Blog Tour: Mad World: Sanctuary by Samaire Provost (Review!)

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As part of the blog tour for Samaire Provost's Mad World: Sanctuary, the second in the Mad World series, I have a review for it as well as Mad World: Epidemic, the first book in the series. So without a further ado...

Mad World: Epidemic (Book #1!)
The Black Plague is ancient history. It killed 100 million people nearly seven centuries ago, halfway around the world from the technologically advanced research center at Stanford University. Scientists there have recently begun examining samples of bone marrow from plague-infected corpses unearthed in Europe. All the necessary safeguards are in place. What could go wrong? Alyssa and Jake are away with their class on a highly anticipated year-end trip to Broadway with their senior acting class when all hell breaks loose at home. Traveling back, and trying to find their families, they encounter deadly results. Riots are breaking out. People are being evacuated. And they have no idea what's happening to their families. Horrific ordeals, heart-pounding tragedy, and chance encounters harden them for what lies ahead. Faced with tormenting decisions, they're forced to follow their instinct for survival at any cost - even when the cost is a heart-wrenching decision of life or death. A harrowing adventure of frightening discoveries, horrifying confrontations and narrow escapes in Epidemic, the first installment of the Mad World series. Find out what's got everyone so terrified.

Going into Mad World: Epidemic I didn't really know what to expect. I usually love end-of-the-world books, but zombie books and me have a somewhat shaky history...sometimes I love them and sometimes I despise them. Luckily, Mad World: Epidemic ended up pleasantly surprising me, as the story was fast paced and intriguing.

Mad World: Epidemic starts just as a group of high school students are having the time of their lives on a class field trip. However, all the fun is quickly brought to an end when they find out that there's been an accident in their home state of California. No one is really sure what's going on, but one thing is for sure: whatever it is it's bad, as they are evacuating EVERYONE. Worried for their families and friends, the teens and their teacher rent a van, hoping to get home before their loved ones leave. But will they be able to in time? Better yet, what happens when they find out there's more to this story than anyone could have possibly imagined? Only time and more pages can tell in this roller coaster of a ride!

One of aspects I enjoyed most about Mad World: Epidemic was how it was more plot development heavy then character development heavy. It allowed for the book to move at a rapid and exciting pace, as nearly every chapter introduced a new twist or turn. Better yet, I really enjoyed finding more out about the virus, and the way that Samaire connected it all to the Black Plague was also incredibly well done.

The characters in this were more used to develop the plot more than anything else, and in this instance I was fine with it. I still did enjoy reading about them all, though. Alyssa, our main protagonist, was spunky and always managed to do her part to help out, as did her friends. My favorite character of the story though probably would have had to be Rissa. She was such a sweet little girl.

The writing in this was decent as well. Samaire did a great job of introducing an edge-of-your-seat read, and while I did at times wish there was a little more character and emotional development at times, I still feel that this one is well worth a read.

In all, Mad World: Epidemic is great first book, and I'm beyond excited to see what Samaire comes up with next!

Grade: B+

Epidemic (AmazonGoodreads) is now out in paperback and eBook formats!

Source: Author for blog tour

Mad World: Sanctuary (Book #2!) 
The year is 2017, and the Black Plague infection has swept across most of the United States, leaving death and chaos in its wake. Martial law is the rule rather than the exception, with outbreaks cropping up when they're least expected. Alyssa and her friends must not only battle outbreaks of the disease, but also find themselves pursued by government agents – men and women determined to track them down at any cost.

Fleeing north to the fabled Sanctuary, Alyssa, Jacob, DeAndre, Caitlyn, Risa and Luke face disturbing ordeals and terrible tragedy as they encounter unbelievable situations in their struggle to reach safety. Using their skills and wits in their fight to survive against ever worsening odds, they weather hardship, betrayal, and the ever-present specter of death as they flee north, all the while vowing to protect one another – and most of all their precious 5-year-old Luke, from a world gone mad.

Sanctuary, the second installment in the Mad World series, is a heart-rending adventure of astonishing revelations, tragic discoveries, agonizing separations and devastating losses that test these friends to their limits. With heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat suspense at every turn, this is a story you will not be able to put down.

Find out what happens next.

After reading Mad World: Epidemic, I was beyond excited to read Mad World: Sanctuary. I was dying to know what would occur next. However, while I hate to say it, I have to: Mad World: Sanctuary wasn't nearly as good as the first one. It wasn't the same kind of story that I had loved in the first book. Instead it had morphed into something else, something I wasn't always that happy with.

Mad World: Sanctuary starts up five years after the first one ended. Alyssa and the rest of them are still on the run, especially since they now know that Luke is very different from the typical human baby. However, when the government finds out where they are, and sends agents in, they know they have to leave. Luke's life depends on it. Gathering everyone up, they head North, hoping to find a supposed Sanctuary house in Canada. But will they get there in time, or will one of their own betray them?

As mentioned in my review of the first one, I just loved how Samaire crafted the plot, especially how she always managed to move it all along at a fast and fun pace. However, in this one, I felt that it all moved at a slow pace, and even when the twists and turns where introduced, I usually saw them coming from miles away. It did get a little bit better in the end, but still, it didn't have that charm that the first one did.

I did enjoy seeing where the characters were and how they were doing though. It was especially interesting to see how resilient and protective they have grown after all this time. They seemed much older than 22, 23. I also really enjoyed the addition of some new characters.

In all, Mad World: Sanctuary wasn't my cup of tea. However, many others have loved it, so I say if you enjoy the first one, give this one a try. Who knows maybe you'll end up seeing something I didn't...I do know that I will be reading the third one since this one left off on a HUGE cliffhanger.

Grade: C+ 

Sanctuary (Amazon, BN, Goodreads) is now out in paperback and eBook formats!

Source: Author for blog tour


About the Author:

Born naked. Clothed and fed shortly thereafter by adoring parents who looked on in bemusement as their daughter became a reading, writing, free-spirited, feral, animal loving, bleeding-heart chocolate lover who laughs easily. Samaire Provost is a California writer of Young Adult novels. Her love of paranormal stories, odd plots, and unique tales as well as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, E.A.Poe, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and Stephen King has deeply influenced her writing. 

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