Months into the apocalypse, the zombies show no signs of dying, but it's clear everyone in Sunset Park will die without enough food to outlast the undead. Add in the less-than-sociable new neighbors only blocks away, and the hunt for sustenance has come to feel more like a race than a ramble. Sylvie is happy in her new home with the people who've become like family, though she's still working out how to let them into her heart. Eric wants in, and he wants to find his sister, but he can't do both at the same time.
I was very impressed with the first book in the series, and equally impressed with the second. There was a moment where I was saying to myself, wait .. this is a romance book .. what am I doing listening to a chick lit offering. But throw in some apocalypse adventure and a little humor and deep relationship commitments and it looks like I am on board full throttle.
The third book in the series has yet to be published so I did a little research on the author and found out there are related books from the same world focusing on the lost sister of Eric Forrest - Cassie. I will now have to find out if her story will match the intensity of the incredible main protagonist, Sylvie in this City Series.
Eric and Sylvie got some bad news in this book when looking for Cassie. It looked like she did not make it. Now I will find out for sure in the "Until the End of the World" series.
I will not reveal much of the plot - it is more fun to just let this good book unfold. But, be prepared for some heartbreak - not all of the main characters make it to the end.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
A resident of one of LA's toughest neighborhoods uses his blistering intellect to solve the crimes the LAPD ignores. East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood's high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can't or won't touch. They call him IQ. He's a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence.
This book was enjoyable for me because it was a different type of detective story. Isaiah Quintabe (IQ) solves all sorts of problems and crimes in his community and lives by his wits. In one timeline he starts with no parents and a recently deceased older brother who was caring for him and bringing him up with integrity. The background of rap and gang culture is colorfully handled by the author and narrator.
In another timeline IQ is brought in by a questionable character named Dotsen to figure out who hired a hitman to murder a prominent rap artist who had lost his mojo. The star's refusal to leave his mansion while immersed in excess and depression actually saves his life because the hit man has a more difficult time fulfilling his contract with the rapper holed up with his entourage at home. After the failed hit, IQ is offered a lot of money to figure out who is behind the attempted murder.
As the book follows two major timelines as we learn more about IQ's relationship with Dotson who expects to earn a commission on the current case. In the past Dotson had influenced IQ to take a wrong turn to pursue a criminal life to support himself. In the present IQ is a law abiding citizen taking on cases to help others. Now IQ is only taking money on jobs when he needs it or could use it to benefit others.
I hope that there are more cases to solve and adventures for this Sherlock like IQ ... and that irritating Dotson turns out to have a few redeeming qualities - so let's keep him around. After all, his name does rhyme with Watson.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sylvie Rossi has the loner thing down pat, with the exception of her best friend, Grace. But when the two are trapped in a hospital during the last gasp of a dying city, alone time is no longer an option. A nurse's offer of sanctuary promises Sylvie the supplies she needs to survive the zombies - it's the coexisting with people that might do her in. Eric Forrest will do whatever it takes to get into the dead city for his sister, including ending up dead himself. He's used to taking risks, but with every mile he travels death looks likelier.
If I'd have known how happy this book was going to make me, I would have parted with two credits to get it. Fortunately I caught it off a sale.
It started out as a typical zombie story with a flawed central character - and if you are the listener who gives up early, you will not understand my enthusiasm. It wasn't until I was halfway through the book that depth of the characters started resonating with me.
The end totally took me by surprise. Not for wrapping up the story, not with a cliff hanger, but this story was done so well and was so entertaining, that I had to adjust to some strange voice saying -- This has been an Audible Studio production... when I was still ready for more. In retrospect, it was a logical and uplifting conclusion to the epic tale.
Having been through two well received books that left me feeling blah, I am now excited to tell my daughter about this new series and will try to enlist her in a word game similar to the one Sylvie and Eric play in the last half of the book. I also may succumb to some binge listening as a precious credit will be now will be used on the second book, Peripeteia.
Audible - your ploy to get me using up my credits worked.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Harry Bosch is back as a volunteer working cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department and is called out to a local drugstore where a young pharmacist has been murdered. Bosch and the town's three-person detective squad sift through the clues, which lead into the dangerous, big business world of pill mills and prescription drug abuse.
This time Harry Bosch goes undercover as an addict hooked on painkillers to catch a couple of murderers. At the same time he is trying to fend off an insinuation of planting evidence in order to convict someone many years ago. The case against him is so good that his old partner and even his daughter wonder if the accusations are true. It looks like the man he sent to death row is going to be released and exonerated after many years languishing in prison.
This is the first time Connelly has put Bosch on an extremely dangerous mission. In this engaging listen the two unrelated cases intersect and Harry almost loses his life over it. As always mysteries get solved, but while Harry is good, he needs help from other characters to see clues and resolve the cases. For all the Lincoln Lawyer fans, Harry gets some help from his half brother in defending himself on his old collar of a murderer.
Someone heavily criticized the narrator of this book and I don't see it - for me Titus does a superb job.
I guess there are two kinds of truth for all of us.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
The irresistible David Freed’s first mystery is a stay-up-late-to-finish thriller. Based in sunny Rancho Bonita - “California’s Monaco”, as the city’s moneyed minions like to call it - Cordell Logan is a literate, sardonic flight instructor and aspiring Buddhist with dwindling savings and a shadowy past. When his beautiful ex-wife, Savannah, shows up out of the blue to tell him that her husband has been murdered in Los Angeles, Logan is quietly pleased. Savannah’s late husband, after all, is Arlo Echevarria, the man she left Logan for.
You won't get answers to the big questions in life or even the small ones in this highly entertaining romp. If you are wondering what a Flat Spin is - Wikipedia says – Also called unrecoverable spin (although in some instances recovery may be possible), it occurs when both rotation around the yaw axis and side-slip dominate, and the nose attitude remains level or nearly so resulting in the aircraft assuming a Frisbee or boomerang-like motion.
Now you know and I didn't ruin anything. The only spoiler that have to worry about is you will be looking for a second Cordell Logan book. I guarantee it.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth isn't Disneyland but Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long, dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries. What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born or made?
Excuse the alliteration but I am feeling whimsical and after listening to this book and am now seriously considering including Copenhagen on my next vacation to Europe. Bob Hope said that he owed his long life to always gravitating towards a group of people heartily laughing rather than to the crowd that was grumbling. Maybe spending a few days in Denmark will be good for the soul, though I suspect the Danes may not be more bubbly and openly friendly than other cultures, they are just more secure and well cared for.
Helen Russell and Lucy Price-Lewis team up to give us an insight into a successful compassionate social model that we should all aspire towards. We are given a month by month account from an outsider who is curious about the source of the country's happiness. At the end of the month Helen tells us what she has learned and links that to worldwide research findings.
Not everything is perfect in the state of Denmark, but there is enough there to be envious. And if I do visit and the Danes don't open up to me in my brief encounters, Helen has me wondering about how tasty all those baked goods really are. After all there must have been good reason to name one of them a danish.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
India, 1837: William Avery is a young soldier with few prospects except rotting away in campaigns in India; Jeremiah Blake is a secret political agent gone native, a genius at languages and disguises, disenchanted with the whole ethos of British rule, but who cannot resist the challenge of an unresolved mystery.
What do you know about the British presence in India in the 1830's? If you are like me and know only a little, than you are in for a captivating educational adventure. While this is a fictionalized account of how the East India Company operated in that country from the perspective of a company soldier, there is a solidly researched historical perspective on the two cultures. The mystique around the Thuggees is explored and M.J. Carter posits a recent new historical interpretation about this band of robbers and murderers.
I would prefer not to tell you much more, because our hero, William Avery will come into this adventure and have his world turned upside down as you will. This young naive company soldier gets picked to accompany a obstreperous political agent, Jeremy Blake on a mission to find a missing celebrated writer. It doesn't hurt that the writer in question was an inspiration to William and his books are the main reason Avery came to India. Unfortunately Avery is unsure of the motives of his India seasoned companion who treats him with disdain. If he had not been ordered to do this mission, he would have passed on it.
The narrator does a superb job and at the end of the book there is a history lesson about some of the major players and events. I thought superintendent William Henry Sleeman was an invention but it turns out he really existed and we hear current historian thoughts on his relationship to the Thuggees cult.
It is always a treat to discover and enjoy a new author, a new narrator and a different genre.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
In this highly listenable and provocative book, Dr. Jason Fung sets out an original, robust theory of obesity that provides startling insights into proper nutrition. In addition to his five basic steps - a set of lifelong habits that will improve your health and control your insulin levels - Dr. Fung explains how to use intermittent fasting to break the cycle of insulin resistance and reach a healthy weight - for good.
It was a big surprise that a book on weight loss would inspire me to submit a review. But after a lifetime of hearing about can't miss diet plans that ultimately backfire - sometimes with health consequences, it is nice to hear solid researched arguments that support a diet plan that has already been around for centuries.
Insulin resistance is the villain in our lives that leads to weight gain or a set point weight that puts us in the overweight camp. Caloric reduction, eating small amounts often, the necessity of a large breakfast and many more unsuccessful approaches are not panaceas, and may end of doing more harm than good.
Dr. Fung tells us that fasting is the answer. He busts some of the myths you hear about the dangers of this dieting approach. The one that had my attention was how the muscles were first broken down before fat was used when fasting.
But, don't take my word for it, you need to hear the persuasive evidence based research pleasantly presented to you by a top notch narrator.
Who knew - a diet book - and I was never bored.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
It begins in Toronto, in the years after the smart drug revolution. Any high school student with a chemjet and internet connection can download recipes and print drugs, or invent them. A seventeen-year-old street girl finds God through a new brain-altering drug called Numinous, used as a sacrament by a new Church that preys on the underclass. But she is arrested and put into detention, and without the drug, commits suicide. Lyda Rose, another patient in that detention facility, has a dark secret: She was one of the original scientists who developed the drug.
Actually the most rewarding answer I got was to the question "Why is this book called Afterparty?"; ... and that came near the end of the book.
It was a tough start, I almost gave up near the beginning. This was probably a matter of getting used to the writers style and ideas. The main idea of a drug unlocking access to a personal god was just too intriguing for me to give up. Part of the problem was not understanding that the main character Lyda Rose was interacting with a personal god and being confused at the start of the book.
Once the story took off for me there was a lot of hair raising action, interesting characters and a major twist near the end to satisfy my baser instincts. And, while all this is going on we have this highly original idea of a drug called Numinous that unlocks our biological propensity towards explaining life through religion and a deity. Lyda, the scientist still keeps a skeptical distance from her personal god as she talks to it and alternatively craves and rejects its attentions. Others on her team who developed and ingested the potent drug accept their gods without question.
This drug was deemed too dangerous for the general public and got discontinued. The story revolves around Lyda discovering that it has surreptitiously reappeared many years later. She is worried about the harmful effects on the world and she tries to track down where it is coming from. The people who were on her development team are the prime suspects
As for the answer to the mystery of existence - if it was that easy, we would have figured it out after thousands of years trying to explain everything with all sorts of religions. We would all be in agreement at this stage of our collective history.
You will just have to be satisfied with the answer to the question of why is this book called Afterparty in this highly innovative, entertaining adventure.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Conner's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance.
This book has a lot of positive reviews so it must have gotten better. Still, the basic premise was so far out of touch with human nature, both good and bad that this was a big miss for me. I had no intention of writing a review, preferring to share my impressions of the best books out there until a discussion with my daughter yesterday.
She usually asks me for a recommendation, but having access to my books decided to go it alone and try this highly rated story. She had the same reaction and gave up as well.
It goes against our evolutionary nature to throw a family member into oblivion. We murder each other and do all sorts or horrible things and this sometimes includes a family member. I just can't see this as an accepted social practice. If you look at literature, religion, politics etc. family is a strong rallying cry. How can anyone have more than one child and after several years decide which one will continue to live. We may limit the number of children we have with birth control, but are we so cold hearted that we could sentence one of our own children to non existence after they disappoint us in their teenage years?
For most of us, I think not.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful