Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “trilogy”

ElLCoolJ’s #CBR4 review #6: The Passage: Justin Cronin

Ahhhhh Sequels… best left for 1980’s movies and preteen books. I am not usually a fan of sequels or trilogies (except all 5 of the books in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy trilogy) but I’m at ease saying that I’m sucked into this one.

It goes without saying that The Twelve by Justin Cronin is a sequel to The Passage. You have to read the first one, and if you liked it this one will not disappoint. The format is similar to the original, in that there are a few different timelines. The first “story” takes place right after the virals (they don’t use the word vampire, but that’s what they are, not sparkly or cape swishing, but savage monster) start taking over America. There are a couple sets of survivors that pull together to survive. It is the usual mix of a few kids, ex-military, pastor, old school teacher, gangster wannabe all driven around by an autistic school bus driver. Throw in there one of the original guards from the Project NOAH (the vampire making top secret government project) who holds the clue to the virals. He is being tracked by one of the bureaucrats from the DC office of NOAH. Oh yeah, Amy is somewhere too.

Jump to 80ish years later and we are following a farm community in the post-apocalyptic era. A couple of families leave the compound for a picnic. It happens to be the day of an eclipse and well… shit hits the fan.

Jump to 20ish years later , which is 5 years after The Passage ends. Peter and Lish are still in the Expedition tracking down the original 12 virals. Things don’t quite work out and Peter gets demoted back to the protecting the oil route. This is really just an excuse for Cronin to show how humanity has pieced together a life after the cushy life we 21 century couch potatoes are used to.  There are cities, governments, slums complete with an acceptable criminal fringe. They managed to keep the oil rigs on the Gulf Coast of Texas running and use that for fuel for their trucks and energy. There is some environmental damage, but that is glossed over, and the story continues. Oh yeah, Amy is there.

There is another community out there, that is not so good.

Read the rest of the awesome review here… complete with a bonus cover.

Alexis’s #CBR4 Review #1: Beyond the Shadows, Brent Weeks

Beyond the Shadows Brent Weeks

Beyond the Shadows is the 3rd and final book of the Night Angels trilogy.  I’ve devoured all three and thoroughly enjoyed this darkish assassin fantasy adventure series. The books follow Kylar (the Night Angel), gutter rat cum assassin cum superhero and a broad cast of supporting characters (multiple POVs) as they gather mystical objects, overthrow evil dictators, and purge the land of toxic goddesses. Poisons and daggers and disembowlings, oh  my!

By the time you’ve hit Beyond the Shadows you’re either a committed fan of Brent Weeks’ rapid-fire storytelling or you aren’t. There are many loosely connected storylines ranging over different continents, romantic entanglements, and political struggles. Kylar is at the heart of these stories although by this point he is all but unstoppable as he is now immortal. But things stay lively as Kyler manages to get himself into a necessary power-struggle with his best-friend that results in a gruesome death, reconnects with the love of his life only to inadvertently bring about her doom, and has to retrieve a sword of legend from an unbeatable magical monster.

This book is not high fantasy and while the epic scope and changing POV echoes George R.R. Martin, it feels more closely related to Zena Warrior Princess. Characters snark and sneer during battles, warriors battle to save long-lost loves, and while characters meet untimely deaths, Beyond the Shadows maintains the tone of a fantasy romp. So don’t let the reference to Zena dissuade you from checking out this really enjoyable series!

PS. The book is much better than the unfortunate cover art which seems to suggest Kylar has a cloud of green noxious gas emanating from his ass.

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