Review: One Second After by William R. Forstchen

Review: One Second After by William R. Forstchen

PJ’s QUICKIE POV:

Written in a “Good Old Boy” style, the novel, ‘One Second After’ might not be everyone’s **Cup Of Tea** – but taken in stride, this novel was quite bold and had my brain churning about “what if” scenarios. ‘One Second After’ scared me, grossed me out and had me crying like a baby at some points. That, is- what I consider a good novel. I listened to the audio book, so the editing style and sentence structure that is a big complaint about this book was not evident, so I recommend going that route. Not to mention, the narrator’s voice lends to that “Good Old Boy” style which makes things even more poignant. If you are a fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, along with survival stories, this my friends, might be the book for you.

REVIEW:

‘One Second After’ covers the occurrence of an EMP strike over the continental Unites States and the after-math of the US being suddenly plunged into technology circa the 19th century. The way our country has progressed technology is a demon in disguise according to ‘One Second After’ because of our reliance on it. Certain groups rave about our reliance on fossil fuels and other vices, but you don’t hear about our other 21st century vices. How hardly anyone knows how to hunt for their food, or start a fire when the matches run out, grow crops…

One small town is faced with having to relearn a century of lost survival techniques as people starve to death as the canned goods run out and meat spoils as refrigerators no long work. It is a very in-depth look at society and just what would happen if technology failed us. The most horrendous part of the entire novel was the in-depth look at what people would live and who would die, the diseases that are easily managed with today’s technology but will kill off a good bit of the population if the country breaks down. The insulin that needs refrigeration, the pace-makers, the ultrasounds, the MRIs— the list goes on. Doctors would be in the dark, literally and slowly the problems that were minor, the gallbladders, appendixes, the clots…would all become killers and that is just one part of a broad picture.

Forstchen had a mission when writing this novel, it wasn’t a piece to entertain and become the next “Great American Novel”, ‘One Second After’ was written to spread awareness of a very real threat, the EMP, Electro Magnetic Pulse, which there have been reports of countries like China investigating what it would do to the United States.  A nuclear strike that strikes the ground would wipe out the area hit, killing a lot of people, yes, but it would be limited in it’s destruction and wouldn’t destroy the U.S. government. A nuclear bomb detonated a few miles above the united states is said to give off an EMP blast and having a much greater strike area. A few strategically detonated nuclear bombs would put the entire country in the dark and could possible destroy the U.S. Forstchen hints that after one year of being “in the dark” the survival rate would be about 15% of the beginning population, lower in highly populated area, higher in rural areas.

This being said, I wouldn’t look to this book for characters you are going to fall in love with or a mysterious plot that keeps you on your towns. This is a recitation of events, much like older apocalypse books, in fact it was said to be based on the style of ‘Alas, Babylon‘, which I see because the main characters are very similar. I did actually enjoy the Colonel, but he could be a bit prickly, yet with my military family/background I felt right at home with him. He reminded me a lot of some of my uncles. He was a bit chauvinistic but things like that I take with a grain of salt. Then also, he tended to be very right-minded and goes into some diatribes of political thoughts. Again something with my background didn’t find offensive, in fact I might have agreed with some of them, but for someone with different view points you might not like where this leads. But, even if you don’t agree with the characters political leanings it doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate this book for what it is.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Recommended for fans of apocalypse novels, especially ones written in earlier decades.  Adult novel with a good bit of violence and intense subjects.

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‘One Second After’ by William R. Forstchen  in audio book was purchased from audible.com.

Review: Day by Day Armageddon by JL Bourne, Zombies!

Review: Day by Day Armageddon by JL Bourne, Zombies!

PJ’s QUICKIE POV:

Don’t get your zombies all mushed up with romance or emotional trauma — get it straight up, with a side of ‘in your face’ with the novel ‘Day By Day Armageddon’ by JL Bourne. I did this one in audio book form, narration by Jay Snyder and I was not disappointed. It is a told from the perspective of a military man’s diary with no frills, just zombie attacks, the steps they took to evade and what goes down along the way. I really enjoyed this piece and its straight forward commentary was different and spiced up my zombie obsession a notch. This is one you don’t want to miss if you are deep in the zombie trenches like I am! It is scare you silly good all the while dropping some knowledge on how to bug in or bug out depending on your zombie situation.

REVIEW:

It was the narrator’s New Year’s Resolution to start keeping a journal while on leave in Arkansas. When returning to San Antonio he finds out something terrible is occurring in China and that our government has deployed troops to aide in the situation. The unnamed narrator of the journal lets it be known that he is an officer in the Navy, an aviator from what can be surmised and very prepared for the coming Armageddon. When word gets to him of the horrific bug that has swept from China to the US shores he quickly prepares himself for the worse. Holed up in his home the tragedy plays out on the television and the streets below him as the dead return to life and our narrator realizes that soon he might just be one of the very few still alive…

The militaristic record keeping along with the straight forward relay of events was quite enjoyable for me. Sometimes books like this don’t really work for me, like ‘Robopocalypse’, but with ‘Day By Day Armageddon’ it did. Mostly because the author stuck with his one narrator and didn’t try to cram in other POVs even though you knew it was a journal. That old, ‘compiling’ data in some unknown future trick. The narrator was likable in his thoughts even though he didn’t pull any punches. He was a good man, even though in the beginning he did desert his unit. The novel had all the good points of a zombie novel and a few added bonuses. This is definitely one you don’t want to miss.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Recommended for fans of zombie fiction and apocalypse novel. Protagonist is a military adult male and is suitable for a more mature audience because of language and violence. Good for both male and female readers.

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‘Day by Day Armageddon’ by JL Bourne in audio book was purchased from audible.com.
Review: Devilishly Hot by Kathy Love

Review: Devilishly Hot by Kathy Love

Comedic Paranormal Romance Review, Devilishly Hot by Kathy Love

PJ’s QUICKIE POV:

I’m all for light hearted chick lit, but somewhere ‘Devilishly Hot’ just lost it for me. It was as if the author read ‘Devil Wears Prada’ and decided to make a real paranormal romance out of it, with an added bonus of quirky chick-lit flavoring. The first few chapters actually drew me in, but the moment the romantic interplay started I lost all interest. The romance just wasn’t there.

REVIEW:

‘Devilishly Hot’ is the story of back-water, country girl, Annie Lou Riddle who had a dream to break into the fashion industry. What she ended up doing was selling her soul to a demon and basically becoming a slave at the fashion magazine HOT!. Her demon/boss/slave owner is Finola White and her mistreatment of employees (murder) has drawn the attention of super hot NYPD detective Nick Rossi, who has an instant hard, *cough* I mean attraction for Annie Lou. But, with Annie’s soul caught up with Finola and Nick’s determination to find out the truth – this relationship seems doomed from the start.

I enjoyed the first half of this book – but it seemed as I got into the romantic interplay I lost all interest. It was funny and entertaining but romantic was just not what crossed my mind and this was supposed to be a paranormal romance. I guess what struck me the wrong way was the “hook up” scene.

*SPOILER*

— Annie is attracted to Nick, but she invites him to go see her current boyfriends WAAAY off Broadway production. Yes, she is dating a guy for the past few years and invites her crush to go see his bad acting in a play — make sense? After their odd, not really a date, but I’m still hot for you play watching, they go back stage and she finds him {her current boyfriend – aforementioned bad actor} screwing his cast mate for everyone to see against a wall or something. Well, this pushes Annie towards Nick and they quickly fall into bed. That just wasn’t romantic for me! That is call rebound or revenge sex.

*END SPOILER*

I had to put it down a few chapters after that scene. Especially when the interplay between Nick and Annie started to sound like every other romance novel and the Satan scenes, while comical became almost achingly silly.  If you are looking for a comical and not too original paranormal romance chick lit, go for it. If not, there is much better out there.

Recommended:
I do not recommend this book

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Hot MessDid Not FinishAdultSexy

Devilishly Hot by Kathy Love ARC was provided by the publisher {Kensington/Brava} in exchange for an honest review.

Review: A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

Review: A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

PJ’s QUICKIE POV:
Skeptical. I was skeptical going into this book. I think the synopsis writer didn’t do this book justice. Basically it sounded like an over blown love triangle story with an angel mythos. My copy literally said fans of ‘Hush, Hush’ and ‘Fallen’ should enjoy. I just figured this was just another love triangle YA that substitute angels for vampires, or werewolves or whatever else is the “thing” at the present moment. THUS proving that you can’t judge a book by a synopsis and never can you know if you are going to like a book before you even read it, because frankly I didn’t think I would like this book. Thank you Ms. Davies for proving me wrong. ‘A Beautiful Dark’ was a refreshingly new take on the old ideas. I didn’t have a problem with this love triangle or the angel mythology because of the character depth, formation and the interesting setting.

REVIEW:
Skye has just turned seventeen and on the night of her birthday she meets two mysterious new additions to her small town that end up getting in a fist fight, she even thinks it might be about her and then the boiler in the basement explodes and her world is never quite what it used to be. The next day at school Devin and Asher are both there and she might be mistaken but it seems they are following her, watching her, waiting for something. They hint at something, something more, about her and about her parents – and how they died.

‘A Beautiful Dark’ is a compelling addition to the young adult paranormal genre.

I was pleasantly surprised by the character development and well flushed out plot. Jocelyn Davies weaved an interesting back story and I was literally ‘vaclempt’ between the choice of Asher or Devin. The lack of free will I thought was a given though, but you never know when it comes to choices and YA books of course. I liked how Davies blurred the lines so you don’t know what is black and what is white, what is good and what is bad. You assume from the usual mythology that one side is right and one side is wrong but as the plot progresses I was suitably confused (which is a good thing). Overall I was really pleased with the novel and the unique way everything played out. I look forward to reading more in the series and from Jocelyn Davies.

Recommended:
Recommended for fans of young adult and the paranormal genre. Davies writing reminded me of authors like Bree Despain and Cassandra Clare. If you are fans of those authors you should really enjoy ‘A Beautiful Dark.’

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‘A Beautiful Dark’ ‘by Jocelyn Davies ARC was provided by the publisher {HarperTeen} in exchange for an honest review.

Review: The Real Werewives of Vampire County by Alexandra Ivy, Angie Fox, Tami Dane and Jess Haines

Review: The Real Werewives of Vampire County by Alexandra Ivy, Angie Fox, Tami Dane and Jess Haines

PJ’s QUICKIE POV:

When done well, a tongue-in-cheek paranormal romance can be both laugh out loud funny and über sexy in the same instance. Kensington put together four great examples of this type of writing in ‘The Real Werewives of Vampire County.’ With heavy hitters like Alexandra Ivy’s ‘Where Darkness Lives’ you won’t be disappointed with this anthology. The only author I had read before was Ivy and now I have three new authors to “catch up with.”

‘Where Darkness Lives’ by Alexandra Ivy

A tiny addition to her ‘Guardians of Eternity’ series, Ivy introduces us to Sophia, pure blood were and known as the ‘bitch of all bitches’, mother of the four were sisters in her series. Attempts on her life have forced her to hire a bodyguard, she goes outside of her family because she wants to have control. Like most PNRs, she doesn’t plan on going gaga over her über hot new bodyguard and especially not having him force his way into her life and take control, but it happens. Sophia is constantly being referred to as the ‘bitch of all bitches’, so there is a lot of prickliness in the book and drool worthy scenes between her and were-stud Luc, who is your typical alpha. I thought for a short story, Ivy did a wonderful job of flushing out plot, backstory, characters depth and transition along with romance. It was really well done. You find out Sophia’s history and it explains her present behavior. There is even a lot of drama between the two characters. I’ve only read one of Ivy’s ‘Guardians of Eternity’ books, but I think I might have to visit with this series from the beginning.

“Murder on Mysteria Lane” by Angie Fox

This one was probably my favorite of the four. Heather McPhee is a freak “lie detector” werewolf who has gained the distinction of the pack pariah. She is called in to investigate a werewolf’s murder in an exclusive community because of her ability. She is forced to partner up with Lucien Mead, whose vampire contacts will get them into the community with little suspicion. Heather is immediately distrustful of the vampire, but cannot deny his hotness. The reason why I found this one the most entertaining was because of the comedy of the whole thing. Heather’s interaction with the other trophy wives of the community was hysterical. It was just one big hot mess of a neighborhood. Not to mention Heather herself was a great character. The fact that she had to get one of the neighbors to put stickers on her clothes so she would know what to wear was hysterical and also the fact that she would strip down to her panties to get out of the restricting clothes the moment she got in her house was also funny. It was just an enjoyable read. Just don’t delve too deep, entertaining yes, mystery make much sense? Not really. But, you’ll get that from the beginning – if you wanted to kill someone why would you drop a chandelier on their head?

“Werewolves in Chic Clothing” by Tami Dane

Where the first two novellas knocked my socks off, the second two were just so-so for me. Tami Dane takes us to “Stepford” in this tale of a New Yorker that meets a man on the internet, doesn’t really know him, but decides to get engaged with him and move in. On her first day she meets the perfect women that live around him and learn that Jonathan’s first wife might not have committed suicide — her husband or someone close might have killed her. This one just didn’t go over well with me, because for one, Christine had an established “internet” relationship with Jonathan, so the romance just wasn’t there. Next, on the first day the neighborhood women immediately warn her that her fiancé might have killed his former wife. Ok ladies, if you were so close to said dead wife, why did you wait for Christine to move in to start investigating? Next, Christine, really if you saw a picture of the former wife and she could have been your doppelgänger, doesn’t that throw up red flags?? And then finally in the reveal it was just one of those “oh ok” moments. Fell flat. Cute idea, entertaining read, lack-luster implementation.

“What’s Yours is Mine” by Jess Haines

Jess Haines addition to the pack was of a bunch of very unpleasant werewolf women. Tiffany Winters has moved to an exclusive gated community not for the ambiance, but for the wildlife. But, to become part of the pack she has to get in good with the other women which she finds a little problematic. I like the back story of this one but the ending kind of left me feeling silly. I think it should have ended differently. I think it was mainly because the characters were not likable and I felt no affinity with Tiffany. Again entertaining story but when I got to the end it was just so-so for me.

Overall the the four books were a welcome distraction from my usual reads. I got through the book quickly and felt for each new novella I got into I had to hurry up and finish because all were compelling. Yes, I did like the first two much better than the last, but I did enjoy all of them and look forward to reading more from all of the authors.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Recommended for paranormal romance and urban fantasy fans. There is sexual interactions in most of the novellas so for adults only.

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The Real Werewives of Vampire County by Alexandra Ivy, Angie Fox, Tami Dane and Jess Haines in ARC paperback was provided by the publisher {Kensington} in exchange for an honest review.

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