Friday, August 16, 2013
Apocalypse Z, Black City and Renegade reviewed
Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End
Manel Loureiro and Pamela Carmell (translator)
From Galicia, Spain he began the blog because his psychiatrist suggested he do so. His first entry on December 30 dealt with Spain broke or not broke, stockholder clients making money or not making money and an incident in one of the former Soviet “Stan” republics in the Caucasus Mountains. His next entry focuses on that explosion in Dagestan apparently caused by Islamic guerrillas seeking nuclear material. He later writes Russia closed its border.
He continues his blog as he speculates why no news from ground zero in Dagestan has surfaced as if all are dead inside the nation; the silence also engulfed its neighbors like Georgia and now American troops patrol Fifth Avenue. He soon learns the consequence of the event in Dagestan as humans turn into monsters attacking the normals. Governments try to keep order, but fail as the disease turns pandemic. Many of the remaining humans struggle to survive the onslaught creating not so “Safe Havens” that are more prisons than enclaves. The blogger begins an odyssey of survival for him and his cat Lucullus while keeping his blog current with what his happening in his life.
The beginning Apocalypse Z horror tale is an exciting end of the world thriller. Even with much of the novel using the blog and a journal to tell “The Beginning of the End”, the storyline is fast-paced. Readers will admire the blogger though doubt a lawyer could adapt as easily as he does (unless he was an extreme survivalist) to the chaos and constant peril with everything including electricity failing. Still Manel Loureiro provides an engaging zombie thriller starring an admirable hero telling his tale. Harriet Klausner
Putnam Juvenile, $17.99
The horrific war in Black City left the humans and the Darklings devastated. Each side blames the other for atrocities as hostilities remain stratospheric even with a high wall separating the enemy races.
Sixteen-year-old Ash Fisher the hybrid Half-Darkling and Natalie Buchanan the human meet and fall in love. Their star-crossed love is the number one taboo of the humans. Making matters worse for the couple is Natalie is the daughter of a murdered sentry (by a Darkling) and a high government Emissary; Ash possesses a realistic outlook of being a condemned pariah unaccepted or welcomed by both of his races even his human father hesitates as he knows firsthand the cost of a hybrid offspring. Each knows their forbidden relationship means state execution, but neither wants to deny how they feel.
The first Black City Chronicles is a dark romantic thriller set in a world still reeling from a terrible war that settled nothing. Though the plot can slow down at times, readers will appreciate this engaging character driven, tale as the lead teens know as star-crossed lovers their execution is imminent but each feels every moment together is worth the consequences as both expect to be caught.
Tor Teen, $17.95
In the underwater nation Elysium sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters feels her life is perfect as she trains to be Daughter of the People. Thirteen years ago, Mother selected Evelyn for her position because her genes were perfect.
Surface Dweller Gavin Hunter accidentally arrives in Elysium, shaking the core of the secluded haven as his appearance exposes the Utopia fabricated on lies. Evelyn begins to reconsider all she believed as she realizes her perfect life is a sham. Memories seem contradictory and Evie concludes her mind and even her body are controlled by someone else. Worse is her beloved Mother is not kind and caring but a manipulative ogre with plans to destroy paradise. As Evie considers fleeing with Gavin, she learns the worst secret of all; that her mind is a weapon of destruction ready to ignite.
Renegade is a super teen fantasy starring a wonderful heroine whose awakening makes the storyline work as she begins to question who Mother is and who her mother is. Fast-paced, fans will enjoy the “low-life” Surface Dweller and Daughter of the People trainee as they learn the truth about this underwater Utopia. Harriet Klausner