Tag Archives: dystopian

Review of Demon Ember (Resurrection Chronicles #1), by M.J. Haag & Becca Vincenza

I won a signed copy of Demon Ember, by M.J. Hagg and Becca Vincenza, through Goodreads.

Description:
Mya’s world is falling apart. After a series of earthquakes, deadly animals with glowing red eyes begin attacking people and start the spread of a zombie-like plague. Safety is just a memory as she tries to make her way home. When a different creature attacks the people helping her reach Oklahoma City, Mya is sure she’ll never see the light of another day. Despite his eerie green eyes and very sharp teeth, the grey-skinned creature is more intelligent and humanlike than he first appears. He’s determined to keep Mya by his side and protect her from the new world’s dangers. When his path starts taking her further away from home, she must choose between safety and her family.

Review with a slight spoiler:
Basically entertaining, but not much more. So, Mya decides to cross the zombie and hellhound infested state to get home to her family (without verifying they’ll be there). Along the way she runs into Drav, a large, human-like creature who decides he’s going to protect the female at all costs (without asking if she’s interested in this). That’s the plot…all of it. The book is basically just them running from one place to another and Drove defeating anything that threatens Mya. There really isn’t a lot to it in terms of development or explanations. You are left with a lot of questions in the end (which is a cliffhanger).

Drav can conveniently learn a language by hearing a word once, so the whole communication thing is easily dismissed. And he’s sweet. I liked Drav. Once he could understand her instructions, he was scrupulously attentive to Mya’s demands not to touch her (consent, basically). I liked that. Mya wasn’t particularly adept at survival, but not too stupid to live either. So, I was fine with Mya.

My issue arrises from the fact that he decides to protect her because he’s never seen a female before. There’s nothing inherently special about Mya herself that makes him take interest in her. He’s pretty much just protecting the pussy or womb. He of course falls in love and I imagine Mya will in future books, but when you get right down to it, this isn’t about Mya as a person.

All in all, I enjoyed the book. There were some funny bits. Like the meta scene where the large, fanged, grey-skinned man with pointed ears getting his hands on a Ruby Dixon novel. I’d be more than willing to read the rest of the series.

Review of For the Clan, by Archer Kay Leah

For the ClanI received an e-copy of For the Clan, by Archer Kay Leah, from Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
Canada, 2165 AD. The Water Wars and a decimated economy have taken their toll. Anyone who doesn’t live in a military-patrolled metropolis lives in a clan. But being in a clan doesn’t mean safety.

And for a Ven like Roan Lee, it doesn’t matter where he lives. Safety is a luxury. So is freedom.

Roan is desperate to escape the governtary’s exploitation and torture. He is nothing to them but 54σK1, an artifact born from a genetic mishap. When the chance to escape arises, he makes a run for it—and encounters the lover from his past, twisting his future into a second chance he never expected.

As leaders of Clan Teach, Jace Ama and his wife, Cayra Diega, have enough difficulty keeping their people safe. When Roan is thrown to their feet as a prisoner, their marriage becomes an additional challenge. Jace still loves Roan, but where does that leave Cayra?

Review:
I enjoyed this a lot, but I think it took the easy path at almost every turn. I liked the dystopian future that is believably and recognizably the result of current world politics. But we learn very little about it. The metropolises and goventary remain faceless throughout the book. I liked the ven’s magical abilities, but we’re just basically told they exist and little more. I have no understanding of limitations or how any of it works. I liked the triad that formed between the main characters, but it was established far too easily. There was no palpable angst, nervousness, or jealousy at any point from anyone and everyone else just accepted it. I like the final stand the characters made, but it was resolved by a convenient and unexpected interloper. I liked the HEA, but it’s hard to believe that one little fight (and it was small by goventary standards) would really make anyone safe in the long run. (In fact, I’d suspect the opposite.) None the less, it was presented as having won the war, not just the battle.

All in all, it was an interesting story, with interesting characters and it flowed well. It just didn’t flow very deeply.

Review of Tin (Tin #1), by Parker Zane

TinI downloaded a copy of Tin, by Parker Zane, while it was free on Amazon.

Description from Goodreads:
Tin, Dead End District was a forgotten freckle of a town in the Southwestern desert of Old America. Erected after the ’63 meteor showers that decimated the world as we knew it, Tin had only known sandstorms, drought, sweltering heat, lack of technology and fear. And until 2095, Sakura Blue had only known Tin. 

With her parents murdered, and her giraffe ranch faltering, Sakura lived by Tin’s motto. Keep your head down, tail tucked and taxes paid. Until the life of her precious sister, Fuyuko is on the line. Now Sakura has a new motto. Who can I trust, and who will end up dead? 

Review:
I love the cover. The writing here was fine and the dystopian future seemed interesting. I even liked some aspects of the characters. Sakura had a pleasantly Machiavellian attitude toward using people that I appreciated. Finn was honorable and I loved his little tick. The wolf was the villain with a wounded heart. All things I like in a book.

Unfortunately, the book had a lot more that I don’t. First and foremost, I finished it wondering what the point had been. Yes, the sister was found, but a whole lot of something was set up and never followed through with. Most importantly, whatever it is about Sakura that makes the narrator want to tell her story 40 or so years later. Nothing of historical note happens here.

Second, the blurb makes Sakura sound like she’s going to be a bad ass. Instead she flails about helplessly basically deciding which man to attach herself to for the best results.

Third, while there was a pleasant cultural mix here it started to feel like variety was added just for varieties sake. People raise giraffe and zebra, instead of horses and cattle. Women wear saris, kimonos and obis instead of skirts, dresses or belts (not to mention pants). The food is all Indian and the villain Kenyan. Despite being set in a dystopian America there is almost nothing distinctly American left and it felt cluttered and artificial.

Lastly, for a rather short book that never manages to find its way to the point, it spends an awful lot of time on the cliché rich man beautifies a woman shtick. What’s worse, the cross dressing fashion designer queen with an attitude couldn’t have been more stereotypical if Zane had tried for it.

I was disappointed in this. Zane has some apparent talent, but the book left me wanting in a lot of ways.