Audiobook Review: Parable of the Sower, by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Sower, by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

Published by Recorded Books on June 16, 2009 (originally published October 1993)

Series: Earthseed, #1

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, post-apocalyptic

Format & Length: audiobook, 12:05:00

Source: Audible

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God is change.

That is the central truth of the Earthseed movement, whose unlikely prophet is 18-year-old Lauren Olamina. The young woman’s diary entries tell the story of her life amid a violent 21st-century hell of walled neighborhoods and drug-crazed pyromaniacs – and reveal her evolving Earthseed philosophy.

Against a backdrop of horror emerges a message of hope: if we are willing to embrace divine change, we will survive to fulfill our destiny among the stars.

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Book Review: The Never Dawn, by R.E. Palmer

The Never Dawn, by R.E. Palmer

The Never Dawn by R.E. Palmer

Published by FrontRunner Publications on August 5, 2016

Series: The Never Dawn, #1

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, post-apocalyptic, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 352

Source: author

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All his young life, Noah has longed to see the sky he’s only heard about in stories. For over one hundred years, Noah’s people have toiled deep beneath the Earth preparing for The New Dawn – the historic day when they will emerge to reclaim the land stolen by a ruthless enemy.

But when Rebekah, the girl of his forbidden desire, discovers a secret their leader has been so desperate to keep, Noah suspects something is wrong. Together, they escape and begin the long climb to the surface. But nothing could prepare them for what awaits outside.

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Book Review: The Stone Sky, by N.K. Jemisin

The Stone Sky, by N.K. Jemisin

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

Published by Orbit on August 15, 2017

Series: The Broken Earth, #3

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, fantasy, post-apocalyptic

Format & Length: paperback, 416

Source: purchased

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THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS… FOR THE LAST TIME.

The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.

Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.

For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.

The remarkable conclusion to the post-apocalyptic and highly acclaimed trilogy that began with the multi-award-nominated The Fifth Season.

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Book Review: The Obelisk Gate, by N.K. Jemisin

The Obelisk Gate, by N.K. Jemisin

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

Published by Orbit on August 18, 2016

Series: The Broken Earth, #2

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, fantasy, post-apocalyptic

Format & Length: paperback, 410

Source: purchased

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THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS… FOR THE LAST TIME.

The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.

It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.

It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.

The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.

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Book Review: The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin

The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Published by Orbit on August 4, 2015

Series: The Broken Earth, #1

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, fantasy, post-apocalyptic

Format & Length: paperback, 468

Source: purchased

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THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS. AGAIN.

Three terrible things happen in a single day.

Essun, masquerading as an ordinary schoolteacher in a quiet small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Mighty Sanze, the empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years, collapses as its greatest city is destroyed by a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heartland of the world’s sole continent, a great red rift has been been torn which spews ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

But this is the Stillness, a land long familiar with struggle, and where orogenes — those who wield the power of the earth as a weapon — are feared far more than the long cold night. Essun has remembered herself, and she will have her daughter back.

She does not care if the world falls apart around her. Essun will break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

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Audiobook Review: Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Published by Random House Audio on September 9, 2014

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, post-apocalyptic, science fiction

Format & Length: audiobook, 10:41:02

Source: library

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2014 National Book Award Finalist

A New York Times Bestseller

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek:“Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

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Book Review: The City of Mirrors, by Justin Cronin

The City of Mirrors, by Justin Cronin

The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

Published by Ballantine Books on May 24, 2016

Series: The Passage, #3

Genre(s): fiction, post-apocolyptic, science fiction, dystopia

Format & Length: paperback, 599

Source: Goodreads giveaway

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In “The Passage” and “The Twelve“, Justin Cronin brilliantly imagined the fall of civilization and humanity’s desperate fight to survive. Now all is quiet on the horizon but does silence promise the nightmare’s end or the second coming of unspeakable darkness? At last, this bestselling epic races to its breathtaking finale.

“The world we knew is gone. What world will rise in its place?”

The Twelve have been destroyed and the hundred-year reign of darkness that descended upon the world has ended. The survivors are stepping outside their walls, determined to build society anew and daring to dream of a hopeful future.

But far from them, in a dead metropolis, he waits: Zero. The First. Father of the Twelve. The anguish that shattered his human life haunts him, and the hatred spawned by his transformation burns bright. His fury will be quenched only when he destroys Amy – humanity’s only hope, the Girl from Nowhere who grew up to rise against him.

One last time light and dark will clash, and at last Amy and her friends will know their fate.

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