Category Archives: Dystopia

Fiction2Film: Zombies … an Oral History & a Love Story

In our Fiction 2 Film (F2F) posts, we will share news and tidbits we learn about author’s stories which have made the jump from paper to film.

~ Zombies … An Oral History ~

If you are a fan of zombie novels, you have already heard about Max BrooksWorld War Z film adaption starting Brad Pitt.  In fact, if you’re a major fan, you’ve already read the book.  But, have you heard the major changes to the story?  writing for Screen Rant.com discusses the fact that, although it is a “tricky narrative format to transfer to film” the main character, who in the book is a U.N. employee that interviews zombie apocalypse survivors on their experiences, will be quite different in the film.

Paramount’s announcement stated, “The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself.”  This is indeed a different take on the story.  How does author Max Brooks feel about the change?

He acknowledges how difficult it could be turning the book into a film during his interview with the Daily Record.  He admits, “It doesn’t have a main character, the storyline is told from a hundred different points of view, would be prohibitively expensive filming in all these different countries.”  He also realizes the challenge this brings saying, “You couldn’t pay me to turn it into a film.”  However, he doesn’t seem worried about the changes, but rather excited to see how it all turns out.  “I’m not involved so I just want to be able to enjoy watching the movie when it comes out,” he explained. “At least I know they did at least as much research into things as I did for the book.”  In his 26 Aug 2011 blog post, after visiting the set in Glasgow, Max stated, “While I’m still largely in the dark concerning the overall story, it was reassuring to hear from Brad Pitt and Marc Forster that their goal is to make a smart, deep, geopolitical movie. I trust their talent and their intentions and I look forward to seeing what they come up with.”  He also learned from the January 3rd LA Times article, that states, “Forster [the director] and Paramount Pictures each view “World War Z” as a trilogy that would have the grounded, gun-metal realism of, say, Damon’s Jason Bourne series tethered to the unsettling end-times vibe of AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead.'”  That’s a nice thought (for them financially), but will fans love the first film enough to support the making of a trilogy? 

‘World War Z’, the Fiction

“The end was near.” —Voices from the Zombie War

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”

Note: Some of the numerical and factual material contained in this edition was previously published under the auspices of the United Nations Postwar Commission.

‘World War Z’, the Film

Will the film be a hit among Brooks’ fans?  Zombie fans?  Pitt fans?  Only time will tell.

But, in E! News’ interview with actress Mireille Enos, who plays Pitt’s wife in the film, she said, “It’s like zombies are the new vampires.” And, it would seem she isn’t far off as we have seen the number of zombie-related books increase over the past year.  “It’s taking over. But somebody said to me this movie might end the zombie genre because, after this, what else is there to do? It’s huge!”  Now, this statement is not one with which I can agree.

I’ll watch the movie, I may even love it, but “end the zombie genre” because of its awesomeness?  Nah, probably not.  Romero has been doing good zombies for many, many years.  Others will surely follow.

‘World War Z’ is scheduled to hit theaters on, you guessed it, 12/21/12.  How apropos.

[Trailer can be viewed here.]

~ Zombies … A Love Story ~

Now, I have to admit that about a year ago, someone told me about a zombie romance and my first reaction was “Thanks, but no thanks.”  Then, I decided to give Isaac Marion‘s Warm Bodies a go.  The story is told from the perspective of R, a zombie who, try as he might, cannot remember much about his life before now.  Then, he meets his (living) sweetheart.  The book was a quick read, but one that proved in the end that Virgil may have had it right when he said, “Love conquers all things; let us too surrender to love.”

I was happily surprised to see on that Isaac’s book is also being adapted to film.  Unlike Brooks’ “fiction2film,” Marion’s appears to be more of a direct adaption than a variation on the story.  Although director Jonathan Levine is writing the script, he consulted with Marion during the process.

In an interview with Jonathan Liu, or “GeekDad” of Wired Magazine, he explained, I’ve not been directly involved as far as collaborating on it, but I’ve been consulted a lot, a lot more than what’s normal, from what I’m told. When they first hired the director he had lunch with me and just chatted about his ideas and vision for the whole thing, and he’s been interacting with me as he wrote the script. He’d call me up and ask me questions: what’s this part about, or how do you see this and that.

I read some draft of the script — I’m not sure how far along it was — and then I got to give notes on that, and later read another draft and gave some notes. It seems like they’re really respectful of my opinion and they seem to really care what I think, which is cool. Very unusual, from what I’m told. Even major best-selling authors who have all the clout in the world, sometimes they just tell them: “Get lost, we don’t care what you think. Just let us make this movie.” Everyone I’ve told about this who knows how that works has been amazed, that they actually have involved me.

Do you think that will make a difference to those who have read the book and watch the movie?  I know it will for me.  As much as I enjoy seeing a film director’s interpretation of a novel, sometimes I want to see the author’s original story, as is, on the big screen.  Of course, just because there has been so much director-author collaboration does not mean the film will be identical to the novel.  It is always hard to completely translate one to the other, yes?

Either way, Marion sounds excited about the film.  Although he did not have much say regarding the casting process, per the USA Today article, he didn’t see that as a problem because he wasn’t sure “how it would have been if [he] had hated them. But they worked out.”  He plans to watch the film in the theater instead of with the executives because “If something bad happened, [he] wouldn’t want them to see [him] cowering.”  That said, he wants to visit the production set as much as possible because, “The whole thing is fascinating and exciting.”   He may even try to “… sneak in the background and get eaten by a zombie.” 

‘Warm Bodies’, the Fiction

A zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love—with a human—in this astonishingly original debut novel.

R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.

Not just another zombie novel, Warm Bodies is funny, scary, and deeply moving.

‘Warm Bodies’, the Film

As I said, it was initially hard for me to envision a zombie novel as a romance.  However, either Marion’s writing changed my perception or love really does affect us all – living or undead.  Marion can relate to our uncertainties about a romantic zombie.  “I didn’t want to sanitize him into something I called a zombie,” Marion says. “You watch him kill people and eat people and do horrific things zombies do. There’s a germ of change in there, so you hear him give his distaste for things but this is what we do.

“A lot of people can relate to that mindless repetition, that people do things they don’t want to do all the time. It’s the starting point for his character, and he develops an awareness for what his options are. It seemed natural to make him sympathetic because everyone’s been there at some point, in a place of misery and wanting to get out.”   The fact that R goes through his routines even while he dreads them was absolutely something to which I could relate.  It made him feel more real, I guess.

Teresa Palmer, who plays R’s love interest, Julie, says Nicholas Hoult is “… so beautiful to work with. He does such an incredible performance. He’s playing a zombie, so he can’t say much, but he’s very expressive with his eyes.”   And, he would have to be to pull this off.  The book is full of R’s internal dialogue, so  I’m very interested to see how that will be represented on screen.  I’ve certainly seen that work well in some and not in others.

I wasn’t going to say this because so many others are asking the same question, but after seeing this picture I feel I have to ask … Will these two be the new Edward & Bella?  It may not be too far fetched a question since Summit Entertainment, the production company behind Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight films, is also behind Marion’s film. The picture is certainly reminiscent of Twilight pics.  I’d say they should try to be more original, but on second thought, it was most likely intentional as they try to lure young adult paranormal romance readers into the theater.

‘Warm Bodies’ is scheduled to hit theaters on 8/10/12.

[To date, no official trailer exists, but you can view the book trailer here.]

Related posts: “Fiction2Film” feature on Stephenie Meyer’s ‘The Host’ and our “Zombie Awareness Month” posts

Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life…

Touch of Power (Healer #1) by Maria V. Snyder

Release Date: 27 December 2011
Read Date: 4 December 2011
Rating:

Please, Sir. May I have some more?

Touch of Power may be mildly similar to Poison Study which does bring in an element of predictability but it doesn’t feel repetitive. This world is far larger and more complex than that of the Study trilogy.

Avry has been in hiding and on the run for 3 years and she’s tired of it. After people blamed the spread of the plague on healers, they’re captured and executed whenever they’re found. However, Avry can’t stop herself from healing fatally ill children and each time she does she must move on in case the child’s parents turn her in, though this time the sickness she’s assumed overcomes her and she’s captured. While in prison awaiting execution she’s approached by a man called Kerrick who breaks her out so she can heal his “friend”.

Unfortunately this friend is hundreds of miles away and with a bounty on her head the journey is dangerous even with Kerrick’s men accompanying them. When Avry is informed of who she’s to heal, she refuses because it’s a prince accused of inhumane crimes. Assuming his illness, the plague, would mean certain death for her. Sacrificing her life for a child is one thing, they’re innocent but for a cruel and powerful man -no. Kerrick reacts badly, punishing her until she changes her mind. She’s too stubborn so they try to change her mind in other ways while they travel.

On the journey she gets to know each man, saving her hate for the mysterious Kerrick. They teach her survival and fighting skills so she can defend herself. Along the way they begin to understand more about the plague, it’s link to the sentient network of huge human-eating venus flytrap flowers and the healer’s guild. They also encounter a real madman, Tohon, who can influence and read thoughts and emotions using it to gain more territory and power. His experiments are nightmarish and genocidal. Politics and intrigue ensue. There are many fighting for power in the game of thrones kings in this post-apocalyptic fantasy.

The hundreds of miles Avry & co travel, and on foot, makes my feet ache in sympathy. I thoroughly enjoyed the world-building and Avry’s journey spanning about 6 months. I loved the high level of detail involved and the intricacies of the characters’ magical abilities. I laughed at the Men in Black moment when Avry shouts “Eat me!” to the mutant plant. In fact, I did a lot of laughing. Avry and her merry men grow to be a tight-knit family who jump at the chance to tease, compete and help each other. I was sad when a character died but I have a feeling we’ll see them again though I’m worried about how they’ll be changed by the experience. I wish I had a Papa Bear and friends like these who’d die for me if need be, and vice versa.

Kerrick and Avry’s relationship develops and evolves slowly as he learns how to handle his emotions. His desperate 2-year search for a healer and Avry’s stubborn refusal turns him into an unlikeable man but with the persuasion of his men he pushes back his anger and gets to know Avry and comes to understand what makes her tick. He shares his skills with her and they come to find they can share and enhance each others magic, something they never thought possible. I enjoyed their slow-burning combustible chemistry, Kerrick’s jealousy and finally his realisation that not every woman is like his ex Jael.

And can I just say I love these covers! It’s rare when I want both. One shows pure grit, determination and “power” (LEFT). The other, the delicate yet beautiful effect a “touch” can have (RIGHT).

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I definitely look forward to the next installment of this series. Bring it on!

***Thank you to Harlequin for the ARC supplied via NetGalley for an honest review.***

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Review: Genesis by Bernard Beckett

The island Republic has emerged from a ruined world. Its citizens are safe but not free. Until a man named Adam Forde rescues a girl from the sea. Fourteen-year-old Anax thinks she knows her history. She’d better. She’s sat facing three Examiners and her five-hour examination has just begun. The subject is close to her heart: Adam Forde, her long-dead hero. In a series of startling twists, Anax discovers new things about Adam and her people that question everything she holds sacred. But why is the Academy allowing her to open up the enigma at its heart? Bernard Beckett has written a strikingly original novel that weaves dazzling ideas into a truly moving story about a young girl on the brink of her future.

Genesis by Bernard Beckett

Release Date: 24 March 2009
Read Date: 18 November 2011
Rating:

Holy fucking shit, Batman! Holy fucking shit! *SPLAT!* My brain has exploded. I am blown away by the awesomeness of this little book.

Firstly, I owe a huge thank you to Lyndsey’s review for inspiring me to read this because HOLY CRAP, HOOOOLY CRAP! This is the dystopian book to end all dystopian books. Doesn’t matter if you think this sort of thing isn’t for you, or if you’re disillusioned with the genre.

At the very least this book will make you THINK. Think about the state of humanity, its limitations and where it is heading. Think about the pursuit of happiness, our curiosity, our technological advances. If the world ended as we know it tomorrow and we had a chance to start again from scratch, could we truly create a utopian society? Could we succeed in creating something we could be proud of? Or are we a doomed species hopelessly cursed to repeat the same mistakes?

Brain power is needed to read this, especially for the Third Hour chapter because damn if that wasn’t a mind-bending philosophical debate regarding what it is to be human. I had to take a break to recharge the old batteries and when I returned to it…the jaw dropped and I had to re-read a paragraph because OH…MY…GOD I did not see That coming, That was a game changer, It brought a whole new meaning to what I had read.

Genesis is a small book, an expensive one, so expensive I decided to borrow it from the library but I must have a copy. It’s absolutely worth the money. This book may be less than 200 pages but you could write a dissertation on it. Seriously.

Don’t read up on this book, don’t research it, just find a copy and read the hell out of it. Go in blind and discover for yourself the reason why I have given this the highest possible rating.

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Review: Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien

IN THE ENCLAVE, YOUR SCARS SET YOU APART, and the newly born will change the future.

In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the walled Enclave and those, like sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone, who live outside. Following in her mother’s footsteps Gaia has become a midwife, delivering babies in the world outside the wall and handing a quota over to be “advanced” into the privileged society of the Enclave. Gaia has always believed this is her duty, until the night her mother and father are arrested by the very people they so loyally serve. Now Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught, but her choice is simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.

A stunning adventure brought to life by a memorable heroine, this dystopian debut will have readers racing all the way to the dramatic finish.

Birthmarked (Birthmarked #1) by Caragh M. O’Brien

Release Date: 2 May 2011
Read Date: 22 September 2011
Rating:

I clearly watch too many sci-fi TV shows. Reading Birthmarked was like watching an amalgamation of specific episodes of those shows play out on paper. In black and white, not full and vivid HD colour because very little of it felt new and fresh, shocking and memorable. One scene and one scene only when Gaia rescues and revives the unborn baby of an executed couple (for mostly unintentional incest), is a time where I could say this book made an impression on me.

Don’t get me wrong, the world described within these pages is very detailed, I liked the reproductive rights theme vs. the incest dilemma, and I know the codes would’ve required time and research to create, I appreciate that but it didn’t inspire strong and lasting emotions in me or give me something wholly captivating and original to hold up and say to others “You must read this. It’s brilliant because…”

I couldn’t connect to Gaia. She was a brave, motherly figure much like her mythological namesake but it was difficult to feel her pain when her parents were taken away because we didn’t know them or the state of their relationship. Later on, we saw them in her memories but by then it was too little, too late. The characters in general didn’t appear to have distinctive personalities, instead they were classified by two characteristics: the brave and the submissive sheep. They could be in either camp, switch between the two or somehow straddle the fence. That’s it, that’s all there is to them. One exception is Myrna -my favourite character, an imprisoned doctor, locked up for doing her job but unfortunately we don’t spend too much time with her.

Supposedly uneducated in almost every way bar midwifery, Gaia was surprisingly intelligent enough to solve a code in hours that top scholars couldn’t crack in weeks. I’m not buying that. Neither am I convinced of her developing romance with her jailer. It’s very thin and I’m surprised Leon took to her so easily, risking his life for her when they’ve only had less than a handful of conversations.

Also, all that running for their lives with a newborn baby in her arms -tricky. I kept expecting it to either cry non-stop or for Gaia to look down and find it dead from suffocation because she was clutching it too tightly in the rush.

I didn’t hate Birthmarked, the world-building is good and the lesson “the grass is not always greener on the other side” is a classic but I do question the ‘baby quota’. It’s tough for me to imagine many women, or men for that matter, would give up their children without a fight no matter what the cost. The bond is too strong. I’m also surprised so many are willing to bear children knowing the risk of losing them. There should be good trade in birth control methods.

Perhaps if the characters were more developed and the book was written in first person I would feel more involved and connected to the action. I’m curious about what life has in store for Gaia next but having read the synopsis and a couple of reviews of Prized I’m not overly enthusiastic about finding out.

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Pitch Dark Books Presents “Dark Days” Chat

Chat with authors Anna Carey, Jocelyn Davies, Claudia Gray, Amy Garvey, and Kiersten White

Fall ’11 Dark Days Tour Kick-Off

The chat will take place at LiveStream.com

Check it out: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM EDT on Thursday, 6 Oct 2011

The place to be for YA reads!

Dark Days presents five books that will inspire you to read through the night. Experience romance, suspense, and a touch of darkness with new books by authors Anna Carey, Jocelyn Davies, Amy Garvey, Claudia Gray, and Kiersten White—on tour this fall and coming to online audiences through Livestream!

 

[You can follow Pitch Dark Books @ Facebook & Twitter]

“May the odds be ever in your favor!” ~ Hunger Games Movie News

The Poster

Prepare to be wowed! Click on the poster below and it will take you to an absolutely stunning motion poster! You have to see it to believe it.

Entertainment Weekly ~ The Boys

We saw Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in an issue of last month‘s Entertainment Weekly, this month we’ve got the boys 21-year-old Liam Hemsworth as Gale and 18-year-old Josh Hutcherson as Peeta.

[Source: Photos]

The Soundtrack

12-time Grammy winner T Bone Burnett (Cold Mountain, Walk the Line) will team up with award-winning composer Danny Elfman (have you seen a Tim Burton movie? Or any movie really, he’s done them all it seems) to produce the score and soundtrack to The Hunger Games.

A Message From Suzanne Collins (posted on Facebook)

“Now that the filming of The Hunger Games has begun, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the script, so I thought I might share a little of my experience with you. Back in early 2010, Color Force and Lionsgate began the process of adapting the book to the screen and I wrote the first draft of the script. After that, we brought on veteran screenwriter Billy Ray to further develop the piece. Not only has he written and directed excellent films like Shattered Glass and Breach, he was a complete pleasure to work with. Amazingly talented, collaborative, and always respectful of the book. His adaptation further explored the world of Panem and its inhabitants. As though I wasn’t lucky enough, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Gary Ross, known for his wonderful works such as Seabiscuit and Pleasantville, came on board. As part of his creative process, he wrote a subsequent draft which incorporated his incredible directorial vision of the film. And then he very generously invited me in to work with him on it. We had an immediate and exhilarating creative connection that brought the script to the first day of shooting. Of course, the piece will naturally continue to evolve through the filming, as the actors bring the characters to life, as the entire crew brings their significant talents to the piece, as the editors work with Gary to best realize his vision. The final draft will be on the screen next March.

So that’s been the script process, and as an author, I’m truly grateful for the journey.

May the odds be ever in your favor!

Suzanne Collins

Review ~ The Last Survivors Trilogy by Susan Beth Pfeffer

The Last Survivors Trilogy by Susan Beth Pfeffer

   

First off, I have to say that I have a crush on these covers.  They are stunning and provide a perfect visual for the world these characters are living in.  Second, I devoured these books in two days.

Although I believe these three make up a trilogy, I noticed the author is scheduled to release The Shade of the Moon (Last Survivors #4) in 2012.  I am not sure if that book will start a new trilogy or if the books will become a series.

Book #1 ~ Life as We Knew It

Rating:

We are introduced to Miranda Day, her two brothers, Jonny (age 14) and Matt, who is away at college, and her mother.  She’s a typical 16-year old and has typical worries until the moon is struck by a meteor.  Everyone is aware it’s headed for the moon, many people are even excited to watch it happen, but it’s what happens after that turns the world upside down. The impact caused the moon to shift closer to Earth and out of its normal orbit.  That in turn causes major devastation all over the world – tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

I was so impressed by her mother’s forethought and planning that I felt like I should be taking notes.  She had the presence of mind to buy up as many supplies, food items and clothes as quickly and as soon as she could in hopes of keeping her family safe during the coming months.  Others weren’t so lucky.  Many people all over the world are dying and as winter approaches more are sure to.

It was very interesting to be able to see Miranda and her family life pre-devastation.  While she struggled, as anyone would – especially teenagers, with the changes forced upon her and her family, she grew throughout the story.  Her brother, Matt, makes it home from college and she would like nothing more than to have him taken care of the family.  But, she learns to take some responsibility for the safety and well-being of her family.  Her father and step-mother, who is pregnant, set off to find their parents.  Miranda begins to wonder if she will ever see them again.  The story is written like Miranda’s diary entries and takes us through the first year.  It is so realistic in parts that it is truly scary.  Scary because you know this is something that would possibly happen.

Book #2 ~ The Dead & the Gone

Rating: 

This story introduces us to Alex Morales and his two sisters, Julie and Briana.  The Morales family live in an apartment building in New York City.  Their father left for Puerto Rico prior to the meteor/moon shift and their mother is at work during it.  Neither return, so Alex, who was looking forward to going to college, must take charge of his family and do whatever it takes to keep his sisters safe.

I had serious issues with this book.  Mainly, WHY was Alex so worried about staying in his apartment when it wasn’t safe?  WHY wouldn’t they break into other apartments (or use his father’s super key?!) to check for food, clothing and other necessities?  Most everyone is dead or dying, there was no reason for them to suffer as they did.  They may not have found much, but it would’ve been more than they had.  I also did not like or understand the relationship between Alex and his Uncle Jimmy.  Jimmy comes to Alex’s apartment to ask if he can take Briana with him.  It would really help them out (babysitting).  Alex says no, he wants to keep his family together.  Jimmy doesn’t say much else, even when Alex tells him that his parents are most likely dead.

So much of this series feels very realistic to the point of being frightening, but the ending of this one just didn’t fit for me.  It seemed very convenient that a former, not-so-close friend’s father is able to quickly and easily get Alex and his family passes for a safe haven.  If this book had been the first in the trilogy, I probably would not have continued on.  But, after realizing that book #3 brought these two families together, I couldn’t wait to read it to find out how Miranda and her family were doing.

Book #3 ~ This World We Live In

Rating:

It’s been a year since the moon was struck.  Miranda and her brothers are scavenging for food and supplies while mom stays at home.  They are getting low on food and begin rationing even more.  So, when Miranda’s dad, pregnant step-mother AND three strangers arrive at her house she’s surprised, relieved and angry.  While she’s thrilled to see that her dad and step-mother are safe, she’s angry because they just don’t have the food to split between SIX more people.  Lisa, Miranda’s step-mother is pregnant, so she’s being fed extra.

While they do make some smart decisions in this one, there are still moments when I got frustrated with their lack of doing even more.  At this point, they are on the verge of dying from starvation, their home is not entirely safe and they STILL don’t move to a better location.  They are having to take more risks in order to find food.

A constant throughout this series was the fear that something like this could happen.  It wasn’t like your zombocalypse (which Shamblin’ Dave did actually did make me wonder about), but rather an event that made you really think what would I doWould I surviveWould I be willing and able to do what it took to survive?  I think my answer to all would be HELL YES! But, don’t we all?   Overall, a very quick read and an intriguing look at one event that threw the world into death, destruction and chaos.  I really enjoyed it.

Manic Monday | Drive-By Reviews ~ Welcome to the Apocalypse

MM-DBR

Manic Monday | Drive-By Reviews is a weekly feature where we’ll share some mini-reviews Alice-style.


Enclave (Razorland Trilogy #1) by Ann Aguirre

WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE

In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.

As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.

Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first she thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.

As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known.


“Curiouser and curiouser!” ~ Alice

Opening Line: “I was born during the second holocaust.” {Girl15}
Closing Line: “When she opened the door to us fully, we went inside.” {Deuce}


“Twinkle, twinkle, little bat! How I wonder what you’re at.” ~ Mad Hatter

I listened to this audiobook and it made it so easy to visualize myself in Deuce’s post-apocalyptic New York. Deuce lives in the Enclave where there are set rules and everyone has a job. They do not question those rules. At least she doesn’t, not until a boy from Topside, Fade, arrives and is partnered up with her. He follows the rules when they go along with his own plans. Death is the penalty for breaking the rules. Deuce is a skilled hunter. What are they hunting? Zombies! They are called Freaks in this world. While they used to be George Romero bumbling idiot types, now they are becoming smarter and more terrifying. Deuce is having a hard time trusting Fade, but when you’re outside of the Enclave – just you and your partner – it’s either fight together or die alone.


Rating:


“What is the use of a book, without pictures or conversations?” ~ Alice

Ann Aguirre was not a new2me author.


“That’s just it. If you don’t think, then you shouldn’t talk.” ~ The Hare

The only thing not to like about this book is its length. It was over too quickly. Ann’s writing pulls you into her stories, whether they be set in space (Sirantha Jax) or down below a devastated city. The audiobook felt like I was watching a movie. The narrator, Emily Bauer, did a fantastic job of bringing Ann’s story to life. If you haven’t seen it yet, you must watch the book trailer; it’s a very good visualization. On her website, Ann has also posted drawings of the main characters, be sure to take a look at her vision of Deuce, Fade, Stalker and Tegan. You can also read the first two chapters in pdf or ePub format and listen to an interview with Ann about Enclave and her reasons for writing about the apocalypse.


“Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves.” ~ The Duchess

This quote sums up the life or death situations they face together.


“I have your back. I didn’t mean only when it’s easy. All the time.” {Fade}


“We’re all mad here.” ~ The Cheshire Cat

This book receives the Cheshire Cat award for Ann’s amazing ability to bring her characters and their worlds to life!




Until Next Week ~ Happy Reading


Wishing Well Wednesday ~ Post-Apocalyptic Mayhem

Wishing Well Wednesday is a weekly feature showcasing the books we have on our wish lists and those we’re looking forward to being published.


The world, as we know it, has ended …

Ames and I both enjoy a good dystopian post-apocalypic novel.
These are two series out now which we both want to get our hands on.


Aftertime (Aftertime #1) by Sophie Littlefield
Release Date: 22 February 2011

Someone once said that all apocalypses are experienced locally. In the case of Cass Dollar, the nightmare occurred with the violent abduction of two-year-old Ruthie, which she vividly remembers. Only later is young Cass assaulted also by the vague, twisting memories of a much wider conflagration that she herself only narrowly survived. A government experiment had turned the entire California landscape into the hunting grounds of zombie Beaters, but Cass can only think of the helpless toddler she is missing.








Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth
Release Date: 3 May 2011

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.


Do you enjoy dystopia novels? Read a favorite lately?
Happy Reading!

Wishing Well Wednesday ~ New Series

Wishing Well Wednesday is a weekly feature showcasing the books we have on our wish lists and those we’re looking forward to being published.


The Start of Something New

Some highly anticipated new series recently released. Have you started them?
These are a couple we’re looking forward to reading.


Flying Blind (The Dragon Diaries #1) by Deborah Cooke
Release Date: 7 June

The next generation of shape-shifting dragons from the popular author of the Dragonfire novels.

Zoë Sorensson is perfectly normal, except she’s been told she’s destined for great things. Zoë’s the one female dragon shapeshifter of her kind. But Zoë is at the bottom of the class when it comes to being Pyr and her powers are AWOL, so she’s sent to a Pyr boot camp.

Zoë quickly realizes that she has to master her powers yesterday, because the Pyr are in danger and boot camp is a trap. The Mages want to eliminate all shifters and the Pyr are next in line-unless Zoë and her friends can work together and save their own kind.




Nightfall (Dark Age Dawning #1) by Ellen Connor
Release Date: 6 June

Their instincts will save them.
Their passion will transform them.

Growing up with an unstable, often absent father who preached about the end of the world, Jenna never thought, in her wildest nightmares, that his predictions would come true. Or that he would have a plan in place to save her–one that includes the strong, stoic man who kidnaps and takes her to a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest.

The mysterious ex-Marine named Mason owes a life-debt to Jenna’s father. Skilled and steadfast, he’s ready for the Change, but Jenna proves tough to convince. Until the power grid collapses and the mutant dogs attack–vicious things that reek of nature gone wrong.

When five strangers appear, desperate to escape the bloodthirsty packs, Jenna defies her protector and rescues them. As technology fails and the old world falls away, Jenna changes too, forever altered by supernatural forces. To fight for their future, she and Mason must learn to trust their instinctive passion–a flame that will see them through the bitter winter, the endless nights, and the violence of a new Dark Age.


Happy Reading!