Storm Chaser by Lindsey Duga #bookreview #YA #urbanfantasy

Chasing dangerous storms is in Marley Pascal’s blood. For her, it’s an obsession—a need to confront the powerful, destructive forces that killed her parents.

But the storm she and her brother track down seems to violate the very laws of nature, with lightning that strikes as if from another world. In its crater, Marley finds a small purple crystal with a terrifying energy that hits her like a bolt to the chest when she picks it up.

Suddenly, it’s like the electricity pulses through her blood, a charge she can’t control. Which is exactly when he comes looking for her—the ridiculously hot boy whose eyes spark and crackle with the same force that now resides in her body. And he smells like summer rain…

But what’s inside Marley isn’t meant for her—or for any human. It belongs to him. To his kind.

As long as this force stays in her body, she’s a living target. A weapon meant to protect…or destroy.

Because now she is the storm.

I’ve always been fascinated by storm chasers and their reasons, some very personal, for choosing that line of work. It’s off the charts dangerous, and I’m surprised I haven’t come across another book before this one featuring that profession.

The author’s note at the end of the story explains how the weather in her area of the country (south Louisiana) influenced this story. Take the power of storms, throw in some aliens, storm chasers, superpowers, and a headstrong female protagonist, and you’ve got a gripping plot.

Marley aspires to become a meteorologist like her brother, Patrick. She’s ecstatic when she’s allowed to spend a day with him and his team tracking a storm. After a powerful lightning strike leaves a large crater, Marley picks up a purple crystal left behind – in hindsight, probably not her smartest decision. Bolts of energy course through her body – energy that belongs to someone else.

Brae, along with his clan and several others, are from another planet. Most of them try to live quietly among the humans after their planet is destroyed, but Cassen wants to rid the world of humans and make Earth their own. Brae is determined that won’t happen, and he’s the only obstacle between Cassen and his goal. His problem? The Superman-like power once housed in a oculus within Brae, the power he uses to fight off Cassen, now resides within Marley.

I loved the sibling relationship between Patrick and Marley. They only have each other after their parents were killed by a tornado several years earlier. Patrick is now her guardian and incredibly protective of her. As the leader of his clan, Brae’s utmost priority is keeping them safe. But when he develops feelings for Marley, those priorities become muddled. The gradual reveal of the details of his home planet, Enos, demonstrates even more of the precarious position Brae is in.

Told with dual POVs between Marley and Brae, Storm Chaser moves at a brisk pace and features thrilling action scenes. I have to mention I got a kick out of all the pop culture references – especially when Marley mentions that she and her brother text in Elvish. With that cliffhanger, I’m anxious for the next book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Light Years From Home by Mike Chen #BlogTour #bookreview #scifi #family

Every family has issues. Most can’t blame them on extraterrestrials.

Evie Shao and her sister, Kass, aren’t on speaking terms. Fifteen years ago on a family camping trip, their father and brother vanished. Their dad turned up days later, dehydrated and confused—and convinced he’d been abducted by aliens. Their brother, Jakob, remained missing. The women dealt with it very differently. Kass, suspecting her college-dropout twin simply ran off, became the rock of the family. Evie traded academics to pursue alien conspiracy theories, always looking for Jakob.

When Evie’s UFO network uncovers a new event, she goes to investigate. And discovers Jakob is back. He’s different—older, stranger, and talking of an intergalactic war—but the tensions between the siblings haven’t changed at all. If the family is going to come together to help Jakob, then Kass and Evie are going to have to fix their issues, and fast. Because the FBI is after Jakob, and if their brother is telling the truth, possibly an entire space armada, too.

The perfect combination of action, imagination and heart, Light Years From Home is a touching drama about a challenge as difficult as saving the galaxy: making peace with your family…and yourself.

My Review

I’ve read a couple other books by this author, and he’s never disappointed. When I was offered a chance to participate in the blog tour for his new release, I jumped at the opportunity.

What a hook this book has. If I only read the first two sentences in the description, I’d snatch it up. As a sci-fi fan, I was all in with the extraterrestial angle, but if you’re looking for hoards of aliens, spaceships, and intergalactic war, that’s not what this story is about. Yes, it’s in the background, but this is a book about a family dealing with loss, grief, guilt, and understanding. After Jakob disappears – presumably abducted by aliens – each family member deals with his absence in different ways. Fifteen years later his sisters, Evie and Kass, live on opposite sides of the country and are barely on speaking terms. Kass shoulders heavy family responsibilities, and Evie has dropped out of school to pursue alien conspiracy theories.

Chen has an amazing talent for creating characters that leap off the page. With three POVs (Kass, Evie, and Jakob), each has a distinct voice. Once this broken family is reunited, their interactions are painful, loud, maddening, humorous, and entirely realistic. Sure, they still love each other, but they can also barely stand to be in the same room. Evie believes everything about Jakob’s story of space wars and where he’s been for the past fifteen years, but Kass rationalizes it to the point that Evie begins to doubt him. Is he telling the truth? Is he delusional? With a party boy reputation in his teen years, Jakob believes he’s finally found where he belongs and can make a difference.

With themes of forgiveness, finding your place, love, and acceptance, I read this book in a day. Beautifully written and full of heart, it’s one I’d highly recommend.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mike Chen is the author of the award-nominated Here And Now And Then and featured in Star Wars: From A Certain Point Of View—The Empire Strikes Back. He has covered geek culture for sites such as Tor.com, The Mary Sue, and StarTrek.com and used to cover the NHL for Fox Sport and other outlets. A member of SFWA, Mike lives in the Bay Area with his wife, daughter, and rescue animals.

SOCIAL LINKS:

Author website: https://www.mikechenbooks.com/ 

Twitter: @mikechenwriter

Instagram: @mikechenwriter

BUY LINKS:

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/books/light-years-from-home/9780778311737 

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/light-years-from-home-mike-chen/1139205091 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Light-Years-Home-Mike-Chen/dp/0778311732

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/light-years-from-home

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/light-years-from-home/id1562318173 

Google Books: https://books.google.com/books/about/Light_Years_from_Home.html?id=t00oEAAAQBAJ

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Light-Years-from-Home-Hardcover-9780778311737/732092225 

WWW Wednesday: What Am I Reading? #amreading

WWW Wednesday is a meme from Sam at Taking On A World Of Words

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m literally starting Bright Ruined Things today, so I really can’t comment on it. It’s been on my NetGalley shelf for months, but I’m excited to finally get to it. The cover gives me a Great Gatsby feel.

The only life Mae has ever known is on the island, living on the charity of the wealthy Prosper family who control the magic on the island and the spirits who inhabit it. Mae longs for magic of her own and to have a place among the Prosper family, where her best friend, Coco, will see her as an equal, and her crush, Miles, will finally see her. Now that she’s eighteen, Mae knows her time with the Prospers may soon come to an end.

But tonight is First Night, when the Prospers and their high-society friends return to the island to celebrate the night Lord Prosper first harnessed the island’s magic and started producing aether – a magical fuel source that has revolutionized the world. With everyone returning to the island, Mae finally has the chance to go after what she’s always wanted.

When the spirits start inexplicably dying, Mae starts to realize that things aren’t what they seem. And Ivo, the reclusive, mysterious heir to the Prosper magic, may hold all the answers – including a secret about Mae’s past that she doesn’t remember. As Mae and her friends begin to unravel the mysteries of the island, and the Prospers’ magic, Mae starts to question the truth of what her world was built on.

Forbidden magic, a family secret, and a night to reveal it all…

I just finished These Deadly Games last night. If you’re looking for a twisty thriller with a potentially unreliable narrator, this one’s for you. Lots of red herrrings that will keep you guessing.

Let’s play a game.

You have 24 hours to win. If you break my rules, she dies. If you call the police, she dies. If you tell your parents or anyone else, she dies.

Are you ready?


When Crystal Donavan gets a message on a mysterious app with a video of her little sister gagged and bound, she agrees to play the kidnapper’s game. At first, they make her complete bizarre tasks: steal a test and stuff it in a locker, bake brownies, make a prank call.

But then Crystal realizes each task is meant to hurt—and kill—her friends, one by one. But if she refuses to play, the kidnapper will kill her sister. Is someone trying to take her team out of the running for a gaming tournament? Or have they uncovered a secret from their past, and wants them to pay for what they did…

As Crystal makes the impossible choices between her friends and her sister, she must uncover the truth and find a way to outplay the kidnapper… before it’s too late.

Author of All Your Twisted Secrets, Diana Urban’s explosive sophomore novel, These Deadly Games, will keep you riveted until the final twist is revealed. 

When I was offered the Light Years From Home NetGalley widget for a blog tour, I jumped at the chance. I’ve read two other books by Mike Chen, and he’s never disappointed. And what a hook with that first paragraph!

Every family has issues. Most can’t blame them on extraterrestrials.

Evie Shao and her sister, Kass, aren’t on speaking terms. Fifteen years ago on a family camping trip, their father and brother vanished. Their dad turned up days later, dehydrated and confused—and convinced he’d been abducted by aliens. Their brother, Jakob, remained missing. The women dealt with it very differently. Kass, suspecting her college-dropout twin simply ran off, became the rock of the family. Evie traded academics to pursue alien conspiracy theories, always looking for Jakob.

When Evie’s UFO network uncovers a new event, she goes to investigate. And discovers Jakob is back. He’s different—older, stranger, and talking of an intergalactic war—but the tensions between the siblings haven’t changed at all. If the family is going to come together to help Jakob, then Kass and Evie are going to have to fix their issues, and fast. Because the FBI is after Jakob, and if their brother is telling the truth, possibly an entire space armada, too.

The perfect combination of action, imagination and heart, Light Years From Home is a touching drama about a challenge as difficult as saving the galaxy: making peace with your family…and yourself. 

The Stones (Astral Conspiracy #2) by D.L. Cross #bookreview #scifi #aliens #TuesdayBookBlog

He’s running from Astrals. Running with Black Ops. And running toward the end of the world.

Landon Thorne belongs to an elite group: he’s one of the few people who have ever accessed the Akashic Record. He discovers a weapon that could defend the Earth.

The Astrals want to stop him. The government wants to control him. Even his allies are hiding something.

Through it all, he has one purpose. One compulsion. He’s drawn to the Georgia Guidestones.

His journey is fraught with danger – bandits, cannibals, and ancient booby traps — but when Landon finally reaches the Stones, even he is surprised by what he finds. If he can decipher the code, he can save the world.

If he can’t? His discovery may destroy him – along with the rest of the human race.

The Stones is a taut, fast-paced Indiana Jones meets Falling Skies style thriller that spans the globe and digs deep into humanity’s past, unearthing mysterious artifacts and clues to aliens’ motives for invading our world. It is the second book in the Astral Conspiracy Series, set in the world of Platt and Truant’s groundbreaking Invasion Universe – the original series with over 1000 5-star reviews.

D.L. Cross has a flair for high-stakes, heart-pounding thrillers that will keep you up late into the night.

I’m a fan of alien stories, so this series snagged my interest from the beginning. With this being the second in the series, it’s difficult to avoid spoilers, so this may be brief.

I mentioned in my review of the first book that Landon Thorne was having a crappy day – which was a thrilling ride on a unicorn through a field of daisies compared to what he’s going through now. A lot rests on his shoulders – namely the potential survival of the human race – so no pressure. He’s pulled in several directions and is unsure of who to trust. So is the reader, which makes this an even more suspenseful read.

And we meet the aliens! Let’s just say they’re not as nice as ET and leave the rest to the imagination. They’re different types with questionable motives, but that just adds to the mystery. I enjoyed being with these characters again, although a character I had suspicions about in the first book did nothing to prove me wrong in this one. I also enjoyed meeting some new characters, especially Reverie and Ford, and hope to see more of them in the series.

Lots of action, tense moments, an intricate plot, and a diverse cast of characters make this a must read for sci-fi fans, and a it’s a series I highly recommend. The next book is waiting on my Kindle, and I can’t wait to get started!

It Came From the Sky by Chelsea Sedoti #bookreview #YA #contemporary #aliens #TuesdayBookBlog

From the author of The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett and As You Wish comes the unforgettable story of the one small town’s biggest hoax and the two brothers who started it all.

This is the absolutely true account of how Lansburg, Pennsylvania was invaded by aliens and the weeks of chaos that followed. There were sightings of UFOs, close encounters, and even abductions. There were believers, Truth Seekers, and, above all, people who looked to the sky and hoped for more.

Only…there were no aliens.

Gideon Hofstadt knows what really happened. When one of his science experiments went wrong, he and his older brother blamed the resulting explosion on extraterrestrial activity. And their lie was not only believed by their town―it was embraced. As the brothers go to increasingly greater lengths to keep up the ruse and avoid getting caught, the hoax flourishes. But Gideon’s obsession with their tale threatened his whole world. Can he find a way to banish the aliens before Lansburg, and his life, are changed forever?

Told in a report format and comprised of interviews, blog posts, text conversations, found documents, and so much more, It Came from the Sky is a hysterical and resonant novel about what it means to be human in the face of the unknown.

I enjoyed every minute of this crazy, bizarre, hilarious book and the brothers who engineered this quirky town’s biggest hoax.

Science genius Gideon and Ishmael, his Hawaiian shirt-wearing brother who prefers to coast through life, are polar opposites in almost every way and go into this hoax with different objectives.  Ishmael is looking to top his record for practical jokes at their high school.  Gideon, with a lifelong goal of working for NASA, visualizes it as a way to distinguish him from thousands of other MIT applicants and ensure his acceptance.  Obviously, everything about this is a bad idea, but watching the story unfold and spiral out of control makes for such a pleasurable read.

In the midst of all this, Gideon is also learning to navigate a relationship with his first boyfriend.  Being science-oriented, he prefers to deal in facts and rules, so personal relationships and the emotions and nuances that come with them are difficult for him to understand.  His character arc is strong, heartfelt, and one of my favorite things about this novel.

As the description indicates, the narrative is broken up by interviews, blog posts, footnotes, etc., and while some readers felt them a distraction, I thought they worked well with the tone of the story.  Some of them also caused me to burst out laughing.

Along with the hijinx, supposed alien abductions, a giant lava lamp, and a runaway cow named Muffin are incredibly supportive friendships, strong family bonds, and powerful life lessons on acceptance and self-worth.  If you’re looking for a light-hearted, entertaining read, grab a copy of It Came From the Sky.  This book is scheduled for publication August 1st, 2020.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

The Scout: Dark Crossings by D.L. Cross #bookreview #scifi #aliens

The aliens have landed. The humans are panicking. The scouts have been sent.

J’s mission is clear — find an alien outpost, observe, report back. Simple enough. It’s what he’s trained to do. But he’s always worked with his team, never as a party of one. Now he’s been sent out alone to blindly navigate a dense, dark forest until he finds his target. The dynamics are foreign to him, the stakes never higher. Resources are scarce. Comms are down.

And he’s found the enemy.

J is shocked when everyone’s true allegiances are revealed. And the consequences of betrayal will be deadly.

I’ve always been a fan of alien stories, and The Gate by this author was a five star read for me.  When I learned of this short story set within that world, I was anxious to get my hands on it while waiting for book two of the Astral Conspiracy series.

First, let me say The Scout stands on its own and prior knowledge of The Gate isn’t required; however, this novella is enough of a taste to whet your appetite and make you curious about the alien invasion taking place in that book.  Although a quick read, the author did a fantastic job at making me care about J.  I felt his loneliness and sense of betrayal from both his own people and the aliens.  By the end, I wanted to continue with his story – but maybe that will be an option in the future.  A reader can hope.  Now, I’ll have to return to impatiently awaiting book two of the Astral Conspiracy.

 

The Gate (Astral Conspiracy #1) by D.L. Cross #bookreview #scifi #aliens #TuesdayBookBlog

He lost his job. He lost his girl. Now it’s all he can do not to lose his life.

Landon Thorne is a disgraced archaeologist, a laughing stock in his field because of his unconventional beliefs – he’s an ancient astronaut theorist. No one takes him seriously.

Until an alien armada targets Earth.

Now Landon’s in high demand – by the US government and someone far more sinister.

They race across two continents to the Gate of the Gods, the one place on Earth that might give humans an advantage over the aliens. But no one is prepared for what they’ll find.

And not everyone will make it out alive.

Fans of action, intrigue, and aliens will love The Gate, the first book in the Astral Conspiracy series. 

Being a sci-fi fan, especially of The X-Files, this book immediately appealed to me.  And look at that striking cover!  It was a must read.

Professor Landon Thorne is having a seriously crappy day after losing his job, his girlfriend, and then being kidnapped and held at gunpoint multiple times.  On the other hand, his theories about aliens, previously panned by experts in the field, may be proven right.  So there’s that.

With double crosses, questionable motivations, and government coverups, it’s hard to know who to trust or what to believe.  Some of the characters are so unlikeable (I’m looking at you, Nadia), you yearn for them to be put in their place.  Or sent to the aliens as a welcoming committee to determine if their intentions are naughty or nice in hopes of sparing the more likeable characters.

I enjoyed the multiple viewpoints and witty dialogue, and the conversations between Tasha and Father Tomas are exceptionally thought-provoking from a religious aspect.

With a mix of archeology, ancient civilizations, and the threat of invasion, The Gate is an intriguing, action-packed read.  I can’t wait for the next book.  Bring on the aliens!

#BadMoonRising: The Gate (Astral Conspiracy #1) by D.L. Cross #sciencefiction #aliens

If you love the idea of an Indiana Jones-like character caught up in the midst of an alien invasion, add The Gate to your TBR.  I  just finished it a few weeks ago, and I’m chomping at the bit for the next book in the series.  This author would choose to join the Ghostbusters over the X-Files team, and I agree wholeheartedly with her logic.  Welcome Staci Troilo (writing as D.L. Cross)!

Would you rather walk through a haunted graveyard at midnight or spend the night in a haunted, abandoned house?

I’d definitely prefer the graveyard. Go ahead and call me weird (it wouldn’t be the first time—or the last), but when I was a kid, I used to walk up to the cemetery and hang out there. The setting (surrounded by woods with lots of trees spaced throughout) was beautiful, and I found it peaceful. And I got to visit departed family members. (No, I don’t think that’s the only place to talk to the dead, but I do feel close to them when I’m at their gravesites.) Besides, it’s got to be easier to run from a ghost across open land than up rickety stairs in a dilapidated house, right? (And don’t get me started on how stupid people are to run UP steps when they’re being chased.)

Would you rather be a vampire or a werewolf? 

As much as I love wolves, I’m going to have to go with vampire. They’re in control of when they turn, they have no health issues, and they never get old. (I feel every one of my years right now, and several more I haven’t earned yet!) I’m not even convinced daylight would be a problem, as there are stories where it’s not (Vampire Diaries rings, The Originals, the ridiculous sparkly vampires…).

Would you rather be part of the X-Files team or Ghostbusters?

I have to go with Ghostbusters on this one. As much as I love sci-fi and the X-Files, the Ghostbusters have more fun. (And if it’s the reboot—which I hated—I’d get to work with Chris Hemsworth, so… not really a question at that point, is it?)

If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in the same setting, where would you choose?

Absolutely Italy. There’s so much history there (which factors into many of my stories) and I’ve always wanted to go. The food, the culture, the scenery, extended family… what’s not to love? It wasn’t even a question I needed to ponder.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I’ve got several works in various stages. It’s kind of daunting. I never used to work on more than one project at a time. Now, I have several going at once. And I like it that way. It keeps me from getting bored.

Next year, under pen names, I have 13 works scheduled for publication. They’re currently under various stages of completion, from barely-a-concept all the way through formatted-and-ready-for-publication. I’m also doing (or at least trying) NaNo this year, and if all goes well, I’ll have at least one title to publish as Staci Troilo in 2020.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?

Here’s an odd twist for you—I think writing men is easier than writing women. This is a time when Ivory Tower Princesses don’t need Knights in Shining Armor. Today’s heroine needs to don her own shield, wield her own weapon, and not only save herself, but save the man and everybody else. She’s a difficult character to write. Too soft, readers call her TDTL or a simpering b!#@%. Too hard, readers complain she’s cold and unrelatable. I think achieving the right balance in a female character is much more difficult than writing a well-developed male character.

He lost his job. Lost his girl. Now it’s all he can do not to lose his life.

Landon Thorne is a disgraced archaeologist, a laughing stock in his field because of his unconventional beliefs — he’s an ancient astronaut theorist. No one takes him seriously.

Until an alien armada targets Earth.

Now Landon’s in high demand — by the US government and someone far more sinister.

They race across two continents to the Gate of the Gods, the one place on Earth that might give humans an advantage over the aliens. But no one is prepared for what they’ll find.

And not everyone will make it out alive.

Purchase Link

Universal Purchase Link

Bio

Staci Troilo writes because she has hundreds of stories in her head. She publishes because people told her she should share them. She’s a multi-genre author whose love for writing is only surpassed by her love for family and friends, and that relationship-centric focus is featured in her work.

 

Social Media 

Web | Blog | Amazon Page | BookBub | Goodreads | TwitterOther Social Media Links

The Sanctuary by Caryn Lix #bookreview #YA #scifi #TuesdayBookBlog

Alien meets Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds in this thrilling debut novel about prison-guard-in-training, Kenzie, who is taken hostage by the superpowered criminal teens of the Sanctuary space station—only to have to band together with them when the station is attacked by mysterious creatures.

Kenzie holds one truth above all: the company is everything.

As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for superpowered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows. 

Think Alien and X-Men rolled together and dropped into a space prison.  I’m asking myself why it took so long for someone to come up with this scenario.

The author provides more than adequate world-building to understand the rules of this world and how these characters arrived at the positions they’re in, but omits just enough to allow speculation and mystery, and I liked that.  I formed all kinds of theories, but have to wait until the next book to see if I’m even close.

Kenzie is an admirable protagonist, and has to deal with some hard truths, but never curls into a ball of self pity and bemoans her situation.  The girl is a fighter.  What I really enjoyed was the diverse cast of supporting characters.  All are well-drawn, with unexpected traits that make them seem more realistic.  None are there for decoration – they all play integral parts in the plot.

At 480 pages, this is a long novel, but with the tense action scenes and near constant fight for survival, the pages flew by for me.  A lot of information is given in this book, but I feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s going on in this world.  Highly recommend!  Sanctuary is scheduled for publication July 24th, 2018.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

Pandemic (Infected #3) by Scott Sigler

8087710The explosive conclusion to the New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with Infected and Contagious.

The alien intelligence that unleashed two horrific assaults on humanity has been destroyed. But before it was brought down in flames, it launched one last payload-a tiny soda-can-sized canister filled with germs engineered to wreak new forms of havoc on the human race. That harmless-looking canister has languished under thousands of feet of water for years, undisturbed and impotent…until now.

Days after the new disease is unleashed, a quarter of the human race is infected. Entire countries have fallen. And our planet’s fate now rests on a small group of unlikely heroes, racing to find a cure before the enemies surrounding them can close in. – Goodreads.com

Pandemic is the third in a series and although I haven’t read the first two, I had no problem jumping right into this one as the author gives a brief summary at the beginning of the book.

To say this book is action-packed and fast-paced is an understatement.  A lot is going on in this story and there are numerous characters, but I never found it difficult to keep them straight.  The character that became my favorite actually started out being one I didn’t care for at all.  I initially found Dr. Tim Feely (Dr. Feelygood) to be creepy, repulsive, and the kind of man who overlooks a women’s intelligence, instead speaking to her in sexual innuendos.  But he redeemed himself – can’t tell you how, but it took a lot for me to change my mind about him.

Something I found interesting was that this male author had mostly female characters in positions of power – can’t say I’ve ever seen that before and it was a nice change.  I also liked that some of the characters were faced with hard choices in almost impossible situations and the author didn’t shy away from that.  The science of the story fascinated me and could easily make a reader become paranoid about what they could catch from just touching surfaces or breathing air, which just added to the story.

Although the last fifty or so pages flew by because of the action and tense situations, I felt like the story could have been tightened up a little in the middle.  There were parts that  seemed to drag a little and I was ready to wrap things up and move along.

I’d recommend Pandemic to anyone who enjoys action/adventure, sci-fi, post-apocalyptic thrillers.  Pandemic is scheduled to be published January 21, 2014.

This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.