R. C. Bray

Commune 5 - the battle of D.C.

Posted by Lore on Fri, 11/18/2022 - 18:24
Commune 5 Book Cover

The Commune series has been a pretty good one so far. It has focused on a group of characters struggling to survive in the mountains of Wyoming after a Coronal Mass Ejection destroyed society as we know it. The series has been a gritty apocalyptic tale, and sometimes it's been quite brutal, but it has always been centered in realism. I appreciate the straight up story telling that doesn't rely on zombies or alien invasions to challenge the main characters. Speaking of those characters, I've been rooting for them to make it for 4 books now, so I eagerly picked up book 5 to see what was in store for them now. To my surprise, those characters are nowhere to be found. This book is centered in Washington, D.C. so it feels more like the start of a new series than a continuation of an old one. Does it hold up or is this just a money grab that takes advantage of the series name?

Hell Divers 9: Radioactive - is humanity finally out of time?

Posted by Lore on Fri, 07/15/2022 - 16:11
Hell Divers 9 Radioactive Book Cover

The newest installment in the Hell Divers series has the action spread across multiple locations: the Vanguard Islands, Panama, and Australia. Since King Xavier decided in the last book that the Vanguard Islands were dying, he has been dispersing his people to try to find a solution. He is hoping they will either find resources to help in the short term or a potential new home for the long term. The legend of the Coral Castle is mocked by many, but X thinks it is real and he plans to find the mythical sanctuary. In his mind, the only way to save humanity is the find a new home before the scarcity of life in the Vanguard Islands triggers a war, and the Coral Castle is the best lead he has for finding such a place. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with him, and the various human factions are set to start that war as soon as he leaves to search for his fantasy home.

The Dark - the three days of darkness have arrived

Posted by Lore on Sat, 05/14/2022 - 01:58
The Dark Book Cover

"There shall come over the whole Earth, an intense darkness lasting three days and three nights. He who opens his window or door out of curiosity, or leaves his home, will fall dead on the spot. The air will be infected by demons, appearing in all sorts of hideous forms. All of Hell will be let loose."

Miah Gray is an Army veteran living with PTSD in New Hampshire, and all he wants to do is get high and not be hassled by his Mom or her boyfriend. A good sandwich wouldn't hurt either.  Miah is not religious, and he has little interest in prophecies, but when the sun no longer shines in the daytime sky and his world is plunged into darkness, Miah finds himself willing to rethink his position.  Locked down with his family, Miah is going with the flow and doing what he can to protect everyone when a flash of light knocks everyone out. They all awaken to find that Miah now has a death rune etched into his forehead. Isn't that just great?

Mind Bullet - a telekinetic assassin's tale

Posted by Lore on Sat, 04/02/2022 - 02:40
Mind Bullet Book Cover

Jonas is an experienced assassin who was taught the trade by his parents, who are recently deceased having driven their RV off a cliff. Jonas knows that it likely wasn't an accident, but he is not able to come up with any leads as to who might have killed them. That fact puts revenge out of reach for the moment, so he continues his life pulling off elaborate kill jobs, each one more ostentatious than the one before. Jonas is a special kind of assassin, he kills with his mind by telekinetically creating a hole in the brain of his victims. But even with all his power and money, he is depressed and his personal Artificial Intelligence knows it. So the A.I. schemes to bring a young woman named Maddie into his life, and then things really start to spiral out of control.

The Roach - a gritty story of a washed up vigilante

Posted by Lore on Fri, 11/26/2021 - 19:50
The Roach Book Cover

Reese Roberts is an old drunk that is bound to a wheelchair with little to live for. In fact, as far as he is concerned, he has nothing to live for and the world would be a better place without him. But it wasn't always that way. Reese used to prowl the streets of Iron City and do what needed to be done to protect the city and clean up the streets. As the vigilante known as The Roach, Reese was fearless and he preyed upon the gangs and criminals that dared to try to make Iron City their home. He was really making a difference until that fateful night when a bullet found a seam in his protective armor and left him paralyzed from the waist down. That was five years ago and The Roach was never heard from again, fading into legend as the streets of Iron City fell back into the hands of the corrupt. It's all too much for Reese to bear and the day has come to put an end to his suffering.

Hell Divers 8: King of the Wastes - more apocalyptic goodness

Posted by Lore on Fri, 10/15/2021 - 15:47
King of the Wastes Book Cover

Much like King Xavier, aka The Immortal, this series just keeps plugging along despite the fact that the plot has reached multiple points where it could have been wrapped up nicely. I can't help but feel that this series is going to keep going until it ends in ruin, but luckily for us that point still hasn't arrived. Book 8, King of the Wastes, centers around the fact that the King has come to the conclusion that the Vanguard Islands are not sustainable. He knows that their recent victories have resulted in a population size that they can no longer provide for, not to mention that the structures that compose the Vanguard Islands are desperately in need of replacement parts that can't be manufactured. They need to expand their reach and a supply chain will need to be set up to allow for scavenging of resources from a much wider area. King Xavier has his eye on establishing an outpost near the Panama Canal in order to provide a means to scavenge both coasts of the Americas, but that idea is not new. It was also tried by his predecessor and it resulted in failure. The difference this time around is that King Xavier has the ability to once again call upon the Hell Divers to risk their lives so humanity can survive

Hellifax - it's time for revenge

Posted by Lore on Fri, 04/30/2021 - 17:11
Hellifax Book Cover

Hellifax is the third book in the Mountain Man series but the events within it occur simultaneously with those of book 2, Safari, so in a way is more like book 2b than book 3. This time around we follow Scott and his desire for revenge against Tenner which takes him to the city of Halifax. Back in the first book, Mountain Man, Scott and his two companions ran into Tenner and that encounter ended with Scott being shot in the back and left for dead. Barely able to survive his wound, Scott awoke to a gruesome scene of torture and the bodies of his two friends who were skinned alive by Tenner. Scott then vowed to avenge his friends and this book finally provides the details of that attempt. Scott is a big man, but he is no killer, so despite his desire to make Tenner pay for his crimes there is no guarantee that Scott has what it takes to make that happen. Luckily for him he runs into Amy.

Safari - more zombie killing with your favorite alcoholic

Posted by Lore on Fri, 04/16/2021 - 17:45
Safari Book Cover

Book two of the Mountain Man series picks up right after book one as Gus recovers from the attack on his home that almost killed him. His poor state of health forces him to venture into the city to find pain killers to aid in his recovery so he makes sure to also grab supplies (mostly booze.) When he begins to feel better he decides to take advantage of the winter conditions and fight back against the zombie horde down in the city while the cold and snow hampers their movement. This leads to the advancement of one of the more intriguing threads from the first book - why do the zombie corpses completely disappear within a few days after they are killed for good? When Gus finally uncovers the root cause behind the disappearances, he finds himself facing a new threat even more menacing than the zombies themselves. 

Mountain Man - the start of a zombie apocalypse series

Posted by Lore on Fri, 03/19/2021 - 23:31
Mountain Man Book Cover

Augustus "Gus" Berry lives alone in the mountains, that is unless you count Uncle Jack (Daniels) and Captain Morgan who he spends a lot of time with every day. He was a painter, not a soldier, before the world changed but now he wields his Boomstick and baseball bat with the skills of a pro. Gus takes no chances because he knows that it only takes one mistake for the zombies to get the better of you, but winter is coming and needs to venture down into the city to scavenge supplies. He works over the houses because the obvious locations like stores and malls were picked clean long ago, but going through houses can be a bit of a crap shoot. Most don't have much but every now and then you hit a good one. Gus suits up and makes sure that he is prepared for whatever the zombies may throw at him but he isn't quite ready for what other humans might have in store.

Hell Divers 7: Warriors - it is time to win or die

Posted by Lore on Fri, 08/14/2020 - 11:05
Warriors Book Cover

What made this series unique at the start was the concept of trying to survive an apocalypse by living in the sky aboard airships. Once the focus moved down to the planet for the last two books there were times when the series felt like it had gone on a bit too long. The same storm related issues continue to arise over and over and the fights with the sirens have gotten old, but each time the story starts to drag a bit it is the characters that save the day. After a slow start to this one I was once again heavily invested in the outcome before it was over due to the characters and my desire to see them succeed. King Xavier has more enemies to fight than ever before, and that is saying something, and that means that humanity's future is as bleak as it has ever been. Certain Cazadores still resist his rule and cause internal strife while even larger external threats are organizing to come and take the Vanguard Islands for themselves. Once more we get a chance to find out if X, aka The Immortal, can live up to his nickname, or if time has finally run out for the dream of living on the surface.