Category Archives: Post Apocalyptic

Review {16} Breathe by Sarah Crossan

BY: Sarah Crossan
SERIES: Breathe #1
PUBLICATION INFORMATION: October 2nd 2012 by Greenwillow
EDITION: Hardcover, 373 pages
ACQUISITION: Borrowed/Library
CATEGORIES: Young adult, Sci-Fi, Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic, Adventure, Romance, Dystopian
RATING: 3.50/5.00 | GOODREADS RATING: 3.73/5.00
WHAT THE BACK OF THE BOOK SAYS: Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe… The world is dead. The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.
ALINA has been stealing for a long time. She’s a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she’s never been caught before. If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. If she’s careful.
QUINN should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn’t every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.
BEA wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl.
And as they walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?
MY THOUGHTS: I really enjoyed this book, which isn’t a huge surprise considering my love for anything dystopian/apocalyptic. This book has it’s own unique spin, as Crossan creates a world without trees – – without oxygen.  The book centers around the big, bad corporation, Breathe, who manufactures oxygen and pumps it into the dome that the survivors now live under, and who are split into a caste-like system with premiums and auxiliaries, and the Resistance – aka – RATS. 
Of course there is corruption within the dome, and the RATS are trying to bring it to light, and bring the world back how it was before the Switch. Part of the RATS, Alina Moon finds herself mourning the loss of Abel, her crush and fellow RATS member. She runs into Quinn Caffery at school, in line for green flu vaccinations, and he’s smitten. But Bea Whitcraft, an auxiliary, is secretly in love with Quinn, the son of Breathe’s head honcho. Alina suffers alone with the grief of her “missing” (read: Dead) parents, and lives with her aunt, uncle, and cousin Silas – also all RATS. 
When Alina is suddenly being hunted by Breathe, she must escape the dome and make her way through the Outlands to The Grove, one of the outposts of the RATS who call an old soccer stadium home. Of course as a wanted possible criminal, she isn’t able to get access out of the dome, and so Quinn, in an act of lust, gets her out of the dome with himself and Bea, who planned a camping trip. Along the way they meet drifters, one in particular, Maude Blue who is actually the best character in the book, in my opinion. She’s so flawed and imperfect that you can’t help but love her and feel for her. With the stealing of a Breathe tank, Alina unknowingly begins a war between the Resistance and Breathe.
I think the overall theme and plot are my favorite part of the book. To me, this is something I constantly think about. Can we ever eventually log all of the forests? Will there ever be a time where the Earth is tree-less? Clearly Crossan has similar thoughts and even was able to build this world around the same question. While I thoroughly enjoyed Crossan’s writing style, I did have some trouble with the world-building, and had some trouble envisioning the dome world, and The Grove in my mind’s eye. Eventually I was able to get a sense of the world she’s created, and was able to put myself right in the action.
I have a love/hate relationship with the multi-POV as well. The story is told from the POV of three people – Quinn, Alina, and Bea, with Alina being the “Main character”. I did have some issues distinguishing the characters from one another, and sometimes had to go back and check the chapter’s first page to see which character it was “speaking”. I liked each of the characters, as they each had different challenges and inner demons, but I didn’t feel that they were totally rounded and 3D. If I had to choose a favorite, I’d actually pick Quinn. I think of the three, he’s the one who changed and grew the most throughout the book, and had the most to lose.
Another plus is that there aren’t too many obvious twists, and Crossan is wonderful at leaving doors open to be resolved in the sequel/subsequent novels in the series.
TO SUM IT UP: If you are looking for a fast-paced, action packed dystopian with a unique spin on a post-apocalyptic world and incredible characters that you’ll keep thinking about long after you end the book, then you should read Breathe.
READ THIS IF YOU LIKE: Beta by Rachel Cohn | Ashes of Twilight by Kassy Tayler | Skylark by Meagan Spooner | Black City by Elizabeth Richards | The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

AUTHOR INFO: Sarah Crossan is Irish. She graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Literature before training as an English and Drama teacher at Cambridge University and worked to promote creative writing in schools before leaving teaching to write full time.

She completed her Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Warwick in 2003 and in 2010 received an Edward Albee Fellowship for writing.
She currently lives in NYC.

Review {12} Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Poison Princess
Author: Kresley Cole
Series: The Arcana Chronicles #1
Publication Information: October 2nd 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Edition: Kobo ebook, 384 pages
Acquisition: Own
Categories: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic, Supernatural
Rating: 4.00/5.00 |  Goodreads Rating: 4.33/5.00
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What the Back of the Book Says

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole introduces The Arcana Chronicles, post-apocalyptic tales filled with riveting action, the dark mysticism of Tarot cards, and breathtaking romance.

She could save the world—or destroy it.

Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can’t do either alone.

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….

My Thoughts

I have been impatiently waiting for this book to release since earlier this year. I love anything to do with tarot cards, and have several decks myself. As a student of the tarot, I’ve always loved the stories that each card has to tell, and when I found out that Kresley Cole – whom I’ve never read before – was releasing a book based on the major arcana cards, I was beyond stoked! 

I found Cole to be an exceptional storyteller, however there were times that I found myself a bit lost. There is tons going on in this story between the apocalypse, Evie’s visions and voices in her head, as well as the interactions between the characters in the book. I’ve read quite a few of the reviews up on Goodreads and some people complained that Evie’s visions made some parts of the story confusing. I can easily see how this happened, however I was able to still follow the story line easily. The issue that I had with Evie’s visions is that they were VERY cryptic. There were times I would read a scene, reread it, and still not fully understand. With tarot, this happens. Each and every person will read or interpret a card a different way, so I am just going to assume that these visions were Cole’s own personal images and interpretations of the cards and how they wove into her story and characters. 

The characters were wonderful, each with their own voices and personalities. I wouldn’t say that I loved Evie’s character. I liked her well enough, there were times where I thought she was a whiny, irrational brat, but they were few and fleeting. By the end of the book I thought she was pretty kick ass with her powers, able to finally protect herself, and fight for her life. I’m curious to see how she develops in the remainder of the series. Jackson pissed me off a lot with how he tended to let his male parts think for him instead of his brain. Selena was cool in the supernatural, embracing her super powers kind of way, but other than that she seemed vindictive and conniving. Matthew annoyed the piss out of me with his awkwardness and cryptic ways of talking. His psychic abilities were pretty cool though. And Finn was okay, I really didn’t like or dislike him. He’s super cocky and like Jackson wants a girl in his bed. Arthur is also a very interesting character. He plays a small yet HUGE part. I do like how Cole interprets each card and developed them into characters. I had fun trying to guess which card each character was, and how Jackson will fit into all of this!

The world building was pretty incredible. I know I’m really into a book and that the author is amazing at world building when as I am reading the book, it’s almost playing like a movie in my mind’s eye. This happened for me through most of the book. To go from everyday life to a post apocalyptic landscape would be a huge shock for anyone – especially when most all of the women in the world perished, and Bagmen – aka Zombies – are swarming as are Slavers – aka men who enslave people and use women as “toys” – as well as militias that are forming. To deal with this along with lack of food, water, shelter, and gasoline add up to one incredible story.

As with any book that you end up really liking, Cole leaves us hanging at the end – wondering what’s in store for the characters after Evie makes some realizations – including remembering bits of what her Grandmother told her as a girl (Spoiler:(highlight over to read) Including that only ONE card can survive. Therefore Evie has to kill ALL of the other major arcana cards/characters including those she’s already met: Finn, Selena, and Matthew. Each kill earns her that cards “mark” tattooed on her arm. Cool!) that will make things incredibly different for book two!!

My Recommendation: If you love action packed, post apocalyptic tales woven with romantic tension, zombies, tarot and incredibly developed characters fighting to survive across a barren, danger filled landscape, then this one is for you!

If You Liked This Try: Dark Star by Bethany Frenette | Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter | Black City by Elizabeth Richards | Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson | Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones

Happy Reading!