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Tortures of the Damned by Hunter Shea
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Tortures of the Damned

by Hunter Shea

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This is the kind of book that is nice to read now and then. It's over the top action from the beginning to the end with some gore in it. I find it kind of relaxing to read like this. Which actually feels a bit weird, but it's the same with action movies. Sometimes you just want a lot of action and a story that moves forward fast. And, you got it in this book.

The problem I had while reading this one was that I felt quite detached from the story and the characters. I just didn't care that much when they started to die because I had never really gotten to like them that much, not that I disliked them, they were just characters in a book and they died. That's it. I just couldn't connect with them or the story.

And, usually I have a problem with animals getting hurt, but there was so many of them, horses, dogs, cats hawks, etc. all the time attacking the humans. They have gone completely batshit crazy and when a horse first kicks a man and then rips off his face, well it's hard to really feel sorry for the horses. And, getting mauled to death by a pack of dogs is probably not that nice. But the crazy animals are one thing, they have an excuse for acting this way, something had been done to them to act this way. But some humans, let's say that survival of the fittest isn't always the one that you hope would survive. And, the group of poor survivors trying to get to safety not only have to look out for animals but also for gangbangers.

Then we have the ending, let's just say that it's a very open ending, if it was a series would I say that it was a great cliffhanger, but I'm not sure if this is a series or not. And, if it not, well then the ending sucks a bit!

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Dec 14, 2017 |
Coulda' Woulda' Shoulda'

Tortures of the Damned by Hunter Shea is an alright read that had the potential to be so much more.

I could have gotten a real sense of the collapse of society.
One of the things that I love the best about adult apocalyptic fiction is that it is a study of society. There is usually a total breakdown, every man, woman, child for themselves. No one can be trusted anymore, and one can be killed for the price of food, shelter, etc. This was touched on with a couple of intentional phrases, but never developed into much. It was mentioned that the children are growing up fast and they did take on some unbelievable shiz towards the end, but I never felt the children's emotional struggle. The mother never did develop much of a backbone, and watching her constantly fearing for her children, but never feeling it myself made this another miss. There was limited contact with people because so many were dead, but I would have liked to have seen more in in that area by bringing in other survivors earlier on. That may have also helped with the end not feeling disjointed, (more on that in a moment).

I should have not had to feel the cringe at the racial tone surrounding the villains.
Trust me, I hate it that everyone is so easily offended and I am not one to get my panties in a knot over shit just to stir the racial pot. There is too much of that going on already and I don't think that we should pretend that history doesn't exist and blah blah blah... I just didn't like the way that the primary villains, of the human variety anyway, were a gang of troubled young men who are "blacker than spades" and who each wanted a go at doing a "white woman". It felt intentional and pathetically unoriginal.


I could have gone for less repetitive animal chases and more conflicts and dangers in other areas.
I actually really liked the take of animals gone wild in the fall of a civilized society. It doesn't necessarily make sense that they are not at all bothered by the chemicals that kill off most of civilization, but... It added an imaginable danger that I don't recall reading before. I am just not sure why that angle was used soooo........ much. I can personally think of a few dozen other scenarios that could have easily been written in and am not sure why the author kept going back to the same thing.

I should have gotten answers regarding the world building.
I have no idea who, why, or what was responsible for the bombing and was left not knowing the reach of the damage.

I really would have liked a better ending.
The one good thing about the ending was that it wasn't cookie cutter 'happily ever after'. The ending was inconsistent with the rest of the story (avoiding a spoiler here), but even more importantly, it just dropped off. It was like I was reading along and in the middle of a paragraph, I fell of a cliff and the story was over.

The Bottom Line
The beginning was so fast paced and amazing that I am not really surprised that it couldn't hold the momentum. I was engrossed in the story more at the beginning because of the pacing.
There was a lot of action along with a nice amount of creativity, but the author spent too much time with the same stuff in the last half.
The characters were of a nice variety, but not likable as a whole. I did love, love, love Buck, who read a lot like The Walking Dead's Hershell Greene.
There was a lot to like, but in equal amounts there were things that were bothersome. ( )
  StephLaymon | Jan 26, 2016 |
Review copy

Hunter Shea lives in New York with his family and one vindictive cat. Aside from writing horror he's been involved in real life exploration of the paranormal, he interviews exorcists, and has been involved in other things that would keep normal people up at night.

Tortures of the Damned manages to avoid many of the cliches found in the typical apocalyptic horror novel and the result is a terrifying read that left me wanting more.

The story starts with numerous explosions, the lose of electricity, meaning no TV and no radio. Despite that, Daniel Padilla does his best to keep his family calm...

"'There's nothing to be afraid of . In fact, why don't you, Miguel, and Max go in the kitchen and make us all ice cream sundaes?'

Gabby's eyes lit up. 'Really?'

Elizabeth gave him a warning look, 'Dan, it's late.'

He kissed her cheek 'They don't have school tomorrow. I think ice cream is exactly what we all need.'"

The idyllic family, instantly likable, caught in a nightmarish new world. Their neighbors, Buck Clarke and his girlfriend Alexiana offer to have the family join them in his bomb shelter until things blow over.

What follows is an intense horror story filled with graphic images, like that of a man having his face ripped off by a horse. That's right, I said a horse. Horses are grossly underused in horror fiction. And let's not forget the rats. I hate rats.

"This was no fantasy, this was a horror movie, one of those flicks from the seventies where there was no happy ending."

I absolutely devoured this book. I allowed myself four days for this read and finished it in two. There is excellent use of lose in Tortures of the Damned, as well as some crass sexual situations, but I found them certainly appropriate for the story given the circumstances. Anything less would have taken away from the realism.

Although the book was not promoted as the first of a series, there had better be a sequel especially with the heluva cliff-hanger that comes at the end.

From Pinnacle Books, an imprint of the Kensington Publishing Company, Tortures of the Damned is available now in both paperback and e-book formats.

Highly recommended. ( )
  FrankErrington | Aug 9, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786034777, Mass Market Paperback)

SHOCK…
First, the electricity goes—plunging the east coast in darkness after a devastating nuclear attack. Millions panic. Millions die. They are the lucky ones.
 
AFTER SHOCK…
Next, the chemical weapons take effect—killing or contaminating everything alive. Except a handful of survivors in a bomb shelter. They are the damned.
 
 HELL IS FOR HUMANS
Then, the real nightmare begins. Hordes of rats force two terrified families out of their shelter—and into the savage streets of an apocalytic wasteland. They are not alone. Vicious, chemical-crazed animals hunt in packs. Dogs tear flesh, cats draw blood, horses crush bone. Roaming gangs of the sick and dying are barely recognizable as human. These are the times that try men’s souls. These are the tortures that tear families apart. This is hell on earth. The rules are simple: Kill or die.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 29 Jul 2015 10:17:44 -0400)

First, the electricity goes--plunging the east coast in darkness after a devastating nuclear attack. Millions panic. Millions die. They are the lucky ones. Next, the chemical weapons take effect--killing or contaminating everything alive. Except a handful of survivors in a bomb shelter. They are the damned. Then, the real nightmare begins. Hordes of rats force two terrified families out of their shelter--and into the savage streets of an apocalytic wasteland. They are not alone. Vicious, chemical-crazed animals hunt in packs. Dogs tear flesh, cats draw blood, horses crush bone. Roaming gangs of the sick and dying are barely recognizable as human. These are the times that try men's souls. These are the tortures that tear families apart. This is hell on earth. The rules are simple: Kill or die.… (more)

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