Book review: Heaven's Queen by Rachel Bach

heaven's queenTitle: Heaven’s Queen
Author: Rachel Bach
Publisher: Orbit
Genre: SF

Available now
Blurb:

From the moment she took a job on Captain Caldswell’s doomed ship, Devi Morris’ life has been one disaster after another: government conspiracies, two alien races out for her blood, an incurable virus that’s eating her alive. 
Now, with the captain missing and everyone — even her own government — determined to hunt her down, things are going from bad to impossible. The sensible plan would be to hide and wait for things to blow over, but Devi’s never been one to shy from a fight, and she’s getting mighty sick of running. 
It’s time to put this crisis on her terms and do what she knows is right. But with all human life hanging on her actions, the price of taking a stand might be more than she can pay.

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Book review: The Buried Life by Carrie Patel

the buried life coverThe Buried Life
Author: Carrie Patel
Genre: Dystopian, SF
Publisher: Angry Robot
Release Date: July 29, 2014 (North America), August 7, 2014 (UK)
Note: this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Blurb:

The gaslight and shadows of the underground city of Recoletta hide secrets and lies. When Inspector Liesl Malone investigates the murder of a renowned historian, she finds herself stonewalled by the all-powerful Directorate of Preservation – Ricoletta’s top-secret historical research facility.
When a second high-profile murder threatens the very fabric of city society, Malone and her rookie partner Rafe Sundar must tread carefully, lest they fall victim to not only the criminals they seek, but the government which purports to protect them. Knowledge is power, and power must be preserved at all costs…

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Book review: The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination

Mad-Scientist-Cvr_091312
The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius

Editor: John Joseph Adams
Genre: Science Fiction Anthology
Publisher: Tor
Note: This review is being published simultaneously on Char’s blog, Apocalypse Mama, and here on In Case of Survival.
Blurb: 

Mad scientists have never had it so tough. In super-hero comics, graphic novels, films, TV series, video games and even works of what may be fiction, they are besieged by those who stand against them, devoid of sympathy for their irrational, megalomaniacal impulses to rule, destroy or otherwise dominate the world as we know it.
Dr. Frankenstein was the first truly mad scientist of the modern era. And where did it get him? Destroyed by his own creation. And Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo, a man ahead of his time as well as out of his head, what did he do to deserve persecution?
Even Lex Luthor, by all counts a genius, has been hindered not once, not twice, but so many times that it has taken hundreds of comic books, a few films and no fewer than ten full seasons of a television series to keep him properly thwarted.
It’s just not fair. So those of us who are so twisted and sick that we love mad scientists have created this guide. Some of the names have been changed to protect the guilty, but you’ll recognize them. But it doesn’t matter. This guide is not for you. It’s for them, the underhanded, over-brained, paranoiacs who so desperately need our help.
What lies behind those unfocused, restless eyes and drooling, wicked grins? Why–and how–do they concoct their nefarious plots? Why are they so set on taking over the world? If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, you’re in luck: Because we are exposing their secrets, aiding and abetting their evil. It all awaits, within.
Watch out, world!

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Broxo by Zack Giallongo

In this wildly entertaining fantasy debut we meet Broxo, the only surviving member of a tribe of barbarians who once occupied a now-desolate mountain. All alone in the world, Broxo spends his time on the mountain hunting and avoiding the man-eating walking dead that periodically drag themselves out of a fetid lake.
 
Everything changes when Zora, a foreign princess, arrives on the mountain seeking Broxo’s lost tribe. Can the two young warriors together defeat the living dead?
 
With accessible and beautiful art, killer fight scenes, and a story that mixes humor, romance, and classic high fantasy, Broxo is a tale you’re sure to enoy.
Broxo [1. provided free by First Second] is a fun, easy read for slightly older children. With just enough romance and horror to keep things interesting, and some absolutely wonderful art, it’s a must-own for anyone who like their children to read.
It uses the standard epic fantasy tropes with a light touch and a knowing attitude, and the message in it seems to prize bravery, familial love and honour, which are all good things. It can be pretty bloody, though, and has some really quite effective moments of horror, so if your children are very sensitive to these things it might be best to read it with them. There are some genuine tear-jerkers within the narrative as well.
I’d have loved this as a child – hell, I loved it as an adult! Well worth grabbing.
[Rating:4/5]
NON-BOOK REVIEW THINGS: If you want to win a copy of This is the New Plan by John Xero, there’s still just enough time. Just pop yourself over to the contest details and enter.

Book Review: Apocalyse How by Rob Kutner

[1. provided for review by Running Press]
Let’s face it: Our world’s gotta go sometime.
Whether it’s due to mushroom clouds, asteroids, a mad supergenius, Jesus, newly sentient iPods, or Pod People, everything about life on Earth is going to change.
And you should be psyched.
APOCALYPSE HOW is a comprehensive cataclysmic guide that walks you through the Nine Most Likely World-Ending Scenarios, and provides useful and inspiring advice on every aspect of surviving (and thriving!) in the new world to come. Covering everything from food, shelter, and relocation to social life, dating, recreation and career, APOCALYPSE HOW is the only book you’ll need – and just might be the last one left at all.
 
OK, this is going to be a short review. Why? Because if you like this website, you will LOVE this book.
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Book Review: Starters, By Lissa Price

[1. Review copy provided by Random House Childrens Books]
Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie’s only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man. He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie’s head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator’s grandson.
It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations’ plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .
Starters is a great YA. The story is complex (though not too complex) the characters believable and likeable, and the dystopia shown in the work is disturbing.
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Book Review: The Last Night, by Nico Rosso

[1. Review copy provided by Carina Press]
After a chain of earthquakes ravaged the globe, long-dormant viruses were released into the air, turning many humans into creatures with an appetite for human ashes. Erica and a group of survivors are barricaded in a half-destroyed hotel, and every day brings them closer to being devoured by the seemingly unstoppable ashers. Even though Erica is a fighter, she’s tired of just surviving…
When a mysterious stranger rides into town, everything changes. Jake knows how to kill the ashers, and he’s the only man brave enough to leave the safety of the hotel in search of a better life. Erica and Jake make a deadly fighting team, with even hotter sparks flying between them. But Jake has survived this long because he rides alone. He doesn’t trust easily, especially in this harsh new reality. Can Erica convince Jake that living is more than just surviving to the next day?
I’ve tried to write post-apocalyptic erotic romance before. Despite the fact this is the second in the genre I’ve reviewed, there’s a huge gap there. I’d personally like to read more of it, and because I believe in writing what I’d like to read, I made the attempt.
I wasn’t very good at it. It turns out, I am not good at writing desire and sex. I am extraordinarily good at writing people having awkward romantic feelings for each other that sort-of maybe get kinda fulfilled towards the end, but I cannot write erotica. Because of that, I am always pleased to read the good stuff.
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Book review: An A-to-Z Guide to Biblical Prophecy and the End Times

Publisher’s blurb:[1. Review copy provided by Zondervan]

This dictionary is a comprehensive reference tool designed to assist everyday people in understanding biblical prophecy. Based on solid scholarship, it contains clear and readable entries on a broad sweep of topics relevant to biblical prophecy, providing insight to complicated subjects in a balanced fashion.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that I like the apocalypse. (Ha.) I research it, I read novels about it, I watch movies about it, I poke fun at conspiracies about it, blah blah blah. So it’s probably not surprising to learn that I’ve long been interested in Christian eschatology. After all, the Bible has some wicked imagery about the end of the world. (Seriously, those four horsemen? Awesome.)

Anyway. I came across this book on NetGalley, and being a book entirely about a topic I’m ridiculously interested in, I requested it. (And got it. Yay!)

When they say this book is a guide, they’re misleading you. No, this book isn’t a guide; it’s an encyclopedia. There’s nothing wrong with encyclopedias–I’ve been known to read them for fun. My point is, this book is one of the most comprehensive resources on biblical eschatology that I’ve ever come across.

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Fiction Review: Bitter Harvest by Kim Knox

Bitter Harvest By Kim Knox [1. Provided for review by Carina Press]
It’s 2050, and humans are an endangered species. Lieutenant Robert Sutton has survived the collapse of civilization by luck, his wits, and a chance mutation that makes him immune to the nano-virus that has wiped out millions. Now, his compound of survivors is surrounded by the infected, who are driven by the need to spread the contagion through sex. It is only a matter of time before they attack. So when Sutton is assigned to interrogate a prisoner who claims to have overcome the infection, he immediately suspects a trap…
Nicholas Rider may have survived the virus, but he’s a changed man, ruled by his desires. But his need for Sutton is different. Rider craves an end to his overwhelming needs, and Sutton could be the man to do it.
Secure in his belief that he’s invulnerable, Sutton can’t understand or resist his intense attraction to his prisoner. Will Rider be his downfall-or his savior?
 
As if you couldn’t tell by the cover and description, this is post-apocalyptic erotica, featuring gay sex. As a result, the review will cover these things. NSFW.
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