May Reading Log

So, I technically managed 5 books this month, but one of them is the last 1/3 of a series that I’ve already covered. Two of the other books are parts 1 and 2 of a 3 part series (with part 3 to be released this month).

Love and Decay, Volume Eight – Rachel Higginson

The final volume of the third season of Love and Decay ties the last 2 2/3 seasons together. Reagan, Haley, The Parkers, and the others in their group are in Mexico, trying to get to Columbia. Of course, nothing’s as easy as it seems, and they’re still fighting enemies from the former US, as well as new problems in Mexico.

I really liked this series, and didn’t want it to come to an end. The last volume was the hardest to read: there’s a LOT going on that’s not easy on all the characters. They have to face the Big Bad of the previous 2 seasons, plus all the crap that’s going on in Mexico. In the last episode, they make it to Columbia, and it’s been a harrowing journey.

Overall, I enjoyed the series, and the direction it took. I was wondering what was going to happen now that they’ve hit Columbia, and found out that Higginson is writing another series, a spinoff set 10 years later: Love and Decay: Revolution.

Love and Decay: Revolution – Volumes 1 & 2 – Rachel Higginson

When I found out Higginson had put out a new series, I jumped on it. I’d review all three volumes, but the third volume doesn’t come out until June 20th.

It’s been 10 years since the Parkers & additional family have made Columbia, and they’re comfortable. They have enough food, enough gear, and they’ve elevated zombie killing to an art form. Page, now 18, hunts zombies alongside the rest of the family. When a member of the resistance comes down and tries to get them to join up to defeat Matthias Shaw, Page convinces her family it’s time to finish what they started, and take back the former United States.

I am not sure if I enjoyed these books quite as much as I enjoyed the three seasons of Love and Decay. Page is impulsive, a little immature, and has an odd relationship with Miller, the son of Matthias Shaw. Miller has issues, that’s the nicest way to put it. I’m not so sure I want the two of them together.

The rest of the characters have grown and matured from their earlier trek across North America, and now the Parker clan (along with non married in ‘family’) numbers more than a dozen. Reagan, despite being the most hated woman in the former United States, is a mother of multiple children now, and isn’t keen on dying in a fight. She’s the voice of reason, where before she was the voice of impulse.

Predator One – Jonathan Maberry

This might be my favorite Joe Ledger book yet. Someone’s able to hack into the drone software in ALL drones, as well as the autopilot software for the presidential vehicles, and all the artillery and controls for the US military. The DMS has to find a way to shut it down.

I really loved the idea that someone could hijack the software and take over that way. Being formerly trained as a software engineer, the idea is fascinating to me. Quantum computers are also discussed, and they were being batted around as one day possible when I was in college. I also like how the book managed to make all the technical stuff happen: kidnap the #1 person for all of this, make it look like he dies, and you have your own captive genius. Yes, done before, but still done well here.

Maberry shows how he’s able to tie in the books in this one. The ultimate antagonist in the book, that keeps everything going, is a villain we’ve seen before. If you listen to the audiobook, you get an idea of who is it before you get it in the book, but it’s still brilliant. This evil person just won’t die, I swear. Don’t worry, Joe takes care of it in the end.

Kill Switch – Jonathan Maberry

When your book hints at Lovecraft’s Elder Gods universe, you should be excited, right? The idea of Joe and Echo Team taking on Cthulhu seems pretty cool, doesn’t it?

It doesn’t happen, and I’m disappointed.

There’s a lot going on in the book, but I think there’s too much. There’s the whole Elder Gods being real, alternate dimensions, terrorists, a device that can act as a portable EMP, dream walking, and more. It’s too overwhelming, and none of it really gets the screentime it deserves. The Elder Gods thing gets abandoned pretty early on, and they focus on the science derived from it, the EMP, dream walking, all of that.

Added to the mix, the President hates the DMS and wants them removed, and a former top CIA operative is put in to head the DMS. It gets complicated, and the DMS eventually figures out who’s behind it, but they do it pretty late in the book.

I wanted to like it all better than I did, but I couldn’t.

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