Mini Reviews: Science Fiction – The Human Wilderness, Scardust, Foamers


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

Book Review: The Human Wilderness (A New America Trilogy Book 1) by S.H. Livernois | reading, book reviews, science fiction, post-apocalyptic, zombies
Title: The Human Wilderness
Author: S.H. Livernois
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 334
Rating: 3 stars

*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

Book Review: Scardust by Suzanne van Rooyen | reading, books reviews, science fiction, new adult, lgbt
Title: Scardust
Author: Xan van Rooyen
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
Pages: 266
Rating: 4 stars

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

Book Review: Foamers (The Primal Age Chronicles Book 1) by Justin Kassab | reading, book reviews, science fiction, post-apocalyptic, zombies
Title: Foamers
Author: Justin Kassab
Publisher: Kaylie Jones Books
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 268
Rating: 2 stars

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.


Talk to me!

Have you read any of these sci-fi books?
Do you like bleak post-apoc worlds?
Has a book ever given you insight into a character you might've judged in real life?
Are you bothered by logic flaws in zombie books?


Your Thoughts


26 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Science Fiction – The Human Wilderness, Scardust, Foamers

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  1. cindy

    I love these mini reviews and I love the fact the the author of The Human Wilderness made a bad character seem good for most of the book. Great reviews, thanks for sharing!

  2. chucklesthescot

    EEK! I love the cover and the idea of the plot…this is more towards what I’m looking for. I think I might give it a go and see how I get on with it. Thanks for bringing this to my attention! I can tend to over look some logic flaws in zombie books, depending on what they are and how good the book is. I do love my apocalypses but I struggle with those books set way after the event in a grim bleak world like The Passage. I tend to prefer seeing an apocalypse unfolding in a reasonably modern setting so I can imagine what I’d do…

    1. Kristen Burns

      Are you talking about Foamers? Sorry, you didn’t mention a title in the comment and two of them are post-apoc lol. But oh that’s an interesting point, how you like to see the apocalypse in our modern world so that you can imagine what you’d do. I’ve never thought of it that way. I just like seeing how characters react in situations, but yeah, there is something to be said for modern apocalypses since those feel more real.

  3. Lampshade Reader

    Nice reviews. For The Human Wilderness, it would have drove me nuts to wait until 70% of the book before I understand the why of a character. But they all seem interesting. Sorry you didn’t enjoy Foamers. ~Aleen

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Yeah, I did start to get a little annoyed because vague mysteriousness just annoys me in general. Like, stop teasing, just tell me! But yeah, still interesting in some ways, even though Foamers disappointed me.

  4. Danya @ Fine Print

    Normally NA novels are major flops for me, but I’m definitely intrigued by your review of Scardust! I wonder if I’d enjoy it more than you did since I know in advance not to expect any mindfuckery or high level twistedness…hmmm. Might have to pick it up!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I mean, it’s not like typical NA, but I classified it that way since it’s sold as YA but I felt like it was a little older since the character was out of high school I think. You might enjoy it more though since I also just had extremely high expectations in addition to the expectations for more darkness because I read another book by the author this year and that one was super dark and amazing.

  5. Ashley G.

    Aw, man. The Human Wilderness sounds like it could’ve been really good if the author had just structured some reveals a little better. It’s sad when the conflict doesn’t come soon enough for the readers. The Foamers sounds interesting maybe? I usually prefer character-driven stories unless I know ahead of reading that the book is plot driven. Then I know how to view the book properly. XD But I don’t think I can do illogical solutions and gaping plot holes.

    Nice reviews!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I think there was a lot of potential for the morally gray character to make readers really conflicted, but for me it was just that I didn’t feel invested enough in him. But yeah, I prefer character-driven books too and I also get frustrated with illogical stuff and plot holes regardless of genre.


  6. Greg

    The Human Wilderness sounds kinda interesting, different take on zombs, but yeah it sounds like the gray area of whether he was a good guy or not would have been more effective if you could have connected sooner. And bummer about Foamers. That title cracks me up BTW. Foamers? I just have this image of all these zombs foaming at the mouth, FFS.

    I do like bleak post apoc worlds, especially if there’s a different take on zombies. I’m not a huge zombie fan anyway, The Walking Dead notwithstanding. Although I liked The Rains a lot…

    1. Kristen Burns

      I did like that gray area, but yeah, it just would’ve been more effective if I had felt more connected to the character. I think the Foamers were foaming at the mouth and that’s how they got the name? Lol tbh I don’t really remember.

      I like bleak post-apoc worlds too. I actually don’t really care if the zombies are unique or typical though since what I like is seeing how the remaining human characters survive and interact, you know? But sometimes the zombies are still interesting when they’re unique.

  7. Olivia Roach

    Scardust actually sounds like a good read. The other two, I am not so sure about. The first one sounds decent but I want to be more gripped and more involved when I am read. The last one — well, too many holes makes it unrealistic and then it just doesn’t work out for me. So I think I’m going to have to give those two a miss…

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I’d recommend Scardust if it sounds good to you. I think I just had the wrong expectations. The first one, yeah, I wanted to be more gripped too. And the last one had some issues.