virgins in the land— that ultimate perfume which alone can make him, too, fully human. As his trail leads him, at an ever-quickening pace, from his savage exile to the heart of the country and then back to Paris, we are caught up in a rising storm of terror and mortal sensual conquest until the frenzy of his final triumph explodes in all its horrifying consequences.

Told with dazzling narrative brilliance and the haunting power of a grown-up fairy tale, Perfume is one of the most remarkable novels of the last fifty years.

‘Perfume’ tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille a boy who grew up on the streets of Paris. Jean-Baptiste was no ordinary boy, he had a gift… a sense of smell that could not be rivaled. Naturally he found his niche by becoming an apprentice to a master perfumer who teaches him the art of making perfume. He excelled at this and people were scrambling to buy his product. As he branched out and started searching for new scents to include in his perfumes, his fascination with trying to find the “ultimate perfume” takes a morbid turn when he finds that ultimate scent is coming from a beautiful woman, and he has to capture it by any means necessary.

I picked this book up on a whim at a used bookstore one day simply thinking that I’d like to read something different for a change. ‘Perfume’ managed to root itself so deep in my mind that I still remember this novel in vivid detail to this day; I must have read it at least ten years ago. The story is disturbing in so many ways yet so unbelievably brilliant and fascinating that you can’t help but be enthralled.

The novel is extremely graphic at times but that’s what really makes the story. Highly recommended, I love this novel it’s one of my absolute favorites.

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Short and Sweet Review – Deadline (Newsflesh #2) by Mira Grant

Posted July 16, 2011 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 / 2 Comments

Short and Sweet Review – Deadline (Newsflesh #2) by Mira GrantDeadline by Mira Grant
Series: Newsflesh #2
Published by Orbit on June 1st 2011
Pages: 570
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Feed, Countdown: A Newsflesh Novella, Parasite

five-stars

Shaun Mason is a man without a mission. Not even running the news organization he built with his sister has the same urgency as it used to. Playing with dead things just doesn't seem as fun when you've lost as much as he has.

But when a CDC researcher fakes her own death and appears on his doorstep with a ravenous pack of zombies in tow, Shaun has a newfound interest in life. Because she brings news-he may have put down the monster who attacked them, but the conspiracy is far from dead.

Now, Shaun hits the road to find what truth can be found at the end of a shotgun.

 

 

The Newsflesh Series

I was really hoping that book 2 lived up to the expectations I set from reading Feed. I thought Feed was amazing… Deadline hit the mark as well. I’m not even sure how to write a proper review without giving anything away, because I’ve had that happen personally one too many times, so I will just say this… the danger and the excitement it doesn’t cease. It’s still a page turner. And the cliff-hanger ending (OMG-I was screaming and my eyes were enormous I’m sure) is huge and you’ll be dying to get your hands on book 3. When does book 3 come out? Way too far into the future. *sigh*

My first concern was when you read a book in a series and a lot of people are killed off, a whole new set of characters is introduced in the next book…and half the time I end up hating the series because I generally hate the newly introduced characters. I was happy to see that this was not the case… I loved the new characters in Deadline. Mira/Seanan didn’t even make the reiteration of the first book obnoxious. Usually authors go on and on about shit that already happened and it drives me nuts. But whatever, I’m just complaining. Haha

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Short and Sweet Review – Feed (Newsflesh #1) by Mira Grant

Posted July 16, 2011 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 / 1 Comment

Short and Sweet Review – Feed (Newsflesh #1) by Mira GrantFeed by Mira Grant
Series: Newsflesh #1
Published by Orbit on May 1st 2010
Pages: 609
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Deadline, Countdown: A Newsflesh Novella, Parasite

five-stars

 

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives - the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will get out, even if it kills them.

 

 

Feed introduces Georgia Mason (George), Shaun Mason, and Georgette Meissonier (Buffy) – bloggers covering an upcoming Presidential Election 20 years after two viruses, that were meant to cure the common cold and cancer, combined and brought the dead to life.

I have to say right off the bat that this author does an amazing job with this book. Rather than your typical zombie book where it briefly explains why there are rotting corpses wandering the streets eating people and then proceeds to focus solely on said zombies; Feed delves into details of the world itself and explains it in near perfect detail. The story pulls you in from the very beginning and even though at times you think that the explanation could have been shortened, it was worth it. So worth it. When you reach the mid-point of the book, the excitement starts to pick up and it gets SO GOOD. Once you reach that point? Well, I was practically hyperventilating the entire time waiting to see what happened next… I couldn’t read fast enough.

And the ending? Wow. So completely and utterly heart breaking. I’m not quite sure how you could NOT cry, even a little bit. I don’t want to give a single thing away because those little shockers are what make the book. I just wanted to pass on my two cents and say that this book is amazing and well worth the time and effort to read.

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