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The Ivory Tower
The Ivory Tower
Price: 0.77

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More please!, 7 Oct 2013
This review is from: The Ivory Tower (Kindle Edition)
The world of this short story has people living in bordered camps to protect them from what's outside. They don't know exactly what is outside but there are stories of the past that failing crops, violence, anarchy and disasters, left everywhere too dangerous to inhabit. Most are too afraid to go near the boundaries, let alone venture outside, because anyone who does go comes back different. Inhabitants of the protection camp are kept to strict routine, they live their lives by the ringing of bells overseen by a military regime. Food is rationed, with the lowliest people in the camp (those assigned the highest numbers) receiving scraps or nothing at all. Number 277, 15 year old Simone, likes to break the routine and push boundaries. One day in the forest surrounding the camp she and her friend Christine find themselves near the outer boundaries and see an ivory tower outside the fence. Struck with fear at being so close to the outside they return to camp but Simone's curiosity is stirred and she later decides to venture out and explore the tower. What she finds is disturbing, and experiences firsthand the reason why people who come back are different.
I liked this story, the author's descriptive style really made me feel I was there. I like the world she built, it really felt gloomy and oppressive in camp but colourful and freeing in the forest. Simone and Christine were very likeable girls with a strong friendship despite having fairly different personalities as well as being at opposites ends of the social hierarchy such as it is.
This story intrigued me, it raised a lot of questions, only some of which are answered. For this reason it feels like it could be a prequel or a teaser, and I'd be very happy to read more and find out exactly what's going on. It would be nice to see interaction with others, maybe the Bookers, find out their experiences, build on the story. Simone checked out the farm boys, possible love interest? What's with the weird guards' grinning and stuff? There are lots more questions I'd like to know the answers to. So I hope we see more of Simone, Christine et al. If we don't, if this is all we get, I will be disappointed, but this was still a very enjoyable read.

Thanks to the author, Kirstin Pulioff, who gave me a free copy in exchange for a review.

Giving In (Wanting Series Book 10)
Giving In (Wanting Series Book 10)
Price: 0.92

4.0 out of 5 stars Adorable short story., 7 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was a follow up story to "Wanting" which is available to read on Piper's website. I loved Wanting so much that I checked to see if the characters' love story had been continued, and found this. You'll get more out of this if you've read that first I think, so definitely go read it. Wanting is longer than this so there's more to enjoy ;-)
This story takes place months into the relationship and is based around Valentine's Day. Jonah's love of superheroes prompts him to ask Laurie to do a bit of role-playing for Valentine's. The suggestion doesn't go down too well. For the first time there's a little disharmony in the relationship and the boys worry that things are changing.

I adore these two boys, they're funny, intelligent, so sweet together, and sexy as hell. Piper really draws you in with the characters, and I didn't think that was possible in short stories.
I'd love to read more of them, a full-length novel would be fantastic. Even if it were full of them in a supermarket doing a grocery shop in between hot sex scenes at home I'd read it, because Piper's writing is fun and so easy to read.

My only complaint was that it was shorter than I hoped, I read this on my kindle and was dismayed to see my progress of 50%, 80%, 100% appear so quickly. I want more please!

I'd recommend this to anyone who likes the author's work or loves a sweet love story with hot sex scenes and isn't put off by the sexual orientation of the characters.

Sweet Lullaby
Sweet Lullaby
Price: 4.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Get off that horse and...well......., 25 Aug 2013
This review is from: Sweet Lullaby (Kindle Edition)
I don't tend to go for books like this, cowboys, historical romance. No superpowers, supernatural beings or apocalypse in sight, but after reading a blog review I found a copy online published in 1994 with a very different cover to the steamy couple on the kindle version. I wasn't disappointed, in fact it was a page-turner and a bit of an emotional rollercoaster to read.
Jake's a cowboy, working at the Lazy A ranch, he's very good at his job but after his loving mother died when he was five his father took in his bastard son and well, let's say it was a hard upbringing after that. This led to him being a quiet, reserved, polite man with no confidence, believing himself to be ugly and unworthy, but very much in love with the owner's daughter Rebecca, though no-one knows. Not even her.
One night Jake is called upon to see the owner and fearing he's done something wrong is nervous of the forthcoming conversation. He never imagined what was coming next. Rebecca is pregnant to Brett, a cowboy who was all good looks, swagger and charm, but he's left the ranch to go looking for prospects and they don't know if he's coming back. Needless to say her father is furious and doesn't want the family shamed so he asks Jake, who's a good man and an excellent rancher, to marry his daughter, telling him the ranch will be left to them if he takes the child as his own.
Jake agrees to ask her, not willing to force her into anything, although her father sees it as a done deal and orders her to do it but after talking to Jake she agrees.
They get married and the next day leave for Texas infuriating Reb's father. Jake's father left him land there and he's been saving all his earnings to start his own ranch which they do. They meet neighbours, make friends, but also run into Jake's two half-brothers. One of whom is as hateful as his father was.
They start building a life together, Jake is a gentle man but also a gentleman, not expecting anything from Reb that she doesn't want to give, but they grow closer, she has the baby and Jake loves him dearly yet he still believes in his heart that she loves Brett. They continue to build their life together, overcoming most obstacles, some very harsh, until Brett turns up. I mean, you knew that was going to happen right? So who will she choose?
This was a very sweet tale, Jake is a character that you just want to give the biggest of hugs to sometimes especially when he is in torment, but he's a man, no doubt about it, rough, tough but fragile and tender too.
Reb is spirited, and with Jake she can be whatever she wants, she has no doubt he worships her and he doesn't treat her like a china doll despite her beauty like many men would. I wanted to slap her at times for not seeing what she has right in front of her but believing Brett to be her first love she's confused, we've all been there.
Then there's Frank, a teenage boy Jake took under his wing at the Lazy A that goes to Texas with him, Reb, and several other men. He's hot-headed but matures through the course of the tale. He's a fun character with a good heart.
The book is written from all points of view, you know what each character is thinking and feeling. The POV can change within a few sentences yet it was never confusing, it was refreshing to get inside all their heads instead of just a first person narrative, to me it made the book come alive, it never got boring "unlike this review!" I can hear you say, but hey, I've not had much practice and if you're still reading then it can't be too bad. Time to wrap up though.
Obviously I was rooting for Jake, I wanted Reb to fall in love with him, I wanted their ranch to be successful, I wanted the evil brother to just fall down a big hole. I wanted them to have a "happily ever after" ending. But did they get it? With so many things against them, including their own feelings, I want to say yes, that being cowboy and cowgirl, they rode off into the sunset together. But you'll have to read it to find out. I will warn you though, tears may be involved. Which is probably why I normally stick to YA/sci-fi/apocalyptic stories.
I'm so glad I took a time-out from my normal reads.

The Afterblight Chronicles Omnibus: America
The Afterblight Chronicles Omnibus: America
by Simon Spurrier
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.16

5.0 out of 5 stars Can't get enough of these chronicles., 3 July 2013
***Spoilers*** well, not so much a spoiler as a quote from the last book. It doesn't give away too much but still, you've been warned!

After reading "School's Out Forever" omnibus by Scott K Andrews I really can't get enough of the Afterblight Chronicles. Most of the world's population is wiped out by a virus and the world is totally screwed. This is the premise for each book in the chronicles. Abaddon Books have given authors this post-viral culled world and they can write pretty much anything set in this world and boy are there some stories!!

The last book in The Afterblight Chronicles; America has this guy called Cade. He goes to San Francisco looking for insulin for someone who's as close as he could describe as a friend and runs into some inbreeds, a religious group, cannibals and hippies. All pretty much as bad as each other. Yeah.
Cade is a brilliant character, and this book just thunders along at a brilliant pace.
One of my fave Cade scenes is a "speech" which occurs very near the end of the third book in this omnibus, "Death Got No Mercy" is far and away my fave of the 3 books. Although the other two are good, the best was saved for last. Ok, the longest speech Cade makes:

Page 592. Cade:
Might as well be honest.
"I killed about fifty of Clearly's people. They were on something; me too. They ain't happy. Probably saw where I was going." He shrugged. "Coming tonight." Cade hoped that'd satisfy the Pastor. He'd gone over every detail at some length.

Fantastic!! This was Cade's entire description of his experience with one of the communities he was asked to check out after running into the religious group first. He's a man of very few words but big on action.
Deadly. Seriously Deadly. Note the capital D.

This is a genius book but don't just read this one. Read them ALL!!

School's Out Forever (Afterblight Chronicles) An Omnibus of Post-Apocalyptic Novels
School's Out Forever (Afterblight Chronicles) An Omnibus of Post-Apocalyptic Novels
by Scott K. Andrews
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.53

5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. Just. Wow., 14 Jun 2013
I am in awe of this omnibus but utterly heartbroken too. After the Cull, a plague that decimates the world's population, pupils and teachers start returning to their boarding school. All their loved ones are dead so it seems a sensible place to go, but the school bully returns too and the fact that the school has a Special Cadet Force means that he and his inner circle are quickly armed. He initiates them into doing some heinous things so he can control them. But there are some very good guys too who don't like the way things are going so they plot to take charge and maybe make the school a safe haven again. Very little goes to plan though. As well as the brutality within school there are attacks from outsiders to deal with too. Very soon the whole school is heavily armed and carrying out daily military drills. Death, destruction, power struggles, and that's just the first book!!! (School's Out)
I despised some of these characters, you will too, and wished awful ends for them and loved some whose ends just made me cry a lot. These are very few words to describe an omnibus of books that have left me reeling and shellshocked. I borrowed this but will be buying my own copy because it deserves to be read over again. Despite the relentless violence, it's not glorified. If society breaks down your nice safe environment can turn into a battlefield. It's not unimaginable either, some of the things that happen in it, although Operation Motherland is like a mad joyride! Wow!! Children's Crusade is the book that broke my heart but I cried a lot for each of the characters I loved not just the ones who died. Throughout these books I laughed, cried, whooped for joy, felt despair at their failures and was completely astonished at the close calls and crazy plans. Having read the intro i knew no-one was safe but come on!!!! (You'll know) There's bonus material which is really good too, but after all that, I'm at a loss what to read now.

Blood Tithe
Blood Tithe
Price: 0.77

4.0 out of 5 stars So you wanna be a superhero?, 3 Jun 2013
This review is from: Blood Tithe (Kindle Edition)
The book begins with Jeremy, present day, seemingly adult, shortly after he's killed people. He's not a bad person, he's torn up about it and his soul is in turmoil fearing the wrath of God but they were bad people so maybe they deserved it right?
As he's pondering this, high up in a construction site, a security guard spots him, thinks he's a jumper, and Jeremy decides to use his "abilities" to have a little fun and play a prank, he'd never hurt the guard but things go wrong, and barely escapes with his life. He seeks medical attention but because he's been shot he has to travel to a more distant ER and almost dies. Rewind to an adventurous, boisterous 5 year old Jeremy who's a fun kid, adored by his parents and tolerated by his slightly older sister.
He's obviously mischievous and maybe a little accident prone "under my mom's orders, I was grounded from going into the tree house until I could figure out how not to fall out of it" (loved that!)
He's playing in the woods one day and his curiosity gets the better of him despite large warning signs when he comes across a fenced off area with concrete buildings patrolled with armed Air Force men. His Dad's in the Air Force so they live near the base but not on it, this isn't part of the base though it seems. When they find out his parents warn him to stay away from there but being a 5 year old boy he goes back with his best friend Sammy to show him what he found but he falls down a pit into some sort of liquid and this changes him forever. After weeks of unconventional treatment he's released from hospital and hopes to go back to normal life. But then he starts discovering abilities and being 5 thinks he's becoming a superhero which is way cool! It has its downside though as his mum becomes terrified of him which is utterly heartbreaking and Sammy becomes distant and they also end up having to move away due to a family bereavement.
The book jumps between present events and Jeremy's progression into his teenage years until eventually you reach the incident that's just happened at the start of the book and it continues from there, the changes are smoothly and well done I thought because when he's very young, he acts young and it's narrated like a young boy, as he gets older the narration matures nicely.
There's plenty of humour, teenage angst and heartache as Jeremy grows and discovers what abilities he has and how to use them but they come at a high cost which always hits Jeremy hard. I cried a few times during this book as well as laugh out loud. Jeremy does not have an easy life and one wonders what's in store for him next? You can tell I really enjoyed this, I adored Jeremy and will definitely be reading more about him.

Them or Us (Hater Trilogy 3)
Them or Us (Hater Trilogy 3)
by David Moody
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.19

4.0 out of 5 stars A trilogy not to be missed!, 11 May 2013
The final instalment sees Danny, a shadow of his former self, in a settlement run by Hinchcliffe the head honcho who wants to control everything that's left of a ruined, poisoned world. Any unchanged are hunted down and killed or running and hiding for their lives. Hinchcliffe discovers that Danny has an unusual ability in that he can hide the Hate and uses him to infiltrate unchanged groups and soon Danny no longer has the stomach for what once was an all-consuming drive - to kill. He has to decide which side he's on.
These books are not for the faint hearted and are disturbing at times, they'll not be forgotten easily, they're excellent and terrifying.

Dog Blood
Dog Blood
by David Moody
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Get stuck into this one, 11 May 2013
This review is from: Dog Blood (Paperback)
Holy s***!!!!

Couldn't put this down, the pace rattles along relentlessly and it seems improbable to relate to Danny when he loves killing the unchanged with his bare hands, but somehow you do! you don't know who's worse. The haters, as they are called, or the unchanged who are just as violent in their methods of trying to contain haters. Danny's main objective is to find his daughter, he knows she's like him and he wants her back no matter what. What a cracking good read.


by David Moody
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good guy gone bad. Or has he?, 11 May 2013
This review is from: Hater (Paperback)
I loved this book, even though it freaked me out! Danny goes about his day-to-day life, hates his job, goes home to a tired, crabbit wife and bickering children and a father-in-law who doesn't like him but the feeling's mutual. He witnesses seemingly unprovoked random acts of violence and, not liking confrontation, does nothing, as most people would in today's society. It's too risky to get involved. Over the course of a few days violence escalates up and down the country and the death toll rises. Everyone is terrified and people are scared to look at each other in case they're next. No-one seems to know why this is happening but it gets to the stage where military is called in, a curfew is imposed and people are advised to stay at home. The violence gets closer and closer to their home and their paranoia increases. Will they turn on each other? The pace of the book picks up towards the end as does the level of violence and desperation so it became harder to put down. There are two more to read so it'll be interesting to see if the pace established towards the end of the book continues. Having been victim of random assault it kind of scared the hell out of me, it's not a book/series I'll forget about any time soon.

This World We Live In (The Last Survivors, Book 3)
This World We Live In (The Last Survivors, Book 3)
by Susan Pfeffer
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars The world is dying but love blossoms, 11 May 2013
Well whaddaya know? Alex and his sister left New York and ended up with Miranda's father and his new wife and baby and another cheerful fellow named Charlie! They all turn up at Miranda's and despite the unease of all the extra mouths to feed they pitch in and keep their grumbling to themselves (mostly). They sign up for the food packages in town and things seem to be looking up apart from Alex insisting on leaving with his sister to take her to a convent where she'll be safe, something apparently only Alex wants, everyone tries to talk sense into him to no avail. At the start of the book Miranda and her brothers had started looking in other people's houses for food and items of use and this continues as Alex and Miranda get to know each other, she dislikes him at first obviously but this soon changes in a flash and suddenly they're in love. Eh? When Alex and his sister leave, Miranda and her dad take them and they find the convent Alex hopes to leave his sister with closed up and so return to the rest of the group. The usual catastrophies happen, there's loss of life, which was quite sad (as it should be) and the remaining survivors decide it's time to move on. Despite my hesitation at it being narrated by Miranda journal-style (she annoyed a bit in the first book) this one turns into a pretty good book, probably the best one I think. Although in this book I'll grant the most annoying character award to Miranda's older brother Matt. He was lovely in the the first book but is now a plonker.

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