Read the End First by Suzanne Robb
Genre: Anthology, science fiction, horror
Since the dawn of civilization, mankind has predicted the end of the world in one form or another. In this collected anthology, 24 writers were given three rules: pick a time zone from around the globe, set their story sometime after midnight and then pick a way for the
world to die. The end result ~ a collection that is at once both grim yet compulsive reading; every bit as horrific as it is thought provoking.
I was really looking forward to this and thought it was an interesting concept and, indeed, there are some great story ideas here that will totally keep you hooked. But, at the same time, unfortunately there are just as many offerings that are distinctly average by comparison. Every doomsday scenario ever thought about under the sun is featured here and then some. But whilst some of them work, sadly there are one or two that really do just fall a bit flat on their faces. This is a problem that seems to be inherent with any anthology but is more noticeable here with all of the stories following a common theme.
Highlights for me included the story “The barrier between here and there” which invoked fond memories of old-school, traditional, Lovecraftian horror and which certainly started the collection off with a bang. But others that also resonated with me included John McCraig’s “EMP”, “Best Intentions” by Rebecca Snow and “Not With A Bang” by author collaboration, Brooke and Scott Fabian. By far the creepiest story here though has to be David Dunwoody’s “The Hour.” I don’t want to spoil anything but this story stood head and shoulders above all the rest and left me itching and squirming long after I had moved onto the next story......and the next....and the next!
Overall, this isn’t a bad collection of grim fiction. Like I say, some of the stories included were better than others but there were none that were truly awful, just some that were a little under par. Reading chapter after chapter of yet more ways for the world to die inevitably begins to take its toll after a while – which is why I would probably recommend reading this in smaller chunks rather than in one big session! Be warned ~ there are no happy endings here and, after a while, the whole thing can get a little bit depressing ~ but if you like end-of-the-world scenarios and are looking for something a bit different, then you check this out!
Just remember to stock up on canned goods and drinking water before picking this up. Just in case because you never know....
Horror, Thriller - Novel
TBR Reviewer: Kim
This is the story of a world set in the future. Water is seriously contaminated and food heavily genetically modified. An intrepid submarine crew are tasked to go on a search and rescue in an uncharted region. They are assigned five new crew members to help them in this task. There is hostility on both sides and neither crew trust each other. Soon it becomes obvious that the trip is doomed and everyone has their own hidden agenda....
Set in a submarine that spends most of the novel underwater, the claustrophobia and paranoia were very evident and tangible. It was a zombie novel essentially but the zombie action didn't come in until very nearly the end. The first three quarters of the book were getting to know the characters and their various agendas. I loved the dynamics of the two crews open hostility towards each other, until the end when they had no choice but work together towards a common goal. The action was slow paced to begin with but that was alright because it gave me time to sort out the characters and who was who before it then took off, and boy did it take off! The last quarter of the book was relentless and left me gasping at the explosive ending. I recommend this for zombie lovers and non lovers alike as the zombies are somewhat secondary to the rest of the story.
I really enjoyed Z Boat, this is a highly Recommended novel!
"Ivan made his way up the stairs, the blood loss slowing his progress greatly. Behind him, he could hear footsteps, though they didn’t sound rushed. He pushed on, the control room within his view.
He heard a loud pop and then a splashing noise. Ally released the emergency seal. He needed to hurry. They needed to destroy this sub. Sinking it wasn’t enough. He pulled himself up a few more steps and made it to the landing. Marcus and Ally were talking. He yelled in an attempt to get their attention. “Marcus, Ally we need to sink Betty …” Ivan’s voice gave out, and he slumped against the wall.
He heard someone approaching him, and Ally came into his line of sight. She held a gun and
stared at him with hard eyes.
“I don’t know, but it does not matter right now. You need to blow the sub. Sinking it will not be enough.”
“Where’s Iain?” Marcus stood behind her in a protective stance.
“I don’t know. I think, in all the chaos, they might have gotten him.”
Ivan watched as Ally stood up and wrapped her arms around Marcus. Part of him wanted to ask her to shoot him now, before he turned. He couldn’t do it, though. A miniscule part of him hoped he just had a bad injury and would make it out of this alive.
Ms. Robb is giving away an ecopy to one lucky winner! Comment below to enter. Contest ends Feb. 5th.