The Dead Days Journal

The Dead Days Journal : Volume 1The Dead Days Journal : Volume 1 by Sandra R. Campbell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

( I received this book free from the author in exchange for my honest review )

3.5 Stars

I'm on the fence about this one. There are a lot of aspects I liked and a lot I didn't. Though it was an interesting read, I'm not sure if I actually liked or dislike this book. It's hard to put down in words. I believe it's because I went into this book with a different image, (one I gather from the book cover and synopsis), thinking one thing and getting another. In any case it was misleading. (I seem to be getting a lot of those lately)

Despite all that, this read did keep my interest, there never seem to be a dull moment, and the story had a nice flow and steady pace. It wasn't overall fast, but it didn't drag its feet either. You get a great picture of what the compound looks like, and how the survivors live and function as a whole. Everyone has a job, the rules aren't overbearing, and everyone seems pretty content.

The world building in itself was okay, not the best I've seen. If I was to give it a rating, I say it would be slightly above average. There was enough to get your mind going, and there was enough strewed about for your mind to fill in the rest.

I liked Leo, annoying at times, but she got a good head on her shoulders. She's loyal to her family, and will do just about anything to keep them safe, but her main focus was her little brother. If she could, she would give the moon to that little guy and would stop at nothing to see it happen.

I didn't like Ben, (the love interest or whatever he was), as much as I wanted. He was sweet, kind, stupid, and all the other cliché's that go with the hot male lead. But what got me the most, was that he was designed to come off as the strong manly type. But damn, he was a tool. What's the first thing he does? Breaks the one promise that was stated by Leo, which would be a deal breaker. No, means, no. Then what does he do? Goes and tells her father that she wouldn't have sex with him (Even though they did, asshat! Like really, who does that?). And in truth, starts the whole F'en mess that causes the compound everything. I would have kicked him in the teeth.

As I was reading about weird love thing/sup-plot, I got the feeling that Leo never really loved Ben as much as she wanted. It felt forced and, it wasn't heart-string pulling material. She might as well have fallen for a rock. That's about as much feeling I got from them.

Halloween, the vampire/demon/something or other, fancies Leo, for her blood. He's straight up about it as well. I liked him, he had this I-don't-give-no-f*ucks attitude. He told it how it was, and in the world that's gone to shit, you need that. I don't like it when characters hold back their feelings, resulting in misunderstands, which the lead decides to ignore it, making it worst, instead of actually manning (womanning) up. I like brut honesty; it dispels a lot of stupid.

I didn't like the father; he should have been killed off long before he cracked. That was a mess just waiting to happen.

I wish there was more background on how the world ended. Sure there were bits and pieces at the beginning, but I didn't feel satisfied with it. In terms of, world ending scenarios, it was vague, and generic. I felt it was thrown it just to say, hey, hey! We're living like this because mother natural decided to smack the shit out of use for basically killer her for billions of years. And then at the end of the book there's this other vague explanation from Halloween, saying that god was wiping everyone out because of his and hell's mistakes. Cool idea, but again, I felt that it was thrown in there, like it was a last minute idea. I do hope it's elaborated on in volume 2.

In all, I do recommend this book, though I can't quite place myself on the bad or good side of things, it's a fascinating read. There are twist, turns and a very unlikely love. If you want an unusual take on vampires with a forbidden romance feeling, then you’ll love The Dead Days Journal.

I would like to thank Sandra R. Campbell for giving me the opportunity to read this twist on the normal dystopian cliché. I am looking forwards to volume 2.

Happy Reading


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