Author Blog Tour Guest Post: David Wellington, Author of Positive

Welcome to the second part of the Working for the Mandroid stop on David Wellington's blog tour for his epic zombie adventure story Positive. This tour is hosted by Pump Up Your Book tours. Earlier we had a review of Positive and now the author himself has stopped by to discuss post-apocalyptic stories. If you're into zombie fiction and are looking for a book with a young, naive teen boy narrator suddenly thrust into a wild and unfamiliar world with danger around every corner, Positive could be the book for you! Let's here from David.

               Aren’t you a little sick of post-apocalypse stories? I know I am. Oh, I’m a big fan of mutant-haunted wastelands, going way back. In the ‘80s, when I was young, we were terrified of nuclear war. Yet our stories about what happened afterward, after the bombs dropped, were strangely hopeful. In the desert you could start over again. The shackles of modern civilization would be gone, all the expectations of a post-industrial society. No more punching the clock—your new job would be fighting off the fifty-foot tall grasshoppers who threatened your town. No more waiting in line at the DMV. No need for a license on the empty highways of the badlands. You would get to start a whole new life, and look like a badass all the time. You’d have a great atom tan and there seemed to be no shortage of hair care product, if the movies were anything to go by.

               But then the nuclear war just… never happened. Today’s fears of the apocalypse are different, more scientifically grounded, perhaps. Maybe just more nebulous. What will your life look like after climate change reshapes the planet? In case of an economic collapse, how much gold do you need to have stored in your bunker? And as our fears grew more diffuse, our apocalypse fiction grew steadily more grim and horrible. Life after The End just doesn’t seem as appealing as it used to. Oh, sure, no matter how bad things get, some plucky teenager might come along and save the day. Maybe. Or maybe the future is just going to suck, and we need to all accept that.

David Wellington on his Post-Apocalyptic Novel Positive

               I’ve written seventeen novels, now. My very first published novel, Monster Island, was about what New York City would look like after a zombie rising. It was grim, let me tell you. Gritty. Nobody had a good time in that book (except, hopefully, the reader). That was back in 2003. I was obsessed with zombies in 2003. Over the years I’ve watched countless movies about zombies and the apocalypse, though, and they’ve just started to depress me. You know? It just seems like things would go from bad to worse, and there was no hope for anybody. Worse—far worse—I’ve seen the people around me, especially the younger generation, start to think that the apocalypse is inevitable. That the year 2000 was the high water mark of civilization, and it’s all downhill from there.

               Which is why I needed to write my latest book, Positive, which just came out in paperback. I needed to write a book that was both post-apocalyptic… and hopeful.

               Is such a thing even possible? Finn, the main character of my book, is living in a pretty nasty world. Twenty years ago a virus raced through the population, causing some to turn into mindless, incredibly aggressive zombies. The worst part about the disease was that it could take twenty years to incubate. You could have this thing in your brain, growing and festering in secret, for two decades—and not even know it. Just one day you would go crazy and attack everyone around you. Of course, society’s response to this turned out to be even worse than the disease. Anyone even potentially infected is branded as a Positive, given a plus-sign tattoo on their left hand and shunned by society. Which is exactly what happens to Finn. He could be a zombie.

               Yet Positive is not really a zombie novel.

               Finn is forced out into the wilderness. A suburbia overrun by looter gangs and deadly road pirates. Think Mad Max but set in a world of crumbling row houses and strip malls. A world where you can be killed at any time for your canned food, your gasoline, even just for the shoes on your feet.

               Yet Positive is not a road pirate novel.

               As Finn ventures west, looking for some kind of security, some kind of salvation, he encounters a city that has fallen back into a primitive state. He finds a medical camp that is twenty different kinds of hell. Eventually he runs afoul of a death cult, which offers protection in exchange for human sacrifice.

               Yet Positive is… well, you get the drill.

               No, Positive isn’t about those things (or at least, not just about those things). It’s the story of somebody who can make his way in that world… and know there should be something better. That there can be something better, if we all pitch in.

               Positive is about the moment after the end of the world. The moment when the dust has settled, when the bodies have been buried. And about what happens next. In my early zombie novels, I had a number of characters ask the same question: What do you do the day after the world ends? Finn is finally the character who can answer that question.

               It’s simple, really. You rebuild. You gather together people who you can trust. People who get your vision. You sift through the rubble—but rather than just scrounging for tin cans, you look for the tools and the people who can make a whole new world.

               Positive is post-apocalypse fiction, sure. I also like to call it pre-renaissance fiction. It’s about what to do when there’s nothing left. It’s about finding hope in a place where hope has died.

               It’s also a ton of fun. Fast-paced, full of action and suspense and a love story for a damaged—but not quite defunct—age. I hope you’ll give it a look.

Positive
David Wellington

Harper Voyager
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a honest review.
Released April 21, 2015
448 pages
Thriller / Suspense

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

The acclaimed author of Chimera and The Hydra Protocol delivers his spectacular breakout novel—an entertaining, page-turning zombie epic.
Anyone can be positive . . .
Years after a plague killed 99 percent of the population, turning them into infectious zombies, Finnegan and his family live in a barricaded New York City. But Finn's sheltered life fractures when his unsuspecting mother falls sick with the zombie disease—latent inside her since before her son's birth.
Finn, too, can be infected. If he remains healthy for the last two years of the potential incubation period, he'll be cleared. Until then, he must be moved to a special facility for positives, segregated to keep the healthy population safe.
Tattooed with a plus sign on his hand that marks him as a positive, Finn is exiled from the city. But when marauders kill the escort sent to transport him, Finn must learn how to survive alone in an eerie, disintegrated landscape. And though the zombies are everywhere, Finn discovers that the real danger is his fellow humans.

About the Author:

David Wellington was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where George Romero’s classic zombie films were shot. He is the author of an online zombie serial, the Monster Island trilogy; Thirteen Bullets, a serialized vampire novel; and the Jim Chapel missions, including the digital shorts “Minotaur” and “Myrmidon,” and the novels Chimera and The Hydra Protocol. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

For More Information

Visit David’s website.

Connect with David on Facebook and Twitter

Author Blog Tour: Review of Positive by David Wellington

Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on David Wellington's blog tour for his epic zombie adventure story Positive. This tour is hosted by Pump Up Your Book tours and we're happy to have a review for you and later today we'll have a guest post from David himself! If you're into zombie fiction and are looking for a book with a young, naive teen boy narrator suddenly thrust into a wild and unfamiliar world with danger around every corner, Positive could be the book for you! You can see additional dates of the tour at the end of this post.

Positive
David Wellington

Harper Voyager
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a honest review.
Released April 21, 2015
448 pages
Thriller / Suspense

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

The acclaimed author of Chimera and The Hydra Protocol delivers his spectacular breakout novel—an entertaining, page-turning zombie epic.
Anyone can be positive . . .
Years after a plague killed 99 percent of the population, turning them into infectious zombies, Finnegan and his family live in a barricaded New York City. But Finn's sheltered life fractures when his unsuspecting mother falls sick with the zombie disease—latent inside her since before her son's birth.
Finn, too, can be infected. If he remains healthy for the last two years of the potential incubation period, he'll be cleared. Until then, he must be moved to a special facility for positives, segregated to keep the healthy population safe.
Tattooed with a plus sign on his hand that marks him as a positive, Finn is exiled from the city. But when marauders kill the escort sent to transport him, Finn must learn how to survive alone in an eerie, disintegrated landscape. And though the zombies are everywhere, Finn discovers that the real danger is his fellow humans.

Oh, zombies. Will we ever tire of you? David Wellington has created an expansive novel that crosses much of the country 20 years after the fall of civilization caused by a zombie virus. What many authors would have cut into three novels, Wellington puts into one rapidly paced adventure ride where zombies are the initial drive of the plot, but become a bit of an afterthought by the end. Because, as with all zombie epics, people are always the real enemy.

Positive felt very much like a mash up of a lot of different things I’ve seen or read or consumed recently. It has long sequences that feel straight from Mad Max: Fury Road without the helpful addition of Furiosa. Other sequences could have been pulled straight from The Walking Dead and still others could be straight from any number of books or movies that involved long treks and starving through a terrible winter. Some elements of Positive stand out, but so much felt like it’d been taken from something else that the book never truly begins to soar for me.

Finn is our everyman hero. He’s a nineteen-year-old, post-apocalypse war baby, who doesn’t understand why everyone in his parents’ generation are all so paranoid and acting like they’re just ready to die already. He’s lived in the safe zone on Manhattan island all his life, fishing in the subway tunnels and living a fairly safe life. Then one day over a disappointing dinner, his mother turns into a red-eyed zombie and Finn’s best friend has to shoot her. As one would expect, Finn’s life is never the same.

Wellington’s zombie mythology is unique to the genre – or at least as far as my experience with the genre goes. While a virus caused the mass majority of people to turn into flesh-devouring, red eyed monsters 20 years ago, the remaining population must worry about a potential 20 year incubation period after exposure to the virus, whether that’s through exposure to blood or other bodily fluids both of zombies and those who may be infected, or being bitten. For example, main character Finn is pushed out of his community because his mother turns into a zombie 19 years after he was breast fed, so he potentially carries the virus. Considering this book takes place about 20 years after the initial zombie apocalypse, it makes you wonder why everyone isn’t a Positive, considering I can’t imagine a zombie situation where everyone didn’t have exposure to a zombie at one point in time. Or at least exposure to someone who was exposed. And wouldn’t each new exposure restart your 20 year clock? But this is a zombie novel, so some hand waving is allowed.

After Finn’s exile, book one starts. This is the “survive in the wilderness” story full of looters and crime lords with big SUVs covered in war paint and barbed wire. Finn gets picked up by a driver who happens to keep a harem of pre-teen and teenage girls in tow to help him loot houses and “keep him company”. This is the Mad Max portion of the program.

Book two starts when Finn finally reaches the “medical camp” he was meant to go to all along. The 20 year incubation period has left a great number of the remaining survivors exiled from the walled cities protected by the remains of the US Armed Forces and into work camps that are closer to gulags than anything one would expect to see on American soil. Suddenly zombies are an afterthought and we get a story about military control and political unrest.

Book three is a survival story involving a not-quite forced march through questionable terrain, starting a new community and learning new skills and trying to create a sense of safety. Think of this as the story of pilgrims with all the hopeful rhetoric and posturing that one would expect. There is one group of zombies that appear during this sequence. We see no other zombies after this.

Then finally we have book four, which involves a battle with the real enemies of the world – other humans. Because humans are the worse.

For a book so steeped in the fear of becoming a zombie, there aren’t that many zombies in this book, especially in the second half. I think that oscillation between “ZOMBIES! VIRUS! AAAAH!” and “The bad guys are really other people” kept me from really gelling with this book. There is a nice highlight about a third of the way when Finn comes across one of the few other people with their morals still intact in the whole book and I wish there could have been some more of that. Instead I got Finn becoming increasingly more self-important as he dictated new rules and not-so-serendipitously kept running into someone that was set out to be his nemesis but never seemed that menacing.

I don’t like classifying books by a gender, but perhaps this is more of a “boy” book because it’s told from the first person perspective of a teenage boy who lacks much maturity. His inner monologue, while possibly accurate for someone in that situation, often bothered me with its repetitiveness, immaturity and total lack of perspective. I’ve found with other books like this, people who had once been teenaged boys were less bothered by it than I am.

Positive is a take on a zombie world that felt very cobbled together from other things, though a few original ideas would have helped it soar much more if they’d been explored and expanded on. I know it’s wrong to demand logic of zombie books, but I need a little more of a solid foundation to truly follow along with Finn on his adventures. Instead I kept coming back to my questions about the logic of the whole thing. This could be an exciting adventure through post-apocalyptic America if you’re not as sensitive to those kinds of things.

About the Author:

David Wellington was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where George Romero’s classic zombie films were shot. He is the author of an online zombie serial, the Monster Island trilogy; Thirteen Bullets, a serialized vampire novel; and the Jim Chapel missions, including the digital shorts “Minotaur” and “Myrmidon,” and the novels Chimera and The Hydra Protocol. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

For More Information

Visit David’s website.

Connect with David on Facebook and Twitter

 

Full Tour Schedule

 November 24

Book featured at 3 Partners in Shopping

Book featured at Bibliophile Mystery

Book featured at Around the World in Books

Book reviewed at Cheryl’s Book Nook

November 25

Book reviewed at Read Love Blog

Book featured at Authors and Readers Book Corner

Book featured at My Book Fairy

November 26

Book featured at Crystal’s Chaotic Confessions

Guest blogging at Bound 2 Escape

November 27

Book featured at Chosen By You Book Club

Book reviewed at Books, Food and Me

November 30

Book reviewed and Guest blogging at Romancing the Darkside

Book reviewed at Books that Hook

Book featured at Dawn’s Reading Nook

December 1

Book featured at Harmonious Publicity

December 2

Book reviewed and Guest blogging at Working for the Mandroid

December 3

Book featured at Bent Over Bookwords

December 4

Book featured at Archaeolibrarian

December 7

Book featured at The Dark Phantom

December 8

Book featured at Voodoo Princess

December 9

Book reviewed at Deal Sharing Aunt

December 10

Book reviewed and Interviewed at The Cosy Dragon

December 11

Book reviewed at Bea’s Book Nook

December 14

Guest blogging at Write and Take Flight

December 15

Book reviewed at Kristy Centeno

December 16

Book reviewed and Guest blogging at Natural Bri

Book reviewed at Bloody Bookish

December 17

Book reviewed at A Room Without Books is Empty

Book reviewed at I’m Shelf-ish

December 18

Book featured at Teatime and Books

Book reviewed at A Book Geek

Book reviewed at Ashley’s Bookshelf

 

Review: The Island of Excess Love by Francesca Lia Block

The Island of Excess Love
Francesca Lia Block

Henry Holt & Co.
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher.
Released August 26, 2014
224 pages
YA / Fantasy / Post-Apocalyptic

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

Pen has lost her parents. She’s lost her eye. But she has fought Kronen; she has won back her fragile friends and her beloved brother. Now Pen, Hex, Ash, Ez, and Venice are living in the pink house by the sea, getting by on hard work, companionship, and dreams. Until the day a foreboding ship appears in the harbor across from their home. As soon as the ship arrives, they all start having strange visions of destruction and violence. Trance-like, they head for the ship and their new battles begin.

This companion to Love in the Time of Global Warming follows Pen as she searches for love among the ruins, this time using Virgil’s epic Aeneid as her guide. A powerful and stunning book filled with Francesca Lia Block’s beautiful language and inspiring characters.

A few weeks ago I gushed about Love in the Time of Global Warming, the first book in this classic-inspired series of post-apocalyptic romance novels. It was a bit of a home coming of sorts a decade after Francesca Lia Block’s fiction had acted as a life preserver in my teenage years. I was eager to get to the second volume of the series, but I also didn’t want the experience of Block’s magical realism-filled poetic prose to be finished for the foreseeable future. So I read some other books in between, but none of them left the same dazed feeling of being truly transplanted completely to another place as Love in the Time of Global Warming did.

So when I finally picked up the sequel last week, I may have had my expectations set a little higher than I had when I read the first in the series a few weeks ago. While I wasn’t as captivated by The Island of Excess Love, I still had a difficult time pulling myself out of Block’s post-apocalyptic world of giants and illusion. This volume is based very loosely on The Aeneid and Pen as the narrator points out that, while Time of Global Warming paralleled The Odyssey near perfectly, this part of the story can at most be said to be “inspired” by the events of Aeneas and his followers.

---Slight spoilers for Love in the Time of Global Warming ahead---

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Review: Robogenesis by Daniel H Wilson

Robogenesis
Daniel H Wilson

Doubleday
I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Released June 10, 2014
384 pages
Sci-Fi / Post Apocalypse / ROBOTS!

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

The stunningly creative, epic sequel to Wilson's blockbuster thriller and New York Times bestseller Robopocalypse

"The machine is still out there. Still alive."

Humankind had triumphed over the machines. At the end of Robopocalypse, the modern world was largely devastated, humankind was pressed to the point of annihilation, and the earth was left in tatters . . . but the master artificial intelligence presence known as Archos had been killed.

In Robogenesis, we see that Archos has survived. Spread across the far reaches of the world, the machine code has fragmented into millions of pieces, hiding and regrouping. In a series of riveting narratives, Robogenesis explores the fates of characters new and old, robotic and human, as they fight to build a new world in the wake of a devastating war. Readers will bear witness as survivors find one another, form into groups, and react to a drastically different (and deadly) technological landscape. All the while, the remnants of Archos's shattered intelligence are seeping deeper into new breeds of machines, mounting a war that will not allow for humans to win again.

Daniel H. Wilson makes a triumphant return to the apocalyptic world he created, for an action-filled, raucous, very smart thrill ride about humanity and technology pushed to the tipping point.

I had absolutely no idea there was going to be a sequel to Robopocalypse. I found it completely by accident, scrolling through Edelweiss on my phone when I needed to waste a few minutes. When I saw it, well…

After staring at the cover for several minutes, waiting for my brain to reboot, I immediately requested it from Doubleday and I’d like to say I made a nice, polite request to receive access to Robogenesis, but that would be untrue. Instead I think I ended up writing something that was somewhere between begging and total incoherency. If I could have put the written equivalent of puppy dog eyes in an email, that would have been my request.

Okay, those are turtle eyes, but you get the point. Despite my extreme excitement, once Doubleday took pity on me and gave me access to an e-ARC, it took me months to finally open it. I was afraid. Robopocalypse was everything I could want in a nightmare-fuel evil robot book and I didn’t know if Wilson could match up with a sequel.

Daniel H Wilson is the king of my nightmares and that is not a title he intends to relinquish easily. I finally gave in and started Robogenesis.

Once I finally dived in, he had me yet again in his creepy clutches and I had a difficult time tearing myself away from the book to do silly things like sleep and go to work. Didn’t the rest of my life understand there were ROBOTS FIGHTING?

So my actual review?

While it didn’t have the novelty of the first one and the parameters of the robots in Wilson’s world were formed, Robogenesis was everything I could have hoped for in a sequel. It took me a little bit to remember all the players and how things ended up at the end of last book, but once things started coming back to me, I was hooked. It picks up just days after the end of the war when a false sense of hope that humanity can start living again starts sneaking in and carries through the next 11 months as everything starts falling apart yet again.

Once again the book is formed through the point of view of several characters after the events of the Robopocalypse have finished. The narrator, who provides small paragraphs of context at the beginning of each chapter, has found another historical recording of the events in key players’ lives and is transcribing the memories from neuron patterns accessed through remaining technology. This narrator splits the stories into three parallel set of events, claiming he’s trying to understand how everything happened in the “True War” that makes up the plot of this new volume.

There’s new tech, new types of robots, new super creepy things that crept into my dreams. A new threat starts creeping in around the edges of humanity, a new computer that claims to be a smarter and cleverer predecessor of Archos-14, the computer program that caused the original war. From the first page, an ominous atmosphere is set in place and Wilson uses his knowledge to flesh out the technology that makes up this world. While some of the newer pieces of tech start veering into the realm of fantasy rather than being real world based, that didn’t stop the world from jumping off the page.

The plot is not nonstop action with slow moments allowing for the world to be added onto while trying to match three different plotlines along the same timeline. Most of the heroes – or at least the ones who are still alive – from the original Rob war reemerge and begin piecing together that danger hasn’t disappeared completely. There is a lot of walking in this book, but there is enough new elements thrown in to make each of the long journeys more interesting. And of course, there are a couple of truly horrifying moments that will stick with me for a long time.

Unlike Robopocalypse, Robogenesis is wide open for a sequel, more or less setting up a giant confrontation between multiple big bads with the good guys finally teaming up to try saving what little remains of the human race. I look forward to seeing what other things Wilson has in his head that he will implant into my nightmares. I won’t doubt him again. I mean, he is a doctor.

I received an e-ARC from the publisher in return for an honest review. All squee is my own. Gifs belong to those who created them, but they've been spread across the interwebs and I couldn't track their owners.

Mini Review: Burn Out by Kristi Helvig

Burn Out
Kristi Helvig

EgmontUSA
I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Released April 8, 2014
272 pages

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

A futuristic blend of Beth Revis's Across the Universe and Lenore Appelhans's Level 2, Burn Out will satisfy the growing desire for science fiction with a thrilling story of survival, intrigue, and adventure.

Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off of it. One of the last survivors in Earth's final years, Tora yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become after the sun turns "red giant," but discovers her fellow survivors are even deadlier than the hostile environment.

Holed up in an underground shelter, Tora is alone--her brilliant scientist father murdered, her mother and sister burned to death. She dreams of living on a planet with oceans, plants, and animals. Unfortunately, the oceans dried out ages ago, the only plants are giant cacti with deadly spines, and her pet, Trigger, is a gun--one of the bio-energetic weapons her father created for the government before his conscience kicked in.

When family friend, Markus, arrives with mercenaries to take the weapons by force, Tora's fury turns to fear when government ships descend in an attempt to kill them all. She forges an unlikely alliance with Markus and his rag-tag group of raiders, including a smart but quiet soldier named James. Tora must quickly figure out who she can trust, as she must choose between saving herself by giving up the guns or honoring her father's request to save humanity from the most lethal weapons in existence.

Oh, Burn Out, you started with so much potential. Our heroine Tora is potentially the last living person on a burned up and abandoned Earth beneath a sun on the verge of dying. She lives in a bunker beneath the wasted landscape that her father built before his unfortunate with her only company being her memories of her younger sister and an arsenal of guns that her father developed for the government before hiding them away. It’s the beginning of a potentially interesting story of a girl who is all alone in possession of some of the most destructive weapons in the galaxy.

Then an old sketchy associate of Tora’s father shows up to take her to another world if only she’d turn over the arsenal for him to sell to the same government, now relocated, that destroyed her family. When she refuses, he returns a little while later with a crew of mercenaries to take the weapons by force. This is the point where any potential this book might have was demolished in the laser crossfire.

Tora is set up as a headstrong independent young woman with a strict moral code that will prevent her from ever allowing her father’s weapons to end up in the hands of the enemy (and in this case, anyone other than her is an enemy). The world has been described as deadly in every way, and she’s survived within it on her alone for years. That she suddenly goes from potential badass to whishy-washy damsel in distress is unfortunate.

None of the characters in Burn Out manage to maintain any sense of personality or motivation for very long before they do complete 180s and become someone else. One moment these mercenaries are attempting to kill Tora, the next they want to be buddies with her and she is a-okay with it. One minute she’s adversaries with a character, who tries to throw her out of a moving spaceship, and then the next chapter they are besties. It’s all very confusing and impossible to the point where all the characters feel like masks put on different character traits as the plot dictated rather than an actual person filled in by their personalities.

I also felt the pacing was off, never really getting up and running before it came to the end. This could have potentially be from my e-ARC having two copies of the book back to back so that as I came to the conclusion of the book, my Kindle showed that I was hitting 50% and I assumed there was much more to the story. Even if that hadn’t set me up for thinking there was much more story ahead, Burn Out ends just as it hints of a plot actually really beginning.

The lack of consistent characterization and the rotating motivations made this a very difficult book to get sucked into. It’s a short, fast read that could potentially lead to a series with much more meat, but this first volume lacks any hook to keep me reading further.

Review: The Rule of Three by Eric Walters

The Rule of Three
Eric Walters

Farrar Straus Giroux
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Releases January 21, 2014
405 pages
YA / Action / Post-Apocalypse

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

One shocking afternoon, computers around the globe shut down in a viral catastrophe. At sixteen-year-old Adam Daley’s high school, the problem first seems to be a typical electrical outage, until students discover that cell phones are down, municipal utilities are failing, and a few computer-free cars like Adam’s are the only vehicles that function. Driving home, Adam encounters a storm tide of anger and fear as the region becomes paralyzed. Soon—as resources dwindle, crises mount, and chaos descends—he will see his suburban neighborhood band together for protection. And Adam will understand that having a police captain for a mother and a retired government spy living next door are not just the facts of his life but the keys to his survival, in The Rule of Three by Eric Walters.

Eric Walters has made me paranoid. I am constantly looking over my shoulder, waiting for the inevitable disaster that will leave humankind helpless and devolving into animals. I feel inclined to horde guns and canned goods, barricade my windows and doors, and start stock piling gasoline in my garage (which can’t be safe). Eric Walters may have just ruined my life. It will never be the same. Thanks for that.

The Rule of Three is a bit of an odd little book. It’s the days and weeks following some sort of EMP or computer virus that knocks out all the power and computers in the world, and the events that follow within a small community. It follows 16-year-old Adam, son of the local police commissioner and novice pilot, through the not-so-every-day moments after a life-as-we-know-it level disaster. Luckily he lives next door to a slightly eccentric elderly man, who Adam assumes used to be a spy and is quite the survivalist, stockpiling supplies, food, chlorine tablets, and grenades just in case.

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Review: Champion by Marie Lu

Champion
Marie Lu
Putnam Juvenile
Released November 5, 2013
369 pages
YA / Dystopian

Find it on Goodreads

Order it from Amazon 

He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

I’m spending the next little while finishing up some trilogies that I only have the last book left to read. There has been a lot of dissatisfaction going around about a lot of the series enders that have come out this year, so I was incredibly cautious going into Champion. While I enjoyed Legend, I didn’t become a big cheerleader for it and found it just okay, lacking world building and predictable in plot, but with intriguing characters that I liked spending time with. Then came Prodigy, which sucked me in and took me on a crazy adventure, so I had no idea which side of the fence I would be after reading Champion.

SPOILERS FOR LEGACY AND PRODIGY AHEAD

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