'TIL THE WORLD ENDS (Blood of Eden #0.5) by Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre and Karen Duvall
Post-Apocalyptic/Meet the Apocalypse Now
368 pages, paperback/ebook
Available January 29, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Luna
Review copy provided by publisher via Netgalley
Disclaimer: I usually publish reviews right around the time the book is released (a couple of weeks at most) but I just couldn't resist, what with today being the Mayan Apocalypse. Too fitting to pass up!
Dawn of Eden by Julie Kagawa
Before The Immortal Rules, there was the Red Lung, a relentless virus determined to take out all in its path. For Kylie, the miracle of her survival is also her burden—as a doctor at one of the clinics for the infected, she is forced to witness endless suffering. What’s worse, strange things are happening to the remains of the dead, and by the time she befriends Ben Archer, she’s beginning to wonder if a global pandemic is the least of her problems...
Oh, Julie Kagawa. I'll say it again -- you're a rockstar author.
This story takes place before the rise of the vampires in the Blood of Eden series, just as Red Lung's wiped out most of humanity and a new plague which creates rabids sweeps across the face of the planet. A doctor holding on to the last remaining clinic, Kylie is fighting the good fight and losing. When Ben shows up with his sick friend in tow, things go from really bad to apocalyptically bad. Kylie's a bit of a Mary Sue, every little thing's gonna be alright kind of girl but it works in this grim landscape. She and Ben take it on the run to his family farm and make a last stand for humanity.
And a mysterious "K" from THE IMMORTAL RULES makes an appearance...
Thistle and Thorne by Ann Aguirre
After a catastrophic spill turns the country into a vast chemical wasteland, those who could afford it retreated to fortresses, self-contained communities run by powerful corporations. But for Mari Thistle, life on the outside—in the Red Zone—is a constant struggle. To protect her family, Mari teams up with the mysterious Thorne Goodman. Together, they’ll face an evil plot in both the underworld of the Red Zone and the society inside the fortresses that could destroy those on the outside... for good.
Ann Aguirre definitely belongs on the author rockstar list, too. Mari is a tough-as-nails thief just trying to survive and keep her siblings alive in a dog-eat-dog world where the strong prefer to kick the weak, rather than lend a hand. When her latest job goes bad, Thorne steps in to help her out. She's suspicious, with good reason. The darkly handsome stranger works for the Big Bad Guy of the zone...or does he?
I really want more Mari and Thorne. They're both super-prickly and reluctant to trust (smart in this world) but they make a fantastic team with great chemistry (ah, such teasing of the reader here!).
Sun Storm by Karen Duvall
Sarah Daggot has been chasing storms since she was a child. But after the biggest solar flares in history nearly destroy the planet, she becomes a Kinetic, endowed by her exposure to extreme radiation with the power to sense coming storms—in the cosmos and beyond. And she’s not the only one. Sarah believes the Kinetics are destined to join forces and halt the final onslaught of the sun. She’ll vow to keep trying to convince the one missing link in their chain of defense, the enigmatic Ian Matthews, up until the world ends.
An interesting take on a weather apocalypse, especially with the sparks from the sun storms killing most but changing some into Kinetics with interesting powers. Sarah's is to sense sun storms before they happen and she's addicted to the rush they bring. Then Ian appears in her life, pushing his way in while remaining secretive about his own powers and purpose.
This one reads a lot more like a romance novel, with a lot of romantic angst between Sarah and Ian. The end is a bit too tidy but that happens quite a bit in these novellas/short stories. Still, an enjoyable tale.
Available on Amazon | Barnes and Noble (I tried to find a link on IndieBound to no avail)