Review of “Story Time” by Linell Jeppsen

I am pleased to give you all a review that is for once not about vampires, though the author did write a book about them too.  Thanks for your patience for those not into the paranormal as much as I am.  The novel I am covering today is a bit more of an apocalyptic/futuristic/sci-fi mix.  I wasn’t sure how I would like it, but as it turns out, this was one story that I am glad to have not waited any long to read.  Though it isn’t centered around a romance, do know that there is a bit of that in there too for those like me who always look for it.  Mostly, though, this is more of a suspense and action novel.  So here is the review I posted on Amazon.  Sorry for the brief spoiler at the bottom, it couldn’t be helped. Read that paragraph at your own risk.

Story Time is an apocalyptic tale of earth’s final moments before utter destruction.  An event that comes in many forms no one expected, but a lot of them are reminiscent of predictions from the book of Revelations.  It begins with a few major natural disasters that aren’t really tied together at first but eventually it’s clear something awful is brewing.  No one expected how far it would go or how bad things would end up.  The loss of human life reaches epic proportions in a relatively short period, leaving few survivors.  This is not a story that could be properly told from only one view-point, so there are several which give individual accounts as to how things went down.  The one constancy they all have is that every narrator eventually ends up at a place called Harmony Ranch in Washington State.  One of the last places where humans fight to survive before the planet becomes uninhabitable.

Readers will meet a multitude of characters, some more likeable than others.  The story is told from both good, honest people and those who are little more than criminals.  One of the most prominent is Naomi, the woman whose family owns Harmony Ranch.  She is a soft-hearted, sweet young woman who is forced to take the mantle of leadership for the many people who come to her home for refuge.  There is also Steven Cummings, a reporter who was forced to flee with his life partner and seek safety at the ranch.  Michael Anderson, a former NBA player, is turned into a hero by his actions to save those weaker than him.  There are also several more who were not so good in the things they did.  Their version of accounts show a darker side to human nature.

Story Time grabbed my attention from the beginning and didn’t let go.   As each account was revealed, I desperately turned the pages (or rather touched the screen to flip them) so I could find out more.  The world building in this novel is impressive as the author thought of numerous small details to add depth and greater visualization.  I could see every event as it unfolded.  Not only this, but the character development throughout was excellent.  Each person came to life with their unique backgrounds and made it easy to see how people of various walks of life were affected by the disasters that hit earth.  They all had their strengths and weaknesses which made them realistic and easy to relate to.  Despite the excellent descriptions, I never found the story to slow down, if anything it sped up as things came to their tragic conclusion.

***Spoiler Alert***

There is very little to complain about with this novel.  It is well written and thought out.  I would have liked to know more about what happened to people on other continents, aside from North America, as little was mentioned about them.  It is one factor that should have gotten a bit more attention, even if only at the final stages of the novel.  I got the impression from things revealed toward the end that there were other pockets of humans that made it off the planet alive, but couldn’t be sure how this occurred.  The ending was a bit abrupt as well.  I had expected to learn exactly how the humans were saved on that final day, aside from the fact it was aliens that helped them.   Little explanation was given on this.  Who were these aliens and why did they come to the rescue?  These questions linger in my mind.  Yet I wouldn’t say that the above factors hurt the book much.  It still told a very vivid story that certainly gave a fairly complete picture.

***End Spoiler Alert***

If you enjoy suspenseful tales involving the apocalypse that will keep you on the edge of your seat, Story Time is a must read.  It is one of the better versions I have seen, especially if compared to other books and movies on the same subject.  I am certainly pleased for picking this one up and giving it a chance.  It was well worth the time and most certainly a very entertaining novel!


~ by Suzie on November 27, 2011.

6 Responses to “Review of “Story Time” by Linell Jeppsen”

  1. Great review, Susan! And Story Time sounds like a great book! I read your spoiler, found myself nodding in agreement with the questions you raised. I could hope there’s going to be another book to follow, to answer some of those questions …

    • Thanks PL! Since you already got that spoiler and this part is covered fairly early on, they accounts are told from the new planet that the survivors live on. They do talk about the trip there on some kind of asteroid ships, but how it got worked out exactly, I don’t know. There is one scene later in the book that mentions New London and that most people kept their accents from back on earth, despite the many years that have passed. The british accent being one of them. This is the only time it is indicated that anyone from other continents survived.

      Maybe Linell could write a sequel from a British or European perspective that will answer these questions? I liked this book well enough that I would definitely grab the next one if she did it. I wasn’t kidding that she kept the action and suspense going the whole way through this one. So much of the story was plausible that it was almost scary! I just finished it last night and dreamed of it while asleep. I don’t normally have apocalyptic dreams, lol.

  2. Thank you so much for your review and wonderful comments. I realize that the end could have been more clear-cut, but felt comfortable leaving some things to the imagination. Also, since human beings were telling the story, to the best of their ability, I thought that even they might not really know the answers to some of those questions…why some survived (and were rescued), and many others did not. Anyway, thanks again, Susan! Nel

    • Thanks for stopping by and answering our question Nel. It helped to know your mindset on that. I can see that there would be some things the survivors didn’t know considering how vague those aliens were. I’d still happily read a sequel based from the British perspective if you wrote it though. I’m seriously pondering how they made it out! Not to mention who else might have.

  3. I’m really intrigued, Nel … and I totally like your way of thinking! Your book is on my to-be-purchased-as-soon-as-possible list!

  4. Thanks ladies, for your friendship and support! Nel

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