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Star, my almost seven-month-old sister, also stayed in the inner sanctuary and would be secure through any attack. The silence was broken again by several thumps over my head. Had one of the monsters breached the fence? Were they in the building? With knees raised to my chest, I sunk into myself, lifting my hands to my ears again. When I was younger, my mother held me tightly when I was afraid, but my father pushed me to face those same fears.

Except for Star, I was completely alone. A picture of my father materialized in my head, and my mind drifted to happier times. He never smiled toward the end, but early on, his laughter boomed deep in his round belly, and his face split under his dark beard into wide, wide grins. He painted pictures of cities so large that buildings stretched into the sky and became necessary in order to house all the people.

Just the sound of a building that huge amazed me. Sometimes, I wished the opportunity to see a city like that still existed, but traveling outside a safe structure at night bordered on insane. My father spoke on and on about cars too. If you wanted to go anywhere, you drove a car, and my dad loved his truck. A GMC Sierra. Cars traveled along hardened pavement that still existed, but I knew from personal experience cars could drive off a road, too.

They required a strong-smelling liquid to power them. Lost power without it. I remembered my dad calling it gas or fuel, like what we used now to burn our lanterns. It was all just memory—his and mine. As the chaos continued around me, I imagined climbing into an impossibly big car and floating away high above the danger on the ground. In my mind, I combined the known with the unknown and escaped, away from the community and away from the Draghoul forever.

If only it were that simple. Even the name of the city filled me with longing— Mercy. Just one problem. The distance from the community was impossible to reach in a day. It was unmanageable for the most athletic members of the community.

Queen of Air and Darkness: The Dark Artifices, Book 3

With Star, my chances were nil. For me, a more suckish thought never existed.


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Essentially, I was stuck between the danger of probable death in the community and almost certain death on the way to Mercy. Not a good place to be. When I woke, silence filled the air, and I was curled up on the ground with only a few men lying similarly around me. The beds were occupied by some of the older men and family members of the council. Pushing myself upright, I stretched my tense muscles and glanced around.

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A few feet down the corridor, Thomas stood, legs braced apart, light behind him, casting him in silhouette. I knew it was him by the intense gaze I felt more than saw. How long had he been watching me? Toggle navigation. Please try your request again later.


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It all started with an old-fashioned typewriter. When the family brought it home, all those stories and characters rolling around in her head could finally get out. The press and click of the keys satisfied in their own right, but when she pulled out a finished page, she knew this was for her. Since then, she's graduated to a laptop, but the stories still find a way out.

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She's a breast cancer survivor, a teacher, a wife, a mother, and from the very beginning--a storyteller. Always a hint humorous and honest to a fault, she loves to make people laugh and smile. Her goal in life is to achieve tact and stop procrastinating. The battle wages on. Are you an author? Feb 15, Jennifer rated it it was ok Shelves: e-book-for-free , reads , ya , dystopian , books-reviewed. For me, this book started off strong. With Charlie very carefully hiding her identity as a girl, in a hospital that has been fortified against the draghoul. The draghoul appear to be sort of vampire zombies, only able to come out at night.

One confusing part of this book, is that no explanation is offered about how the plague as apparently it's a virus started, or how long it had been going on. She also takes care of her sister, an infant named Star. Towards the middle of the book, it felt like For me, this book started off strong. Towards the middle of the book, it felt like a lot of "Charlies" actions become a little more impulsive and seemed to be more reasons to move the plot along - a reason that Charlie would want to leave the community and strike out towards another protected city.

I have a hard time when a small child or baby is brought into a story plotline, because The writing was pretty solid, but Charlie's more impulsive actions the farther along the book got, made me like her less and less.

Queen of Air and Darkness: The Dark Artifices, Book 3 Book Review

In a shielded off place, there is a small group of humans that have managed to keep from being infected with the strange disease that has emerged, wiping out people and making them transform into beast-like creatures. But in order to survive, this place - and its Council - refuse to allow women entry, because something about the women attracts the attention of the beasts outside the barrier. Charlie and her little sister were taken in when they stumbled across this place - but all is not a haven, In a shielded off place, there is a small group of humans that have managed to keep from being infected with the strange disease that has emerged, wiping out people and making them transform into beast-like creatures.

Charlie and her little sister were taken in when they stumbled across this place - but all is not a haven, and everyday Charlie fears for her own life. Because Charlie is actually Charlotte; a girl.

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And if the Council were to ever find out she, and her sister, would be in grave danger. A thrilling tale with a daring heroine who isn't afraid to be strong and stand up in the face of injustice - who admits her weaknesses and soldiers on in a way that is equal to, or better than, the strength of any man. My Thoughts In the Zombie genre this one stands out for the fact that it builds suspense without using gore to make the action scenes work. The 17 year old Charlie Little is one of the newest inhabitants of an abandoned institution that is overseen by a group of men who call themselves The Council and whose strict rules mean swift punishment for the smallest infraction committed by anyone under their control.

The author reveals stunning secrets about past events that open Charlie's eyes to the danger that she is in if her true gender is ever discovered. Before Charlie manages to take her baby sister Star and escape her worst nightmare comes true as the last person she ever expected to do so is the one to disclose her true gender to the council members. For Charlie the sentence that they in turn decide will be her fate is nightmare inducing and when they send her to the lower chambers of their abode she finds an even worse nightmare is waiting for her. The author sets up the next book neatly with the end of this one so hopefully book 2 Heart Of Mercy will find Charlie's situation to be resolved but from it's synopsis am not counting on that just yet!

This was easy to read, fast paced and made quite a few points for readers that touched on the vulnerability of being female in a world where your gender makes you a target for more than the "inhuman monsters" that inhabit it. Sobering tale about fighting the lesser of two evils while trying to survive in a world where you can trust no one.

This story pulled me in from the beginning. I'd never really given much thought to what dystopian meant before, but as I read Edge of Mercy, I could see the story playing out in my mind's eye as the characters came to life. The setting is in our world, but in the not so distant future, which they call home. It's a far cry from the world we know now.

The list could go on and on of ones I hadn't realized were dystopian in their own way and I found that I LOVED this story just as much and could see this as a movie in its own right someday. From the beginning you feel a kinship with Charlie and the seriousness of her plight.


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Survival means deception and secrecy, even to those she's grown to care about. Her life, her baby sister's life and her very existence, hangs in the balance of the day-to-day and striving to keep her secret from all in the community. Her secrets are just the tipping point when compared to the secrets of the Council and the horrible deeds and truths that are behind the infection that has turned humans into monsters. This is not a world I would ever wish to face, but at the same time, I found myself rooting for Charlie to find a way around the "rules" of the Council, to find a way to escape the horrid fate she will face if the truth of her identity is revealed and hoping that she can evade the dire consequences and come out unscathed on the other side.

Being this is a series, that journey is only just begun and I look forward to reading the next book in the very near future. Apr 13, Peter Vialls rated it really liked it. Most zombie apocalypse stories seem to start with the day the world changed. Edge of Mercy begins a dozen or so years after the draghouls a lovely name for the zombies first appear.

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We have no idea whether the community where Charlie survives is the only enclave of humanity, or what really happened when modern civilisation fell — all we see is a claustrophobic and twisted ex-mental hospital. There are no women, for reasons which are not explained for half the book — apart, that is, from Charl Most zombie apocalypse stories seem to start with the day the world changed.

There are no women, for reasons which are not explained for half the book — apart, that is, from Charlie herself. She is disguised as a boy in best Shakespearean fashion, and is struggling to protect her baby sister. Edge of Mercy is not a typical zombie novel — our heroine never actually has a direct confrontation with a draghoul, and the biggest threat to her is the community she has found herself within. As the novel develops, we learn her backstory and get a better picture of the people around her.

None of the characters are perfect, and all are flawed believably. Charlie herself does some pretty stupid things that had me wanting to slap her round the face and tell her to think what she was doing.