Short Story Saturday: “Eden”

23303950Title: “Eden: A Short Story About The Zombie Apocalypse”

Author: Michael Robertson

Genre: Short Story, Sci Fi, Zombie, Apocalyptic

Number of pages: 29 pages

Time it took me to read:  1 Day

Synopsis: Welcome to Eden—the underground, self-sufficient complex that has withstood the zombie apocalypse for over thirty years and is home to the remnants of humanity.

Standing in the control room and about to take over his father’s position of running it, Mark quickly realizes there is more happening than a simple handover; he’s about to find out that Eden has secrets…dark secrets.

Secrets that change the way he looks at his father forever.
Secrets that change the way he looks at everything forever.
Secrets that will reveal the truth about the apocalypse…
Eden is a post apocalyptic tale about surviving the zombie apocalypse.

My Review

We are introduced to Mark who is shadowing his father on his last day as guardian of the compound that they have lived in for the past 30 years. The compound keeps them safe from the zombie apocalypse that is just outside their doors. As Mark’s dad walks him through the daily routine for the last time we learn a secret about the events that took place and lead to their apocalypse.

This short was surprisingly satisfying. It is a brief glimpse into the lives of these two men as a father shares his secret and a son learns the terrifying truth. The writing captured my attention from the very beginning and when I got to the end I definitely wanted more. Mr. Robertson gives us just enough emotion with his characters to draw us in. From the annoyed son who checks himself as his father runs through the emotion handing off of the torch to his son.

At first, I was irritated by yet another male author using the female body to create a disease and blaming the end of the world on. Too many male authors tend to use the female body to conduct experiments on and use the good ole troupe of a woman giving “birth” to a new breed of human. However, the way this story ends that clearly wasn’t the author’s intention in this short story and I was pleased by the revealing secret at the end, even if it was predictable.

This story earned 3.5 stars from me because the ending was too abrupt and some of the writing was predictable. However, I still recommend giving it a try considering its a short read, a good introduction to the author’s writing, the Kindle version is free on Amazon, and a second short story is included with the Kindle version.

I for one will be reading more from this author and suggestion you give Michael Robertsons’ writing a chance. Here is the link to purchase –> Eden <–

My rating:

3.5

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Review: Apocalypse Evolution

22318002Title: Apocalypse Evolution

Author: Paul Bryce

Genre: Science Fiction, Short Story

Number of pages: 24

Time it took me to read: 1 Day

Synopsis:

A Short Story of Post Apocalyptic Earth 
Hundreds of years in the future. The Earth has been ravaged by global warming and nuclear disasters and only a few hundred thousand humans remain, sheltered in domed cities. They are protected from the toxic badlands for now. But they’re living on borrowed time – and they know it. The electro-magnetic domes protecting the few remaining cities are under strain, and if they go everyone will die a horrifying death from radiation poisoning.

Eve Holsen is a new recruit to the Elite Warrior Caste, a genetically engineered soldier. When the world falls apart Eve has to make a journey through the toxic wastelands chased by an unknown enemy. The human race has one chance to survive and Eve doesn’t know that she holds the secret.

Novel Review:

This short story was not that bad. I love me a good apocalyptic read and learning about the imaginative ways that authors dream up humanity’s response to the end of civilization. I have found that the best apocalyptic story is saying something about our current society and really gives the reader something to ponder over.

Some of my favorites that do just this are:

  • Ridley Scott’s 1982 Blade Runner, where cybernetic replacements searching for their place alongside humanity (yes, I’m aware this is a movie)
  • Ray Bradbury’s 1953 Fahrenheit 451, in which a fireman is one who starts fires to burn books to keep them from thinking for themselves.
  • Several of Ray Bradbury’s short stories such as his 1950 There Will Come Soft Rains
  • Shirley Jackson’s 1948 The Lottery. Basically imagine you had to play the lottery in your city for a chance to be stoned to death by your community, well that’s the lottery.

In Apocalypse Evolution, we find that humanity is running on its last leg. The ozone layer is pretty much caput and people can not live outside the domes that were created to keep them safe. But those domes have now failed at the beginning of this short story and it is up to the main character, Eve, to carry out her brother’s plan for her and save humanity.

okay, so what I liked about this read was the different twists in the plot. Just when I figured out what was going on suddenly the author threw something else into the mix. It kept the plot moving at a fast pace.The worldbuilding was okay. I could see the city as it fell apart but I don’t know if it was because of the minimal description of the world around eve or more because of my imagination.

What I wished there was more of was the character development.

– S P O I L E R   A L E R T –

First, when you name a character Eve in any dystopian or Sci FI story your read already knows that you are going to make that character the “mother” of a new and improved humanity. It has been done to death so just don’t do it. If you do it, then make sure that the reader has a well developed main character at the very least to ensure that the reader can be appreciative of what she is about to do. I honestly was not emotionally attached to Eve at the end. I just sat there and though, well that was nice of her. I am pretty sure that is not the emotion the author was going for.  Maybe I am asking too much from a short story, but compared to some of my other reads this year I don’t think that’s the case.

With all that being said, I still liked this short story.  I gave it 3 out of 5 stars because I enjoyed the twists, like I said, and how the story was fast paced and kept me wanting to find out what happened. If you are into apocalyptic reads and seeing what new twists authors come up with for humanity’s survival then give Apocalypse Evolution a read.

My rating:

3

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Short Story Saturday! The Book of Riley

411ckPSNLzL._SX260_Title: The Book of Riley – A Zombie Tale

Author: Mark Tufo

Genre: Science Fiction, Horror, Apocalyptic

Number of pages: 86 (2 hrs 58 min)

Time it took me to read:  1 Day

Synopsis: When the zombie apocalypse strikes without warning one dog will hold the fate of her pack in her paws. This is the story of Riley, an American Bulldog, follow along as she tries to keep her pack safe from a zombie apocalypse. Traveling with her are Ben-Ben the high strung Yorkie, her favorite two-legger Jessie, Jessie’s younger brother Zachary and Riley’s arch-enemy Patches the Cat. They are a rag-tag group of survivors who when pushed to the limit realize that they are all each other has.

Novel Review:

This short story is a new zombie story but from the perception of an American Bulldog, Riley. I have to admit I was hesitant to pick up this story. I have read stories before from the point of view of a dog and they were horribly predictable and a bit cliché. This is not the case with the Book of Riley. After the first page I was completely invested in the animal characters and every page left me wanting to know what was going to happen next.

I loved the love/hate relationship between Riley and Patches the cat. The cat was sassy and constantly took jabs at the dogs but added significantly to the group with her outside world knowledge. Ben-Ben, the Yorkshire Terrier, was a fun character to read about. I have a small dog and can see many of his annoying small dog traits in Ben-Ben. The author gives us the bad and then adds depth to these little characters by showing the good, the heroics, the love that these small but mighty characters posses. I especially loved the back story about a beloved pet that was recently lost before the addition of Ben-Ben. The emotions really add to story and keep the reader invested.

It only rated it four stars because there were times that the writing began to get a little cliché. For example, writing that women tend to get “overly upset” for little reason is a cop-out and didn’t add anything to the story. Another example, is the multiple times that the author links what Riley is saying to what we call it. I felt it would better to just give the reader subtle hints and let us figure it out; have a little faith that the reader will connect it. Most of the times the author does and I feel it is in these moments that the story really takes a hold of me as a reader.

Overall, four stars. It’s a quick read and has just the right amount of zombie gore and suspense. I recommend it to anyone looking for a new twist to the beloved zombie genre.

*Note: There is an audio version of this but I have a hard time jumping into a story when the main character is female and a male is giving her a voice without a feminine inflection. 

My rating:

4 stars

Interested in the book? Find it on Amazon

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