Category Archives: Apocalyptic or Post-apocalyptic Non-Romance

Dating in the Apocalypse The Complete Series – Christopher John Chater

Hilarious Apocalyptic Comedy

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’ve never seen comedy mixed with an apocalypse before, but it works for me! I smiled, giggled, and laughed out loud in every chapter if not every page.

Tom Collins is a hetero metro badass trying to find the love of his life or at least have a little fun at the end of the world and doing it with style. A virus has killed off most of humanity, and New York City is in chaos. But you can’t let a little thing like an apocalypse get you down or stop you from showing a pretty girl a good time! Comedy, mystery, action, and love, this has it all.

No cliffhanger with the complete series. I found the ending satisfying, especially because Tom’s hair was perfectly styled! I loved the fashion angle and that it continued throughout. The women are all strong characters, and Tom’s mom is the best. They don’t wait around for a man to save them.

1st person past tense all from Tom, OW drama. No graphic sex scenes. Occasional foul language. I usually review romance and initially thought from the title it would be one, but it’s not a classic “romance”. We don’t really get to know the one Tom chooses. Their on-screen time together is limited.

Favorite Quotes:

Grammar: Routinely missing commas between two independent clauses and if, then statements. Filled with unnecessary dialogue tags. A few extremely long sentences and paragraphs. Other than that, the error count is 8 – not bad!

I received a free ebook in exchange for an honest review.

Tribes – Mia Frances

Post-apocalyptic Horror – Not Romance

Remember “The Day After”, the 1983 movie about the immediate aftermath of a nuclear war? It was a horrifically real depiction meant to raise consciousness and help make sure it never became reality. It is not a feel-good movie and certainly not a romance. TRIBES is along those lines but adds rape and much more human killing human. At least “The Day After” showed some people being compassionate, working together, and helping each other. These are very rare in TRIBES.

Alex is taking her two sisters and their seven kids to her camp in the Adirondacks when a nuclear war starts. Alex and the kids are the only decent human beings we see for most of the book. Wolf, the “hero”, is not a decent person! At no point did I want them to be together.

Alex is a strong woman, smart, level-headed, and kind. Being a hiking and nature enthusiast, she has just enough skills to keep them alive at the start. Intelligence and perseverance allow her to improve these skills and their situation. I liked all the survival information and descriptions of nature, finding them both entertaining and informative. Alex eventually learns to shoot, track, and hunt. The descriptions of her thought processes when raiding potentially abandoned buildings were great. If there weren’t other people still in the world, Alex would have easily kept herself and the kids alive and even thrived.

But they are not alone, far from it! They were on the road when they got warning of an imminent strike. None of the locals would give them shelter, but at least they didn’t kill them. I think those locals died anyway because soon the only people left in the world were murderers and rapists. They killed everyone from babies to old people. It is a starkly pessimistic apocalypse. I love post-apocalyptic fiction, especially without zombies, and this is the worst vision of what humanity could be that I’ve read.

Though this novel contains two people who get together and have sex, it doesn’t meet my definition of a romance. I found it categorized at Amazon under “Science Fiction Romance”, so I was severely disappointed. There were no reviews anywhere to correct my expectations, which is why I felt especially compelled to write this review. My post-apocalyptic fiction doesn’t need romance, but it does when categorized as such.

If you are looking for a “romance” with good feels, hot sex scenes, a hopeful feeling, and a leading man with good qualities, steer clear of this!

It is also categorized under “Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction” and “Dystopian Science Fiction” which fit. I would also put it in “Horror”.

It is written in close 3rd, mostly from Alex’s POV. But there is frequent head-hopping within a chapter, mostly short dips into the children and Wolf. I don’t like head-hopping and find it disorienting.

Very long paragraphs and character background loaded at the front failed to grab me, but I kept going, expecting something to happen soon. It did, but the long paragraph style continued throughout, and I’m just not a fan. It also bothered me that time passed between these long paragraphs with no indication, leaving me to realize it later. At least a double carriage return would have been nice.

I feel like the book would have been better if it started with Alex noticing the people missing, the radio notification, and the women’s reactions. Their reactions would tell me what I needed to know about them. I don’t need all the background loaded into the front, and the book would start with a whoosh. It took so long for the actual bombs to be revealed that I was wondering if the whole thing wasn’t a horrific hoax or mistake. When we get inside Wolf’s head, we again get a lot of backstory loaded in. I’d have preferred this come out in conversation or something. There really isn’t much on screen dialogue between Alex and Wolf, no “get to know you” conversations or discussions about how Wolf is treating Alex or the kids or how Alex wants them treated.

There are some typos, missing periods and quotation marks, and a few unnecessary dialogue tags. Some of the book, within and outside of dialogue, is in bold, which I’ve never seen before. It clearly indicated emphasis. It didn’t really bother me but felt weird.

I just couldn’t enjoy this either a romance or a non-romance. I didn’t find the sex scenes hot and never rooted for the couple together, but I didn’t get the revenge killing I wanted either when I had moved to looking at this as a horror novel. I don’t wish I could give it no stars though. It deserves the one star for the third paragraph I wrote here.

No Safe Haven (The Last Sanctuary) – Kyla Stone

Not a romance but awesome nonetheless

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Raven has been living at a small wildlife refuge in northern Georgia when the Hydra virus breaks out.

Amazon listed this under “Teen & Young Adult Science Fiction & Dystopian Romance ebooks”, so I was expecting romance in it. It’s not there, just to clarify expectations for others.

It was still extremely good! The writing itself is excellent. The author clearly knows or researched a lot about animals, forests, and survival skills. All the little details painted a vibrant world. The action is written beautifully with great pacing and suspense. I love animals, and the feels were intense when it came to them here.

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.