Mini Reviews: Infested by Mark R. Faulkner & Apocalypse(s) by John A. Burks

Author: Mark R. Faulkner
Genre: Apocalyptic,Horror
Length: Novella
Publication: February 7, 2014


Knowing it would be his final trip down the river, he wished upon a star to be left alone.
He didn't realise the stars would answer.
Infested is a book I picked up on a whim on Amazon one day. It was a Freebie and about a spider apocalypse so I figured why the heck not. Well I'm pleased to say that not only was this book good but it also left me wanting much more! 

One of the best parts about this book was the narrator. At first you think he's just some guy taking a lazy stroll down the river until you realize he's far from the innocent day packer he appears to be. In truth, the fact he's so flawed is what ultimately made him likable. He doesn't make apologies for his past grievances and accepts that he did wrong and should make amends. Unfortunately, he never counted on the world turning into one big basket of suck after a series of meteor showers deliver spiders from hell to the planet. No seriously, if you thought the film Arachnophobia was bad than watch out cause these little guys are 10x worse. 

Final Thoughts
If you like Apocalyptic stories with a twist than you'll love Infested. This book might only be Novella length but the suspense and build up made it feel much longer than it really was.  I am hoping that the Author continues the story because I think it would be great as a full length book or even as a series. With that being said, I'll be rating Infested by Mark R. Faulkner ★★★★.

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

Author: John A. Burks
Genre: Anthology, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic
Length: Novella
Publication: July 1, 2012


Eight short stories from the Apocalypse(s).

Message Board - Hell has come to Earth and humans are on the verge of extinction. One boy, though, may have the key to saving the world.

The Butcher’s Children - In a world without sickness and disease if you don’t have insurance you can’t get sick. And they only take the healthy ones at the Butcher.

Rush - In order to save us from ourselves the future invades the past, but time travel always comes with a price.

NecroHead - The dead are rising and taking over the machines, human or otherwise.

The Last of the ‘An - A species hunted to the verge of extinction. Can the last one be saved?

The Trouble with Neo-Savages - After the fallout settles, on the plains of Oklahoma, a Cavalry troop hunts cannibalistic Neo-Savages led by a mad witch doctor.

The Beach at the End of Their World - If Man dies on another world who’s after life does he end up in?

The End of Hope - Left behind after Earth is abandoned, one of the survivors is desperate to prevent another calamity.
Apocalypse(s) is a book I've had on my Kindle for a very long time. While searching for something relatively short to read I remember this one and so it was read.  Like most anthologies though some stories were better than others. 

My favorite stories were The Butcher's Children and Message Board. Both of these could easily become full length novels and I'd read them both happily. It's been a week since I've read this and I'm still talking about the twist at the end of Message Board. I NEVER saw it coming so naturally it was a pleasant surprise that left me with my mouth literally hanging open in shock!! Also The Butcher's Children had a really interesting concept that while definitely icky did make for a great story. 

On the opposite end my least favorites were The Last of 'An and The Beach at the End of the World. Both of these I skimmed through because they just couldn't keep me interested. I'm still not really sure what was going on in either and that's not a good thing considering how relatively short the stories were. 

The rest of the anthology was filled out with some good stories but none so memorable that I'd read full length stories based on them if given the chance. 

Final Thoughts

Apocalypse(s) started out so strong but failed to hold my interest by books end. Like I mentioned above It's not that those stories weren't good but the bar was set so high with the first two that everything else just seemed lackluster after that. If you like Anthologies about the Apocalypse than I'd suggest picking this up. With that being said, I'll be rating Apocalypse(s) by John A. Burks ★★★.

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

About the Authors
Follow John: Twitter / Website
John Burke is a transplanted Texan and currently mayor of Hooker Island, Oklahoma. He is a fourth generation oilfield worker, occasional drunk, and epic doer of mostly useless stuff. He is aspiring to be an aspiring writer while doing a bit of Redneck Gardening on the side. He is married to the most fabulous woman on the planet and has five mostly evil children.

He writes what he likes to read, which is a bit of everything.

Follow Mark: Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter
I have spent much of my life staring out of the window, dreaming about being outdoors, having adventures and thinking up stories. Despite this I managed to graduate in the late nineties with a degree in environmental science.

Flux was published in 2011 and the next release is scheduled for the end of 2012.

A love of the outdoors, which permeates my writing, has never left and I can often be found walking in the hills, camping or canoeing along the rivers of Britain.


  1. I love the sound of the first one so much. Just the fact it's not that long and with that it has a good world building and interesting twists. It sounds really appealing. Apocalypse(s) sounds really good but I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it till the end. Great reviews :)

    1. Yeah Infested was awesome. It was a slow burn at first but once the spiders start attacking it's game on!!


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