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Monday, July 1, 2013

Review/Giveaway: The Harvesting by Melanie Karsak

Title: The Harvesting
Series: The Harvesting, Book 1
Author: Melanie Karsak
Published; 2012 Steampunk Press
Format: Ebook received for review

It's all fun and games until someone ends up undead.

Though Layla reluctantly returns home to rural Hamletville after a desperate call from her psychic grandmother, she could never have anticipated the horror of what Grandma Petrovich has foreseen. The residents of Hamletville will need Layla's help if they are to survive the zombie apocalypse that's upon them. But that is not the only problem. With mankind silenced, it soon becomes apparent that we were never alone. As the beings living on the fringe seek to reclaim power, Layla must find a way to protect the ones she loves or all humanity may be lost.

The Harvesting was definitely a book that I didn’t expect. Everyone who knows me, knows I have a minor zombie obsession. I love them, and I absolutely love reading about them. Melanie Karsak’s zombies were beyond awesome. But let me start at the beginning.

Layla is a teacher, and she has a keen specialty in weapons. This will prove to be very handy later, when she is zombie slicing like a boss. But one day while she is at work she gets an urgent call from her grandmother to come home immediately. And so Layla wastes no time. And when she gets home, she is finding her grandmother acting peculiar. In a matter of days she discovers why.


Right away, I’m intrigued. I love that her psychic grandmother was able to get Layla prepared with preps and reinforcing. It kept her safe. And when Layla ventures back into town, she tears it up, clearing out tons o’ the undead. So yeah, I loved Layla. She was high energy and intelligent, and I love that in a heroine. And she had weapons, that’s some awesome extra credit, in my books.

The rest of the characters are pretty interesting. You have Ian, who I just wrote off as a complete jerk. I didn’t like him at any point. But then there was his brother, Jamie, who I thought was just awesome. He was a real man with a real heart, and I really admired him throughout the book for keeping a cool head. And then there are people like Jeff, who you just know won’t survive because they don’t have the good sense they should have been born with.

The first half of this book really rocked. It was a great zombie story, with blood and guts and decapitations. Unfortunately, after that, it kind of lost interest for me. There were several paranormal aspects brought in, and they kind of took away from the story for me. However, I know this is something some people will just love. It was a fresh take on the whole apocalypse outline, it just wasn’t for me. I don't want to spoil the surprise for you, so I won't delve into it too much.  I definitely think its worth giving a try!

Melanie Karsak does a great job of building this world this post-apocalyptic world. I felt like I was right there with them, fighting for my life. Her characters are very interesting and believable. I think if you want to read a post-apocalyptic book dealing with the undead, that also incorporates some of the other thinks in the paranormal culture you should definitely give The Harvesting a shot. It is a unique take on the tale, and it is definitely written well.

Melanie Karsak, steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and caffeine junkie, resides in Florida with her husband and two children. Visit the author at her blog,, to learn more about upcoming projects.

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