Book reviews, Dystopian fiction, post-apocalyptic

Maxine Unleashes Doomsday by Nick Kolakowski – Book Review. @nkolakowski #MaxineUnleashesDoomsday


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The United States has collapsed. Bandits stalk the highways, preying on the weak and unaware.

In order to transport goods between heavily fortified cities, companies hire convoy escorts. Maxine is the best of these new road warriors: tough, smart, and unbelievably fast. But she also has a secret: She’s the niece of New York’s most notorious outlaw, a man hunted by what’s left of the nation’s law enforcement.

Maxine wants to live a normal, upstanding life. But a bad incident on the road leaves her mauled, penniless…and fired. If she wants to survive, she’s going to need to embrace her outlaw roots—and carry off the biggest heist that the post-apocalypse has ever seen. It’s a journey that will take her through obstacle after obstacle to the edge of death itself—and beyond.

Maxine Unleashes Doomsday smashes the gritty frenzy of Mad Max: Fury Road with the top-notch suspense of a crime saga like Heat. It’s a brutal thriller that offers a terrifying glimpse of our future.

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MY REVIEW 

This is the tale of the history of Maxine’s life, taken from old records after the world has been practically destroyed in the Collapse. Global warming and rising sea levels have flooded large areas of the US. Food is scarce, towns are dead and people are scratching a living the best way they can. Various clans control areas and are constantly battling each other for control.

Maxine lives in a poor area, her mother is an addict. So Maxine looks after everything including her younger brother, Brad. She also has an uncle, The Preacher, a well known criminal. She has an agreement with him, that she will finish college before she joins him in his ‘activities’….

But, she decides to do a job of her own…..she gets hurt and her friend becomes paralysed…warned off, she ends up in a job in a convoy…which is how goods are transported….in a heavily armed convoy….

Maxine, is a chaos magnet and obviously things go wrong…she loses an arm and finds out she has cancer…she needs drugs to help and so a big raid is planned and she meets PIG, an AI computer…..will she be cured? Why is her life so interesting to the future world?

I love this book, from its clever little pop culture references, Heisenberg Blue, SkyNet, sick sticks and droogs, (which appeal to the geek in me), to the dystopian world building. Maxine is a strong, intelligent female character, flawed but determined and likeable. A compelling, imaginative, brutal dystopian read and I can thoroughly recommend it.

Thank you to the author, Nick Kolakowski, for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here (well preorder as publishing 4 Nov)

https://amzn.to/2pkP1r7

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Nick Kolakowski’s work has appeared in The Washington Post, McSweeney’s, Washington City Paper, Playboy, LOST magazine, Trader Monthly, WebMD, and eWeek, among other venues. He lives in Brooklyn, NY. (Courtesy of Goodreads)

 

Book reviews, Womens fiction

The Birthday House by Jill Treseder – Book Review. @Jill_Treseder @SilverWoodBooks @annecater #TheBirthdayHouse

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The year is 1955, the location picturesque Devon.

In a house by the River Dart, schoolgirl Josephine Kennedy posts invitations to her twelfth birthday party – a party that never takes place.

Horrific violence is committed that night in the family home, leaving all of its occupants dead. 

Based on a disturbing real-life crime, this compelling story explores Josephine’s fate through the prism of friends and family – the victims and survivors who unwittingly influenced the events that led up to the tragedy.

Josephine’s best friend, Susan, is haunted by the secrets of the birthday house. Can she ever find a way of making peace with the past? 

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MY REVIEW

Set in Dartmouth, this novella tells the story of Susan. Her best friend Jo, was killed when they were 12 years old and this tells how Susan has tried to come to terms with this over many years.

Told from various perspectives, including Susan, Jo and her parents, and in 1954-55 to 2018. 

Jo was killed by her father, he’d also killed her mother and then himself. He had been a moody man but had loved his family. What drove him to such an awful event?

Susan had been told they died in a car crash, to protect her from the truth. But this caused her problems throughout her life as she didn’t really trust anyone to tell the truth. 

A beautifully written tale of friendship, betrayal, loss and grief that lasts a lifetime. It is full of emotion, and tells of letting go and hope. This will stay with me for a long time. 

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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I started writing in a red shiny exercise book when I was seven years old. But in that time and place it was an ‘invalid’ activity, was overlooked, but never went away. It was many years before I felt able to call myself ‘writer’.

But there came a day when the phrase ‘I am a writer’ no longer sounded pretentious, but legitimate, and even necessary. Was it because I had a writing room instead of the corner of a landing? Or because I spent more time writing? Or because I’d got better at it? Or because I get miserable and bad-tempered if I don’t write? Probably a combination of all of the above.

Writing is my third career. The first was as a social worker with children and families, a job I loved, but left because I could no longer cope with the system.

This led to a freelance career as an independent management consultant, helping people to handle emotions in the work context. I worked in the IT industry, in companies large and small, as well as public organisations. Later I became involved in research projects concerned with the multi-disciplinary approach to social problems such as child abuse. So, in a sense, I had come full-circle.

All these experiences feed into the process of writing fiction, while my non-fiction book ‘The Wise Woman Within’ resulted indirectly from the consultancy work and my subsequent PhD thesis,‘Bridging Incommensurable Paradigms’, which is available from the School of Management at the University of Bath.

I live in Devon and visit Cornwall frequently and these land and seascapes are powerful influences which demand a presence in my writing.

Writers’ groups and workshops are a further invaluable source of inspiration and support and I attend various groups locally and sign up for creative courses in stunning locations whenever I can. I try doing writing practice at home but there is no substitute for the focus and discipline achieved among others in a group.

I have written some short stories and recently signed up for a short story writing course to explore this genre in more depth.

I live with my husband in South Devon and enjoy being involved in a lively local community.

 

Twitter @Jill_Treseder

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