What Creeps In The Night: A Halloween Anthology
by W.J. May , Chrissy Peebles, Kristen Middleton
This anthology contains three novels which are the first in their respective series. The novels fit well together and form a nice cohesive whole. This was a nice way to be introduced to authors I had not read before and series I might have missed otherwise. The rating is based on an average of the stars I gave each book individually.
‘Seventh Mark’ by W.J. May, 4 stars
I got sucked right into this story from the very beginning and could not stop until I had reached the end. The characters were great and made me believe in their existence as individuals. The story was logical and made perfect sense. The language used by the characters and the descriptive language are what you would expect from the parties.
Rouge Riding is a foster kid who is about to turn 18 years old and be thrust into a world where she must depend on herself. She has never really cared about her past, but there may things which could make her better able to cope. First she meets Michael in passing while she is walking through the cemetery before school starts. On her first day in school she meets Grace, who turns out to be Michael’s sister. These siblings have a secret that could be deadly to an outsider, but is Rouge really an outsider or does she have a role to play in their lives?
‘The Zombie Chronicles’ by Chrissy Peebles, 3.5 stars
This pulled me in for the beginning but started to drag a bit toward the middle. The characters were well written and well fleshed making them real enough to feel for them and what they were going through for the most part. The story was interesting and flowed well.
The zombie apocalypse came out of nowhere and caught everyone by surprise in a big way. Dean and his family were lucky enough to escape to an island where his grandmother already had a home, which was isolated and easily defended. But even with that there have been secrets kept that he finds out about. He has a sister, Val, and after she makes the trip across country to find them she is infected and on the island that is an automatic death sentence. Dean plans on saving her both from execution and from becoming one of the living dead. There is a possible cure and he steals it and gets his sister out of the city with the unwitting help of his brother.
‘Enchanted Secrets’ by Kristen Middleton, 4.5 stars
This was my favorite of the three stories because it seemed to have everything to make me take notice. The writing was excellent and drew me in right away with action from the moment it started. The characters elicit an emotional response because of where they find themselves. The situations though fantastic in many ways are things that could happen to anyone.
Twin sister witches who are just coming into their power are witness to something horrible on the night they were to be inducted into the coven. After that night Vivian and Adrianne take very different paths in their lives. They were very different as girls and as women the chasm has grown even wider. One sister has had twin daughters of her own but has left them ignorant to their heritage and the power that they will need to learn how to control. But before anything else they must face a threat that wants to take away not only there power but their very lives.
The one thing that bugged me about each of these books was that they ended on a cliffhanger which means if I want to know what happens next I have to buy the next installment. I really hate cliffhangers but have to admit they work. I plan to read the rest of each series because otherwise I will feel kind of cheated. I would recommend this anthology or the novels separately. These are all YA with some light violence and harsh language.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars on average
“They’re certainly cute,” I said. Then something clicked and the blood rushed to my ears. “Yes?” he asked, prodding me. I looked at him in shock. “It’s my mother!” Tyler smiled. “Bingo.” I shook my head. “But she’s not a twin. My mom told me that she was an only child.” He shrugged. “I would too if my twin sister was a ruthless and evil witch.” “Excuse me?” “Your aunt Vivian and your mother are very powerful witches.”
This was supposed to be an extension or so I thought of the Primrose Apt novellas that came before. They made one reference to the fact that he lived at those apartments and moved on quickly, I had thought they were going to play a part in this novel, not. I would have given this 5 stars but it didn’t hit all the marks for me when it comes to my zombies, but it came pretty darn close. I would have liked to have gotten more with some of the characters since they were there and gone so quickly they did not have a chance to fully register before they were zombie chow. I liked the idea behind how these zombies came into existence but it would have been nice to give a little more information since it was mentioned. Our main character was written with great detail and definitely elicited a number of reactions both good and bad.
Don is a guy who does his job well but is not going to go out of his way for it or anything or anyone else, or so he tells himself. On this day, which starts out like any other, Don has had to track down the sandwich girl and now he is going for his after lunch dump on company time when things get strange. While not the best way to get caught when the dead start to walk at least he has a door between him and them. It takes some time for Don to figure it out but he realizes he is trapped in the bathroom with zombies and has to get out in order to try and get his son and ex-wife away from the madness. What happens next is complete craziness with some heroics by a guy you would not expect it from.
I was totally ready to hate Don because he seemed like a sexist, racist, annoying, full of himself jerk. He hooks up with people who are also survivors and at first seems not to like them and in a blink he is professing to think of them as friends. Long story short Don turns out to be a good guy and even though a lot of the people he started out with do not survive he manages to keep it together even though he may not make it. Nice ride with a few laughs and some serious gross out moments. Good zombie fun!
Betrayed: Days of the Rogue (Law of the Lycans #4)
by Nicky Charles
I started reading this story and was pulled in because it had an interesting premise. I like when you have a paranormal species who is doing something just a bit different then you may be used to them doing. I happen to love shifters of any type and these are some great Lycans, written in such a way that you can’t help but be interested in what they are involved in. The dialogue is good for the characters and fits the personalities of each as they have been described. There was no drag or slow moments to bog down the story so it just kept up the momentum and carried you along. This made you think and that is something that every good book should do, there should be a reason for you to become engaged with the characters, and that was the case here. I wanted to know what the mystery was and who was involved because I had pegged it wrong a couple of times.
Fae are being murdered and it appears that these murders are being committed by rogue wolves, though no one can figure out why. The rogues in question always end up dead or horribly injured and unable to speak about what happened. There are multiple factions who would like to see not only the Fae be wiped out but any and all non-shifters. Lycan Link was established to not only protect Lycans but also to aid the Fae, Human-Lycan hybrids, and any other combinations that exist from harm. They are not doing such a great job lately and seem to have traitors in their midst.
Eve is an artist who had been told as a child that she was part Fae, though she did not really believe it. As she got older she completely dismissed the idea until she started being assaulted by the emotions of all the people around her. Because of her awakening gifts she decides to go into the country where she can try to get control of her ability without the distraction of others. But her landlord is a good looking man who seems to dislike her, but she cannot read him and in a way it draws her to him. Rafe is a Lycan/Fae mix and a psychologist who has come to this small town and bought the fishing cabins to restore in order to get over a recent trauma. He did not plan on finding a woman or starting a relationship, but it seems he has no choice in it. Then there is Damien, an ex-enforcer for Lycan Link who has gone rogue. Why has he shown up in the area and what is his agenda? Is he there to kill Eve or is it merely a coincidence?
Good story, great characters, enough steam to satisfy! If you have a thing for conspiracies, betrayal, revenge, and serious manipulation then this may be for you.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Masterson was at the top of the most wanted list. A onetime Enforcer, a member of the ACS, an elite squad trained to deal with Purists and rescue persecuted halves, Damien was probably more highly skilled than almost any Lycan Link employee. Some of the cases he’d worked on with his partner, Reno Smith, were now textbook material. Unfortunately, when his mate and unborn child had been killed, the man had gone rogue, somehow escaping the infirmary and had now been living on the lam for the past eighteen months.
Zombie Tales: Primrose Court Apt. 205
by Robert DeCoteau
This is one of three short stories set in the Primrose Court apartment complex. The story centers on a man with agoraphobia who has not left his apartment for ten year. We get his full background and the story of why he ended up there, and how he feels about his neighbors. What you do not have is any amount of zombies here really. Only on the last few pages do you get even a glimpse of zombie action.
If you want a tale of zombies running around eating people, do not read this. On the other hand if you like a narrative with limited carnage you may enjoy it.
All the books have a few chapters from the book “Don of the Living Dead” which is set in the same locale. They can be seen as a lead in to the major story. These books can be read in any order but I would say start here because it introduces you to the next characters you will meet.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Zombie Tales: Primrose Court Apt. 305
by Robert DeCoteau
Ok, this time I knew what was coming. The story here centers around a couple, their marital problems and how they play out. You have the same lack of zombies until the end of the story but a nice bit of karmic justice. There is not a lot to say about this since it has no major scenes of carnage or zombie rampage.
The story is good for what it is.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Zombie Tales: Primrose Court Apt. 502
by Robert DeCoteau
I liked this story more than the others because Tommy seemed so sympathetic. This placed you more directly into the world of the novel and gave a view of the start of the zombie onslaught from above. I say enjoy the short and go for the main event. I think it may be interesting to read the full length book.
The Lost Journal of Private Kenji Yoshida (Secret Apocalypse #1.5)
by James Harden
This was a nice short read that leads you into what caused the tragedy in Australia in the first place as well as letting you get to know one of the main characters from the Secret Apocalypse series. The story flows forward giving you information enough to understand what is going on. The language works for the character and the situations that he is in. This is not an adrenaline rush type of thing but more of a gradual build with a narrative that overlays all.
Kenji Yoshida was shipped off to military school by his parents and because he was so angry he did not say goodbye to the girl he had feelings for. He runs away from the school and joins the Marines even though he is underage and becomes a marksman. Having been deployed when he returns he has trouble adjusting and the doctor suggests that he keep a journal so that he does not continue to internalize his feelings. That journal details his deployments and the final deployment to Australia to help at an immigration center. What he learns there spurs him to go and find Rebecca and warn her about what is happening.
I’m not going to say it’s riveting but it’s like being in the mind of someone while they debate with themselves. A nice addition to the series.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Dear Rebecca. I’m sorry I left. I was an idiot. I should’ve told you. I miss you. Please forgive me. Do you want to get some pizza?
the lost journal of private kenji yoshida part two
by James Harden
Private Kenji Yoshida continues his adventures in Australia with Jack and Maria since he was able to get Rachel to safety outside the country. This is simply the journal entries he made after Rachel and Kim escaped but before she made her reappearance in the country. It is actually pretty nice since it fills in some of the questions that I had when reading the novels.
They are trying to evade the hoards of zombies which are running the streets of Sydney as well as the military troops who have been tasked with containing the contagion. Unfortunately that means killing everyone they see without checking to see if they are infected. The main goal of this trio is to get Maria to safety because she is special and possibly could save them all.
This is a good series and definitely takes you to places that no other has ever done. The Secret Apocalypse series has a young cast but they are very good at this survival thing.
It took me a while to get into the story, it was dragging just a bit as it was in the midst of introducing the main character. As the characters started to take on more dimension the story picked up momentum as well. The story flows perfectly and makes sense as you learn the history of the people and the place they live in.
Kara Magari is a college student who has lost her mother and while out hiking in an area she thought she knew comes across a gazebo that looks into another world. Because she wants to forget her sorrows she continues into and through that gazebo with the words Lichgate written on it. What she finds on the other side is a world nothing like her own and a new destiny that could kill her if she is not careful.
Braeden Drakonin is Prince and heir to the Stele, an evil kingdom that prefers torture to diplomacy. He ran away from what was expected of him and is trying to be a good man. His destiny becomes entwined with the girl from another world who may be able to save them all. He has looked for the Grimoire for twelve years and it falls into the hands of an outsider, but he can still stay close to it.
If you like fantasy similar to that of The Lord of the Rings or Eragon then this will likely be for you. Even if it’s not a favorite genre you will still enjoy it for the story itself.
Bell, Book, and Sandals (Maxie Duncan #1)
by Melissa L. Webb
This was a fun little story with a girl who was annoying but seemed to grow a bit. The characters were fairly real to life because I really disliked Maxie when she started acting all stuck up and that type of dislike is reserved for someone I can relate to. The story got me interested and kept me interested to the very end with a few twists I did not see coming.
Maxie is a little rich girl who thought she was going to have the perfect little rich life. Then her fiancée dumps her just weeks before their wedding for a nobody girl named Sunday. Unhappy and just wanting to get away she runs to Hollywood thinking that she can become an actress, even though she has never acted a day in her life, and that she will become famous. Well, that is not the case and she ends up having to actually work for the first time in her life. She is lucky enough to find someone who offers her a place to live and a job.
When she meets Ryan, a real movie star and starts a relationship with him she starts to turn her back on the people who took her in and helped her. Thinking that she is meant for better things than simply working for a living. But there are things she does not know about Ryan or herself for that matter. When she finds out things are going to change in ways she could not have seen.
I got into this story and the characters and was hoping for more, but have been unable to find the next book.