Black Tide by K.C. Jones

Publisher: Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tor Nightfire

Date of publication: May 31st, 2022

Genre: Horror, Science Fiction, Post Apocalyptic, Thriller, Dystopia, Speculative Fiction

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | WorldCat

Goodreads Synopsis:

It was just another day at the beach. Then the world ended.

Mike and Beth were strangers before the night of the meteor shower. Chance made them neighbors, a bottle of champagne brought them together, and a shared need for human connection sparked something more.

Following their drunken and desperate one-night stand, the two discover the astronomical event has left widespread destruction in its wake. But the cosmic lightshow was only part of something much bigger, and far more terrifying.

When a lost car key leaves them stranded on an empty stretch of Oregon coast and inhuman screams echo from the dunes, when the rising tide reaches for their car and unspeakable horrors close in around them, these two self-destructive souls must fight to survive a nightmare of apocalyptic scale.


First Line:

My mom once accused me of being a human car wreck, I laughed in her face when she said it.

Black Tide by K.C. Jones

Black Tide was the first in a series of books I had seen on other blogs that I wanted to read. So, like everyone else, I added it to Goodreads and prayed to the book gods that I got an invite. The book gods blessed me because I got every single book I had put on my Want to Read list. I was pretty stoked about getting it and couldn’t wait to read it. I am glad I did because this book scared the everliving out of me!!

Black Tide is a fast-moving horror story on the Oregon coast. Beth is a woman who has gone through a lot but is turning her life around. She is pet sitting for a wealthy couple and enjoying it. Then one night, she meets Mike. Mike owns the house next door and is a bit of a mystery. When Beth sees him drinking champagne on the deck of his house, she invites herself over. That turns into a drunken one-night stand with Beth having a strange, almost vivid dream and Mike witnessing a meteor shower like none he had seen before. When Beth wakes up, Mike is on the beach with Jake (the dog she is pet sitting), and Mike has disturbing news. There is no power, and he cannot get a hold of anyone over the phone. He also has a strange pod on the beach that turned up (along with several others). Deciding to leave and try to find a person of authority who knows what is going on, they drive until they find a bunch of people parked on the beach and the road. What happens next is almost unbelievable, and Beth drops the keys to the car in a rush to get out—stranded and with high tide coming in, Mike and Beth need to figure something out fast before they end up like the people with them on the beach. What happened on the beach? Will they get out? Will they find out what happened?

I very rarely get frightened by books. I lost the ability to do that when I read The Stand and It in middle school (I was a precocious reader). But this book scared the ever living out of me. But, at the same time, while I was scared to death, I also couldn’t put it down. I 100% attribute that to the author keeping me hooked and wanting to see if Mike, Beth, and Jake (along with another person who appears later in the book) would get out alive. I was left feeling breathless during certain scenes. The author also ramped up my anxiety.

I could relate to Beth on certain levels. Who hasn’t felt like a car accident waiting to happen during specific points in their life? Who hasn’t hit rock bottom and has to claw their way out? I know I have. I loved seeing her character grow. She went from being this self-absorbed drunk to a woman willing to do whatever it took to get out of her situation.

I wasn’t too sure about Mike when he was introduced. I kept feeling that he was hiding something (which he was, and it was very sad when it was revealed). But his character also transformed throughout Black Tide. He was pulled out of his depression and realized his life was worth living. I thought he was perfect for Beth, and he complimented her towards the end of the book.

The author very well wrote the horror angle of Black Tide. During the scenes in the car (while the tide was creeping in), I did get some Cujo-like vibes. That didn’t take away from how much I liked the book. Instead, it added to it. And as I said above, the author stoked my anxiety during pivotal scenes.

The science fiction angle of the book was well written also. I loved the imagination the author had with the aliens. They were so monstrous that I had no issue imagining them in my head (which added to my anxiety).

The end of Black Tide left me with conflicting emotions. I was upset over some things, but I understood why they happened. But at the same time, I was overjoyed over other things. I was also sad because of what they realized after leaving the beach. The book didn’t end with a HEA. Instead, without going much into it, I left the book feeling pessimistic about Beth and Mike’s future.

I would recommend Black Tide to anyone over 21. There is violence, language, and nongraphic sex/sexual situations.

Beat (Beat: Book 1) by Jared Garrett

Beat (The Beat Series Book 1) by [Garrett, Jared]

Publisher: Future House Publishing

Date of publication: June 14th, 2015

Genre: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Thriller, Post Apocalyptic, Science Fiction Fantasy, Young Adult

Series: Beat

Beat—Book 1

Keepers—Book 1.5

Push—Book 2 (review here)

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

Better safe than sorry. Better calm than dead.

Nik Granjer hates the Bug. It was the Bug that destroyed the world when it wiped out more than ninety percent of humanity a hundred years ago.

Even now, the Bug kills anyone whose heart rate goes over 140 beats per minute. That’s why the Prime Administrator gave everyone the Papas—digital wrist monitors that put people to sleep when their heart rate gets too high. The Papas saved humankind.

But one night on the border of New Frisko, Nik tampers with his Papa and discovers a dreadful secret: the Bug might not be there after all. When his experiment takes a terrible turn, a brutal enforcement squad from the city forces Nik into hiding.

On the run and searching for allies, Nik’s only hope is to discover the truth about the Prime Administrator’s regime and the origins of the Bug. If he doesn’t, humankind may never break free from the conspiracy holding it in its grip.


My Review:

This was a great book. A combination of sci-fi/dystopia/YA, it had enough action in it to keep you reading. You didn’t know what was going to happen from chapter to chapter and it did make my heart rate go up with the action.

This book takes place 100 years after a biochemical attack wiped out 90 percent of the world’s population. The survivors called it the Bug and it could kill you if your heart rate went over 140. To help the survivors watch their heart rate, a digital wrist monitor was developed. The Papa puts the survivors asleep when their heart rates get too high.

Then you meet Nik Granjer and his friends. They like to “Push” their heart rates to the limit because, well they are 15/16 years old and kids that age like to push limits and buck the system. Nik has also figured out how to bypass getting his nightly Knockout from his Papa.

I will say that I enjoyed Nik’s character. I was once a 15/16-year-old who liked to push limits and he came off to me as realistic.

I also enjoyed the alternative spellings (Nik, Tek, Pol….etc). It added the right flair of different to the book and kept my attention!!

I will say that there is a huge twist that I didn’t see coming. Like 100% huge and I was taken aback by it (like Nik was) and a little shocked. Actually, a lot shocked.

The story itself was fascinating and very well written. If I had to picture a dystopian society, New Frisko would be it. Oh, and it takes me a minute to realize what city it was supposed to be.