Monthly Book Review - January

There’s a reason I didn’t get much (okay any!) writing done in January. I was reading! And I’m happy to tell you all about my favorite books of the month . . . full of deadly diseases, crumbling societies, and murder. 

I’m sure many of you saw the movie World War Z when it came out a few years ago. I assumed the book by Max Brooks would be close to the same plot line as the movie, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. This novel has a very intriguing format. It’s written as a series of first-hand accounts in interview format from locations around the world about what happened when the virus hit and the aftermath on those who managed to survive. It’s political and personal and horrific and uplifting—all the things that we could imagine might happen as a world battles for survival, including all the mistakes and successes along the way. If you enjoyed the movie at all, I think you would find the book interesting.

Continuing with my apparent fixation with apocalyptic-style stories, I happened upon the Apocalypsis series by Elle Casey when I saw that the first book was free. I picked it up via one of those daily newsletters that tell you about free and sale books like Bookbub, Book Gorilla, or Fussy Librarian. (Check these out if you’ve never heard of them before.) The first book Kahayatle was so good that I quickly ordered the remaining three in the series.  (And as of today February 8, 2017, this first book remains free in all e-book formats.)

The premise is (yet again) a deadly virus that is decimating the world’s population, but this time the only survivors are those who are in puberty at the time—no adults and no younger children survive. The main character Bryn has a Dad who takes what little time he has left to train his daughter in survival skills. Luckily, Bryn is already a skilled krav maga fighter and boy does she ever end up needing these skills. The entire story is set in Florida and the behavior of groups that band together both good and bad are similar to other stories out there, but there are enough unique differences that make this a good read. The characters are fabulous and the dialog is wicked and funny in the face of some fairly terrible experiences.

My final read of the month was an excellent mystery set in Door County, Death at Gills Rock. This is book two in the Dave Cubiak mystery series by Patricia Skalka. The series is published right here in Wisconsin by the University of Wisconsin Press. I always appreciate a good mystery, especially those with enough twists and turns to keep me guessing. The author has done a wonderful job in building characters we can like and root for. There are three books total so far in this series, and I’ll definitely be grabbing the other two. If you love mysteries and have an affection for anything to do with Door County, you’ll appreciate these novels.

Let me know what you’ve been reading lately. I love getting recommendations!



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