Book Review: ‘Welcome to the Apocalypse – Book Three – Primal Scream,’ by DL Richardson

5-stars for “Welcome to the Apocalypse – Book Three – Primal Scream” by DL Richardson

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‘Powerful’

“Somehow he’d found beauty in the darkness the way the Nexis had.”

This clever, meaningful passage is just one of the many that, in my mind, make the third, concluding book in the Welcome to the Apocalypse trilogy by D L Richardson stand out Apocalypse_3from the plethora of books in this genre.

Coupling the powerful writing with her almost unrivalled ability to place vivid images of her post-apocalyptic landscape in the minds of her readers, Ms Richardson, in her closing episode, has conquered two obstacles inherent in this sub-genre of Science Fiction.

She grasps the reader on an emotional level, an absolute must in all storytelling, and facilitates your seeing this ravaged, nightmarish world through the eyes of her characters.

But the world Ms Richardson creates here isn’t entirely bleak. This is a mistake I’ve noted novice writers make regularly and veteran writers do as well. A 300-page novel or two-hour film of constant gloom is hard on readers or an audience. The journey becomes a despondent slide rather than a roller coaster with occasional bright moments.

Ms Richardson cleverly relieves tension and lightens the mood through story granting the reader an optimistic view of a possible positive outcome. A survival. A new reality, certainly, but one that seems almost acceptable.

I’ll include no spoilers with this review as the writer wove a neatly organised story which included numerous twists making the read that much more compelling.

I will, however, include three additional passages I found meaningful to the story that also sparkle with imagination. As a writer and omnivorous reader, I am a huge fan of strong, often poetic, writing. DL Richardson offers up a generous assortment of well-written, profound lines that made reading this book enjoyable.

 

“Staring across the open land, Reis viewed the bleak grey skies that joined the land below like a blanket to choke them with longing.”  

“Sasha was aware of her existence but not of her death.”

“History had countless blueprints of failure, inked with the blood of overconfident men.”

Well-done, Ms Richardson.

What I liked most:

Story:

I’ve now read and reviewed this entire series. In it, DL Richardson did something I consider praiseworthy and rare. She did not recycle ideas. This book, specifically, presents a full menu of fresh settings,  scenarios, action sequences and twists.

I have a library full of books, sequels, I attempted reading but abandoned once I realised the writer was recycling and repackaging ideas they’d delivered in the previous book or books.

Story ensemble:

This is an ensemble piece with three, often four different, intertwined scenarios happening simultaneously. I like this type of story design and applaud authors who can pull it off without confusing the reader.

I had no difficulty following the varying paths laid out by the author.

Writing:

As stated above, I’m a huge fan of powerful writing. Strong lines, like the examples I’ve included, make reading, for me, fun. Ms Richardson is a powerful writer – obviously someone well-read. Her well-crafted, meaningful lines are abundant and never seem cumbersome or contrived.

                                                                                                                                                         

Criticisms:

Only one, and nothing that would lessen my 5-Star rating or high recommendation.

Ms Richardson included many characters in this piece. This can challenge the reader. I did, at times, find myself reading back to reacquaint myself with a specific character and their significance to the story.

Faster readers and readers who aren’t typically reading two to three books simultaneously would probably not experience this difficulty.

Summary and Recommendation:

Welcome to the Apocalypse – Primal Scream (Book 3) is a fast-moving Science Fiction adventure with imagination, heart, slick dialogue, a nice dose of sentimentality and above all, clever writing.

I give the closing instalment of DL Richardson’s Welcome to the Apocalypse series 5-Stars and my highest recommendation.

Review by TE Mark – Author.

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Book Review: ‘Kiss Me When I’m Dead,’ by Dominic Piper

5-Stars for ‘Kiss Me When I’m Dead,’ By Dominic Piper

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‘Slick and Captivating’

Kiss Me When I’m Dead, by Dominic Piper, may well be the smartest crime tale I’ve read to date. It’s not only compelling, it’s craftily compelling as the author used his literary Kiss Me When I'm Deadskills and story-telling abilities with masterful precision.

Chapters are planned out, obviously outlined, and delivered like a film script with the obstacles and intentions clearly recognisable. This is the sign of a veteran writer. Also, I’d say, someone who may have written in the film or TV industry. The chapters begin on the beat and often end with a slick teaser enticing, almost commanding you to read on.

The dialogue is real, smooth, and the narration (PI Daniel Becket’s first-person accounting) is strong and clever.

As a novelist and screenwriter, I found so much right with this book it’s difficult for me to elaborate on the neat devices Mr Piper used with such fluency without sounding like a lecturer in a class on Literary Criticism.

If you follow my reviews, you’ll notice I’ve chosen, with this book, to abandon my typical format. I’ve done so as to avoid surrendering spoilers. With a mystery / crime investigation story such as this, with numerous creative twists, I felt I’d be doing the reader and author a potential disservice.

I will say, however, that Daniel Becket’s investigation into the disappearance of a wealthy weapons dealer’s daughter, will take him deep into a very diabolical world where he, and you the reader, will draw conclusions of what’s coming next, feel certain you’re right, then dispense with them when something unexpected evolves.

This, in itself, makes Kiss Me When I’m Dead an outstanding read.

What I liked most:

Story

One can usually tell when a story has been outlined. The scenes are often more precise. They have conflict, and as I described above, clearly identifiable intentions and obstacles.

Mr Piper shows his literary prowess by offering scenes that are miniature stories. This is the quality of a crafty, veteran writer.

Characters

Mr Piper’s characters are believable, adequately described, and don’t all sound the same. But above all, and more importantly, they’re interesting.

Becket, though the least described physically, comes to life through his first-person narration. He’s talented, confident, slick, great with women (They seem to hit on him wherever he turns) driven and competent.

He’s the consummate hero we guys all want to be. Ethical, moral, resourceful, driven to succeed and smooth with attractive women drawn to him as if by gravity or magnetism.

The sexual theme

Mr Piper obviously wanted this to be a sexy crime investigation story and wrote it quite well. The sexual theme is strong, sensual at times, not overly explicit for this genre, and never overwhelms the main theme. Someone evil may have done something bad to a young girl who, for various reasons, has found herself in a dangerous, often degrading lifestyle.

Criticisms:

I have none. This story held my attention as much as any book I’ve read this year. Actually more!

Summary and Recommendation:

Kiss Me When I’m Dead is a clever mystery, crime investigation story with a carefully handled, well-executed sexual theme. The world in which PI Daniel Becket must delve is prostitution, and, as in real life, one can expect that some of the players are nice, and some are not.

Without hesitation, I give Kiss Me When I’m Dead 5-stars and my highest recommendation.

 

Review by TE Mark – Author.