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Abandon Us

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A BLOODY CIVIL WAR • A RAPIDLY COLLAPSING ECONOMY • A GLOBAL DEADLY PLAGUE Twenty-eight-year-old service technician Robert Ashton endures dangerous city streets trying to scrape by. His partner Zilv is his only light in a world enshrouded in polluted darkness. As society buckles, the pair finds safety in the city's underworld. Working as a smuggler, Robert builds a new crimi A BLOODY CIVIL WAR • A RAPIDLY COLLAPSING ECONOMY • A GLOBAL DEADLY PLAGUE Twenty-eight-year-old service technician Robert Ashton endures dangerous city streets trying to scrape by. His partner Zilv is his only light in a world enshrouded in polluted darkness. As society buckles, the pair finds safety in the city's underworld. Working as a smuggler, Robert builds a new criminal life to keep himself, and Zilv, fed. But, the battles from the world above seep down into the underground, forcing Robert to return to the surface. In the hellscape of the Third World War, he endures a nightmarish wasteland of violence and death. When the apocalypse becomes reality, just how hard will a man fight to live?


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A BLOODY CIVIL WAR • A RAPIDLY COLLAPSING ECONOMY • A GLOBAL DEADLY PLAGUE Twenty-eight-year-old service technician Robert Ashton endures dangerous city streets trying to scrape by. His partner Zilv is his only light in a world enshrouded in polluted darkness. As society buckles, the pair finds safety in the city's underworld. Working as a smuggler, Robert builds a new crimi A BLOODY CIVIL WAR • A RAPIDLY COLLAPSING ECONOMY • A GLOBAL DEADLY PLAGUE Twenty-eight-year-old service technician Robert Ashton endures dangerous city streets trying to scrape by. His partner Zilv is his only light in a world enshrouded in polluted darkness. As society buckles, the pair finds safety in the city's underworld. Working as a smuggler, Robert builds a new criminal life to keep himself, and Zilv, fed. But, the battles from the world above seep down into the underground, forcing Robert to return to the surface. In the hellscape of the Third World War, he endures a nightmarish wasteland of violence and death. When the apocalypse becomes reality, just how hard will a man fight to live?

30 review for Abandon Us

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael || TheNeverendingTBR

    I was given this ARC for an honest review. Thanks to the author for that, I appreciate it. And.. It was well written and acts as a prequel to the first book and we get more of an idea of how the world went to shit. The story takes place between the years 2078-79 and we go up to the end of the world basically. Amazing characters again, great dialogue, lots of action and terrible destruction. I loved the way it all tied into familiar territory at the end and I'm already looking forward to the next one I was given this ARC for an honest review. Thanks to the author for that, I appreciate it. And.. It was well written and acts as a prequel to the first book and we get more of an idea of how the world went to shit. The story takes place between the years 2078-79 and we go up to the end of the world basically. Amazing characters again, great dialogue, lots of action and terrible destruction. I loved the way it all tied into familiar territory at the end and I'm already looking forward to the next one in this series.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Janet (iamltr)

    In here we have Robert, who I did not like, trying to fight against the Patrions (I am unsure of the spelling as I read this in audio). Things are bad in this world and it's basically the little guys against the ones in power. I am going to spoil this a bit and let you know that (view spoiler)[ He dies in the end and they lose. But the other leader steps up and continues the fight. (hide spoiler)] The actual worldbuilding was good, the flat characters and the overly detailed paragraphs were not In here we have Robert, who I did not like, trying to fight against the Patrions (I am unsure of the spelling as I read this in audio). Things are bad in this world and it's basically the little guys against the ones in power. I am going to spoil this a bit and let you know that (view spoiler)[ He dies in the end and they lose. But the other leader steps up and continues the fight. (hide spoiler)] The actual worldbuilding was good, the flat characters and the overly detailed paragraphs were not so good. The only great thing was the narrator. The narration was the only thing that got me to the end of the book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Drakoulis

    I had high hopes from a post-apocalyptic survival story, but sadly this book didn't work out for me. All the groundwork for a great book was there: the worldbuilding, the sociopolitical background, the futuristic technology - but the story-telling was dry and the way the story and the characters moved from point A to point B didn't work for me. It felt more like an unedited early draft. Most of the characters were one-dimensional. Also, the third part of the book was very poorly plotted. I received I had high hopes from a post-apocalyptic survival story, but sadly this book didn't work out for me. All the groundwork for a great book was there: the worldbuilding, the sociopolitical background, the futuristic technology - but the story-telling was dry and the way the story and the characters moved from point A to point B didn't work for me. It felt more like an unedited early draft. Most of the characters were one-dimensional. Also, the third part of the book was very poorly plotted. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. Thank you BookSirens for the ARC!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Svyatoslav Albireo

    Another book to teach us how to die I accepted an invitation to read this book and give a review because I was intrigued by the cover combined with the title - Abandon Us. The classic view of the post-ap and the red communist flag. Wow, I thought. Now everyone is hearing the phrase of Rosa Luxembourg, which is so unpleasant to hear that we diligently ignore it - socialism or barbarism. I expected ideological wars, flashbacks, perhaps to a peaceful past. Like, you know, the ruins after civilizatio Another book to teach us how to die I accepted an invitation to read this book and give a review because I was intrigued by the cover combined with the title - Abandon Us. The classic view of the post-ap and the red communist flag. Wow, I thought. Now everyone is hearing the phrase of Rosa Luxembourg, which is so unpleasant to hear that we diligently ignore it - socialism or barbarism. I expected ideological wars, flashbacks, perhaps to a peaceful past. Like, you know, the ruins after civilization, as we can see it now. Maybe even something sacred, something like all the creators of narratives about Chernobyl are helplessly trying to write out (all stories on this topic are stupid. Just all of them.) But no, the book turned out to be a solid (and solid is, I think, the most accurate word to describe this book) representative of the genre. The book has everything that fans of post-ap love - gangs, mutants, the struggle for survival. And the lonely ones. Lonely people who do not know how to live in society, together, and that's why they even don't know what to live for. In the book there is not a single Man with a capital letter, who would please the eye and soul, but where would they come from? The author boldly and honestly uses the technique of predictive fiction. In these realities, it is precisely such a future, such people, that awaits us. At first, I was angry at the dialogues. What nonsense, I thought! Everything around is in ruins, the two go out in search of food and then an exemplary dialogue: -And where will we go? -We're going to look for food -What if we don't find it? -Well, we think out of something -What if someone attacks us? -We'll run away. -Do you think it's a good idea to go? Okay, then let's go. The world is at war. They need to run. A dialogue (it's just invented examples, they aren't exact dialogues from the book) -We need to run and hide. -Where will we run, how will we live? -Well, somehow, but we can't stay -Do you think it's worth running and hiding? -Yes! -OK. Why do they talk like that? After all, it is clear that there is no choice, why do they discuss the obvious? This is stupid talk. But then I realized that this is exactly what people who brought the world to this condition should talk about. This is not a mistake, but the strength of the author. These dialogues tell us how the characters will act. And they justify their language. By the way, the book itself is written in a wonderful language. Simple and rich. It has very picturesque and not drawn-out descriptions. It's easy to imagine what's going on. Then I was very disappointed that a group of communists behaved contrary to the ideology of communism. Actually, no ideology is shown or noted in the book. The struggle between anarchists and communists is exactly the same as between two gangs. They could not be attributed any ideological attitude, because they do not justify it in any way. I even wanted to address the author - are there really such stupid communists in America? And then I realized again - yes. Others could not have been there, because otherwise there would not have been a book. After all, otherwise, they would have begun to restore the world. It's an important accent - under the red flag with a hammer and sickle - not always there is a communist. In the Russian Federation, for example, the official communist party is anti-communistic "cannibals". Being a communist is not propaganda or slogans. These are actions and attitudes towards life. This is important to show. And the author did it. The technique of Hemingway and Remarque, about those infected with death, was professionally applied. When the survived ones the war, can not live on. They believe that war and death still hunt them. These people have no future because they no longer need it. They know that death can come at any moment and cannot enjoy life. And the final. The final is natural. These heroes could not end in another way. Everything that happens to them is the result of their thinking. They cannot do otherwise. They do not have the most important thing to build the world - systemic education. They do not know how to live, they did not live before the War, just survive, so they just continue to do what they did, just in changed conditions. A scaring and honest book. This is the future of your children. And that way they can't survive. There are many books and films about post-ap survival. But almost all of them teach not how to survive, but how to die. It's always about what do you need to do to die? I am glad I've read this book, and I recommend you to do the same. And recognize yourselves in it. Teach your children to read. Teach your children to love reading. Teach them to be afraid of ignorance and under-educating. Maybe this world someday really will fall apart. Maybe American communists are really so stupid and haven't any difference from any bang of thuds. Unlike Russian Bolsheviks, who were and are all in building and carefully keeping human lives, not destroying, and who would recover and rise the countries from ash and zero, as they did more than once. Maybe the best people will die at the beginning of the End, and only selfish crap of human beings will stay and survive. And then things will be how it's in all modern post-ap books. Like in this one. It's a useful book to read. To know, where hostility leads to.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Johnson

    Enthralling, Spellbinding, Compelling, nail bitting page turner! In my opinion E.T. Gunnarsson is a visionary, I strongly believe that his writing is what our world will become if something doesn't change. The way he puts human greed into words, how he explains the fight for power & control being more important than humanity, the detailed descriptions while explaining the collapse of both the world & humanity just blew my mind and blew me away. The pace of this novel is perfect it has an amazing Enthralling, Spellbinding, Compelling, nail bitting page turner! In my opinion E.T. Gunnarsson is a visionary, I strongly believe that his writing is what our world will become if something doesn't change. The way he puts human greed into words, how he explains the fight for power & control being more important than humanity, the detailed descriptions while explaining the collapse of both the world & humanity just blew my mind and blew me away. The pace of this novel is perfect it has an amazing flow it keeps you constantly wanting more & to find out what makes these characters tick etc. E.T's writing makes you care for the characters in this story and feel the emotions that they do, I laughed as well as cried more than once while reading this novel! I would recommend this book to anyone, it has something for everyone as far as I'm concerned it's a great character driven novel, a phenomenal sci-fi story, there is a bit of a love story, this novel is full of action & fighting however last but not least in my opinion it's the most original post apocalyptic novel I've ever read! For these reasons and many more I rate this a 5/5 star. I would like to thank Booksirens as well as Bragi Press for the ARC of this phenomenal outstanding novel that blew my mind. I chose to write a review voluntarily and all opinions expressed are my own. I would like to say a special thank you to E.T. Gunnarsson for creating The Odemark Series as well as sharing your creativity and your craft with the world. P.S. Is there an E.T.A. for the next book? Sorry I'm kinda chomping at the bit so to speak.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Star Gater

    So many things, so little time. The audiobook is over nine hours, and had the author eliminated the darling, oh darling, I love you, I love you too, I'm guessing 7.5 hours total run time. I was shaking my head, after all the F-words, was ready to scream at "there is a bucket for #2" and "if you die, I'm going to kill you." The genre classification is horror/Sci Fi Fantasy. I'm still shaking my head. This is another retelling of The Walking Dead, and not done well. The narrator has a deep voice. So many things, so little time. The audiobook is over nine hours, and had the author eliminated the darling, oh darling, I love you, I love you too, I'm guessing 7.5 hours total run time. I was shaking my head, after all the F-words, was ready to scream at "there is a bucket for #2" and "if you die, I'm going to kill you." The genre classification is horror/Sci Fi Fantasy. I'm still shaking my head. This is another retelling of The Walking Dead, and not done well. The narrator has a deep voice. I could visualize him doing sports, true breaking news, etc. The book didn't showcase him well. Thank you NetGalley and Bragi Press for accepting my request to read and review Abandon Us.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dixie Dylla

    I was given an ARC Audio book for an honest review, which is much appreciated. This book is a prequel to the authors first novel, which I haven’t yet read… but guess what book is now on the top of my “To read” list! I enjoy a good apocalypse story, and this book did not disappoint. The best part, it wasn’t like many others I’ve read. No big manly main character with a military background to save the day! Just regular humans trying to survive. The main character moves from an eastern city dweller I was given an ARC Audio book for an honest review, which is much appreciated. This book is a prequel to the authors first novel, which I haven’t yet read… but guess what book is now on the top of my “To read” list! I enjoy a good apocalypse story, and this book did not disappoint. The best part, it wasn’t like many others I’ve read. No big manly main character with a military background to save the day! Just regular humans trying to survive. The main character moves from an eastern city dweller to what seems like the deserts of the southwest. Much like ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy, you’re never really sure what part of the country the characters are in. The pace of the book was excellent, the characters are realistic, and you find yourself hoping they’ll find a Utopia, all the while knowing they won’t! I look forward to going back and reading the sequel. We’ll done!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jacque

    I love me a good apocalyptic story. All the potentials and possibly of what could happen in a future world. I love to discover how an author is going to spin it and see if it something that I could see happening. To just lose myself in a future world. Sigh. Sadly that did not happen for me with Abandon Us by E.T. Gunnarsson. The book started out okay and I was able to grasp what was going on. However, there were several things that kept me from losing my self in the story. For starters, I felt so I love me a good apocalyptic story. All the potentials and possibly of what could happen in a future world. I love to discover how an author is going to spin it and see if it something that I could see happening. To just lose myself in a future world. Sigh. Sadly that did not happen for me with Abandon Us by E.T. Gunnarsson. The book started out okay and I was able to grasp what was going on. However, there were several things that kept me from losing my self in the story. For starters, I felt some of the situations to be too repetitive. The masks sucks, the air sucks, everything is black, grimy and sucks. The horse it dead and you can quit beating it. I totally get it, everything sucks. Second, the plot has the elements a story needs and the groundwork is laid so you have a understanding of the current situation. The presentation of it felt so…dry. Not dull, just flat and unappealing. What really had me struggling to focus was the characters. I just couldn’t engage or connect with them. I found the conversations between Robert and Zilv to be baby-ish and immature. I knew early on in the book that was going to be something that was going to annoy me and I was hoping it would change. Nope. Finally conclusion: this book did not work for me. The cover was appealing and the premise of the story had a lot to offer. I just felt, for me, it came off rather flat and meh as I struggled to finish it. I will not be continuing on with the series. Stars: 2.5 I received this book from Netgalley. I was not compensated for the book other than the entertainment it provided. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Caroline 'reading with Buddy'

    For me the pace worked and the character development was great. This was such a different take on the genre and I liked how the characters especially Robert grew and then it fitted in well with the original story. However for me the highlight of the audio was the narration, Craig Bowles just adds to the book. I just devoured the book and had to keep listening at all times - helped with the current English weather. So a combination of the story and the narration worked perfectly. So recommend the For me the pace worked and the character development was great. This was such a different take on the genre and I liked how the characters especially Robert grew and then it fitted in well with the original story. However for me the highlight of the audio was the narration, Craig Bowles just adds to the book. I just devoured the book and had to keep listening at all times - helped with the current English weather. So a combination of the story and the narration worked perfectly. So recommend the audio narration to this book. I was given a free copy by netgalley and the publishers but the review is entirely my own.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    Abandon Us by E.T. Gunnarsson a Grim look at humanity and its discourse. the survival of a single man after a second civil war. The triad division of humanity, those who are fascisms, socialist, and capitalists. Destroying the cities, the demoralized economy, with back and forth battles. The war extinguished only with the nuclear invasion by China of the divided nations. This ends the world entirely, the marginal environmental recovery is extinguished. mankind is left to mutate, and battle with th Abandon Us by E.T. Gunnarsson a Grim look at humanity and its discourse. the survival of a single man after a second civil war. The triad division of humanity, those who are fascisms, socialist, and capitalists. Destroying the cities, the demoralized economy, with back and forth battles. The war extinguished only with the nuclear invasion by China of the divided nations. This ends the world entirely, the marginal environmental recovery is extinguished. mankind is left to mutate, and battle with the remnants of cultures. One man looses his job, his freedom, his choice, his love and even the people he cares about. Its a sad recourse of humanity, and the fault of our own choices.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sofia

    This book has 3 parts, the first one, reminded me very much of the book “sheep's look up” because the world is trashed, there’s pollution all over the place, people need to use gas masks to be able to breath outside and in some places inside as well… but a plague comes and makes things much harder and some very “zombies”, and then the war and we jump some years in the future, always becoming much dire and grim, we also learn more about this kind of zombies, the lurkers…, the third part takes pla This book has 3 parts, the first one, reminded me very much of the book “sheep's look up” because the world is trashed, there’s pollution all over the place, people need to use gas masks to be able to breath outside and in some places inside as well… but a plague comes and makes things much harder and some very “zombies”, and then the war and we jump some years in the future, always becoming much dire and grim, we also learn more about this kind of zombies, the lurkers…, the third part takes place almost 20 years after the first one. Of course without spoilers, in this book, we follow Robert, and what life brings to him, he is the kind of character that makes you want to read a little more and know him and his situation better. I recommend this book for fans of the road, the sheep's look up, and all those dystopian post-apocalyptical books that leave you with a sadness in your heart, because you empathise with the main character. Thank you NetGalley for the free ARC and this is my honest opinion.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Blankenship

    This book was a little graphic on the death scenes and things like that. I liked how in some instances they banned together to survive. How they worked together to get the supplies they needed and how to make new things to help them survive.

  13. 5 out of 5

    kristen

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. This book was depressing and gripping at the same time. This apocalyptic world was harsh and just intriguing, I wish there would have been more about the mutation of humans from the pollution. I would enjoy more stories from this world.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Helaina Chiofolo

    An apocalyptic coming-of-age story! Young Robert Ashton and his partner Zilv are barely making it in a dangerous city. Pollution, crime, disease run rampant. Society begins to crumble, slowly getting worse and worse. Anyone who is left begins to move to the underground sewer system to survive. Once zilv takes ill, Robert knows what he has to do whatever it takes. Grotesque, human monsters troll the city, killing anything in their path. How will Robert survive? Will he even want to? 🖊Published Jun An apocalyptic coming-of-age story! Young Robert Ashton and his partner Zilv are barely making it in a dangerous city. Pollution, crime, disease run rampant. Society begins to crumble, slowly getting worse and worse. Anyone who is left begins to move to the underground sewer system to survive. Once zilv takes ill, Robert knows what he has to do whatever it takes. Grotesque, human monsters troll the city, killing anything in their path. How will Robert survive? Will he even want to? 🖊Published June 21, 2022 🤔Review: Quite a realistic dystopian end of civilization drama! I loved the sci fi aspect of the fall of society. The beginning was a bit slow but that’s almost required reading while the author builds the world up. Robert and Zilv’s relationship was a little *too* perfect, i can’t imagine a perfect relationship during an apocalypse. Too mushy. But the details were wonderful. The descriptions of the monsters were horrific. I loved it! I also enjoyed the main characters growth, going from an innocent boy to a hardened man, desperately trying to survive. Of course in true post apocalyptic fashion, not everyone survives!

  15. 4 out of 5

    melissa smith

    Excellent read. Hated how it ended, but it seemed necessary. Really enjoyed reading this one.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Garcia

    I absolutely loved this book! Not only was the story interesting but I really are to care about the characters. Can’t wait to see what the next book brings. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Louis

    NO SPOILERS, don’t worry! Good book. Well written. I have a few notes but I’d recommend others to read it. Solid 4 stars in my opinion. - I love the futuristic feel and I like how the author relates back to “old times” so we know the changes that have taken place. - Use of description is used well. However, I feel characters need a little more description and/or backstory to them. - I didn’t know zilv was male right away, throw some pronouns in there and make it obvious! Love a MM couple and I want NO SPOILERS, don’t worry! Good book. Well written. I have a few notes but I’d recommend others to read it. Solid 4 stars in my opinion. - I love the futuristic feel and I like how the author relates back to “old times” so we know the changes that have taken place. - Use of description is used well. However, I feel characters need a little more description and/or backstory to them. - I didn’t know zilv was male right away, throw some pronouns in there and make it obvious! Love a MM couple and I want to see it off the bat! - Great twists and turns. Won’t add any spoilers but I feel the author writes really well and can hold the suspense and drama when needed. So if you want something futuristic, queer and fun, read this!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Janis

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Not a book for the faint of heart. In the future, we have murdered the Earth - machines have taken most jobs and homeless encampments and trash crowd the streets for space. The skies are slowly being blackened with pollution, not only must you wear a gas mask to filter the air but even having it touch your skin causes contact burns. The lucky are on spaceships that will take 300 years to reach their destination and there is no guarantee that a livable planet will be found at the end of the journ Not a book for the faint of heart. In the future, we have murdered the Earth - machines have taken most jobs and homeless encampments and trash crowd the streets for space. The skies are slowly being blackened with pollution, not only must you wear a gas mask to filter the air but even having it touch your skin causes contact burns. The lucky are on spaceships that will take 300 years to reach their destination and there is no guarantee that a livable planet will be found at the end of the journey but here on Earth, everything is dying slowly. Then come the pandemics, the civil wars, the cannibals and the mutants. One man tries to remain above it all, keeping his friends together, remembering love, clean air and flowers. In the end, he will even sacrifice his life to try to buy a few more days for those he considers his community. Please be aware there are minor themes of LGBTQ in this book. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  19. 5 out of 5

    TaurReads

    Very enjoyable read. The author did a wonderful job of incorporating current events (government, environment, wealth disparity, extremist groups, and viral pandemic) in the book. The author took those topics, connecting them, and creating this dystopian world where, collectively, played a part in the near full destruction of humanity. There were a few parts that could have used a touch more detail, but nothing that takes away from the story. The characters were well written. Especially the main ch Very enjoyable read. The author did a wonderful job of incorporating current events (government, environment, wealth disparity, extremist groups, and viral pandemic) in the book. The author took those topics, connecting them, and creating this dystopian world where, collectively, played a part in the near full destruction of humanity. There were a few parts that could have used a touch more detail, but nothing that takes away from the story. The characters were well written. Especially the main character, Rob. Great development. The side characters were just as enjoyable. This has my first time reading anything by this author and I must say I look forward to reading more. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Beaugh

    This book seemed to never end - in a good way! It followed the adult life of a main character (instead of devolving into a tired and deflating treatise about the end-of-times) from his pre-apocalypse life to his struggle to survive with and sometimes at the expense of his friends...as the world deteriorated into post-apocalyptic nightmare. The author's creativity is demonstrated when exploring the future world's power source (interesting!) and social system, and also the extent of evolution-help This book seemed to never end - in a good way! It followed the adult life of a main character (instead of devolving into a tired and deflating treatise about the end-of-times) from his pre-apocalypse life to his struggle to survive with and sometimes at the expense of his friends...as the world deteriorated into post-apocalyptic nightmare. The author's creativity is demonstrated when exploring the future world's power source (interesting!) and social system, and also the extent of evolution-helped-by-mutation (which I found unbelievable, unfortunately, from a biological standpoint). The violence depicted throughout the story and the several times where characters are left to die or suffer helplessly may be upsetting to some. Regarding the narration of the audiobook, the narrator did a good job using distinguishable voices for different characters, although I did get two main characters (Robert and his friend William) confused several times - either because of their similar voicings or because their names were both generic, and the description of these characters did not create unique enough pictures of them in my head.. Other than that, the narration added to the life of the book - good pacing, good energy, and captivating. An element of the book that could use improvement was the labelling of every new chapter with a datestamp. I often was unable to remember what the "current" date was supposed to be, to be able to tell how much time had passed from one chapter to the next. At one point in the story, the main character demonstrates his own confusion about how much calendar time has passed - I think this can be subtly emphasized by replacing the datestamp with an (accurate or estimated) time that's elapsed (so, "two months later" or "a couple weeks later). And perhaps this can get "muddier" as the book progresses, as it would in the experience of the characters? The biggest element of the story that I found hard to swallow and mostly unnecessary was the description of the "mutants". For them to have obtained functioning extra body parts via mutation from the environment is far-fetched - if this was toned-down, I can see this majorly affecting only one scene in the story, of which a re-write would not be a detriment to the story. I recommend this book to any who are compelled by a story of how life as we know it might end, and how normal, everyday people might successfully scratch and claw for survival.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Smith

    This dark, post-apocalyptic novel paints a bleak picture of the future as one couple tries to survive a dying world. The suffocating atmosphere and increasingly violent society Gunnarsson has created is bone chilling. It is easy to relate to main character Robert and his partner, Zilv, as worsening conditions force them to make difficult choices and walk paths that they otherwise wouldn’t. However, stiff dialogue and repetitive elements occasionally get in the way as an otherwise captivating sto This dark, post-apocalyptic novel paints a bleak picture of the future as one couple tries to survive a dying world. The suffocating atmosphere and increasingly violent society Gunnarsson has created is bone chilling. It is easy to relate to main character Robert and his partner, Zilv, as worsening conditions force them to make difficult choices and walk paths that they otherwise wouldn’t. However, stiff dialogue and repetitive elements occasionally get in the way as an otherwise captivating story unfolds. If you are interested in a dark, post-apocalyptic survival story and like a narrative for its general vibe, this is well worth a try. The story takes place in a future America on the verge of collapse. At the beginning, we watch Robert Ashton overcome the odds; finding employment and building a life with his partner Zilv. However, this success story is overshadowed by the realities of living in a volatile society on a dying planet. Robert’s success means little when basic needs come at a premium if they are available at all. The constant threat of something going wrong adds tension to even the slower moments. This vision of the future is captivating and visceral as life goes from dark to darker for Robert and the other characters. Though I personally liked it, the tone of this book is as oppressive as the suffocating smog that makes up the atmosphere in this world and doesn’t really let up. I really like the overall plot and general vibe of this book. It has a fascinating futuristic world that I could spend more time in (not literally of course). However, I feel some of the more technical elements get in the way of this book realizing its full potential. A lot of the dialogue, particularly between Robert and Zilv, feels basic and stiff. As a result, some of the emotional connection was missing and the characters feel flatter than they should have been. Additionally, there are sections of the story that are repetitive and don’t move the plot forward or successfully add character development. I was intrigued enough not to mind some of the extraneous sections, but I wish they had been removed or changed for a more streamlined experience. CW: Male-Male Sexual Content, Deadly Pandemic (explicit), Death (explicit), Violence (explicit) Special thanks to Reedsy Discovery for providing this ARC for an honest review!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pauline Stout

    *Free copy provided in exchange for an honest review* Robert Ashton is a service technician trying to survive in a futuristic United States. The planet is ravaged by pollution, a civil war has broken out between four different factions trying to take control of the country, a deadly pandemic is raging, and World War Three has broken out. When the situation becomes increasingly chaotic and dangerous, Robert and his partner Zilv flee to the underground to eek out a living with a friend. As Robert t *Free copy provided in exchange for an honest review* Robert Ashton is a service technician trying to survive in a futuristic United States. The planet is ravaged by pollution, a civil war has broken out between four different factions trying to take control of the country, a deadly pandemic is raging, and World War Three has broken out. When the situation becomes increasingly chaotic and dangerous, Robert and his partner Zilv flee to the underground to eek out a living with a friend. As Robert turns to smuggling to survive he also has to fight against other survivors and a landscape full of deadly mutants. Just how far will he go to survive? (I listened to the audiobook version of this novel). I freely admit that I highly enjoyed this book at the start. It was action packed and exciting. The action was very visceral and I loved reading it. I really liked the different characters (especially Robert’s childhood friend). However as the book went on it really started to drag. It can be very repetitive in its action. It felt like the same fight scenes kept happening over and over again. The only thing that changed were the people (and sometimes not) that he was fighting. He had a very shoot first and ask questions later mindset that in my opinion got him into a bunch of fights that didn’t even need to happen. The descriptions were very over the top in some sections and could be a pain to read through. The author can be very repetitive in their descriptions of almost everything in the book. The action was very fast paced and that could be a bad thing at times. Robert would get in a sticky situation or conflicts would arise and they would get solved before I had a chance to get too worried about them. I wish some of the things in the book had been fleshed out more and you had more of a chance to sit with them. The book takes place in three parts and at times it felt like the author was trying to jam a trilogy into a single short book. Overall I think I liked this more than I didn’t though. The good bits outweigh the bad for me. I think that if you like post apocalyptic stories and creature features you will more than likely like this. DO NOT RECOMMEND FOR YOUNGER READERS. Book contains graphic depictions of violence and gore.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Belle

    AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TL;DR: Schmoopie-schmoopie. Characters so annoying that you wish death on them 😂 The characters, romance and narration killed this book. I adore post-apocalyptic worlds but this really didn't work for me. I didn't enjoy it. *Info dumping The first thing I noticed was that there was too much explanation of new tech. What year it was introduced, what it does, why it's better than old tech. And explanations of the world in general. Being told how and why things are what they are is AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TL;DR: Schmoopie-schmoopie. Characters so annoying that you wish death on them 😂 The characters, romance and narration killed this book. I adore post-apocalyptic worlds but this really didn't work for me. I didn't enjoy it. *Info dumping The first thing I noticed was that there was too much explanation of new tech. What year it was introduced, what it does, why it's better than old tech. And explanations of the world in general. Being told how and why things are what they are is not a very exciting way to experience a new world. Your readers are intelligent, you don't need to explain everything. Just show us. We can keep up. *The Narration I have been spoiled by some spec-tac-u-lar narrators. This just wasn't to the same standard. Not enough distinction between certain voices - and the acting was lacking (particularly noticeable during news reports and the portrayal of AI voices). Sometimes no short pause between scene changes. And for whatever reason, the British accent just didn't work for me (I had believed the story was set in the USA?) But then, I heard the narrator's attempt at an American accent, and I figured it was probably for the best. *Romance/Characters = Schmoopie-schmoopie (only worse and without a loveable Jerry) So soppy and cringy. Baby talk and constant terms of endearment. Zylv's voice is so whiny. I couldn't stand them. It was nauseating. I was seriously hoping they'd both be killed off so I wouldn't have to listen to them anymore. They are annoying. So very annoying. Listening to them caused me actual pain. It's a shame because the post-apocalyptic, virus, quarantine story has such potential. When I started wishing the main characters would die, that's when I knew it was time to quit 😂 *Temporary access to audiobook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  24. 5 out of 5

    Maranda Barry

    Admittedly, this is not my preferred genre, but I think it’s important to consider what my students might like. I can see how it would act as a prequel to another book (although I have not read that.) As a stand alone, it wasn’t my favorite. ⬆️ *Narrator does a great job with pacing and keeping the story going. No unnecessary voices, but clear, solid narrating to lead the listener through some heavy plot points *Good exploration of settings—apts, tents, buildings, underground, warehouses *Nice to s Admittedly, this is not my preferred genre, but I think it’s important to consider what my students might like. I can see how it would act as a prequel to another book (although I have not read that.) As a stand alone, it wasn’t my favorite. ⬆️ *Narrator does a great job with pacing and keeping the story going. No unnecessary voices, but clear, solid narrating to lead the listener through some heavy plot points *Good exploration of settings—apts, tents, buildings, underground, warehouses *Nice to see smugglers in a positive light *Various types of fear as motivators work well to aid the plot and reveal character motives ➖ *Characters are fine, but don’t warrant strong feelings that made me root for or against them * The jumps in time work to show the length of the struggle, but leave gaps that lead to questions about surviving so long ⬇️ *The “pet names”; whether it was all the baby/babe between Robert & Zilf or the bros between Robert and William. They all were forced and cringe *Not really any new elements for a post-apocalyptic sci-fi story; lacked imagination *Setting leads to so many drastic changes in just 50ish years; not quite believable based on current technology I’ll need to tell my students about: language, LGBTQIAP+, trauma, violence/warfare death, drugs, gore. ***Thank you to NetGalley and Bragi Press for the free ALC prior to publication. All opinions expressed are my own.***

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Adams

    This was an adventure that felt too familiar to COVID. There is a disease that is killing people. There air is toxic. Everyone is forced to wear gas masks. Jobs have been taken over by machines. Humans are trying to survive. But there are some who do not want to change. There are wars and drug smuggled as well as death and scavenging. This was a fun read An apocalyptic environment making me think zombies are coming next Apocalypse, children of decay, 2070, death, pollution, technology, memories, l This was an adventure that felt too familiar to COVID. There is a disease that is killing people. There air is toxic. Everyone is forced to wear gas masks. Jobs have been taken over by machines. Humans are trying to survive. But there are some who do not want to change. There are wars and drug smuggled as well as death and scavenging. This was a fun read An apocalyptic environment making me think zombies are coming next Apocalypse, children of decay, 2070, death, pollution, technology, memories, looting, battle, matching tattoos, weapons, not a fairytale, future like, relatable, outsiders, LGBTQIA

  26. 4 out of 5

    Thallia

    I was given a copy of this audiobook for an honest review. This isn't one of those books where the main characters feel safe throughout. As they move along, there's a tremendous sense of dread that makes you seriously worried for them. The world-building was fantastic. Watching everything fall apart around the main characters made me stressed. Every character felt fleshed out and I liked everyone. I cried real tears multiple times. The way the different communities fought felt realistic and terri I was given a copy of this audiobook for an honest review. This isn't one of those books where the main characters feel safe throughout. As they move along, there's a tremendous sense of dread that makes you seriously worried for them. The world-building was fantastic. Watching everything fall apart around the main characters made me stressed. Every character felt fleshed out and I liked everyone. I cried real tears multiple times. The way the different communities fought felt realistic and terrifying. The fight scenes were tense and gripping. This is easily my favorite apocalyptic book I've read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Danielle (reading.w.kenz_n_dee)

    3.5 stars rounded up. While navigating a new world, this was a good zombie-like apocalyptic story. I enjoyed this audiobook as the main characters struggle trying to survive in a world that has been ruined by humans, by war and by a virus/mutation. I do struggle trying to keep up with some more Sci-fi novels, but this one was really good at keeping a decent pace and not too much jargon that I still understood what was going on throughout the whole story. Thank you to NetGalley for my audiobook!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Darren Bourn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I had received this book from the author and the fine folks at Booksirens.com in return for a review. While I founded the way that the author had described the environment, I found that I was unable to finish as I lost interest in finishing this book. As such, I did not feel that I could rate this book as anything beyond a solid read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    A. Lorna Warren

    Thank you to the publishers, author and NetGalley for the free copy of this audio book. This one wasn't really for me. I didn't connect with the characters and although the plot was interesting I just couldn't get into it. The narrator was pretty good. Thank you to the publishers, author and NetGalley for the free copy of this audio book. This one wasn't really for me. I didn't connect with the characters and although the plot was interesting I just couldn't get into it. The narrator was pretty good.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jaime Andrews

    Ugh. Sooooo slow moving and honestly made little sense.

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