I have 3 book reviews for you today: Only Love Survives, Curse of Stigmata, and Dragon Coin! These were incredible books, and I highly recommend you check them out for yourself when you have a moment. Let’s kick it all off with:
Only Love Survives, by Renee Charles
Amidst an epidemic ravaging the world, all Megan Fletcher’s hopes for the future lie in getting to Las Vegas where newscasts reported scientists were gathering to search for a cure for the modern plague. After rescuing her from a rooftop surrounded by Zombies, Sam Woods appoints himself her escort. While he knows she is determined to get to Vegas no matter the cost, he doesn’t know her secret. And with his hatred of all things Zombie, she doesn’t dare tell him the truth. The more he kisses her, the harder it is for Megan to hide her growing feelings…and the bite-shaped scar. But Vegas is not the haven it was promised to be, and when Megan’s immunity to the disease is discovered, she realizes her future and her heart belong to Sam, if he will trust her.
An idealistic school teacher and ex-corporate mogul manage to find love despite a looming worldwide catastrophe. Can their love survive while everything around them is dying? Will they learn that when facing the end of the world, Only Love Survives.
I’m a fan of the zombie genre, and constantly seek out new books to read on the subject. I picked this up during a free day, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s so different from what I’ve come to expect during the zombie apocalypse, and the love story woven through the tale was well-done and believable- not easy to accomplish.
The ending, however, left me a bit confused. The character, Megan, was on a quest of her own throughout the tale, and found that her goal was unobtainable by the last quarter of the book. So it seems as though she gave up on it, and that left me puzzled. I’m hoping this is the beginning of a series, as the “Love and Zombies” seems to imply. If so, fantastic, as I was left wanting more. The ending left plenty of room to turn this into at least a trilogy if not a full-length series, and I was left in suspense, wanting the story to continue. I’m hoping the author intends to do so, and I’ll be waiting to see where this story goes next.
The Judas Reflections: Curse of Stigmata, by Michelle Wright and Aiden James
The immortal Judas Iscariot (known by his alias, Emmanuel Ortiz) is hot on the trail of two precious coins believed to be part of the bounty once paid to him for betraying Jesus Christ.
The coins are rumored to be in the possession of a Pyrenean mountain Shepherd, whose beautiful, but disturbed daughter, Rachel, is purported to be something even more rare than a Judas blood coin: a genuine stigmatic.
It turns out to be a deadly combination for Emmanuel. With blood on his hands and a failed mission to retrieve what is rightfully his, finding his second coin becomes a race against time.
Traveling thousands of miles across the world’s grand open waters with fellow immortal, Juan Garcia de Moguer, the captivating Rachel, and a ruthless Dutch pirate slave trader named Captain Dirk Chivers teaches Emmanuel an important lesson about himself.
How far is Judas willing to go to get what he wants?
In this incarnation, Judas Iscariot, under the name Emmanuel Ortiz, must travel in search of two of the silver shekels he received for betraying Jesus Christ. Believing the collection of all 30 pieces of silver will redeem him, he’s determined to retrieve them at any cost- to himself, to others. But he didn’t bargain on the difficulties of a genuine stigmatic, and the chase for what he believes is rightfully his. Slave trading, harsh travel by sea and by horseback, and genuine pirates make this a truly captivating read.
I’ve followed the current life cycle of Judas, as written by Aiden James. This tale, told in reverse, by Michelle Wright and Aiden James shows Judas as he once was- his story told in reverse. I look forward to seeing how much further he’ll regress as he collects his blood coins in future installments. Definitely a fascinating read, and a marvelous glimpse into the past. Well done!
Dragon Coin, by Aiden James
Free of the threat of Viktor Kaslow, William Barrow (aka Judas Iscariot) is tantalizingly close to finally having the life he has dreamed of with Beatrice and Alistair. A life blessed with youthful optimism and renewed companionship–things he once feared were forever lost. But such optimism is short lived. An ancient menace far worse than Kaslow has successfully tracked William and Roderick to Virginia, after hunting the pair for nearly five hundred years. Hailing from the older kingdoms of Europe, this new threat once gained notoriety as the cruelest tyrant in recorded history.
Better known as Vlad the Impaler, and the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, this ruthlessly cruel immortal carries an unquenchable thirst for torture, slavery, and bloodletting–in addition to a longstanding grudge against William and Roderick. Yet, vengeance is not what spurs the wicked vampire to force this reunion. Instead, the lure of eternal youth and freedom from the sun’s blistering rays are what pull the real Dracul from his secluded island castle in the Adriatic Sea.
Dracul’s lifeline to immortality is tied to a blood coin–one that William is reluctant to pursue. However, once faced with dire alternatives between long-standing friendships, the welfare of his family, and the threat of bondage upon the entire world, there is no other choice.
Find the Dragon Coin…or pay the ultimate price.
I’m a huge fan of the Judas Chronicles, and after I finish one of them, I wonder how the next one could possibly get any better. Well, this one is definitely the best of the lot to date! Fast-paced, full of action, adventure, and that special blend of words and worlds that is uniquely Aiden James- you won’t regret picking up your copy and diving into it. I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment- I can’t wait to see what new troubles will plague William and his crew!