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Autumn in the City of Angels (Autumn Series) (Volume 1) Paperback – April 14, 2013
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About the Author
Kirby Howell is the pen name for Jessica "Kirby" Alexander and Dana "Howell" Melton, who have been writing together since 2000 when they met in their first screenwriting course at the University of Alabama. Both currently live in Los Angeles with their husbands and work in the entertainment industry. The Autumn Series is their debut young adult series and will be followed by The Wayfarer Series.
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Top customer reviews
Wait.. Haven't I read this book already?
You might think that, but you would be wrong. Let me explain
All of those things I listed above are true, but I have read other plague books with a really great unique twist that failed miserably for me because of poor execution (I'm looking at you Masque of the Red Death and Dance of the Red Death). Execution was not an issue with Autumn. So why a three-ish four instead of a five... Let's come back to that, first let's go over what I enjoyed.
We begin the book pre-plague with 17 year old Autumn Winters walking across town after school to meet up with her friend for coffee on her way home. This intro to the story gives us a nice baseline of what Autumn's life was like before we are pushed into the post-plague hell zone. And here was the best part, getting to the plague was NOT some drawn out ordeal... It's abrupt and shocking, just like it would have been to Autumn's character. It's also fairly realistic in terms of how people would respond in the event of an emergency.
Autumn is luckier than most and comes from a very privileged family so when she is left all alone she has benefits that many others don't have in their attempts to survive after the plague hits. There is no flaunting of wealth or trying to make her seem more special by having been the daughter of an actress and an architect, but because she is those things it makes her situation more plausible. Her father had designed a safe home for them, yeah, I mean, he's an architect, so that's possible. Her mother was a famous actress from Ireland so, okay, she happens to be beautiful. At least the authors gave a reason for this and didn't just have her miraculously stumble upon a really safe location to hide out for six weeks while the city and world around her was crumbling.
The pacing is good with smallish suspenseful scenes peppered in so that you never have to go very long without something of interest happening. I mean she spends most of her time alone watching movies and listening to music so fortunately there are some small time jumps to show us that although time has passed with little incident we don't have to read about every boring day to understand that loneliness causes Autumn to brave the dangerous world below her safe penthouse. Otherwise, if you have supplies and safety, why the hell would you even venture out in a dangerous world???
When there are action scenes, again the authors keep it realistic. Autumn is a 17 year old girl that has never had martial arts or weapons training, it would be absurd if she just became a survivor badass overnight. So instead, when there is danger, Autumn has to outrun, out smart, and generally out maneuver those that would try to hurt or take advantage of her. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a heroine that can kick the crap out of her enemies, but that's not always an option.I appreciate that the authors didn't try to do that with Autumn's character.
Okay, so back to that why not all the stars thing if they got all of that stuff right???
Here were my issues.
- A triangularly shaped romance. But not really a triangle, because it was a one-sided situation. Girl likes boy, different boy likes girl, object of girl's affection may or may not like girl... I don't know... is a one sided or flat triangle a thing?
The thing that saves this for me is that there is never a time when Autumn is romantically interested in the third side of that flat triangle thing.
- The mysterious love interest. We have lots of questions... and there are hints from early on that he is different...
On no! RED ALERT!
*crosses fingers - please say he won't sparkle, please say he won't sparkle*
Except he isn't quite that bad.
I'm not gonna lie though, this was the one aspect of the book that cost it all of it's stars.This book is probably in all honesty closer to a three than a four star read for me, but it's my rating and my review so I'll click whichever one I want. I'm not gonna even do the spoiler thingy and tell you what makes our leading man so different and special because I know people can't resist clicking the thing. Had I known this aspect prior to reading, I probably would not have read the book, but I'm glad I didn't know.
- Sometimes our MC comes off as a little too good to be true. I would have liked to have seen her a little more flawed so that there would be opportunity for growth over the course of the series.
Basically, this is a solid debut and an interesting introduction to a new series. I plan to read the next book and look forward to seeing how things turn out for Autumn.
At first I raised an eyebrow as the more fantastical part of the story line was so surprisingly introduced, but this plot twist quickly proved to add a great deal to the story. Just as the abilities of vampires and werewolves add depth to the stories of their genre by allowing things to happen that would otherwise be impossible, this story adds an element that allows the characters an extra freedom they would otherwise not have (without resorting to the same old same old of vampires, werewolves, and fairies). And no, I will not ruin the surprise- read it!!!
Fans of urban fantasy, scifi, and apocalyptic fiction alike will enjoy this story!
Autumn is a teenage girl in the city of Los Angeles when a plague hits, wiping out a huge portion of the population. Everyone she knows is gone and she is alone in her tower penthouse.
That all changes on the day Grey saves her life. But just as quickly as he entered it, he is gone again. He left her with a promise. He would come for her when it was safe. She held on to that promise as she made a new family with a couple of other surviving kids and they struggled to create normalcy.
Then the day came when the bubble they had been living in burst and nothing was safe anymore. A bad group of people were moving in and Autumn found herself in the clutches of yet another group. Only this time, the group included the face of the boy she had only dreamed about seeing again and he may not be who she thought he was.
This book kept me going til the end. The writing was good and I instantly fell in love with Grey and a number of the other characters.
The reason for the four stars is that I thought parts of the book turned a little too weird for me. And I didn't always like Autumn. Sometimes I felt like she had the potential to turn into this kick ass heroine but she didn't. I'm hoping she gets more of a chance to shine in the next book. More of a chance to fight and protect those she loves.
The story itself was fantastic. The writing was organic and funny. The dialogue was good. I want Rissi to be my little sister.
You should check out this series if you're looking for something to get sucked in to. Warning - you may not get anything else done.
They are easy reading, I couldn't put them down! It was great meeting the writers at Festival of Books at USC!
Can't wait for the next book or series!
Most recent customer reviews
By: Kirby Howell
5 out of 5 stars
The story of Autumn in the City of Angels (The Autumn Series Book 1)...Read more
Autumn in the City of Angels originally drew my eye because of the setting!Read more