Tagged: kellie sheridan

My New York Trip Day #6: Last Day of Book Expo America 2015

DSCN2030As pretty much everyone who writes on the topic of Book Expo will inform you, the last day of the expo is the craziest.  There are the most people with the most books and they’re all there to get as many books signed as possible.  Line ups are crazy and it’s a little disorganized but things usually work out okay in the end.

I know this because I went to go get a book by Scott Westerfeld signed and ended up in line for almost an hour.  That wasn’t all that bad because who should be behind me but Kellie Sheridan, the co-founder of Patchwork Press and author of Mortality, a book I thoroughly enjoyed.  Talking to her was awesome while waiting for Scott Westerfeld (who was, in the brief time we met, incredibly nice).

The only other book I stood in line for was Fairest by Marissa Meyer.  It was a good thing I showed up early to get in line because apparently they were limiting the line to 100 people or something.  It wasn’t one of the ticketed signings but I think a lot of people really wanted the book so I’m glad I ended up getting it. Marissa Meyer is one of those authors I never expected to stumble across but have absolutely loved her books in the Cinder series.  Reading Fairest will be a nice little treat while waiting for her next full length book.

I wanted to meet up with two people but only actually met up with one, which was fine.  I can’t talk much about who I met and what we discussed because so far it’s just in the works but I think it’s something a lot of book reviewers like me could benefit from in the future.

On this last day I didn’t really stick around long because I’d seen pretty much everything I wanted to see and talked to almost everyone I wanted to talk to.  I had a great time at the Expo and would recommend it to anyone who has wanted to go in the past.  The bloggers conference isn’t really worth your time but the main expo definitely is.

End Dayz by Kellie Sheridan

End Dayz by Kellie Sheridan(Cover picture courtesy of Kobo Books.)

Prequel collection to Mortality.

It’s month after the dead first began to walk. The miracle vaccine that was supposed to save us all has failed.

Now, four teens fight to stay alive as a stronger, smarter breed of zombie begins to appear, threatening to end humanity for good.

Four short stories, 11,000 words total

[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

After reading Kellie Sheridan’s first book in The Hitchhiker Strain and seeing that there was a prequel anthology to it, I just had to read it.  After all, Mortality was pretty awesome and I was interested in learning about the characters lives during the apocalypse itself.  But did End Dayz add to my overall enjoyment of Kellie Sheridan’s world?

Absolutely!  Learning more about Pierce, Belle, Alex and Zack was awesome.  Not only did I get to learn more about the characters themselves, but also about the zombie apocalypse and what it was like to live in that chaos.  Not only that, I learned a little about how Savannah was orphaned but I won’t go into detail about that because it’s a spoiler.  Unlike so many anthology collections by the same author, each character in End Dayz had an unique voice in their writing.  Some of them were chronicling the apocalypse through letters to their family, diary entries or mission reports.  But in the end, everyone sounded different and that allowed me to get a real sense of their personality.

Belle is the bubbly young woman we meet in Mortality, Pierce is slightly stuck-up, Alex is the underdog and Zack is the serious team leader.  That may sound like they’re all one dimensional characters, but they’re not.  There are unique spins on each of the archetypal characters, which I was so thankful for.  Kellie Sheridan is one of those writers that seems to stay away from clichés as much as possible and that’s what makes The Hitchhiker Strain one of my top series to follow into the future.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

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Mortality by Kellie Sheridan

Mortality by Kellie Sheridan(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)

After surviving a deadly plague outbreak, sixteen-year-old Savannah thought she had lived through the very worst of human history. There was no way to know that the miracle vaccine would put everyone at risk for a fate worse than un-death.

Now, two very different kinds of infected walk the Earth, intent on nothing but feeding and destroying what little remains of civilization. When the inoculated are bitten, infection means watching on in silent horror as self-control disappears and the idea of feasting on loved ones becomes increasingly hard to ignore.

Starving and forced to live inside of the abandoned high school, all Savannah wants is the chance to fight back. When a strange boy arrives with a plan to set everything right, she gets her chance. Meeting Cole changes everything. Mere survival will never be enough.

[Full disclosure: I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

At first I thought this was going to be a mushy, lovey-dovey romance just set against the background of a zombie apocalypse.  While there’s romance, that’s certainly not the case because the blurb is a bit misleading.

First off, Savannah is an awesome character.  She can kick butt and kill zombies like it’s nothing, but at the same time she’s trained for a long time to be able to do so.  She’s definitely not one of these heroines that just magically gains killing powers out of nowhere.  Secondly, Zarah, the other girl whose point of view we see is an interesting contrast to Savannah.  She can’t kick butt and she has to use her wits to survive the first and second outbreaks with her new boyfriend Liam.  So how do these two stories converge?  Well, it’s definitely not how you would expect them to, thank goodness.  I’m just hoping that Kellie Sheridan does not go with one of my hated clichés in the next book, although from the ending it almost looks like that.  (Cringe.)

The plot was fast-paced and despite the point of view changes, Mortality never really got to a point where it lagged.  The zombies, or Zs as they’re mostly called here, are an omnipresent threat throughout the novel.  Although in contrast to many zombie apocalypse novels they’re not necessarily the main focus 100% of the time.  They’re prominent to be sure, but the romance between Savannah and the mysterious Cole does steal the attention away sometimes.  Although I really hated Cole as a love interest (what a selfish, brainless jerk!) I guess I can forgive Kellie Sheridan for that.  Cole is just really not my type of guy.

What I liked about Mortality is that when there are clichés, Kellie Sheridan did her best to put her own spin on them.  Cole is out searching for his uncle who was part of the cure and possibly the initial outbreak, but there’s quite a twist on that old trope.  I can’t say much on how she negates old tropes without giving the major plot points away, but trust me on this: there are very few clichés throughout the novel.  And while it’s not in the same category of awesome as Feed or The Return Man, I really can’t complain too much about Mortality.  It was pretty good and I’m looking forward to reading the next book, Duality.

I give this book 4/5 stars.

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