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The Red Horseman

War
(The Four Horsemen)
Laura Thalassa
Fairy Tales , Myths & Fairy Tales Low Fantasy
Independent
11 Jul 2019

They came to earth—Pestilence, War, Famine, Death—four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all. The day Jerusalem falls, Miriam Elmahdy knows her life is over. Houses are burning, the streets run red with blood, and a traitorous army is massacring every last resident. There is no surviving this, especially not once Miriam catches the eye of War himself. But when the massive and terrifying horseman corners Miriam, he calls her his wife, and instead of killing her, he takes her back to his camp. Now Miriam faces a terrifying future, one where she watches her world burn town by town, and the one man responsible for it all is her seemingly indestructible “husband”. But there’s another side to him, one that’s gentle and loving and dead set on winning her over, and she might not be strong enough to resist. However, if there’s one thing Miriam has learned, it’s that love and war cannot coexist. And so she must make the ultimate choice: surrender to War and watch humankind fall, or sacrifice everything and stop him.

War: 2nd horseman of the Apocalypse

War (The Four Horsemen Book 2)

Now you know that there has to be a happy  ending by default, but getting there can be quite traumatic. Especially here where War is the male in question, and clearly modelled on a Tartar Warlord with Horde. The author says that the languages are based on ancient ones but garbled a little. I confess, I hadn’t even given that a thought. Good job the author knows her languages!

I had been waiting for this book to come out and was disappointed. I had hoped it would be longer , more like the previous ones, and for me, the actions were somewhat repetitive. See a city. Send in the cavalry. Send in the infantry. Sack and rape and loot.

For me a little real strategy would have been a bonus (see  chess or medieval warfare or Sun Tzu); some real sieges; some war engines; some mining of walls etc etc would have added to the story; plus the whole field burning behind the army and so on. It seemed to me that the author had not read enough, or lacked knowledge of, warfare and strategy.

And I didn’t connect with the heroine.

So I am not sure whether to give it a 3 or a 2. Shame.

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Enter the AI and the Apocalypse

Emily Eternal Book Cover Emily Eternal
M. G. Wheaton
General Fiction (Adult) , Sci Fi & Fantasy
Hodder & Stoughton
23 Apr 2019

Meet Emily - she can solve advanced mathematical problems, unlock the mind's deepest secrets and even fix your truck's air con, but unfortunately, she can't restart the Sun.

Emily is an artificial consciousness, designed in a lab to help humans process trauma, which is particularly helpful when the sun begins to die 5 billion years before scientists agreed it was supposed to.

So, her beloved human race is screwed, and so is Emily. That is, until she finds a potential answer buried deep in the human genome. But before her solution can be tested, her lab is brutally attacked, and Emily is forced to go on the run with two human companions - college student Jason and small-town Sheriff, Mayra.

As the sun's death draws near, Emily and her friends must race against time to save humanity. But before long it becomes clear that it's not only the species at stake, but also that which makes us most human.

So the Apocalypse actually happens and money is no longer of any value, just barter. And Emily, an artificial intelligence was designed to interface with, and de-code human minds. She was designed to become not a maths genius, but rather a non-human psychiatrist. It was reasoned that people would open up more to a program than a human and thus more would be learnt about the human mind and emotions that way. Of course, she needed a body to undertake her work but the sun’s failure somewhat interrupted everyone’s intentions. Emily can eat, wash, sleep and alter her appearance despite requiring a Caucasian female personality for the experiment.

So, if the human race can no longer live on Earth, what can be done to record their lives, their endeavours and hopes? And how can Emily help?

An interesting idea within a set of ‘books’ within the book as Emily and her protocols evolve, and as the Earth dies but…

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The Final Grave – and Showdown

Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave Book Cover Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave
Charley Davidson #13
Darynda Jones
urban fantasy,contemporary
Piatkus
(15 Jan. 2019)

Grim Reaper Charley Davidson is back in the final installment of Darynda Jones' New York Times bestselling paranormal series!

Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper extraordinaire, is pissed. She's been kicked off the earthly plane for eternity -which is exactly the amount of time it takes to make a person stark, raving mad. But someone's looking out for her, and she's allowed to return after a mere hundred years in exile. Is it too much to hope for that not much has changed? Apparently it is. Bummer.

She's missed her daughter. She's missed Reyes. She's missed Cookie and Garrett and Uncle Bob. But now that she's back on earth, it's time to put to rest burning questions that need answers. What happened to her mother? How did she really die? Who killed her? And are cupcakes or coffee the best medicine for a broken heart? It all comes to a head in an epic showdown between good and evil in this final smart and hilarious novel.

Turns out this is book 13! And I haven’t read the previous ones – but Darynda Jones scatters enough details in the storyline to enable me not to have read the previous 12.. just as well as 12 would have been rather too many.

In many ways I wish had found this series before the finale (although the author cleverly permits there to be enough hints that a new series will be able to link into this one in due course). I enjoyed reading this even if I was a trifle confused at times – well I would be if I was picking up the storylines of 12 previous books and integrating them into this one! But I managed enough to work out what was happening, and who most of the characters were, and what their relationships were, and what their ‘powers’ were to make sense of this book.

So, I wouldn’t really recommend reading this book my way – coming in at the very end of the series, but if you have been following the story, then the finale is satisfying. And only 13 people died. Which for an apocalyptic storyline was excellent lack of bloodshed!

Oh, and I loved the T-Shirt lines about coffee – I’m a coffee addict myself – but please – just try and drink it black (no sugar) – then you’ll actually taste the coffee.. and understand that it can be just like wine in its bouquet, after flavours, etc ec.

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