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Doom Days [Kindle Edition]

Sara Beaman , Arlene Blakely , CS Cheely , K.D. Edwards , Daniel Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Twenty-five years ago, an epidemic decimated mankind. People fled to remote areas to escape the worst of the contagion. Now the survivors are straggling back from refugee camps, underground bunkers, and protected enclaves to repopulate the old American cities. Thorn Creek, founded in an abandoned gated community in North Carolina, is one of the towns struggling to scratch out a living among the bones of the old world.

Join the inhabitants of Thorn Creek and the surrounding communities as they build a new life for themselves in the DOOM DAYS that follow the end of the world:

“Trade Secrets” (Sara Beaman)
When the Collapse hit, Isaac and Josephine, employees of Odyne Corporation, fled to a secluded compound in rural Mexico. A year later, Josephine is pregnant, and Odyne’s corporate policies force them to choose between giving up their baby to be sold to the highest bidder or setting out into the wilderness on their own.

“Finding Joy” (Arlene Blakely)
Angry at the world after the death of her cousin, Rina escapes her grief by accepting a job delivering mail to the homesteads that surround Thorn Creek. Riding the circuit is dangerous, but Rina is willing to risk bandits and strangle runner to avoid dealing with her pain. But when she gets a chance at a new life with a new love, will she risk her heart?

“The Monk” (CS Cheely)
Margotty is an educated but isolated young woman who walks a line between serving as the town’s much-needed midwife and falling victim to its superstitions. Her client Irene is struggling to conceive a baby. When a travelling monk passes through Thorn Creek he offers both of them an opportunity for hope and change.

“Grasshopper Song” (K.D. Edwards)
Scout, never quite at home within the gates of Thorn Creek, defends his hard-won outpost and the spoils of a crumbled civilization from a clan of greedy newcomers.

“Veneranda and the Spy” (Dan Wood)
When a suspicious man claiming ties to a shadowy government appears and requests help from Isaac’s daughter, Veneranda, she stumbles into a dangerous combination of intrigue and violence at the nearby University.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 498 KB
  • Print Length: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Doom Days Publishing (17 Dec. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AKI30FE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #144,948 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read! Highly recommended. 11 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is a thought provoking and enjoyable read with unexpected turns.
CS Cheely's fictional short story, the Monk presents an insightful and touching story of a young woman struggling with infertility in a post-apocalyptic world, where food is scares.
A great read. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Post-Apocalyptic Anthology Gold 22 Feb. 2013
By Shilom - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
An amazing set of short stories told after the Collapse of society, progressing forward with characters from the stories overlapping into each others among the same small town setting, where the future residents are now living like many humans of times past, growing crops, cooking from scratch, and living without electricity or plumbing. While this may sound almost depressing in a quick summary, all one must do is read the book to be envious of such small town life where the neighbors look after one another and everyone has an important role to fill.

In "Trade Secrets", Isaac and Josephine are running away from their cushy, corporate style life, and we learn it's because she's pregnant and babies are a commodity. We have our first glimpse at "The Academy" here, as a recruiter entices them with free passage to the states, promise of a place to live and shelter and protection for them and their future child. Jo brings with her a flash drive containing the trade secrets of the strangle runner, the horrible weed taking over the planet like a virus burning and scarring everyone it touches, and they know their employers will be looking for them. I couldn't stop reading this story once I began, the sense of urgency, the action, I just had to know what happened next! Anyone reading will relate, especially if you're a parent as these two had the ultimate goal of protecting their unborn child. Amazing writing when you simply cannot stop reading and the author made you really care about the characters and what happened to them. This was my favorite story in the book, but its such a close call as all the stories are good, but a great opening act to pull the reader in!

The next story, "Finding Joy" jumps ahead fifteen years. At first I was frustrated as I had gotten so attached to Isaac and Jo and their unborn baby, I wanted to know what happened next, but then the reader discovers that there is now a small town that was founded thru Isaac and Jo. (I hate to give many spoilers but When I came to give my review I saw that much in the book description so I don't think its too much, and my reviews don't go much past the descriptions, which I myself didn't read prior to the book, lol) In this second story we meet Rina, who is a rider, going to different Towns to deliver mail (imagine that!) And pick up packages and supplies and do general trades which mutually benefits the remaining communities. The riders always travel in pairs, of course as their are bandits and general bad people out there in this fallen world, but since Rina's cousin recently died she prefers being on the road mostly alone compared to the community. On her most recent trip she picks up a small child, Joy, about 4, and brings her home to her roommate Calliope as she usually does with children, only to discover Calliope never sent for her, Gretchen did, who's in the business of arranging marriages for money. Only she never expected such a young child to be sent. This story is certainly disturbing and reminds one that we certainly are in a whole new world. I was repulsed and fascinated and couldn't stop reading, waiting to see what would happen next. Again, this author really makes you care for the characters of the new world, and I found myself time and time again wishing I belonged to this community, that I was the one hassling over the price of bread with the bread maker!

In the next story, "The Monk", we meet Margotty, an eccentric midwife who is very educated for a young girl yet cast aside in this close knit community, regarded as being a witch type character for all her big medical words and scientific knowledge. We also meet Paul and his wife, Irene, who have been trying to conceive for some time without any success. Then along comes this strange, stuttering Monk. He blesses Irene's pregnant sister-in-law and counsels her when they're not around. After many visits to Margotty, Irene has learned she may never have children, at least not with Paul. She can't bear the thought. And in a small town like this, even if she were to lie with another man like the young midwife suggests trying, word would surely get around. Yet the monk has another solution for Irene, one from God himself he tells her. One that will bless her and, if she has a son, bless God's ranks. This was such an off the wall, quirky story I couldn't help but love it. A monk using religion to spread his seed, brilliant. Yes, I'm spoiling this story a bit, but there's still much to read, it is just such a great story the monk himself Carries with him and it was easy to see where this one was going with the monk from the beginning. Margotty was the real character star of this short novella, which teaches a real lesson on small communities and how even when they're tight knit, bonded by the end if the world, they'll always find someone to cast out. Even a young girl with one of the most important jobs there is. Especially as theme-centric as birth and regrowth is to the novel as a whole. Margotty is a person who is loved and cherished when needed and cast aside and forgotten the very next day. While she brings life itself into the world, her very community stands by watching her starve to death, freeze, without so much as shoes or a winter coat while they judge her decrepit yard, its growth the very healing herbs they beg for when they need something. Yet, even when they toss her scraps for her services, she shares them with her cat who can easily hunt for herself, because animals understand and love us more than humans sometimes, especially in poor Margotty's case. She's easily my favorite character in the entire book, so well written and so misunderstood, heart hardened yet she continues to help those around her because its what she knows, what she's good at and in doing so, she helps herself. I could read a whole book just about Margotty. Not many characters are do unliked, complicated and revered, but many more should be.

The fourth story is "Grasshopper Song", about a scavenger named Scout and his partner/roommate Beck. About lost his entire family when he was young, so he doesn't really let anyone in anymore. Him and Beck live just outside the city, close enough that nobody outside of the community will mess with them so they're "safe", yet outside the walls so technically they're on their own. Yet they get along and trade inside, but Scout really just likes being on his own after losing so many close to him, Beck is his friend but even with him he only lets him in so much. Beck on the other hand likes the ladies and goes into town often, drinks a lot, and puts up with Scout. They have a good thing going. Especially with Scout's ability to scavenge, finding old phonebooks and looting offroad places, overturned supply trucks, and places most looters wouldn't think to look for medicine, like plastic surgery offices or the sort. Pharmacies and hospitals have long been cleaned out so Scout's intelligence goes a long way and the two get by pretty well trading what they find. They have a nice existence for themselves all alone outside the gates until, one day, a large family moves in headed by Cal, who makes it his mission to follow Scout and loot what he loots. Cal is determined to run Scout from his home and Scout is determined to protect what's his. When the world is over and there is no law left, who's in charge?

The last story, "Veneranda and the Spy" catches us up with Isaac's daughter and everything that left us wondering what happened really since we left off in the first story (that wasn't covered inbetween). This is refreshing because I would have been frustrated if a few specific questions hadn't been answered, but they were. Veneranda is fifteen and just like her mother, all conspiracy theories and wanting to change the world to make it a better place. This is where she gets herself into trouble. Upon wandering through the woods, she comes across a man that tells her he's from the Academy, a place she knows is bad news. He says he was sent to take it down and into a scuffle with some guards there but got away. He just needs a battery which he's sure she has. It isn't long before he recruits her help on his mission and we're back into some action packed goodness for the final chapter. I still had some questions lingering about theman when I was done reading this one story though, and I wasn't unconvinced that perhaps he wasn't a double agent. Certain elements weren't very fluent, like the scuffle, the fact she thought he may have been faking his injury, and the events following their last conversation, which I won't spoil. All in all though it was a good action story and I'm probably just overthinking certain parts. The way the book wrapped up was a bit abrupt for me but it didn't leave anything unsaid or anything undone, you knew all was right in the world and this town and, again, I really hope that when the world does fall apart I can find my way to a town much like the one in this book.

All in all I highly recommend this book, it was impossible to put down and an exemplary piece of post apocalyptic fiction, truly showing what it means to be human and pick up the pieces and go on.

As a reviewer I am also obligated to add that this book was gifted to me by one of the authors but I am always completely unbiased in my reviews.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars thought-provoking, and at times gripping 19 Feb. 2013
By Nathan Kotecki - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I do not read much in the dystopian genre because I tend to confine myself to classic literature (so, more of a statement about me than the dystopian genre). But "Doom Days" was put in my hands, and I thought, why not? And I'm very happy to have spent time with it. Collaboratively written by five authors, each contributing a short story to an inflected cycle, "Doom Days" steers clear of flashy devices - science fiction-y new technology, zombie-like mutation - and focuses on the drama inherent in the struggle to stay alive that becomes acute when all number of basic things can no longer be taken for granted.

In a post-Collapse world, North America has returned to a settlers' territory, with the economy reduced to agriculture and trade in the dwindling remnants of civilization: medicine, batteries, and weapons. The first three stories are practically fictionalized sociological writing, making case studies of small sets of characters that illustrate the challenges of this unfortunate new world, in which social compacts are held only when convenient, and each pregnancy takes on miraculous significance in a time that is barren in so many ways.

On one level, I admire the sociological tone of these three stories because they are convincing in detail. It wasn't until the fourth section by KD Edwards, though, that I was completely gripped by "Doom Days." In 'Grasshopper,' the challenges of this world are finally put to the service of a dramatic story requiring an emotional investment from the reader. As the patriarch of one family exploits the gray areas in the fragile civilization of an outpost town in North Carolina, actions and their consequences resonate very personally for the people around him, shaping their concepts of honor, loyalty, and love. This is a story deserving of expansion, though it certainly benefits from the context of the first three stories.

The last story provides a solid final upping of the stakes. The potential dangers of the roving criminals in earlier stories are eclipsed by the greater threat of an organized group that possesses enough resources to transform North America into a despotic regime. But this piece is cluttered with some unnecessary details, hampered by an ambiguous ending, and rife with copy editing errors, a bit of a let-down after the previous stories had maintained an admirable level of quality for a self-published work.

Nonetheless, I recommend "Doom Days" as a strong example of collaborative writing and world-building. There is much here to admire, and much to provoke thought.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dystopian harmony 20 Feb. 2013
By needsbifocalsforfineprint - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
In the interests of full disclosure I was given this to read by one of the authors. However, she lives on the other side of the country from me now, so I'm not afraid to be honest. I have no background in the literary arts other than my library card and all the rainy days Seattle can throw at me.

The first thing that I noticed about this version of the end of days is that we didn't have to live with the characters as their society fell apart. We pick up their stories in the aftermath of the crash of civilization. I think this adds a bit of suspense, because you are not exactly sure what dangers are lurking outside the circle of safety that the survivors have put together. Also, I have already had enough bad dreams about zombie children playing ring around the rosie while I cower inside my house.

Some of the themes have already been mentioned, I appreciate the way we are asked to examine which things we would keep and which we would need if starting over again. What would you miss more- our monetary system or our sewer system? What would you do to earn a living? What if the music that is on the radio right now was the music you'd have to listen to for the rest of your life? What rules would you still live by when there is no organized government?

As for the separate stories, I was pleasantly surprised that so many authors could present such a cohesive picture of the book's world. Rather than being jarring, it just felt like the perspectives of different characters living in the same place.

I'm glad that I read this group of stories, and I'd love to know more about what is next for this society. I hope that others enjoy it too.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Praise for Doom Days 19 Mar. 2013
By Sarah Doyle - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Doom Days was a unique reading experience, and one that I found to be very enjoyable. Following the collapse of modern society due to a virus that devastates the population, a mishmash group of survivors come together in the community of Thorn Creek. The story is broken down into five short stories, beginning with Trade Secrets. Trade Secrets introduces the reader into life only a few short years after The Collapse, whereas the remaining four stories take place 15 years from there. The collaboration between the five authors in creating this dystopian world then developing it through their individual works was interesting and new to me. I found myself really drawn into the overall story that was being told, and felt that the transition between the separate works was fairly seamless. Though the book as a whole was in my opinion very well developed, I did find at times that there were moments that could have been further defined. I felt this was particularly true for the final story, Veneranda and the Spy; I felt somewhat rushed through the action, and the ending was a bit too abrupt for my taste, although it certainly leaves the door open for a sequel, which I would not be opposed to reading at all.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written collection of post-apocalyptic short stories 20 Dec. 2012
By Kaushik Ghose - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
(Disclosure: one of the authors is my friend)

This is a collection of five extremely well written short stories with a common backdrop - a post apocalyptic world with high levels of infertility. The stories will fall under the genre of soft science fiction, with most emphasis on character sketching and development. The writing is very polished and the plots and development are engaging. The first three stories are an exploration of how infertility has affected individuals and society. The stories held my interest though they were not topics I would normally read. The last two stories are more action oriented and relate to survival in a post-apocalyptic world. My favorite story is the fourth one (Grasshopper Song).
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