Tag Archives: dystopian

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.
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This weeks Topic:  Top Ten Books On My Summer TBD List
There are a million books I want to read (and while “a million” may be an exaggeration, it’s not much of one), I’m going to limit my Top Ten to  books I either own or can borrow from the library.

1. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers – I’ve been wanting to read this book since I started reading about it long before it was published, and am thrilled to have it!

2. The Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness – I really enjoyed A Discovery of Witches and was so excited to get the ARC of the second book.

3. The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

4. Wicked Appetites by Janet Evanovich

5. Feed by Mira Grant – I just found this series from another blogger.  This is the first book of the News Flash Trilogy, and I do love stories that lasts longer than one book!

6. Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth.

7. The Silence by Jim Kraus.  This is a dystopian novel (as are several on this list), and I recently read a review on this book that interested me.

8. Delirium by Lauren Oliver

9. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

10. The Remaining by D. J. Molles

What books are on your To Be Read list for this summer?

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Books on my TBR List

I am constantly adding to my To Be Read list.  Every Mailbox Monday I find books I’m envious of, and every review I read helps me decide whether to add another book to my TBR list.  I use Amazon’s Shelfari (If you haven’t tried it, it’s great).  Here are some of the recent books I’ve added to my ever-growing list.

Plague Town by Dana Fredsti

“Ashley was just trying to get through a tough day when the world turned upside down.

A terrifying virus appears, quickly becoming a pandemic that leaves its victims, not dead, but far worse. Attacked by zombies, Ashley discovers that she is a ‘Wild-Card’ — immune to the virus — and she is recruited to fight back and try to control the outbreak.

It’s Buffy meets the Walking Dead in a rapid-fire zombie adventure.”  (GoodReads)

Picture This by Jacqueline Sheehan

“Peaks Island, Maine vibrates with its own special magic, a unique flow to life that knits together the small community that calls it home. The people, the animals, and even the houses have a charm and personality all their own. Just ask Rocky Pelligrino. Devastated by her husband Bob’s sudden death, she found hope thanks to a relentlessly loyal black Lab namedCooper. Warm friends and a new job—as the island’s Animal Control Warden—have helped Rocky chart a course toward a promising future. She’s even ready to try at love again with Hill, the gentle and patient archery instructor. And there is an old house haunted by lost love and forgotten secrets that speaks to her soul.

But a phone call from a troubled young woman looking for her biological father shakes Rocky’s newfound joy. Could this young girl hold a tendril of the man who was the love of her life? Or could the girl’s appearance throw Rocky’s world into chaos . . . and shatter her heart again?”

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

“Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn’t remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?

This fascinating novel represents a stunning new direction for acclaimed author Mary Pearson. Set in a near future America, it takes readers on an unforgettable journey through questions of bio-medical ethics and the nature of humanity. Mary Pearson’s vividly drawn characters and masterful writing soar to a new level of sophistication.”

Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz

The stallion reared over me, silently slashing the air with the hooves of its forelegs, a creature of such immense power that I stumbled backward even though I knew that it was as immaterial as a dream. . . .
 
The woman astride the ghostly mount reaches out desperately, the latest spirit to enlist the aid of Odd Thomas, the unassuming young fry cook whose gift—or curse—it is to see the shades of the restless dead, and to help them when he can. This mission of mercy will lead Odd through realms of darkness he has never before encountered, as he probes the long-held secrets of a sinister estate and those who inhabit it.”

Gifted: A Donovan Circus Novel by Liz Long

“Even in a world of freaks, being a Firestarter is considered a dangerous Gift.

Lucy was born with the ability to create and control fire. She longs to leave the human world for one filled with Earthshakers, Transporters, and Chameleons, to name a few. When she rejoins the circus, it’s everything she hoped it could be—new friends, a potential love interest or two, and a place where she can be herself.

When troupe members begin turning up dead, however, Lucy is suspected of foul play. She must not only prove her innocence but also realize the full extent of her power. To find the real murderer, she must uncover the truth behind her father’s fiery legacy while figuring out whom to trust within her new circle. Little does she know the history of the Donovan Circus and its enemies might actually destroy the entire gifted world.”

Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield

“Set in a dystopian world and featuring zombies, “Aftertime” is the first novel in a new series. Cass Dollar had been taken by zombies and turned into one of them. But she got better somehow. Now all she wants to do is find her daughter.”

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Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth

“Zach Barrows is an ambitious young White House staffer whose career takes an unexpected turn when he’s partnered with Nathaniel Cade, a secret agent sworn to protect the President. But Cade is no ordinary civil servant. Bound by a special blood oath, he is a vampire. Cade battles nightmares before they can break into the daylight world of the American dream, enemies far stranger-and far more dangerous-than civilians have ever imagined.”

Before You Go by James Preller

“The summer before his senior year, Jude (yes, he’s named after the Beatles song) gets his first job, falls in love for the first time, and starts to break away from his parents. Jude’s house is kept dark, and no one talks much—it’s been that way since his little sister drowned in a swimming pool seven years ago when Jude was supposed to be watching her.

Now, Jude is finally, finally starting to live. Really live. And then, life spins out of control. Again.”

I hope you’ve found some books to add to your “To Be Read” list!  Happy Thursday!

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Saturday Savings – Free Kindle Books

Here’s a new little meme I’m starting – and I’d love for you to join if you’d like.  I want to share great savings on books, e-books, coupons for bookstores, etc.

I found a new email subscription that keeps track of free Kindle books for me.  I know not all of you have an e-reader, or if you do, you may not have the Kindle, but for those of you who have one, or have the (free) Kindle Reader app on your computer, tablet or smart phone, here are a few books you can take advantage of….

Hollowland by Amanda Hocking  (I read this and really enjoyed it and the sequel, Hollowmen)

“Hollowland – the first book in the young adult dystopian series The Hollows..

“This is the way the world ends – not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door.”

Nineteen-year-old Remy King is on a mission to get across the wasteland left of America, and nothing will stand in her way – not violent marauders, a spoiled rock star, or an army of flesh-eating zombies. “

No Good Deed by M. P. McDonald

“Mark Taylor discovers first hand that no good deed goes unpunished when the old camera he found during a freelance job in an Afghanistan bazaar gives him more than great photos. It triggers dreams of disasters. Tragedies that happen exactly as he envisions them. He learns that not only can he see the future, he can change it. Then the unthinkable happened and everyone ignored his frantic warnings. Thousands die. Suddenly, the Feds are pounding on his door and the name they have for Taylor isn’t urban hero. It’s enemy combatant. And, it means they can do anything they want to him. Anything at all.”

 

Mrs. Gorski, I Think I Have the Wiggle Fidgets by Barbara Eshman

“David doesn’t know how he ends up in such situations. At the time, it just seems like a great idea. His teacher, Mrs. Gorski, has had about enough; he can tell by the way her voice changes when she speaks to him. This time, he believes that he has come up with the best idea yet. The perfect plan to make everything better.”

The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton

“Cameron Winters is a freak. Fortunately, no one but her family knows the truth …that Cameron can read minds. For years Cameron has hidden behind a facade of normalcy, warned that there are those who would do her harm. When gorgeous and mysterious Lewis Douglas arrives he destroys everything Cameron has ever believed and tempts her with possibilities of freedom. Determined to embrace her hidden talents, Cameron heads to a secret haven with Lewis; a place where she meets others like her, Mind Readers.

But as Cameron soon finds out some things are too good to be true. When the Mind Readers realize the extent of Cameron’s abilities, they want to use her powers for their own needs. Cameron suddenly finds herself involved in a war in which her idea of what is right and wrong is greatly tested. In the end she’ll be forced to make a choice that will not only threaten her relationship with Lewis, but her very life. “

Gods and Kings: Chronicles of the Kings by Lynn Austin

“Gods and Kings is the story of King Hezekiah, heir to the throne of King David. When his evil father plots to sacrifice him, Hezekiah’s mother, Abijah, searches frantically for a way to save him. But only two men can help her, and neither of them seems trustworthy. In a time and place engulfed by violence, treachery, and infidelity to Yahweh, Abijah and her son must discover the one true Source of strength if they are to save themselves and their country.”

Lancelot and the Wolf by Sarah Luddington

“‘King Arthur has dominated my life for decades and now I am banished from his side. I am not certain either of us can survive this torment…’

Lancelot, the greatest Knight of Camelot is almost flogged to death, exiled, and stripped of the King’s grace. He travels from England to Europe to begin a lonely, desperate life when he meets someone who will alter his perspective forever. Suddenly, he is trapped into a fate which forces his return to England. He must fight to regain his honour and his King’s life. From a world beyond ours but bound to us throughout time, the Fey hunt Arthur. They want him dead and only Lancelot can save him. Together they travel from Camelot, to Avalon and into Albion on a quest to save Arthur’s soul. They must also retrieve Merlin and redeem a love which both men find hard to bear.”

Hope you’ve found a book or two (or five) that look interesting to you!  Have a great weekend!

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Review – “Life As We Knew It”

Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Released: October 2006
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 337
Source: Library

From Goodreads:

“Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

Told in journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all–hope–in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.”

My review:

As I’ve mentioned before, I really enjoy dystopian novels, whether they involve zombies or not.  Another blogger, Brittany, read this book before me and said, “It was dystopian without having to go far into the future and very realistic. It really made me think that things like this could really happen and how scary that would be!”  After reading it, I totally agree.  While the story didn’t have super fantastical elements, such as virus’, walking dead, survival camps, mass evacuations or martial law, the very fact that it is realistic is the scary part!

A large meteor hits the moon, and shifts it’s orbit.  As the moon gets closer to earth, tsunamis, floods, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes decimate thousands of acres, cities and even entire states, hundreds of thousands of people are dead, and the government systems are defunct.  Miranda’s mother immediately tasks the family with filling multiple shopping carts with non-perishable food, hygiene products and first aid supplies.   When Miranda’s oldest brother, Matt, returns from college they begin chopping and stockpiling wood, months prior to winter.

As the season’s progress and food sources run low, the electricity is out, natural gas is gone, the well runs dry and schools close down.  The family’s world gets smaller and smaller as communication ceases, gasoline supply is exhausted, the volcanic ash turns the sky gray and the air polluted, the family is confined to their home.  Diseases spread, the volcanic ash has killed their garden and there is no more food to be had, their strength wanes and lack of privacy wears on their disposition.

Miranda’s father and his new wife, Lisa, are expecting a baby, but are unable to reach the kids since the phone system has been down.  As the rare radio station program reads lists of the dead, the future seems very uncertain, and in fact, improbable.  Miranda doesn’t know if her father is dead or alive, if Lisa has had her baby, or if they are even still alive.  As asthma, infections and the flu spread in Miranda’s hometown, the remaining citizens begin leaving for other places in hopes of finding a utopia in the midst of despair.

The scary part of this book is the fact that it is so realistic.  While a zombie apocalypse probably won’t happen, a major depression, or some natural or nuclear disaster is possible, and the results would probably be much the same as a large meteor displacing the moon.  Lack of electricity, sporadic news or  lack of wide spread communication, rations on gas – all of these things have already happened with lesser cause.  (Consider Hurricane Katrina for example.) While this novel is a work of fiction, it deals with a future that could be very realistic.

Now, excuse me while I empty my truck, and head to Sam’s Club to buy in bulk….

I rated this book a 3.5 out of 5.  I enjoyed it.

Other reviews on this book can be found here:

TeenReads

Books N Tea

And the book trailer:

The second book in the Last Survivor series, The Dead and the Gone, also has a book trailer:

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Bookish News & Dystopian Novels

I read today that Charlaine Harris plans to end the Sookie Stackhouse series next year.

You can read the GalleyCat article here.  She said her last book, Dead Ever After, would go on sale May 2, 2013.  Deadlocked, the twelfth book in the series was release May 1, 2012, which makes Dead Ever After the thirteenth and final book in this series.

Just this morning I was going through a couple of the many books stored in my garage.  As I go through them I mark if they are part of a series, and if so, what number.  I was surprised at how many long-running series there are.  For example, Rage by Jonathan Kellerman is the 19th book in the Alex Delaware series, and Dead Midnight by Marcia Muller is the 21st book in the Sharon McCone series.  I am starting Finger Lickin’ Fifteen by Janet Evanovich as we speak.  I love long-running book series, but sometimes they run out of steam long before the author comes to closure with the series.  What are some of the series you’ve read and enjoy?

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20th Century Fox acquires self-published novel Wool by Hugh C. Howey.  Wool is a dystopian novel written in the summer of 2011, and Howey has since written another four books in the series.  Wool was picked up by Century, a division of Random House, and coincidentally the publisher for 50 Shades of Grey.  You can read the first three chapters of Wool here.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has acquired the eBook rights to “We Can Remember it For You Wholesale,” the short story by the late Philip K. Dick that inspired the Total Recall movie in 1990 and an upcoming remake.   See trailer below.

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I have become a big fan of dystopian and zombie novels this year, and here are some of my favorites that I’ve read so far:

  • Passage by Justin Cronin
  • Legend by Marie Lu
  • Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
  • Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry
  • The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker
  • Hollowland byAmanda Hocking
  • Hollowmen by Amanda Hocking
  • Sundered by Shannon Mayer
  • Bound by Shannon Mayer
  • Dauntless by Shannon Mayer

Some that are on my To Be Read (TBR) list are:

  • Wool by Hugh Howey
  • Tomorrow, When the World Began by John Marsden
  • The Twelve by Justin Cronin
  • Prodigy by Marie Lu
  • Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
  • The Remaining by D. J. Molles
  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  • Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry

I get into a type of book and I run with it – I may spend months reading Sci-Fi, then go straight to murder mysteries, or non-fiction – who knows! Right now I’m in dystopian/zombie mode and Janet Evanovich.  I’ve only got three more to go before I’m done with the Stephanie Plum series, so I’ll have to find something else to get into.  What type of books are you into right now?

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Review – Legend by Marie Lu

Legend by Marie Lu

Synopsis by GoodReads:

“What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.”

Review:

This book is set in Los Angeles, CA, written from alternating viewpoints – one chapter from Day, and one chapter from June.  I’m a fan of dystopian novels anyway, and I’ve heard lots of good things about this book.  It’s been compared to the Hunger Games, but I can’t say that it grabbed me the same way.  I did enjoy the book though!  Day and June become characters you can believe in, and feel emotion for.  Although Day is labeled as a wanted criminal, his crimes resemble Robin Hood.  He steals from the rich (the government and military) for the poor.  He gives them money, food, clothes and other items he is able to steal.  He also sells things he “finds” to people who can afford them, and saves the money to take food, clothing and other necessities to his family.  All but his oldest brother, John, believe him to be dead from being sent to a work camp after his failure to pass the Trials.  Children of the Republic are tested when they turn 10 – they have to pass an interview and physical challenges as well as an intelligence test on a written exam.  Only one person in record has ever “aced” the Trials test with a score of 1500 – June Iparis.

June and Day seem to be complete opposites – one a prodigy from a wealthy family, and one a failure, reduced to stealing to feed himself, sleeping in abandoned buildings, and hiding from the Republic military.  Their paths cross in an unexpected way, and they are immediately drawn to each other.  June is recovering from the loss of her beloved brother, Captain Maties Iparis, while Day is struggling to get enough money to buy a plague cure for his youngest brother, Eden.  Their attraction is the beginning of a young romance.

As they each struggle to accomplish vastly different goals their paths continue to cross.  June is searching for her brother’s killer, and eventually believes it to be Day.  Day is struggling to feed and medicate his family, and learn the secrets of the Republic.  Will they survive their repeated interactions?  What is the Republic government hiding, and who does it affect?  Who does it betray?

I enjoyed Legend and am looking forward to the 2013 release of Prodigy.  I rate it a 3.5 out of 5.

Marie Lu started writing Legend, her debut novel, when she was only 14 years old.  Here are some excerpts from her web page – questions and answers about her work.

How did you come up with LEGEND?  One of the main characters in LEGEND, the boy criminal Day, has been in my imagination since I was 15. He started out as a teen rebel character in a fantasy novel I wrote in high school. I always had trouble thinking of a good rival or enemy for Day, though. I wanted someone who could match him.  Then, one day in 2009, I was lying on the carpet in my living room (this is how I daydream), and the movie version of Les Miserables was on. The Jean Valjean vs. Javert concept started me thinking about Day, and the central idea for LEGEND came almost right away: Day vs. an equally sharp detective agent. I was so glad that I could bring Day back to life, because he’s a character very close to my heart.

  • When is the sequel to LEGEND coming out?  Legend is the first book of a trilogy. The second book is titled Prodigy, and comes out on Jan. 29, 2013!
  • When did you start writing? I remember writing as early as 4 or 5 years old. When I was 5, I wrote a “book” (i.e. 10 sheets of notebook paper stapled together) about farm animals. I was always stapling together books of all shapes and sizes. Another time, when I was 7 or 8, I wrote out a bunch of short fairy tales about unicorns and cats, and stapled those together as well. I wrote my first “novel” (80 handwritten pages) when I was 11, a fantasy heavily influenced by Brian Jacques. I remember thinking about how to mass-produce that and bring it to the public. Little did I know there were publishers who did that …. somehow I thought every book at the library was magically distributed and printed by each individual author and delivered directly to the library. I started writing seriously at 14 when I finished my first official manuscript.
  • I hear that June started out as a boy! How would the story have been different if that were the case?  Yes, initially June started out as a boy because I was basing it off the ValJean/Javert relationship in Les Miserables, so that was the first thing that came to me. :) However, when I pitched this to my boyfriend, he immediately frowned and said, “You know, it’d be so much more interesting if the teen detective was a girl.” And all I could think was, “omg, that fits SO much better.” A lot of elements would probably have been the same–there still could’ve been a romance between the two leads either way, still the same action and the same emotional arc….but I think making June a girl added a strong female presence that was lacking from my original idea. I think she really helped round out the girls present in the story.
  • Will LEGEND ever be a movie or TV show?   I hope so! Currently CBS Films holds the film rights, with Temple Hill (Twilight) producing. I think it would make a cool movie–but then, I’m a little biased. :) I also think it’d make a great cartoon show along the lines of Avatar: The Last Airbender or Teen Titans, something for the 8-12 age group, about Day’s adventures as a boy fugitive before the events of LEGEND.  (This is good news!  I’d love to see CBS make Legend into a movie!)

Here is a link to the finalized cover art for Prodigy, as well as the exclusive first chapter on USA Today’s Book Buzz.
Other blogger’s review of Legend:
If you enjoy Legend, you will probably like:

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