Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE DEAD CITY by @dylanjmorgan #SciFi #wwwblogs

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Cathy has been reading The Dead City by Dylan J Morgan


Several weeks after the first contingent of soldiers were despatched to Hemera on an ill-fated reconnaissance mission (The Dead Lands), another larger, elite force has travelled from Erebus to Hemera in order to rescue any survivors. Headed by Colonel Paden who couldn’t really care less about his soldiers, and has his sights firmly set on the treasure he believes is buried beneath the presidential palace. The Superior Armed Forces are aware from previous reports that Hemera’s capital, Magna, is overrun by mutants but were unprepared for the magnitude of their task and the swarms of creatures which greeted their disembarkation.

The action is non stop from that moment with terrifying battle scenes and lots of carnage on both sides. Written in the third person, it gives excellent, and sometimes poignant, insights into the characters, as we get to know the dynamics and great mix of personalities and motivations. They all inspire strong emotions and are crafted exceptionally well – those you love and those you love to hate. My favourites are Ryan and his sister, Jayde, along with several others. I know it’s a mistake to get too attached (it took me a while to get over Lane) as Dylan Morgan has no scruples about killing off characters, good as well as bad.

There are so many motivating forces in this story, including hate, greed, love, fear, honour and principles relating to loyalty and conduct. I know from reading previous books there is never a happy ever after, but this finishes with a completely unexpected and terrifically awful twist at the end, which I hope means the story isn’t over just yet, although I think I’ve visualised enough body parts and gore flying around to keep me going for a little while😉

The writing is as descriptive and detailed as always, with well defined characters, and a fast paced plot. If I can use the three Gs again – gritty, gruesome and great! Those words do seem to encapsulate Dylan Morgan’s books.

Find a copy here from or available free from Kindle Unlimited

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE DEAD CITY by @dylanjmorgan #SciFi #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Noelle has been reading The Dead City by Dylan J Morgan,



This is a review based on an advanced reader copy from the author; the book.

The Dead Lands, which I recently reviewed here, is the prequel to this book by Dylan Morgan – The Dead City. In the first book, a team of highly trained soldiers from Erebus are sent in response to a radio signal from the sister planet Hemera, indicating that the President of Hemera and his family are awaiting rescue after being in stasis since a nuclear war one hundred years prior. They are sent by the avaricious and pig-like Colonel Paden, who features prominently in this second book. Rather than a barren land with no surviving inhabitants, the team finds a baking, dusty, rubble-strewn wasteland populated by murderous thugs and a completely destroyed capital city of Magna, overrun with hordes of horrifying and ghastly mutants. The sole interest of these mutants is killing and eating the organs of their prey.

In The Dead City, another crack team is heading to Hemera and Magna, accompanied by Colonel Paden. He wants to find the treasure in gems said to be hidden within the capitol city, ostensibly for Erebus but in reality for himself. He brings with him physicians to tend to his health and three prostitutes to tend to his other needs. The team is led by Lieutenant Marshall, a much-decorated soldier revered by his men. Among the team members are Ryan and his sister Jayde, who is also a soldier and very close to her brother, and also the loathsome Murdoch, who has hated Ryan since their training and fantasizes in graphic ways about what he will do to and with Jayde, if he ever gets the chance.

This time the soldiers are aware of what awaits them, and the trek to the capitol’s palace is a running of the gauntlet, with the gruesome deaths of both soldiers and mutants. The mutants, who have deadly aim with sharpened metal blades, are held off by a plasma guns (Berserkers), which blow them into bloody bits but which cannot stem their unending tide. Eventually some of the groups into which the team has been split reach the deepest level of the palace, where the President and his family, long since dead, were once housed. Paden then follows in relative safety, at the cost of more men, and the search of the building and sewers for the gems begins.

The Dead City has an inherently interesting story line with characters you can really love or hate. My dislike of Colonel Paden was so great, I prayed for a mutiny. While Ryan is suitably indomitable and brave, the author has also created many minor characters who grabbed me emotionally. As I said about The Dead Lands, this is not a story for the faint of heart. There were times when I was overwhelmed with the repetitive and gruesome slaughter; there’s a limit to the amount of gore I can handle. Luckily, each time when I thought I’d reached that limit, the story and characters kicked back in and I kept reading. The ending was a total surprise and made it more than worth reading the book. I want the sequel!

Two things. I wish there had been more of a transition between the previous book and this one – seeing what happened to the first team when the remnants of it returned to Erebus, for example. I also wondered why the mutants never killed and ate each other.

The relentless gore aside, the author does a great job of describing his world and drawing the reader into it. This book should appeal to everyone who likes strongly written, post-apocalyptic thrillers.

PS, this is a planet I would never want to visit!

Four out of five stars.

Find a copy here from or available free from Kindle unlimited

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT APOPHIS by @Caron_Rider #YA #SciFi #PostApocalyptic

Today’s Team review is from Lilyn, she blogs here

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Lilyn has been reading Apophis by Caron Rider

Apophis Review
Apophis is an entertaining and engaging read that looks at our world as it prepares for Apophis’ impact, and then the world a thousand years after that. Not ground-breaking, but definitely thought-provoking, Apophis examines both sides of the coin of the practice of eugenics and the lengths to which humans can go to survive when we’re on a countdown to destruction.

Rider easily gives you characters you can root for – and characters you can’t wait to see destroyed. The artificial intelligence is also surprisingly believable. She doesn’t give ALEC too many human traits, which a lot of science fiction authors do, and he stays completely logical. He/It is both a comforting presence, and vaguely intimidating at the same time because you witness early on that he will do whatever it takes to make sure that certain things happen. The things that he deems to be for the good of humanity. It’s not that far of a step from there to destruction. You can also get a sense of personalities developing in the other AIs that are formed that are different from ALEC, which is rather interesting, but everyone knows that a copy of a copy of a copy, etc, can end up looking quite different from the original.

Now, there was one issue that I had. It is a simple one. In the author’s world, two groups that speak English, after being separated by over a thousand years, are able to easily speak with each other. Language is constantly changing, so it’s hard to believe that there would be no issues communicating after one thousand years had passed. On a minor note, there was some wording that could be tweaked to make the story more pleasing. It’s mainly repetitious factors that weigh it down. It made the story a bit hard to get into.

Overall, this was a nice take on the post-apocalyptic science fiction tale that smartly avoids going for the ‘epic’ award like Stephenson and Robinson seem to consistently do. The science may not be as ‘hard’, but the story still carries itself very nicely.

4/5 Coolthulhus

Find a copy here from or

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE DEAD LANDS by @dylanjmorgan #SciFi #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Olga, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Olga has been reading The Dead Lands by Dylan J Morgan


My review

This review is written on behalf of Rosie’s Books Review Team. Thanks to Rosie Amber and to the author, Dylan J. Morgan for offering me a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

I recently read and reviewed another one of Dylan Morgan’s novels Flesh see here , a horror novel, and I was impressed by the book. Another member of the review team (hi, Terry!) recommended The Dead Lands and I took note. The author is preparing the second book in the series The Dead City and kindly offered the reviewers a chance to catch up with the updated version of the first novel in the series. And I’m happy I followed the recommendation.

The Dead Lands is a post-apocalyptic vision of a world, or rather, a mission where a group of army officers from the planet Erebus are sent to rescue the president of a planet, Hemera who’s been in a cryogenic state for a hundred years following a nuclear debacle. What at first sight seems to be an elite group sent on an easy mission turns up to be anything but.

The book is told in the third person, and each chapter follows the point of view of a different character, and that includes the president of the planet, Lane, who is the only one of the members of the team we get to know before the mission (a disgraced ex-army officer turned bounty hunter and the one who perhaps it’s closest to a hero figure in the standard sense), a variety of the team members, people they meet at the new planet, and many more. It is difficult to say if any of the characters are the true protagonist or the hero (some are easier to empathise with than others, but all seem to have motives and reasons for their behaviours that are far from straight forward). From that perspective, the novel is very democratic and even characters (?) with no redeeming features, or possibly not human, are given a voice (or a consciousness). That makes for a very unique reading experience, one at times uncomfortable and surprising. Although I don’t play computer games, it feels as if one was living in one and in a mission with the characters, with the possibility of playing different parts (although not of your own choosing).

The book is dynamic and fast paced, with no lengthy descriptions (some can be more detailed like the characteristics of the weaponry), and there’s plenty of action, fights, and scary moments. There isn’t a lot of world building, and the reader is thrown straight into a world (or two worlds) that’s understandable if scary at times. The world of The Dead Lands is at the same time familiar (particularly the corruption and morals, or lack of them) but alien. What would our world be like after a nuclear war? I don’t want to give away the whole story, but let’s say that it’s not called The Dead Lands for nothing.

The novel is a great example of the genre. It has a gripping plot, characters that are complex and fallible (some with backstories we’d like to know more about), nothing and nobody is what s/he seems to be, there is betrayal, greed, corruption, cowardice, surprises galore, horror and a world that’s scarier because it’s uncannily easy to recognise. Ultimately, the question is, who is the real enemy? The one outside, or the fragmented loyalties and lies that are the quicksand on which the mission, and the whole world, is built?

I recommend this novel to lovers of the genre, but also to those who love a fast paced story full of surprises, and are willing to push their reading experience beyond comfort and ease.

Ah, and after reading the tasters of the next novel in the series, I can hardly wait.

Find a copy here from or

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT CROSSING BEDLAM by Charles Yallowitz @cyallowitz

Today’s team review is from Barb, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Barb has been reading Crossing Bedlam by Charles Yallowitz


Can I just start out by paying homage to Charles Yallowitz for his prescience in setting his dystopian fantasy in a post-apocalyptic America—now known as the Shattered States—where the country has giant walls across their borders, allows no immigration, and has been cut off from the rest of the world? “These people believe that this is how the Shattered States should be,” Cassidy explains when she gets back inside […] “Though I’m guessing these people always wanted to be extremely violent and found this to be a great excuse.” (And to think— he wrote it before The Donald even won his first primary!)


The story involves a cross-country road trip through a post-apocalyptic America full of homicidal maniacs, religious fanatics, and the occasional killer rhino. Cassidy is trying to make it to San Francisco because her mother’s dying wish was to have her ashes scattered from the Golden Gate Bridge. She raids a maximum security prison to obtain properly murderous bodyguards. Unfortunately one of them, a serial killer named Lloyd, murders the rest of her recruits before she can explain the plan. The two then head across the country, where they face new danger at every turn. Along the way, their dependency on each other shifts to a wary friendship (if you have the kind of friends who might kill you at any moment…).

There was so much to like in this book. The structure—a road trip moving from state to state—lent itself to organization and steady pacing. I enjoyed the way that Lloyd believed he was living a story that pierced the fourth wall (between the book and the audience). It was a terrific device, because it allowed Cassidy to preserve the narrative flow (by assuming that it was just an example of Lloyd being nuts), while the author is able to present some information about the characters and their respective roles. “That just screams main characters in a story to me. I mean, most people exist without an adventure. They’re born, grow up, work, have sex, have kids, and die with nothing more than photo albums left behind. The two of us are doing something amazing. All of the stories I read in jail had people doing stuff like this, so it makes sense that we’re characters.”

Cassidy points out that if they are characters, then they are not in charge of their own destiny, not to mention the fact that their creator has put them into a nasty situation. “That’s too depressing to think about considering this creator would also be the one who destroyed our world. A real bastard if you ask me.”

The dialog was full of snarky one-liners and quips. And I couldn’t help liking Lloyd, who I pictured as a combination of Doc Brown from Back to the Future and Hannibal Lecter. I found Cassidy (who was simply referred to with annoying frequency as “the blonde”), to be somewhat less three-dimensional or likeable.

On the other hand, there were things that drove me nuts, from the editorial fails to the cover that looks like something drawn by a ten year old in a bad mood because his teacher didn’t let him draw a jet and Spiderman in too (a surprise because the author’s covers are usually drop-dead gorgeous). But my biggest problem is the two main characters. They seem to evolve over the course of their odyssey, but I don’t really see it happening. Instead, we’re simply informed that now they are friends. I would have liked to know more about what they are thinking and feeling.

I already know from his other work that Charles Yallowitz has a flair for action and adventure. I know from Crossing Bedlam that he can be darn funny. Apparently, he can also write four letter words with the best of them. I’d like to see another (edited!) adult-targeted book that gets inside the characters’ heads and shows us what they are thinking instead of just what they are cursing.

Find a copy here from or

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE AMERICAN POLICEMAN by John Privilege @BeardyJohn

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Cathy chose to read and review The American Policeman by John Privilege

The American Policeman

Set in London a few years after the pandemic which swept the globe (The Turning of the World) District Inspector Timothy Conlan, or Con as he prefers, is woken with the news that a body has been found. He is part of the District team of the New Metropolitan Police formed in the aftermath, along with a new government widely known as the Collective. In post apocalyptic London, and the south of the country, things have been running pretty smoothly since the Restoration, houses and areas of the devastated city have been made habitable and are under the Collective’s protection. The lawlessness and gang culture prevalent during the fallout has been contained, or so they thought.

The murder is baffling for Con and his team. The dead woman is in a residence assigned to someone else, they have no record of her and there is no apparent motive. Usually the city is a peaceful place with everyone abiding by the rules, Con’s normal workload consisting of spies and infiltrators. Punishments are severe, death is the worst case scenario, and dissuades most from serious criminal activity. Areas in the rest of the country are not as free from disturbance as the city though, where violence and gangs are rule and are commonplace.

All is not as it seems within the new government and while Con is tasked with, and focused entirely on, finding a killer who always seems to be one step ahead, there is corruption at the highest levels and infiltrators in Con’s team.

Con is a compelling character, calm, contained and with a lack of the normal human emotions we all experience. ‘She looked into the utter blankness of his face and her eyes went wide’. He’s an enigma, totally focused and dedicated to his job. His back story, and that of other relevant characters, what they were and did before the pandemic, is introduced cleverly and seamlessly throughout the narrative. The dialogue is used to great effect within the structure of the story, too, which I like a lot. Learning how people coped during the Breakdown is a good inclusion and does its bit in bringing the story together, along with the large cast of characters who all add to the plot and storyline.

Post apocalyptic London, with it’s inhabitants, zones and dwellings, is imagined convincingly and described really well with an evocative turn of phrase, ‘Blackened shells of once beautiful buildings loomed over dark, empty spaces’, which give such vivid imagery. I love John Privilege’s writing style and enjoyed this story very much. Looking forward to the next book.

Find a copy here from or

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT The Turning Of The World by John Privilege #PostApocalyptic

Today we have a review from team member Georgia, she blogs at


Georgia had read and reviewed The Turning Of The World by John Privilege


The Turning of the World

4.5ish stars

I know my memory is appalling but I don’t believe I’ve read any post-apocalyptic books before, always imagining them to be full of zombies which have never tended to be that scary to me as they seem to move so slowly I’m pretty sure I could get away from them. So although this book was recommended to me I approached it with some trepidation. What I found however a post-apocalyptic world was made far scarier because of its normality. I’ve never failed to be surprised, or rather horrified, at the way communities can turn on one another in times of trouble and I could really see this story being the way it would go should such a virus hit the world.

This story is set in Northern Ireland which is devastated, like many other countries before it, when the Quang-Tri Flu spreads like…well, like the flu only this flu kills anyone who contracts it. There are a few who are immune for whatever reason and gradually these individuals come together in various forever changed communities.

Bobby, a Canadian (and not a Yank as he has to keep reminding everyone) from whose perspective this is written is a great character. He’s in Northern Ireland after marrying Sally and to all outward appearances is tough and heroic, a leader, of sorts, amongst the band of survivors he finds around him but we get to see his inner fears and sorrows at the loss and sadness created by this tragic virus.

Violence breaks out, often brutally, both from those in charge as well as those just struggling to survive. Desperation for water, food and medicine grows as supplies run out and finding safe places to shelter becomes an issue. Some give up whilst others take advantage of the situation but there are some who meet the challenges of this bleak new world with regret for what they have to do in order to survive.

John Privilege’s writing is wonderfully descriptive without being overly so, ‘On her bad days I would sit with her and stroke her hair and whisper to her as she hung her head and wept, heart-sore and lost. She would look at me, her dark eyes full of tears, her mouth curling into a quivering smile, her cool hand on my face.’ Beautiful.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, would definitely recommend it to all who enjoy good writing and solid storytelling and I look forward to seeing what Mr Privilege produces next.

Find a copy here from or


Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Cathy reviews The Dead Lands by Dylan J Morgan

Today’s book review is from team member Cathy, she blogs at


Cathy chose to read and review The Dead Lands by Dylan J Morgan


The story begins on the planet Hemera, in the capital city of Magna, where the president, his family and key members of his staff are being cryogenically frozen before Hemera is completely destroyed by a nuclear war. A century later, on Erebus, a distress signal is received from Hemera. A small group of operatives are chosen to travel to Hemera to investigate, find the President and help to restore the planet. Intelligence reports state the planet is uninhabited and barren, without the existence of any life forms, so they should encounter no difficulties.

Lane, a disgraced former soldier, believes he is being given a final chance, albeit by the corrupt Colonel Paden, to clear his name while escaping the death penalty for a trumped-up charge of murder used to coerce him into joining the mission. The team destined for Hemera have no reason to doubt Paden’s assurance the assignment will be straightforward and without complications. Nevertheless, it becomes apparent immediately on entry into Hemera’s atmosphere, all is not destined to go as smoothly as the team hoped.

The once beautiful and thriving Hemera is a desolate wasteland peopled by gangs of marauders and mutants brought vividly to life by the clear and descriptive writing. Dylan Morgan makes it so easy to visualise the group travelling through the rubble, debris and ruined buildings, fighting the bandits to reach their destination. Their fear and revulsion for what awaits them in Magna. And their ultimate fight for survival against all odds and the most horrific of antagonists.

This is a very well crafted story with perfect pacing, the drama unfolds with consistency to keep the narrative flowing effortlessly. The characters are well-developed and real, Lane especially, but all the personalities are drawn brilliantly, whether you love or loathe them. I think this story covers every eventuality with action, of which there is plenty, greed, deception, horror and sadness. Balancing out the negatives are loyalty, a touch of romance and truthfulness. And the promise of satisfactory karma for the villain of the piece.

It’s graphic, gruesome, gritty….and great!

Find a copy here from or