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Monday, November 21, 2022

REVIEW: Z2134, by Sean Platt & David Wright

It’s 2134 in a dystopian America, one century after a series of zombie plagues first infected then obliterated much of the world’s population.

The survivors formed six walled Cities throughout the continent, all under the rule of a totalitarian government that enforces strict control over its populace.

You must obey your government.

You must be a good citizen.

You must be a productive citizen.

You must not break the law.

Or The City Watch will find you and arrest you.

Jonah Lovecraft, a former Watcher, was arrested for the murder of his wife. Like most criminals, he has one chance at freedom ― to participate in The Darwin Games, a televised survival show pitting two players from each city against one another in The Barrens, the uninhabited areas outside the City Walls.

He’ll also have to face another enemy ― the zombies still roaming The Barrens.

As he fights for his freedom against impossible odds, his daughter, Anastasia, stumbles into people who have information about her father ― information that will change her life forever.

While putting her in the crosshairs of her father’s enemies.

Goodness....I don't usually go in for zombie fights, or descriptions of gore. But, this one redeemed itself in the story line. It feels a bit The Hunger Games in the beginning in the fight to the death Darwin Games, but the zombies do provide a twist and opponent issue I wasn't quite expecting.

At the heart is the corruption of their society. Ana is caught up in it, quite unexpectedly, as she's really just learning about it after her mother is murdered, seemingly at her father's hand. Her brother Adam is young and impressionable, and now that he's on his own, being manipulated.

Then there's her father, Jonah. Tricked by the "good guys," then set up and abandoned. Now he's trying against all odds to figure out just where the lies are, and save his family.

What has me bothered, as a reader, is that this is billed as a trilogy. Yet, book one just stops. No mid-way resolution of ANY problems, no particular build up cliffhanger. I read now that the story was originally episodic in Kindle Serial and I feel like it was probably broken up into 3 equal parts, rather than natural and understandable places.

Can't say I'll pick up the next installment, because of the way this one just fell apart for me at the end.

What do you think??

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from Sterling & Stone through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

George VI and Elizabeth: The Marriage that Saved the Monarchy (By Sally Bedell Smith)

Available for Pre-Order
**Description as provided on NetGalley

A revelatory account of how King George VI and Queen Elizabeth’s loving marriage saved the monarchy during World War II, and how they raised their daughter to become Queen Elizabeth II, based on exclusive access to the Royal Archives—from the bestselling author of Elizabeth the Queen and Prince Charles.

Granted special access by Queen Elizabeth II to her parents’ letters and diaries and to the papers of their close friends and family, Sally Bedell Smith brings the love story of this iconic royal couple to vibrant life. This deeply researched and revealing book shows how a loving and devoted marriage helped the King and Queen meet the challenges of World War II, lead a nation, solidify the public’s faith in the monarchy, and raise their daughters, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret.

When King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in 1936, shattering the crown’s reputation, his younger brother, known as Bertie, assumed his father’s name and became King George VI. Shy, sensitive, and afflicted with a stutter, George VI had never imagined that he would become King. His wife Elizabeth, a pretty, confident, and outgoing woman who became known later in life as “the Queen Mum,” strengthened and advised her husband. With his wife’s support, guidance, and love, George VI was able to overcome his insecurities and become an exceptional leader, navigating the country through World War II, establishing a relationship with Winston Churchill, visiting Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt in Washington and in Hyde Park, and inspiring the British people with his courage and compassion during the blitz. Simultaneously, George VI and Elizabeth raised their daughter Princess Elizabeth, who spent her childhood watching and learning from her parents to become the future queen. She fell in love with Prince Philip at thirteen.

I adore a good biography, and honestly, Sally Bedell Smith does not disappoint. Having read other books she'd written, I jumped at this one.

While no one could've predicted their rise to King and Queen Consort, this couple handled everything from family and political drama of the Edward VII's abdication, to World War II and its aftermath. 

I also enjoyed the personal portrait of their relationship, and that with their families. I admired their supportive and obviously warm and loving relationship. Not only with each other but with the other's parents and siblings.

Well-written and researched, this is a wonderful read. It's not written as a stodgy academic piece, but rather the story of a couple that changed the path of the monarchy and led their country well. 

This title is due to be published April 4, 2023, and can be pre-ordered.

What do you think??

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from Random House Publishing Group through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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