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Review: Outcome (By Edward W. Robertson)

Outcome Source: Goodreads
Source: Goodreads

Length: 80 pages

My rating: 3 out of 5

Set before the other novellas of the Breaker series, Outcome follows the journey of Ellie Colson, an agent of the Department of Advanced Analysis. One of the few people who know of the existence of a virus that can wipe out humanity, Ellie is the only one who accepts the truth – the virus is acting at an alarming rate and drastic measures need to be taken if there’s to be any hope of survival. But nobody is taking Ellie seriously. So she sets off to New York, to save her ex-fiance Chip, a man she still cares about. But getting to Chip and his adopted daughter is not as easy as she’d hoped. Being hunted by her own agency and the virus that’s resulting in a dramatically rising death toll, Ellie finds herself willing to push all stops to get them out alive. But will she succeed?

My take:

I thoroughly enjoyed this novella and am definitely going to read all the books in the series. I haven’t read any of the Breakers’ series yet, aside from Outcome, so this review is based solely on my first experience with Edward Robertson’s books.

As a fan of the general post-apocalyptic story lines, I thought Outcome would be a great starting point to a series and it lived up to my expectations. But I think that maybe somewhere, somehow, it could have been better.

The story line is simple enough – a virus is going to be more dangerous than anyone expects and Ellie wants to get her ex-fiance and his daughter to safety along with her. But her own allies are against her (what’s a good story have if not friends turned foes?). The story moves fast and has loads of action. The action itself is well depicted and makes it extremely easy to actually see the situation unfolding in front of your eyes. The flow of the story is smooth too, especially considering that it jumps a longer period than expected at occasional intervals. Characters are easy to associate with and what I liked most was the determination in each an every one of them. Determination to help a loved one, determination to not leave someone behind regardless of the associated cost, determination to survive in the face of impossibility and determination to simply not give up or back down.

I can only think of one real drawback as such. I would have liked to read more about the characters, their lives and their past. Maybe they’re explained in greater detail in the following books but a little more about them and their relationship would have been welcome.

While the book did move along at a good pace and the story progressed, I did find it a tad boring in the middle – like something more needs to happen, something needs to move. At this point, I wasn’t sure if I’d read more of the series. But the last few chapters made the decision for me. I’m going to read this series because I loved the end of Outcome. Unexpected twists and turns that you simply don’t see coming and the only feeling I was left with at the end was (although some people may disagree) that it could not have ended in a better way.

– Rishika

Review: City of Whispers (By Katherine Sorin)

City of Whispers Source: Goodreads
City of Whispers
Source: Goodreads

Length: 209 pages

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Life for Ailis Laurent changes almost overnight. Most of the people in New York, the place she just about manages to call home, have been affected by an epidemic. The result – only a handful of humans have been left human. The remaining have all turned into vampires. Cordoned off from the rest of the world to avoid the spread of the virus, the survivors are left to defend their lives against the growing number of vampires. But defending is not good enough. And as Ailis learns, sometimes, in order to survive, you need to become the hunter.

My take:

A gripping, edge of your seat read – that’s what City of Whispers is all about. I’m going to begin by saying that after the time of sparkling vampires (I mean… really??!) I’ve always been a bit wary of picking up a vampire based book. But Katherine Sorin managed to eradicate that tendency altogether with City of Whispers.

I couldn’t really put this book down and every time I had to, I could only wonder about what happens next. It moved wonderfully quick and didn’t have a dull moment. Every time you think ‘Okay, this has to stagnate now. What else is going to happen?’, something happens! I didn’t get a moment to get bored and the twists and turns were quite unpredictable. The style of writing itself is extremely engaging and it doesn’t take much to actually imagine what’s written. The words seem to paint pictures on their own with barely any help from your imagination.

The characters are really easy to associate with even though you don’t really know much about them from before the virus. And even though the exact beginning of the virus and its effects aren’t explained from the get go, there is no point at which you feel lost. Everything flows really smoothly and is intensely engaging. It made me stay up nights because I just couldn’t stop reading and put it away. And it was so captivating that it kept me at the edge of my seat, jumping at every tiny sound in the darkness of the night.

I got this book from And I have to admit that no book downloaded for free has been so interesting that I’ve gone right out and bought the sequel. But this one was. And the sequel is definitely next to read on my list.

If you’re a fan of anything post apocalyptic, vampire oriented (the ones that lust after blood) or if you like a quick, action packed read, you will definitely enjoy City of Whispers.

– Rishika

Review: Sick (By Brett Battles)

SickSource: Goodreads
Source: Goodreads

Length: 296 pages

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Daniel Ash’s world changes in one night. when he is awoken by his daughter’s crying, he has no idea that he is waking to the sound that will throw him and his family into hell. His daughter is very sick… and she’s not the only one. And the people who answer his call for help are not there to help at all. Ash’s life falls apart as his family is separated and he’s left with no knowledge of why they were taken or who took them. But Ash is not like the others that the people responsible have faced. He’s different… in more ways than one. And he’s not going out without a fight in a battle that goes much beyond his family – a battle that includes all humanity as it stands on the brink of eradication, premeditated and implemented by man himself.

My take:

Sick begins absolutely brilliantly – grabs you from the get go. It begins much like any thriller should – chaos, fear, confusion in the minds of characters and death.
However, it doesn’t remain as gripping as it begins. It’s still interesting enough to want you to keep reading, but it doesn’t have the ‘hooked’ nature that it promises in its first few chapters. But everything said and done, you have to admit that Brett Battles knows how to tell a tale and one that will keep you interested if not addicted.
The book moves along at a good pace, slowing down just for a bit that’s not really long enough to leave you bored. All along the book, you have twists and incidents that will make you go, “Oops!”, and not in a blundering sort of way. It’s more of an, “Oops… here comes another mistake by you God complex people!”
Battles knows how to keep the suspense going. But sometimes, you will feel like things would have been a lot easier if people just acted normal instead of all secretive for no apparent reason. That may be the supposed charm of some of the characters and may have to do with the fact that things will probably get clearer in the sequels, but you can’t help but wonder why people don’t ask the most obvious questions.
The book has a lot going on at any point in time and if you keep it aside for too long, you might forget who the character you’re reading about even is. But Battles manages to keep it all well connected and quite easy to follow, since you don’t really want to go long periods without continuing to read anyway.
The only part that had a glaring problem, in my opinion, was the end. It was altogether a little too abrupt. You can argue that, as a first of a trilogy, the book should leave things unanswered. But that could have been done in a much better way, especially given the fact that Battles is an author with great potential. The end made me feel like he just got tired of typing and summed it all up really quickly in the hope that people would chalk it up to the ‘It’s part of a trilogy’ idea.
All in all, Sick is a good read – fast paced, easy and enjoyable. It may not make it to the ‘favorite book’ list for many people; but if you’re a fan of anything to do with the end of the world, suspense or crime, you will like this book.

– Rishika

Review: Celebrity Team Six (By Carl Farkwad)

Celebrity Team SixSource: Goodreads
Celebrity Team Six
Source: Goodreads

Length: 35 pages

My Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Celebrity Team Six is the introductory story of the people that are popularly known as celebrities. Lady Gaga, Mathew McConaughey, Tom Hanks, Justin Bieber and many other celebrities are in fact celebrities because that is the perfect guise for someone who has mutant powers of some kind and who goes crime fighting at random moments. It’s a team of supercelebrity superheroes whose real job is to fight off bad guys while pretending to be on tour.

My take:

CT6… WOW! (And Wow! not in a good sense but more along the lines of ‘Wow! What did I just read?”

Given the rave reviews and blurb, I expected this book to be funny, action packed and the kind that would poke (relatively) good natured fun at the celebrities that the world has come to love. What I got instead, was a (thankfully) short book that I could only wish was a lot shorter.

CT6 is not conventional, that’s for sure. And although unconventional can be great, this was not one of those cases. The writing style is not very smooth, making it quite a difficult and tedious task to actually read the book. You have to often go back and re-read lines just so that they make some kind of sense. The characters were ridiculous. Sure, everyone makes fun of the quirks that celebrities have, but this was taking it to a whole new level, and not in a good way. The celebrities were depicted in a confusing, and often stupid, manner that more often than not, wasn’t even necessary.
The action was just about bearable. A little too violent for some people, I thought the action sequences could have made more sense if the author put in just a little more effort. The comedy is, in one word, unfunny. There are very few parts that actually make you laugh out loud (I came across three) and the other attempts at comedy only serve to make the book more tedious.

If asked, I wouldn’t really recommend the book to anyone! It’s not funny, its action is uninteresting and there isn’t any other memorable aspect to warrant actually going through the effort of reading it. But if you have absolutely nothing to do and have run out of every book possible, including those that you could read four times, you could try your hand at CT6. But remember to do so with the understanding that this book is nothing more than someone’s crazy, unappetizing take on things – also read as ‘a real waste of time”.

– Rishika

Review: 72 Hours (By William Casey Morton)

72 HoursPhoto credit: Goodreads
72 Hours
Photo credit: Goodreads

Length: 299 pages

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Thirty seconds on national television – that’s all it took for one insane man to get each and every one of the entire city’s criminal population to chase one woman. Lindsay Hammond had no idea how it happened or why. One minute, everything was normal – a regular day moving along at its regular pace. But the next minute, she and her kids are running for their lives. With no one to trust and nowhere to run to, Lindsay comes close to running out of options to keep her family and herself alive. Until Ryan Archer, ex FBI, ex Army officer and the only man who can take Lindsay and her kids as far as they need to be. It’s a mission that will last for 72 hours and one that will change the lives of everyone involved.

But what is it that the psychopath who sets the course of action truly wants? And why is Lindsay Hammond running for her life? These are the questions that William Casey Morton answers in his thriller, 72 Hours.

My Take:

72 Hours was an extremely fast paced, quick page turning read. I enjoyed the book and always tried to find time to keep returning to it. Although there were some drawbacks to the book, it made a very nice read with the good definitely overshadowing the bad. The good points include an interesting concept, gripping storytelling, action packed sequences and not too many dull moments. My favorite part was the beginning which was unpredictable and instantly gripping. I also loved the action sequences which were many and not far in between. The details were described exceptionally well, giving you a feel of being right there, watching it all unfold from a front row seat.
The bad points, though not too many, do require a brief mention. The first, mildly bothering drawback, was the typos. There were errors that, for some people, may hinder the flow. And given how quick the story moves, that can be a turn off. The second, and more glaring drawback, is the occasional lack of detailed character development. The protagonist seems altogether too ‘normal’. The blurb gives the impression of an experienced, never going wrong kind of protagonist who, in comparison, comes off as a little more normal than expected. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Heroes do not necessarily have to be impossible to fool, cheat or temporarily overcome. That would be unbelievable and maybe even boring because of the lack of conflict. But the knight in shining armor of 72 Hours, in my opinion, seemed too ‘normal’ for someone who comes from his background. Not that that makes him less likeable.
Maybe the small character faults are more glaring because of how well the other characters are developed, especially the antagonist, who really makes readers loathe him.
The end is a little rushed and I, personally, would have liked some more details.
But I can walk away from this book saying that it didn’t leave me with a feeling of hanging in the middle. The loose ends are all neatly tied up, even though it may be more hurried than some would like. Definitely a book that I would recommend for all action, thriller and crime readers.

– Rishika

Review: Friend Request (By David Wailing)

Friend RequestSource: Goodreads
Friend Request
Source: Goodreads

Length: 69 pages

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

It’s a party in celebration of Nick and Larissa’s tenth wedding anniversary and the purchase of their new house. But Nick can’t concentrate on anything other than his search for one man – one unknown man whose auto sent his auto a friend request, the man whose status said that he’s dating Nick’s wife. The story unfolds at a party in a futuristic world. And the question that everyone wants answered… Who is this stranger and why is the mask of fidelity slowly slipping from the face of the woman that Nick has always loved?

My take:

Good read. The entire concept of autos is fascinating and terrifying at the same time… something, I’m sure, that raises the neck hairs of all those who are afraid of machines taking over humans! The nature of human beings has been shown wonderfully – friendship, love, jealousy, secrets, anger, prestige and true nature displaying reactions!
The style of writing was a bit haphazard but not so much that it would hinder the flow of the story. Its short length makes it a quick and very enjoyable read.
All in all, an interesting concept and one on which I would read more books for sure.

– Rishika

Review: Disappear (By Iain Edward Henn)

DisappearSource: Goodreads
Source: Goodreads

Length: 322 pages

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

A good read. The large number of characters can get a bit confusing, but all in all, a good read. I found the entire concept intriguing and the book maintains the suspense very well. All in all, a good read for anyone who likes suspense, crime and thrillers.

– Rishika