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Monday, May 19, 2014

Deadland's Harvest was so freaking awesome, it's totally on my favorites list! (Rachel Aukes)

Title: Deadland's Harvest
Series: Deadland #2
Author: Rachel Aukes
Published: April 28, 2014 - Surprisingly Adequate Publishing
Format: Gifted

It has been one hundred days since the zombies claimed the world. Cash, along with forty-two survivors, have found safety in the secluded and well-guarded Fox National Park. The leaves are changing colors, a beautiful, brutal reminder that winter is coming. As the survivors prepare for freezing months without electricity and not enough food, they learn of massive zombie herds several hundred miles north…and headed their way.

To save the park, Cash must find a place for the survivors to hide from the migrating herds. If Cash and her small band of volunteers don’t succeed by winter, the Fox survivors just may become Deadland’s Harvest.

(Deadland’s Harvest is a journey through Dante Alighieri's classic tale on the seven deadly sins… zombie apocalypse style!)

I totally just have to bow down to Rachel Aukes.  She.Is.Awesome.  Seriously!  Have you started this series yet?  It is a must read for you apocalypse loving fans out there!  Why? Well, first there was 100 Days in Deadland where we meet Cash and Clutch.  Deadland's Harvest picks up where that left off.  That one left off in a hell of a battle-type scene, where Cash was stranded on a roof for better or worse.  Now we get to find out which it is!

Ok, here's the cool thing - 100 Days in Deadland went through Dante's Inferno - very cool.  Deadland's Harvest follows the Seven Deadly Sins!!!  I mean seriously - how fucking cool is that?! We start off in Purgatory and go through Pride, Envy, Wrath, Sloth, Greed, Gluttony and Lust! And now I have to figure out how to write this review without spoiling it for those who haven't started book one... Give me a minute here

So of course, Cash is alive.  She gets back to camp and assesses the situation.  A lot of people died in the first book and there aren't many left. Did Clutch die?  We know he was hanging on by an unraveling thread, and even if he did by some chance pull a miracle out of his ass and live, the chances of him being, well, him again were slim.  So let's not talk about Clutch.  I loved him, and you need to read on to find out the answer to that! Cash, though - she is alive.  And soon the group learn about a BIG problem.  A herd.  But not just a herd... I want you to imagine the biggest flesh eating herd you've ever seen.  Thousands and thousands of the infected shambling across the miles destroying *everything* in their path.  The way that Aukes describes this makes it seem like a complete and terrifying possibility.  I definitely was wondering how *I* was even going to survive when this happens.  But for now, I worried about Cash and the camp.

Yeah.  I'm not telling you how it all goes down.  This book is still just too new for me to spill it's secrets.  But it is freaking amazing!!!  There are the massive herds, the battles, and FIRE! They get themselves into situations where it seems that there is just freaking hope.  At what point do you just give in and give up?!? Never!!! Rachel Aukes did things in Deadland's Harvest I'd never seen in zombie apocalyptic books.  This book has all kinds of betrayal and blood all over the place.  There are new ways to create community that I hadn't even really considered - but I might be now!

Cash keeps blaming herself and taking on all kinds of guilt for things that are beyond her control.  I admired her for this.  A lot of people in this world, and even in the apoc world, are ready to pass the buck and say it's not their fault.  Cash owns up and takes on even more of a burden than she should.  She's a rock solid character.  Her stamina to survive and care for those she considers her family is astounding.  But still, she's not perfect.  She knows you can't save everyone. And with her, I often thought through this book that humanity was definitely the greatest casualty of the zombie apocalypse.

Key characters die in this book.  There's one in particular, a character that took some time to grow on me.  They die and I was just sitting there for a minute, waiting to absorb it.  "What the hell?!?" I wanted to ask.  And more and more people die. Some die in gruesome and heartbreaking ways.  Some people save the day just by being a pure and happy soul.  Love is made, friendships are forged.  Life moves on.  It has to.  I don't know how they all dealt with some of the decisions they had to make in this book.  I mean, seriously, some crazy ass things happen.  And Rachel Aukes paints them all with such a vivid brush - I felt like I was right there.  Whether it's the shot of a gun, the scream of a zombie, or a small laugh in a moment of lightheartedness, she makes it all so very real.

This book was amazing.  It was bigger, badder, and way more than I expected.  Emotions and tension ran high.  Gore was all right there up in your face, and it felt just so real and tangible.  I'm not sure I'm ready for the apocalypse anymore!! LOL.  If it does happen though, I hope I can find Rachel Aukes, because she's got some awesome ideas on how to survive!

I figured they just were.  They existed - without feeling or thought - and with a single urge:  to feed.  At least that's what I told myself to make it easier to kill what had once been a person. The worst part about zeds wasn't their hunger or viciousness or stench.  It was that each one resembled someone I knew before the outbreak.  They were reminders of loved ones lost.  Then again, maybe I was just trying to anthropomorphize something that was no longer human.

Award-winning author Rachel Aukes was raised on a farm where she boasted the nearby small town’s largest (and only) comic book collection, and she’s still hooked on stories starring characters with kickassitude. When not writing, Rachel can be found flying old airplanes in the American Midwest with her husband and an incredibly spoiled sixty-pound lap dog. Rachel Aukes also writes science fiction romance and dark fantasy romance under the pen name Berinn Rae. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). 

Find Rachel Aukes Online

Previous Posts on Fictional Candy
Review - 100 Days in Deadland

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