Book Review: Cost of Life by Joshua Corin

Cost of LifeCost of Life
Joshua Corin
Alibi, March 2015
ISBN 9781101882610
Ebook

From the publisher—

Happy Independence Day. You’re all going to die.
 
Life can’t be better for veteran pilot Larry Walder. He has a great job, a terrific kid, a gorgeous wife—and no inkling that tonight will be the end of the world as he knows it. In the early hours before the Fourth of July, three men break into Larry’s home. And as the day lurches on to its terrifying course, a life is taken, and Flight 816 from Atlanta to Cozumel, Mexico, vanishes off the radar.
 
In the air, Larry must find a way to save his family, his crew, and his passengers. On the ground, disgraced FBI agent Xanadu Marx goes rogue, making it her mission to track down the missing flight before the hijackers reach their diabolical endgame. With the casualties racking up and the world’s busiest airport under lockdown, a message arrives: This is no ordinary hijacking, no typical hostage crisis. This ransom is a totally different beast—the first hint of a conspiracy that might bring America to its knees.

I’m drawn to thrillers involving airplanes in jeopardy for some reason so, when offered the chance to participate in this blog tour, I jumped right on it. Once I started reading, and all through the book, I was delighted to find that Cost of Life is really, really good.

From the first sentences, I bonded with Larry Walder and his family with just a simple scenario of a little boy and his parents having fun together. I did not, of course, bond with the bad guys who show up on the scene early on and are, indeed, very bad guys. It’s apparent that they will have no reluctance to harm Marie and Sean so Larry is left with a terrible choice—which lives matter more, Marie’s and Sean’s or the 174 people on board the airplane that should be heading to Cozumel?

I don’t know about anyone else here but, once past the initial moderate unease during takeoff, I find most flights to be excruciatingly boring. Believe me when I say Flight 816 to Cozumel is anything but boring and Mr. Corin manages to ratchet up the tension every time he shows us certain passengers.

Then there’s Special Agent Xana Marx, a woman who has made a mess of her life. She may not make it back into the FBI but she has talents the authorities need if they’re going to find the missing plane and a waif of a girl named Hayley O’Leary just may be the person to bring Xana the redemption she so sorely needs. Both are severely damaged, each in her own way, but it’s hard for me to say which of these two very different people I liked the most.

There are just a few authors who reside on my list of favorite thriller writers but I think I’ve found one to add to that list, Joshua Corin. After this rollercoaster of a tale, I can barely wait to see what he’ll give us next.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, April 2015.

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About the Author

Joshua CorinJoshua Corin is the author of Nuclear Winter Wonderland, While Galileo Preysand Before Cain Strikes. He holds an M.A. in English and an M.A. in theater from Binghamton University, and currently teaches college in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Book Blitz: The Dead Days Journal by Sandra R. Campbell

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Title: The Dead Days Journal
Author: Sandra R. Campbell
Publication Date: March 30, 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopian

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Synopsis

The daughter of a radical doomsday prepper, Leo Marrok spent
her entire life preparing for the end. A skilled fighter and perfect
marksman, Leo is her father’s second-in-command when
Armageddon comes to pass. Together, they lead a group of
survivors to a secure bunker deep in the Appalachian Mountains.

Vincent Marrok is willing to take extreme measures to repopulate
their broken world. Leo’s refusal marks her as a traitor. With father
and daughter at odds for the first time, their frail community is thrust
into turmoil. Until the unthinkable happens, a blood-thirsty horde
arrives. The impending attack will destroy all that they have worked for.

To protect her home and everything she believes in, Leo puts her
faith in the arms of the enemy—a creature only rumored to exist—the
one she calls Halloween. An alliance born out of necessity
evolves into feelings Leo is ill-equipped to handle.

The Dead Days Journal is a post-apocalyptic story of love and
family told through Leo Marrok’s first-hand account and the pages
of Vincent’s personal journal, giving two very different
perspectives on what it takes to survive.

Mature themes, adult language, sexual situations, violence and gore. 18+

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An Excerpt from The Dead Days Journal

“Count like this: one Mississippi, two Mississippi, and so on until you reach one hundred and thirty. Then light it. I’ll be counting with you.”

If I ran fast enough, I’d make the front entrance before our distraction went sky high. Lincoln and I were finally using the fireworks he’d been hording, along with my father’s highly combustible concoction of extra fine sawdust and gunpowder. By no means was this a celebration, but an explosion, even of the sparkly variety, would draw everyone’s attention to the cave and away from the courtyard—away from Halloween. I just had to reach him before anyone noticed.

The Dead Days JournalOnce he gets a taste of my blood, he’ll be fine.

I double-checked the fuses I’d twisted together and the ignition line we’d run along the dirt floor. I wasn’t entirely sure the cave opening wouldn’t collapse; but if it did, well, it’d be one less entrance we’d have to worry about protecting.

“As soon as this sparks, head to the outlook room. You’re my eyes and backup if anything goes wrong. Are you sure you’re up for this, Linc?”

Lincoln re-adjusted the shoulder strap of his rifle. The gun was almost as tall as him. “Yeah.”

I ruffled the white-blond hair on the top of his head with the palm of my hand, fighting the urge to give him a bone-crushing hug. “Okay. Be careful, baby brother.”

Lincoln stumbled forward, reaching for my arm. “Leo, wait!”

“What is it?” Please do this for me. It’s Halloween’s only chance.

Lincoln’s pale green eyes pooled with tears. “I’m sorry…”

I snatched my arm out of his tender hands. “What?” Shit, it’s almost dark! We don’t have time for this.

Lincoln shuffled his feet and then watched as a small dirt cloud dispersed over his shoes. “I called you a liar. I only said it because I was mad. That vampire wasn’t a dream. He was real. The dream didn’t come back, he did. You never lied to me.”

I bent over, took his round chin in my hand, and raised his head. Looking him square in the eye, I gave a hard nod. “And I never will.”

Lincoln responded with a curt nod of his own and then swiped away a falling tear. He believed me. I was his big sister. I’d always be there for him. He’d never doubt me. We’d never have this misunderstanding again. And now I knew I’d never be able to leave him.

“Start now…” I slipped through the steel door.

Behind me, in a soft soprano voice, Lincoln began counting. “One Mississippi, two…”

The door clicked shut and I took off at a dead run, silently counting along with him.

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About the Author

Sandra R. CampbellSandra R. Campbell lives along the tranquil waters of the Chesapeake Bay with her husband and weight challenged cat. She can trace her passion for the macabre back to reading Edgar Allen Poe as a child, with her pet crow, Big Fellow, by her side. She has since submerged herself in a wide range of dark literature. An avid thrill seeker, Sandra is always looking for her next big adrenaline rush, and when spelunking, diving and monster hunting fails to deliver, she turns to the creation of through-the-rabbit-hole worlds and sends her characters on their own adventures. Sandra also writes children’s stories, is a member of the Maryland Writers’ Association, the head of a M.W.A. critique group, and the founder and co-author of Waterfrontwriters.com.

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