Monday, March 15, 2010

Recent Read(s)

I'm taking a bit of time out of my marathon Read-a-Thon to play catch up on what I've been reading. These ones are only a couple of what I've read lately. They are book 1 and 2 of a new series - thus bundling them together.

Beyond the Night by Joss Ware

Why this one: Stacy really loves them, I was intrigued and I took a chance.

Steam Level: I wouldn't say hot exactly, but certainly more than lukewarm. It's like something that's been standing long enough to be just right.


A man with no future...
When Dr. Elliott Drake wakes from a mysterious fifty-year sleep, the world as he knew it is gone. Cities are now desolate, and civilization is controlled by deadly immortals. Stranger still is Elliott's extraordinary new "gift" – he has the power to heal, but it comes with fatal consequences.

A woman with a past
Jade barely escaped the immortals and is now hell-bent on revenge. She trusts no one... until Elliott. His piercing gaze and tempting touch shatter her defenses, but the handsome doctor seems to have dangerous secrets of his own. Is it safe to trust him with her heart?

If they are to survive in this dark new world, Jade and Elliott must work together to fight the forces that takes them beyond danger.

My Thoughts: As I said, Stacy's been reading and loving these. What really got my attention was her review of Abandon the Night, but I thought it was about time I started a series at the first book - thus Beyond the Night.

I quite enjoyed this book and thought it was a great start to a very interesting series. Five men stepped out of a cave to discover it's 50 years since they went into the cave and they've been in some kind of suspended animation. The world they reenter is an entirely different one than the one they left!! There has been some kind of event of apocalyptic proportion and everything they knew is gone. They've slowly made their way to the town of Envy, which they discover used to be Las Vegas. Most of the earth's population died and earthquakes and devastating storms changed the entire geography of the world. All the states on the west coast are gone and the Pacific Ocean is at the doorstep of Envy.

As if that weren't bad enough, there are these zombie like, flesh eating creatures called gangas that while slow and stupid, are still very dangerous to the unsuspecting.

This book is centered on Dr. Elliot Drake or Dred as he's called by his friends. He was a doctor in his former life and once he emerged from the caves in Sedona along with his friends, he has an added talent, the ability to take on himself, the injury or disease of those he is trying to help. But it comes at a cost. Either he must then touch someone else and 'pass it on' or whatever it is, becomes magnified in himself.

Elliot is smitten with Jade, a 'runner'. Because communication is broken down although there is a resistance/underground trying to restore it, there is still a need for someone to travel between settlements and Jade is one of those travelers. Jade is reluctant at first to get involved with Elliot as she's overcome a horrible past and doesn't want to be under any man's thumb. But still there is a very strong attraction between the two.

It seems like I've barely scratched the surface of what's going on in this fascinating series. I loved, loved, loved Jade. She is strong and brave and dedicated to establishing connections and fighting against an even bigger threat than the gangas. She everything admirable in a heroine.

Elliot, for me - and I emphasize for me, was more on the bland side. He's the kind who wears a white hat and is more along the beta kind of hero than the alpha. But those readers who enjoy this kind of hero will probably enjoy his character a lot more than I did.

I thought the world building was excellent and the author really managed to make me 'feel' what life is like for those few who survived. While my grade isn't all that high, that's more because of my lack of connection to the hero. But certainly I enjoyed this book enough to keep reading!!

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

Embrace the Night Eternal by Joss Ware

Why this one: same reason as the first

Steam Level: about the same as the first

Blurb: Everything they knew is gone.

From the raging fires, five men emerge with extraordinary new powers. They must learn how to survive this dark, ravaged world ... but they cannot do it alone.

Simon Japp will never forget his violent past. But when civilization is all but destroyed, he sees his chance for redemption. Blessed with a strange "gift," he's determined to help the resistance against the Strangers, the mysterious force that stalks them at every turn. He can't afford to get distracted, even by the stunning, soft-spoken woman fighting by his side...

Sage Corrigan has learned to be careful where she places her trust. But she sees something good in Simon, even if he can't see it in himself. Posing as lovers to infiltrate a group key to their fight, they find that their staged affection soon develops into a desire that will leave them fighting for their lives in the night eternal...

My Thoughts: Well!! I surely am glad I kept reading this series because this one really hit the spot for me. Simon Japp is the hero of this one and if Elliot wore the white hat in his previous life, Simon wore the black hat. And I do so love black-hatted heroes. Before the world was destroyed, Simon was the bodyguard of a drug lord and had done and seen some nasty stuff. But now he has a chance to live a different life, a life of building instead of a life of destroying. He is horrified at the way he led his life in the past, but was unable to escape it. But now he has an opportunity, along with a strange new talent and he's determined to turn his life around and not be the person he was.

And although Sage Corrigan, the heroine, is quite different than Jade, the heroine of Beyond the Night, I loved her also. She's lived a somewhat sheltered life, as we learn as we read along, she was born and raised in a cult like community and escaped a kind of life she had no desire to live. She is a computer guru who is working hard on the inside to establish a network with other communities. But when it's found that something or someone is going on in Falling Creek, the place she grew up in, she heads there along with Simon to find out what they can.

Sage is an innocent although very attracted to Simon. He is also attracted to her, to her innocence; she's lived the opposite kind of life he's led, but he doesn't think he's good enough for her, if she knew what he used to be, she would turn from him in disgust. On top of that, one of the two leaders of the resistance also has feelings for Sage and Simon doesn't want to come between them, thinking that Theo is the much better man.

Simon is much more my kind of hero; one of those 'tortured' heroes I love so much. And even though the setting is very dark, there are still moments in this one where I chuckled. I am flat out loving this series and I'm so glad I 'sat up and took notice' of Stacy's review. Thanks Stacy!!

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

Now I have a bit of a dilemma on my hands though. The third book, Abandon the Night is out now, though not in any book stores close to me. I have to decide whether to order it, drive to the other side of the city to get a copy or have a bit of patience as I see that Joss Ware is one of the authors who will be in Columbus, and get a copy of the third book then. It's not as if I don't have several hundred I could read between now and then *g*.

And - I'll get a chance to ask if she has any more planned in this series.

Ahhhh - I just read Stacy's most recent post and it seems as if she does!! YES!!

*~*~* ETA *~*~*

I checked out the Chapters near me this morning before work and low and behold - they had the next one in!! Of course that meant a stop on the way home. And of course I couldn't just stop at one book.....


Nicole McLaughlin said...

Ironic, today i just started the 3rd one. I really like the fact that we are sort of already into Zoe and Quents story. Different for a romance novel. I also enjoyed the 2nd more than the first (but loved it also.) I'm excited to see what happens in this one and am glad to hear she may be doing more. I'm guessing it will involve the female Remington Truth! Have you read Joss Wares books by her alter ego Colleen Gleason? I love the Gardella vampire series. it was awesome!

Kristie (J) said...

Nicole: Either her and/or Ian Marck *g* I don't know if he pops up in the third book or not.
And I didn't realize until just a couple of days ago that Joss Ware was Colleen Gleason. I don't read a lot of vampire books, but having enjoyed this series, I will be giving the Gardella series a try. So - if I fail in the patience department - which I very much might if they get a shipment of the third book at a book store near me, then I can get a Colleen Gleason book in Columbus. I need to start making a list!!

Stacy~ said...

Wow, Kristie *blushes* Thank you for your sweet words. I love knowing a few I did made someone pick up a book and that they end up enjoying it very much. You definitely put a smile on my face.

I'm not going to give anything away, other than to say I do know who's in book #4, and #5. I think it will become clearer as you read the last book. But I don't want to spill the beans. I hope just knowing there are more books coming out is enough :)

nath said...

LOL, Kristie, be a good girl like I'm trying to be!! :D I've seen these books at the bookstore, but didn't pick them up, because I'm not too much of an after-apolytic plot fan... However, I might if there are some of her books available at RT :D

Kristie (J) said...

Stacy: I'm always thrilled too when someone reads a book on a review I did and enjoyed it - makes me glad I blogged about it :-) I had a hard time, 'specially with Embrace the Night Eternal putting it down and I love it when that happens - even though life and work etc make me have to put it down for a while anyway.
Did she give you any kind of time line as to when the next ones come out?

Nath: I haven't read that many with this theme but of the ones I have, some I've really enjoyed. Funny that as it's not normally something one would think could make for a good romance.

Leslie said...

I like the sound of both of them. I'm curious about why these guys were in the cave to begin with. Hmmm... guess I'll have to read the books. :)

Nicole McLaughlin said...

I agree that Ian Marck may be one...but I dont think he will be with Remy.....I'm about halfway thru the 3rd now and she appears to be revealing who it may be!! :)

As for the Gardella series...It is 5 books i think and it's a love triangle thru the whole thing. Dont let that discourage's awesome and by the time it comes to the end you are literally jumping out of your chair with excitement...or am i the only one who can get that excited with a book??? I might have to start that series again. Plus, I just really like Colleen. she seems to be such a great person.

nath said...

LOL, spill Kristie! What did you buy?

orannia said...

Oh. I am rther tempted by these books, and I'm not really a dystopian fan...

And of course I couldn't just stop at one book.....

Oh, what else went home with you?

Kaetrin said...

Like Orannia, I'm not usually a fan of this subgenre - but I might give these a try.

I'm curious about why they were in the cave too!

~ames~ said...

Hey Kristie, I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed these books. I have the first one in my tbr pile and since I love zombies, I do plan on reading it soon. :P

Also, what else did you buy at Chapters? I finally renewed my membership...but have been very good.