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Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

29th November 2011

Alex is on a solo camping trip in the UP, mourning her dead parents and trying to come to peace with a deadly brain tumor of her own, when a shower of EMP’s are detonated. Alex begins a journey to find some answers and some survivors, with orphaned Ellie under her wing. The girls soon discover that the EMP not only destroyed all computers, but it killed many people, and changed the survivors in sometimes horrifying ways. When Tom, a soldier with secrets of his own, joins their little band, the three friends struggle to stay together and to survive in their new, horrifying world.

Suspenseful and tense. A bit too gruesome in parts for me; I had to skim over some sections. But overall, I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen, and the cliffhanger ending will stay with me for some time.

Gone by Michael Grant

14th August 2009

When everyone over age 15 mysteriously vanishes from the town of Perdido Beach, the remaining kids are left to survive on their own, cut off from any contact with the outside world.  Albert and his friends look for answers, while trying to care for the younger children.  Caine and his gang also try to find answers, while trying to gain control of the town through fear and intimidation.

This was an action-packed novel of survival and teenage independence.  I would have loved it as a teenager, and even now, I really enjoyed it.  The mix of sci-fi and horror made for an exciting read.  It’s not going to be a classic book, but it’s definitely a great summer read and I’ll probably pick up the sequel too.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

09th November 2008

Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1)

I know that Meyer’s books are wildly popular right now, but I was quite disappointed.  While Meyer certainly is a gifted writer, her cast of characters are weak and flat.  Bella faints on every other page, lies to her parents, and is obsessed with a vampire boyfriend, to the point of hoping for her own death so that she can be with him forever.  Her vampire boyfriend Edmund is controlling and in my mind shows some of the classic tendencies of an abuser.  Although there are a few exciting moments, it’s certainly not the quality suspenseful romance I was hoping for.

House

10th May 2006

HouseIt’s not often that you can categorize a book as both a ghost/horror story and as inspirational fiction. However, Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker teamed up to writeHouse, which is one of those rare books. In this book, Jack and Stephanie’s marriage is on the brink of falling apart, when the couple becomes stranded along a country road in Alabama. With darkness falling, they seek refuge in a nearby bed and breakfast. But what initally seems to be a cozy refuge soon turns out to be a house of horrors. Along with another stranded couple, Jack and Stephanie are soon fighting for their lives.

I wasn’t sure how to think about this book while I was reading it–part Stephen King, part David Morrell, with a healthy dose of obviously Christian symbolism thrown in for good measure. It was hard to settle down and enjoy the story, because I was constantly trying to decide what direction the book was going to take next. Was someone going to die a strange and terrible death, was a new apparition going to appear, or was a new symbolism for sin about to be revealed? Peretti’s books aren’t typically so difficult to figure out, although recently he has taken a turn more towards horror. I haven’t read any of Ted Dekker’s books to know his style. I guess the book can be summed up as: hard to categorize, entertaining to read, and preaching an interesting, yet convoluted message of sin, sacrifice and salvation.

Diana and her brother Georgie have lived in the woods near the old Willis place for as long as they can remember. According to “rules” they are not allowed to leave the property nor talk to anyone, although they don’t know why. One day a new caretaker moves in, along with his daughter Lissa. Out of loneliness, Diana becomes friends with Lissa. As a result of their friendship, the rules are broken and everything begins to change.

Not terribly scary, as it is juvenile fiction. I like how forgiveness is emphasized over revenge.

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