Strain of Resistance

Michelle Bryan

Rating: 3 Shrimp

Strain of Resistance paints a harrowing tale of the apocalypse filled with hardened heroes, twisted creatures, and gruesome deaths.  Bryan establishes a fascinating but dark world.  I enjoyed learning about the battered locales and the vibrant (albeit gritty) characters.

Here is Bryan’s biggest strength.  Her characters were interesting and had a lot of voice.  Some you loved and some you hated.  Luke was my favorite and I really enjoyed his and Bixby’s dynamic.  It was fun to watch the team bicker and see how they overcame terrible situations.

Resistance is told in first person present tense which was a bit of a challenge for me.  My brain kind of struggled to get into the action because of this, but once I got used to the style I enjoyed the ride.

I had fun with Strain of Resistance.  Definitely a dark thrill ride perfect for anyone who loves classics like The Last of Us or The Walking Dead.


Bleak: The Story of a Shapeshifter

Ian Martyn

Rating: 5 Shrimps

The future is not so bleak…well, as soon as Bleak steps onto the scene.  Genetic experiments, political intrigue, and epic battles fill this sci-fi pulse pounder.  Bleak takes place in the wake of a futuristic civil war that has left a corrupt Confederacy in charge of a hegemony of planets.  This is a future society that chokes the truth and manipulates its many members.

The average space faring citizen isn’t the only victim of the Confederacy though.  Bleak is part of a special class of people.  Being a manipulant, a genetically engineered weapon that helped the Confederacy win the war, Bleak is hunted relentlessly.  This of course doesn’t stop the Confederacy hounds from wanting to use him for their own nefarious ends which leads Bleak on a daring mission of self-discovery and interstellar consequences.

Ian Martyn did a fantastic job of bringing the world of Bleak to life.  The writing flowed really well, I loved the characters and their dialogue, and there were some really cool villains and plot points.  All around, I’d recommend Bleak to any thriller or sci-fi lover, especially people who enjoyed Firefly.  I can’t wait to read more from this talented author!


The Macabre Masterpiece: Repressed Carnage

Justin Bienvenue

Rating: 4 Shrimps

It’s coming up on October and Justin Bienvenue’s Macabre Masterpiece: Repressed Carnage is the perfect thing to get you in the All Hallows mood!  This collection of poems is a witch’s cauldron mixture of dark, creepy, fun, rhythmic, and for some, disturbing.  Bienvenue captured a variety of feels in this dark and mystical journey and had some interesting points to make.  His imagery is particularly powerful.

This one’s a swift but fun read, perfect for anyone who’d like to sample a bit of the Horror genre before diving straight in.  It’s the perfect mash up between Shel Silverstein and Edgar Allan Poe.  My personal favorite was the ‘Temple of Madness.’  Be sure to pick this one up if you’re feeling the zombie craving for something dark and, dare I say, macabre.