Monday, May 2, 2011

The Envy Chronicles - Books 1-3 by Joss Ware (Reviewed by Derenda)

The Back of the Book:
The first three books in the Envy Chronicles are about the five men known as the Awakening Heroes.
Thrust into a post-apocalyptic world, these remarkable men meet up, spar and partner with the just-as-remarkable women who will win their hearts as they fight an immortal enemy determined to crush all humanity.

Beyond the NightEmbrace the Night Eternal, and Abandon the Night, are an apocalyptic series of survival, adventure and love by Joss Ware

This series focuses on the aftermath of the apocalypse. The main characters are Elliot, Simon, Quentin, Wyatt, Fence and a guide who dies before the story begins. The men, who were deep inside the caves of Sedona, AZ.,  wake up and discover they have been in a coma for over sixty years. Each man has developed a unique paranormal ability. The world they knew is gone. The new one is a very dark place. There are zombie like creatures that roam the night called Gangas, a group of strangers called Elite with glowing crystals embedded in their skin, bounty hunters, and the Resistance who have survived the "Change" and are rebuilding and fighting to survive their darken world.

Beyond the Night focuses on Dr. Elliot Drake, aka Dred. He was a physician before the Change and emerges with a unique gift of healing. The problem is that when he touches someone's body, their injury or disease is taken into his body. He must touch someone else or something else to channel the injury or disease. However, with each healing some residual affects are left upon his body. The woman whom he falls for is Jade. She's a leader of the Resistance and a Courier of vital information trying to rebuild this new dark world. While the adventure is vivid, the intimacy is down played. There are humorous aspects to the series like names of popular places the reader will recognize. NV (Envy which is actually Las Vegas), Redlow which is Red Lobster, etc. The story plays out as a select group of men, part of a secret society, after the discovery of Atlantis, decide to terminate the world of underlings. Their new world offers the rich and powerful with immortality and excessive lifestyles.  The leader of the Elite is Quentin's father, an abusive man who thought himself superior and led the world termination. The blue crystals provide the immortality, but the story does not explain the zombie like creatures known as Gangas. All that is revealed is that the creatures return to the water during the day. The story continues with Embrace the Night Eternal.

Embrace the Night Eternal focuses on the story of Simon and Sage. Simon's gift is invisibility, which comes in handy when hiding from the enemy. Given a chance to reinvent himself from his violent past as an Enforcer for a mafia family, he continues to struggle with that guilt. As a young child, Sage escaped from a polygamist colony whose main focus is to repopulate. Now a grown woman, information comes to the Resistance that important clues could be located in the very colony Sage escaped from. Posing as a married couple, Simon and Sage return to gather the priceless information, place a secret computer relay station, and get out before Sage becomes pregnant. The conflict of feelings arise when one of the Resistance leaders, Theo, falls in love with Sage. He actually asks Simon to bring her back to him safe, which Simon strives to do, as he is trying to be a man of honor now. Sage has feelings for Simon, not Theo, but Simon believes he is not worthy of love at all. The humor continues with the enthusiam of the coloniest who want Simon's sperm in any form they can get it, Sage who is ovulating which is announced throughout the colony, and the faking of intimacy due to a camera with peeping eyes, all of which resembles a skit from Scooby Doo or something. The reader is still taken along the journey of mankind's struggle of survival, rebuilding the new world, and the determination to end the Elite and Gangas. It is very well written and once again the intimacy is downplayed.  

The next book, Abandon the Night, focuses on Quentin and Zoe. Zoe has an extremely foul mouth, left to raise herself after her family is slaughtered by the Gangas. Quentin, who grew up with power, wealth, and women, yet has the scars of an abusive past with the knowledge had he once fought back against his father, all this nightmare would have never happened. Their story seems to drag on and on with a predictable ending. A boy of privilege  with a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, trying to stop the monster whose superiority complex destroyed their families and world. I enjoyed this book the least since it was most predictable. Quentin was determined to kill his father, the story of the Gangas is still unlearned, and Zoe still cusses continually which became very tiresome.

In the end, I am enjoying Ware's books. I look forward to discovering the other men's gifts, their loves, adventure, and the development of a new world. What or how would you change your world after an Apocalyptic event. If you had a chance to be a founding father, what would you do? Interesting thought, huh?


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