Teri has been reading The Dead City by Dylan J Morgan
I’ve been anticipating this followup to The Dead Lands (review here) and was highly rewarded for my impatience patience.
The reader is immediately dropped into a riveting action sequence that will make you want to flip ahead to see what happens – but try to resist the urge! The action sequences are vivid and extremely well done and I could easily picture the scenes as if watching a movie.
Morgan also possesses a talent at creating characters you love and those you love to hate and would like to feed to the mutants yourself – namely the greedy, narcissistic, and disgusting Colonel Paden. That being said, one of the reasons Morgan’s books are so suspenseful is that you never know if one of your favorite characters will live or go down in a blaze of glory – or even with a whimper. But it sure does make for an exciting read.
And the ending! Just when I thought the story was over, my heart rate had returned to normal, and I’d made peace with the sacrifices and deaths, a curveball came out of nowhere and left me in shock. A dark, but nice twist that could lead to a sequel – I hope.
I received a copy of this book through Rosie’s Book Review Team in exchange for an honest review.
Shelley has been reading The Dead Lands by Dylan J Morgan
Author: Dylan J Morgan
Category: Post-apocalyptic Thriller
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I’ve read some fabulous reviews about this book and so was eager to get my hands on it, but none of these reviews prepared me for what I was about to read.
I’m already a huge Dylan Morgan fan; his horror books are not to be read without a light on, and his novella, October Rain, was an explosive sci-fi novella. With the promise of a sequel to The Dead Lands on the horizon, I jumped at the chance to read this post-apocalyptic thriller.
Lane is a bounty hunter and not afraid to live his life as a hired gun. He clears the streets of Erebus of the cheating, murdering scum and gets paid for it. When he is forced to re-join the army or face the death penalty, he is thrown into a situation beyond his control. Sent on a mission to the destroyed and desolate twin planet of Hemera, the crew are told that they are answering a distress signal from a president who was placed in a cryogenic tube one hundred years ago.
When you go to watch a movie at the cinema, you have the big screen and surround sound making it a truly involved atmosphere. Reading The Dead Lands was a similar experience. Dylan’s writing is highly descriptive, and he makes you feel like you are there, in the thick of the action, running for your life.
The characters are such a wonderful mix of personalities, but they fit perfectly together. Ludger grated on my nerves, as he should, but I instantly warmed to Lane, Reese, and Blaine. You can’t help but urge them all on to safety as you race through the book at breakneck speed. Of course, being safe isn’t what sells a good thriller, so there are many gasp-out-loud moments.
Dylan does a fabulous job of creating his mutated horrors that creep from the darkness of Hemera’s fallen city. If this book is ever made into a film, I will be first in line at the box office.
The ending blew my mind, and I had a shell-shocked look on my face for most of the day. I can’t wait to read the sequel!
I read The Dead Lands as a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team.
If you like #PostApocalyptic books then fellow book reviewer and author Terry Tyler recommends these.
Broken World Series by Kate L Mary – I’ve read all 6, but the short stories are a great intro. Links to reviews on all of the books on this one.
Zombie Apocalypse. Set in California, Nevada, Colorado and Georgia. http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/broken-stories-by-kate-l-mary.html When a deadly virus sweeps the country, Vivian Thomas sets out for California in hopes of seeing the daughter she gave up for adoption. Then her car breaks down and she’s faced with a choice. Give up, or accept a ride from redneck brothers, Angus and Axl. Vivian knows the offer has more to do with her double D’s than kindness, but she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to reach her daughter.The virus is spreading, and by the time the group makes it to California, most of the population has been wiped out. When the dead start coming back, Vivian and the others realize that no electricity or running water are the least of their concerns. Now Vivian has to figure out how to be a mother under the most frightening circumstances, cope with Angus’s aggressive mood swings, and sort out her growing attraction to his brooding younger brother, Axl. While searching for a safe place to go, they pick up a pompous billionaire who may be the answer to all their problems. Trusting him means going into the middle of the Mojave Desert and possibly risking their lives, but with the streets overrun and nowhere else to turn, it seems he might be their only chance for survival. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
The Turning of the world by John Privilege
Pandemic, set in Northern Ireland http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/the-turning-of-world-by-john-privilege.html It was all going so well. Bobby Reynolds leaves Canada and travels halfway round the world to begin a new life with Sally in Northern Ireland. They have a nice house in Carrickfergus, good jobs and are looking forward to starting a family. But out in the world, a tipping-point has been reached. A devastating new disease emerges in a Vietnamese town called Quang-Tri. Suddenly, it is no longer far away, or on the news; it is outside in the street. With frightening speed, the familiar, the cherished are all stripped away. Northern Ireland teeters on the brink, then collapses into bloodshed and violence. Bobby, suddenly a stranger in a foreign country, quickly discovers that there are worse things than Quang-Tri Flu. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
The Blueprint trilogy takes us to a future in which men and women are almost identical, and personal relationships are forbidden. Following a bio-terrorist attack, the population now lives within comfortable Citidomes. MindValues advocate acceptance and non-attachment. The BodyPerfect cult encourages a tall thin androgynous appearance, and looks are everything. This first book, Future Perfect, tells the story of Caia, an intelligent and highly educated young woman. In spite of severe governmental and societal strictures, Caia finds herself becoming attracted to her co-worker, Mac, a rebel whose questioning of their so-called utopian society both adds to his allure and encourages her own questioning of the status quo. As Mac introduces her to illegal and subversive information she is drawn into a forbidden, dangerous world, becoming alienated from her other co-workers and resmates, the companions with whom she shares her residence. In a society where every thought and action are controlled, informers are everywhere; whom can she trust? When she and Mac are sent on an outdoor research mission, Caia’s life changes irreversibly. A dark undercurrent runs through this story; the enforcement of conformity through fear, the fostering of distorted and damaging attitudes towards forbidden love, manipulation of appearance and even the definition of beauty, will appeal to both an adult and young adult audience. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
Surviving the Evacuation series by Frank Tayell
Zombie Apocalypse, set in UK. Have read 4 of them
The outbreak started in New York. Within days the infection had spread to every corner of the world. Nowhere is safe from the undead… Bill watched from his window as London was evacuated. His leg broken, he is unable to join the exodus. Turning to his friends in the government, he waits and hopes for rescue. As the days turn into weeks, realising inaction will lead only to starvation and death, his thoughts turn to escape. Forced to leave the safety of his home he ventures out into the undead wasteland that once was England, where he will discover a horrific secret. This is the first volume of his journal. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
The Dead Lands by Dylan Morgan
Set on imaginary planets
Lane is a bounty hunter for Erebus’ corrupt government, his life a constant battle against past demons. Framed for murder, Lane is offered one option to avoid the death penalty: rejoin the army and partake in a covert operation to the apocalyptic world of Hemera, Erebus’ sister planet.
A century after the nuclear conflict that ended mankind’s third age, Hemera has now sent a distress signal to its sister: the president has awoken, and he’s calling for aid. Early intelligence reports indicate the mission will be straightforward, that Hemera is a vacant shell with all forms of life and hostility extinguished.
They are wrong.
Bandits control the dead lands, but there are things much worse waiting for Lane and his squadron once they enter the city walls. Having lived with the nightmares of his shattered past, Lane must now face the mutated horrors of mankind’s future in the toughest battle of his life. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
Great Bitten: Outbreak by Warren Fielding
Zombie Apocalypse, set in UK
You’re walking down the street in the early hours of the morning, in one of the most densely populated cities in the world, when you see something that makes the rational side of your brain itch. It has mortal wounds and shouldn’t be walking, but it is, and if you hang around for too long, it will be heading towards you. How would you react?
You survive the initial throes of civil unrest and the collapse of law and order. The world has become your playground. What kind of person do you become? You have never lived for anyone else except yourself. You are selfish. You like being alive. But you do have a conscience, and a soul. Who do you save first?
Warren is not a likeable man. Warren doesn’t even like himself. But he does like existing, and he wants to continue doing it, no matter what hell is emerging around him. Being pragmatic and a bit of a git to boot, he doesn’t find making the hard decisions difficult.
What he does find out, is that the hard decisions are not necessarily the right ones. And being a bastard in life does not prepare you for the clashes that will ensue once the edges of society begin to blur and fade out.
It isn’t just the infected and the resurrected that Warren needs to be wary of, as he negotiates his way around the post-infection south coast in a haphazard attempt to keep himself and his family survive. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
Barb has been reading The Final Virus by Carol J Hedges
My Review: 4 stars out of 5
Back in 2007, SciFi writer Bruce Sterling proposed “An Eschatological Taxonomy“. (Yeah, I had to look that one up too. Apparently, eschatological means the study of the end of the world. Who knew?) According to this world-ending events scale, Carol Hedges’ new post-apocalyptic YA thriller is a level 2—
“Global civilization destroyed; millions (at most) remain alive, in isolated locations, with ongoing death rate likely exceeding birth rate. Chance of humankind recovery: slim. Many non-human species die off, but some remain and, over time, begin to expand and diverge. Chance of biosphere recovery: good.”—http://www.openthefuture.com/2006/12/an_eschatological_taxonomy.html
So readers might be surprised to meet the main characters—teenagers who live in suburban houses, attend high school, go to the mall, and play video games on their home computers. At school, they are taught the history of the previous century’s disaster, The Great Cybercrash. Following the destruction of much of the world’s population due to climate change, worldwide crop failures, and plagues, a single company—Globaltraid—under a seemingly immortal President, led the remnants of humanity back to relative prosperity in a regenerating world. Or did they?
High school senior Will begins to question this version of events when his father is killed in a mysterious workplace “accident”. He is accompanied by the class outsider, Amber, who sees ever-increasing visions of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. With the help of Ned—an artificial intelligence construct with a video-game addicted multiple-personality disorder—Will and Amber begin to kick over the stones that their world is founded on. What they find underneath could kill them. And destroy the world.
There were so many things I loved in this book, such as the way the action was set in a suburban location so normal it took a while to realize that for this Earth, the setting was anything but normal. I particularly liked the creepy President, a man so ancient he has trouble remembering to care about anything except his own ongoing survival. Both Will and Amber’s characters were believable as the high school’s golden boy and outsider girl. And even the supporting characters such as Will’s little sister, and the brother and sister of Will’s nemesis Mr. Neots, were fun to read if less well-rounded.
There were some pieces that didn’t work for me. Even in a low-tech post-apocalyptic tale like this one, the science was dubious at best. Okay, maybe there was an instantaneous and globalwide virus that caused every machine in the world to fail simultaneously. Didn’t anyone ever hear about backups? If most of the world’s ecosystem is wiped out, what are Will’s town and the others using for raw materials to make their cars, computers, and provide their food? And don’t even get me started on Ned, the all-powerful computer (who somehow survived the cybercrash and hundreds of years later still can hack current code?), or on the fact that despite it being centuries later, there has been no noticeable change in dress/morals/family structure/customs/language/housing/machinery? Why are all parents invisible, evil, or dead? And especially why is it that apparently only the descendents of white middle-class types have survived?
But even with these elements, I would give The Final Virus four stars. I enjoyed the way it kept adding twists and turns at each step. Amber’s semi-prescient premonitions contrasted well with Will’s appealing cluelessness, both in their developing relationship and in the unfolding events. I realize that it’s already a little long for a novella, but I wish that the ending had gone into more detail about events and their wrapup. Maybe fodder for a sequel?
Terry chose to read and review The American policeman by John Privilege
The American Policeman by John Privilege
5 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by me as part of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team
I adored John Privilege’s first novel, The Turning of the World, so leapt on this when it came out. I started to read it almost immediately, but couldn’t get into it. Has that ever happened to you? You start to read a book you think you’re going to love and it just doesn’t ‘speak’ to you at all?
I left it. I started it again yesterday, two weeks later—and, from the first sentence, I found it unputdownable. Weird; I think I must have just been tired or in the wrong mood the first time! Then, I thought there were too many characters, and I couldn’t work out what was going on. The second time, I could visualise it all straight away. I’m only saying this because there ARE a lot of characters introduced in the first 5%, and it leaps straight into the action, so if you get confused, too, put it down and try it again later!
This is really, really, really good, I loved it, even sneaking five chapters in at 4.30 in the morning when I woke up to go to the loo! The basics: It’s set in London, a fair amount of years after a pandemic which destroyed the world as we know it. Enter The Collective, formed by (amongst others) relics of the old government, who transform London and the South from a dangerous world of terrorising gangs into a supportive and safe society. Detective Timothy ‘Con’ Conlan is charged with solving a gruesome murder, the first in the capital for two years. But this is no ordinary murder….
Con is a terrific character, so much more than your average American cop with a personality disorder. I loved the structure of the book, in particular. I’m a great fan of well-placed back story, and this has plenty of it—gradually, we are shown what each major character did ‘Before’ (ie, before the pandemic), and, most importantly, during the ‘Breakdown’ (when the world went to pot afterwards). We also, later on, learn more about Con’s upbringing. I love stories about the breakdown of society, so found these parts fascinating, and they brought the whole thing together—that’s the art of good back story writing, I think, to not only stick it in the right place, but also write it so well that the reader finds it as absorbing as the main plot line. And this book is certainly written well.
The Kindle formatting is a little random in places, I’ve mentioned that for those who are bothered by such things, but it didn’t matter one jot, I would have loved reading this if it had been typed on a manual typewriter and presented to me on tatty bits of paper. John Privilege has a fabulous imagination, and has dreamt up the state of the post-pandemic world so well. The suspense is just right, and the end ‘twist’ not only worked but surprised me.
I admit, I’m behind the times when it comes to apocalyptic fiction. In fact, this is the third post-apocalyptic book I’ve read, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not fascinated (and terrified) by the idea.
Morgan paints the scene beautifully. ‘The Dead Lands’ is what the once lush and prospering planet Hemera is now called. Sand and grit covers everything. The planet is a baking, yellow ball of misery and I would never, ever want to go there.
This book is like a movie, packed with action, betrayals, and even a rekindling romance. It would be great for the beach or plane flight.
Terry chose to read and review The Dead Lands by Dylan J Morgan
Right. I don’t like Sci-Fi. I have zero interest in spaceships and mutant beings. I do, however, love the whole post-apocalyptic thing, which is what made me want to read this book, as well as its excellent title. I am so glad I made that choice!
Basic plot: a motley crew of soldiers are sent from one planet to save the president of a second planet. President has lain in cryogenic suspension since an end-of-world nuclear war a hundred years before.
Dylan Morgan is one hell of a writer. Each character comes alive immediately; we are given no description, physical or otherwise, but I could tell EXACTLY what each person was like almost as soon as they were introduced – a rare talent indeed. The Deadlands is told mostly from the point of view of Lane, a former soldier and current bounty hunter, but also with guest appearances from other members of the team and connected characters, including one chapter from the point of view of one of the mutants. Very, very clever indeed, and actually put a different slant on the whole thing.
Morgan’s writing is clear, concise, never rambling. He understands dramatic impact, suspense, pathos, emotion, though I suspect all this is executed automatically, as it is with those who can write this well. If you like this sort of book you will LOVE this, and I think you will even if, like me, you suspect it might not be your sort of thing. Why? Because Morgan realises something important. A truly great novel is all about the CHARACTERS, not about the plot. The plot is terrific, too, but this story is about human nature: love, loss, greed, betrayal, despair, optimism, friendship, family and strength.
Highly, HIGHLY recommended. I suspect I might be raving about this book for quite a while! An easy 5 out of 5 stars from me.