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.

…possible spoiler warning… Continue reading “Kill or Cure Series: Book 2 – Bloodlust by Pixie Britton (Book Review)”

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…

Continue reading “Kill or Cure Series: Book 1 – Kill or Cure by Pixie Britton (Book Review)”

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…

Continue reading “Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 2 – The Scorch Trials (Book Review)”

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…

Continue reading “Maze Runner Trilogy: Book 1 – The Maze Runner (Book Review)”

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Book Review)

Station Eleven is a science fiction post-apocalyptic survival story from Emily St. John Mandel. The premise is of a flu epidemic that rips through Toronto, Canada, very quickly and killing anyone who comes into contact with it.

The book begins with a riveting narrative (see sentence above) in which an actor named Arthur dies while performing a Shakespearian play onstage. It then follows Jeevan, a trainee paramedic and member of the audience as he discusses the flu epidemic via telephone call with his friend Hua, who works in a hospital. After that, the story becomes a jumble of different plotlines that drift back and forth and sideways, with no real direction or meaning.

There’s a Travelling Symphony composed of various actors and musicians, most of whom don’t even use real names, instead being called third cello, the clarinet, sixth guitarist etc. The book also narrates prior details of Arthur’s life before the flu epidemic, and brief accounts of his ex-wives and close friends during the early days of the outbreak. But things only begin to get interesting about 70% of the way through the book, and even then it’s just a temporary respite from the monotony.

Currently, I can’t quite remember what prompted me to read this book. I think I saw a review online, or a recommendation somewhere that piqued my interest. However, it wasn’t really worth bothering with. I persevered to the end, mostly just to see if the book improved or if the individual elements later came together to make proper sense. Sadly, this didn’t really happen, and there wasn’t any real conclusion as such. At 1 out of 5 stars I found the novel to be dull, disjointed and nonsensical. My advice, best avoided.

Wayward Pines: Genesis (Book Review)

Genesis is a Wayward Pines Prequel by Steven Konkoly. Steven builds on Blake Crouch’s original Wayward Pines series, by crafting a story which aims to answer some of the burning questions left behind by the original trilogy. Mainly, how did David Pilcher create the fenced off town of Wayward Pines in the first place, with all those abbies surrounding the Superstructure.

 

Genesis begins with David Pilcher and his elite crew emerging from the suspension pods, to discover that they are all that is left of humanity. With the help of Adam Hassler, Pilcher begins his massive project to recreate the town of Wayward Pines, by constructing the 12 foot electrified fence that will eventually surround and protect the idyllic little town.

Steven Konkoly does such a great job with this novel that had I not read his name on the front cover of the book, I wouldn’t have known that Genesis wasn’t actually written by Blake Crouch himself. It remains true to the original series in every way imaginable, and is a fantastic addition to the world of Wayward Pines. This book is perfect for old fans already familiar with either Blake’s series, or the TV adaptation, as well as for unfamiliar newbie’s who are looking for an introduction to the story.

There were one or two points that I noticed didn’t correlate with the original novels, but these were extremely minor issues that most others wouldn’t notice, and which aren’t overly relevant. Otherwise, this is a great book, if a little short. At 5 out of 5 stars I would highly recommend Genesis.

 

Those who haven’t already done so can watch the trailer for the Wayward Pines TV series here:

 

Or check out my reviews of Blake Crouch’s original Wayward Pines trilogy here:

Book 1: Pines

Book 2: Wayward

Book 3: The Last Town