All posts by vblawnola

Author, Reader, Reviewer

Toils and Snares – Robert L. Slater

Convincing and real family portrait

⭐⭐⭐⭐

In one sentence, this book is about: a family running off to a cabin in the woods as a plague kills most of the population.

This book is pretty clean – no sexual situations and just a bit of swearing.

It is not a YA novel like All Is Silence. The main characters are adults.

I don’t want to write a spoiler, but I think people should know that not every character gets an HEA. You don’t want to read this while depressed. It does have a solid ending, no cliffhanger.

I really liked this. The characters and situations felt very real. The people have strengths and flaws. I saw family dynamics that matched some of my own experience. It’s convincing and real. This isn’t about greater issues of society but rather the microcosm of a single extended family. We don’t get to choose family! Families are messy, but they still care about and are there for each other.

If you like apocalyptic / post-apocalyptic stories, I highly recommend it.

All Is Silence – Robert L. Slater

No zombies! Pretty clean YA

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I love post-apocalyptic fiction and this gave me that. I was predisposed to like it. There are no zombies! Hurray! The story was engaging, fast paced, and seemed realistic. I liked that the characters weren’t flat. They have flaws, but I could still sympathize with them.

The writing was good but not amazing. I would have loved more details about the world. There were very few grammar mistakes.

Sex occurs once in the book, but I would still call it “clean”. That one scene had very little description and was over very quickly. The violence wasn’t described in detail either. There were a few curse words, including the F word, but they were rare.

The Hunt Trilogy- Andrew Fukuda

Gripping story and excellent writing

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Hunt

This is a rapid page-turner. The story grabs you and pulls you along with it like a strong current. It’s not only a great story but great writing. Fukuda describes things like a poet, but not a snobby one that no one can understand. It was so good that I wrote down some quotes.

“Because despite my near identical physiological similarity with them, there are seismic fundamental differences that lie beneath the frail and deceptive surface of similarity.”

“He can whisper a rat to death with the razor-sharp incisions of his carefully nuanced words.”

“The paper is now more crinkled than a smashed mirror, the words and phrases hung up in it like insects caught in a spider’s web.”

I can understand all these. They paint pictures in my mind and don’t detract from the pacing of the story. Sometimes I get the urge to skip ahead to find out what happens because I just have to know, but the writing is too good to miss.

Books 1 and 2 have cliffhanger endings. I highly recommend having immediate access to the next book available!

The Prey

Just as with part 1, I can’t put it down. The water tunnel gave me the creeps! This is a must-read.

The Trap

Absolute genius! Ziplined to the satisfying end.

The 3rd installment of this trilogy keeps the fast pace and beautiful writing going. The words paint vivid pictures for the movie in my head. With something as good and long as this, I dread getting to the end. Usually, I don’t want it to end or I’m bummed with the ending. Not here. I think the ending is genius. It satisfies. There is a hard ending – no more cliffhangers. There are a few strings not tied up prettily in some characters whose fates are unknown, but they don’t really bother me. It all makes sense. Love it!

The Sound – Sarah Alderson

Awesome, gripping, couldn’t stop reading to go to bed.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is a complete story in one book. No cliffhanger!
It’s clean but has some steamy kisses.
I really loved it. It grabbed me from the start and I couldn’t stop. I read it all in one sitting, staying up all night to finish it. It was gripping and had me on the edge of my seat but it wasn’t depressing at all, which I love. I didn’t see the twists coming. I was thrilled that Jessie stopped Ren from having regrets – you’ll see what I mean. I was very satisfied with the ending. Overall, I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it.