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Exit Kingdom by Alden Bell
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Exit Kingdom

by Alden Bell

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I have mixed and ambivalent feeling ( can i say feeling!?) about this book, it was not interesting as the prequel......there is something missing here after Temple's death......Vestal Amata was no way to take her part and the life and pain of the two boys din not catch my attention and not even interest....
i ended the book but it left me nothing.... that's a pity!!

( sorry for my english!!) ( )
  Mandane75 | Nov 16, 2018 |
I absolutely adored The Reapers and the Angels and was incredibly excited to see that Alden Bell had come out with a second book to follow up on that one. This book is set in the same world as The Reapers and the Angels and does have some crossover with that book; however it stands alone fine and follows a different main character than the first book. I breezed right through this book and loved every minute of it.

I love the writing style of Bell’s books; they are beautifully written, very engaging and thought-provoking. I love how Bell gives such prose and beauty to such a dark and desperate world.

Where Temple (from the first book) found amazing beauty in incredibly bleak landscapes, the main character in this book, Moses, is different. Moses is incredibly loyal to his misfit brother and has a strict code of honor that he follows. He is a breath of fresh air in a world that’s gone desperate. However, by his own admission he can be incredibly violent too and is very good at surviving. He often talks about how he fits in better in this bleak world of survival than he ever did in the pre-apocalyptic America.

As with the first book, this book focuses less on the rampaging zombies and more on how humans themselves have become monstrous. Moses (much like Temple) has an almost sympathy for the poor walking dead; the walking dead are just animals without any ulterior motives.

This book is defined by wonderful descriptions and thought-provoking passages while still being fast-paced and action packed. There really isn’t much of a point to the story other than to wander along beside Moses and his brother and see this crazy post-apocalyptic world through their eyes...and I loved every minute of it.

Overall this was an amazing follow up to The Reapers are the Angels. I absolutely loved the writing style, the characters, and the beauty and honor seeded among all the post-apocalyptic bleakness. I would recommend both of Bell’s Reapers books to everyone; they are just amazing in how they describe a world gone mad. ( )
  krau0098 | Oct 28, 2016 |
I loved 'The Reaper's are the Angels' so much, I thought it was wonderful. Great book! I was sad at the end though as it seemed to indicate that it was destined to be a stand-alone novel. It didn't seem to leave any openings for further books.

When I saw that there was to be a sequel I jumped on the order button and could not wait to get my hands on it!

This story is told by Moses Todd (from the first book) and he is now traveling with his adopted charge Maury who he inherited by default from Temple. Things seem to be much the same in the world as when we last saw it, the zombies are still out there and the people are still getting by as best they can.

Although this ia a sequel it feels like a prequel at times due to the story being told from a mostly 'flashback' Point Of View. We learn Moses' history as he traveled the zombie infested lands with his brother Abraham, and at the same time we see the over-run world become a little more fleshed out in the telling. There are a lot of new characters to meet and their story's are mostly interesting but it just didn't move me the same way the first book did.

For two books set in the same world they seems so different.

It's not a terrible book....it's just not as likeable as the first one. It would take something quite epic to fill the gap left by Temple, I think, so it had a lot to live up to. It was an ok read but not one I'd go back to. ( )
  SilverThistle | Dec 30, 2014 |
3.5 stars

Ok, first of all what the hell is up with that cover? In what world is Moses Todd supposed to look like a refugee from a paranormal romance series airing on the CW? Not in mine, that’s for sure.

Alright, now that that’s off my chest we can continue. What we have here is the sequel/prequel to Bell’s initial foray into the zombie apocalypse [b:The Reapers Are the Angels|8051458|The Reapers Are the Angels (Reapers, #1)|Alden Bell|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1317066698s/8051458.jpg|12707063]. This time around we follow former secondary characters Moses Todd and his brother in their rambles across a ravaged America prior to their meeting with Temple from the first book. As I implied in my review of Reapers Moses was really more of an antagonist to Temple than a villain, so seeing him fleshed out further here didn’t come across as either: a) a betrayal of the character’s nature or b) a picture of a completely unsympathetic anti-hero. Bell was even able to make Moses’ brother Abraham, not much more than a vile snake in the first book, at least have explanations for his character and behaviour that made sense and turned him into something more approximating a human being. In addition to these two characters, and a varied assortment of post-apocalyptic survivor misfits in supporting roles, we have the new character of ‘The Vestal’ something of a throw-back to Temple in that she is a strong female able to take care of herself, though different in that she is no warrior, but rather one who deploys the more traditional feminine charms in her defense along with a unique condition that makes her survival in zombie-world easier than it is for most.

Once again we have a road-trip/quest (I wonder whether other types of story are possible/interesting in the zombie apocalypse context?) with the delivery of a person somewhere as the end goal. This time it is up to the brothers Todd to deliver the Vestal to an enclave of civilization in Colorado in order for the powers that be to find out what makes her tick. Once again we have a detailed meditation on the character of the shattered landscape of America with a view to the kind of individuals that are able to thrive, or at least endure, as survivors in a blighted world. It’s interesting to see brought into even sharper focus that fact that the walking dead aren't even the biggest problem for this world. They are almost laughable in the ease with which they can be avoided (unless you're caught off-guard or cornered by sheer numbers), and as usual it is the humans who survive from whom there is the most to fear. Bell has an interesting way, yet again, of ruminating on the fact that the zombies aren’t really evil, perhaps they aren’t even an unholy plague, they’re just another set of obstacles in life that one either contends with or is consumed by (literally in this case). Once again we have the lilting Southern Gothic voice that tinges the text with biblical and oratorical significance and that is very pleasant to read.

There’s a lot of “once agains” there, and they’re not completely meant to be derogatory. The story is a good one and I enjoy Bell’s writing enough that I don’t mind “more of the same” in this world. I’m not sure if Moses is as successful a central character as Temple was though, and I think I preferred his much more ambiguous characterization in the first novel. It’s interesting to once again see someone who actually fits in better in this wasted world than he ever did before the fall, though unlike Temple he was not born into the apocalypse and thus can have moments of regret for what has been lost, at least on the personal if not the societal level. The search for purpose is a theme that looms large in both books, though even the attaining of purpose isn’t always enough to keep one sane. In Moses we see a man driven by two things: the need to protect his corrupt brother from the lawful retribution of the world at large, and the need to follow a personal code to the exclusion of all else, even good sense or happiness. Without the code Moses is just a drifter prey to illusions brought on by emotion and desire, though he doesn’t seem to appreciate that he may have built his purpose on illusions of his own.

All in all I liked the tale and if you’re a fan of the zombie apocalypse you should like this one. Bell mixes some philosophical musings and lyrical prose in with his blood-spattered gore and harsh violence so there’s more than just an edge of your seat adventure to be gotten from the book. I don’t think it’s quite as successful as the first volume, though I’m not quite sure why. Still, a truly enjoyable read when all is said and done. ( )
  dulac3 | Apr 2, 2013 |
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In a world where the undead outnumber the living, Moses Todd roams the post-apocalyptic plains of America with his reprobate brother, Abraham. Together, they journey because they have to; because they have nowhere to go, and no one to answer to other than themselves. Travelling the bloody wastelands of this ruined world, Moses is looking for a kernel of truth, and a reason to keep going. And a chance encounter presents him with the Vestal Amata, a beguiling and mysterious woman who may hold the key to salvation.… (more)

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