Friday, August 29, 2014

Deadland's Harvest (Deadland Saga #2) by Rachel Aukes Review

Hey readers, happy Friday! I hope you are all having a fantastic week. I've been reading like a crazy person this week so I have had lots to share with ya'll. Today I wanted to make sure I gave y'all a review and I have an awesome one for you. You may remember a couple of weeks ago where I reviewed the first two novels in Nazarea Andrews' The World Without End series and absolutely loved them. They were my very first literary journey into the paranormal sub-genre of zombies. I am not a zombie fan, well.. I never was before then! So... riding that high, I sought out other zombie series and came across Rachel Aukes 100 Days in Deadland on Goodreads. I didn't expect that I would strike gold again with a zombie novel, I never would have imagine I may have just came across one of my favorite series of the year! Up for review today? An amazing Horror/Sci-Fi novel from Rachel Aukes, book 2 in the Deadland saga: Deadland's Harvest! Here's a little bit about the book and the author before we get to my thoughts!

The seven deadly sins with a shambling twist...

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.

Rachel Aukes

Rachel Aukes is the international bestselling author of 100 Days in Deadland, which was named one of the best books of 2013 by Suspense Magazine and one of the best zombie books by the Huffington Post. She also writes romantic science fiction and fantasy under the pen name Berinn Rae, which includes the RWA award-winning short story "Stealing Fate," a USA Today recommended read. Rachel lives in Iowa with her husband and an incredibly spoiled sixty-pound lap dog. When not writing, she can be found flying old airplanes and trying (not so successfully) to prepare for the zombie apocalypse.  


Find Rachel Aukes

My Thoughts:

About a week ago I wrote up a huge review of 100 Days in Deadland (book one in this series) and said that I had no idea how Aukes could top that novel. I had no idea how she could hope to capture my attention a second time as she had the first. Well… I definitely shouldn’t have said that, because I definitely opened mouth and inserted foot. Rachel, you did it again. Deadland’s Harvest knocked it out of the part. Rachel came in guns blazing with novel number two and literally, kicked it’s ass.

Many novels have such a clear distinction between their various parts in the series. Harvest picks up right where 100 Days in Deadland let off and keep on going. I don’t even think I got through the very first chapter before my heart was racing and I was anxious as can be to keep doing. Aukes style of writing keeps you on your toes the entire time. You never know what the next page may hold. With Zeds (zombies) coming left and right and a migrating horde headed straight for the Camp Fox survivors, it’s up to Cash, Clutch, Jase, and the gang to relocate Camp Fox to safety. “Safety”. It wouldn’t be a zombie novel if it didn’t come with gruesome deaths and heartbreaking emotion. Thankfully Aukes has us covered on both fronts.

Aukes did such a fantastic job with setting the tone and introducing the characters in 100 Days in Deadland that she really didn’t have to spend any time backtracking on this story. With some series you can pick up any book and not read them in order and somehow not miss anything, this is not one of those series. If you haven’t read 100 Days in Deadland then don’t even think about reading this one. Seriously, 100 Days in Deadland was one of the best books I have read all year, you should be throat chopped if you think about skipping it to read this one. Seriously.

Anyway, like I said, if you want to know about the characters and back story, click below this review to read my review of 100 Days in Deadland, because I really don’t see a point in rehashing all that here.

As I am writing this review, I am going back through my highlights and quotes from the novel and want to seriously stop writing just so I can read it again. It was that great. Aukes is such an amazing author that really leaves me completely satisfied and emotional exhausted. GAH. I told you guys in my last review that there was an emotional part that made me tear up a bit, but (and I’ve already told Rachel this) DAMN YOU RACHEL AUKES, she had me nearly bawling at a few of the scenes in this novel. It was rough. It really is a sad, horrible world that these characters are living in and they seriously cannot catch a break. You learn so much about the human experience from Aukes and her true-to-life interpretations through this series. I will admit that I haven’t read any of her other works, but I will be checking them out after these amazing novels.

Where 100 Days in Deadland was a retelling of Dante’s Inferno, Deadland’s Harvest was labeled as “a journey through the seven deadly sins with a shambling twist”. It was a shambling twist alright. Aukes takes each sin and seriously parallels the storyline in such an amazing fashion that you wonder if she has some sort of psychological connection with Dante Alighieri himself! I will admit that each “sin” chapter confused me a bit, it was not until the very end that I was able to fully identify the “gluttony”, or “pride”, etc in the particular section. It takes a bit of an investigative reader to identify the sins, but the journey is worth the interpretation. Honestly, everything about this second trip into the Deadland Saga was fulfilling as the first. I can’t think of a single criticism that I have. This story was different than book one, but not in a negative way in any way, shape, or form.

Also, note to Rachel Aukes, I have spent the past four years working at Bass Pro, a store EXTREMELY similar the one described in one important scene of the novel and let me tell you, I’ll never look at it the same again! This novel really, really will change your views on some things. I am not sure if that was the intention of Aukes, but it really was great to see her visions for the fall of society. Unlike other zombie novels I have read that take place after the zombie apocalypse, this series tells of the apocalypse in its’ entirety. Book one starts out with the first day of the “apocalypse” (for Cash) and continues on their entire journey. It’s remarkable, it truly is.

I seriously feel like I could go on about this novel all day long, but I’ll stop and let everyone get back to their real world. All in all, I am giving Deadland’s Harvest the same review I gave to its’ predecessor, a 5+ star review. Seriously, there is nothing more I would have asked for. This novel was damn near perfect. I said in my 100 Days in Deadland review that “few books have had the profound effect and left the lasting book hangover” as that one, well, I can say the very same about Harvest. It’s been 4 days since I finished and it’s still all I can think about! Aukes says she plans on releasing the final installment in the Deadland Saga series out towards the end of the year, but I’ll be honest, I don’t know how I’ll make it through! To quote Aukes, I’ve been to prep myself because “shit goes down” in book three. That scares the hell out of me. I am so anxious to see how this story ends. I have been skimming through the final story in Dante’s journey through hell to see how Aukes may finish out her amazing saga! AHH!!! Excitement! As soon as I hear more info/cover reveals/blurbs/etc for book 3, you will find it all right here! Why are you still reading this? GET TO READING!

100 Days in Deadland Review
*Click the cover below*

Where can you get yours?

Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of Deadland's Harvest by Rachel Aukes. An incredible read that has forever changed the way I will view books of this genre. It isn't often I can say I feel honored to have read a book, but this is definitely one of those times. Aukes has truly created close to the perfect Horror/Sci-Fi read. This book has received many, many accolades since its' release and truly deserves each one. I am absolutely giddy about starting Deadland's Harvest ASAP. Thank you to Mrs. Rachel Aukes for supplying me with an ecopy of this novel after meeting her on Twitter a few weeks ago! I cannot wait to read more of her works (including book 3 later this year)! Be on the look out readers, they will be here eventually! Until next time, Happy Reading!


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