#BadMoonRising The Visitor by Terry Tyler #mystery #suspense

I’ve read several books by this author (highly recommend!), and we share a deep love of The Walking Dead. Her featured book is set within the same world as her Project Renova series, but can be read as a standalone. She attempted to write a novel in a genre she rarely or never reads – and it was an epic fail. Welcome Terry Tyler!

Which Stephen King novel unsettled you the most?

Misery.  The gradual revelation of Annie Wilkes’ insanity was terrifying, as her behaviour changed from benign if a little eccentric, to completely psychotic.  The sense of menace, as Paul began to understand how much danger he was in.  How trapped he was.  I much prefer this brand of darkness to the evil turning out to be a giant spider, or similar. 

My favourite of King’s books is The Stand, but it was Misery that made me feel scared when I was reading it.

Would you rather go to a real haunted house or watch a horror movie marathon?

I’ll go with the film binge.  Mind you, I’d choose that over most activities! 

Which unsolved murder fascinates you the most?

I do have an interest in those that many consider still unsolved, such as JFK, Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, etc.  Perhaps ‘controversial’ is the right word, though!

Have you ever tried to write a novel in a genre you rarely or never read? 

Yes.  It was hopeless!  About 10 years ago I thought I’d see if I could write chick lit/a romcom, as that was one of the most popular genres on Amazon at the time.  By the fourth page, my not-ditzy-enough heroine was having deep introspective thoughts and making incisive remarks about the human condition.   Wasn’t going to happen.

Have you ever traveled as research for any of your books? 

Yes, but not very far. The island of Lindisfarne was the farthest (just off the coast of the far north east of England).  I went alone on my second trip; it was March, and the rain was relentless.  I walked around the island in a big yellow waterproof thing, wiping the rain off my glasses as I took verbal notes and film.  I was stuck there for six hours, cold and wet, because I don’t drive; the bus from Berwick-on-Tweed dropped me off at 10 am and was not due back until 4 pm.

I haven’t travelled much, generally – because of this, I see everywhere I go as possible research/setting for future works.  One reason why I take a lot of photos, all the time.

What are you working on now?

A series about a ‘rage’ type of virus, in the form of three short novels.  I will be writing at least two of them before I publish the first, as it’s a continuing story.  I’ve always thought that I would not go to my grave without writing a zombie series, then I decided to make it a rage virus instead, because it feels more feasible.  The virus affects certain neurotransmitters in the brain and causes the subject to be motivated by two instincts only: to kill and to eat.  

Aside from anything else, I didn’t want to run the risk of writing a really bad version of The Walking Dead, so I had to say goodbye to the zombie idea.

Many thanks for including me in your October feature, Teri!

In 2024, a mystery virus ravages the entire world. ‘Bat Fever’ is highly contagious and one hundred per cent lethal.

A cottage tucked away in an isolated Norfolk village seems like the ideal place to sit out a catastrophic pandemic, but some residents of Hincham resent the arrival of Jack, Sarah and their friends, while others want to know too much about them.

What the villagers don’t know is that beneath Sarah’s cottage is a fully-stocked, luxury survival bunker. A post-apocalyptic ‘des res’.

Hincham isolates itself from the rest of the country, but the deaths continue―and not from the virus. There’s a killer on the loose, but is it a member of the much-depleted community, or somebody from outside? Paranoia is rife, as friend suspects friend, and everybody suspects the newcomers.

Most terrifying of all is that nobody knows who’s next on the list…

Purchase Link

https://bookgoodies.com/a/B08ML72P2K

Author Bio and Social Media

Terry Tyler writes dark psychological, post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction, available on Amazon.  Her latest book, Where There’s Doubt, is about a romance scammer and his victims.  She is an avid reader and is a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review team.  Aside from writing and reading, she loves The Walking Dead, history, the coast and the countryside and anything on telly about the end of the world as we know it.  She lives in North East England with her husband.

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Wakers by Orson Scott Card #bookreview #YA #scifi #clones

From the New York Times bestselling author of Enders Game comes a brand-new series following a teen who wakes up on an abandoned Earth to discover that he’s a clone!

Laz is a side-stepper: a teen with the incredible power to jump his consciousness to alternate versions of himself in parallel worlds. All his life, there was no mistake that a little side-stepping couldn’t fix.

Until Laz wakes up one day in a cloning facility on a seemingly abandoned Earth.

Laz finds himself surrounded by hundreds of other clones, all dead, and quickly realizes that he too must be a clone of his original self. Laz has no idea what happened to the world he remembers as vibrant and bustling only yesterday, and he struggles to survive in the barren wasteland he’s now trapped in. But the question that haunts him isn’t why was he created, but instead, who woke him up…and why?

There’s only a single bright spot in Laz’s new life: one other clone appears to still be alive, although she remains asleep. Deep down, Laz believes that this girl holds the key to the mysteries plaguing him, but if he wakes her up, she’ll be trapped in this hellscape with him.

This is one problem that Laz can’t just side-step his way out of.

Clones, parallel worlds, and a teen with the ability to “side-step” into those worlds. I was eager to see what this author did with the concept.

After Laz wakes up surrounded by hundreds of dead clones, his loneliness is palpable. Although he remembers living in California, he finds himself in Greensboro, NC and seems to be the only human around. A pack of four dogs he comes across are his only friends until he discovers one other clone who survived. Once she wakes, their primary goals are one, to survive, and two, figure out why they were cloned.

The first part of this novel fascinated me, and I marveled at side-stepping and everything it entails. Laz can step into another version of himself in a parallel world and retain his memories while also absorbing the memories of his new self. Pretty cool, right? Some of his stories of when and why he’d chosen to side-step are amusing. Awkward moment with a date? Side-step. Get into too much trouble at school? Side-step. Once he and Ivy learn why they were cloned and what’s expected of them, the story takes a turn.

The banter between Laz and Ivy is sometimes witty, but can go on for pages, and I occasionally struggled with pacing. The same can be said about the science of their combined abilities. Especially in the last 40% or so, the dialogue becomes very science-heavy and can be difficult to keep up with, but the high concept held me enthralled.

With incredible world-building, a likeable, sarcastic main character, and a clever concept, this is a book I enjoyed, but I would only recommend it to true sci-fi fans.

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

#BadMoonRising If the Light Escapes by Brenda Marie Smith #thriller #dystopian #postapocalyptic #TuesdayBookBlog

I’m currently reading today’s featured book, and if real life didn’t make demands on me (seriously, why can’t I read all the time?), you’d need a crowbar to pry it from my hands. It’s a sequel that can be read as a standalone, but trust me when I say you won’t want to miss the strong-willed, no-nonsense main character grandmother Bea Crenshaw in the first book. This author combined a few of the questions and created quite a humorous Halloween scenario that I’d love to witness. Welcome Brenda Marie Smith!

Which urban legend scares you most?

The idea of a Chupacabra scares my pants off (which is a scary idea in itself), but I like the Mothman because he’s scary but also tragic and mysterious. Mae Clair has written a fictionalized account of him: The Point Pleasant Series, in which he sometimes goes into a rage and haunts the residents of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, but he also shows compassion and gives aid to certain people who have shown him kindness. Ultimately, he is all alone, the sole member of his species, and I can’t imagine much that would be scarier or more tragic.

Was there a horror movie you refused to watch because the previews were too scary?

I never liked Alien or Aliens because the monster was so SLLIIIIMYYY, but I watched them with my hands over my eyes. I refused to watch The Walking Dead for ten years because zombies are so gross. My son finally convinced me to try one episode, and I was instantly hooked—not on the zombies, but on the excellent human drama, all based on the well-drawn characters in extreme peril.

I’d like to answer all of these questions at once: Candy apple or candy corn? If you watch horror movies, are you the person who yells at the characters, covers your eyes, or falls asleep? Do you ever see figures in your peripheral vision?

If you were to find me watching a horror movie on Halloween, I’d be sitting near a pile of untouched candy apples, munching candy corn, alternately yelling at characters and covering my eyes, while trying to avoid looking at the floating spot in my eye that looks like a spindly black spider and ignoring the monsters in my peripheral vision. If the caramel is soft and the apples are crisp, I might eat a candy apple anyway. If the caramel is hard, I’ll use it to whack the monsters on the head or poke them in the eye with the apple stick.

If you decided to write a spinoff of a side character, who would you choose?

I did write a spinoff of If Darkness Takes Us, with its standalone sequel, If the Light Escapes. The first book was told from the point of view of grandmother Bea Crenshaw, the second in the voice of her 18-year-old grandson Keno Simms. I chose Keno because he was a standout character in the first book. I was a little worried that, being so young, he wouldn’t be able to carry an adult novel, but he surprised my socks off by spewing out of me so fast that I literally could not type fast enough to keep up with him. I’d like to write a third book in the series from the points of view of both Keno and Bea as well as other characters, perhaps Keno’s younger cousins Milo and Mazie, maybe his mother Erin and/or his uncle Pete.

How do you celebrate when you finish writing a book?

For me, there are different levels of “finishing” a book. Finish the first draft: take a day or two off from writing and marketing. Complete a rewrite: have cocktails and a special dinner with the hubby. Polish off the various publisher edits: hoot and holler with my family and my critique partners. Finally see my book go up for sale: sit there stunned, laughing and crying, refreshing the book buy link hundreds of times per day, tearing myself away to sleep for a week. For my first two novels, I threw a book launch party. For this one, due to COVID, I might have a much smaller gathering then do an online event sometime soon after.

If you could spend the day with another popular author, who would you choose?

I would have chosen Toni Morrison or John LeCarré, but, sadly, these amazing authors are no longer with us, unless I could contact them in a séance. I would love to spend a day with Margaret Atwood and absorb some of her talent and wisdom through osmosis. I would do my best not to turn her off with my pesky questions and be on my best behavior. I admire her so much. I’m sure I would be a nervous wreck but also happy as a clam.

A Standalone Sequel to If Darkness Takes Us

A solar electromagnetic pulse fried the U.S. grid. Now northern lights are in Texas—3,000 miles farther south than where they belong. The universe won’t stop screwing with 18-year-old Keno Simms. All that’s left for him and his broken family is farming their Austin subdivision, trying to eke out a living on poor soil in the scorching heat.

Keno’s one solace is his love for Alma, who has her own secret sorrows. When he gets her pregnant, he vows to keep her alive no matter what. Yet armed marauders and nature itself collude against him, forcing him to make choices that rip at his conscience. IF THE LIGHT ESCAPES is post-apocalyptic science fiction set in a near-future reality, a coming-of-age story told in the voice of a heroic teen who’s forced into manhood too soon.

Purchase Link

Amazon

Author Bio and Social Media

Brenda Marie Smith lived off the grid for many years in a farming collective where her sons were delivered by midwives. She’s been a community activist, managed student housing co-ops, produced concerts to raise money for causes, done massive quantities of bookkeeping, and raised a small herd of teenage boys.

Brenda is attracted to stories where everyday characters transcend their limitations to find their inner heroism. She and her husband reside in a grid-connected, solar-powered home in South Austin, Texas. They have more grown kids and grandkids than they can count. 

Website: https://brendamariesmith.com/

Twitter: @bsmithnovelist

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaMarieSmithAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brenda_marie_smith/

Blog: https://brendamariesmith.tumblr.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJlLSnORIyoaygvZ1j49ZKw

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58043963-if-the-lightescapes#

Legacy (Project Renova #4) by Terry Tyler #bookreview #postapocalyptic #TuesdayBookBlog

‘Out of all the death and destruction has come the freedom to be who we really are.’

A hundred years after the world was devastated by the bat fever virus, the UK is a country of agricultural communities where motherhood is seen as the ideal state for a woman, new beliefs have taken over from old religions, and the city of Blackthorn casts a threatening shadow over the north of England. Legacy travels back in time to link up with the characters from Tipping Point, Lindisfarne and UK2.

Seventeen-year-old Bree feels stifled by the restrictions of her village community, but finds a kindred spirit in Silas, a lone traveller searching for his roots. She, too, is looking for answers: the truth behind the mysterious death, forty years earlier, of her grandmother.

In 2050, Phoenix Northam’s one wish is to follow in the footsteps of his father, a great leader respected by all who knew him―or so his mother tells him.

In 2029, on a Danish island, Lottie is homesick for Lindisfarne; two years earlier, Alex Verlander and the kingpins of the Renova group believe they have escaped the second outbreak of bat fever just in time…

Book #4 of the Project Renova series rebuilds a broken country with no central government or law, where life is dangerous and people can simply disappear … but the post-Fall world is also one of possibility, of freedom and hope for the future. 

Most of us have read books and, upon reaching the end, wondered what happened to the characters beyond the scope of that novel.  What about the rest of their lives?  Did they live happily ever after?  Have children?  If so, what happened to them?  I was ecstatic to learn that Legacy provides those answers.

I’m not an overly emotional person, but this book gave me the feels in certain parts.  After spending time with many of these characters through three books, they almost feel like family, and I was anxious to learn what happened to them.  Some got their happily ever after, others didn’t, and a few got what they had coming to them, but when you’re living in a post-apocalyptic society, not everything is sunshine and roses.  With new characters, I enjoyed making those connections in the family tree, and learning which branch they came from.

The time jumps allowing the reader to see characters’ fates, connections, and the progress in rebuilding society are done so well, and aren’t at all confusing.  I loved seeing how actions taken by some characters affected the lives of so many 100 years later.

This has been a compelling series with superb characterization, and I was thrilled to read in the author notes that she’s considering spin-offs featuring some characters.  If you’re a fan of gritty, post-apocalyptic stories that don’t pull punches, add this to your TBR.

I received an ARC from the author.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

#BadMoonRising: Dying Days – Family Ties by Armand Rosamilia #zombies #horror

It’s Friday!!!!  This is Armand Rosamilia’s fourth time participating in Bad Moon Rising – he might have been the first person who signed up.  And friends – Armand has a Ouija board story guaranteed to give you goosebumps.  If that’s not enough, he also lived in a haunted house that previously served as a funeral parlor.  Don’t let me keep you – read on.

You’re in a horror movie.  Are you the final person, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

I really hope I’m the first person to die. Until then I’m probably the comic relief… although being the eye candy for the ladies would be cool, too.

Have you ever played with a Ouija board?

True story… as a kid my mother used to have her friends over to play with one. This was in the mid-seventies when it was ‘fun’ to mess with them. Once she started getting creepy messages she put it in the attic but it was on the kitchen table the next day, so she took it in the yard and burned it. I was about five or six and from inside I heard something scream. Still freaks me out thinking about it forty-plus years later.

Creepiest thing that’s ever happened while you were alone?

I lived in a haunted house, a former funeral parlor, in Keyport New Jersey. Lots of strange things happened in the house like basement lights turning on in the middle of the night, footsteps and whispering as well as faint music. A ceiling relief once crashed on my bed seconds after something told me to get up at 3 am. I also had a sixteen year old die on my couch in that house. Not sure why I stayed there as long as I did.

What is the hardest part of writing?

Getting my butt in the damn seat. Some days I get distracted by emails and podcast questions or problems. I do quite a few interviews for my two podcasts so that cuts into my writing time. We travel a lot, which also takes me away from the keyboard. Plus there are days I just don’t want to be creative. I want to watch TV or stay in bed and read. People call me and want to chat because I’m home. Anything having to do with the house I take care of so lawn maintenance, appliance malfunctions, cable problems, etc. means I’m waiting for someone to arrive to deal with.

What’s your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I developed a system that works for me. I jokingly called it The Mando Method and others have picked up on it and use it. At the top of an hour I write for 15 minutes. Nothing else. Just writing. I can average about 600 words in that time. Then the next 45 minutes I do other stuff like emails, coffee and wandering around the house, thinking about the next sprint. No matter what I’m doing, at the top of the next hour I stop and do another Mando Method sprint.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Roll up in a ball and cry. Or go to a baseball game. I read a lot. Watch way too much TV. My wife and I travel quite a bit, too. Spend time with our families and go out to dinner too much. She has a full-time career and if she’s traveling for work I get to go with her and write in the hotel room while she’s out doing her thing. After we get to go to dinner and explore the city we’re in.

A YA novella set in the Dying Days world from Armand Rosamilia!

Emalee and Mason are brother and sister, differently abled teenagers, both with Down Syndrome, trying to survive during the zombie apocalypse.

They both have unique powers that will be tested because sometimes it isn’t just the zombies that are threatening. 

Will they be able to protect one another and find safe haven from a world turned upside down?  

Dying Days: Family Ties Amazon Link

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Dying-Days-Family-Zombie-Novella-ebook/dp/B07CGRVZ5F

Print: https://www.amazon.com/Dying-Days-Family-Zombie-Novella/dp/1980872805

Author Bio

Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not sleeping. He’s happily married to a woman who helps his career and is supportive, which is all he ever wanted in life…

He’s written over 150 stories that are currently available, including horror, zombies, contemporary fiction, thrillers and more. His goal is to write a good story and not worry about genre labels.

He not only runs two successful podcasts…

Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast – interviewing fellow authors as well as filmmakers, musicians, etc.

The Mando Method Podcast with co-host Chuck Buda – talking about writing and publishing

But he owns the network they’re on, too! Project Entertainment Network

He also loves to talk in third person… because he’s really that cool.

You can find him at http://armandrosamilia.com for not only his latest releases but interviews and guest posts with other authors he likes!

and e-mail him to talk about zombies, baseball and Metal:

armandrosamilia@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorArmandRosamilia/

https://twitter.com/ArmandAuthor

https://www.instagram.com/armandauthor/

https://projectentertainmentnetwork.com/

UK2 by Terry Tyler #bookreview #postapocalyptic #dystopian #TuesdayBookBlog

‘Two decades of social media had prepared them well for UK2.’ 

The pace steps up in this final instalment of the Project Renova trilogy, as the survivors’ way of life comes under threat. 

Two years after the viral outbreak, representatives from UK Central arrive at Lindisfarne to tell the islanders about the shiny new city being created down south. Uk2 governor Verlander’s plan is simple: all independent communities are to be dissolved, their inhabitants to reside in approved colonies. Alas, those who relocate soon suspect that the promises of a bright tomorrow are nothing but smoke and mirrors, as great opportunities turn into broken dreams, and dangerous journeys provide the only hope of freedom.

Meanwhile, far away in the southern hemisphere, a new terror is gathering momentum…

‘I walked through that grey afternoon, past fields that nobody had tended for nearly three years, past broken down, rusty old vehicles, buildings with smashed windows. I was walking alone at the end of the world, but I was a happy man. I was free, at last.’

Although this concludes the Project Renova trilogy, there will be more books in the series. A collection of five side stories is planned, and another novel, set far into future.

I’ve loved these characters, hated them, been infuriated with some of their choices, and even mourned a few of them.  Just when they thought they’d created a relatively safe, new kind of normal life on Lindisfarne, more obstacles are thrown in their paths.  Opportunities are presented and choices are made – both good and regrettable.  In their desperation to return to some semblance of their old lives, some characters forget that if something seems too good to be true, it usually is.

In this series, Lottie’s and Flora’s character arcs are my favorite.  Lottie is nearly unrecognizable from the first book to the third, but she learns what’s needed to survive in this new world while still retaining her humanity.  I never thought I’d like Flora’s character, but she makes immense strides in UK2, and I hope to see what happens to her in future novellas.  I was thrilled to see that karma delivered packages to a few who deserved them.

I have to stress this isn’t a series to be read out of order.  I’ve been a fan of this series since the first book – and if you’re a post-apocalyptic/dystopian fan, you will be, too.

I received a digital copy of this book from the author.

 

One Year After by William R. Forstchen #bookreview #postapocalytic

Months before publication, William R. Forstchen’s One Second After was cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read. Hundreds of thousands of people have read the tale. One Year After is the thrilling follow-up to that smash hit.

The story picks up a year after One Second After ends, two years since the detonation of nuclear weapons above the United States brought America to its knees. After suffering starvation, war, and countless deaths, the survivors of Black Mountain, North Carolina, are beginning to piece back together the technologies they had once taken for granted: electricity, radio communications, and medications. They cling to the hope that a new national government is finally emerging.

Then comes word that most of the young men and women of the community are to be drafted into an “Army of National Recovery” and sent to trouble spots hundreds of miles away.

When town administrator John Matherson protests the draft, he’s offered a deal: leave Black Mountain and enter national service, and the draft will be reduced. But the brutal suppression of a neighboring community under its new federal administrator and the troops accompanying him suggests that all is not as it should be with this burgeoning government. – Goodreads.com

I read the first book in this series a few years ago for a book club – the same reason I also read the second book.  A frightening glimpse into an entirely possible situation, it’s an excellent selection for discussion.  And is likely to scare the crap out of you.

The first book was highly compelling, shocking, heartbreaking, and sometimes difficult to read seeing the characters’ struggle to survive and knowing something like this could happen to your own family.  One Year After, although still engrossing, had a different feel and wasn’t so much a survival story as a David versus Goliath tale, featuring John Matherson as David and Goliath a corrupt government official.

This book lacked the intensity of the first, and unless it’s another book club selection, I doubt I’ll add the third book to my reading list.  That’s a personal preference on my part, because judging by the reviews, I’m in the minority on this one.

 

Fourth Dimension by Eric Walters #bookreview #postapocalyptic

In a world with no power, chaos soon descends. A powerful look at the disintegration of society in the wake of a massive and mysterious outage that has knocked out all modern amenities.

Fifteen-year-old Emma has moved house with her ex-Marine mother and younger brother. It’s a brand-new condo building, which explains the semi-regular power outages, as workers complete the units around them. So Emma isn’t particularly concerned when the latest blackout hits just as they are preparing to leave town on a long weekend camping trip. But then the car won’t start, and their cellphones appear dead — and all the cars outside their building seem to be stalled in a long traffic jam …

In the midst of what appears to be a massive power outage, with their camping gear packed and ready, Emma and her family canoe over to the islands, just offshore, to wait it out. But while they land on an isolated island, with a relatively hidden site, they are far from safe, as people become increasingly desperate to find food and shelter. And as the days pass, and the power remains out, the threat of violence becomes all too real. – Goodreads.com

This book begins with a lot of potential.  The family dynamics between Emma, her mother, and her brother are realistic and amusing, and the imagery is vivid.  Once the power goes out, the situation deteriorates rapidly, and as an ER nurse and former Marine, Emma’s mother is well-trained to handle their situation.  She’s a force to be reckoned with.

Shortly after, the story loses its luster.  Everything that happens – the people they meet and their occupations, the supplies they come across – is just a little too convenient and unrealistic.  The plot becomes somewhat repetitive and I skimmed through several pages toward the end.  Which I’m not sure it was.  The closer I got to the end, it became clear nothing would be resolved.  Maybe there’s a sequel?

Although an intriguing concept, this book fell flat for me, but other post-apocalyptic fans may feel differently.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

 

Lindisfarne (Project Renova #2) by Terry Tyler #TuesdayBookBlog #postapocalyptic

Six months after the viral outbreak, civilised society in the UK has broken down. Vicky and her group travel to the Northumbrian island of Lindisfarne, where they are welcomed by an existing community.

New relationships are formed, old ones renewed. The lucky survivors adapt, finding strength they didn’t know they possessed, but the honeymoon period does not last long. Some cannot accept that the rules have changed, and, for just a few, the opportunity to seize power is too great to pass up. Egos clash, and the islanders soon discover that there are greater dangers than not having enough to eat.

Meanwhile, in the south, Brian Doyle discovers that rebuilding is taking place in the middle of the devastated countryside. He comes face to face with Alex Verlander from Renova Workforce Liaison, who makes him an offer he can’t refuse. But is UK 2.0 a world in which he will want to live?

Lindisfarne is Book 2 in the Project Renova series.
A book of related short stories, entitled Patient Zero, features back and side-stories from minor characters, and should be available in November, 2017. Book 3 is due in mid 2018. – Goodreads.com

Survival is the theme of the first book in this series, but Lindisfarne is defined more by relationships – whether they’re romantic, between housemates, parents and children, friends, or groups you wouldn’t normally associate with, all are examined as a new society forms.

In dealing with others and finding themselves in various situations, many of these characters discover what lies at their core.  Some are fortunate to find strength, courage, and other admirable traits, while others learn they’re not what they’d believed.  One character in particular deeply disappointed me, and herself as well.  I honestly wanted to wring her neck.

Hints about the nefarious governmental operations are given – still not sure what’s going on there, but I’m sure more will be revealed in the third book.

This is a strong second novel, and this series continues to offer excellent characterization, twists, and surprises – some welcome, some not so much.  Jumping into Lindisfarne before reading Tipping Point isn’t advised.

I received a digital copy of this book from the author.

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada #BookReview #postapocalyptic #scifi

Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.

That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.

When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.

Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself? – Goodreads.com

A post-apocalyptic genetic engineering thriller?  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book, and it far exceeded my expectations.

I’m a little bit of a science geek, so all the talk of DNA sequencing, gene mutation, and computer coding had me doing a happy dance.  Given, none of this is possible in the present, (to my knowledge), but it sure makes for a riveting story, and is explained in understandable terms.  I’ve read quite a few post-apocalyptic novels, and several times while reading this book was on the verge of disappointment, certain I knew the often traveled path this plot was taking.  I was overjoyed when it veered off into new directions, cheering with the numerous twists and surprises.

Early on, I caught a whiff of the dreaded YA love triangle, but trust me when I say that’s not what develops.  Yes, there’s romance, but it’s far from the primary focus.

This Mortal Coil is a complex, intelligent, intricately-plotted novel combining post-apocalyptic, thriller, and science genres, and is at the top of my favorite YA reads this year.  I’ll definitely continue with this series.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital ARC.