Saturday, 20 June 2015

REVIEW - THE CANYON, THE PREPPER, THE HILL, THE GIFT, FOG CITY, & THE AVENUE - VOICES OF THE APOCALYPSE SERIES BY SIMONE POND

Title: The Canyon
Series: Voices Of The Apocalypse
Author: Simone Pond
Genre: Post Apocalyptic
Release Date: 19th January 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
The Canyon is the first short story in the Voices of the Apocalypse Series. Though Los Angeles is collapsing, one mother is determined to keep her only remaining child alive. Even if that means living in the wilderness.


PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon UK


INITIAL THOUGHTS
I'd had The New Agenda Series on my Goodreads wishlist to read for a while so when I noticed this series by Simone Pond and the fact that Voice Of The Apocalypse tells the story of the "Repatterning" from the beginning I decided I wanted to read these too. Then I saw that the books in the Voices Of The Apocalypse were only 99p each I decided to treat myself for a change and then just had to read at least one of them straightaway! I am hoping for a great post apocalyptic read, providing the premise for The New Agenda Series. 

MY REVIEW
So as I have already said I downloaded this one for just 99p. The cover depicts a group of trees cast in darkness with just a dimly moonlit sky. The cover gives you a feeling that this area is quite desolate, maybe a bit scary and sinister. It certainly doesn't look a very welcoming place. I thing the placing and font and detailing of the title etc are okay, but I think the "Short Story" could be replaced by the word novella. I am also not so keen on the font and spacing of the authors name. Though those negatives are just minor  tweaks really. Would the cover make me pick up this book from a bookstore shelf? To be totally honest the cover alone would not make me pick this book up, the fact it is post apocalyptic, so therefore would be displayed with other like books would probably prompt me to pick up the book.
So the main two characters in this novella are Mary and her 15 year old daughter Lillian. The government has been carrying out what they call their Repatterning Plan, so the whole Apocalypse scenario has begun and has had it's devastating affect on the area and people that live around Mary and Lillian.
Mary and Lillian have already lost so much. The first to be taken was Mary's son, he was conscripted to serve and fight in the war the government has got them into. Then one day whilst Mary and Lillian were out scavenging for food and other useful supplies, officials called by their home to give everyone a vaccination, so her husband and youngest daughter were given that, and both died days later, leaving only Mary and Lillian behind. Prior to his death, Mary's husband had done some research and had begun to plan their escape from Los Angeles. Now there is only the two of them left but Mary believes they must leave Los Angeles as soon as they can. The government have plans to destroy what is left of Los Angeles, so time really is a pressing issue.  The government are trying to encourage the remaining survivors to relocate to the crisis camps they have formed. Unfortunately these "crisis camps" have proven to be little more than death camps.
Mary and Lillian go out to try to find the last few items on their supplies needed list as well as obtaining some food for the following couple of days. These trips have become harder as they are having to travel further afield to find homes that haven't already been picked over.
Eventually they find a large house that appears to have been left untouched. They rapidly discover the reason for this is the excellent security locks on the patio doors. However Lillian's patience pays off as she wanders off to see if there is anything in the shed to help them gain entrance to the house. Mary and Lillian literally stumble into the shed and spot a set of stairs going down. Upon closer inspection they discover an underground bunker with everything they could ever wish for in a hideout, it's underground and has a kitchen, bathroom, and more. As well as being well stocked with a plentiful supply of food. Mary soon faces the dilemma of should the two of them stay here, there's certainly enough supplies here for them to survive a long time as well as the bunker being well hidden and having every possible comfort they could need. Mary has to weigh up the pros and cons pretty quickly. . . should they stay here, just the two of them, or is there more safety in being with other survivors. . This novella is of a fairly steady pace, taking the time to give you details on Mary and Lillian's surroundings and the dangers they face on a daily basis, as well as their struggles. This novella also tell's the reader about the government that is now corrupt, that if you are not one of the chosen elite, you are to be left to die. I did enjoy reading the novella a lot as it really sets the tone and the scene for the rest of the series. It gives you a teasing taste of what is to come. It is also a thought provoking novella and it really makes you ponder what you would do if you was in the situation that Mary and Lillian find themselves in through no fault of their own. There are also a couple of mentions of religion, one when Lillian asks her mother if she can pack her bible in her backpack, when told to only pack the essential items they may need. Then again where someone leads a prayer within a group of survivors. Though I don't read blatantly religious books both references of religion are well within context and totally believable. I think most people, perhaps even the toughest characters would find themselves either praying or speaking to God to ask for his help or protection during such trying times.
So did I enjoy the novella? I did enjoy reading the novella, it has stirred my curiosity, told me enough about the post apocalyptic situation and the state of the government in place, yet left enough unsaid to make me speculate what may happen dependent on the strong female characters decisions.
Would I recommend this novella? Yes, this novella would be a great introduction to those reader new to the post apocalyptic genre, as well as a great read for those already fans of this genre. 
Would I want to read more of the Voices Of the Apocalypse novella series? I have already purchased the other novella's of this series so far. I intend to read them all. I also expect to read Simone Pond's other series called The New Agenda which is set in the same area generations later.
Would I want to read other books by Simone Pond? As I said I do fully intend to read The New Agenda series too.


Title: The Prepper
Series: Voices From The Apocalypse
Author: Simone Pond
Release Date: 27th January 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
Arvada, Colorado. Critter Holt had been pinning after Mona Hendricks since they were kids. He trusted she’d come around––when the moment was right. He didn't know that moment would be during Senior Week when the world was coming to an end. 

The series includes ten short stories. Each tale transpires in a different city around the United States––all encountering the repercussions of the Repatterning, also known as the man-made apocalypse. 


PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon UK


INITIAL THOUGHTS
Approaching this novella i am looking forward to meeting some more great characters and learning how they are coping with the Repatterning.

MY REVIEW
I bought and downloaded an e-copy of this novella from Amazon UK. The cover of this book features a long figure moving away from a building that is on fire. Which is a scene from the novella. Would this cover make me pick this novella up in a bookstore? I think it would, but it would be due partly to the title too, as I love dystopian/post apocalyptic genre books.
The main characters in this novella are a male tennager named Critter who has had a crush on a teenaged girl called Mona for two years. They started kindergarten together and things began well they were friends. Mona even gave him the nickname of Critts. . . but as they got older Mona ended up in the cool kids group and Critter. . . well Critter was more in the misfits group. Mona is a cheerleader and is dating a sporty jock boyfriend who has a fast car to take her to school and back. Critter goes to and from school on his skateboard. 
The teens are just going through the motions at school, occasionally turning up to classes sometimes going straight home after getting an attendance mark.  It's when Critter and Mona are sat in their english that the explosions and fires begin. Critter grabs Mona's hand and takes her with him to the hideaway where he and his fellow "Preppers" have stashed their bug out bags. They then wait to see who else turns up at the meeting point. . . 
So did I enjoy the novella? I did enjoy it a lot and I am hoping that I  will perhaps read more about these characters in Simone's The New Agenda Series.
Would I recommend the novella? Yes, though I am reading these novella's first, I feel they are giving me necessary background and circumstances that will be relevant in The New Agenda Series too. The Voice Of The Apocalypse Novellas are certainly making me want to read The New Agenda Series even more!
Would I want to read another novella from the series? Definitely, I sat and read this in the Doctors waiting room whilst my mum had her cataract operation and immediatley went on to the next novella.
Would I want to read other books by this author? Yes, for sure. This Voices Of The Apocalypse Series is making me want to read The New Agenda series even more!


Title: The Hill
Series: Voices Of The Apocalypse
Author: Simone Pond
Genre: Post Apocalyptic
Release Date: 7th February 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
Kensington, Maryland. The girls didn't know it would be their last time meeting at the hill. Antonia had one thing on her mind that night –– the boy she had been crushing on for two years. She thought the Repatterning had taken him away before she had a chance to kiss him goodbye. But that wasn't the case. 

The series includes ten short stories. Each tale transpires in a different city around the United States––all encountering the repercussions of the Repatterning, also known as the man-made apocalypse. 

PURCHASE LINKS

INITIAL THOUGHTS
So as I was sat waiting my mum to have her second cataract operation, I wanted a short read that I thought I would really like. So I am looking forward to meeting more great characters and learning how they are coping with the Repatterning, and The Executive Order Of Conscription.

MY REVIEW
I bought and downloaded an e-copy of this novella from Amazon UK. The cover of this book is of a landscape, and the effect on the cover gives a worn feel to it which I'd say hints at the apocalyptic genre of the book. Would this cover make me want to pick this book up from a book store shelf? Yes, I think it would but again the fact its apocalyptic would also sell the novella to me.
The main character of this novella is a teen aged girl called Antonia, or Toni as her friends call her. The novella begins with a group of teen girls that have met up at their usual hang out on Gore's Hill. The place actually belongs to one of their neighbours who don't have kids at all but don't mind the teens hanging out there. The girls Toni, Lynn, Lee, Kristina and Toni's younger sister Andi are sat talking about the "Replanning" and the fact all the cute guys would be gone by Monday because of the "Executive Order Of Conscription". They are smoking some of the last real cigarettes they have managed to buy from the black market and are complaining about all the extra rules the "Planner" have brought in, the teens are slowly having all their freedom and enjoyment taken away. They complain to one another about the curfews and their respective parents. Toni and andi's dad is ex-military which makes him a tough strict parent.  They begin playing the "What if" game. . . and end up teasing Toni about her crush on Matthew Wesson. Time passes quickly and Andi reminds Toni they should be heading home. It's on the way home that Toni feels like she is being watched and sure enough a blue minivan is following her. She knows who has a blue minivan, Mrs Wesson, her son also drives it too.
It turns out Matt is going to run away to avoid being conscripted, it's not that he doesn't want to fight for his country, it's the rumours that the boys that are conscripted never come home. . . So what does Matt Wesson want from Toni?
So did I enjoy the book? I really enjoyed this on, at the beginning I was wondering a little as to whether the main character was male or female. I love the different characters.
Would I recommend the novella? Yes, a must read.
Would I want to read another novella in the Voices Of The Apocalypse Series? Yes, I intend to read them all!
Would I want to read other titles by Simone Pond? Yes I have her "The New Agenda Series marked as to read already!


Title: The Gift
Series: Voices Of The Apocalypse
Author: Simone Pond
Genre: Post Apocalyptic
Release Date: 25th February 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
Willoughby, Ohio. Ransom Sherman and Keyla Johnson were probably the last two people you’d ever expect to find roving around together. But it was the end of the world and sometimes that was how these things went. 

The series includes ten short stories. Each tale transpires in a different city around the United States––all encountering the repercussions of the Repatterning, also known as the man-made apocalypse. 


Goodreads Link


PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon UK


INITIAL THOUGHTS
I am enjoying meeting the characters in these novella's I am looking forward to meeting more of them and learning how they are coping with the Repatterning, and The Executive Order Of Conscription. I hope they feature in the New Agenda Series too.

MY REVIEW
I bought and downloaded this novella from Amazon UK, as when I read about the New Agenda Series & This series Voices Of The Apocalypse were set in the same era. I wanted to read about how the repatterning had affected different characters.
The cover features a tractor, which fits in with the fact that Ransom, one of the main characters in this novella is a retired farmer.
Would the cover make me pick it up in a bookstore? I think I would yes. It certainly fits the book well.
This novella is set in the town of Willoughby, and the characters we meet Ransom Sherman, and Keyla Johnson. Ransom Sherman is a 63 yr old retired farmer. He knows first hand how cruel the Repatterning can be. He lost his daughter Emma in a farming accident and his wife Peggy abandoned him shortly after that accident. That probably why he feels so protective towards the other character in this novella. Keyla is a tiny black girl who looks about 12 yrs old to Ransom. Keyla managed to evade the kidnappers that took her Aunts and older sister Dayla. Keyla feels what you could probably describe as "survivors guilt"as when she ran she didn't know whether her sister was still alive or not.
I liked the way that Ransom immediately wanted to protect Keyla and take her under his wing. He really listens to her and actual tries to help her find a sense of closure. . .
Even though the novella is short I did become attached to these characters.
So did I enjoy the book? I really did enjoy this novella.
Would I recommend the novella? Yes, I really would.
Would I want to read another novella in the Voices Of The Apocalypse Series? Yes, I intend to read them all!
Would I want to read other titles by Simone Pond? Yes I have her "The New Agenda Series marked as to read already! and the rest of this series too.


Title: Fog City
Series: Voices Of The Apocalypse
Author: Simone Pond
Genre: Post Apocalyptic
Release Date: 18th March 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
San Francisco, California. Successful PR executive, Samantha Crawford, wasn't supposed to be sitting in a dive bar with a guy from the office, not during work hours anyway. Everything changed that day. 

The series includes ten short stories. Each tale transpires in a different city around the United States––all encountering the repercussions of the Repatterning, also known as the man-made apocalypse.



PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon UK


INITIAL THOUGHTS
I am again, looking forward to meeting more characters and learning how they are coping with the Repatterning, and The Executive Order Of Conscription. I hope they feature in the New Agenda Series too.

MY REVIEW
I bought and downloaded this novella from Amazon UK, as I have said before that when I read about the New Agenda Series & This series Voices Of The Apocalypse were set in the same era. I wanted to read about how the repatterning had affected different characters.
The cover of this novella, still fits the worn look of the other covers and represents the apocalyptic feel/genre. Would the cover make me pick it up in a bookstore? Yes.
Most people are working from home so when they are informed that the office they work for is closing due to Career Re-Patterning, they decide to go scavenge anything they can from the office they formerly used to work in. When they get there the office is literally full to bursting with other people having the same idea. The main female character professes her love for a fellow male office worker called Crow who doesn't seem to reciprocate her feelings though he smiles at her. Then surprisingly Crow admits that he is working undercover and that the whole Repatterning is basically another way of committing genocide!
So did I enjoy the book? Yes, I did enjoy this novella.
Would I recommend the novella? Yes, I really would, you do learn that there is a resistance against the Repatterning.
Would I want to read another novella in the Voices Of The Apocalypse Series? Yes, I definitely want to read them all!
Would I want to read other titles by Simone Pond? Yes I have "The New Agenda Series marked as to read already! and the rest of this series too.



Title: The Avenue
Series: Voices Of The Apocalypse
Author: Simone Pond
Genre: Post Apocalyptic
Release Date: 14th April 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
Bronx, New York. Tiger Saparito loved Arthur Avenue, where he'd spend his days with the fellas. But recently the charming Italian neighborhood had become a wasteland. Along with the rest of the Bronx. In fact, the entire Big Apple had gone rotten - no thanks to the Repatterning. Goodreads Link


PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon UK

INITIAL THOUGHTS
Still looking forward to meeting more of the characters and learning how they are coping with the Repatterning, and The Executive Order Of Conscription. I hope they feature in the New Agenda Series too.

MY REVIEW
I purchased and downloaded this novella from Amazon UK, as I have said before that when I read about the New Agenda Series & Voices Of The Apocalypse series were set in the same era. I wanted to read about how the repatterning had affected different characters.
The cover on this novella shows a bridge with some run down buildings. The cover does look aged and apocalyptic. Would the cover make me pick the book up in a bookstore? Yes, as it's apocalyptic I'd definitely pick it up to learn more.
This novella is set on Arthur Avenue, it used to be a thriving business street. The main male character in this novella is called Tiger Saporito, he loves Arthur Street even though it's no where near as busy as it used to be. Tiger is sort of the head of the ageing  mafia type group of men. Donna runs into the cafe Tiger and some of his gang are sat in having coffee saying that the buildings are being torn down.
Tiger and his men gather and open his hidden stash of weapons and take to the rooftops to defend their remaining buildings. 
So did I enjoy the book? Yes, I did enjoy this novella a lot. The camaraderie of the men, the way they sort of know that they cannot win but do not want to go down without a fight.
Would I recommend the novella? Yes, I really would, you see that there is a resistance against the Repatterning, that though people may know they cannot win they are prepared to fight for what they have left.
Would I want to read another novella in the Voices Of The Apocalypse Series? Yes, I definitely want to read them all! I intend purchase and download the last few of the novella's to read before beginning the New Agenda.
Would I want to read other titles by Simone Pond? Yes I definitely will be doing so I have. "The New Agenda Series marked as to read already! and the rest of this series too.

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