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"The planet is fine. The people are fucked."— George Carlin

Freebie Friday (72) The Halloween Edition!!!

| Friday, October 31, 2014 | 0 comments |

It's time for another edition of Freebie Friday! Each week I compile a list of books that I've found for FREE and share them with all of you! All you have to do is click on the title and it will take you to the purchase page for that book. Unless noted all books are first in the series.

Since it is Halloween, today's Freebie Friday is going to be all about books that go bump in the night.

Midnight Harvest by Elias Anderson [Purchase]
When a string of increasingly brutal serial murders spills into his jurisdiction, William Coe, a Homicide detective stricken with OCD and an eidetic memory, is forced to search for answers as the body count grows. As clues begin to surface, Coe starts to wonder about the exact nature of the killer he’s after. In a game of cat and mouse that could make or break his career, he’s forced to follow a trail that will lead him to places darker than he could have ever imagined...





Left Alive by Jeremy Lazlo [Purchase]
The world is dead. Plants gone. Animals gone. The air is thick with dust and ash. Water has turned to murky cesspools of death and decay. Life and Earth as we know it are gone—at least all the good parts.

It’s been almost a year since the first signs that we killed our planet began to arise. Order and humanity are gone now, replaced by vigilante justice and survival at all costs. Nine months have passed since the quarantines were put in place. Six months since we realized it was too late, and just after that the governments of the world fell.

That was nearly seven billion people ago, and now Charles has decided it is time to pack up and leave in search of the one thing still worth living for—his daughters.

With rumors of roving bands of cannibals, and even zombies, he knows making the journey is a long shot, but he has to try. He promised their dying mother that he would keep them safe and has every intention of doing just that, come hell or hungry zombies.

In a soulless world filled with nothing but pain and death, will his determination be enough to see him through to the end?

The Devil's Dream by David Beers [Purchase]
Perhaps the smartest man to ever live, Matthew Brand changed the world by twenty-five years old. In his mid-thirties, he still shaped the world as he wanted, until a few cops gunned down his son on the street.

Brand's life changed then. He forgot about bettering Earth and started trying to resurrect his son.

Eventually, Brand's mind even overpowered death's mysteries; he discovered how to bring back the dead--he only needed living bodies to make his son's life possible again. Why not use the bodies of those who killed his son?

In the largest manhunt the FBI's ever experienced, how do they stop a man who can calculate all the odds and stack them in his favor?

Cure: A Strandville Zombie Novel by Belinda S. Frisch [Purchase]
Welcome to the Nixon Healing and Research Center, playground for the maniacal Dr. Howard Nixon whose medical research has him dabbling in the undead and has the women of Strandville disappearing.

Desperate to find a cure for the lethal virus which turns its victims into zombies, Nixon kidnaps Miranda Penton, a security recruit with a past that won't let her go. He doesn't count on anyone coming looking for her, least of all her ex-husband, Scott.

A warning call brings Scott to Strandville where he bands together with a team of locals determined to bring their own loved ones home. Together, they infiltrate Nixon's staff, hatching a plan that releases not only the surviving women, but the virus on those left in the hospital.

Nixon locks down the center to contain the spread, turning patients, visitors, and staff into a dangerous horde that is almost impossible to escape. Miranda and the others fight for their lives. The town of Strandville is ground zero for the zombie apocalypse and Miranda must get free because the fate of humanity lies with her unborn child.

DeadBorn by C.M. Stunich [Purchase]
“In a few days, days, the whole world will fall to the undead. It's inevitable.”

I'm being chased by the DeadBorn and everything's gone chaotic.

Just last night I was playing baseball in the park. Now, hordes of undead swarm the streets, roused by a magic that's raging out of control, drawing the lifeless from their graves and luring demons from a different world. And they're all after the one person that I care about: my girlfriend, Holly. She's being chased by a necromancer who won't stop until she finds her. Not even if it means bathing the world in a wash of blood.

The DeadBorn are almost impossible to kill. A simple head shot won't do the trick. We have to break them into pieces, smash them until they're nothing. And those are just the lopers. There are other DeadBorn, too, ones with fire in their faces, some that spew acid, and then there are the ones that can take down helicopters.

We'd already be dead if it weren't for Holly's dreams. She says she knows what to do, and I think we're just going to have to trust her because there's no time for anything else. We can't run; we can't even hide.

The necromancer knows where we are, and the legion is coming.

Sanctuary 12 by T.W. Malpass [Purchase]
Nine strangers, linked by the inner whisperings of a mysterious little girl. Each must piece together the origins of their other-worldly abilities and the location of the white manor, where they will be reunited, and the questions that have plagued their existence will finally be answered. But someone else marks their every step. The sinister Mr Cradleworth has other plans for them, plans that could bring about catastrophic consequences, not just for earth, but the whole universe.

This epic tale covers half the globe, as it follows each character into the darkest recesses of their soul. Combining eighties-style horror with science fiction, this dark fantasy will take you on a journey you will never forget.

Sons of Sludge by Josiah Upton [Purchase]
Pretending to be a normal teenage boy is hard, especially when you've been locked down in a strange man's basement for the last four years. But pretending is what Zaul must do if anyone is to believe he isn't the grey and hairless monster that he became after he rose from the dead. He must convince others that he isn't just a breath away from giving into his unholy urges, the violent compulsions to ravage women and devour human flesh. Yes, it's hard being undead, starting your first day of high school among the living.

Society won't cut Zaul any slack, either. It's been 100 years since the nation recovered from a devastating zombie apocalypse, but a mutation of the virus has survived, killing infected children once they hit puberty, and bringing them back as the much feared Hybrid Reanimates, the SONS OF SLUDGE. If Zaul's true nature is discovered, he'll be locked away in a containment facility forever, so he must use makeup and a wig to blend in. His erratic symptoms of Rage, Lust, and Hunger will need to be controlled by strong government drugs, illegally bought from a dangerous containment officer who absolutely despises Zaul's kind.

And what ever he does, he must not form attachments.

That's why befriending Genny, an outcast human with a secret of her own, may have been a big mistake. Now Zaul is less occupied with keeping his identity safe, and more concerned with this strange girl, and what must be done to save her from a dark future. Bullets will fly, flesh will be consumed, and a Hybrid Reanimate will learn a lesson in sacrificial love, and what it means to be truly human.

Hell's Game by Teresa Lo [Purchase]
On Halloween night in Deer Creek, Kansas, Jake Victor, Ashley and Ashton Gemini, and Kristin Grace convince Ronnie Smalls to meet them at the town cemetery, which local folklore has always rumored to be the Gateway to Hell. Their intention was only to scare him, but soon the wicked prank becomes actual horror as the group learns the Gateway is all too real. After demons snatch Ronnie and drag him to Hell, the terrified foursome vow to keep what they had seen a secret.

Two years later, the group receives a mysterious letter, an invite to play a high-stakes game in Hell. If they win, they release Ronnie’s soul as well as their own from eternal damnation. If they lose, they are stuck in Hell forever. Choosing to play, they face nightmare after nightmare as each level escalates in intensity and forces them to face the seven deadly sins.

Inspired by the legends of the Gateway to Hell in Stull, Kansas, Hell’s Game explores the cruelty that teenagers can inflict upon each other as well as the horrors that exist amongst mankind. It is a dark, action-packed young adult novel that will both scare its readers and make them question the true meaning of evil.

Death by Halloween by David Warkentin [Purchase]
It is Halloween, a day that used to be your favourite of the year.

As a child, you counted down the days to Halloween, thrilled at the prospect of venturing out into the night in a monster’s clothing and returning with a sack stuffed full with candy.

As you grew through adolescence, your tastes gradually changed. You still lived in anticipation of Halloween, but you no longer cared much for its typical offerings. The costumes weren’t real. The candy was too sweet.

What you wanted was adventure, panic, black magic. You wanted to find yourself on a dark hilltop, shaking with fear as impossible shadows crept up the slope toward you. You wanted to see the dead sit up in their graves. You wanted to stumble through the fog trying to escape the clutches of a madman. You wanted to survive a nightmare...

Death by Halloween is a 'choose-your-own-adventure' style interactive book for adults and mature teens.

Crash by David Wright & Sean Platt [Purchase]
Sometimes the ghosts that haunt us most aren’t the dead.

It has been nearly a year since writer Thomas Witt lost his daughter in a horrible car accident which nearly killed him. He and his wife are attempting to have another child and put their lives back together.

However, he can’t move on.

In addition to his daughter, there’s something else missing — specifically his memories for six months prior to the accident.

He finds himself obsessively drawn to accident scenes where he photographs the carnage in attempts to reclaim his memories.

Penny Dreadfuls: Halloween Special [Purchase]
Thirteen deliciously ghoulish tales will make your Halloween Night that much more fun and creepy. Hide under the blankets with a flash light, stifle a scream, suppress a giggle, as some of the rising stars of horror and dark fiction bring you a collection of chilling and terrifying tales you'll never forget!

Includes:
Don't Go In Them Woods – Benjamin Knox
The Recreational Vampire – Toby Bennet
Anonymous – Icy Sedgwick
Slice – Joan De La Haye
Medium Rare – Austin Malone
The Art Of Steaming – Jason Kristopher
I Love My Job – Leo King
Sharpie – Brett Rex Bruton
Peace Meal – Wayne Basta
The Arrangement – George Wright Padgett
Slaves Of Slumber – Avi Cohen
Being Bad – HCH Ritz
Dark Gods Devour – Benjamin Knox


*Though free at time of posting, please verify that the “Kindle Price” is actually $0.00. If you see a price for “Prime Members” or “read for free”, then the book is NOT free any longer. Please leave a comment if you notice this so I can replace with another :)

*Authors Have an upcoming book that will be FREE let me know, I'd love to feature your work in my post.

Review: Meritropolis by Joel Ohman

| Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 0 comments |
Author: Joel Ohman
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Young Adult
Publisher: Create Space
Published: September 8, 2014

The year is AE3, 3 years after the Event. Within the walls of Meritropolis, 50,000 inhabitants live in fear, ruled by the brutal System that assigns each citizen a merit score that dictates whether they live or die. Those with the highest scores thrive, while those with the lowest are subject to the most unforgiving punishment--to be thrust outside the city gates, thrown to the terrifying hybrid creatures that exist beyond.

But for one High Score, conforming to the System just isn't an option. Seventeen-year-old Charley has a brother to avenge. And nothing--not even a totalitarian military or dangerous science--is going to stop him.

Where humankind has pushed nature and morals to the extreme, Charley is amongst the chosen few tasked with exploring the boundaries, forcing him to look deep into his very being to discern right from wrong. But as he and his friends learn more about the frightening forces that threaten destruction both without and within the gates, Meritropolis reveals complexities they couldn't possibly have bargained for...



Review
Meritropolis follows the story of a boy named Charlie whose high score makes him a valuable asset to the city in which he resides. However, that all changes when Charley witness a young girl about to be cast outside the gates. No longer willing to be a complacent participant to his cities System, Charley does the unthinkable and stands up for the rights of those seen as less valuable than himself. However, by doing so, Charley starts the wheels in motion for something to be revealed far greater than himself. Something that could bring the system to its very knees if he's not careful. 

One of the things I really enjoyed about the story was that the main protagonist Charley was male. Granted he does eventually wind up with a female side kick but for the most part the stories focus is on him. Charley was a great character. He was an all around good guy and believed in equality for all. I can't wait to see where the story takes him in the future. 

Another thing I liked was no love triangle. Sure, the story has some minor flirtations but it isn't the sole focus for these characters. Now obviously that could change in the future but for now I quite enjoyed the lack of Romance in the story. 

Lastly, I liked how fast paced the story was. The writing was just so good that the pages just flew by. If not for having to stop and look at the pictures of each crazy animal combination created I'd probably have finished quicker than I did. 

Now even though I enjoyed Meritropolis I did have a few problems with the story that kept me from rating it higher.

First off, I wish we had more back story on the event. We know that something catastrophic happened, sure, but we don't know what exactly it was. Also we know that a walled city had been prepared and then filled for a certain number of individuals but how did they find all the people to fill it? Plus if numbers were so important why allow those Intellectually lacking inside in the first place? A simple IQ test before entry could have saved a ton of headache for the so called system later on. 

Another thing I didn't like was how complacent the people were. The time frame for this novel is less than a decade. Certainly short enough for both the young protagonists and adults in the story to question the System more than they do. Maybe if this was 50 years on from the event but less than 9 I just don't buy.

Lastly, while I commend the Author for creating bizarre mutations such as Scorpicons and Bull-Lions some were just way too silly (Manatee Eels and the duck lobsters spring to mind) and I think these monstrosities took away from the ones that were actually really interesting and terrifying. Plus I just don't buy that literally every animal in existence has been transformed this way. Maybe just those outside the walls of Meritropolis sure but all, no. 

Final Thoughts
While I did certainly enjoy Meritropolis and the world Joel Ohman created, I definitely felt something was missing by the stories end. While I will undoubtedly read a sequel should one ever be published, I hope it allows us to have some sort of closure for these characters be it them succeeding or failing to overthrow the system that enslaves them all. Overall, I highly recommend fans of the genre pick this one up and give it a go. The story is well written, fast paced and the lead character is a male which is something you don't see often, especially in Young Adult Dystopians of late. 

With that being said, I'll be rating Meritropolis by Joel Ohman  ★★★★.

 *Copy reviewed provided by Author.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way  for providing them.

About the Author
Joel Ohman is the author of Meritropolis--"The Hunger Games meets The Village with a young Jack Reacher as a protagonist". He lives in Tampa, FL with his wife Angela and their three kids. His writing companion is Caesar, a slightly overweight Bull Mastiff who loves to eat the tops off of strawberries.

Follow Joel: Website / Goodreads