Monday, August 10, 2015

Review and Blog Tour: The Summer the World Ended by Matthew S. Cox (Giveaway)

First I have to say thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for allowing me to read a copy of this book.  Here's some information about the book first, then I'll share my review.  You can follow the rest of the tour HERE.

Book and Author Details:

The Summer the World Ended
by Matthew S. Cox
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: June 29th 2015
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult

As far as Riley McCullough is concerned, her best friend getting ‘dragged’ off to Puerto Vallarta for the first two weeks of summer vacation was the end of the world―at least until the bombs fell.

Life in suburban New Jersey with her mother has been comfortable, not to mention boring, to an introverted fourteen year old. As if her friend’s surprise trip wasn’t bad enough, her expectations for the ‘best summer ever’ disintegrate when she gets sent across the country to stay with a father she hasn’t seen in six years. Adjusting to a tiny, desert town where everyone stares at them like they don’t belong proves difficult, and leaves her feeling more isolated than ever. To make matters worse, her secretive father won’t tell the truth about why he left―or what he’s hiding.

Her luck takes an unexpected turn for the better when she meets a boy who shares her interest in video games and contempt for small town boredom. In him, she finds a kindred spirit who might just make the middle of nowhere tolerable.

Happiness is short lived; fleeing nuclear Armageddon, she takes shelter with her dad in an underground bunker he’d spent years preparing. After fourteen days without sun, Riley must overcome the sorrow of losing everything to save the one person she cares about most.


Barnes and Noble:

There's not a lot I can say besides what is in the synopsis without giving away some key points of the story.  I can't even really compare it to the stories I want to compare it to, or the movie I want to compare it to, again without giving away the big twist in the story.  But it was at least an interesting story.  I was waiting to see what would happen, and how things would actually turn out.  The main character is a 14 year old girl who has just lost her mother.  That is why she ends up going across country to live with a dad she hasn't seen in years.  He lives in a very small town out in the desert.  Her dad works for the government, in fact, he tells Riley that the reason he left is because he was afraid that people might go after her and her mom to get to him.  There's even a part in the story when Riley and her dad think it is possible that maybe her mom's aneurysm wasn't as innocent as just being caused by stress and alcohol.  While in the small town, she meets a cute boy among all the townsfolk who seem to dislike her father a lot.  His name is Kieran, and he seems to be about all that can make her happy out here, especially living with a dad who has no internet connection so she can't even play her online games with her best friend.

I did have some issues with the story.  Mainly with the main character.  First, I know her mother just died.  I'm not trying to be insensitive, but I feel like almost every other page she was crying, sometimes full out bawling like a baby in the author's words.  That got a bit annoying.  Just because we know she is sad, it didn't need to be kind of thrown in our faces so much in my opinion. But I guess it was done to set up for what happens at the end.  The other issue I have is that Riley played the video game Call of Duty with her best friend Amber all the time, and they were really good at it.  So when her dad wanted to teach her to use guns to protect herself, her wariness or fear felt so out of place.  Not that I would expect a girl to just jump right into using a gun, but it seemed a bit out of character to completely be as unsure about it as she was.  I guess my main complaint was just with her.  Other than that it was definitely a suspenseful read when those things weren't an issue.

Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

Hobbies and Interests:

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

He is also fond of cats.

Author links:

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)-ends August 27th
  • $40 Amazon Gift Card
  • Signed copy of The Summer the World Ended
a Rafflecopter giveaway