Reading Challenge Update: February 2013

February was a good month for reading. I found some fantastic stories.

Romance

A Knight to RememberA Knight to Remember by Karin Tabke

This is an historical romance tale of mistaken identity and love. I enjoyed the story, though I’ve  never understood why a character feels compelled to give their sibling’s name when they want to hide their identity. If you’re pretending to be someone else, then really be someone else, not your brother or sister. :)

 

Gemini MoonGemini Moon by Elysa Hendricks

Fantasy romance with travel between worlds and plenty of magic. This has a semi-disabled heroine (lame leg from childhood abuse) and an interesting resolution to the question – will the hero end up with the girl he loves or not?

 

The GatekeeperThe Gatekeeper by Heather Graham

Urban fantasy with werewolves and elves. The hero is an Elven detective trying to solve a series of murders (obviously committed by a werewolf). The heroine is half werewolf/half Elven and is searching for the killer herself. Sparks fly between the two.

 

Fantasy

Weapon of FleshWeapon of Flesh by Chris A. Jackson

A fantasy story about a child raised in isolation to be the perfect weapon – an emotionless assassin. But when the teenager is left on his own with no one to direct him, he has to learn to make his own decisions as he tries to find his place in the world. The story sounds serious, but has some lighthearted moments as the young man tries to understand slang and the culture of the world around him. There’s a nice romantic sub-plot. Well-written story.

 

Scifi/Apocalyptic

This was really a month for end-of-the-world stories. I’m on a big apocalyptic kick right now.
Spots the Space Marine

Spots the Space Marine: Defense of the Fiddler by M.C.A. Hogarth

Loved this book. I won’t repeat my review here, but you should give this one a strong look. Great book.

 

Deadlocked by A.R. Wise
Deadlocked
Dead people come back to life and start attacking/eating the living. David is at work when the crisis erupts and he’s determined to get home to protect his wife and daughters, no matter what it takes. A grim story with lots of gory violence, but the hero’s determination and persistence are inspiring.

 

Life After War 1: The Survivors by Angela White (contains both book 1 and book 2)

Life After War 1: The SurvivorsLife After War 2: On the Road by Angela White 

Life After War 3: Safe Haven by Angela White

These three are the first part of a series (the author has 9 books planned). Hackers got into the US defense systems and set off missiles at other countries. Those countries retaliated and the US becomes a mess of bombed cities, those dead and sick from radiation, and chaos as man’s violent nature takes over.

Live After War 3: Safe Haven

The series follows the lives of a few survivors as they attempt to first survive and then rebuild.

The characters are fascinating.

–Angela, a single mom who made a bad bargain with a controlling man, journeys across the country to retrieve her son from that man. Along the way, she learns to use the magic abilities she had locked up for so long.

–Brady, the father of Angela’s child who’s been in love with Angela forever. As teen parents, their families tore them apart. When Angela calls him for help after the US collapses, he rushes to her side, determined to make up for their years apart.

–Adrian, a charismatic man who’s compelled to gather up the weak and protect them… with the aid of the strong, men and women he’s handpicking to serve in the new world he’s creating.

–Kenn, a violent man with rage and control issues. When he meets Adrian, he finds someone to help him control his temper. Someone who makes him want to be a better person. But will it last?

–Samantha, a storm tracker who can predict the weather. But as a woman alone, she’s exceedingly vulnerable, as she tries to find somewhere safe to live.

And Cesar, the Mexican warlord who’s decided that America will never rise again. He invades the devastated US with his army of violent criminals and destroys everyone and everything in his path.

Intense? Yes, and violent. But the author also covers the personal aspects of dealing with such a crisis. Who are you when your entire world has changed? When the old rules don’t apply any more? Do you continue being who you are? Do you remake yourself into someone new?

I really enjoyed these three books and the emphasis on human nature, how we might react when the end comes. I’ll be picking up the rest to see how the story plays out.