27. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Fiction, Science Fiction

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead , read by Angie, on 05/25/2013

Something has decimated our world in the future. This caused a reorganization of countries and governments. North America is now the RUNA and the place to live. It is civilized where the rest of the world is still a little wild. Mae is one of the super soldiers of the RUNA; this gives her super strength and speed. But unlike her fellow soldiers Mae is sometimes too strong and too fast. Justin has been exiled from RUNA and is now living in Panama. He was once a brilliant investigator for RUNA but did something that got him kicked out of the country. Mae is sent to retrieve Justin and bring him back to investigate a series of murders. Their first meeting is all mistaken identities, violence and hot sex, which makes it pretty awkward when they are actually introduced and puts a strain on their relationship. Together they investigate these bizarre murders and discover something their religion-despising country definitely does not want known.

This is an intriguing world that Mead has created. I wasn’t really sure what was going on for a lot of the book since she takes her time explaining, but it was always interesting. Mae and Justin are fascinating characters with rich backstories and intriguing futures. This series is probably going to deal with actual gods and their interference in everyday life. I wish we would have learned more about the gods and how they actually came to manifest, but hopefully that will be explained in future books. This is a pretty entertaining and intriguing starter to this series.

I received a copy of this book from the publishers on Netgalley.com.

03. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fiction, Leslie, Teen Books

Elemental by Antony John, read by Leslie, on 03/10/2013

Elemental (Elemental, #1)

In a dystopian colony of the United States where everyone is born with powers of the elements, water, wind, earth, and fire, sixteen-year-old Thomas, the first and only child born without an element seems powerless, but is he?

While I liked this book, I didn’t find myself as engrossed in it as I thought.  I’m hoping the sequels are a little more in-depth with the mystery of the past and why the colony chose to close themselves off from any other humans.  Some of that is uncovered and part of the storyline, but I want more!

30. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira, Paranormal · Tags:

Bloodring book 1 Thorn St. Croix series by Faith Hunter, read by Kira, on 03/29/2013

BloodRing

Thorn is living in the end of times, though an its ambigous end of times, seraphs and demons are still fighting in a post-apocalyptic-ice-age.  Thorn is part of a new species, neomages, who are able to bend leftover creation energy to their will.  Specifically she is a stone mage, and since mages present a threat to both humans and seraphs they are confined to luxurious Enclaves.  Thorn is passing for a human, working as a jeweler, in a remote icy town.  When her ex-husband Lucas is kidnapped and her friends are threatened, she risks revealing her true identity in order to save her adopted family.

 

BloodRing isblodring a fastpaced page turner.  Lush imagery and really interesting world-building (especially the magic-working of the gems) add to the tale.  Though the book does NOT end on a cliff-hanger, it fails to wrap up a number of the mysteries.  Who is the Amethyst Mistress?  Why did Lucas haul all that amethyst back to the store/house for his ex-wife? did he really cheat on Thorn voluntarily and what is his latest wife up to?

29. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Fiction · Tags:

Breathe by Sarah Crossan, read by Angie, on 03/27/2013

In this future world, the trees are gone and the air as well. People are forced to live in pods in order to survive. All are not equal in the pods. Those in zone 1 have the most privilege and the most air. The privileges and air goes down as you go further into the pods. Quinn is from zone 1; is father is very powerful in Breathe, the corporation that runs the pods and controls the air. His best friend Bea is from zone 3. Her family is poor, but she is smart and ambitious. Quinn and Bea decide to go camping in the Outside. They plan a two day excursion but at the border Alina insinuates herself into their group. Alina is a member of the resistance and needs to get out of the pod fast. Together they set off across the wastelands of the past world with only an oxygen tank between them and suffocation. Alina introduces Bea and Quinn to the resistance, who are trying to replant the trees and wake up the citizens about the corruption of Breathe.

This book was ok. I feel like it really didn’t cover any new ground in the dystopian/post-apocalyptic world. You had the typical corrupt corporation/politicians, resistance fighters, innocent teens, and of course a love triangle. The romance in this book was beyond awkward. Bea is in love with Quinn but he doesn’t know it. He becomes infatuated with Alina after a minute, but she doesn’t care. Alina thought she was in love with this resistance guy Abel, but who knows if that was true. Quinn finally wakes up and realizes he loves Bea but they can’t be together because of the class difference. It was pretty ridiculous. I wish there was more about the resistance and the uprising, but Crossan leaves us hanging. Not a terrible book, but nothing new here.

20. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Fiction, Teen Books · Tags:

Stung by Bethany Wiggins , read by Angie, on 03/18/2013

Fiona wakes up in her bedroom, but it isn’t her bedroom. Everything is dusty and broken and abandoned. She also realizes she is different herself. She has a weird tattoo on her hand and she seems older. In fact, she is older. She has lost four years of her life. Once she travels outside she realizes the world has gone to hell in that time. Nothing and no one is the same. There are now armed gangs patrolling the streets, a walled compound protecting people and feral groups living in the sewers. Fiona is captured by the militia and taken into custody. Apparently the tattoo on her hand means she is one of the most dangerous people alive and any moment she could turn into a raving beast. Her captor turns out to be her childhood neighbor who has always had a crush on her. They are soon on the run and falling in love.

I have to confess that while I was reading this book I couldn’t put it down. It is fast-paced and entertaining. However, for the most part it doesn’t make a lot of sense. I enjoy dystopians and my biggest pet peeve with them is lack of world-building. The world-building in this book didn’t make the most sense. It only took four years for the world to fall apart and it was all because the bees had disappeared (why do I keep getting Dr. Who flashes???). A vaccine to protect the elite (of course) from some disease caused by the bees disappearing actually turns people into monsters. The vaccine not only comes with a side of beast but a tattoo. And you get additional marks on your tattoo for every shot you get; so of course 10 marks means you are crazy! I didn’t get the militia, the compound, the gangs, etc. Bad world building!

The other thing I had a problem with was Fiona and Fiona and her beau. Fiona had to be the most pathetic, worthless heroine ever. She didn’t seem to have any survival instincts or actual intelligence sometimes. She never tried to escape her captors and at one point thought it would be a good idea to dress up in a pretty sundress and sandals in a world where she has been told women get raped for just being female. And how come men can’t control themselves? Really? It isn’t like the women died. Fiona and Dreyden were another big question mark for me. He starts out hating and fearing her and by the end of the book is ready to die for her. She still thinks she is 13 and lusts after his brother. Doesn’t matter if he holds her captive and is going to turn her over to become a guinea pig in a lab she will still always love him by the end. And the end…ugh! That is all I am going to say about that.

I did receive this book from the publishers on Netgalley and they obviously did not pay me for this review.

17. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Fiction, Teen Books · Tags:

Prodigy by Marie Lu, read by Angie, on 03/15/2013

Prodigy picks up after the events of Legend. June and Day have fled Los Angeles and are headed to Vegas. They are hoping to find the Patriots and enlist their help in rescuing Day’s brother Eden. The Patriots agree to help as long as June and Day help them. The Elector Primo has just died and his son Anden has taken his place. The Patriots want June and Day to assassinate Anden and start a revolution. The plan calls for June to be captured and become close to Anden and for Day to show his face and start causing a ruckus. The people see June and Day as heroes and the Patriots want to cash in on their celebrity status. The plan goes off without a hitch, but while getting close to Anden June learns that he is not what the Patriots think. He could be the voice of change they all hope for. She just has to get the message to Day and hopefully foil the assassination plans.

Oh how I love this series. It is so smartly written and so engaging that you really don’t want to put it down. As in Legend, this book is written from the dual perspectives of June and Day and while I am not always a fan of this style of writing I think it works perfectly here. By having both June and Day tell the story from their points of view you get a much wider picture of what is going on. I think the world-building is much stronger in this book. We get a look at the colonies and at the history of the country and a peak at the world outside the former United States. I like that both June and Day each have their eyes opened to what is going on outside the Republic.

The story was so fast-paced and so tightly written that I really can’t say anything negative about it. There is the inevitable love triangle or love square. I have to admit that I like the contrast between Anden and Day and their affections for June. I despise the addition of Tess to this romantic scenario. It just kind of grossed me out! But the June/Anden connection works as does the June/Day connection. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. I do have to say the ending was heart-breaking and Marie Lu better fix that in the next book!

03. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Fiction, Teen Books · Tags:

Orleans by Sherri L. Smith, read by Angie, on 03/01/2013

Hurricane after hurricane as hit the Gulf Coast. Each one destroying more and more until finally the last one pretty much wipes out the Delta. Then comes diseases and finally Delta Fever. Everything is so polluted after the destruction that disease runs rampant. Delta Fever is something new that attacks by blood type and only transfusions will slow the disease. The Delta is released from the US and a wall built to keep the survivors and the fever safely away from the rest of the world. The people left behind do not crumble; they recreate their civilization; they form tribes based on blood type and they survive. Fen de la Guerre is one such survivor; she is an OP (O positive) and has her tribe. But her tribe is attacked and she is the only survivor except a newborn baby girl whose mother, the OP tribe leader, died birthing her. Fen must find a way to survive and keep baby girl alive.

Into this crazy world comes Daniel, a scientist from across the wall. He was been working on a cure for Delta Fever and found one with only a small drawback, not only does it kill the virus it also kills the host. He is hoping there is something in the Delta that will help him fix his virus. Of course, Daniel is useless in the world of Orleans and needs Fen to help him survive. Together they must travel across Orleans looking for information and surviving the dangers of the Delta.

I was getting burnt out on all the post-apocalyptic dystopians that have been coming out the past year, but this one restored my faith in the genre. Orleans is a well-written, well-developed book with a great story. Sherri L. Smith really spent a lot of time building this world and laying out the details for the reader. You know exactly how Orleans became what it is. You understand the people and what they are doing to survive. I also love that in this world race no longer matters. You know there are people of different racial backgrounds but what separates them is not the color of their skin but the type of blood they carry. Nothing else really matters except your blood type in Orleans.

Fen is a great female character. She is strong, she is a survivor and she will do whatever she needs to do to stay alive. She doesn’t really care about a lot of other people but she still has hope. I liked the dual narrators, although I was much more interested in Fen’s story than Daniel’s. I enjoyed the fact that there was no romance in this book. Dystopians so often fall into romantic angst or god-forbid love triangles, but Orleans steers clear of all of that. Fen and Daniel are worried about survival not hooking up (as it should be). Fen’s part of the book are written in dialect which might turn off some readers, but I didn’t find it difficult to understand at all. I like the open-endedness of the ending; this is a world I wouldn’t mind returning to.

I received this ARC free from Netgalley.com.

28. February 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fiction, Leslie, Teen Books

Elemental by Antony John, read by Leslie, on 02/26/2013

Elemental

Sixteen-year-old Thomas has always been an outsider. The first child born without the power of an Element—earth, water, wind or fire—he has little to offer his tiny, remote Outer Banks colony. Or so the Guardians would have him believe.

Another dystopian book for this month!  I like the way the kids in this book learn to cope with the rigid rules the adults have set, in order to survive.  There is one girl who always ignores the rules, several kids that always follow the rules and a pair of brothers who are also treated as outcasts, even within their group.  They have to learn to trust each other and know that adults don’t always know best or do the right thing, if they want to survive the assault on their colony.  Another one that begins a series I might read as it comes out.

27. February 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fiction, Leslie, Teen Books · Tags:

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch, read by Leslie, on 02/22/2013

The Eleventh Plague

Twenty years after the start of the war that caused the Collapse, fifteen-year-old Stephen, his father, and grandfather travel post-Collapse America scavenging, but when his grandfather dies and his father decides to risk everything to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen’s life is turned upside down.

A quick read for me, I do enjoy reading dystopia novels.  There were a few things about the book that made me go “hmm” and  a couple of times it didn’t seem plausible, but then again, that’s why I don’t write because I don’t think my stories would necessarily flow smoothly.  I might just read the sequel.

 

27. February 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Dystopia, Fiction, Teen Books

UnWholly by Neal Shusterman , read by Angie, on 02/26/2013

Our heroes from Unwind are back. Connor and Risa are running the Graveyard, trying to save as many AWOL Unwinds as possible and deal with the day to day hassles of hundreds of kids. Lev, the tithe who didn’t clap, is helping a resistance organization save other tithes. We also meet new kids in this second installment of Shusterman’s trilogy. Starkey is an AWOL Unwind with a chip on his shoulder who has designs on leadership and power. Miracolina is a tithe who truly believes she should be unwound and definitely doesn’t want to be rescued by Lev. Cam is a rewind, a kid made from hundreds of unwinded parts. He is a composite being who just came to be.

I loved Unwind; it was one of the most thought provoking books I have ever read. I still think about it years after I read it. Shusterman has a twisted mind and I love to see where it goes. In the first book we learned about unwinds and why they exist. In this book we get a more thorough history of the process and a glimpse at the real reasons behind the Unwind Agreement. We also learn more about who is controlling things and who the resistance is. This second book is all about setting up the last book in the series. It is all about introducing us to the players and putting them where they need to go. That is not to say that it isn’t a fabulous read because it is. There is something so compelling about this world and its people that you really want to know more. I can’t wait until the next book.

25. February 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Dystopia, Fiction, Teen Books

Thumped by Megan McCafferty, read by Angie, on 02/24/2013

It has been 8 1/2 months since the events of Bumped. Melody and Harmony are both preggers with twins and eagerly awaiting D4 (Double Double Due Date). Harmony has returned to Goodside with her husband Ram and Melody and Jondoe are shacked up and the most talked about couple in the country. But all is not as it seems and as the due dates get closer secrets are going to come out.

This is such a fun series and this is a fitting ending to it. In this book McCafferty still focuses on the culture of teen sex and surrogacy, but the twins have grown up a bit. They are now less interested in the pop culture obsessed world and more worried about who and what they have become. I think these books are smart, funny and a really interesting comment on our obsession with sex and celebrity.

24. February 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Dystopia, Fiction, Science Fiction, Teen Books · Tags:

Flesh and Bone by Jonathan Maberry, read by Angie, on 02/22/2013

Benny, Nix, Chong and Lilah are still trekking East on their quest to find the jet. They are still really from the loss of Tom at Gameland. They rescue a child from a zombie hord and meet Riot and the Reapers. Riot is trying to lead a group to Sanctuary when they were attacked by the Reapers. The Reapers, led by Saint John and Mother Rose, are trying to finish what the zombie plague began and end humanity. Our group gets separated and danger finds each of them. In addition to the Reapers, they also discover the remnants of humanity. There is hope for them if only they can find Sanctuary.

These books are about so much more than zombies. It is about humanity and what the human race is capable of, both good and evil. I am glad we find out more about what is going on outside of the mountain communities in this book. We learn that there is a form of civilization left who is working on saving what is left of humanity. Whereas some of the previous books were about evil and despair this one is ends with hope (amid all the evil and despair). I can’t wait for the fourth and final book in this series.

24. February 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Dystopia, Fiction, Science Fiction, Teen Books

Aurora by Julie Bertagna, read by Angie, on 02/23/2013

Aurora is the final book in Julie Bertagna’s trilogy of a water destroyed world. It has been many years since the events in Zenith. Mara and her group are settled in the mountains of the north. Fox and Pandora are setting up rebellion in New Mungo and throughout the other skycities. Lily, Fox and Mara’s daughter, finds out about her missing father and sets off to find him.

This is an enjoyable finale to this series. It finishes up the stories of all our main characters and brings them back together. However, it feels a little disjointed as if the stories are not connected. I am also not a fan of the ending. There is so much set up in the reunion of the characters and then Bertagna leaves us hanging with no reunion scene. I do enjoy the world of these novels though. It is a not-improbable future where the oceans have risen and flooded the world. The remnants of humanity are scattered across the world in boat cities and the highest ground and in skycities created after the world ended.

19. February 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Dystopia, Fiction, Teen Books

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth , read by Angie, on 02/16/2013

Insurgent picks up right where Divergent left off. Tris and Tobias and the gang have survived the Erudite takeover and are on the run with a few Dauntless defectors and Abnegation survivors. They seek help from the other factions, the truth-telling Candor and the peace-loving Amity, but soon realize they are on their own. They team up with the Factionless, all those who have left their factions and been marginalized by society. Together they must stop the Erudite from taking over completely. Along the way new alliances are formed, friends are betrayed, enemies are revealed and friendships are tested. Tris and Tobias and the rest must discover the secrets Erudite are willing to kill for and save what is left of their people.

There is a lot going on in this book and yet it seems like not a lot is accomplished. I do still enjoy this world Roth has created and am interested to see how the story plays out. This book suffers a bit from the sophomore slump; it is definitely the middle of the story setting up the big finale. In this book Tris is damaged by the events of the last book and what she had to do to survive. She is haunted by the shooting of her friend Will and can barely pick up a gun. This tests her relationship with Tobias and her friends. The Erudite are just as evil as always and their role is one of the more unsatisfying. It is never really adequately explained why they want to hide the information Abnegation was going to reveal or why they are so determined to exterminate the divergent. The big twist at the end is interesting and should make for an exciting final book.

19. February 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Fiction, Science Fiction, Teen Books

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, read by Angie, on 02/18/2013

In the future the earth is plagued with Aether storms that destroy people and crops. The survivors have divided into two groups. Those that live in pods and spend most of their time in psuedo-reality Realms and those who live outside in tribes surviving however they can. Aria lives in Reverie, one of the pods, with her mother Lumina. Lumina leaves Reverie and Aria doesn’t hear from her for over a week. This leads her to a dangerous plan that ultimately gets her kicked out of the pods. She has never been outside and doesn’t know how to survive. Peregrine, Perry, is an outsider, a savage to Aria. He teams up with Aria in order to save his nephew who has been kidnapped by the pod people or moles. Together they must learn to trust each other and survive the outside world. Along the way they discover things about each other and their world.

While Under the Never Sky doesn’t really break any new ground in the dystopian/post-apocalyptic/sci-fi genre it is an entertaining read. Aria and Perry are both very interesting characters set in their ways and forced to realize that things are exactly how they thought they were. I enjoyed their journey, both the physical and the mental one. I’m glad that Rossi didn’t go for the immediate romance angle. Aria is understandably frightened of Perry and her situation at the beginning, but they grudgingly learn to trust each other and their romance progresses naturally. I was also intrigued by the outsiders enhanced senses. They seem like some kind of natural genetic mutation caused by the Aether storms. I like the fact that these mutants have status and power in the outsider societies. I guess my complaints about the book are the lack of explanation for how the world came to be like it is, what exactly the Aether is and what caused it, how the world became divided and how the pod-people live most of their lives in the Realms but still move around their physical environment. These things might be explained in future books in the series. Even though I had a lot of questions it didn’t take away my enjoyment of this story. It was entertaining and intriguing.

30. January 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Dystopia, Teen Books

Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow, read by Courtney, on 01/24/2013

Calling all remixers, hackers, activists, freedom fighters and rebels! Your book has arrived. Cory Doctorow hits it out of the park again with another scathing indictment of government surveillance and corruption. Our protagonist, Trent (aka Cecil B. DeVil), is your average teenaged bloke. His main distinguishing characteristic involves his obsession with remixing the films of his favorite movie star. When his hobby gets his entire family kicked off the internet for copyright violations, Trent/Cecil decides to leave home and head for London. In London, he meets a colorful array of characters, including the unflappable Jem, who teaches Cecil all he needs to know about Squatter’s Rights and dumpster-diving (i.e. how to be homeless with class). Eventually, Cecil gets a new laptop and begins to remix again. He’s getting increasingly popular online and is developing something of a fanbase. He joins up with a couple of other remix artists and become part of a network of “pirate cinemas” (film screenings in random locations like graveyards and abandoned sewers) across London. As his popularity increases, so too does his rap sheet. The British government is in the process of passing even more draconian copyright laws and they (or, rather, the large media corporations who hold the rights to Cecil’s downloads and have massive influence at the governmental level) are not happy with Cecil’s work. Cecil and co. find themselves drawn into the fight against criminalizing artists who use previously copywritten material as their artistic medium. Is Cecil a criminal? It certainly doesn’t appear as such. He merely views his art as putting things together that no one ever thought to combine before. And honestly, is that really so different from any other modern art form? Isn’t everything a remix at this point?
This book is every bit as much a call to action as it is a fun, well-written coming-of-age/speculative narrative. Cecil grows as a person, meets other fascinating and well-written characters, and learns a lot. Readers will learn something new, guaranteed. The book may be set in the not-too-distant future, but it’s certainly not a future that would require binoculars or any other corrective lens. This is exactly where we (not just Britain, but every copyright-obsessed nation) are headed. And it isn’t pretty.

22. January 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Dystopia, Fiction · Tags:

The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury (The Governor Trilogy #2) by Robert Kirkman, Jay Bonansinga, read by Angie, on 01/20/2013

road to woodbury This is the second book in the Walking Dead trilogy. It tells the story of Lilly Caul and how she came to Woodbury. Lilly is a survivor from Georgia who is part of a large group. She and a few others leave the group and set off on their own. They eventually reach Woodbury. Some of the group find their place right away. Bob, the drunken Army medic, becomes a favorite of the governor. Megan becomes a prostitute selling herself to survive. Scott, Megan’s druggy boyfriend, disappears. Lilly and Josh are left wary of Woodbury and its leader the Governor.

I really enjoyed this book as a addendum to the series. Lilly and Bob are both seen briefly in the comics. Bob is given the tasks of fixing the Governor after Michonne has her way with him and of taking care of Penny. Lilly is actually responsible for killing Lori and Judy and because of that she kills the Governor. I love that these little characters are given a backstory and a book of their own. I found their journey interesting. I think Lilly’s story is a fascinating one. She goes from basically helpless and reliant on others to survive to part of the Governor’s army. I am a little confused on how she went from hating the Governor to fighting for him but I think it is all part of surviving the world of the zombie apocalypse.

22. January 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Dystopia, Fiction · Tags:

The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor (The Governor Trilogy #1) by Robert Kirkman, Jay Bonansinga, read by Angie, on 01/20/2013

rise of the governorThe Governor, our big bad villain from the Walking Dead series, turns out to have a really interesting backstory. This book explores how a person becomes the sadistic creature we know from the comics. Rise of the Governor follows a band of survivors comprised of Phillip Blake, his daughter Penny, his brother Brian and two buddies from high school. This group is just looking for a way to survive the zombie apocalypse. They move around a lot, making their way to Atlanta and then escaping to the country. Along the way who they are becoming is taking shape. Phillip is the leader of this group and he does whatever needs to be done to survive. Penny is pretty much catatonic throughout the entire book. Brian is whiny and not surviving very well; he has problems killing zombies and relies on his brother for everything. We lose one HS buddy and the other becomes more and more religious. This all comes to a head when the group is attacked by evil humans. Penny is killed and Phillip goes off the deep end. He starts raping and torturing their captives and he keeps Penny alive (or undead) and tied to a tree. Our group makes their way to Woodbury where they live in obscurity until the Governor steps up. I am not going to give away the twist but it was definitely a big one. Holy cow!

After reading the graphic novels I was really interested to know how the Governor became the Governor and this book does that. It explains the crazy journey of the Governor and what led him to become the benevolent leader of Woodbury. It is a fun addition to the series.

22. January 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Dystopia, Fiction, Graphic Novel · Tags:

The Walking Dead, Compendium 2 (The Walking Dead #49-96) by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, read by Angie, on 01/19/2013

walking dead 2Rick and Carl have escaped from the prison massacre and made their way back to the farm with Michonne. There they find Andrea and Dale and Maggie and Glen and the kids. Soon they join another group who are heading to Washington to find the remnants of the government. Along the way the pick up Morgan, who we haven’t seen since the first issue, and Father Gabriel. They also encounter zombies and cannibals. They end up at the Community, a place that is trying to rebuild society; a place a little like Woodbury without the violent dictator. The Rick Grimes gang has to find a way to fit into this new society. Can they leave the violence of the open road behind? Can they become normal again?

This series grabs you and really doesn’t ever let go. I find myself so invested in these characters that I don’t want to stop reading. This series is about more than zombies; it is about what it means to be human and retaining your humanity when you are forced to do terrible things. I especially enjoyed that this edition explored the relationships of our survivors. Carl and Rick are dealing with the death of Lori and how Carl is growing up in this world. Maggie and Glen’s relationship has its ups and downs as the apocalypse and its consequence drags them down. There is a lot of heartbreak in this book but there is also hope. Hope that they can survive and rebuild. I really like that this book ended on an upbeat note, but I am sure our band of survivors will be kicked down again before long.

My one complaint about this series is the drawings. I love the text and think it really conveys the story well. It is sparse and haunting and real. However, I don’t think this is the best drawn book. I found myself confused as to which character was in the frame as several of them look very similar. When Jesus appeared I was thoroughly confused thinking we had already met him, but then I realized he looks a lot like the Governor. I don’t know if it is the lack of color or just a lack of skill, but I wish the illustrations were better. Of course there are panels that will blow you away and suck you into the story; it is really just the characters that I have a problem with.

22. January 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Dystopia, Fiction, Teen Books

Shift by Charlotte Agell , read by Angie, on 01/18/2013

shiftBoston has been nuked; the north is a radiation wasteland; the government is a religious cult called HomeState. This is the world of Shift and Adrian Havoc. In the not to distant future the world has fallen apart and been put back together by religion. The government preaches daily through “Raptures” and is predicting “Shift” or the end of the world. Adrian lives with his mother, who is a scientist for the government, and his little sister Shriek, aka Melody, who is somewhat psychic. His father has not been seen in a long time; the last they knew he was on the moon. His mother has to go on a secret mission and disappears. Shriek is obsessed with the zoo and the last penguin. Soon Adrian finds himself of a mission, a mission to rescue the penguin and take it north. Adrian, Shriek, the penguin and a young zookeeper kidnap the penguin and head into the Deadlands. They travel through the radiation wasteland before reaching Maine. There they have to confront the end of the world and their own secret mission.

There is a lot going on in this little book. I enjoy these types of post-apocalyptic dystopians. The more plausible the story the more intriguing it is. While I am not sure a religious group would nuke a city just to come into power, I did find this society eerie and pretty realistic. It has aspects of Nazi Germany with its persecution of other religious groups. The characters are all well developed; you really understand who Adrian and Shriek and Lenora are and what they want to accomplish. Where I think this book falls apart a little is the ending and the secret mission into the mountain. I found this part a little ridiculous, but it did make for an exciting end to the book.