Post-Apocalyptic

Recommendation Tuesday: The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Recommendation Tuesday started as a joke and is now an official thing. Basically, this is my way of making Tuesday a little more awesome. If you've got a book to recommend on this or any Tuesday, tweet me at @FullShelves and I'll help spread the word.

View all of the past recommendations over here. 

The uncertainty of my own experience is crushing. I am drowning in an infinite sea. Sinking slowly, the weight of the lightless depths forcing me down, forcing the air from my lungs, squeezing the blood from my heart.

I feel kind of ridiculous recommending a big book with a big publicity push behind it, but it's a rare sequel that enthralls me as much as the original. 

The Fifth Wave was one of my favorite books last year, thanks to its editor literally shoving it in my hands and I clicked preorder on the follow up, The Infinite Sea, before it even had a title. The sophisticated plot, overwhelmingly ominous tone and captivatingly complex characters stood out in the sea of lookalike post-apocalyptic novels

Recommendation Tuesday: The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Stream-It Saturday: Jericho (TV)

I am so enjoying this "stream-it" series. All I want to do it post about things you can stream, but I am exercising restraint and just doing so once a week.

You can check out the rest of this ongoing series here. 

When Hulu first became a thing, I became completely addicted. There wasn't a ton of content on there, but there was some show called Jericho. I've always been a survivalist/post-apocalyptic story junkie (which is amusing, given how ill-equipped I am for such a scenario), so I queued up the first episode and proceeded to give up sleep in favor of watching the two seasons in an embarrassingly short period of time. (For the record, I'm fairly certain that I watched a few episodes on CBS' Innertube service. Does anyone else remember that?)

Stream-It Saturday: Jericho (TV)

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

But if I’m it, the last of my kind, the last page of human history, like hell I’m going to let the story end this way. I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity’s last war, then I am the battlefield.

Earlier this year, I happened to meet the editor of Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. I'm not exaggerating when I say that she accosted me, and forced The 5th Wave into my hands, despite my protests that I'm not really a science fiction reader and that I had major burnout on post-apocalyptic/dystopian novels.

She promised that this one was different, that this wasn't like those other books, that if I liked character-driven stories with lots of moral conundrums, I'd love this book (she clearly had my number on those counts). Then, because I was probably still looking doubtful, she told me that The 5th Wave was her favorite book she'd worked on. There was something that told me that this wasn't a line, that she she loved this book that much.

Just a few days later, my curiosity got the best of me and I cracked open The 5th Wave.  Let's just say, I never bring print books with me, instead relying on my ereader or Kindle app to read on the go. However, my review copy of The 5th Wave went everywhere with me while I was reading it--it's simply that excellent.

The 5th Wave opens after aliens have invaded and attacked Earth. First, electricity was destroyed with an electromagnetic pulse; then the coasts were enveloped by rising seas; next, an Ebola-like plague wiped out much of the population; then, what were effectively alien sleeper cells were activated, and the few remaining humans can't trust anyone. 

I know what you're thinking: Another post-apocalyptic novel?

The 5th Wave isn't just another post-apocalyptic novel. It's it's character-driven, it's complexly-plotted, it's frightening. 

While The 5th Wave is written in multiple points-of-view, Cassie, the teen narrator of the largest chucks of the novel, is the character whose voice will likely receive the most attention. She's one of the few who's managed to stay alive during the invasion, but not without a high, high cost. She lost her mother to the third wave (the viral infection), her father in the fourth wave and her younger brother is now missing--Cassie is alone in the world, dodging snipers and making life and death decisions in order to survive.  

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Review: Reawakening by Charlotte Stein [NSFW]

Reawakening by Charlotte Stein - Reviewed on Clear Eyes, Full Shelves

It has recently come to my attention that Clear Eyes, Full Shelves has been pigeonholed as a YA blog—while simultaneously being blocked from several servers for indecency.

WTF? How dare they constrain us to simply a single category? We’ve got our own official adult romance correspondent! We review everything from the latest True Blood to Japanese horror novels! And when did chest-waxing become an indecent topic*?

In an effort to really earn that indecency label and prove, once and for all, that we aren’t only interested in YA, I decided to review Reawakening by Charlotte Stein, a book about how the zombie apocalypse forced a one woman and two hot men into a threesome.

Yeah, you read that right. Zombies and the fun kind of threesomes. (You get this is NSFW, right?)

Reawakening takes place two years after zombies have changed life forever. No-one’s really sure what caused the crisis; no-one knows what changed the majority of the population into strange creatures that sure resemble zombies.

‘They’re not even fuckin’ zombies, really- people just went crazy, you know they did. Probably, like, some mutated rabies virus or some shit like that. And I bet it weren’t even a bomb or some kind of chemical warfare. I bet it was something fuckin’ ridiculous, like GM crops or a new kind of Aspirin.’

Civilization has crumbled, leaving random pockets of survivors and a hell of a lot of flesh eating creatures. June has managed to survive the zombie apocalypse (so far) but she’s definitely hurting. She’s rescued in the first chapter by a weirdo in a Hawaiian shirt named Jamie who takes her to his safe island.

Jamie lives on an island fortress, surrounded by mines, alarms and all sorts of weaponry along with his friend Blake. At first June has difficulty adjusting to this new, less dangerous reality. With such an impregnable fortress between them and any danger, Blake and Jamie haven’t had to abandon everything that makes life worth living.

{Review} Angelfall by Susan Ee

Beads of water cling to him like in a dream. The combined effect of the soft light behind him from the bathroom and steam curling around his muscles gives the impression of a mythological water god visiting our world. 

Angelfall by Susan EeThis is not a mythological water god, rather it is Raffe, an agnostic angel created by Susan Ee in her post-apocalyptic self-published novel, Angelfall.

Penryn or Pen, whose world has turned into a nightmare of gangs of roaming scoundrels, witnesses the brutality of celestial beings de-winging the handsome angel Raffe who becomes her ally in working to regain the world she once knew. She wraps his wings in a bundle to protect them from more damage. They’re carried with him as he navigates with Pen this frightening new world.

Without wings, Raffe is vulnerable. With them he is nearly invincible.  Pen’s theory is that they can be reattached like a human’s thumb. Together they search for an angel-surgeon to perform the feat.

Angelfall kept my interest with its fast-paced action and unusual characters.

Raffe (the wingless agnostic angel) plays a central role in the story. Angels have swept the earth creating an end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it shattered existence. Food, shelter and safety are only memories. Broken lives along with literal debris from a once a thriving world litter the pages like dominoes scattered across a playroom floor. 

Pen, from whose eyes and mind the first-person story evolves, struggles as she always has to hold her family together. She’s a teenager who’s versatile, strong, savvy and determined. Her mother’s mental instability and paranoid insanity means that monsters and demons have been her constant companions for years, therefore this new world’s not new to her.

Paige, Pen’s sweet and dearly loved sister, at eight years of age is confined to a wheelchair. Pushing Paige through the debris strewn streets and all the while  keeping her mother under some semblance of control is not an easy task. Then, Paige is ferreted away by angels who do not have much use for humans while her paranoid mother wanders off on her own path. 

The basic plot is breathless and absorbing.

{Review} Angelfall by Susan Ee

{Early Review} Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Struck, Jennifer Bosworth’s beautifully crafted debut depicting a vision of an apocalypse precariously facing the final stroke from the hand of God pulls the reader into a world both uncomfortably familiar and visionary. All unbelievers face the fires of hell. The good and obedient souls wish for the the glory of heaven. 

Struck has something for everyone and held me in its grip from the dramatic start to the electric conclusion.

If you’re a reader who loves a gripping tale to read into the late hours of the night because you can’t leave it alone, this one will be just the ticket! If you delight in allusions, metaphors and sundry literary devices, welcome aboard!