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While it wasn t necessarily a bad book, there were so many little issues with Desolation that I really had trouble enjoying it.On the plus side, Travis Simmons has definitely done something interesting with zombies here, adding a little fresh blood and brains to a genre that s become very tapped out Rather than limit himself to a choice between the classic shuffling zombie and the contemporary speedy one, he incorporates both into his story, and then adds a third flavor in the infernals basically zombies with brains Not content to stop there, he also adds an even darker element, with human necromancers who have the power to create and control the zombies It definitely makes for a very dark, exciting read, but he needs space to fully explore the concepts.Unfortunately, this is a book that s in dire need of an editor While I generally don t like to focus on that element in my reviews, when it becomes a distraction as it did here I have to call it out Little things like the proper use of its it s and there their they re are one thing They re annoyances, but you can train your mind to skip by them Wrong or missing punctuation is another thing entirely, however, and there were passages particularly following a line of dialogue where my reading just hit a brick wall of incomprehension Also, while I know it s difficult to work personal details into a first person narrative, it shouldn t have taken 7 or 8 chapters before Asher is revealed as a guy Yes, I know it s clear in the synopsis, but when a book has sat on your e reader for a few months, the value of a synopsis or cover blurb is entirely lost.As for Asher being a guy, I certainly had no issues with that, and thought gay romance angle was an interesting touch, particularly with his lingering feelings for his now zombie boyfriend Their romance was solid, and I think Asher s grief was very well portrayed In addition, I really liked how Simmons continued to play with the romance angle, right up to the climax of their final zombie confrontation My problem with Asher was not his sexuality, but his personality and his perfection He s a little too much of the perfect hero, a pulp adventure novel clich than somebody fit to lead a post apocalyptic horror novel.Ultimately, this felt like a young adult novel that was deliberately sexed up and bloodied up to appeal to a wider audience It certainly has potential, and I think Simmons can do some really exciting things with the material, but this first volume is just a bit too rough and unpolished for my tastes Originally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins Desolation, Travis SimmonsTrying to survive in the brave new world following a zombie apocalypse isn t easy for Asher St Paul His family and friends are dead His lover is dead He should be dead And to make matters even worse than the hordes of zombies that threaten him with each passing day, chilling rumours of necromancers are beginning to circulate through the last remaining human refuges They say that survivors are being rounded up, caged and used to feed zombie populations as the necromancers fight to hive out their territories in the old cites.As Asher is searching for one such refuge, he observes a lone woman treating a pack of zombies as she would a dog and begins to suspect that there is truth to these rumours than he would like to believe His worst fears are realised when he finds the refuge to be taken in by them, and Asher must come to grips with a dark secret as he struggles to save his newfound friends from certain death.The GoodWritten with the imaginative flair of Travis Simmons, the author of the gripping Revenant Wyrd Saga, Desolation is fast paced and exciting The tragic events that befall Asher are believable within the confines of the story accepting of course, the roaming zombies and Simmons doesn t go over the top with describing blood and gore Instead, Simmons invests in describing Asher s emotional battles as he learns to live with the austerity and horror of his new way of life, which I found made his character very believable and easy to engage with.Without spoiling the book by going into too much detail, Simmons tells the story with a rather unique spin that I found refreshing as it helps Desolation to stand out from other zombie apocalypse books Rather than focusing entirely on the zombies as the main villains, which of course they still are, Simmons mainly concerns himself with necromancers and how the zombies are used by them By bringing in magic and a greater sense of purpose behind the apocalypse, Simmons has created an interesting blend of zombies and fantasy that I found both enjoyable and intriguing.The BadI must say that I have little to fault with Desolation as it s well written and Simmons steers clear of the conventional clich s of zombie plotlines well Saying that, Desolation does fall foul of the traditional problems that zombie stories face where are Asher and the other characters getting all of their bullets How is the electricity being generated in the Refuge How are so many people being fed I could go on, but I m sure you know what I mean Obviously, ammunition and electricity are things that probably wouldn t be around for long should a zombie apocalypse actually happen, even if raiding parties did scavenge petrol from cars etc for their generators But, for the purposes of the story, it makes sense for Asher to have bullets in his guns and to be able to turn lights on in the Refuge And let s face it, we don t read zombie stories to be realistic so I found it very easy to forgive Simmons for this unrealism My ThoughtsAfter finishing Desolation I found that I was disappointed it was over The book makes for a fantastic read that uses fantasy genre magic in a manner that helps it to stand apart from other zombie stories As such, I would recommend that you add Desolation to your reading lists you won t be disappointed if you do Book Info Genre Post apocalyptic dark fantasy zombiesReading Level AdultRecommended for Fans of zombie fictionTrigger Warnings murder, mental slavery, lots of goreMy Thoughts I m not a huge fan of traditional zombie fare, but thought with the necromancers thrown in I might enjoy this well enough, and that was true The necromancers made this interesting, as did the several types of zombies traditional, speeders, and infernals However, the ending was unsatisfying it just sort of petered out rather than providing much of an ending I suppose it was left open for a sequel, but I felt like things could have wrapped up a bit than they did.It was nice to have a book where the characters were fairly well accepted as who they were in the QUILTBAG, but it also seems awfully convenient that so many of the men surviving the zombie apocalypse were gay I m not sure what would have made me happier about this book, honestly It just felt unfinished I know this was an ARC, so I discounted the various typos I saw, which will probably mostly be cleared up in the final release, although the constant misspelling of rifle as riffle made me giggle a few times However, I imagine that fans of zombie fare will enjoy the book, so don t let my lackluster recommendations turn you off if you re interested in reading it I will definitely be exploring other books by this author.Disclosure I received an e book ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review All opinions are my own.Synopsis Asher St Paul thought it was just a typical zombie apocalypse like in the movies, until the necromancers crawled out of the woodwork Since the undead have chased the living into hiding, the necromancers are able to roam freely in a new America of their making Asher is seeking safe harbor The need for safety is what drove him from his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before it was shelled He has searched from quarantine to quarantine, always finding them overrun with zombies until he hears of The Refuge, a military compound in Binghamton, New York With his family and lover lain to rest by his own hand, he has nothing left to lose and gives everything he has to reach the safe haven But questions arise when he reaches The Refuge mainly, how has he been able to sustain multiple zombie bites and not change He thinks he has found safety in the military compound turned quarantine, but he was wrong Even now there is a necromancer trying to make The Refuge their kingdom of the dead. As a reader lover of Paranormal Magic, Zombies Apocalypse LGBT romance fiction, this book was right up my alley But just in case you are not a lover of each of those sub genres, here is what I enjoyed about this book that you might enjoy as well The Main characters are unique for the Zombie Apocalypse genre Our young hero is flawed but growing In the beginning of this story, I wasn t particularly fond of Asher However by the end of this story, I had seen that Asher had grown in his maturity to the point of putting others needs above his own.The pace of the plot was solid There are a couple combat action scenes which I felt were a little rushed, but overall the story keeps to a steady pace.The world within this story was also unique Without giving away any plot secrets, I will say that the traditional role of necromancer vs witch are played around with here Sure you have spells, enchantments, the rising of the dead, but there are a couple pleasing twists that I have not found in other necromancer stories.Speaking of twists, this story has them While I had suspected the villain in the beginning, I was caught off guard with other key players.This story is not one that is spelled out for you There is a fair bit of thinking and piecing together for the reader to do if they want to reach the end smiling But even if you read straight through without much thinking, the story explains itself nicely in the last section.Now for a comment or two on the gay romance subplot Well this was the most difficult part of the book, because parts of the romance plot were out right heartbreaking, and other parts were rather annoying Yet if not for these extreme peaks in the character emotional state, Ashers epiphanies would not have had a place to play out It is through his emotional roll a coaster ride that he reaches beyond himself to rightfully become our Hero.It may also help to know that there is no on page sex in this story making it a book that I can easily recommend to young adult readers.So do I recommend this book Yes I believe readers of Paranormal Magic, Zombies Apocalypse and LGBT Romance fiction will find this story to be an enjoyable read. Really 2 1 2 stars While the idea of this book was good, I believe the author missed the mark There was just too much going on Necromancers, Witch Trains STILL don t know why they are called witch trains , Zombies, Infernals, Living Zombies, the ability to place your soul in an inanimate object UhHarry Potter , some sort of zombie vaccine which we never here much about , and all sorts of other stuff It was just WAY too much Plus, our protagonist JUST found out he was a necromancer and within a week was like a friggin Necromancer black belt, even going so far as to standing toe to toe with ancient necromancers Oh, and all the crazy, wild, off the wall descriptions of balls of light and Asher s process or healing and hurting was just page after page of torture The only GOOD thing I saw in this book was the depiction of human relationships The author did SPLENDIDLY in that department, and I gave 2 stars because of that, and also because this IS the beginning of a series, so I m assuming hoping that A LOT of the mangled mess of a story gets clarified in the sequels which I WON T be reading, anyway Still, unless you are a huge fan of really paranormal weirdness, stay away from this one I read it with a Zombie group buddy read, and I thought it would be zombie, less crazy nonsense. I haven t read or watched anything zombie since I was a teenager, and I couldn t for the life of me remember why I requested to review Desolation by Travis Simmons, yet I did so I dived in to reading It was not at all what I expected This book was not about your run of the mill zombies.It s the coming of age, coming to power story of Asher, a zombie necromancer Asher is the main character, who from the very beginning makes you feel like he is the one who needs saving, when really, he is the super zombie turned zombie controller who can save everything He loses everyone he loves, and we come to learn, even his family The Refuge, a military compound in Binghamton, New York, is where Asher sets out to go when he has survived the Zombie Apocalypse In turn, he begins his training as a necromancer one who creates and controls zombies under the care of an in house zombie named Ulga, at a safe house During his time in the safe house, one of the Doctors who takes care of him ultimately falls in love with him Oh yeah, the doctor is a guy His name is Cleave As in cleave to me forever, cause I am hot, handsome and a doctor, dude.There is much to the story than this, but I don t want to give away any clues or much detail This is a well written story, even though the closer I got to the end the breathless it seemed as if the writing got a little choppier The characters are absolutely intricate and well defined and the story line is well thought out, descriptive and well outside of the normal zombies take over the world, the end I wondered for a bit why a girl would be named Asher until I realized he wasn t Throwing in the homosexual plot twist was also something unique, and not abusing it by clouding the topic with multiple sex scenes was brilliant.This is my first Travis J Simmons read, and I was reasonably pleased. Zombies have always intrigued me, so than other typical monsters vampire, werewolf, etc Every time a new film or book is announced I wait in anticipation to see read it By the end that all too familiar disappointment sets in The work is your typical zombie film book with the same cookie cutter story line zombies spread, zombie killing, small group of people with one main character, one member from the group gets bitten and a loved one secretly keeps them alive, zombie killing, another group members selfish actions gets other group members killed, zombie killing, the end This has been the result of nearly every zombie book I have ever read, until now Desolation manages to seamlessly blend the typical zombie slaying and close calls we have all come to expect with a refreshingly unexpected love story Simmons balances high speed zombie action with just the right amount of first person thoughts and the adjoining love story to keep the reader glued to the book until the last pagewell glued to my nexus 7 P.S Don t worry, this is NOT a Twlight love story *READ DOWNLOAD ⇳ Desolation ↺ Asher St Paul Thought It Was Just A Typical Zombie Apocalypse Like In The Movies, Until The Necromancers Crawled Out Of The Woodwork Since The Undead Have Chased The Living Into Hiding, The Necromancers Are Able To Roam Freely In A New America Of Their Making Asher Is Seeking Safe Harbor The Need For Safety Is What Drove Him From His Home In Philadelphia Pennsylvania Before It Was Shelled He Has Searched From Quarantine To Quarantine, Always Finding Them Overrun With Zombies Until He Hears Of The Refuge, A Military Compound In Binghamton New York With His Family And Lover Lain To Rest By His Own Hand, He Has Nothing Left To Lose And Gives Everything He Has To Reach The Safe Haven But Questions Arise When He Reaches The Refuge, Mainly, How Has He Been Able To Sustain Multiple Zombie Bites And Not Change He Thinks He Has Found Safety In The Military Compound Turned Quarantine, But He Was Wrong Even Now There Is A Necromancer Trying To Make The Refuge Their Kingdom Of The Dead Wasn t sure if I was going to try to read this I love zombie movies, but wasn t sure if I would get into it in a story I mean its hard to beat The Walking Dead I have to say this is my first story by Travis Simmons and a nice treat from to have it free for the day so I read all afternoon I was surprised A military compound in Binghamton lol less than 70 miles from me..How could I not get into this story Yay Yankee lovers Anyway, this is about Asher..a necromancer zombie very coolhe doesn t seem to be anything special at first but dang does he surprise me as he becomes this super zombie.As he is training to up skills as a necromancer his doc falls for him a guy okay shocker but I kept reading Some sexual relations and of course will warn if your not into the homosexual scene or can have an open mind as its not based on the entire story you will enjoy this read if not please don t as an author doesn t deserve a bad rating due to your specific beliefs.You ve regained my zombie world Mr.Simmons looking forward to book 2 Overall, I liked the book However, I picked it up because I thought it was a zombie story It s actually about the necromancers than it is about the zombies, so I would definitely put it into a paranormal genre.I also was not a fan of the main character s strong hormones The way the story jumps between zombies and necromancers and his sex drive was just awkward, often than not.I probably should rate the book a 3, since I find I have zero interest in the next book I expect the zombies to be just background noise there, since the story is no longer about them, but the necromancers and other magical beings.