Book Review: The Blazing Chief (The Deschembine #3) by Matt Spencer

Author: Matt Spencer
Release Date: 12th October 2020
Genre: Urban Fantasy | Post Apocaliptic Fiction
Series: The Deschembine Trilogy (Book #3)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 578 pages
Publisher: Back Roads Carnival Books 

For untold ages, the refugees from the land of Deschemb have lived secretly beneath the surface of human society. Now modern civilization crumbles as their ancient feud boils to the surface. As chaos and brutality engulf the world, strange alien forces reshape the lands for a new beginning…for whoever survives.

In the frozen Canadian wastes, the United Deschembines take shelter in an abandoned military base, under the leadership of Jesse Karn, Zane Rochester, and Sally Coscan.

In the Louisiana swamps, Rob and Remelea press towards the ruins of New Orleans, for a final confrontation with Talino.

In Brattleboro, Vermont, a long-forgotten doorway opens, to a land beyond living memory, where two lifelong enemies must journey as allies, to save two worlds, or destroy them.

You can find The Blazing Chief here: Amazon | Goodreads

Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Blazing Chief by Matt Spencer is the third and the last instalment in the Deschembine trilogy. The first book is The Night And The Land and the second one is The Trail Of The Beast.

This book brings this amazing apocalyptic trilogy to an end and what an end it is! I love how the author treated all the characters with an equal amount of respect giving them all (even the ones I did not expect) a well-rounded ending. I was so glad that the book lived up to all the anticipation that was built-up in the first two books and that it ended on a higher note than either fo the first two books!

I loved the ending because it wasn’t exactly how I had predicted it to be. So it did surprise me though not entirely, but that’s understandable because I was able to see the character arcs (which were very nicely done) in the first two books being a writer myself. The thing I loved best about this book (and event he earlier books) is that the author delivered on each and every promise that he had made at the start of the series and that makes it a very well-rounded story on the whole.

I loved the action-packed climax and the tension that was present throughout the book leading to a wonderful climax. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend this wonderful trilogy to all dystopian and apocalyptic (and post-apocalyptic fiction. I am sure you all will love this book!

You can also read this review on 

Author Interview: Matt Spencer

Welcome to TRB Lounge!

Today, we are featuring Matt Spencer, author of The Blazing Chief, the third book in the The Deschembine Trilogy, for our Author Interview feature.

About The Author

Matt Spencer

Matt Spencer is the author of five novels, two collections, and numerous novellas and short stories. He’s been a journalist, New Orleans restaurant cook, factory worker, radio DJ, and a no-good ramblin’ bum. He’s also a song lyricist, playwright, actor, and martial artist. He currently lives in Vermont. 


Website | Twitter | Facebook

The Interview

Welcome to TRB! Please give our readers a brief introduction about yourself before we begin. 

Well, my life has abruptly hit the reset button of late, to put it kindly, not under circumstances I’m happy about, but either way, here I am living on my own again for the first time in years, feeling kind of like a stranger to myself in some ways, like I’m catching up with this version of me. It’s been weird, especially in these Covid days, where getting out around people like I used to isn’t such a thing for the foreseeable future, but I’ve come to realize that ain’t such a bad thing either. I’ve been making the most of it in a lot of ways, eating/exercising/living healthier, to the point where the old saying “40 is the new 30” suddenly makes a lot more sense to me than I’d expected it to. I still work in a restaurant, which is only open to limited capacity, with reduced hours. I assist my best friend in teaching fencing, and we love to sword-fight and martial-arts spar. With a little luck and prudence, I’ll keep the positive things on track, continue to grow and change for the better, do what I can for other people, and keep writing crazy yarns that people get a kick out of reading.

Please tell us something about your book other than what we have read in the blurb?

As the final book in a trilogy, it’s the one where everything boils to a head for a giant blow-out go-for-broke finale, y’know? I’m proud to be able to say that a lot of people have been asking me for years, “So when the hell is the next book coming out?” [more on that later] and now that it’s finally officially on the way, I’m both thrilled and nervous about how it’s going to be received. All of the major characters – Rob, Sally, Sheldon, Janie, Remelea, Jesse, Zane, Puttergong, among others – wind up where they’ve been headed this whole time. Many of them change drastically, some for better, some for worse, some, well, in-between. And yes, some of them die.

What is that one message that you’re trying to get across to the readers in this book?

I don’t typically write stories with didactic messages at the heart of my authorial intent/narrative. There are obviously themes I want to explore, regarding the human condition and my complicated feelings and opinions about where we’re all at, have been, and could go as a species. I find I explore those kinds of themes best when I discover them organically as I’m writing the story, through what the characters are going through and what they’re struggling with, which makes me more aware of what we’re all struggling with, so it sort of builds from there. Whenever I’ve tried to write a story with some thematic social-commentary axe to grind as my driving motive, the characters end up feeling like mouth-pieces for my argument or whatever, rather than living, breathing people, with their own perspectives and motivations that drive the story forward to its natural conclusion. If I lose sight of that, then the story starts to feel like a writing-exercise, and I’m too old for that shit, so it dies on me.

If there’s a “moral of the story” to The Blazing Chief, it’s probably “Hang onto your critical thinking skills, and don’t be a bootlicker.” There’s definitely a running theme throughout the entire series about the cycle of violence and cruelty self-perpetuates itself, and my perhaps naively idealistic belief that healing those cycles begins with small human connections of empathy and love, that can eventually snowball out and make a difference, with the ignorant growing and changing through self-education and better exposure. 

Who is your favourite character in this book and why? 

It’s a toss-up between Remelea and Balthazar, both of whom were characters who never honestly got their due in this book ’til the last couple drafts or so. In whipping this book into shape, they were the ones I really got to explore on the most fresh ground, so I pushed myself into new territory, and ultimately surprised myself, in ways that I think will make the overall tapestry of the larger narrative far richer and more rewarding to readers.

Remelea’s a character who’s introduced in the second book. She was a hit with a lot of readers. In a lot of ways, she’s the most morally gray character in a series full of morally gray characters. She starts out as this very formidable warrior woman, with a strong, brazen, irreverent sort of personality that readers get a kick out of, that I certainly got a kick out of writing. She likes to see herself as this outlaw rebel who plays by her own rules, except she ironically comes to realize that she’s always just been sort of going through the motions, living life according to how she’s been trained and conditioned, but hasn’t had a cause she’s felt truly passionate about fighting for, ’til she takes up with Rob, one of our central protagonists. She eventually hits a point where she’s forced to question whether this whole revolutionary rampage she’s gotten swept up into is what she really believes in, or if she’s been lying to herself because of her personal emotional connection to Rob. I think that’s a very relatable thing for a lot of people’s continuous journeys of self-discovery through life. A lot of us form deep emotional bonds with people with strong personalities that fire us up to their tune at the time, to where we fall in love more with the idea of them than who they actually are. Then we eventually come to realize later that the relationship was never a healthy one in the first place, and starting over from that place is scary and full of inner-conflict. Most of us aren’t, y’know, monstrous superhuman blade-wielding fighting-machines like Remelea, but still. In the third book, her path diverges from Rob’s, so she’s back to trying to figure out where she fits into this whole apocalyptic mess she’s caught in the middle of. By the end, she’s forced to make some painful decisions, with dire consequences for the big picture, that ultimately define who she truly is on a new, more solid level, as a truly rounded person. 

Then there’s Balthazar, who’s the new heavy-hitter villain who this book introduces. He’s one of the most broadly over-the-top major characters I’ve ever written, in ways that were a lot of fiendish fun to write. I treated him in earlier drafts like a sort of glorified red herring, but in the later drafts, I realized that I hadn’t explored him properly, or made the reader truly feel the threat he represents. In brainstorming from my editor Garrett Cooke’s suggestions, I found myself delving into Balthazar a lot deeper. He ultimately turned out to be a lot more psychologically interesting than I expected. On the one hand, he’s this grotesque, diabolical genetically crafted monstrosity, with superhuman abilities and a brain crammed since birth with all this strategic and tactical military prowess on how to use those powers to make him and those he commands a major threat to what’s left of civilization, yet he also has this childlike, naïve mentality about it all, because of the people who abused, twisted, and conditioned him from birth to be what he is. He’s sort of a pitiable Frankenstein-monster sort of figure in a way. There’s no redemption for him, and he has to be stopped, and he’s the center of some of the book’s most disgusting, nightmarish moments. Yet it’s ultimately not his fault that he is the way he is. The older I get, the more I’ve come to realize that a lot of the worst harm people are capable of doesn’t come from malice or what have you, but just from what people have been conditioned to see as normal behavior. With Balthazar I just took that to the most grotesque, deranged extreme I could think of within the context of these already extreme hypothetical circumstances. A lot of both Balthazar’s character-development and an up-close view of the destruction he’s causing and the threat he poses, comes from the point of view of this young human man who he’s tortured, mutilated, broken, and basically made his pet…who he now sees and treats with what he views as affection, like people raise livestock to eventually kill and eat, who they treat like a beloved pet right up to when they slit the animal’s throat, and don’t recognize the cognitive dissonance there. 

What inspired you to write this series?

At the time I started writing the first book, there were several ideas of books I wanted to write, then there was the book I started writing. I was playing around with all sorts of concepts, stumped on what to start next. My mind was a pretty big mess over a lot of recent trauma, including the death of a dear friend, and I wasn’t sure where to start processing that whenever I sat down at the keyboard. I felt like writing a straight-up horror novel, in the old-school Stephen King or Robert Bloch vein. I also wanted to write a giant epic adventure story, incorporating all the classical elements of heroic myth…all the intrigue, action, romance, friendship, betrayal, and epic stakes, like in all the great stories my dear departed friend and I used to geek out about…but to somehow make it all my own, to turn all those elements on their heads, say something about my own observations about life, so readers might not even realize that’s what they were reading at first, but by the end still feel something of that sublime rush that my buddy Dave had always gotten out of such tales at their best, hoping to honor his memory that way. I just didn’t know where to start, had to find some way in to make it my own, so I wouldn’t just regurgitate what had already been said in all those masterworks we’d read/watched/loved.

When I started writing The Night and the Land, that’s honestly not the story I thought I was getting myself into. I was more fascinated with the daily minutia of Brattleboro, Vermont, my adopted home town I was living in at the time and have since moved back to and settled in. I started tinkering with writing a quieter, semi-autobiographical magical-realism ensemble novel, about the various quirky characters in the community I was part of. Hell, if I’d continued in that vein, it may well have turned into something publishable under the label Literary Fiction, and wouldn’t that be a hoot? Then I wrote that scene in the bus station in Pittsburgh, where we meet Sally’s family while they’re looking for her, and the whole thing took on a life of its own from there. I sure as shit didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but here we are.

A lot of people these days in the speculative-fiction community will say that the trilogy is a played-out, over-used format. It’s one Tolkien pretty much accidentally invented when he wrote his giant War-and-Peace-sized epic which the publishers decided to split into three parts, but it’s a cool format, in my opinion. When it works, it works, particularly for a long, multibook story with a beginning, middle and end. I was never interested in writing one of those gargantuan 12-books-plus fantasy series that I saw cluttering the bookselves at the time, nor was I interested in making it feel like one continuous book split into three parts, or anything pretentious like that. Once I realized what I’d gotten myself into, it wasn’t long before I had an amorphous, general idea of where everything was headed, and a trilogy just felt like the story’s natural shape. The whole thing should tell a cohesive story, but I always approached each book as its own entity with its own beginning, middle, and end. The first book wound up being on some levels a small-town horror story in that aforementioned King/Bloch mode. There’s a love story driving the central narrative, but I wouldn’t call it a romance novel. The second one expands a great deal on the hidden-world mythos, through the perspective of a lot more characters in lots of different places all over North America. It’s probably the tightest and fasted-paced of the three, basically a chase/road-trip-through-hell story. Which brings us to the third and final book, which starts out like a post-apocalyptic story, then turns into a full-on psychedelic multi-dimensional fantasy tale, with hints of sci-fi, where certain characters, under circumstances I won’t spoil, actually travel through time and space to these other worlds and realities that through most of the series, we’ve only heard spoken of as vague lore and mythology among the people of this hidden society. 

What are your writing ambitions? 

Artistically, to keep stretching myself, to keep working with the various elements of storytelling that I love, keep making them my own in ways I haven’t even thought of yet, and overall to keep spinning good yarns driven by fascinating characters who hopefully more and more readers continue to discover and connect with. Professionally, I’m very proud to have beaten the odds to the point where my writing is legitimately a source of secondary income, so I figure if I keep my shit together and stay on track, five years from now I’d like to have made it my primary source of income…that’s all assuming, the way things are going in real life, that we’re not all fucked and living in a worse dystopian, apocalyptic nightmare than anything I could come up with. But hey, no one ever accomplished jack shit by succumbing to despair and futility, amIright?  

Are you working on any new projects presently? 

I’m in the process of re-writing a new novel set in the far future of the world of these stories, where the world is still in the process of rebuilding itself after an apocalypse or two, and many of the characters readers have come to know in the trilogy and the adjacent works have themselves become the stuff of distant, unreliable mythology. It’s been wild and challenging, in some ways like settling back on familiar ground, while at the same time in many ways building a whole new world, with its own new rules, from scratch, and dropping a whole new set of characters into the middle of it. I’ve also had a hankering of late to dive head-first back into contemporary horror, and I have several ideas kicking around about where I might go with that.  

Why have you chosen this genre? Or do you work in multiple genre?

My first love, writing-wise, was really horror fiction, particularly the classic Gothic horror works from the likes of Poe, Stoker, Shelley, and Leroux. I really cut my teeth at a young age trying to emulate those styles, before maturing, reading more broadly, going through more life experiences, etc, and developing my own style. As an oddball, neurologically atypical misfit kid growing up, I was particularly drawn to the kinds of larger-than-life human-monsters who were really just misfit social outcasts at odds with mainstream society. I’ve also always been drawn to stories of high adventure, and there’s a fine line between a lot of the morally gray kinds of heroes from those kinds of stories (such as Indiana Jones, the Man With No Name, Conan the Barbarian, or Long John Silver) and Gothic horror villains/anti-heroes like Dracula, the Frankenstein monster, or the Phantom of the Opera. There’s also a very fine line, I think, between adventure stories and horror stories. Compelling fiction is driven by conflict, and both adventure and horror distill that to a primal level, where it’s about high stakes such as the struggle for survival – the stuff of a ripping good yarn that gets the reader’s blood pumping. I think what continues to fascinate me the most at this point, with those kinds of stories, is exploring the contrasting psychologies of different types of characters caught up in those kinds of situations, how different kinds of people will respond differently in any number of ways, depending on their background, temperament, etc, and how those kinds of experiences change people, for better, worse, or some combination of the two. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

When reading the kind of shit you want to write, take mental notes on what does/doesn’t work when perfecting your craft. Also, get out there and live a life that makes you feel alive. Take risks, make mistakes, get into trouble, get into adventures, whatever that means to you personally (if not on the scale of the kind of “adventure” yarns I write, well, that’s probably for the best 😉 ). Above all, follow your own inner creative voice. You never know where that’ll take you. You’re not so unique in your experiences and feelings as it often seems, but no one can write about it exactly like you can, and you never know whom your voice is exactly what they need. Shoot for the moon, you may or may not make it, but you’re still likely to hit something along the way that those who didn’t dare never would have dreamed of. 

Thank you, Matt, for all your insightful and fun answers!

About The Book

The Blazing Chief

For untold ages, the refugees from the land of Deschemb have lived secretly beneath the surface of human society. Now modern civilization crumbles as their ancient feud boils to the surface. As chaos and brutality engulf the world, strange alien forces reshape the lands for a new beginning…for whoever survives.

In the frozen Canadian wastes, the United Deschembines take shelter in an abandoned military base, under the leadership of Jesse Karn, Zane Rochester, and Sally Coscan.

In the Louisiana swamps, Rob and Remelea press towards the ruins of New Orleans, for a final confrontation with Talino.

In Brattleboro, Vermont, a long-forgotten doorway opens, to a land beyond living memory, where two lifelong enemies must journey as allies, to save two worlds, or destroy them.

You can find The Blazing Chief here:

Amazon | Goodreads

To read more author interviews, click here.

If you are an author and wish to be interviewed or if you are a publicist and want to get your author interviewed on TRB, then please get in touch through direct e-mail:

Book Review: We Call It Monster by Lachlan Walter

Author: Lachlan Walter
Release Date: 10th February 2019
Genre: Speculative Fiction, Monster Fiction, Apocalyptic Fiction
Edition: E-book
Pages: 251
Publisher: Severed Press
One ordinary day, an enormous creature dragged itself out of the ocean and laid waste to a city. In the months and years that followed, more and more creatures appeared, until not a single country remained untouched. At first, people tried to fight them. In the end, all they could do was try and stay alive.

We Call It Monster is a story of forces beyond our control, of immense and impossible creatures that make plain how small we really are. It is the story of our fight for survival and our discovery of that which truly matters: community and compassion, love and family, hope and faith.



We Call It Monster by Lachlan Walter is a well-written and beautifully presented monster story which gives a great apocalyptic high to the genre lovers like myself. I enjoyed this book immensely and though I’m not a huge monster story fan yet, I absolutely enjoyed reading it!

The hero of this book is the story itself, the monsters and the different characters play a huge part in the story progression and in giving an idea to the reader about how the world collapses and how people try to cope with the downfall of society when threatened by something that is not only something incomprehensible but also ostensibly impossible to have happened. The book consists of different stories as chapters, each with a different cast of characters suffering in varying kinds of predicament.

The best part about the book was the slow build-up and the variations in pacing and tension at the right points. It kept me engrossed int he story throughout the book, right till the very end.

If you love reading about monsters, or if you love reading books set right in the middle of the apocalypse, you can’t afford to miss reading this book!

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Audiobook Review: Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Release Date: 19th May 2015
Genre: Science Fiction Fantasy, Apocalyptic, Post-Apocalyptic, Speculative Fiction
Edition: Audiobook
Length: 32 hours
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
What would happen if the world were ending?
A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.
But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain…
Five thousand years later, their progeny — seven distinct races now three billion strong — embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown … to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.


Seveneves by Neal Stephenson book was too heavy for me. The narration was slow and the story progressed so slowly in the first hour that when I realized the book was 30 something hours, I stopped it right there. You really need to like the narration enough if you plan to spend another 30 hours listening to it. And that was not how I felt, so I abandoned it. I have other books that I can read and enjoy in that much time (pretty sure I can read a good number of other books in that much time.)


Book Review: Shadow Killer: A Silo Story by David R. Larson

Author: David R. Larson
Release Date: 7th October 2018
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
Edition: e-book
Pages: 89
The silo is full of secrets. Deadly secrets.
Growing up in this world is hard enough for a regular kid, but so much more so when you’re an orphan with no friends.This is Bryson’s reality before he is chosen by the head of IT to receive a rare opportunity to Shadow for the mysterious position of “IT courier.” Wary of what may be expected of him but facing an uncertain future, he accepts the job for a chance to change his situation for the better.

As he grows into a young man, Bryson discovers dark truths about the origin and maintenance of the silo. Blasphemous things that no one knows, suspects, or would dare say out loud for fear of being sent out to clean. Or worse.

This knowledge comes at a price. When the time comes, will Bryson be willing to pay?.



Shadow Killer: A Silo Story by David R. Larson is a new post-apocalyptic novella that was equal parts interesting and entertaining. It was a very, very quick read, not only because it was under a hundred pages, but also because it had a great story and the writing had a good flow too.

I enjoyed this book even though I haven’t read any of the original Silo stories. In fact, after having read and liked this book, I’m now planning to explore the original silo stories that the author mentions in the book blurb on the book’s Goodreads – Hugh Howey’s WOOL.

I started this book with no expectations whatsoever as the concept was foreign to me, but as I was done with the first 3-4 chapters, I knew that it was a good book with a solid foundation. Maybe purists (who love the original books) might not think the same, but I had one hell of a time reading some really good post-apocalyptic fiction (one of my favourite genres.)

I’d recommend this book to all the readers of apocalyptic as well as post-apocalyptic genres and also to those who’ve already read the Silo Saga and enjoyed it (and won’t mind reading a short spin-off.)

this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon

Book Review: Outside Looking Out: Still Basically Frightened by Vasily Pugh

Author: Vasily Pugh
Release Date: 16th March 2018
Genre: Post-Apocalypse, Humour, Dystopia
Series:  Basically Frightened (Book #2)
Edition: E-book
Pages: 260
Leaner, meaner, wittier and wiser, the sequel to hit post-apocalyptic book ‘Basically Frightened’ is here. Taking place directly after the events of the original, ‘Outside Looking Out’ lands our hero in another set of unhinged circumstances. Who are ‘Order’? Who are ‘Protected Infected’? Where are his friends? Who are these new enemies? And who had the last Rolo?
Prepare to enter a dystopia quite unlike anything you’ve read before – ‘Outside Looking Out’ is a comic adventure that combines post-apocalyptic action with blistering satire and heartfelt emotion.



Outside Looking Out: Still Basically Frightened by Vasily Pugh, the sequel to Basically Frightened, is a witty book about a guy doing his best to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

Just like the last part, I loved the author’s witty style with each and every paragraph dripping with clever sarcasm and an apt play of words that sometimes made me giggle and many times laugh out loud. I instantly felt connected to the main character as the characterization in the last book was spot on and this one picked up immediately after the events of that one.

The pacing was good, albeit I did feel at places it could have been a bit faster, then it did help build the anticipation so I’m not complaining. The plot was strong, clever and good and, on the whole, it was a good book.

I enjoyed reading this book as much as I did the last one and would recommend it to anyone who loves reading apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi

Author: Ronald Malfi
Release Date: 26th July 2016
Genre: Science-Fiction, Dystopian, Apocalyptic, Supernatural
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 384
Publisher: Kensington Press

First the birds disappeared.
Then the insects took over.
Then the madness began . . .
They call it Wanderer’s Folly–a disease of delusions, of daydreams and nightmares. A plague threatening to wipe out the human race.
After two years of creeping decay, David Arlen woke up one morning thinking that the worst was over. By midnight, he’s bleeding and terrified, his wife is dead, and he’s on the run in a stolen car with his eight-year-old daughter, who may be the key to a cure.
Ellie is a special girl. Deep. Insightful. And she knows David is lying to her. Lying about her mother. Lying about what they’re running from. And lying about what he sees when he takes his eyes off the road . . .



The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi is a very engaging and emotional read.

Initially, after reading the first couple of pages, I felt the plot might be similar to Firestarter by Stephen King, a book I really, really loved(!) but as the plot progressed I felt reassured that this book was not entirely like it. Though the basic concept is the same – Father-daughter duo fighting and running from the world because of the daughter’s supernatural ability, this book was different in its own way. In this book, for one, the father did not possess supernatural abilities. This really made things different, though the main conflict of the father was that he did not have enough time (just like in Firestarter.) The one thing that made this book entirely different from Firestarter is the main backdrop and the central theme – The apocalypse, a world falling prey to an unidentified and seemingly incurable plague. Though I do feel that this book is kind of a homage to Mr King’s masterpiece.

The best part of the book was the conflicts, both inner and outer. I liked the characters of David and Ellie and rooted for them both till the very end. The buildup was very good and the ending was reasonable, though I did see it coming, because really, how could a book like this end? Still, I felt like I was sucker punched in the belly.

The alternating timelines added a lot to the suspense buildup and, overall I really liked this book. In spite of being almost 400 pages, it proved to be a quick read because of the high tension that was maintained throughout the book.

I’d recommend this book to every dystopian fan, though sci-fi and apocalyptic lovers might find this book a bit “low-key” as compared to the action-packed drama we normally expect from these genres.

Goodreads, NetGalley and Amazon

Book Review: Basically Frightened by Vasily Pugh

31684725Author: Vasily Pugh
Release Date: September 9, 2016
Series: –
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian
Edition: e-book (kindle)
Pages: 219
Publisher: Midland Monkey

Rating: ★★★★★


Oh no, not another post-apocalyptic chronicle I hear you cry. But wait, where are the lumbering zombies, floppy mutants and crazy survivalists called Huck? No, this is not the glamorous Hollywood vision with exciting weapons and deceptively good teeth (though mine are adequate), this is the husk of a world left behind after one of those pesky pandemics (rather insensitively called ‘The Shakes’ on Social Media). Join my odyssey through looted pound shops and empty supermarkets as I encounter numerous people who range from 1 to 10 on the psychotic survivor scale. Expect intrigue, betrayal, warm fuzzy feelings and references to Pot Noodles.


 Basically Frightened by Vasily Pugh is a brilliant book! I haven’t read a post-apocalyptic book this good since a long time.

What really impressed me the author’s voice and writing style. It was equal part funny and intense and I absolutely enjoyed reading it. The exceptional sense of humour and the ingenious sarcasm of the main character literally left me craving for more.

Unlike other apocalyptic books, this book is not about the Zombies. It actually focuses on how people panic and behave in an unlawful and an uncivilised world. This book creates a dreadful, yet an honest picture of how humanity crumbles under pressure and how people react differently to worst case scenarios.

I was so engrossed in this book that I had to finish it as soon as I could. I had to know how the hell this adventure of sorts ends. The intelligent commentary and the hilarious observations of the main character, Buck, were so frigging hilarious that I cracked up more than a million times while reading this amazing book.

The plot line is simple yet intelligent and shows the thorough research author did while writing this book. I’ve always been an apocalypse enthusiast, but if apocalypse will actually be anything like the one in this book then the world is better off without it.

I’d recommend this book to all the apocalyptic fiction readers and  enthusiasts. This book will literally blow your mind off.

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Review: Nowhere To Hide by Tracey Lynn Tobin

31673356-2Author: Tracey Lynn Tobin
Release Date: October 2, 2014
Genre: Apocalyptic Fiction, Horror>Zombies
Edition: e-book (mobi)
Pages: 236
Publisher: Createspace

Rating: ★★★★


The only thing that Nancy King has worried about since her grandmother passed away is figuring out what to do with the rest of her life. That decision is forcibly made for her the day one of the residents of her apartment building dies…and immediately rises to tear open the flesh of anyone within reach of her cold, dead fingers. Now Nancy has found herself in a deadly game of survival against an army of zombies. She may have the will to keep running for a little while…but how long can she push forward when there is simply nowhere to hide?


Nowhere To Hide is a really engaging read. I enjoyed it from the first page right down till the very last page!
It is about a girl who finds herself in the midst of an unforeseen apocalypse and what makes this book different from others is the twist which leaves her with a little baby. Amidst all the chaos, Nancy tries her best to take care of the baby while trying to survive each and every day.

The best part about the book was the pacing of the story. Not even for a single second, I felt that the plot was going weak or uneventful. I enjoyed the exposition as well as the meticulous imagery. The writing was really good and the story flowed beautifully.

There were places though where the situations could have been more intense but I’m happy about the way things were.
I was able to feel a strong connection with the leading lady, Nancy. She had a strong personality and I was able to relate to her on so many different levels. I was able to feel her frustration behind each and every relentless decision she made and felt a wave of happiness and relief whenever situations got better.
The supporting/secondary characters were also very relatable. I loved Greg’s character a lot and was able to feel a connection with him too.

The ending was absolutely gut-wrenching. I felt so sad that I couldn’t stop thinking about it for hours after I finished reading it.

It is a spectacular apocalyptic tale with an interesting twist and I’d recommend it to all the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction readers.


Book Review: The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey

17235026Author: M.R. Carey
Release Date: June 19, 2014
Genre: Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic, Horror > Zombies, Science-Fiction
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 460
Publisher: Orbit

Rating: ★★★★★


Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.


The Girl With All The Gifts is a beautiful, beautiful book.

The plot is really unique and provides a fresh perspective to the entire zombie apocalypse. The packing was absolutely brilliant and the reveals (both minor and major) were literally breathtaking. This book is really hard to put down.

The characterization is so perfect that I felt like going inside the book and pulling out Melaine from that crazy, crazy world and keep her with me. I mean who cares if she’s a Zombie or not, she’s a child and such a sweet one at that.

The character of Melaine is just so heart-warming that I felt like pulling at my hair when I realized how badly they treated her, and then her reactions and innocent comments make it worst. And then there’s the fact that you can’t actually hate these people to behave a certain way because you know they gotta do what they gotta do to survive.

Jeez, this book is simply epic, and in order to understand its epic-ness you’ll have to read it for yourselves. I generally don’t do a lot of rave reviews, but, trust me, if you’re gonna die tomorrow then make sure that you’ve read this book before your time comes.

If you’re a fan of dystopian and apocalyptic/post-apo. genres, then it’d be a shame if you’d roam the face of this Earth without having read this book. Shame!

The ending literally made me teary-eyed. I mean it was the perfect kind of ending in the most absurd way. It’ll make you smile, it’ll make you cry, it’ll make you cringe, it’ll make you frustrated. It’ll change the way you look at zombies forever. Forever!

If you’ve watched Stranger Things then you’ll be able to see a lot of Eleven’s personality in Melaine and vice verse. When I watched Stranger Things I kept on picturing Melaine the entire time.

If you haven’t read it then I’d highly recommend that you do because it is one book you wouldn’t want to miss. 

You can also read this review at Goodreads.

Book Review: Those Who Remain (Book #1) by Priscila Santa Rosa


Author: Priscila Santa Rosa 
Release Date: August 2014
Series: Those Who Remain Trilogy
Genre: Apocalyptic | Horror > Zombies |
Edition: E-book (mobi)
Pages: 232
Publisher: Not Specified
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Followed by:

Rating: ★★★★★


Hide your children, lock your doors, and load your guns because zombies are real and they are coming. Danny Terrence knows this better than anyone. He spent months preparing for the inevitable moment the disease would reach his small town. What he didn’t prepare for is the fact that nobody really believes him.

Luckily for him, an old classmate and bully just happens to be the first one bitten. The bad news is that the family with the biggest arsenal of guns just packed up and left town, leaving them defenseless from an oncoming zombie horde. Being a leader isn’t turning out the way Danny imagined.

Yet four other survivors easily have it worse than him. Between a thirteen-year-old girl on a road trip from hell, a family of paranoid hunters having to deal with their feelings for the first time ever, a stubborn doctor butting heads with a cold-hearted sergeant and an amoral British professor carrying the fate of humanity in his hands, Danny has it easy. Unless, of course, they all end up in his town, messing with his already messed up life.

Follow these five people as their paths cross and their lives and hopes are challenged in this thrilling novel.


I enjoyed this book from start to end. For me, this book is nothing short of a GREAT apocalyptic book!

The characterization is awesome and the alternating POVs kept me at the edge of my seat the entire time! I felt a strong connection with everyone, but my favorites are The Girl, Hunter’s Daughter, and The Last One Out.

The writing is excellent and I literally breezed through the entire book in a single day! I loved it and have already requested (and received) the remaining two parts of this trilogy [can’t wait to read them!] The suspense build-up, the mysterious undertones, the chills and the curiosity, everything that the characters felt, came out beautifully.

I never felt that I was reading a book, I felt like I was in there with each and every character experiencing everything they did, first-hand.

The pacing is excellent and the twists and turns and the interludes at the end of the book were simply a master stroke.

I loved the Zombies as well, and the disease’s spread felt really natural and practical.
I’m really, really excited to know what happens next as the author ended all the POV’s on a great note. It’s literally killing me to read other books before getting to the next parts – This book is so good!

Other Stuff

Opening Line: My only window to the outside world is a thin gap between the closet’s doors.

Highlights: Pacing and story.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

Turns out, deep down, I’m sentimental. Very deep down.

It took me hours to realise that crying wouldn’t change anything. Shoes. I need new shoes.

I let out a sigh, embarrassed for him. A sociopath, but not a smart one.

It’s a rule of every horror story: when someone is too happy, or things are going too well for a character, then the next scene his head is rolling down the floor with the psychotic murderer making a surprise return from the dead.

A crazy disease spreading, riots going on, people running away, the military taking control over everything and I can’t load my rifle. PTSD is a bitch.

Memorable Paragraphs:

I don’t think she went to the drugstore at all. Why else did she take the car? She didn’t leave me behind. She took him away. To save me.

Father puts a hand on my shoulder. We both know leaving her behind meant her death. I’m allowed a minute to grieve for a mother I never truly knew. Then we run.

Between doctors, nurses, staff and patients, Saint Jude Hospital housed almost ten thousand people. Three hundred soldiers were sent to keep them safe. Only five people were leaving alive.

Some kids ask Santa for a toy. I wished for the Zombie Apocalypse. He took his sweet time, but finally my present was here. With luck, unwrapping it wasn’t going to kill me or destroy the town.

Final Thoughts: Best Zombie book I’ve read so far this year!

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: Floor 21


Author: Jason Luthor
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian, YA, Suspense, Thriller
Edition: E-Book (mobi)
Pages: 234
Publisher: Kindle Press
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★


As humanity lives out the remainder of its existence at the top of an isolated apartment tower, young Jackie dares to question Tower Authority and their ban on traveling into the tower’s depths. Intelligent and unyielding, Jackie ventures into the shadows of the floors below. But will her strong will and refusal to be quiet—in a society whose greatest pride is hiding the past—bring understanding of how humanity became trapped in the tower she has always called home, or will it simply be her undoing?


I LOVED this book. It started off pretty great and ended on the same note. Floor 21 is written in the form of recordings in alternate person and I truly enjoyed how this format took this story to a whole new level.

It was really intriguing and kept me on edge the entire time. I was constantly trying to figure out the mystery of the tower as well as that of what awaits outside it. The author has done a splendid job in beautifully carving out the story.

The pace of the story is great and the voice of the main character just wooed me! It was literally like sitting in front of a teenage girl and listening to her blabbering about her life.

I was hooked from the start to the very end. Each and every chapter or recording kept me glued to the book and made me finish the book in a day.

There were a few loose ends left at the end, but considering it was in the form of recordings, I’m ready to give this book benefit of the doubt. Though I do hope that there’ll be a sequel to follow this book so that we can finally know what really happened and that what lies outside the Tower.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “My name id Jackie, and it’s not so bad living here.”

Highlights: Format of the book.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A great dystopian book.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Graphic Novel Review: The Bigger Bang


Author: Vassilis Gogtzilas
Illustrator: Unknown
Release Date: 26th May, 2015
Series: None
Genre: Science-Fiction | YA | Comics
Edition: ascm file
Pages: 128
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Source: NetGalley