Vikki Patis – Weltanschauung Review

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Weltanschauung is a book of short stories each of which stands one its own. I had the pleasure of reading each of these stories long before they were collected for this book. Now, after reading them again as a set, I see how well they all work together. These stories look at losing someone close, how death affects us and how choices can have significant effects. Vikki Patis gives us many strong female protagonists with a voice and unique personality. In the first short, Zombie, Lieutenant Mark Walker, a young solder, has lost his way mentally. He sees shadows surrounding him and equates them with the enemy. His mind has betrayed him and all is not as it appears. He’s been hiding so long now he isn’t sure what’s real anymore. Vikki does a great job of presenting Mark as a man in crisis and hiding as if his life depends on it. He thinks he is the last of his group who survive a zombie attack, only to learn it’s all in his mind. The misdirection leaves the ending a total surprise.

Only if, is a sad and tragic story of two sisters and what happens one night at a party. Each are overwhelmed by guilt leaving one sister pushed to the edge. This story shows us that what happens can be beyond our control and that our decisions have consequences. This theme carries over to the next story, Grave oversight. Simon is a simple man and his life runs on automatic, in a loop. This is the life Simon is comfortable with until a memory he has suppressed comes rushing back to the surface. It only takes a smell to bring it all back and now he can’t ignore his choices anymore. Reading grave oversight filled me with the anxiety that Simon felt, and in the end couldn’t ignore anymore. The ending was shocking and again nicely hidden until we are meant to see it.

The final story, Bane, sends us to the apocalypse and Red Mist. A virus is spreading across the country, and with it a conspiracy. Rachael is the last employee alive at the medical supply company. The virus has claimed her coworkers and boss. The unease of being alone, even in the daytime, is strong enough to feel. A women named Lucy appears from nowhere and informs Rachael she now works for The Bank. Lucy tells her to gather her belongings and there is much work to be done. Her new job is to find supplies and survivors. This is just the type of job Rachael has always wanted, to be the one to save the world. For Rachael the rewards are high and so are the costs. Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it in the end.

Book Info

Length: 94 Pages

Release date: November 4, 2016

To Purchase Weltanschauung Click Here

The harbinger, the oddball, the remaining twin… Weltanschauung seeks to open your eyes to different stories, set in different worlds and at different times, but with the same theme in mind: to make you question your worldview.

This collection of short stories traverses genres, introduces a variety of characters, and shines a light on some of our deepest fears.

Challenge your perceptions.

Vikki Patis, biography

Vikki Patis is a writer and blogger at The Bandwagon, where she reviews books, interviews authors, and gives her opinions on a wide variety of topics, from feminism to fibromyalgia.

Michael Patrick Hicks – From The Ashes Review

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

A bio engineered chemical weapon, mixed with a strain of Ebola, transforms its victims into savage monsters. This is the setup for From the Ashes, and double hell, THAT is an awesome. I absolutely love a good apocalypse story and From the Ashes is just that. The government tries to keep the virus from spreading by firebombing major cities, killing infected and uninfected alike. As the story begins we meet Arvin and Melissa as they emerge from the Cobo Center in Detroit. Cobo is set up as a shelter and safe zone for Detroit while the bombings are wiping out the infected. Michael Hicks does a fantastic job of describing the scene of the city using well known landmarks to set the scene. As someone plenty familiar with Detroit, Cobo and the surrounding area I can see it as if I were there now.

A pair of Black Hawk’s carrying a team of Rangers is in route for cleanup and rescue. The first Ranger crew sent in has been radio silent for hours. As Hedley and his crew, in the second Black Hawk, are in route it’s hard for them to believe it has come to this. Cities are being destroyed because the virus spread faster than anyone could have imagined. Escaping from the city is near impossible, the highways and streets are jammed with vehicles and traveling on foot is too dangerous. I love the odds that are stacked against the uninfected and the Rangers. I was hooked with the descriptions of Rangers gear, guns and use of Military jargon. The pacing of the book doesn’t give you any breaks from the action. The monsters, or what becomes of those infected, is horrible and awesome at the same time. The way it/they are presented as the virus takes hold and change them into flesh eating beast is scary. These monster gums and noses bleed, their eyes look like slits, and have claws like a bear. No one gets away clean, the survivors and military suffer at every turn and I was on edge until the last sentence.

Book Info

Length: 105 Pages

Release date: October 18, 2016

To Purchase From The Ashes Click Here

In an effort to contain the spread of the Hemorrhage Virus, the United States government launched an attack on its nation’s cities. Hundreds of thousands of lives, and a number of major cities, were lost in Operation Reaper but the monsters created by the bioengineered virus remained.

A small team of Army Rangers have entered the ruins of Detroit in an effort to save whatever refugees they can, and stop whatever creatures they encounter. In an all-or-nothing gambit, the Rangers will soon discover that in the heart of the Motor City, evil rises from the ashes.

michael

Michael Patrick Hicks, biography

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.

Dylan J. Morgan – The Dead City Review

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Dead City by Dylan Morgan is an exciting continuation of book one, The Dead Lands. It is now four weeks after the initial team entered the Presidential bunker on Hemera. Their mission was to rescue the President after the nuclear war. Now a new army from Erebus consisting of four hundred men and women has arrived. Lieutenant Marshal, along with Ryan, Jayde and the rest of alpha squadron are here to secure the building. They are to retrieve the riches rumored to be hidden in the Presidential bunker. Colonel Paden needs the gold and jewels to fund his army back home and returning empty-handed isn’t an option for him. The city is a disaster and filled with mutants which were created as a result of the nuclear war. In addition the surrounding cities are filled with bandits making this operation even more dangerous.

Dylan Morgan gives us a strong female protagonist, Jayde. She holds her own quite well and doesn’t let the sideways looks and comments of her male counter parts get the best of her. We also have Colonel Paden, who is a piece of work and a great antagonist. He only cares about what he can gain from this mission and has little concern about the welfare of his men and women. The Dead City is a constant battle with crazy mutants and there is no shortage of action. The futuristic weapon technology fits very well within this scifi world created by Dylan Morgan. There are double crosses and backstabbing between the colonel and his lieutenants which had me cheering that the bad apples would be removed from the equation. The action is nonstop, right to the end, as everyone realizes the mission has gone south. The ending left me wanting more and I hope there will be a third installment to the story.

Book Info

Length:  310 Pages

Publisher:  DJM Entertainment

Release date:  August 31, 2016

To Purchase The Dead City Click Here

Nuclear war devastated the planet of Hemera and shattered its main city, Magna. A century later, its sister planet, Erebus, despatched a team of soldiers to the city to rescue Hemera’s president and restore that world to its former glory. What the reconnaissance team found however was a violent mutated population—all they discovered there was death. Now, four weeks after the final mayday call from her decimated soldiers, Erebus has sent a larger force to Hemera’s surface. Colonel Paden is coming with them, but his desires go way beyond the rescue of the surviving recon team. A mountain of jewels and gold is rumoured to lie buried beneath the presidential palace, and Paden is here to claim the wealth he believes is due to him.

Dropped into an unforgiving world, Ryan and the other soldiers of Erebus Superior Armed Forces soon discover everything is not as they thought. Magna’s population is more deadly than they could ever have imagined, their Colonel more corrupt than they’d ever known. Seeking refuge in the president’s underground bunker, the combatants are forced to sacrifice everything just to stay alive.

Bandit clans control Hemera’s dead lands and they’ve surrounded Magna in an effort to claim the fortune that belongs to their planet. Mutants control the city streets, but all they want is the taste of human flesh. Trapped inside the dead city, Ryan must fight against a mutated population—against the greed, betrayal, and hatred of those who stand at his side—in a desperate battle for survival.

Dylan J. Morgan, Biography-

Now living and working in Norway, Dylan J. Morgan was born in New Zealand and raised in the United Kingdom. He writes during those rare quiet moments amid a hectic family life: after dark, with limited sustenance, and when his creative essence is plagued the most by tormented visions.

A member of the Horror Writers Association, he has published 8 books, all available on Amazon.

Ronald Malfi – The Night Parade Review

Review copy provided as part of The Night Parade blog tour.

David and his daughter Ellie are on the run while society is falling apart around them. People are acting strange, some are see things, and others just stare at nothing in particular.  The official name of this epidemic is Wanderer’s Folly. Those who have the disease are found unaware of where they are and what they are doing. Ronald Malfi has constructed a frightening end of the world story with a premise that feels completely plausible. As he describes the events in flashback scenes I found one in particular really unsettling. The scene involved the ice cream man driving down the road in the middle of the night. The music is playing as if it’s a hot summer day and everything is normal. This scene is so completely backwards it gave me chills. It shows how upside down a person with Wanderer’s Folly acts.

David and Ellie have left town and are running because he thinks the CDC is responsible for his wife’s death. She had some form of immunity to the disease. The doctors hoped she was the cure and with enough testing they would find out why she was immune. Ellie also appears to be immune and no one knows why. Her father will do anything to keep her from becoming a guinea pig for CDC tests. David and Ellie find themselves in scary situations. They don’t know who they can trust or if anyone can be trusted. Every encounter is tense and the wrongness of the world pours from the pages. Ronald Malfi had me in a constant state of worry about these characters safety. The need to find out what happened next was unrelenting. I thought the storytelling was great, it was a fast read, and it had characters I loved. That pretty much makes The Night Parade a great book as far as I’m concerned. The Night Parade has become my new favorite story by Ronald Malfi. I think this is one you won’t want to miss out on, this is an excellent adventure.

Book Info

Length:  384 Pages

Publisher:  Kensington

Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services

Release date:  July 26, 2016

To Purchase The Night Parade Click Here

First the birds disappeared.
Then the insects took over.
Then the madness began . . .

They call it Wanderer’s Folly–a disease of delusions, of daydreams and nightmares. A plague threatening to wipe out the human race.

After two years of creeping decay, David Arlen woke up one morning thinking that the worst was over. By midnight, he’s bleeding and terrified, his wife is dead, and he’s on the run in a stolen car with his eight-year-old daughter, who may be the key to a cure.

Ellie is a special girl. Deep. Insightful. And she knows David is lying to her. Lying about her mother. Lying about what they’re running from. And lying about what he sees when he takes his eyes off the road . . .

Praise-

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The setting, the words, the ending. Color me impressed.” –Melissa Reads on The Night Parade

“The Night Parade has a creepy vibe and some genuinely terrifying moments. I even teared up a time or two. It’s everything I look for in a great read.” – Frank Errington on The Night Parade

“One cannot help but think of writers like Peter Straub and Stephen King.”
—FearNet

“Malfi is a skillful storyteller.”—New York Journal of Books

“A complex and chilling tale….terrifying.”—Robert McCammon

“Malfi’s lyrical prose creates an atmosphere of eerie claustrophobia…haunting.”—Publishers Weekly

“A thrilling, edge-of-your-seat ride that should not be missed.”
Suspense Magazine

Ronald Malfi, Biography-

Ronald Malfi is an award-winning author of many novels and novellas in the horror, mystery, and thriller categories from various publishers, including The Night Parade, this summer’s 2016 release from Kensington.

In 2009, his crime drama, Shamrock Alley, won a Silver IPPY Award. In 2011, his ghost story/mystery novel, Floating Staircase, was a finalist for the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award for best novel, a Gold IPPY Award for best horror novel, and the Vincent Preis International Horror Award. His novel Cradle Lake garnered him the Benjamin Franklin Independent Book Award (silver) in 2014. December Park, his epic childhood story, won the Beverly Hills International Book Award for suspense in 2015.

Most recognized for his haunting, literary style and memorable characters, Malfi’s dark fiction has gained acceptance among readers of all genres.

He was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1977, and eventually relocated to the Chesapeake Bay area, where he currently resides with his wife and two children.

Visit with Ronald Malfi on Facebook, Twitter (@RonaldMalfi), or at http://www.ronmalfi.com.

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

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