After a demon apocalypse kills their parents and everyone they know, 17-year old Abby Phillips, her brother, Carter, and friend, Max flee their home to travel through what has become the wastelands of America. When radio transmissions of a resistance offering shelter and safety cease, Abby is tempted to give up. Struggling to overcome life-threatening obstacles in their dangerous journey, Abby and her companions quickly discover there are much worse things lurking in the dark than they could have ever imagined.
Overall I did enjoy Released. It's got an interesting story line, I haven't read many yet that demons are the cause of society falling apart, instead of say zombies, disease, etc.. I also did enjoy the characters, especially Abby. But there were a few things that just didn't do it for me in the story.
What I did like:
As I said I liked the story. While I will say I prefer zombies over all other forms of societal destruction, I do say that I really enjoyed how the author used demons and slowly introduced different versions though out the book. As the characters learn about them so does the reader so there isn't a whole bunch that you have to learn about all at once. Also the ending is obviously a lead in to the next book in the series, but it isn't a sheer drop off. It does it's job of leaving the reader wanting to find out more about what is going on and what is going to happen to the characters that you've met so far.There's one line at the end of the book that really got to me. I can't share it, cause it will completely spoil the whole story of the book...but it's good.
I liked the characters. The book is told from Abby's POV so you only get to know the other characters through Abby's interactions with them. But it was enough for me to feel familiar with her brother, his friend Max and some of the others they meet along the way. I liked Max and Carter, however there were a few that I think I was supposed to like that I just didn't. For me I think that was just I didn't like certain characters personalities, not a failure in anyway on the way they were written.
Things I didn't like:
There were a few details...glitches if you will that kinda bugged me. I'll try to explain without giving away any big ticket item spoilers.
Ok. My biggest issue is electricity. The world has basically gone to hell. (Yes, pun intended) So many people have 'disappeared' that as far as the reader can tell the three main characters are only a handful of people actually left. Electricity, or the lack there of, isn't really discussed or brought up by the main character. While there is mention that they'll have to be siphoning gas and there are references to camp cooking stoves and generators it's never said about whether power is out completely or just in certain areas. But I assumed from what I read that yea, the powers out. Then there are two scenes in the book where the power is suddenly there. In one scene a bit into the book the characters stop at a gas station and after one of them goes inside to turn on the pumps they find one that works and fill up their car. Now at this point I'm going on the thought that there is no one left to keep the grids up so there is no power. So my issue is how did they turn the pumps on and how did they get the pumps to pump without electricity? I know older pumps, WAY older don't rely on electricity in the same way new ones do, but it isn't mentioned that this is an older gas station or anything like that. Plus before this scene the characters had already been siphoning gas from other cars. In another scene they come upon another survivor who seems to have electricity in their home to power a radio and do laundry. But they aren't there long enough to explain if the person is using a generator or not. It just struck me as odd plot holes in a book that otherwise I really didn't have an issue with. I know some would say I'm nitpicking, but it really bothered me. I reread the book up to those points to see if the electricity issue was brought up and it wasn't. Not really one way or another. The story was good enough that I can ignore the power issue and I want to see what happens to the characters in the next book. Plus I got the book on Amazon for free so it's not like I was out any money. But it is still something that I think needs to be mentioned. Even if the author didn't have access to an editor to point out the issue, a decent beta reader should have been able to.
The first chapter of Chaos, the next book in the series, was included in this one and even without reading it I still put it on my wish list. As soon as I get a chance I do plan to pick it up. Also Released is still free on Amazon at this time so I do recommend picking it up. It's an intriguing start to what looks to be an interesting series. I want to find out more about what's behind the demon invasion and to see how Abby and the rest handle it. Plus there's that one line I mentioned. It was really sweet and it made me want to see what else this author decides to put to paper. That being said I'm giving Released 4 out of 5 stars. I liked the characters, I liked the story and the world Duncan created and I really want to find out more about whats going on. The link to Released on Amazon is below the cover above, as of the time I'm publishing this it is still free. So go grab it. Let me know what you think. If you've already read it I'd love to know if you liked that one line the way I did.
I got this book from Amazon because it was on sale and decided to review it for this event. All opinions in this fair and honest review are my own.