Alien Apocalypse: Payback concludes the three short story/novella arc of the Alien Apocalypse serial. Leon Weber has faced down the alien enemy and figured out its weakness, has saved his son and discovered that not all of the alien’s offspring are inherently evil. With a desperate plan in mind, he wants to defeat the alien once and for all, or die trying.
Like the other installments in this tale, the odds are stacked against the slim bits of humanity that still remain, especially as the alien entity continues to evolve and works at creating genetic mutations to do its bidding and find the few humans remaining so it can feed. But Leon has discovered one of its very few weaknesses and has a slim chance to exploit it.
This was a satisfying series. The author has created a rollicking science fiction tale that is dark and filled with despair and yet could easily be translated into a good old fashion alien invasion movie for the masses. It was a fun and easy read and I would recommend checking out all three installments since all three are fairly cheap on the kindle and are a fun, if quick, ride.
Alien Apocalypse: Payback can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Alien-Apocalypse-Payback-Dean-Giles-ebook/dp/B00LBEQ7EW/ref=la_B005AQTGUY_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406760050&sr=1-9
Oil To Ashes 1: Picnic is a short story that I picked up free for the kindle. Set in the not-so-distant future, we are introduced to Linc Freemore, who works for a company dedicated to the war effort. A war that appears to be occurring between the United States (or perhaps, more generically, the “West”) and the oil rich countries of the Middle East. The U.S. is actually being bombed in this war and gas has reached around $10 a gallon. Linc is just trying to finish a project so he can get a day off, but his day starts off dealing with some gang violence and saving some school children who are almost ran over by a runaway car that was shot up. Gangs have grown more courageous and willing to assault just about anyone, and later that same day Linc discovers that first hand when he comes to the rescue of a girl on a rural road who is being chased on foot by another biker gang. Linc’s cowardly coworker flees, forcing him to take action and improvise ways to keep the girl safe and to stay alive.
The story is short, sweet, and to the point. Better yet, it was a free introduction to the Linc Freemore saga and it appears that the second short story is also available via the kindle.
This short tale was a fun introduction that can somewhat stand on its own, though the author made sure to give you reason to want to check out what is next. Linc is probably more than what he appears to be given his willingness to jump into a fight and become the hero. A simple corporate schmo he is not. The bits and pieces of the near-apocalyptic world the author has created is interesting and fairly plausible, which in some ways makes this story somewhat tantalizing. A precursor to the world of Mad Max and company, where fuel is rapidly disappearing along with civility, law, and order? Perhaps.
Oil To Ashes 1: Picnic can still be (at this time) picked up for free at http://www.amazon.com/Oil-Ashes-Freemore-Apocalyptic-Science-ebook/dp/B00F6KB7I8/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406757781&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=oilt+to+ashes
Dead Tide Surge is the third book in Stephen North’s Dead Tide Series, and I have previously reviewed the other two installments, Dead Tide, and Dead Tide Rising. I read both prior to their re-release by Permuted Press and so I do not know for certain if there were significant changes, specifically a transition from present to past tense being used by the author. This is the first of this series that I have read that was not in present tense. While the transition didn’t change the story or impact the characters or dialog, the immediacy felt with present tense falls away a bit here. That isn’t meant as a criticism. The majority of stories are written in past tense for a reason and there is value to crafting a tale in that format. Most people find it less jarring and more aesthetically pleasing. While this may be true, I can say that the present tense versions of the first two books in this series were more than satisfactory for me-the pacing was fast and the short chapters that shuffle the reader from one character to the next was abrupt, but in a good way for someone who enjoys a bit of disruptive force being used in the stories they read. Despite the tense change, the short, sharp chapters remain. Reading the Dead Tide series is like getting shot at by an automatic weapon, with perhaps a dozen different story lines crashing against one another and keeps the reader on their toes. Certainly not a style that everyone enjoys, but it has allowed the author to manage the experiences of an ensemble cast scattered around the Tampa Bay area who are all dealing with the onslaught of the undead and it keeps them all top of mind as they appear on the pages with great frequency.
Dead Tide Surge starts up as abruptly as its predecessor left off, so if it has been a while since you read Dead Tide Rising, it may take a few chapters to catch on to where each character, or groups of characters, ended up by the end of book two. But it has been nearly four years since I read the prior installment in this series and was still able to recall the bulk of what the characters who have survived to this point have been through. My only hope is that I don’t have to wait several more years for the next installment. Originally, I presumed this would be a trilogy, and at some points in this book it appeared as though some of the many story lines were drawing to a conclusion. The author did a good job of adding enough surprises so that while some characters meet their demise, others have plenty of reason to go on fighting to survive through at least one more book. Some of the many strands of this very complex web do cross paths and I could believe that the fourth book could be the final stand of this series, though who is to say? Plenty of the characters have not interacted with one another as of yet. The author will have to determine if everyone will be together on the same page before all is said and done. My gut tells me Mr. North isn’t quite sure himself how things will end up-will there be hope or will it all end in blood and despair?
With all the tightly interwoven plot elements here, reading the first two books is pretty much mandatory to understand what is going on here in book 3. And if you enjoy tales of zombie gore and violence that is character driven (driven by a large cast of characters, that is) then it is worth picking up the trilogy.
Dead Tide Surge can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Tide-Surge-Book-3-ebook/dp/B00KPKGCFC/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1406668944
I was notified with the pleasant news that I am the featured author over at the Zombie Authors Blog for the next couple of weeks. So while you may have found me here on my own slice of the blogosphere, please go check out what they have to say about me over at Zombie Authors: http://zombie-authors.blogspot.com/
Thanks to Jule Romans for giving me the heads up on this nice bit of news.