Tuesday, July 21, 2015

H.L. LeRoy's Sudden End ⋊Review⋉

Author: H.L. LeRoy
Series: The Fountain of the Earth Series (Prequel)
Genre: YA Dystopian
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: May 16, 2015
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook

Free Today! July 21!!

Long before the events depicted in The Fountain of the Earth, the end came. This is how it happened.
Lisa Evans, sixteen, lives with her mom and dad in a cute little town, Rose Vista, California, It's an idyllic life, except when you reside at the bottom of your high school's social ladder. Picked on, laughed at, and embarrassed daily, it's been rough for Lisa. But the next day things are going to change. She has an opportunity to take her life back.
Then catastrophe strikes. In the beginning, everyone thinks that it's a simple power outage and everything will be back to normal in a week or two.
Instead, the entire world has gone dark, cities have burned, and the jails have emptied. There is sickness, starvation and death everywhere, and each day that goes by, the population shrinks even further.

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I rubbed my knuckles in my eyes. Every time I blinked, they felt like they had gravel in them. I pulled the curtain aside and looked out. The sun had just started peeking over the eastern foothills, streaks of pink coloring the gray.
No one around, just a few stalled cars in the street.  About an hour before, the sound of motorcycles had finally drifted off, disappearing into the distance. Gone, I hoped, for good.
I'd been up with Chrissie all night. The shotgun blast had skimmed her side and peppered her leg with small pellets. I cleaned and dressed it the best I could and finally got her to sleep on the couch with Lily at her feet. I might have felt safe enough to sleep myself if I didn't have other plans.

It had gotten to the point where we had to leave.
But if Dad or Charlie didn't get back, we were stuck.
I looked out the window again. A few cars sat in driveways, mostly new so they wouldn't start. A couple of old ones that probably would start, if we had a key.
I slipped on some dark clothes and slung Dad's shotgun over my shoulder.
"What are you doing?" Chrissie was sitting up a worried expression on her face.
"We've got to figure out a way to get out of here," I said.
She touched her side. "Isn't it safer to wait for your dad or Charlie?"
"There's only dried food left. No running water. Nothing works, and there are bodies rotting outside. It's not healthy."
Grabbing the doorknob, I paused, watching my hand tremble.
Can I even do this?
Now that it had come down to it, I was scared.
I turned the knob.
"Where are you going?"
"To try and get a car."
Chrissie grabbed my hand. "It's not safe."
"I know, but we can't stay here." I stepped out and shut the door. I heard faint sounds far in the distance. A crash or maybe an explosion. Then a couple of gunshots.
Easing my way out to sidewalk, I hid behind a hedge and listened for a few more seconds. Some birds were chirping in the trees but that was about all.
Across the street, was Mrs. Goldman's home, her old blue and white Ford sitting in the driveway. It would start, I thought, and we could take Mrs. Goldman where she'd be safe.
Broken glass crunched under my feet as I walked out to the middle of the street. Several of the houses that had been burned the night before, were still smoking.  A dark figure at the end of the block lay crumpled on the sidewalk.
At Mrs. Goldman's, I peeked in the front room window. The house was a mess, like someone had broken in.
I lifted the brass knocker and let it fall. "Mrs. Goldman? It's Lisa. Are you okay?"
Something thumped inside, and I put my ear to the door.
"Do you need help?"
The deadbolt clicked and the doorknob started to turn.
"Thank goodness you're okay."
The door drifted open and a man stood framed by blood splattered across the entryway wall.
He raised a gun and fired at me. I dropped to the ground, rolling behind a planter. Dark blood spattered the concrete in front of me.
He fired again and chips of brick and concrete stung my face. Scrambling backwards, I pointed the shotgun at the door and jerked the trigger.
I felt sick, like I was going throw up, and then I drifted down into darkness.
What you would do in a zombie Apocalypse.

I've thought a lot about the looming zombie apocalypse. Really. When half-rotten (or in some cases, fully rotten) corpses reanimate and feast on the living, what the hell would I do? How would I defend our home? More importantly, how would I defend my family?
I've recently concluded a very thorough analysis of my current planning, and it seems my defensive strategies aren't very good. To be a little more precise, they stink on ice.
So I decided that I needed advice. Then it dawned on me. Who would know more about killing zombies than screenwriters? With that in mind, I popped some popcorn and downloaded several of the best zombie movies of all time.
Sadly, the results were not very encouraging.
SPOILER ALERT – If you haven't seen these movies I sort of give away the endings.

I could stay and defend my family like in Night of the Living Dead (1968) – Unfortunately, the movie ends with photos of the hero being dumped on a pile of burning bodies.
Okay, maybe holing up in a shopping mall would work. After all, it was more or less successful in Dawn of the Dead (2004). At least for a while. And it all worked out in the end by sailing to a remote, uncorrupted island. Right? Wrong. Instead, you get bitten, and you have to kill yourself while your friends sail away to uncorrupted island. Except . . . not. They run out of food and land on an island swarming with—zombies. Crap.
How about flying to another continent? One that's zombie free? In 28 weeks later (2007) our heroes fly across the English Channel to France only to find zombies pouring out of the Paris Métro.
In Zombieland (2009) (full disclosure, one of my favorite movies) their great idea is going to an amusement park in California where they believe there are no zombies. Except when our heroes get there, the place is not only loaded with zombies, there's a zombie clown. A ZOMBIE CLOWN!! Yikes!
There are more movies. Many more. But it seems that in each, no matter what you do, you're going to die.
My conclusion, based on this exhaustive research, is that when the zombie apocalypse comes, we're all thoroughly and completely screwed.
Sudden End was the prequel of H.L. LeRoy's series The Fountain of the Earth and I found it to be so chilling with how the sudden quiet occurred. What made this story so great is how real it could be. How quickly this could become reality and how vicious the people around us could turn rather than become supportive of one another. It was an amazing read and once again I was pulled into his book and could not stop until I was finished. And once again I was shocked at how much book was packed into a short story. It amazes me how much detail and emotion is in here. 

This was a book about a world that suddenly stopped. Everything with electric or computers stopped working. The world was thrown into chaos and only the smart and strong survived. People turned on one another. A country in chaos. 

I am certainly hooked on his writing and I would recommend his books to everyone who loves to read. This one is certainly no different. I highly recommend it to those who love dystopian novels. They will not be disappointed!
My rating system is different from Amazon's where this will be a 5✰. See my rating chart to the right

Author Information

H. L. (Holly) LeRoy is an American short story writer and novelist, author of the award winning Street Crimes anthology and the novel The Fountain of the Earth (Nov. 22, 2013), first in a series of young adult adventures. Book two, Heralds of Juno, will be released in 2015. Born in San Jose, California, LeRoy currently resides in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with his family. 

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Blog Random Thoughts

Other Works by H.L. LeRoy

Kindle Worlds
(A LT. Jack Daniels/Jillian Varela Mystery)
Can Be Read As a Stand Alone
Can Be Read As a Stand Alone
Can Be Read As a Stand Alone
The Fountain of the Earth Series
Sudden End (Prequel)
Heralds of Juno (Book 2) Coming 2015
Hollow Point (Coming Soon)
Malibu Blues (Coming Soon)

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