In The Human Wilderness, a man living post-apocalypse braves the danger outside his settlement as he attempts to save girls who have been going missing from all over the area. In Scardust, Raleigh just wants to complete his goal of scattering his brother’s ashes on Mars, but when a strange man falls from the sky with no memory of who he is and the two start unintentionally swapping memories, Raleigh’s life gets far more complicated. In Foamers, a vaccine turns most of the country’s population into Foamers, so Kade and his friends band together to survive and try to find a cure. Enjoy my mini reviews for these three science fiction books!
The Human Wilderness by S.H. Livernois
*I received an ecopy of this book via Story Cartel. This has not influenced my review.*
My biggest problem with this book was that it was slow and never gripped me. I also never connected with the main character, Eli. He was constantly thinking about what a terrible person he was, how he was a wolf among sheep, how he was dangerous, how he didn't deserve good things, etc., but all I saw for most of the book was someone who cared about people and protected them and risked his life to save them. It just made him sound angsty and dramatic. It wasn't until around 70% that I finally got enough info to make me feel inclined to agree that he really wasn't a good person, which made things a little more interesting. But honestly, I think it would've been more interesting had I really connected to Eli before those revelations because then I would've had these really strong conflicting feelings about whether I should like him or not. And it's kinda fun when authors can do that, you know? As it was, my feelings just weren't very strong either way. That being said, this author's take on the zombies (technically Parasites) was different than the usual (they were more human-like, used weapons, lived in groups, communicated with each other), this was a very bleak post-apoc world with lots of violence and struggle (which I know is what some post-apoc readers like), things started to pick up pace a bit near the end, and the writing wasn't bad. So overall, not a bad book, just not a gripping one for me either.
Scardust by Xan van Rooyen
This book wasn't what I was expecting (I was expecting it to be darker or more twisted), but that's on me. The book was a little slow to start, but overall it was good, and really I can't say anything bad about it. It was mysterious, but in the end it was all explained and made sense, so you don't have to worry about it being confusing or about not getting answers. I think I recall seeing some reviews that mentioned it being shocking or mindfuck-y, but I didn't think it was, although that could be because I figured out the general gist of what was going on around the 43% mark and then pretty much figured out the rest also before it was revealed. *SPOILER (I'm going to say whether it had a happy or unhappy ending, but no details)* It also turned out to have a sweet, happy ending, which was nice because Raleigh deserved it after all he'd been through. *END SPOILER* And getting to understand Raleigh and why he did the things he did gave me new insight into someone I might've judged in real life if I didn't know his story. So overall, it wasn't quite what I wanted but was still enjoyable.
Foamers by Justin Kassab
I really wanted to love this book because there are so few post-apoc books out there that include disability, but unfortunately I had too many issues. The general premise of an apocalypse being caused by a vaccine being rushed out before being properly tested was scarily realistic, but the execution of that premise, as well as much of the plot, was full of holes and logic flaws. There were a lot of perfect coincidences that allowed the characters to have it pretty easy. The characters sometimes made TSTL decisions and were often immature for their ages. The 3rd person omniscient POV made me feel distanced (albeit that one is a personal preference kinda thing). Even the disability aspect was hardly explored; the main character is someone who knew he was going to have a terminal illness rather than someone who already had one, which I figured would still be an interesting perspective, but there was really only one or two insightful moments. The authors take on the zombies (well, technically foamers) was unique though since they were more like animals with some intelligence rather than mindless brain-eaters. That being said, if you're a plot person and just looking for an entertaining post-apoc read and are able to brush off logic flaws and coincidental things and accept them how they are, you might like this book more than I did.