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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 4 September 2012
Redaction: Extinction Level Event is a gripping apocalyptic tale of survival, courage and horror.

The writing at times reminded me of JR Ward Fallen Angels series, with POV alternating between the main characters. We get to be inside the head of the main female lead, Mavis, a biological warfare specialist who knows more than anyone about what is going on, David, the soldier and his unit of brave men trying to save the remaining of humanity, Trent, a serial killer and a seriously scary villain,and Manny, a latino post-teen who is trying to save his siblings.

Firstly, Mavis, the female protagonist, was a really refreshing change from the teen heroines of the usual dystopias. 42 years old, with a dead husband and son, of military background, Mavis is a solid strong, rational woman and not an angst ridden, unpredictable teenager. I loved the blooming relationship bewteen her and the Sergeant Major David Dawson, 45, a male of honor and as simple as they come. Again, a really refreshing change from the brooding teens of other dystopias. He is a real man and it is a pleasure seeing love blooming in the midst of doomsday. The crew of supporting characters is so well fleshed out, you are really hoping Linda Andrews wont pull a RR Martin and kill them all off in the end, despite the seeming low odds in their favor. The human race is on the verge of extinction and we follow the brave survivors as they try to find a safe place to regroup and gather the remaining humanity for the day after.

The writing is great, apart from some long descriptions, that work, however, to really paint the grim picture of the end of days. I soon found myself totally engrossed and worried about the futures of the heroes of the book. And the killer in the midst is so creepy, adding a dark, seedy kind of horror in the overall apocalyptic horror that is the infection, the death, the violence from gangs looting the cities, the rats infestation and the looming nuclear meltdown that the survivors are trying to escape.
What a grim, scary scenario.

I already downloaded Book #2 in the series and devouring it.

Please Linda Andrews, let the heroes survive!
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on 20 August 2012
This is an interesting novel and I really couldn't put it down. (I stayed up until 1.30 this morning reading it.) Unlike too many Kindle novels I have recently seen, it has no grammatical errors and is carefully-structured.

I cried at least twice; once from sadness and once from joy.

Definitely buy it!

I am now waiting for Part II.
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on 19 June 2012
This is an apocalyptic novel which is better than several others I've read recently. However it is too long, needs editing and is overly and unnecessarily descriptive.

Sadly the author does not have a good feel for dialogue and I found myself getting confused on many occasions where the story was progressed by means of obfuscate comments, conversations or thought trains. On numerous occasions I had to read the same paragraph over and over again until I (sometimes) got the meaning, which made it hard going at times. The sexual tension sub-plot between two of the main characters was a bit unnecessary and over-done. The whole murderer sub-plot felt a bit like padding - who would care if a murderer got away when 70% of the population was dead or dying?

There are some very good ideas in this book and it could certainly be described as dark, horrifying and realistic. The collapse of civilisation and any form of government is well thought out, and the plight of the survivors is downright scary. The main characters come together towards the end of the book leaving it wide open for a sequel. Would I buy it? Possibly, although I'd download the free sample first.
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on 9 December 2013
Gave up a quarter of the way in. I don't want to sound mean, but I found the book poorly written with many mistakes. The story and characters were yawn-inducing and I had to re-read sentences or paragrapsh to understand what was supopsed to be happening.
There are better novels out there, sorry, this was a waste of time for me.
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on 3 December 2012
I really wanted to like this. I liked the premise and I thought there was a certain harsh real-ness to the novel...but it flounders upon the twin cores of it's substance: the plot and the characters.

The plot is pretty thin and is spun into a tizzy by long, meandering descriptions that leave the reader frustrated, bored and a little perplexed. The pacing is all wrong and I wished for an acceleration of tension at some point but the pace of the prose stays quite constant. It's frustrating because there is some meat on the bone here and a good editor would have bashed this into shape easily enough because although the plot is weak there is some great apocalyptic projection stuff that I found really interesting and when the book finally does get going it is pretty good.

The characters are pretty shaky as well with only the military personel given any kind of depth. There is, however, progress later on and I found myself (finally!) warming to a couple of the characters but there are too many characters merely serving as window dressing or contrived tools to push along narrative streams that serve little or no purpose (the serial killer instantly springs to mind). The main problem is that the dialogue is too snappy at times (as if transcribed from ad-libbing actors) or clichéd beyond the extreme and it is only later that the author finds a good rhythm. There is also a voice issue and I never felt that any of the characters had a definite voice, but again, that gets better later on. Mavis (inexplicably marooned in suburbia when the Pentagon or the CDC would have been my choice) struggles to find her tone and it's only Manny who stands out.

But you cannot argue with £0.77. It manages three stars mainly because I did finish it (albiet on the second attempt) and it does get much better towards the last fifth of the book and it does only cost £0.77. The writer has got some talent, there is a good novel in here trying to get out but she needed a bullish editor to cut the novel in half, work her dialogue and keep the plot simple. Maybe the second one will be better...but I am going to scan the reviews pretty hard before I buy. It's the not the money I am baulking at it is the time I need to invest reading it.
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on 13 September 2012
How anyone can complain about this book when it's 77p on Kindle. The added joy is that it is also well written. We enter the story just after a devastating plague wipes out about 40% of the the US population, so society and government are just about still running. The point of view characters are a soldier, a teenager protecting younger kids, a government scientist, and a psychopath. Eventually all these threads pull together as it dawns on us the situation is getting worse and worse as a more deadly virus is spreading. The author recreates a society falling apart and a sense of growing dread. As a reader I felt this could all actually happen. Lets hope there is a sequel planned (I'm sure there is....)
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on 18 April 2013
What is really well done in Redaction is illustrating the breakdown in normal life and showing the fragile reality of everything we currently take for granted. Also the plot is good with some decent characters. The point, very strongly made, here about nuclear power plants is something I had always wondered about in Apocolypse and zombie stories, and Im glad to see someone not glossing over it.

On the down side it does feel overly long, without much forward progress or sense of urgency despite the need for it. When it does move forward we learn that some major event has occurred and we didnt know about it, other than a brief mention.

The other problem I noticed was that in spite of "the books many edits" there are still a lot of problems with grammar and spelling. At times I had to re-read a passage several times trying to work out who was supposed to be talking at that point or whether the speech marks were even in the right place. I'm not a grammar expert but feel I could have done a better job than the editor in this instance.

I suppose the key question is "Am I interested enough to get the follow up?" The answer, and reason I gave it 3 out of 5, is yes it is good enough to keep going with. As with anything else don't be put off by critics, but have a look yourself and make up your own mind.
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on 18 December 2012
I am not sure that reading this book with a cough and a cold, in the week preceding the end of the world was such a good idea but it did add to the atmosphere!

I really enjoyed this book although the constant use of unknown acronyms did get on my nerves to start with, get past that however, and it is a great example of the genre. I like the way that the world has just got through what could have been an extinction level event to then be kicked when they are down by a reoccurrence of the illness.

To be honest the characters are a little 2D but the story moves at a good pace so the lack of depth is not noticed .The lead character Mavis (who is only my age but whose name always makes me think of her as a little old lady) is not an obvious choice for a leader of the free world and I like the way that she is not portrayed as perfect - she has her doubts and fears too. David, the handsome, heroic soldier is just what is needed in the way of a hero and we have a great cast of misfits and baddies too.

This is well worth the price of a bar of chocolate and despite frightening the life out of me I can't wait to read the sequel!
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on 26 January 2014
First off, this was a free download thank goodness - had I paid for it, I would have been annoyed at the waste of money, even at its previous price of £0.77! As it is, I'm only annoyed at the appalling laziness of the writing and the total lack of editing.

I read a lot of apocalyptic fiction. This plot (not that I've read it all, I gave up as life's too short, and I'd rather move on to something better) is ok, if a bit derivative. But the writing is just abysmal. It's so lazy! In the first 4 pages she describes Mavis's niece's ponytail SIX times - because she's young, do you see? She keeps swishing her ponytail - that's because she's so young and dismissive of what's been happening, do you get it? It's a swishy, glossy, teenage ponytail. Then Mavis conveniently explains all the backstory to the niece, even though presumably the niece is fully aware of it (although, maybe her swishy teenage ponytail has dragged that information out of her teenage brain, who knows?). There's a bizarre conversation in the burger restaurant about credit cards... And so on, and so on. And that's just chapter 1! There are far too many descriptions of what characters are wearing, the colour of the wisps of hair round their face, the shade of their eyes; and nowhere near enough detail of who the characters are inside.

If you don't care about the writing, then fair enough, you might enjoy it. If you've read good apocalyptic fiction, then give this a miss. Unless you're really bored and have read all the other books in the world.
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on 4 August 2014
I've read a few post apocalypse books, in particular Angela White, and have generally enjoyed them. This one must have something in it as I an now on the next in the series. Although the pacing is occasionally a little slow due to lots of description, it was a good read with realistic characters, by that I mean not the usual psychotic, deep, brooding hero/heroine of few words, lots of inference and significant looks. Loved the misogynist, for the right reasons, is this how women imagine every man behaves/thinks in private ??. Accept the book for what it is, a tale of people in trying circumstances, sometimes the worst comes to the surface, who triumphs will no doubt be revealed in time. Four stars for the writing, Five stars for value, its a free book, try it you have everything to gain.
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