Friday, 21 March 2014

MY REVIEW & REST OF SERIES PROMOTION - TALES FROM THE END - THE END F ALL THINGS BY LISSA BRYAN


Title: Tales From The End
Series: The End Of All Things
Author: Lissa Bryan 
Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop
Release Date: 4th Feb 2014

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From the author of The End of All Things comes a collection of short stories about the Infection that swept around the globe, decimating the population, and leaving behind a small number of survivors, unprepared to deal with the brutal new world which had replaced the one they'd known.


The Horsemen
L.A.'s mayor has declared quarantine to try to halt the spread of the Infection. Pearl sets off across the city to buy supplies, but already the world is changing. Something strange is in the air. The Horsemen are coming ...

Veronica
When Veronica's mother doesn't come home from work and no one answers the phone when she calls for help, a nine-year-old girl is thrown into the chaos of a world coming to an end. Veronica decides it's up to her to find her family. "Veronica" is the story of a little girl's courage in the face of the end of all things.

"I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud"
They called her Shadowfax-- the mare Carly and Justin found on their travels. But before she was found by Carly, the retired dressage horse was known as Cloud. An unusual tale of the end, told through the eyes of a confused and lonely horse, left in her pasture.

Birthday
A previously-published bonus story. Carly knows Justin has never celebrated his birthday, and after society crumbled, no one knows what date it is, anyway. But she wants to do something special for him. Celebrating the little things helps them keep hope alive, and as a blizzard rages outside, a small gesture of love warms their home.

INITIAL THOUGHTS
I actually missed hearing about this one, I found it quite by accident on Netgalley, but after reading The End Of All Things felt this was a must read compilation of short stories based around the first book. As I enjoyed The End Of All Things so much I had high expectations for this book, and definitely wanted some more Carly & Justin.

MY REVIEW
So as I have said above I downloaded an e-book of this from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. The cover of the book ties in well with the series and that of book one, which I think is a good thing.
So now to the individual stories. . . 
The Horsemen
The first short story centre's around Pearl, who is the agent of a rather demanding actor. The "disaster" starts by what appears to be a lot of cases of a bad flu, so Pearl decides to stay home and work from home to avoid the chances of catching the virus. Then when a quarantine is declared she has no choice but to head out to obtain supplies. Pearl witness the world quite literally going mad . . I enjoyed Pearl's story and hope we learn more of her in the next book on The End Of All Things Series which is called The Land Of The Shadow.
Veronica
This story is about a little girl who is just nine years old who literally finds herself home alone when her mum has had to take her brother to hospital. Veronica's brother has a poor immune system as he has suffered a serious illness prior to this latest outbreak. Veronica is a very brave little girl who initially stays home and waits and waits for a phonecall or help to come to hr. When help doesn't arrive she gathers supplies and sets off to the hospital to find her family. The story is a sad one, though there is hope for Veronica as she meets two other survivors who are willing to help her. Again I'd really love to know more about Veronica's story and find out where she goes after making it the hospital and realising the awful truth.
"I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud"
This story is totally different as the main character is a horse. The horse is named Cloud and has been mistreated by her first owners. This story tells of "The End Of All Things" from the unique point of view of this horse and what the animal goes through and what she has to do to survive. We already know what happens to Cloud "later"as she is found by Carly and Justin and they name her Shadowfax. Of course I want to know even more as I want to read The Land Of Shadow as soon as it's available!
Birthday
I was going to say that this short story was my favourite but being completely honest I truly loved them all! Thouh in this short story we take a look at Carly and Justin and to be fair it wouldn't be a book about The End Of All Things if it didn't give us a snapshot or two of the two main characters. So in this story we read about Carly making Justin a rather gooey birthday cake that doesn't go exactly to plan or recipe but hat Justin loves simply because Carly went to the time and trouble to make it for him. I love these two characters and any interaction between them so of course I enjoyed this one!

On the whole I have to admit to having read and enjoyed each and every one of these short tales. the only downside if it can be called a downside is that this collection of stories made me want to read more about Carly and Justin and their journey right now!

So did I enjoy the book/collection of short stories? I really enjoyed them. They were a taster of more great action to come in book two! Would I recommend the book/story collection? Yes, they will make you want book two even more and hopefully the characters in the short stories may be featuring in book two as well. Would I want to read more of this series? Oh, definitely. Would I want to read more books/short stories by this Author?`Yes, please! I really enjoy Lissa Bryan's writing style and story telling.

REST OF THE SERIES SO FAR

Title: The End Of All Things
Series: The End Of All Things
Author: Lissa Bryan
Publisher: The Writers Coffee Shop
Release Date: 24th January 2013

BLURB from Goodreads
After a terrible virus ravages the planet, Carly Daniels, one of the few survivors, hides in her apartment in Juneau trying to survive the best she can with only occasional forays to gather food. With her is Sam, a wolf puppy she found starving on the streets. He becomes her companion and a reason to continue when giving up sometimes seems like the more attractive option. Still dazed with shock and grief, she hopes for the world to go back to normal soon.

She is discovered by Justin, an ex-soldier who is intent on making his way to Florida before the winter sets in. Justin coaxes her out of her hiding place and convinces her to join him on his journey, because a warmer climate will be their best chance against the extremes of Mother Nature.

Together, they begin a perilous journey through a nation laid to waste by the disaster. Challenges abound along the way. The weather, injury, and shortage of supplies all help to slow them down. In time, they discover that they aren’t the only survivors. Some are friendly but some have had their minds destroyed by the high fever. Then there are those who simply take what they want, leaving Carly and Justin with no choice but to defend what is theirs.

But their journey is not without joy and love. Together, they face every struggle, including an unplanned pregnancy. Despite the perils of bringing a child into a world of chaos, their baby is a new beginning for themselves and a symbol of hope for the other survivors they find along the way.

This is the story of their journey to find a place to begin a new life, and a home in each other.

MY REVIEW
previously appeared on my blog 1st Feb 2013 LINKI downloaded this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. I was then contacted by The Writers Coffee shop to ask if I would be interested in being part of the blog tour, which is why I also have an Interview with the Author, Lissa Bryan. This book has also become part of my Reading Challenges for 2013, it's No 1 in the Dystopia Challenge hosted by Blog of Erised and also it's No 2 in the First in a Series Challenge hosted by Darlene's Book Nook.
The cover in my opinion is to represent both going through a tunnel and also the journey from the world with electricity, and running water to the new world of survival, no running water and no electricity, no stores etc. I would say the two figures in the tunnel are Carly and Justin.
So the basic story line is that a virus has run through the world and killed many people. The world as we know it has completely changed. There is no police force, the hospitals can't cope, the food stores are being looted and it is basically a "survival of the fittest" environment.
Carly has nursed both her parents during their fight with the virus. Carly has had to make some very stark and difficult choices during this time. Both her parents have died so she has moved back to her own apartment within the same block, and is more "existing" tan living. She has befriended a little puppy, whom she is now taking care of. the puppy is something to take Carly's mind off the terrible and worsening situation she is in all alone. She appears to be the only survivor around and then she notices a man literally camped out in front of her apartment block.
The male Carly see's is in fact an ex-soldier from her fathers old regimental unit. A special ops unit. The guy is called Justin and is very practical, he seems to be surviving quite well using his army training. 
Justin eventually but not very easily manages to gain Carly's trust little by little he learns her father was once one of his instructors. In fact it is Justin's old regimental tattoo that finally gives Carly the extra push of courage to trust him. Justin reasons, argues and pleads with Carly to go with him. His plan is to head South to warmer climates with farming land that they can plant an grow food in.
They eventually set off after many minor and some quite major arguments. Carly's pet puppy turns out to be a wolf pup that she insists on bringing along on the journey, or she refuses to leave.
On their travels they do meet other survivors, some good and some really bad individuals. Hard and some times heart breaking decisions have to be made. The two traveller's endure many hardships but still find themselves becoming closer and more attached to each other in time. Even tough Justin tries his best to distance himself from any sort of romantic involvement with with Carly. The inevitable happens and things move along for some time. Justin and Carly are adapting well and all seems to be falling into place, they may even reach their original destination of getting near to Florida if luck stays on their side, and they can keep up the pace they are travelling at. Then after an accident which costs them precious time they have to decide to "hole up" for winter. They search for a house to call their "home" and finally find one suitable. Then fate intervenes and one thing leads to another and they find out Carly is pregnant. Though both are extremely worried, thy are also secretly happy in their own ways too. A baby gives hope of a future. Though there are so very many things that could go wrong. There's no medical check ups, scans, midwife care let alone a hospital to go give birth in. And that's all I am going to say about the story. I will tell you that so much more happens too. There are sad, sometimes heartbreaking events that occur, but there is also humor and lighter moments within the book. The relationship that develops between Justin and Carly is beautifully written and is subtly brought into the plot. We gradually learn more about Justin and why he is the person he is, as well as learning more about Carly and her family life too. 
The scenery, landscapes, and living conditions are well described and so detailed you can visualize them. You can imagine and almost feel Carly's discomfort at not being able to shower or use a flushing toilet anymore. You seriously empathize with the fact Carly feels itchy and unclean, and you feel her joy and her elation at finding a cold creek to bathe in, or a house with running water to shower in even if it is icy cold water. The differences between the characters are shown well within the book, the way Carly is to begin with really emotional and wants to help every person and creature she comes across, whereas Justin is more practical and uses any spare supplies they have to trade for other items they need. Justin is more adaptable to the harsh conditions they have to survive in. Carly ends up having to toughen up somewhat, but I feel even in the subsequent books in this series (which I can hardly wait to read) Carly will always be the softer, more emotional and sentimental character of the two.
So did I enjoy the book? Oh wow YES I l.o.v.e.d, loved it! I mean look at the length of my review of the book, I could really go on and on about this book forever. Would I recommend this book? YES! to all those readers that love dystopian/post apocalyptic genre books. I have to add I highly recommend this book. Would I read a BK#2? Oh yes I would read it now if I could get my hands on it! I'd love to read it now to see what else the world has in store for Justin and Carly. Would I read more by Lissa Bryan? Yes I would certainly try other books by Lissa Bryan as I really enjoyed her style of writing and how everything flowed so easily.

NO COVER AVAILABLE YET!

Title: The Land Of Shadow
Series: The End Of All Things
Author: Lissa Bryan
Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop
Release Date: ? 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
None available yet!


I also was lucky enough that Lissa Bryan did a Guest Post for my blog on 18th June 2013 titled Why I Chose To End The World As We Know It and here's the link if you'd like to read it now!

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