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Buggy "SUNNIE Day reader" (British Columbia, Canada)

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In My Skin: A Memoir
In My Skin: A Memoir
by Kate Holden
Edition: Paperback
20 used & new from CDN$ 3.98

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This review is from: In My Skin: A Memoir (Paperback)
In My Skin is the harrowing true story of Kate Holden; an average, middle class university girl from the Melbourne (Australia) suburbs who on a whim decides to give heroin a try. We then follow Kate on a five year journey into hell as she slides into the horrors of addiction and then out of desperation prostitution to fund her growing habit.

This is a candid, gripping, graphic and well written story, although not entirely what I was expecting from a "drug memoir" Ultimately it's more of a peek into the secret world of prostitution and high class brothels then anything else. Yes the heroin is always present but it becomes almost a nagging afterthought as Kate aka "Lucy" spends a majority of the book giving us an unflinching look into everything you didn`t know you wanted to know about prostitution.

"Lucy" makes no excuses for her choices however and her accounts are often told with an odd sort of pride. As she describes how good she gets at her job, how in demand she becomes. With a stable full of regular Johns, men willing to wait hours for her, buying gifts and professing their love. Of course there are still the rough tricks, the fights with the other girls and the slow nights when she hasn't made enough money for her next fix or to pay off her dealer or catch up on the rent. And then there's the abuse to her body -frankly I wondered how she could go on in this lifestyle for years without, well, dieing.

In fact she's not even getting high anymore, now its just matter of trying to stave off the sickness she's only ever one step ahead of. Because she can't work if she's dope sick and she can't buy drugs if she can't work. It's a vicious never ending, insane cycle.

I found it interesting how Kate started on the streets and worked her way up to the brothels, almost like a right of passage. After losing her job (for stealing) and a couple of failed attempts at rehab Kate/Lucy is desperate for cash (she's now also supporting her deadbeat boyfriend) so she starts working for her dealer/pimp. Walking the streets night after night, in an endless loop of nameless, faceless grunting men, its almost too easy. BJ's in cars, hotels that rent by the hour anything for some cash, to get that next hit.

Throughout everything Kate's family stand by her, even at her worst she still visits for the occasional Sunday dinner. Emotionally they're no longer invested, they've had to let her go, unable to bare the lies, disappointments or thievery any longer but they're still always there for her. Still hoping she will come back to them, maybe one more trip to rehab, maybe a methadone program. They never admit to knowing how she's supporting herself but don`t interfere either.

Thankfully there is a happy ending to this story but honestly I don't know how one could ever live a normal life again after this kind of interruption. I do wish this author the best though and hope to read more from her in the future because she has a real gift.

The Edge of Courage
The Edge of Courage
by Elaine Levine
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.93
10 used & new from CDN$ 16.93

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Edge of Courage (Paperback)
~4.5 stars~ Ladies if you're looking for a new tortured hero to fall for then I've found him. Rocco Silas would have to be one of the most heartbreaking, damaged, seriously shut-off romantic leads I've come across since JR Ward's Zsadist, and that's not a bad thing. This is the first book from Elaine Levine's new romantic suspense series Red Team and its a great read; filled with hunky, wisecracking ex-counter terror operatives, smoking hot love scenes, a western vibe and a new addition to my top tortured heroes of all time list.

Rocco is broken; struggling to function as a civilian after spending the past 7 years deep undercover on special assignment in Afghanistan. He's just been released from a military hospital but his PTSD is far from under control. Suffering from nightmares, hallucinations and a paralyzing fear of being touched (because of what he sees on his skin) he's also keeping himself just on the edge of starvation so he can feel... something. At this point suicide is becoming a fairly reasonable option.

Enter Mandy Fielding, the half sister of one of his fellow Red Team operatives. Mandy is in the process of opening a therapeutic riding center but due to a string of weird accidents she can't get any of her ranch hands to stick around long enough to actually get it open. She promised her brother that she'd take Rocco on but honestly she's not thrilled with the idea of having a dangerous ex soldier on her payroll. One look into Rocco's haunted eyes though and her compassionate side takes over, she always did have a soft spot for the wounded strays.

The first half of this story focuses almost exclusively on Rocco and Mandy's blossoming romance, and it's a beautiful thing to watch unfold. Because Rocco is such a mess (at times he's almost more animal then man) witnessing him learn to trust, to touch, to feel again is just amazing.

"I'm not afraid of you." His head lifted, his hard gaze levelling her. "You should be. I'm afraid of me."

A couple of sigh worthy moments come to mind; There's a very BDB reminiscent scene in the shower where Rocco is trying to scrub his skin clean and later a flashback that has Mandy finding him in town just staring down main street where he's been for hours (the reason why is gut wrenching) My favourite scene though would have to be when Mandy finally gets him to eat, feeding him bite after bite from her fork. It is so raw, so sensual and heartbreakingly sexy. Yeah, The Edge of Courage gave me several re-readable moments. Oh the sexy time ain't too shabby either!

Around the half way mark the rest of the boys from Red Team show up to help take out terrorist Ebsan Asir -He's set up a faction in the US, seeking retribution for prior events in Afghanistan. And while I loved the first part of this book its here that the story begins to suffer somewhat from first-book-in series-syndrome. With our H/h getting lost between a massive influx of very witty, very sexy secondary characters, fading into the background while we get to know the heroes of future books. Its also when all the action takes place and while its exciting and non stop it also heads into OTT territory, where I had to treat it like an action movie and just shut off my brain to enjoy the ride. We're left with a couple of loose ends but even without those I would be excited about the next instalment from what promises to be a great series.

I received an e copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I should tell you though that I'll be buying it in PB as well because this is one for the keeper shelf. Cheers

The Bartered Bride
The Bartered Bride
by Mary Jo Putney
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.49
39 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT BUT THEN AGAIN I'M NEW TO THE AUTHOR, May 2 2012
I'm a little surprised at the bad to mediocre reviews for The Bartered Bride because I absolutely loved it, getting completely drawn into the sweeping adventure. Although in saying that I'm brand new to author Mary Jo Putney and don't generally read a lot of historical romances so I can't make any real comparisons either. What I can say is that I couldn't put this book down; I loved MJP's style of writing, the depth of her characters, the original story ideas, the suspense, the exotic locations and the absence of any TSTL moments.

This was a couple that actually talked to each other, so that the conflict here wasn't based on silly secrets or misunderstandings. Gavin and Alex are both adults carrying scars and they dealt with things sensibly. (i.e. they don't jump each others bones and fall in love within a matter of days) They get to know each other, they disagree, and they have issues that need time and patience to work through.

And speaking of patience what a superb hero we get in in Gavin, he's just, well...such a nice guy. I fell a little bit in love with him even though I prefer my heroes more on the alpha side. And without going into detail I also have to give credit to the research into the time, it felt very authentic. I even learned me a thing or two.

Alexandra Warren and her young daughter are returning from Australia after the death of her husband when their ship is attacked by pirates. Captured, separated and sold into slavery its going to be 6 months before Alex gets her first glimpse at rescue in that of Captain Elliot.

American shipping merchant Gavin Elliot has built a fortune in the Far East but his adventures are coming to en end. En route to England he has one last anchor drop before he starts a new life. Whilst being shown around the (make believe) Indonesian island of Maduri by the ruling Sultan, Gavin is appalled to see a European woman being auctioned off in a slave market. Before he can buy her freedom the sultan acquires the woman for himself, (to use against Gavin as a means of blackmail and to acquire his shipping fleet.) The Sultan then offers a wager; if Gavin can beat him in "the lion's game"- a series of tests decided on by the role of the dice, the woman is his; if Gavin loses he gives up his fleet and ten years of his life in servitude.

The first half of this book is just awesome, I never knew what contest the role of the dice would bring next, I defiantly didn't expect "worshipping the goddess" however. And while this enters into bodice ripper territory its handled here with ... can I get away with sensitivity? Yeah it's still rape no matter how you look at it but remember Gavin is a nice guy and kinda forced into it.

Okay anyways, the second half of the book takes place in England and while very different its no less enthralling. We have a marriage of convenience, two strangers getting to know and trust each other, a forced lordship, a kidnapping, some surprising sex scenes and charges of murder.

While others have complained about the predictability of the plot here it didn't bother me. Yeah the villains were a bit cartoonish but I found it clever how the story opens with Gavin awaiting trial in the tower of London and then makes its way back to how he got there (big surprise who he "murdered") Towards the end of the story I had forgotten all about his fate and was then on absolute pins as he walks to the hangman's noose, assured of certain death. His inner thoughts here were real and heart wrenching. I'm just so happy to have found a new author with such a huge backlist for me to discover. Adventure and romance await. Cheers

Somewhere In Time
Somewhere In Time
by Richard Matheson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.54
50 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A CLASSIC HEARTBREAKING ROMANCE, April 24 2012
This week has been one filled with romantic tragedies for me. First I went to the see the re-release of Titanic in 3D (oh Jack) and then because I hadn't had quite enough heartache I decided to revisit one of my all time favourite romances with Somewhere In Time (Bid Time Return) It's been years since I first read this as a teenager, -god only knows how many times I watched the movie version starring Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve (another tragedy there) and I wasn't sure if I'd feel the same about it now. Really the only difference this time around was that I was able to appreciate the quality of the writing and amount of research that must have gone into making this tale of time travel, well, believable. The romance is still as moving as it was. And yes much like Titanic even though I knew what was coming I still shed a tear at the end.

Told from a first person narrative and written as if you were reading a journal, we meet Richard Collier, A 30ish Los Angeles screenwriter with an inoperable brain tumour. Not wanting to burden his family Richard packs up his life and decides to end his days wherever the road takes him. These beginning chapters are fast moving, choppy and written with short slightly erratic paragraphs as Richard dictates into an audio diary. In the second half the journal entries become longer and more detailed and quite honestly a little dry in places.

Through the fate of a coin toss Richard finds himself at the Hotel Del Coronado, a grand seaside resort, steeped in history that manages to become a character onto itself here. It's within the hotel museum that Richard comes across a turn of the century photograph of an actress named Elise McKenna, and at that moment everything else in Richard's life ceases to exist. He can't stop thinking about the beautiful woman, or the look in her eyes, becoming obsessed with her and the time she lived in. Richard then begins to research her life and in every instance notes a complete change in her character after her acting troupe left the hotel 75 years before. If only he could meet her, if only he could get to her and find out what made her so sad, why she never married.

Its then that Richard begins researching time travel and self hypnosis, convinced that he can get back to her. When he finds his name in an 1896 hotel registry he knows with certainty what the change in Elise was. He was with her, now he just has to get back to her. Some of the time travel paradoxes in this are positively mind bending and you can't think about them too long for fear of brain explosions.

As I mentioned the writing changes as soon as Richard finds himself in1896 (yeah he does) becoming more formal and detailed. It is explained that he is now writing his accounts instead of dictating. Matheson's descriptions of the time are pure genius, not just taking into account the obvious like clothing but the social attitudes, the language differences, the size of people. Is everyone short and stocky? I loved the descriptions and Richards discovery of it all. The romance aspect here is beautifully done albeit a little soppy and with a hint of the supernatural, because as it turns out Elise was expecting him. Well not him but through a physic she's been waiting for someone mysterious to sweep her off her feet. Her over protective manager plays the antagonist here, trying in vain to keep them apart and while Richard should hate him he finds that he cannot because he knows how the man dies.

I suppose you can't change the past though and as much as I found myself cheering for our couple it was already written. Probably the most moving part of this book is in the afterward (provided by Richard's brother) which explains that his time travel was only that of a form of escapism provided by his tumour amassed brain. Robert Collier cannot however explain the love letters in Richards pocket or the antique (yet new) pocket watch or Elise McKenna's famous dying last words. He leaves it up to the reader to decide if it happened or not. I think it did. Cheers

Fantasy Lover
Fantasy Lover
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.49
124 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars OTHER THEN JULIAN AM I MISSING SOMETHING HERE?, April 24 2012
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This was my first Sherrilyn Kenyon book and honestly it was a struggle to get through. All I could think was what am I missing? I mean the Dark Hunter series is SO popular there must be something wrong with me because this, well this was a grind.

FANTASY LOVER has its moments, the premise is unique and intriguing; an ex Spartan general cursed to spend eternity as a love slave trapped inside a book. He's released every so often to be the sexual plaything of whoever has called him forth but Julian is aware inside the book and therefore also anguished and claustrophobic. His mortal past is full of pain too and I enjoyed the flashbacks into it and all the Greek/Roman history. Truthfully he only reason I managed to finish this at all was because of Julian. Just tortured and sexy enough to peak my interest, unfortunately though he had to fall for a dip.... like Grace.

Grace Alexander would have to up there as one of my least favourite heroines ever. Anytime she spoke or we were in her head I ended up cringing. Even in the closing pages I was still rolling my eyes through every single bit of her dialogue Talk about cheesy, immature, silly and painful. With expressions like holly guacamole and greasy grimy gopher guts it was also unrealistic. And really, a sex therapist? She must not be very good at her job because she's got her own hang-ups is clueless about sex.

Julian of Macedon has been condemned to spend eternity within the pages of a mysterious book. Called forth many times over his two thousand years of confinement he definitely knows how to pleasure the ladies (his curse makes it mandatory) but he expects little else from his duties. When Grace's friend Selena presents her with the book on her birthday, on a drunken lark the pair calls forth the sex slave and because this is a paranormal romance what do you know it works.

Grace utters some ridiculous remarks when she finds a gorgeous naked man in her house and then to Julian's surprise she puts clothes on him and wants to talk. She doesn't want to have sex. What!? Actually neither would I because initially Julian is all suave and creepy bad one liners, like some desperate drunk guy at last call. Anyways, Julian has a month to spend with Grace and since she doesn't want to get laid they get to know each other instead, slowly falling in love and trying to find a way to break Julian's curse.

For some reason Kennyon includes a mini stalker plot which doesn't really go anywhere. There's lots of sexual tension but not much actual heat, we meet a couple other gods and goddesses all dressed as bikers, Julian gets a haircut, buys tight fitting jeans and fixes Graces' bookshelves (that part was actually very sweet) I just don't know if I'll be continuing on with this series, I still think I must be missing something and may give the next one a try but its going to have to get a lot darker and mature for me to finish. Cheers

When Darkness Comes
When Darkness Comes
by Alexandra Ivy
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.49
73 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A STRUGGLE, April 21 2012
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WHEN DARKNESS COMES is the first book in the Guardians of Eternity series and a lot happens in the first couple of chapters, maybe too much because I found myself going back several times, thinking I'd missed something. Abby Barlow is working in a mansion owned by an older woman named Selena. -I never did figure out what her actual job was but she seems to spend her days polishing (breaking) vases and flirting with Dante -I'm not sure that his job position was ever identified either? None of that matters though because before long there's an explosion, Selena is dead and Abby has been infused with the "Phoenix". As the physical holder of the chalice Abby also now has her own personal vampire bodyguard in Dante. He's willing to protect her at any and all costs, which is a good thing because Abby is clueless (see annoying) and demons are now trying to kill her.

Forced on the run it doesn't take long for Abby and Dante to start bumping uglies, (minus any form of sexual tension I might add) it does however take ages for Abby to come to terms with paranormal world she's been thrust into. Honestly by this point (other then the introduction of Viper) I had lost interest completely. Both the hero and heroine remained vague characters and the immature dialogue was driving me crazy. Dante as the "sexy" vampire just never did it for me, as far as vampires go he was very vanilla. And as I mentioned I had to keep backtracking, there were holes just left open in the story; Abby's terrible background which was mentioned over and over again but never revealed, why she was working for Selena in the first place. I think at one point Dante even says that's she was trapped or tied to Selena like he was. I never understood that, Dante was assigned to protect her Abby was what? A maid and she couldn't leave?

So sadly this was a DNF for me. That's not to say at all that it's unfinishable because some reviewers really liked it. It was more ICBBTFT (I can't be bothered to finish this) when I have so many other books waiting for me that I know I'll enjoy more and won't have to force my way through.

I hate not finishing a book though (especially when it's been sitting on my shelf for 2+ years and I've already bought the second and third ones in the series.) But at 120 pages in I was still struggling to care about the characters and the weak plot, to find something engaging to stop my mind from wandering from the page. Even when I started skimming for the juicy bits I was left under whelmed. ("Youza" really?!) It was then that I realized even if I managed to slog through till the end this was only ever going to be a 2 star read, so I gave up.

Anyways I hope others have better luck with this then I did. Cheers

Lover Reborn: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood
Lover Reborn: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood
by J.R. Ward
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 18.50
27 used & new from CDN$ 3.16

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MOVING ADDITION TO THE BDB- or how Ward made me believe, April 1 2012
Wow, I honestly don't know where to begin with this review. To say that this was good is an understatement. To say that it knocked me on my a$$ and left me a drained, emotional wreck, is far closer to the truth. Yup, LOVER REBORN did me in, talk about your gauntlet of emotions, I mean I expected some angst but jeez! I cried (I mean really cried) I laughed, I sighed, I swore, I groaned and I gasped but in the end I also smiled.

As much as I was anticipating this book it was also with a heavy dose of apprehension; was I ready to see Tohrment find love again? Was he ready? Were any of us really ready to let Wellsie go? And most importantly could Ward make me believe in this new love? The answer is a resounding yes, I think in part because it doesn't happen quickly (or easily) Reborn has been broken into 4 sections (1 per season) so that this book takes place over the period of a year. And it was over that year and all the crap that goes down (and oh does the crap ever go down) that Ward made me believe.

Starting where Lover Unleashed left off and with her usual flair Ward throws us into "Spring" and right into the action and pain that is Tohr. Chasing down a group of Lessers, Tohr is now relentless in his pursuit of the enemy, basically only drawing breathe to "ahvenge" his murdered wife and son. Tonight's hunt sees Tohr launching himself off a bridge as John and Qhuinn watch helplessly from below, John issuing a silent scream as Tohr falls. And so it begins. Through 572 pages Ward proceeds to give us everything we want and then some ...

Without going into spoiler territory (which is going to be hard) I can tell you of course that this is Tohr and No'one's story. These two have a long history together and are both equally broken so it makes sense for them to get together. Lassiter is helping to move them along the love train (in his own way) and as it turns out with a sense of urgency. John and Xhex also play key roles in their story, giving us some absolutely filthy-hot love scenes as well as showing us a marriage in transition.

Xcor and his Band Of B@stards are back and gaining strength in Caldwell. They do things here that... can never be forgiven. Sending one Brother on a mission under a decree of death. New and mysterious characters are introduced (Assail) while others are fleshed out (Throe and Zyphor.) We're still all mixed up in the whole hot-mess that is Layla/Qhinn/Blay/Saxton; however that's all about to change :) The Blind King still kicks butt, Ward throws a "needing" (or two) our way and gives us details of a ceremony that absolutely broke my heart. We also bare witness to a battle that gave me heart palpitations for all of its 60 pages and left some Brothers with life threatening injuries.

Somehow through all this Ward also manages to give us time with each and every member of the Brotherhood mansion. We get to see everyone doing their thing, giving us some special moment with each of them and that in itself says something because there are so many characters now. In fact I would have to say that Ward has hit her pinnacle with LOVER REVORN. The balance here is just right; the romance, the action, the surprises and the healing. I honestly never knew where this was going to go and when that happens you're guaranteed a great ride.

And now for the good news... BLAY AND QHUINN HAVE OFFICIALLY BEEN ANNOUNCED AS BOOK #11! That's right the wait is over. It looks like Ward has worked a miracle with her publisher because their story was originally to be published as a novella and now they're getting their very own Hardcover instalment. Way to go boys. See you Spring 2013

by Marie Sexton
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.46
23 used & new from CDN$ 9.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME, SLOW BURNING ROMANCE, March 22 2012
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This review is from: Promises (Paperback)
This was a quick, easy and very enjoyable read that I had trouble putting down. I'm a bit of a sucker when it comes to the gay-for-you romances anyway but this one was just perfect.

PROMISES is a slow burning romance but that just made it all the better because we get tons of sexual tension and character development. Watching these guys going from friends to lovers over an extended period of time felt realistic. The love scenes also seemed accurately portrayed, nothing gratuitous just for the sake of a sex scene and initially with lots of fumbling and uncertainty before they got down and went for it. I liked both Matt and Jared and really felt as if I'd gotten to know them both despite the fact that this is written exclusively form Jared's POV, Matt is equally accessible here due to some great writing. Marie Sexton was a new author for me but I will definitely be looking for others in this series.

As I said this is told from Jared's POV, he's lived his whole life in a small Colorado town and while openly gay he doesn't flaunt his status either. In fact one might say he's even closeted refusing to become a teacher for fear of bigoted parents and jeering teens. Nope, Jared is content to while away his days in his family's hardware store, meeting up a couple times a year with his fancy man to scratch the itch and never expecting anything to change. Well it does the day Matt Richards struts into the store. He's just been hired by the local police department and the two strike an immediate friendship. Spending their weekend's mountain biking, camping and watching football. Matt is straight and doesn't care what the townsfolk are saying about them spending so much time together, he does however make a point of dating one of the towns flooziest women just to set things right.

Jared is of course in love with Matt from just about day one and wishes there could be more. On the other hand he doesn't want to risk losing Matt's friendship either, so he just puts all horny thoughts out of his mind (for the most part) And that's when the sexual tension comes in; the meaningful looks, the light touches, the massages, the hand in the hair, the fact that he never wants to go home. Hmmm maybe Matt is willing to take this friendship to a whole other level?

Yeah this was super good, lots of complicated situations and interesting secondary characters and a just a great story. I was really rooting for these two because the odds were stacked against them. Funny in the end it was Jared who had the most issues with being in a committed gay relationship not his hetero partner. Bah, labels who needs them. Cheers.

Yesterday's Son
Yesterday's Son
by A.C. Crispin
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
39 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT READ -FROM A NON SCIENCE FICTION FAN, March 20 2012
A while ago I caught the classic Star Trek episode All Our Yesterdays on late night TV and got sucked right into the story. As well as just how awesomely cheesy the original series is (I really have to watch it more often) Anyways, I happened to mention the episode to my long time Trekkie Mum who found this tie-in book tucked away on a dust covered shelf (amongst hundreds of others)

YESTERDAY'S SON is a continuation of sorts to that original TV episode All Our Yesterdays, playing on the what-if scenario that Spock and Zarabeth's little indiscretion 5,000 years ago (due to Gateway Time travel) resulted in a child. (It seems Starfleet doesn't issue condoms)

Now Spock goes back to the planet Sarpedion and using the mysterious time portal meets his 5,000 year old son. Time travel is so much fun, anything is possible. And while this is way out of the realm of what I usually read, I have to say that I enjoyed it. It's a well written, clever story, capturing the essence of the original series perfectly while giving us a peek into the minds of our favourite characters.

The author obviously knows her Star Trek, managing to include mention of several other episodes along the way which will have Trekkies smiling. There's a good amount of action involved here including a strategic space battle with the Enterprise outnumbered by the Romulan fleet Go Scottie! and some good old fashioned hand to hand combat too. We also get a ton of Vulcan history - is there like a bible of this stuff somewhere?

All the characters are represented in one way or another, remaining true to form. Kirk in all his Captainly awesomeness, Bones who is less grouchy then I remember, taking on a more father like role here and Spock who I honestly didn't like very much. His character is cold, heartless condescending and frustrating. Yeah I know he's Vulcan and emotionless but he's also an a-hole. We also get a glimpse of some doomed red-shirts and spend just enough time with Scotty, Uhura, Chechov and Sulu to make it feel like a real episode.

Speaking of Sulu, he has one of my favourite lines from the whole book which is only ironic now 20 years later. He and Uhura are discussing how much Zar and Spock look alike

"Have you ever looked into Zar's eyes?" Uhura leaned forward a little, lowering her voice.

"No--other men's eyes don't do anything for me, I'm afraid" Sulu grinned.

Ah yes, the science of Star Trek. Cheers

The First Days (As the World Dies, Book One)
The First Days (As the World Dies, Book One)
by Rhiannon Frater
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.36
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
On the heels of my Walking Dead obsession, THE FIRST DAYS fit the bill perfectly and I would recommend it to anyone who's a fan of the zombie genre. From the very first page I was hooked, I mean how could you not be both intrigued and freaked out by passages like this ...

"Tiny fingers. So small. So very, very small. The fingers pressed under the front door of her home were so very small. She couldn't stop staring at those baby fingers straining frantically to reach her as she stood shivering on the porch."

Jeez, and it only gets better too. Fast paced, scary and gore filled, Rhiannon Frater has created an imaginative and haunting new world here and I wasn't ever entirely sure where she was going to go with it. She never lets the pace up either; every chapter has some form of chaos, action or horror involved. Probably because this was first written as an online serial (later self published and now released by Tor books) There's also hints of humour (mostly in the absurd) romance, and a multitude of new and interesting Zombie personalities. Old granny zombie comes to mind, still clutching her very much alive cat as it tries to claw its way free from her arms.

Both the main characters are unique and interesting. Jenni is pretty screwed up and had a tendency to be all over the place (huh?) but I still found it refreshing to read about a zombie apocalypse from the female perspective. (Think Thelma and Louise meet George A Romero) All the secondary characters they contact along the way (living and dead) leave lasting impressions too and I can't wait to continue on with this trilogy.

The story begins with those tiny fingers; they belong to Jennie's baby who, along with her young son has just been eaten by her abusive husband. All three have risen, transformed forever into ravenous zombies. Just as her husband manages to break through the living room window a truck pulls up, the female driver yelling at her to get in. The driver is Katie, a former prosecutor who has just lost her wife but somehow in the mayhem managed to secure a truck, a weapon and a dog. The two form an instant bond and hit the road, trying to get out of the infested city.

With no real plan Jenni suddenly remembers that she has a stepson away at camp so they head out to rescue him. Throughout this read our characters kept having revelations; like sexual orientation or how many members are in the family. This was somewhat annoying but at least it kept me guessing. Before long Katie and Jenni discover the joys of watching zombie heads explode, how the rules (established in the movies) don't necessarily apply and to what means their world has changed forever.

They eventually meet other survivors; a husband and wife team holed up in a gun store and a large group of refugees building a walled fort in a small Texas town -where the girls decide to settle. Here we meet Travis and Juan, the love interests and leaders who set about establishing a new safe community while the dead scratch endlessly at the outside walls and the survivors slowly begin to turn on each other. Cheers

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