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

Find out more about the short story and Michael Robertson

Follow Michael Robertson on Twitter and Facebook

Short Story Saturday: “The Demon Barker of Wheat Street”

51oXob+cRmLTitle: “The Demon Barker of Wheat Street”

Author: Kevin Hearne

Genre: Short Story, Fantasy, Fiction

Number of pages: 34 pages

Time it took me to read:  1 Day

Synopsis:

The ancient Druid Atticus O’Sullivan gets more than greasy corn dogs and flat soda when he visits a carnival in Kansas to which his apprentice, Granuaile, drags him. He runs across a barker with a strange power over the crowd: attractive women leave their men and disappear into an unmarked tent, never to be seen again, and the men wander away, forgetting that they ever had girlfriends or wives. When Granuaile falls under the barker’s influence and enters the tent, Atticus isn’t about to forget it and move on. He and his Irish wolfhound, Oberon, pursue her and discover the horrifying secret to the carnival’s success.

Short Story Review:

I am going to start with two short tidbits of information:

First, while this short story is sold separately it is part of a larger anthology, CarniePunk, that comes highly recommended. I will be linking reviews to the anthology with the VisualEditor_-_Icon_-_Tag-big.svg tag #CarniePunk. Keep an eye out for future reviews.

Second, I was struggling to get the last of my summer school students through their needed credits so I used this short story in the place of a longer novel. So this is a twofer review. I am going to put in my own review and then report how my high schoolers responded to the book.

My Review

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Group dinner  Kevin & Tacos!!

I have been reading Kevin Hearne’s since 2012. His first series is called The Iron Druid Chronicles and this short story is part of that series.  I have attempted to write reviews for this series but I love them so much that I am not sure how I would handle my audience rejection of them. I think I have evolved as a reader and blogger at this point in my life and I am ready to share.

 

Let’s start with the main character, Atticus O’Sullivan, who is the last living druid.  Atticus along with his apprentice Granuaile MacTiernan and his loyal Irish Wolfhound, Oberon, are visiting Granuaile’s hometown to check in on her mother who thinks she is dead. They come across some pretty shady things happening at the freaks tent and proceed to try and defeat some demons, imps, and ghouls and hopefully save some human life at the same time.

I may be a little biased here because I love everything Kevin writes. This short was no exception. The characters come to life and his storytelling captivates his readers from the get-go. I am not including a review of the audio recording because I am a devoted Luke Daniel’s fan and in my view, no one can be the voice of Atticus or Oberon but Luke Daniels. Since this short was part of an anthology of various authors I assume this is why they went with a different voice actor. Thus, my review would not be a fair one. I do have to say that my students did like his reading though.

Students Review

My students loved this read! I did have to do a bit of explaining about druids, magic, and some already established norms of series. One area they got a little hung up on was the idea of elementals as begins of the earth, but that didn’t last long with the humor of Kevin’s writing and their love of Oberon.  There were laughs and lots of after class discussion as we stopped ready in the middle because class had ended.

hghghHere are some drawings and words from the kids:

“I liked the part where he says dogs make everything better…”  – Angela M.

“The demons are really clever when they try to disguise themselves in human skin”  – Esteban P.

“I like the fight scene and how the author writes because there is a lot of action and keeps me really interested. I normally jmkjhdon’t like to read. ” – Cesar Y

 

“I like how Granuaile stands up for herself and can kick butt. She is a strong woman who can kick butt. ”  -Celeste L

varv“Oberon is my favorite character! His love of sausage, poodles, & hunting made me laugh so much.”   – Daniel V

“I love the words ‘clueless crunchy guy’ to describe Atticus. What does that even mean?”  – Chris A

 

Overall, “The Demon Barker of Wheat Street” was a success and I would definitely teach it again. The engagement level of my students proves its worth in the classroom. Thanks, Kevin!

 

My rating:

5

Find out more about the book and Kevin Hearne

Kevin is Hilarious on social media so I highly recommend you follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

Like my review and want to begin reading some of Kevin Hearne’s work? I suggest you start with one of these below:

 

Iron#1

Book 1 – IDC

 

giant

Book 1 – new series

 

 

 

KTFB-cover-art-final

Coming Soon

Review: Nyxia Unleashed

cover130437-mediumTitle: Nyxia Unleashed

Author: Scott Reintgen

Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Fiction, Space Opera

Number of pages: 400

Time it took me to read: 3 days

Synopsis: Emmett Atwater thought Babel’s game sounded easy. Get points. Get paid. Go home. But it didn’t take long for him to learn that Babel’s competition was full of broken promises, none darker or more damaging than the last one.

Now Emmett and the rest of the Genesis spaceship survivors must rally and forge their own path through a new world. Their mission from Babel is simple: extract nyxia, the most valuable material in the universe, and play nice with the indigenous Adamite population.

But Emmett and the others quickly realize they are caught between two powerful forces-Babel and the Adamites-with clashing desires. Will the Genesis team make it out alive before it’s too late?

 Novel Review:

I received this ebook in exchange for my honest review from Netgalley.com.

Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Scott Reintgen at Comic-Con and have been foaming at the mouth for the second book. So when I received the invite from Netgalley I was ecstatic. The book is officially out today and I have been reading away to make sure I had my review completed on time with the release date.

Emmet and the rest of the kids from Genisis 11 & 12 have finally touched down on Eden and are set to begin mining nxyia for the Babel corporation. Finally, the reader gets to meet and see the interactions between the Genesis members and the Adamites. Things are not as they appear and Emmet and his crew have just so much time to figure things out.

When picking up that next book in a series I am often a little afraid that the author will do something to kill the series. Perhaps kill off a favorite character, change the point of view and do a horrible job, or simply lose their flow. I can report this is not the case. There are some deaths and we get some new points of view but the overall flow is still there and Scott’s writing is still as thrilling as the first read.

From the heart racing action scenes to the beautifully rhythmic love scenes, Mr. Reingten has produced another masterpiece. His ability to create new worlds and cultures and then blend his storytelling with the various cultures from our plant is spellbinding. The characters came to life for me and this read took me on an absolutely thrilling ride.

I continue to be a Scott Reintgen fan and am eager for the final book in the Nxyia Triad. I highly recommend this read to anyone who enjoys Sci-Fi or a story that dives into the human condition and explores the complexities of the individual, choice, and human motivation.

My rating:

5

Find out more about the book and Scott Reintgen here

Follow Scott Reintgen on Twitter and Goodreads