The world is succumbing to a zombie infestation, and society is crumbling. It’s every man for himself in Christopher Cole’s post-apocalyptic novel. Through chance meetings, a ragtag team of children and teenagers stick together to fight their way to the only known safe place in the world, Fort Gold Rush. But Sonny and his friends soon have to pick up their arms again as they must undertake training that will equip them with the skills needed to become protectors of their new haven. Out in the wild again, they soon discover that flesh-eating zombies aren’t the only enemies. They must also contend with human predators. In these dark days, it’s a battle on three fronts for these noble kids. They fight zombies, bandits, and the darkness that threatens to consume their hearts.
Author Christopher Cole’s Sanctuary is a unique combination of a dystopian city, in a post-apocalyptic world. It takes readers on a journey through man’s struggles to hang onto hope in the face of mounting adversity. There is hardly anything that is straightforward in this twisted world. Cole reminds us of this fact by posing the philosophical question – what is good and evil?
One of my favorite things about the book is what Cole does with the characters. I didn’t get to know some of the characters’ backstory until I was more than halfway through the book. But by that time, I had already connected with them. Instead of using backstories to evoke a quick connection, Cole invests heavily in the characters’ personalities – flaws and quirks.
The book pushes several emotional buttons. Exploring humanity through a dark lens that doesn’t hold back commentary on the darker problems with society. The dystopian city of Fort Gold Rush provides ample opportunity for readers to see contemporary societal issues magnified to entertaining effect. The author uses detailed imagery to build this gritty world. I must warn you, though, you’ll visualize shimmering sunrise and picturesque landscapes, but you’ll also imagine gory sights like knives thrusting into brains and bullets drilling into flesh. A stimulating combination for the right audience. And if you are a gun enthusiast, the battle scenes are littered with gun mentions you can geek over. Although, having to read through the multiple types of guns everyone carried was a little tiring.
Sanctuary continues the thrilling post-apocalyptic action that fans expect in Christopher Cole’s Dark Days series. With such an intriguing cast of characters, it is fascinating to see where they’ll end up, how they’ll get there, and what price is paid along the way.
Pages: 292 | ASIN: B08L84KY32
Tags: action, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Christopher Cole, Dark Days Sanctuary, dystopia, dystopian, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, post-apocalyptic, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, writer, writing, zombie, zombie apocalypse
Dark Days- Sanctuary, by Christopher Cole is the second book in his thrilling post-apocalypse book series. The book is set in a dystopian land and follows the story of a few survivors trying to sustain themselves in an undead infested world, but the story is more than survival and bloodshed. Its focus is on the relationship between the characters in the aftermath of death and its implications on the survivors. A group of people, including Sonny and his friends, are trying to find a safe sanctuary, all the while fighting the zombies. They find a safe haven in Fort Gold Rush. The city was built to protect residents from the zombies and predators secured behind walls. The sanctuary has A Good Place vibe to it, but will this blissful state last, or does fate have more adventures for them?
Sonny, our protagonist, is a 12-year-old boy trying to protect his friends and missing his own family while trying to figure out the world around him. The second protagonist is an older adult, Grim, who is on the lookout for someone to pass his knowledge to. The story revolves around the connection between the two. While Sonny is innocent and pure, Grim is cold, callous, but good at heart.
I was able to connect to the character’s point of view and I also loved the message of the story, but I felt that the structure could have been improved with some editing that would remove some of the repeat sentences and keep the story concise.
I still found myself immersed in this emotional story. The characters were intriguing, but I felt that their actions and relationships were black and white, in a post-apocalyptic dystopian world I wanted things to be a bit more grey in areas that would allow the mind to wonder.
This book reminds me of AMC’s The Walking Dead in it’s ability to explore characters in a high stress situation, which is intriguing on its own, but then add in a bit of NBC’s The Good Place and you have a unique zombie apocalypse story the likes of which gives readers plenty to be entertained with.
I would recommend Dark Days- Sanctuary to rabid fans of the zombie apocalypse genre. Readers will find a unique story to get lost in and, with a bit of editing, this could easily be one of the best post-apocalyptic stories I’ve read this year.
Pages: 292 | ASIN: B08L84KY32
Tags: apocalypse, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Christopher Cole, dystopia, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, horror, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, post-apocalyptic, read, reader, reading, Sanctuary (Dark Days), story, suspense, thriller, writer, writing, zombie
Cities are bombed out ruins and wilderness is humanity’s new home. The undead roam the earth, and the new world order is about the struggle to survive. Sonny Daniels begins an emotional and physical journey of personal survival and protecting those he loves.
While survival is a constant struggle, Sonny’s most desperate fight is the struggle preserve some semblance of a compassionate soul. Sonny and his parents are caught in the zombie outbreak in upstate New York. After the passage of the first year, their base is attacked by bandits and their safety has again been compromised. Fearing for their loved ones, Sonny’s parents send him and his orphaned childhood friends, Ashley and Carrie, to Fort Denver Colorado on a military plane.
When Fort Denver is overrun with zombies, the three are alone in a zombie-infested wasteland without the army’s protection, forced to rely upon one another and a handful of equally desperate survivors they encounter along the journey. Sonny is determined to do whatever it takes to protect Ashley and Carrie while finding a safe place to call home, but survival can force you to make dark decisions.
Posted in book trailer
Tags: action, adventure, apocalypse, author, book, book review, bookblogger, Christopher Cole, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, horror, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, outbreak, paranormal, post apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, supernatural, suspense, thriller, writer, writing, zombie
Adam Declerck’s Armageddon and Beyond provides reader with a profound exploration of spirituality, the secular world, and science. The book may read as a religious text at first, but soon one gets to realize that the idea behind this piece of literature is to get readers to think about the ordinary things they see in life, how they affect them, and the role of religion and science. This book will make you believe that religion and science can co-exist. The existence of God as a super being does not mean that the work men and women in science do should be disregarded. God created everyone including those that worship him and those that are unsure of his existence.
Some of the chapters in the book are deeply thought-provoking, especially for readers who are not familiar with topics that touch on end times. When talking about life and what happens after, Adam Declerck makes the reader understand why human beings should prepare themselves and make the most out of life, as it is short. The author makes one ponder about deep things in life and possible events that may destroy the world. Adam’s Declerck writing is nothing short of excellent. The explanation in every topic is reasonable and easily comprehensible. I appreciate the author for trying to create real scenarios despite this being a science fiction book.
Reading about the battle involving God, the devil, and everyone else was interesting. The author puts in perspective how the conflict would happen, why people are compelled to choose sides, and the role of humans in everything that happens. Are heaven and hell real? This is a question both believers and non-believers often ask. It is almost impossible to imagine a place where one will burn in eternal fire especially if one is not a believer. Armageddon and Beyond will help you answer this and other unsettling questions. The discussion about the Anti-Christ was another interesting topic. Reading about the existence of elements that oppose God and his ways sheds light on how humans can complicate simple things like the love and grace of God.
Armageddon and Beyond is a fascinating book. In between the beautiful narration, events created and the debates the author talks about, the reader gains knowledge on an array of topics. Some concepts in the book appear to be supernatural or even gory but the author makes everything clear. The text in the book is eye-opening and the lessons powerful. The book is lengthy at 895 pages. While I appreciated the smooth flow of the book, and how well it was organized, I do wish the text was a bit more condensed or broken up. As it is, it’s like sitting for a feast rather than a meal. Interesting discussions like evolution, the apocalypse, and the changes the earth experiences were the most intriguing for me. Armageddon and Beyond is a gripping science fiction novel that will challenge and entertain you.
Pages: 895 | ASIN: B074CSFYHW
Tags: Adam Declerck, Armageddon and Beyond, author, book, book review, bookblogger, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, philosophy, post-apocalyptic, postapocalyptic, read, reader, reading, religion, science fiction, scifi, story, writer, writing
Master Defiance follows the survivors of a post-apocalyptic earth who must defend themselves against invading aliens. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?
I wanted to suggest that human beings can survive a series of natural and man-made disasters. The setting is a dystopian Earth, but humans are still humans. The hunter-gatherers in the remote regions are toughing it out. But they need a little help from the past. Far-thinking ancestors have left behind Mother, a benevolent AI entity, and a vast store of knowledge. Young bow hunters discover and befriend Mother during a desperate quest for help. Mother helps them with advice, and she can defend herself, much to the surprise of the arrogant Masters.
The Masters were intriguing and well developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind their development?
While I appreciate that faster-than-light travel sets up amazing sci-fi story possibilities, my books try to stay within the realm of the possible. Master Defiance suggests that intelligent beings can explore (and try to conquer) our galaxy at say 4% of light speed, if they are adapted (or genetically modified) to living for eons in a generation spaceship. This means vast expanses of time are required to move between stars, which could frustrate fans of ‘super warp speed’ using ‘ludicrous drive’ (a Spaceballs invention). The Masters are further developed during the series, as they are vindictive and persistent. They are also a tri-variant species, as revealed in Covert Alliance. And they view human beings as inferior, and only good slave material after gene-splicing. So, they are creatures that readers will love to hate!
I liked the contrast between the advanced aliens and the regressed humans. How did you want to represent this dichotomy?
Yes, the humans are technologically regressed, but they have retained their humanity. Yes, the Masters are technologically advanced, but they are inhuman. They view other worlds as theirs to conquer, and other species as theirs to enslave. Fighting the Masters is about saving our species, and about saving our humanity.
What do you try to do first when you write, inform or entertain?
Entertain a thinking person.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: adventure, author, author interview, Blair Wylie, book, book review, bookblogger, dystopia, dystopian, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, Master Defiance, nook, novel, post-apocalyptic, postapocalyptic, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, suspense, thriller, writer, writing
The end of the world has arrived. Long prophesized by every human religion, the end of days crawls upon humanity in a chain of devastating events threatening to destroy the entire world. Armageddon. The last battle between God, Satan and all of their souls.
It began with the quest to unlock the final piece of the evolutionary process. Scientific exploration pushed the boundaries too far, prompting the birth of the being destined to lead us all to ruin. The Anti-Christ has returned upon the Earth: an unstoppable opposing force of death and destruction.
Billions will perish as the Seven Seals of the Apocalypse are broken. Over the course of twenty-seven thousand years the Earth will undergo massive change. Each time the broken survivors reform and rebuild the population, but it is a game that has an expiration date within the realms of energy.
A new world is dawning. One no one is prepared to endure. For to survive through the apocalypse is an exercise of horrors unimagined. Pain and suffering plague the pockets of humanity through unimaginable devastation. All are transformed in ways least expected. The final battle between Heaven and Hell has been a long time in coming. Now that it is here, neither side will back down until there is one ultimate victor.
The board is set. A brief period of peace arrives, but it is little more than a pause before the final dark storm sweeps across the world and undoes the very fabric of existence. Armies of light and darkness gather. Humanity’s remnants struggle to survive, some turning to faith to deliver them while others embrace their evil wickedness. The endgame is at last upon them and the outcome will determine the course of all eternity.
Armageddon and Beyond is a must read thriller that will keep you on edge until the last page is turned. It answers all of life’s big questions.
Posted in book trailer
Tags: Adam Declerck, Armageddon and Beyond, author, book, book review, book trailer, bookblogger, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, post apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, trailer, writer, writing
Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain is a genre-crossing novel with elements of a western, action, and science fiction as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?
-“Blackheart Mountain” is actually a prequel to a novella I wrote last year, titled “Mercy”, which was only supposed to be a one-shot story. “Mercy” was so well received that it got me thinking about writing more for the character of Mahoney. While writing “Mercy”, it started off as simply another run of the mill post-apocalypse story that I began writing out of trying something new, since I don’t really dabble too much in either genres of westerns, science fiction, or post-apocalypseness, but as with everything I write, and I’m sure as it happens with a lot of writers, the story and the subject nature just kind of evolve on its own. About halfway through finishing the first draft of “Blackheart Mountain”, I came up with a story for a third book, to take place after “Mercy”, and just before finishing “Blackheart Mountain”, I came up with an idea for another story for Mahoney. So there will most likely be four books total for Mahoney and the world he lives in.
I understand that you have an educational background in computer engineering, automotive science and criminal justice. Has your familiarity with these subjects helped you write your books?
Actually not at all. There isn’t a shred of my formal educational background that I can say helped with my writing career. I can say that many people I met in college influenced some of the characters I’ve written about, but that’s where it ends. Most of my research for the stories I write is done on my personal time.
What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?
There was a lot of time and research put into Native American history, Manifestation Destiny, and the historical figures having lived during that time period. In regards to the history and the foundation of the book “Blackheart Mountain” itself, I purposely didn’t go terribly in depth with the history of how the world “fell” in my book, because how the world ended is really not what the story is about, and it would just seem like unecessary info to detract from what was going on in the story. I wanted it to remain a mystery, something for the reader to wonder about while they’re reading, as it is literally said in the beginning that the populace largely doesn’t bother itself with the history of how civilization ended so much as it does with maintaining the will and the means to survive, because they can’t find a relation to the two concepts. The going philosophy in this world is that the ability to survive has no reliance on an understanding of how humanity got to where it currently is(and in a way, that kind of mirrors today’s world). With forming the image and the history of the Tuskatawa, a tribe of survivors claiming to be the direct, albeit long and far-off ancestors of the native americans who were massacred long ago and far away, I wanted to make sure their culture was as concrete and concise as possible, from their funeral processions and how they handled their dead to their food recipes, their stance on violence, and exceptions to their own Law. In the end, I took from the behaviorisms and cultures of several different tribes, combining them into one, as at the heart of the Tuskatawa is their combined bloodlines of every tribe to have existed in the past. I picked up a half dozen books on the history of native americans and spent a decent amount of time reading just to familiarize myself with where the Tuskatawa “came from”. The title “Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain” is actually a spin on “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee”. Being that this takes place two decades before “Mercy”, the only real challenge I had was making sure nothing spoken about in “Mercy” contradicted the events that are taking place in this new novel, particularly with the main characters Rancid Mahoney and Til Drange. I’ll have the same task when writing the next book in the series.
While editing writers often have to remove things they want to keep in but just can’t for various reasons. What was the hardest scene for you to cut from this book?
I actually didn’t cut anything, but rather added a few scenes and expansions to dialogue to flesh out the character development of Mahoney a little better. Very rarely will I ever cut out material while editing, unless it’s just that awful, or during the course of writing I decided to change something about a character later on in the story that would have to be supported by something that happened earlier on. Most of the time, the first draft ends up being a pretty bland, almost point for point blueprint, more than an actual cohesive story. I use the editing phase to sort of “fill in the blanks”, and oftentimes it feels as if the first draft I wrote is a movie or a book someone else created that I’m changing to make better in my eyes.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: action, adventure, author, author interview, book, book review, bookblogger, dave matthes, ebook, goodreads, kindle, kobo, Leave My Ashes On Blackheart Mountain, literature, nook, novel, post apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, western, writer, writing
Nina Munteanu’s A Diary in the Age of Water follows the tale of Kyo, a blue four-legged creature in a post-climate-change world. Kyo is constantly plagued by dreams that appear to be experiences from a previous life. Constantly trying to find out the meaning of these dreams and where she fits in in this world and the one that existed before, Kyo spends a lot of the time at the library.
She consequently stumbles upon an ancient diary that holds illuminating revelations and heart-filled messages. As she goes through it and is immersed in its author’s experiences, we come to understand the circumstances that led to the climate change led apocalypse.
With a lot of scientific terms, explanations, and even drawings, the plot is quite believable, and can even be a little scary. The fact that Nina goes as far as mentioning our current world governments and how they contribute to this now desolate world is eerie, to say the least.
As a reader, part of me even begins to think that this could truly be our earth’s fate, giving me serious jitters. Now I may just be gullible but this book is quite convincing. Clearly, the author did a lot of scientific research before writing it. She dives deep into the science and various spiritual beliefs that support the inevitability of an apocalypse. As far as science fiction goes, this one is quite believable.
Moreover, the character development is quite strong, leaving us with a deep understanding of characters like Lynna and Hilde. The use of storytelling through different timelines is also quite an efficient way of weaving all the details of the story together.
Ultimately, this story is extremely detailed and well thought out. However, the many scientific paragraphs, even though drenched in poetry, can make it difficult to read, especially for those without a proclivity for science.
While bringing attention to the current politicization of climate change, the story maintains important underlying themes like family, love, forgiveness, and the complexity of the human soul. The author has gone to great lengths to show that there are different layers to each character, none fully evil nor fully good. A Diary in the Age of Water is an exceptional and thought-provoking dystopian fiction.
Pages: 301 | ASIN: B08D6YDVVK
Tags: A Diary in the Age of Water, author, book, book review, bookblogger, dystopia, dystopian, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, Nina Munteanu, nook, novel, post apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, writer, writing