post apocalyptic

Children of the Different by S.C. Flynn

Nineteen years ago, a brain disease known as the Great Madness killed most of the world’s population. The survivors all had something different about their minds. Now, at the start of adolescence, their children enter a trance-like state known as the Changeland and either emerge with special mental powers or as cannibalistic Ferals.

In the great forest of south-western Australia, thirteen year-old Arika and her twin brother Narrah go through the Changeland. They encounter an enemy known as the Anteater who feeds on human life. He exists both in the Changeland and in the outside world, and he wants the twins dead.

After their Changings, the twins have powers that let them fight their enemy and face their destiny on a long journey to an abandoned American military base on the north-west coast of Australia. If they can reach it before time runs out.

CHILDREN OF THE DIFFERENT is a post-apocalyptic fantasy novel set among the varied landscapes and wildlife of Western Australia.

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Maximum Ride #9: Maximum Ride Forever by James Patterson (Little Brown And Comapny)

THE NINTH AND ULTIMATE MAXIMUM RIDE STORY IS HERE!

Legions of Max fans won’t be disappointed by this encore episode in the beloved series about the incredible adventures of a teenage girl who can fly.

As Maximum Ride boldly navigates a post-apocalyptic world, she and her broken flock are roaming the earth, searching for answers to what happened. All will be revealed in this last spectacular ride – a brand-new grand finale featuring all of the non-stop action, twists and turns that readers can rely on in a blockbuster Patterson page-turner!

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Penryn and the End of Days #1: Angelfall by Susan Ee (Hodder/Skyscape)

It’s been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain.

Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night.

When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back…

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The 100 Season 2 (The CW)

I’m going to get this out of the way right now, The 100 is the best show on The CW. Which is quite frankly something that I’d never thought I’d say even at the end of its first season, because that was when Arrow was really hitting home with some excellent episodes and we’ve had The Flash since then. However, Arrow started to drop in quality as Season 3 began, just as The 100 was really stepping up a gear. In fact, I’d not just call it as the best show on The CW, but one of the best Science Fiction shows on television period, matching up with the likes of the clone-drama Orphan Black, and the procedural-turned heavy serialized science fiction thriller Person of Interest. It’s something that I’d have never expected The 100 to do, and really rewards those who stick with it after the first few episodes aren’t unfortunately the strongest that the series has ever been.

The conclusion of season 1 left the characters in a very unexpected situation as it delivered one of the strongest cliffhangers that I’ve seen in a while. Following the battle against the Grounders, the 100, who have been captured by the Mountain Men who make their home in Mount Weather. It turns out that Mt. Weather (which was the original objective of the 100 to reach way back in the Pilot), is actually the home of humans who have survived the Nuclear War and retreated underground, trapped in the Mountain because to step outside would mean instant death. There, the 43, of which the number includes Clarke (Eliza Taylor), Jasper (Devon Bostick) and Monty (Christopher Larkin), find themselves adapting to life inside the Mountain, which is overlooked by President Dante Wallace (Raymond J. Barry, who played Arlo, Raylan Givens’ dad, very well on Justified – to the point where it’s now odd to see Barry in a role where he actually cares about people other than himself). However, Clarke is incredibly sceptical about the apparent safe haven that she finds herself in, wanting nothing more to be freed.  With Bellamy (Bob Morley) and Finn (Thomas McDonnell) are presumed dead, things are made all the more complicated by the fact that Ark Station, and all its residents (aside from Thelonious Jaha (Isaiah Washington), who remains in space,  has crashed down to Earth, with its inhabitants finding themselves on Earth for the first time.

So that’s basically where we pick off at the start of Season 2, and it’s great to see The 100 continuously developing and changing over the course of the extended sixteen episode count that we’re given this season. It continues to be heavily serialized, with hardly any filler episodes found within, which is rare for a show that has to use longer episodes like this. It also continues to be incredibly bleak for a show on The CW, feeling more at home with the likes of The Walking Dead in terms of tone than that of The Flash, for example. It isn’t afraid to put its characters through the wire and do things that the majority of any other show on network TV would shy away from. Deaths don’t just happen in the season finale, they’re scattered throughout the show, and those deaths don’t just happen to nameless characters – there’s a shocking moment midway through the season that really punches you in the gut and leaves you breathless. Alliances are made, forged, tightened and broken over the course of the season, with several unpredictable betrayals (the one in Blood Must Have Blood, Part One, is easily one of the most shocking moments of the show), and more. Those who hate the CW’s apparent mandate of creating love-triangles left right and centre will be pleased to know that romance will be pushed to the side here, although that said, there are few moments but none as out of place as last season’s seemed to feel.

The characters, most of whom have already been pushed through hell and back, are pushed to the limit again. They make choices that you won’t like and actions have consequences. Nobody is the same at the start of the season as they are at the end and it’s great to see these characters constantly changing and developing. Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), one of the most problematic characters of early Season 1, really becomes one of the show’s strongest in Season 2, undergoing a total transformation. Jasper and Monty become far more than just the comic relief characters. Murphy (Richard Harmon) and Jaha both undergo transformations that you would have never expected their characters to take as the show puts them in an unlikely partnership midway through the season. And Bellamy steals the show in the final few episodes as he gets to Die-Hard his way through the tunnels underneath Mt. Weather on a solo mission that’s very awesome to see. And that’s before we get to Clarke, the main character, who gets some incredible development, as the show isn’t afraid to do things to its main character that others would avoid. So it’s safe to say that the show knows what to do with a lot of its characters and balances them very well with some excellent pacing throughout most of the season.

Despite the large increase in quality, The 100 does still have a few flaws. A few scenes here and there feel rushed and the ending cliffhanger doesn’t feel as jaw-dropping as the first season’s was (even though it features a very cool use of Warren Zevon’s Werewolves of London), and there are a few episodes that aren’t quite as good as most of the season. However, that said, there are no unwatchable episodes here, and I’d still rather watch an episode of the second season of The 100 rather than most of anything else on TV. This show (which has an excellent new title sequence, by the way), really establishes itself as the next Battlestar Galactica in this season and if you’re a science fiction fan who hasn’t watched it yet, what are you waiting for? Go check it out now. Season 3 can’t come quickly enough.

VERDICT: 9/10

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Picador)

An audacious, darkly glittering novel about art, fame, and ambition set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse.

DAY ONE
The Georgia Flu explodes over the surface of the earth like a neutron bomb.
News reports put the mortality rate at over 99%.
WEEK TWO
Civilization has crumbled.
YEAR TWENTY
A band of actors and musicians called the Travelling Symphony move through their territories performing concerts and Shakespeare to the settlements that have grown up there. Twenty years after the pandemic, life feels relatively safe.
But now a new danger looms, and he threatens the hopeful world every survivor has tried to rebuild.
STATION ELEVEN
Moving backwards and forwards in time, from the glittering years just before the collapse to the strange and altered world that exists twenty years after, Station Eleven charts the unexpected twists of fate that connect six people: famous actor Arthur Leander; Jeevan – warned about the flu just in time; Arthur’s first wife Miranda; Arthur’s oldest friend Clark; Kirsten, a young actress with the Travelling Symphony; and the mysterious and self-proclaimed ‘prophet’.

Thrilling, unique and deeply moving, this is a beautiful novel that asks questions about art and fame and about the relationships that sustain us through anything – even the end of the world.

[Amazon.co.uk/Amazon.com/Goodreads]  (more…)

The Young World by Chris Weitz (The Young World #1)

After a mysterious Sickness wipes out the rest of the population, the young survivors assemble into tightly run tribes. Jefferson, the reluctant leader of the Washington Square tribe, and Donna, the girl he’s secretly in love with, have carved out a precarious existence among the chaos. But when another tribe member discovers a clue that may hold the cure to the Sickness, five teens set out on a life-altering road trip to save humankind.

The tribe exchanges gunfire with enemy gangs, escapes cults and militias, braves the wilds of the subway and Central Park…and discovers truths they could never have imagined.

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