Solar Storms by Nicholas Smith
In 2055, scientists discover something far worse than rising temperatures and rising seas—they discover massive sunspots that are producing unprecedented solar flares.
With little time to prepare for the storms, NASA recruits Drs. Sophie Winston and Emanuel Rodriguez to help monitor the solar weather. At first, the duo believes they have been hired for a routine project. But when arriving at the Johnson Space Center they quickly realize they haven’t been told everything about their mission. And as a massive storm races toward Earth, they begin to suspect that it isn’t a natural event. Millions of miles away something is feeding the storms…
Smith is writing about a nearly overdone subject - the apocalypse - and I was worried that it would simply be another variation on a theme. But Solar Storms is a breath of fresh air with a new type of apocalypse - one that hasn’t been done before. The only thing I can think of that would have made Solar Storms better is if the scientific side of things was explained a little more, and I hope it will be in ORBS.
Solar Storms has my adrenaline pumping. With only 35 pages, Smith , introduced several memorable characters, made us care deeply about their fate, and kick-started the apocalypse. Solar Storms left me with a sense of foreboding and a need to read the rest of this series right now.
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa (Blood of Eden #1)
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.
Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for - again.
Ever since Twilight came out and sparked a whole new interest in vampire books, I’ve been a little wary of the genre. But The Immortal Rules is wonderfully not Twilight.
I love Kagawa’s vamps. They’re a cool new spin on traditional Dracula-types, and the fact that she added in the vampire cities and Rabids makes her world that much more complete. The vampire cities are eerie and scarily real-feeling. The Rabids, post-human monsters with no thoughts other than to destroy, just scare the shit out of me.
For all I like about Kagawa’s beautifully combined paranormal dystopia, I wish I knew a little more about Allison. She seems to adjust to vampirism pretty quickly; I want to know if she’s conflicted about being ‘alive’ as a vamp, or if she simply accepts it as how life is now.
Still, Kagawa managed to stay remarkably real in her story - from the way Stick reacts to Allie to the pilgrims looking for Eden to the humans’ reactions to being put under vampire rule. I will definitely be continuing this series.
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
R is a young man with an existential crisis—he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams.After experiencing a teenage boy’s memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim’s human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.
I loved this book. It was practically glued to my hands; I barely paused to eat while I was reading it. There are a thousand reasons I love Warm Bodies, but one of the biggest is that it’s so different. I’ve read a few zombie stories in my day, and this one took the cake. R isn’t a thoughtless killing machine. There’s no sense of hopelessness and defeatism in him or Julie - they acknowledge that their world’s gone to shit, but they hope it will get better.
I was skeptical at first; sure that R’s “recovery” would be some miraculous, cliched cure from love. But R starts to become human and live again because he wants to. And it’s infectious.
The amount of character development in this book is staggering. The amount of thought Marion put into his world-building and the plague itself is wonderful. I do wish that the battle against the Boneys had gone slightly different, at least at the end, when they all just walked away. But overall,Warm Bodies completely transported me into R and Julie’s world, had me sitting on the edge of my seat, and made me fall totally in love with it.
I never thought I would care so much about a zombie.
Once Upon a Time...
As a longtime lover of stories and a believer in the power and magic of books, I've spent my life seeking out the best reads. This blog is dedicated to reviewing the books I read - good, bad, or magnificent - to help other readers find their next favorite books.