BREAKING EAST by @BobSummer5 #YA #Dystopia set in #Wales #Bookreview #fridayreads

Breaking EastBreaking East by Bob Summer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three point Five Stars

Breaking East is a YA dystopia story set in futuristic Wales. The book opens with an introduction to B-One a 25000 acre settlement on the west tip of Wales filled with criminals and their families who are there to work in a toxic power plant.

Known to the inhabitants as Bone, it is a derelict place with people living as best they can in rough conditions, scavenging, hungry and under careful watch each day from guards and The Law. Children of the criminals are allowed limited access out across the bridge to special areas near The Burrows and classes in re-education.

Atty is seventeen years old, she lives alone since her mother was killed in the last riots and her father vanished. Left under the watchful eye of Joe, who heads up the Bone resistance. When kids start going missing, Joe gives Atty the job of watching a brother and sister from The Burrows. She’s soon on the trail of some nasty individuals as she dodges both the law and ruthless people outside of Bone.

The book opened well with the descriptions of the dystopia world, and there are some good ideas in the story line. I would have liked more about the sinister events at The Manor and less about the journey there, plus a bigger play on the resistance. Lots of good ideas with room to push some ideas to the edge of writing in this genre, not sure that the teen romance thread was necessary and the book maybe a tad too long for the YA market.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com also available free from Kindle Unlimited

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE DEAD LANDS by @dylanjmorgan #dystopia #WeekendBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs at http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

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Noelle has been reading The Dead Lands by Dylan Morgan

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Book Review: The Dead Lands by Dylan J. Morgan

I decided to read this book in preparation to review the second in this series, based on a terrific review by a fellow blogger. I was so taken with it, I decided to review this one as well.

This book is a really wrenching description of the future of mankind in its third age, and as a result, I really don’t want to know how we got to a third age!

The story opens lovingly, with the President of Hemera injecting his wife and children with a drug that will let them sleep away the next hundred years, to avoid the ravages of the imminent nuclear destruction of the planet. His hope is that when they awaken, he can lead in the rebuilding of the planet. One hundred years later, a distress signal from Hemera is received on its sister planet Erebus, notifying the corrupt government there that the President and his family are alive and expecting rescue.

Lane is a bounty hunter, having been dishonourably discharged from Erebus’ army for a friendly fire incident, and he is chosen by Colonel Padon to be a member of what Dugan hopes will be a lost mission. Padon, a man who Lane loathes, was Lane’s immediate superior when he was in the Army, and he blackmails Lane to force him to join the mission.

The operation is expected to be straightforward, because every indicator describes a planet as a dry shell of barren sand, all forms of life having been extinguished by the nuclear war. Intelligence reports weren’t intelligent, and the operation is anything but what was planned, and the person leading it was in on that secret.

The team is composed of soldiers who mistrust and even hate each other, including a former lover of Lane’s, whose brother was killed in the friendly fire. Egos and over confidence are rampant, at least until they land, a landing which almost doesn’t succeed because of mechanical difficulties. Another reviewer describes Hemera as a “yellow ball of misery,” and I couldn’t have said it better: desert dry sand for miles and no apparent life, at least until the ship is attacked by feral inhabitants. Think Mad Max.

The author does an excellent job of painting the bleakness of the landscape and the rubble and ruin of the capitol city of Magna. Tension ramps up as the team makes its way to the origin of the signal, tracked and picked off by horrifying monsters, the product of ghastly genetic mutations.

Lane faces the toughest battle of his life to survive the operation, with the additional danger of a team member sent with orders to kill him.

This was a gritty and occasionally gruesome tale, with more graphic violence than in my usual reading choices. However, the author does such a good job that I bought into the characters and their emotions – loyalty, love, hatred and mind-numbing fear. It’s a story told from multiple points of view, although Lane’s is the core. I was never confused and seeing through different eyes enriched my understanding of the world the author has created and of the various motives of the characters.

This book is not for the faint of heart. Think it’s appeal with be stronger to men and to those readers who have an affinity for dystopian worlds. Nevertheless, it’s a heart-stopping adventure and I will read the sequel soon.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE FINAL VIRUS by @carolJhedges #YA #Dystopia

Today’s Team Review is from Georgia, she blogs at http://www.georgiarosebooks.com

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Georgia has been reading The Final Virus by Carol J Hedges

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#Bookreview for The Final Virus by Carol J Hedges @caroljhedges

I don’t generally read YA books but having enjoyed another book by Carol Hedges I chose The Final Virus and was delighted I did. This is the start of a series but can be read as a standalone and for me its greatest strength is in the superb characters the author creates. You know exactly who everyone is and they are as real as they would be if they were sitting right next to you, which with Mr Neots I’m glad is not the case as he really is a despicable man.

We have Will, a popular boy at school, and with the girls, he’s kind to his younger sister Dahlia and they are both struggling since their father was killed in an accident at work. At least they are told it was an accident but Will doesn’t believe it and sets out to find the truth. Amber is a rather strange girl who sees terrifying visions about the end of the world and lives a lonely life with parents who are mostly absent. As already mentioned there is the odious Mr Neots a teacher from school who hates his family, apart from his equally revolting daughter, Kayla, his pupils and everything about his life as he seeks to better himself. I felt dreadfully sorry for his son Chris. But best of all we have Ned and I think we should all have a character as useful in our lives.

And then of course there is…The President.

At the start of this story there are just the usual teenage life issues going on but gradually there are more and more hints about the perfect, and totally controlled, world they are all now living in since the old one was practically destroyed in a cybercrash. Will and Amber gradually come together and this is very well handled as they are total opposites so their relationship evolves naturally and wasn’t rushed which I liked a lot.

For me the read occasionally felt a little rushed but that is probably because I’m not a YA and like to take my time with the build up towards events happening in stories but I’m sure this book will be hugely enjoyed by those who are. Well-written and with many thoughtful points to consider such as the four horsemen and the stick people, I highly recommend.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and this hasn’t changed my opinion of the read one iota.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE FINAL VIRUS by @carolJhedges #YA #Dystopia #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com

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Cathy has been reading The Final Virus by Carol Hedges

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In a dystopian future Earth’s environment has completely changed following a spate of natural disasters, which claimed a huge percentage of the populace, and caused extreme climate change, plus a total cybercrash which wiped the data from every chip, memory board and circuit on the planet. This new world is governed by just one president who revitalised the world and improved life for the remaining population. Seemingly.

Will is still reeling from the sudden, and as he believes, suspicious, death of his father. When he finds a calling card which is able to be read by Ned, the computer his father built which Will now uses, his misgivings don’t seem unfounded. Will is desperate to find out the truth behind his father’s death. He is helped by Amber, his strange and unpredictable classmate, both of them unaware of the danger they are placing themselves in. Will and Amber are complete opposites but despite that, develop an attraction to each other.

Completely different in writing style and genre to other books by Carol Hedges that I’ve read but nevertheless, the characterisation is just as good. Will and Amber are well defined and distinct, as are the secondary characters, nasty ones too, of which there are a few, but all have their part to play in moving the story forward. I like how the relevant facts of the world setting were revealed by the obnoxious teacher, Mr Neots, in the form of history lessons.

A well written story with some great twists. It’s quite a scary picture of the possible effects and consequences of severe climate change. I like how Will and Amber’s relationship evolves realistically, given the situation and the disparity between them, yet somehow they complement each other. There are a few plot points which don’t quite add up and perhaps needed to be expanded upon, (I’m wondering if there will be a sequel) but on the whole, this is a very enjoyable read.

4 out of 5 stars

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE FINAL VIRUS by @carolJhedges #YA #Dystopia #WeekendBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

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Terry has been reading The Final Virus by Carol J Hedges

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The Final Virus by Carol Hedges

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber’s Review Team

I’ve read Carol Hedges’ three Victorian murder mysteries and loved them; even though I am not a fan of YA books I love the whole post apocalyptic genre, so was keen to give this a go.

In this future world all countries are one, with one president, and peace reigns. This follows a cybercrash in which the computer systems of the world were wiped out within a couple of hours, and also the effects of climate change which has altered the entire landscape of the planet.

The story centres around Will and Amber. Will is popular, clever and sought after; Amber is a non-conformist with strange intuitive capabilities. Oddly attracted to each other, they come together to investigate the truth behind the death of Will’s father and possible government conspiracies.

As always, Carol Hedges’ characters are immediately real and three dimensional, the dialogue sharp, realistic and often funny; there’s a definite element of dry humour throughout this book that I liked very much. However, I would have liked to know much more detail about how the current situation came to be, and how the people now live, how the world had changed as a whole; at the beginning I couldn’t quite work out what was going on, when and where it was supposed to be taking place, etc, though some of my questions were answered fairly soon (by Mr Neots, the boring teacher, a great character!), and more later.

The Final Virus is a good mixture of the sci-fi thriller/adventure and believable relationships between the teenage main characters, and I think YA fans of the genre will enjoy this series very much.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT FINAL VIRUS by @carolJhedges #YA #Dystopia

Today’s team review is from Teri, she blogs here http://teripolen.com/

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Teri has been reading The Final Virus by Carol J Hedges

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3.5 stars

Will’s father dies in an accident at work. At least that’s the official story. But Will knows it isn’t true. Somebody wanted his father dead – and he’s determined to find out why. But it’s not easy battling the might of the Globecorp empire that controls every aspect of human life.

The only person who understands and believes him is Amber. And she has problems of her own. Will and Amber are up against an evil that is far more dangerous and darker than anything they have ever encountered. And they only have a limited time to unpick the strands before the final virus is uploaded and time runs out.

The Final Virus is at the upper end of the word count for a novella, but could be read in one sitting if you have a couple of hours.  This book possesses a good concept, with a little something different in the dystopian genre, and has some likable characters – as well as some easily loathed characters.  It moves along at a brisk pace and the descriptive writing produces some vivid imagery.

With this book being a novella, I felt as if too much was compressed into these pages and think the story could benefit from expanding the word count into the novel range and adding more details about the world-building, characters, and their relationships, allowing for a more balanced plot line.  I never had a good grasp of the governmental structure and would have liked to know more about Will and Amber and see their relationship develop at more gradual pace.

There are some nice surprises and twists along the way, but the ending contained a lot of information over a few pages and I think with more details about the world-building, it wouldn’t have been quite as difficult to follow.

I received a digital copy of this novella in exchange for an honest review through Rosie’s Book Review Team.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE FINAL VIRUS by @carolJhedges #YA #Dystopia

Today’s team review is from Shelley, she blogs at http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/

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Shelley has been reading The Final Virus by Carol J Hedges

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Book: The Final Virus

Author: Carol Hedges

Category: YA/Dystopian

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

Review:

 

Will and Amber live on a new ‘Earth’, one created after the planet was pretty much destroyed following a cybercrash. This new home is managed by the ‘President’, a character who remains elusive for the majority of the book.

 

At the start of the novel, we see the similarities to our day to day life. School and homework, children’s parties, and television shows, but as the story progresses we start to get a feel for the subtle differences in this dystopian world.

 

Amber is a loner with zero friends. Will is a ‘popular’ who is idolised by the entire student body. They are cleverly brought together, but it’s not a smooth road. I liked this aspect of the story. It’s all too easy to opt for the typical coming-of-age ‘boy meets girl-snog-save the world’ storyline. Carol Hedges keeps her characters quirky and at arm’s length, evolving Will and Amber’s relationship at a steady pace.

 

When their teacher, Mr. Neots, arrives on the scene I took an instant dislike to the man, a testament to the author’s ability to write a fully rounded character. He loathes the students, despises his family and oozes spite. Everything a good antagonist should be.

 

The storyline centres on Will and his father’s ‘accidental’ death. He meets a government official who leaves more clues to confirm what Will already suspects – that his father was killed. With help from his little computer, Ned, and his new friendship with Amber, they begin a dangerous journey.

 

Amber’s story is less straightforward. She hears voices and sees the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse at every turn, but she wants to help her friend discover the truth.

 

That truth, however, brings them face-to-face with the worst kind of evil. Suddenly Amber’s story becomes the main view point.

 

There are plenty of secondary characters to drive the story forward. I liked Will’s little sister, Dahlia for her injection of familiarity and I thought Chris and Kayla were fabulous in showing how two children from the same parents could be so different.

 

Although not as vividly descriptive as Carol’s Victorian Murder Mystery series, The Final Virus was a thoroughly enjoyable book, leaving enough threads for a follow-up but succinctly tying up all the loose ends.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT OCTOBER RAIN by @dylanjmorgan #SundayBlogShare #SciFi

Today’s team review is from Steve,

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Steve has been reading October Rain by Dylan J Morgan

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October Rain is a short, dystopian, science fiction story, set against the backdrop of a less than perfect Mars colony.

The prologue sets the scene for the theme of the book, briefly describing the utter despair of the narrator. Instantly your curiosity is triggered – how can the rain burn? Why is this person’s heart so broken? And what do they not want to remember?

From Chapter One, the narrative jumps the reader into a life on Mars, told through the eyes of our narrator. With little excess description and a confident pace, we are drawn into this life as the job, family and circumstances lead to an unwanted, if not unexpected conclusion.

I enjoyed meeting the ‘hero’ of October Rain, the author has provided sufficient details for me to empathise with the pressures piled upon this weary individual who struggles to cope. His cynicism and attitude are in keeping with overall theme and add to the overwhelming helplessness experienced by the end.

As with all such dystopian science fiction this book both makes the reader despair for our possible future and rejoice that just maybe our humanity will survive when we eventually leave our planet.

I reviewed this book as part of Rosie Amber’s book review team.

5 out of 5 stars

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT CROSSING BEDLAM by @cyallowitz #Dystopia #Comedy #IndieThursday

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

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Terry has been reading Crossing Bedlam by Charles Yallowitz

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Crossing Bedlam by Charles Yallowitz

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber’s Review Team

This is a post-apocalyptic dark comedy. The USA has become the Shattered States and Cassidy’s mission is to drive across America to scatter her mother’s ashes over the Golden Gate Bridge, as per her dying wish. To help her on her way in these dangerous times, she enlists the help of serial killer Lloyd.

Crossing Bedlam is an amusingly written book with lots of good one liners and observations that I appreciated very much, and some nifty characterisation, but for me the combination of a post-apocalyptic world and comedy didn’t mix well enough to be a real page turner. I could have done with a little more background in the first instance; I felt with this one that I’d walked into the middle of a film. The only other negative for me: the way the narrator kept referring to Cassidy as ‘the blonde’.   Why not just ‘she’ or ‘her’? Archaic at best, sexist at worst ~ I didn’t notice any of the men being referred to as ‘the brunette’ or ‘the redhead’…!

If a slightly off-the-wall comedy dystopian novel is your thing, you’ll probably love this, as it’s clever in many ways; I imagine if I was thirty years younger, male and American I might have enjoyed it a lot more! It’s a book I can imagine going down well with guys who like playing Xbox games about these type of scenarios.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT OCTOBER RAIN by @dylanjmorgan #Dystopia #SciFi #Novella

Today’s team review is from Terry , she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

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Terry has been reading October Rain by Dylan J Morgan

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October Rain by Dylan Morgan

5 stars

Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team

I liked this novella a lot! It takes place many, many years in the future, after Mars has been colonised by the dying Earth, and thousands have moved to artificially constructed cities on the inhospitable red planet. But now life on Mars is coming to an end, too, and the lucky ones are moving out to Titan, a satellite of Saturn.

Government agent Steele has one last mission, before he can join his wife and daughter on the journey to Titan—a dangerous and terrifying one…

I’ve read quite a few of Dylan Morgan’s books, and this one reminded me of The Dead Lands, my favourite, with all its expertly orchestrated suspense and bleak atmosphere. This writer knows how to do ‘bleak’! The pace is perfect, the plot unpredictable, the characterisation spot on. It’s not for the faint-hearted, or those who want to be assured that everything will turn out all right in the end.

My only complaint is that it’s so short, even though it fits perfectly into the length of a novella – I think it could have been a novel, though, or maybe the first in the series – come on, Dylan, surely this can’t be all there is??! It’s a great idea; made me want to know what happened before, and what will happen after. One of those books that made me want to keep clicking the page turner on my iPad, hoping for more.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com