Book Review: Haven by Stevie Kopas

20809918Title: Haven (The Breadwinner Book #2)

Author: Stevie Kopas

Genre: Post Apocalyptic

Publication Date: July 9, 2015

About the Book

The end of the world is not glamorous. The survivors of The Breadwinner have barely escaped the clutches of the undead and are headed into the unknown, continuing their never ending search for solace in the post-apocalyptic landscape they were suddenly thrust into. The city of Haven, once a paradise for the living, but now crawling with the flesh hungry creatures they try so hard to elude, could be their only chance. Resume your post-apocalyptic survival adventure with Veronica, Samson and Ben as they struggle with hope and loss, and as they battle the futility of existence. Take on a new experience as you find yourself once more at the beginning, thrown into the depths of the end of the world with new survivors. Join Michelle and Lulu, ordinary women faced with extraordinary obstacles on their devastating journey and the pursuit of sanctuary in a world collapsed.

Haven continues the story of The Breadwinner with the addition of new territory, new characters, and new complications. The second book in The Breadwinner Trilogy will leave you stunned and bloodthirsty for the conclusion of the series. Who you once were still does not determine who you will become in the face of catastrophe, especially in Haven.

 

My Review

I received a free copy of the audiobook for an honest review.

 I listened to The Breadwinner, the first book in this series, and was looking forward to listening to the next book, Haven. I wasn’t disappointed.

The same characters are in the beginning of Haven. They had survived the apocalypse in The Breadwinner and are now on a boat not sure where they’re headed until they reach Haven. They meet Gary and he seems to have the perfect set up so they decide to stay.

All of a sudden, Part 2 came along and there were brand new characters and it was the beginning of the apocalypse all over again. I didn’t think I was going to like going back but for this story, it worked well.

I didn’t care for Michelle or Lulu, the main characters in Part 2. Lulu was sweet, but a doormat. I knew Michelle was a bitch from the first time she opened her mouth. Once the apocalypse hit, she proved to have the skills to keep her and Lulu alive but she lacked social skills.

I haven’t decided if I like the ending of Haven or not. I don’t believe in spoilers so I’ll just leave it at that.

I definitely recommend Haven and I’m looking forward to the third book in the trilogy. I have to find out how it ends!!

Buy the Book

Amazon

 

About the Author 

(from Goodreads)

7177940Stevie Kopas was born and raised in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. She is a gamer, a writer and an apocalypse enthusiast. Stevie will never turn down a good cup of coffee and might even be a bit of a caffeine addict.

Stevie is the author of The Breadwinner Trilogy. Books 1 and 2, The Breadwinner and Haven were originally self-published in 2013 and 2014. The Breadwinner Trilogy was picked up by Permuted Press in May of 2014 and the second editions of both the first books were released in March and April of 2015. The third and final installment in The Breadwinner Trilogy, All Good Things, debuted in May of 2015.

Kopas also participates in the At Hell’s Gates horror anthologies and all profits are donated to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Her short stories, Nefarious and Patient 63 can be found in the first two volumes of At Hell’s Gates.

She currently resides in Panama City Beach, Florida and tries to spend as much time as she can in the sun.

Stevie is also the Managing Editor of the website Horror Metal Sounds and a writer for the site. She is an avid reader of horror and post-apocalyptic fiction (especially zom-poc) and reviews for The Bookie Monster. Offline, Stevie is a telecommunications professional.

Stevie’s official website can be found by visiting http://someonereadthis.com and you can connect with Stevie on Facebook at http://facebook.com/thebreadwinnertri…

Follow Stevie on Twitter, her username is @ApacoTaco.

Guest Post: How Not to Look Crazy When Researching a Non-Fiction Zombie Book

 

By Jessica Robinson/Pembroke Sinclair

 

Zombies are awesome.  Well, not in the destroy the world and eat humans kind of way, but as metaphors.  They can represent so many different fears we have as a society.  Social, gender, religious, authority, race—you name it, they can be it.  The one that I found fascinating was how they represent our fears of science.

 

I’m obsessed with zombies.  Personally, I don’t think my obsession is that bad, but when I sit down with “normal” people and have a conversation about the undead, it seems like I’ve seen waaaaay too many movies and read a lot of books.  I feel like a freak because I go out of my way to find zombie media.  Then, I remind myself that there are others out there who have probably seen more movies than I have and read more books, so I’m totally regular obsessed and not super-obsessed. 

 

And is it really that weird that I talk about the zombie uprising like it could really happen?  I don’t think so.  I mean, c’mon!  We have to be prepared, don’t we?

 

Part of being prepared is knowing what I’m going to be up against.  When I started researching Undead Obsessed: Finding Meaning in Zombies, I wanted to look at what it is about science that is so scary.  There were several questions I needed answered, including how disease is transmitted, so I had to talk with people who had more knowledge than I did.  I had the opportunity to speak with scientists and technicians at water and waste water treatment plants to get my answers.

 

It was an awesome experience.  These individuals were incredibly intelligent, insightful, and helpful.  They were more than happy to answer my questions and show me how things worked.  They knew I was researching for a zombie book, but to keep it “normal,” I had to keep myself in check.  Here are some of the things I did to keep from appearing “crazy.”

 

When I was first introduced to the professional, I didn’t begin the conversation with “ZOMBIES!  They’re going to take over the world, and only you can help me save it!”  I assume if I had, they would have looked at me slightly askance and the conversation would have gotten awkward.  I mean, that’s a lot of pressure to put on someone, especially when you first meet them.  That’s reserved for a third or fourth conversation opener.

 

Despite the popularity of the zombie genre and the multitude of books, movies, and TV series, not everyone watches these.  Not everyone knows they exist.  When I asked the interviewee if they’d seen whatever book/movie/TV show I was talking about and they said they hadn’t, I didn’t look at them with wide eyes and say, “Have you been living under a rock?”  I mean, it was obvious they had been.  How could they have not heard about whatever book/movie/TV show I was talking about?  But there was no sense being rude.

 

I didn’t ask them if they’ve been working on bringing the dead back to life.  If they were, they wouldn’t answer the question truthfully anyway.  If they weren’t, I probably would have gotten a sideways glance and they may have asked me to leave their office.  And if that had happened, I would have been suspicious.  Their defensiveness probably meant they were experimenting with the dead.

 

I was tempted to ask if they’ve stocked up on supplies and were prepared for when the zombies rose, but I refrained from this also.  If nothing else, they can come to my house and my family and I will keep them safe.  I figured it was the least I could for them having to put up with me.

 

I didn’t keep it a secret what I was working on.  I was upfront and honest that my research was for a zombie book.  I won’t lie, some of them thought I was a little strange—I could tell by the way they laughed at some of my statements about zombies or looked at me with their head cocked to the side and eyes narrowed, as if studying me silently—but they answered all my questions in a professional manner.

 

It was fine for them to think I was strange, but I didn’t want to give off the crazy vibe, which is why I kept it professional and courteous.  Should you find yourself needing to research zombies and talk to people, I suggest you do the same.  In the end, I got the information I needed and feel I am now better prepared for when the dead rise from the grave.

 

3522214Jessica Robinson is an editor by day and a zombie-killer by night (at least in her books). Since the first time she watched Night of the Living Dead, she has been obsessed with zombies and often thinks of ways to survive the uprising. In addition to her nonfiction book, under the pen name Pembroke Sinclair, she has written YA novels about zombies and the tough teens who survive the apocalyptic world. She has also written nonfiction stories for Serial Killer Magazine and published a book about slasher films called Life Lessons from Slasher Films. You can learn more about Jessica by visiting her at http://pembrokesinclair.blogspot.com/

Goodreads

Book Review: Time of Death: Asylum by Shana Festa

22711078Title: Time of Death: Asylum

Author: Shana Festa

Genre: Horror: zombies

Publication Date: December 9, 2014

Summary

Surviving the journey is just the beginning.

The last two months have brought nothing but death and destruction for Emma Rossi. She survived the initial zombie outbreak with her husband, Jake, and their dog, Daphne, but the cost was steep: Sanibel has fallen.

In a world where the only constant is change, the group is pushed to their limits before reaching the gates of Asylum, a coastal stronghold in Sarasota, Florida.

Once again, Emma must navigate an apocalyptic wasteland filled with relentless hordes of the undead and other menacing horrors that threaten her survival.

Only thing is certain. No one is safe from what lurks on either side of Asylum’s gates. Asylum may offer more than just safety.

Sanity will be tested; and many won’t live to tell the tale.

My Review

I received a free audiobook for an honest review.

Asylum is the second book in the Time of Death series. I liked the first book, Induction, so I was excited to listen to book #2.

I find it interesting that Shana Festa can take a post apocalyptic world full of zombies and find a way to make it humorous at times. It helps soften the horror and so much violence and death.

This book is full of suspense and, once Emma and her family reach Asylum, there are some mysterious things going on. Emma feels like something is wrong with the place but isn’t quite sure what it is. Just when she gets a clue, the book ends!

The characters and their relationships are interesting and evolving (or devolving). I felt bad for Emma because her marriage is failing. I’m hoping that whatever is going on with her husband, Jake, will be explained, hopefully resolved, in the next book.

I definitely recommend Asylum if you like post apocalyptic zombie stories. I do think it would be best to read the book #1 first, though..

Book Review: The Breadwinner by Stevie Kopas

25097053Title: The Breadwinner

Author: Stevie Kopas

Genre: Post Apocalyptic

Publication Date: March 17, 2015

About the Book

The end of the world is not glamorous. In a matter of days the human race was reduced to nothing more than vicious, flesh hungry creatures. This three part story takes you into the world of the survivors, coming from different generations and different sides of the tracks, they all share one thing in common: who you once were can no longer determine who you will be in the face of catastrophe.

Samson, a once wealthy and powerful criminal defense attorney struggles to keep his family safe and keep his sanity intact when the world comes apart at the seams. Veronica, the high school track star races to get her brother out of the city and into the safety of Franklin Woods. Along the way we come across the struggles of finding solace, finding out who you really are, and making decisions in a post apocalyptic world. The Breadwinner is a three part story and the first book in a planned series that will leave you craving more.

 

My Review

I received a free copy of the audiobook for an honest review.

I’ve always said that I’m not a fan of zombies but I think I’m going to have to change that to I’m not a fan of zombie movies and TV shows, because I have liked all of the zombie books I’ve read or listened to recently. The Breadwinner is a good example.

The story starts as a virus is spreading and there are quickly few people left unharmed. There are definitely more undead than dead which causes many tense situations as the survivors try to make their way to the bay to get away from the undead as well as the carnage.

There are several characters but I was able to keep them all straight, which isn’t always easy for me. Stevie Kopas did a good job at describing and naming them. Most of the characters I either really liked or really disliked with no middle ground. The exception to that was Samson, the breadwinner, whom I had mixed feelings about. He is a complicated character and is strong in some ways but excruciatingly weak in other ways.

The narrator did a good job. His voice was clear and I was able to distinguish the different characters by his voice.

I definitely recommend The Breadwinner and I can’t wait for the next book in the trilogy!

 

Buy the Book

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 

About the Author (from Goodreads)

7177940Stevie Kopas was born and raised in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. She is a gamer, a writer and an apocalypse enthusiast. Stevie will never turn down a good cup of coffee and might even be a bit of a caffeine addict.

Stevie is the author of The Breadwinner Trilogy. Books 1 and 2, The Breadwinner and Haven were originally self-published in 2013 and 2014. The Breadwinner Trilogy was picked up by Permuted Press in May of 2014 and the second editions of both the first books were released in March and April of 2015. The third and final installment in The Breadwinner Trilogy, All Good Things, debuted in May of 2015.

Kopas also participates in the At Hell’s Gates horror anthologies and all profits are donated to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Her short stories, Nefarious and Patient 63 can be found in the first two volumes of At Hell’s Gates.

She currently resides in Panama City Beach, Florida and tries to spend as much time as she can in the sun.

Stevie is also the Managing Editor of the website Horror Metal Sounds and a writer for the site. She is an avid reader of horror and post-apocalyptic fiction (especially zom-poc) and reviews for The Bookie Monster. Offline, Stevie is a telecommunications professional.

Stevie’s official website can be found by visiting http://someonereadthis.com and you can connect with Stevie on Facebook at http://facebook.com/thebreadwinnertri…

Follow Stevie on Twitter, her username is @ApacoTaco.

Book Review: Induction by Shana Festa

timeofdeath_eBook_500Title: Induction (Time of Death #1)

Author: Shana Festa

Genre: horror

Publication Date: May 2014

Book Description (from Goodreads):

When no one or nowhere is safe, where do you go to escape the monsters?

In a few short days, 37 year old Emma Rossi’s hard work will finally pay off. She will don her cap and gown and graduate with a degree in nursing, but not before she loses her first patient and is confronted with a new reality. In Cape Coral, Florida, a storm approaches. The dead are coming back to life.

And they’re hungry.

Infection ravages the Eastern Seaboard with alarming speed while attempts to contain the spread of infection fail. Within days, a small pocket of panicked survivors are all that remain of civilization. Fighting to survive the zombie apocalypse alongside her husband Jake and their dog Daphne, Emma comes face-to-face with her worst nightmare.

Relying on snarky wit and sheer determination, she is forced to commit atrocious acts to protect her family and avoid joining the ranks of the undead.

Time of Death is author Shana Festa’s full-length novel debut.

Review:

I received a free audiobook of this novel for an honest review.

It’s hard to believe that this is Shana Festa’s first full-length novel. I keep saying that I don’t like zombies but I keep getting books with zombies that I really like. Such is the case with Induction.

Shana Festa was able to introduce Emma in such a way that the story wasn’t slow at the beginning as stories often are. I thought including some humor at the beginning was a great idea since the zombies hadn’t shown up yet and  it’d be difficult to make zombies funny. I do, however, want to note that, while the whole Code Brown angle was really funny, I worked in Orthopedics for over 3 years and we only had one Code Brown during that time. Believe me, one was enough!

Induction is full of suspense and had me on the edge of my seat often (probably not good when I’m driving). It was also explicitly gory so I would not recommend it for younger readers. The characters were well developed. In fact, I became attached to several of them and found myself crying a couple times.

If you like post apocalyptic zombie stories, you’ll definitely like this book. Even if you don’t care for the whole zombie thing, you may still like it like I did. I look forward to reading the second book in the series.

Book Review: Zombie Attack! Army of the Dead by Devan Sagliani

22368381Title: Zombie Attack! Army of the Dead

Author: Devan Sagliani

Genre: Young Adult Horror, Dystopian

Publication Date: May 2014

Description (from Goodreads):

Xander MacNamara’s adventure continues when he is placed in charge of a civilian colony outside Barstow. He and his young wife, Felicity Jane, are forced to deal with the daily grind of reconstruction, the constant menace of zombies, and an equally hungry cannibal tribe known as the Alphas.

Things heat up fast when Sonya, a mysterious stranger sent by a secretive benefactor, frees him from enemy captors. Once again, Xander and Felicity find themselves fleeing for their lives from a never-ending series of new threats as well as old ones. A hidden enemy within the military is hell bent on creating a secret weapon: genetically engineered super zombies! Friends and soldiers are pitted against each other, as one side races to spread the cure while the other battles to gain ultimate control over the fate of mankind.

‘Zombie Attack! Army of the Dead’ is filled with pulse-pounding undead action from the very first chapter until the bitter sweet end. Child celebrities, reality television stars, nightmarish zombie clowns, bikers, ninjas, warlords, and more — this book has it all! The story takes off like a bullet and doesn’t slow down until the last sentence. You won’t be able to put it down!

 

Review:

I received a free audio copy of this book for an honest review.

Zombies aren’t my favorite story line but I have found that if the characters are good and there are other interesting story lines in a book, that I can put up with the zombies. That was the case in Zombie Attack! Army of the Dead.

I didn’t read the first Zombie Attack book, Rise of the Horde, but #2 stands on its own. I hope to find the time to read book #1 in the near future.

All of the characters are unique, some are endearing. Xander is amazing when you think about how much he’s accomplished since “Z Day.” He’s now a warrior who has been put in charge of a civilian community. It’s obvious, though, that he’s young. He’s hot tempered and, even though he’s married, he’s insecure in his relationship. Xander’s wife, Felicity Jane, obviously loves him very much and they’re always able to work things out. I liked Sonya from the moment she saved Xander’s life. She’s strong, independent, a great warrior, and yet, obviously, a woman. The people they meet along the way are well described and realistic if you think about what they’ve been through and how people would deal with a world full of zombies.

Zombie Attack! Army of the Dead is well written and action packed. There were times, though, that I wished Xander would get over the “what ifs” and just get on with what he needed to do.

I recommend Zombie Attack! Army of the Dead for anyone who likes action packed horror novels. I enjoyed it despite the zombies.

 

About the Author:

Devan Sagliani was born and raised in Southern California and graduated from UCLA. He is the author of the Zombie Attack! series, The Rising Dead, A Thirst For Fire, and the UNDEAD L.A. series. Devan also wrote the original screenplay for the movie HVZ: Humans Versus Zombies. He writes a bimonthly horror column for Escapist Magazine called Dark Dreams.
Devan’s fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Million Writers Award. In 2012 his debut novel Zombie Attack! Rise of the Horde won Best Zombie/Horror E-book on Goodreads. He is also an active member of the Horror Writer’s Association.
He currently lives in Venice Beach, California with his wife. 
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Links

Review: Dark Luminance by E.M. McDowell

2014-03-17_10-21-572014-03-17_10-20-11

Title: Dark Luminance

Author: E.M. McDowell

Genre: Science Fiction

Description:

Quantum energy. Unlimited power. Humanity’s salvation. 

The Frameway Project promises all of this and more, and Mackland Luther is guiding the project to its final culmination. On the eve of what promises to be their biggest breakthrough, Mackland and his friends, Billy and Sean, prepare the test that will provide the almost limitless power needed to take the human race into the future. 

Initial success and excitement quickly turn to horror as the Frame goes out of control, ripping Mackland and his friends from their world and depositing them in a world that is completely different yet strangely familiar. Along with Lily, a hard-charging security guard that was caught by the Frame along with them; and Grizzly, a rough yet gentle survivalist they meet in this new world, Mack and his friends must figure out some way to understand and undo whatever brought them here if they ever want to return to their own world. 

But first they must survive an increasingly dangerous world full of undead drug addicts, giant mutants, and a relentless telepathic madman who will do anything to get his hands on the Frame for his own purposes.

Review:

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

Dark Luminance is science fiction with a lot of action. It did get slow near the beginning because it got pretty technical when explaining the Frame but other than that it was nonstop action.

E.M. McDowell’s writing is easy to follow and the story flowed well. I liked his descriptions because they gave me a good picture without being too wordy. This book is graphic, though, so I wouldn’t recommend it for younger readers.

The characters were interesting and I felt like I got to know Lily and Mack pretty well. Hopefully there will be more about their friends in the next book…I’m guessing there will be another book based on the ending. As for the zombies, I’ve never understood their appeal but they were described well (yuck!).

If you like science fiction, zombies, and a lot of action then you’ll like Dark Luminance.

Amazon * Barnes and Noble

About the Author:

Born and raised in Northwest Indiana, E.M. McDowell first started writing in high school, consisting primarily of sappy poems aimed at impressing girls. A four year stint in the Marine Corps pushed literary endeavors to the background, where they remained for the next twenty-odd years, until they were uncovered by a mild mid-life crisis. 

In the intervening years, he has worked in various technology jobs, and is currently the technology manager for a small county government. 

Married for twenty-two years to his best friend, and blessed with two wonderful daughters, he works to balance his writing while living in a house full of women.