Barren Waters: The Complete Novel by Julia Shupe (Book Review)

Sorry everyone it’s been quite a while since I posted any new reviews, I got a bit distracted with other things recently. However, here is a re-post of a book review that I originally did back in 2017.

Barren Waters is a post-apocalyptic tale of survival in a dystopian future where the world’s oceans have become barren and stagnant due to mankind’s pollution of their environment. As the human race continues to pump toxic chemicals into rivers, streams and waterways across the world it is not difficult to imagine the possible effects that Julia Shupe presents in this novel, and the scary thought is that it could come true.

In the 22nd century the pollution has reached intolerable levels, and the efforts of mankind to clean up their act and attempt to preserve their home, is too little too late. Plankton in the deep oceans have died out, leaving a wide variety of aquatic animals without food. Starvation becomes rife and mass extinctions leave the oceans dead.  Shrinking levels of oxygen in the atmosphere, further restricts the survival of both plant and animal life, including those of human kind.

Julia recounts the lives of two scientists with the foresight to prepare for the coming disaster, and the trials of their surviving family, a son and grand-daughter 50 years later, struggling with daily life in their harsh, unfortunate circumstances.

Favourite Quote:

“Jeremy had always believed luck was a double-edged sword. Good luck could easily turn bad. And fast.” – (p2)

The author, Julia Shupe kindly offered me a free copy of her novel, Barren Waters in exchange for an honest review.

The narrative jumps back and forth quite a lot between its descriptions of the unfolding apocalypse and of the resulting consequences, and the dates of the events don’t run consecutively, instead forming part of the story at the necessary time. It does not detract or confuse the story too much, but for those who attempt to follow the proper timeline from beginning to end will find this incredibly difficult and somewhat confusing. However, Julia has crafted a well thought-out and imaginative tale, which both intrigues and entertains the reader, while also provoking thoughtful scientific stimulation.

My only other niggle is the usual issue which pertains to most self-published books, the high number of annoying spelling mistakes within the Kindle copy. However, at 4 out of 5 stars, don’t let those errors put you off from enjoying this otherwise wonderful tale of human survival.

I may now be tempted to delve deeper into this author’s world, by reading her fantasy series The Sentinels of Kiln.

Kill or Cure Series: Book 2 – Bloodlust by Pixie Britton (Book Review)

We continue the story of Alyx and Tommy in the Kill or Cure series with book 2, Bloodlust.

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Kill or Cure Series: Book 1 – Kill or Cure by Pixie Britton (Book Review)

Kill or Cure is the first book in Pixie Britton’s young adult dystopian series, about a post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies. I was offered a complimentary copy of this book, directly from the author, and being a fan of post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels I decided to take a chance on this new writer. However, it’s aimed at younger teens and while some of these types of stories can also be enjoyed by adults, there can be a fine dividing-line between them depending on maturity of the language, and writing style.

…possible spoiler warning…

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Maze Runner Series: Book 4 – The Kill Order (Book Review)

The Kill Order is the original prequel to the Maze Runner trilogy, having been released many years before The Fever Code.

…spoiler warning… Continue reading “Maze Runner Series: Book 4 – The Kill Order (Book Review)”

Maze Runner Series: Book 0 – The Fever Code (Book Review)

The Fever Code is a prequel to the original Maze Runner trilogy, and I was led to believe that it would provide backstory and general information, which would complement the series as a whole.

I remember reading the original prequel, The Kill Order, years ago and really struggling with it. This was because it was centred on a completely different cast of characters, had a tedious story and didn’t really correspond to the other books. My hope was that The Fever Code, would provide the answers and insight that were missing, in regards to Thomas, Teresa, Newt and Minho.

As you would expect, all the regular and much loved characters from the trilogy play a part in The Fever Code, and it’s nice to have some of these familiar faces return. However the never-ceasing list of WICKED guards and employees that keep cropping up, eventually becomes too frustrating to try and keep track of.

The book has far too many inconsistencies with the main trilogy, often contradicting events and the memories that conveniently return to Thomas, just at the right key moments. Unfortunately, the story also doesn’t provide any further information than what we’ve already been told. The questions, such as why WICKED changed all the kids names, are still never answered. Instead just re-hashing the same old facts that we’re already familiar with.

Unlike the other novels, The Fever Code lacks the action and intrigue that makes readers want to keep turning the pages. It lacks oomph and mystery, which made it difficult for me to read. And I found the attitudes of the adults to be infuriatingly hostile, irritating, downright repetitive and infuriating.

At 2 out of 5 stars, I had high hopes for this book but it just didn’t match up with my expectations. It provides a very basic background story for those interested in learning more about Thomas and the origins of the maze, but don’t expect it to wow you with any answers to those burning questions you might have.

See also:

Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 1 – The Maze Runner

Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 2 – The Scorch Trials

Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 3 – The Death Cure

Maze Runner: Book 4 – The Kill Order

Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 3 – The Death Cure (Book Review)

The Death Cure completes the main Maze Runner trilogy, continuing on from the point where The Scorch Trials leaves off.

…Warning: this review contains spoilers, proceed with due caution…

Continue reading “Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 3 – The Death Cure (Book Review)”

Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 2 – The Scorch Trials (Book Review)

The Scorch Trials continues the story of Thomas and his friends, which began in the first book of the series, The Maze Runner.

…Warning: this review contain spoilers, proceed with due caution…

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Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 1 – The Maze Runner (Book Review)

This is my second (or maybe even third) read of James Dashner’s The Maze Runner. I discovered the novel after watching the movie starring Dylan O’Brien and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, and immediately fell in love with the whole concept of the maze; the mystery of working out where they are, what’s happening to them and how to escape their confinement. This is a story I often find myself revisiting on a regular basis, and it has become one of my favourite dystopian films, as well as a favourite novel. Also it doesn’t hurt that Dylan O’Brien is easy on the eyes.

…Warning: this review contain spoilers, proceed with caution…

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Supernatural: The Usual Sacrifices by Yvonne Navarro (Book Review)

The Usual Sacrifices is book fifteen in the series of TV Tie-in novels from the CW show Supernatural, and is written by Yvonne Navarro. It takes place during season ten between episodes 10 (The Hunter Games) and 13 (Halt & Catch Fire).

…possible spoiler warning for those not familiar and up-to-date with the TV series…

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Caldera by David Hawk (Book Review)

David Hawk is the writer who created The Race Through Space series, science-fiction novels full of science and adventure for young adults. You can find my reviews of The Race Through Space series here via this link.

This time though instead of strange alien worlds, David remains on Earth for his latest adventure, taking us on a trip to Yellowstone National Park in the novel Caldera. I would expect that for most, the plot would be obvious, but for anyone uncertain; the word Caldera refers to a bowl shaped volcanic crater, and in this particular case we follow a super eruption which occurs at the site of the Yellowstone caldera, and its deadly after-effects. The story follows a father and son who take a trip to the park, unaware of the dangerous threat lurking beneath their feet.

I couldn’t help rolling my eyes and shaking my head at the naiveté of the characters in this novel, who were surprised that earthquakes happen regularly at Yellowstone, and weren’t worried about portentous signs like stampeding animals, all the birds taking flight, uptick in earthquakes and aftershocks etc. I know it’s just a story, but these things just appear so obvious to me, like common sense that Yellowstone is a seismic area on top of a volcano, and these signs suggest getting the heck out of the area pronto. It’s the same with most disaster books/movies though, there wouldn’t be a story if everyone had the good sense to flee.

There are also some inaccuracies and liberties in the science. Such as the Jet Stream that appears to flow North West instead of East, and the pace of the lava flows. Since lava normally flows at a slow crawl, more like that seen in Hawaii as opposed to the speedy fashion portrayed in movies like Volcano and San Andreas, or Pompeii, unless it’s travelling downhill. But then, it’s not exactly thrilling to read a story in which most people can outwalk a lava flow, is it?

There’s no mention of the deadly sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere though, released by the eruption, which would poison the air, soil and drinking water of the entire planet, following the trajectory of the ash cloud. Similar to the effects of the Laki eruption in Iceland back in 1783-84. This would lead to the poisoning of most animals and plants, especially crops, livestock and even people. As well as contributing to the potential for a mini ice-age, this is one of the most deadly consequences of major large-scale eruptions.

While some of the early scenes with Colton, the main character, come across as having been written by a horny teenage boy, they did make me giggle. I’m not sure if this was the writer’s intention, but it does provide some light refreshing entertainment, in comparison to the seriousness of the main story. With this in mind though, Caldera is a book probably more suited to older teens and adults, with these repeated references to sex and masturbation.

Unfortunately, despite both the writer and his publishers attempting to reduce the number of spelling and grammar errors contained within David’s books, Caldera still appears to have quite a lot of issues. Including Lucas’s age, which seems to change from thirteen at the beginning, to twelve later on.

For the most part I enjoyed this novel, it kept me entertained and engaged just as a story should, however there were a number of situations that I’m not sure would be entirely true to life, such as walking across an area recently hit by a pyroclastic flow. The ending was a bit too rushed, cobbled together by mere chance and characters having hunches. So a bit of a mixed review and average rating of 3 out of 5 stars for David Hawk’s Caldera. It’s always difficult to please those who enjoy science, when you need to skew the facts a little to allow a story to make sense. I wanted to love this book, but felt a bit let down in a few areas.

I received a complimentary copy of this book directly from the author, David Hawk and voluntarily chose to write this honest review.

See also:

The Race Through Space Trilogy: Books 1-3

The Race Through Space: Event Horizon – Book 1

The Race Through Space: Event Horizon – Book 2