Book Review ‘Welcome to the Apocalypse’

5-STAR REVIEW for ‘Welcome to the Apocalypse – Pandora’ (Book 1) by D L Richardson

Science fiction on Virtual Hyperdrive.

Welcome to the Apocalypse is a fast-paced, sci-fi/fantasy adventure that pulls you in from the opening and refuses to let you out until the very last chapter with the author craftily leaving Welcome_To_The_Apocalypse_Coveryou only partially satisfied and craving more.

One hundred players enter a total immersion virtual reality game designed to award each player a realistic glimpse of not just one apocalyptic future, but many. From Vampires to Zombies, and from Bio-toxins to an Alien Invasion, DL Richardson has taken the apocalyptic sci-fi sub-genre to another level. A high-octane, energy charged one with some really neat twists.

The action is constant, the creativity laudable and the characters are thoroughly believable making this a very enjoyable read.

My only criticism, one that was washed away after a second reading, was based on a personal interest. As a writer and avid reader of Sci-Fi, I am always looking for buried meanings, philosophical statements, subtle metaphors, and thoughtful warnings. Especially in this genre of fiction.

I didn’t find one the first time through but did on my second. To avoid dropping an additional spoiler in my review, I’ll just include what I feel to be a very significant, well-written, extract.

“I thought the premise of the game was ‘kill or be killed’,” he said. “But it’s not. You can’t pick and choose which rules you obey and which ones you ignore. When it all goes to hell, the thing that gets you through the chaos is order.”

‘Welcome to the Apocalypse’ is an imaginative wild ride and I will definitely be looking forward to the next installment in this series.

T. E. Mark

 

Book Review ‘Dark Day Dreams’

5 stars for a selection of clever stories.

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James Hawthorne is an imaginative storyteller. He compels you to like his characters no matter who or what they are and excuse them for their flaws, failings, indecencies, or in some cases, atrocious actions.

A werewolf turned stand-up comic after moving to Los Angeles. Beings that reside in the worldark-day-dreamsd of dreams – some against you, and some there to protect you. A man who decides to become an ‘uploader’ transferring his consciousness into a synthetic being. These are just a few of the very real and likable characters in this set of 13 short stories the author has compiled under the title ‘Dark Day Dreams.’

Mr Hawthorne, in this compilation of shorts, tells his characters in a way that makes them jump off the page and take the seat next to you as you read.

His storytelling ability is thoroughly creditable, and he craftily packs into his clever tales either a thoughtful political statement or an alternate view of something you may have read before, each with just the right amount of rich sentimentality.

There is something else worth noting. The author, in almost every story, leaves you with the very profound question ‘what if?’  

In my view, this one element distinguishes a good storyteller from a competent, even imaginative writer.

James Hawthorne is a good storyteller.

I liked this compilation of shorts and have but one criticism. I wish they had been longer.

T. E. Mark – Author