Read The Harvesting by Melanie Karsak Online

the-harvesting

It's all fun and games until someone ends up undead. "To label this a zombie book would be a false pretense . . . this is so much more than that. What you start out with and what you end up with are very different, and those twists and turns in the middle will make your heart beat faster over and over again" - Colossal PopThough Layla reluctantly returns home to rural HamlIt's all fun and games until someone ends up undead. "To label this a zombie book would be a false pretense . . . this is so much more than that. What you start out with and what you end up with are very different, and those twists and turns in the middle will make your heart beat faster over and over again" - Colossal PopThough Layla reluctantly returns home to rural Hamletville after a desperate call from her psychic grandmother, she never could have anticipated the horror of what Grandma Petrovich has foreseen. The residents of Hamletville will need Layla's help if they are to survive the zombie apocalypse that's upon them. But that is not the only problem. With mankind silenced, it soon becomes apparent that we were never alone. As the beings living on the fringe seek to reclaim power, Layla must find a way to protect the ones she loves or all humanity may be lost....

Title : The Harvesting
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781479327249
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 386 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Harvesting Reviews

  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    2018-09-30 02:04

    This was...honestly, I'm not sure. It was okay. A bit all over the place with the flu virus, the zombies and then yes..other things. It was an interesting story but scattered almost. It does need a good editing again. The misplaced words and wrong use of prefixes were a bit distracting but not overly so. Don't think I will be continuing the series but I can see others really liking this and enjoying it.

  • Kate Adamek
    2018-10-03 20:53

    EDIT: My first review of this was more a rant than a review just because I was SO angry at the book at the time:It does truly baffle me that this book has 4/5 stars. I do not find the writing, the plot, or the characters up to par with what I would consider a 4 star book, hence my 1 star rating. Now here's a breakdown of why I personally think it's bad. There will be some SPOILERS but if you're looking at a One-Star review you must suspect there's something bad, wouldn't you want to know what it is?The writing: In a couple of sentences certain words were entirely omitted and I had to fill in the blanks of what the author was trying to say. I found this extremely annoying as it constantly removed me from the story and I concentrated more on the grammar than the content. Then there's just the writing itself. I wish I could go back and count how many times the author used the phrase "I rose," as part of the paragraph. That's it. "I sat down. I rose." Why? It just leaves for stagnant and clipped writing that does nothing for the story. The author also had trouble describing action sequences. What should have been exciting, action filled fights between survivors and the undead really fell flat with a basic overview of what happens. It would have been nice to get a bit more detail, to actually see our protagonist kicking butt instead of just being told that she did. It was more boring than riveting, and that's sad coming from a fantasy genre book.Then there's the content. The main words I would use to describe this book are "convenient" and "too much." First, let's point out all the convenient happenings:Isn't it wonderful that in a book about the zombie apocalypse the main character is a weapons expert? And not just knowledge but using them? And even though she states she's not comfortable using a gun, man, she gets a lot of head shots "right between the eyes."Convenient. She's back in her hometown where her ex-boyfriend is with his new wife, and lucky for the main character the wife gets bit and dies in the first attack. Convenient! (and predictable)Oh, but when the ex-boyfriend (Ian) turns out to be a self-absorbed moron enter in Jamie his brother. You know, that kind of character that was there all along in the back story but the girl just never noticed before. Well she's noticing him now and if it isn't love at first sight? (You get the sense Jamie loved her all along).Convenient! Towards the end of the book, Ian the ex gets sick, but not with the zombie virus, no-no that would have made sense. Instead, he gets cancer (a true "Wait, what?" moment). But let's look at this a different way: now, the only character who had issue with Layla and Jamie dating is sick and terminal. So he went from a mere thorn in the side of their romance to...well, a cancer patient with only a few weeks left to live.If that isn't convenience, I don't know what is.Then there's the second issue of "too much."1) The characters. There were too many of these random town folk and only 2 stood out to me besides our love triangle. First is Jeff (only recognizable because he's a bigger and dumber jerk than Ian). This is the guy who during the zombie-freaking-apocalypse wants to blast his metal music while driving around a field in his truck. I know people make dumb choices during a crisis but really? Is there anyone who is THAT stupid?The second is Buddie and he's memorable because he's running around with a bow and arrow (archaic, but awesome) and is actually smart(er than Layla our heroine). He was the only one out of all the townsfolk to recognize the "rescuers" are actually vampires (which for me wasn't difficult either). But he was a cool secondary character that was actually worth something BUT was unfortunately introduced around page 200 and only had a handful of scenes. At least in all of his scenes either his prowess with a bow or with his mind was demonstrated.2) Here's probably the biggest point for why it's "too much." It's not enough that this book has zombies and psychics and forest spirits (???) but all of a sudden vampires show up and want to turn cancer-stricken Ian and kidnap these two kids and eat them? Turn them? I don't know. But it's like Melanie Karsak didn't know where to go with all of the zombies, and psychics and forest spirits (Oh My!) and then thought, well vampires, that makes sense to have. Except it doesn't. In fact, it comes way out of left field. Apparently they've been around all this time and were just waiting for an opportunity for world domination. Huh? Vampires. Real vampires (not that Twilight crap). I'm sorry, real evil vampires don't just sit around and wait for the zombie apocalypse to make their move. They're attacking, they're turning people or enslaving them, they're EVIL! Ugh!It wasn't just that there were vampires in this book and it felt like overkill of content. But the story shifted and went in a whole new direction once they showed up.So, the vampires get about a third of the book devoted to them taking Layla, Jamie, Ian and the town back to this hotel on an island. It felt completely disengaged from the previous part of the story with the zombies. In fact, once they're on the island the zombies are barely given a thought. Well they were mentioned once. The main characters think to themselves "stay here with vampires? or go home with zombies?" So what once was the main evil, the big bad, is now nothing more than a plot device.Those were my main issues but I still have loads more. So this part is the nitpicking section of this review.NITPICKING:1) The forest spirits. No. I'm sorry. What? Literally: random deer leading her to fairies dressed in white gowns that gave her cryptic messages about her next course of action. Personally, why not just have the "psychic" bit play out like a real psychic? Why can't she just "see" in a premonition an attack on her friends, or a breach in the perimeter and be able to use that as a way to save the day? Almost like a sixth sense. It would have been easier to work into the story and not felt so displaced.2) Necrophilia...really? We have to get some sort of vision of Ian being evil and doing a dead person? Is that in there to drive it home that he's bad? Is it in there for shock value? Because honestly, all it did was just make me feel awkward. 3) Layla's hissy fit. When she asks the town not to go with the vampires everyone thinks she's nuts (which was rude considering she saved their lives but I digress). But what does she do? She says "screw 'em" and goes and has a temper tantrum. Really? Our strong, heroine simply asked them, they refused so she complains? She doesn't, oh I don't know, try harder?4) Why can't these people just TALK about important things? Everything's a secret. Grandma didn't tell Layla about the impending apocalypse, or her future psychic powers. Layla didn't tell the town the rescuers were really vampires until it was too late (cause they were there!). Ian didn't tell Jamie it bothered him that he'd try to date his ex he clearly had feelings for. Like, this is still real life right? People have conversations and explain things am I wrong? It just frustrated me as a reader that instead of screaming out in fear because of the zombies, or the vampires, I'm yelling "Oh come on moron! Just tell him what's going on!"5) Ugh, these random spirits! Just as Layla is wondering what to do, how can she save everyone and get them away from the hotel...? A deus-ex-machina fox spirit shows her there's an island only a swim's length away that vampires cannot set foot on. Convenient! (Man, that word keeps popping up). It was just too ridiculous.6) The ending. Apprently on "Sunny Island," where vampires can't set foot else they BURN, there's a portal to take them to another world. So of course the idiots go through a random portal they find...aaaaaaand... Nothing. That was it. End of the book. Roll credits.I get it you want to use a cliffhanger to use tension and make readers want to read the second novel. But because of the aforementioned reasons I won't be doing that. So I like to think they all just died.So in short (even though this is super long) I really don't understand how this book has 4/5 stars. I know I ripped on it in my first review, and I kind of still am just with more sophistication (I hope) but that's because I feel the masses need to know what they're truly getting into. When so many people find bad books good it gets to me. I really can't recommend The Harvesting to anyone looking for a good read.

  • ☕ Kimberly
    2018-09-24 01:45

    4.5 awesome When I finished this book I just sat back with my mouth hanging open and basked in its glow. Labeled as horror or zombie book, The Harvesting is so much more. Karsak has blended lore, paranormal creatures and fantasy into this post-apocalyptic zombie infested world. The tale is gripping and I became completely enthralled. This may very well be one of my top ten reads for 2013 and I cannot wait for the next book.Layla is living successful in New York and from the onset we realize she is kick-ass. When she gets a weird phone call from her psychic grandmother telling her to return to Hamletville, she reluctantly drops everything and returns. Upon arrival she discovers a chain link fence around the remote property and the windows are all boarded up. Her grandmother hands her a massive shopping list from food to holy water. Despite her requests for answers she obeys and gathers the items from the towns’ merchants. A mass epidemic of the flu is spreading across the country and as Layla and her grandmother watch events unfold on television her grandmother tells her it is the harvesting and she must be prepared to help the town. The tale that unfolds is riveting with twists and turns that kept me spellbound.I completely adored Layla, she is bright, compassionate and a born leader. This totally kick-ass protagonist is more gifted then she realizes and I loved watching her figure things out. I have decided that if there is ever a zombie outbreak I want to be in this small town when it happens. The townsfolk really rallied together and while I did not get to know a lot of them individually the author gave me a lasting impression of them. Ian and his brother Jamie play a significant role in the tale and are both vying for Layla. While there is a romance and it felt genuine it took a backseat to the kick-ass action. The strangers that appear and offer them refuge blew my mind, as clues from the book revealed to me who they were and had me wrenching my hands and shouting don’t go!The world-building was epic and brilliant and so absolutely original I am still squealing in delight over it. This is the kind of tale that has twists that will blow your mind! It is tightly woven and very apparent from the onset that the author knows exactly how this tale unfolds. The details and battle scenes were well done and engaging. Did I mention Zombies?!? While we are immersed in this end of the world zombie outbreak, the author is slowly laying out events that foreshadow and prepare us for things to come. The tale seems to wrap up and I begin wondering about book two, when another chapter appears with characters I do not recognize and suddenly I am very aware of the title and its’ meaning. Eep, it literally blew my mind and has me in awe of this author and drooling for the next installment.I want to thank the author and BB Book Tours for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer

  • Dianne
    2018-10-14 19:03

    Small towns, everyone knows everybody else, people get labels they cannot shake and for Layla, leaving sleepy Hamletville and its painful memories behind for the lights of the big city was exactly what she needed. Now. Her grandmother needs her and she knows it is urgent. What she didn’t know was that going back to Hamletville would be a journey through nightmares, blood, death and a hardscrabble quest for her own survival. The country is under siege by a mysterious outbreak that leaves its victims undead, mindless zombies whose biggest concern is their next blood-lusting meal.Now, the weird girl, the granddaughter of the town’s medium with a fascination for swords must become a leader, a savior, the word of strength and reason for Hamletville’s survivors. Cut off from the rest of the world, Layla and her band of survivors will face a decision, to stay or move on, to trust in the unknown or trust in her visions and her gut instinct. What lay ahead will make zombies look like fluffy bunnies and it is up to Layla to save her people.Filled with action, turmoil, romantic entanglements, raw fear and true grit, THE HARVESTING by Melanie Karsak is more than just another zombie apocalypse, it is one strong woman’s quest for survival, while being the guiding light for the town who once looked down on her. Great scenes, a good sense of time flowing forward, a little help from beyond and a collection of secondary characters that never overshadow the heroine. At times these other characters almost seem to be drawn in faded colors as opposed to Layla’s vivid hues. Told in her words, it does make sense, but there were times when it seems that Layla was so busy “telling” what was happening that the doing got lost.I love a good apocalyptic tale and Ms. Karsak does deliver, starring a very strong heroine with a keen sense of herself and some nasty surprises beyond zombies!Series: The Harvesting - Book 1Publisher: Clockpunk Press (January 8, 2014)Publication Date: January 8, 2014Genre: YA Dark FantasyPrint Length: 322 pagesAvailable from: Amazon |  Barnes & NobleFor Reviews & More: http://tometender.blogspot.com

  • Lilyn G. (Scifi and Scary)
    2018-10-08 22:48

    Really enjoyed this one. Melanie Karsak gave a refreshing twist on a zombie novel so that it didn't feel like a zombie novel.Full review up later.

  • Lorna
    2018-09-29 00:58

    4.5/5 Stars (RabidReads.com)Zombie dystopian? Sign me up! I admit that I am a huge Walking Dead Fan, although I fought against watching it. I ended up binge watching three seasons in about 5 days. So this book appealed to me as soon as I read a review by Kimberly from Caffeinated Book Reviews of a later book in the series.Layla is an expert in ancient weapons and works in Washington D.C. She is called home to her grandmother’s house. Her grandmother has a lot of magic inside her and “sees” things that are going to happen. Layla ends up in a boarded up home, full of supplies, and it’s not long before a flu of some sort takes out most of the small town. Only the dead are still walking, and they are hungry for human flesh.Layla ends up being pretty kick ass, especially since she brought some of her ancient weapons with her. Her grandmother had thought of everything, so the house has grenades and automatic weapons. It’s not long before Layla is running things amidst the forty something people that are left. Two of the survivors are her ex-boyfriend, Ian, and his brother, Jamie. Jamie never really registered on her radar before because of Ian, but he does now, and in a big way. He ended up being a really take charge kind of guy, way more so than Ian.This book takes place over a several month period. The reader goes along for the ride, while Layla and the rest ride out a winter without electricity, or any outside help. And what a ride this was. There’s lots of supernatural things happening with Layla, and she now can see that humans are not alone, and I am not talking about just the zombies. On top of this there is quite the twist to the premise later on in the story and it ended up being pretty scary, as well as taking the story into a completely different direction.The author calls this book horror or dark fantasy. I just consider it dystopian, and that usually is dark fantasy. And yes, there are horror components of course. It was a partial day read for me as I could not put it down. I should have known better than to start reading it in the middle of the night!Spunky heroine and caring hero, plenty of action, violence, and kick butt moments made this an exciting read. The premise of zombies, has of course been done many times before, but the twist added so much more to the story, and I ended up being glad for it-sort of, anyway. And that’s because the plot was a bit Walking Deadish, previous to that. Not that The Walking Dead is bad!I ended up buying the next book as soon as I finished this one, because I can’t wait to see what happens next. I think it’s an adult read due to the very dark subject matter, violence, language, etc, however the author says it’s PG-13. No sexual scenes, but it’s assumed that it’s probably happening. I highly recommend this to adult, dark paranormal readers.

  • Sarah
    2018-09-28 21:10

    Sweet Mary, mother of god, this book was all kinds of awesome. I first learned of it from Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer (http://www.caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/) who also loved it.Layla is living in Washington D.C. and working as a medieval weapons museum curator and instructor (of the practical, medieval weapons-wielding kind), when she receives a very mysterious and brief call from her mystic and psychic Russian grandmother telling her to come home right away. Turns out the zombie apocalypse is about to happen, and Grandma Petrovich is a big believer in being prepared. The incredibly psychic Grandma P. has bought huge stockpiles of food, fuel, weapons and ammo, and has her property fenced in. Next thing Layla knows, Grandma P. has given her a magic mushroom tea to open up Layla's considerable (but latent) psychic abilities. She wakes up the next morning with a whopping hangover to discover the apocalypse is at hand, Grandma P. is nowhere to be found, and zombies are at the gate. Pretty soon a Native American warrior spirit tells her to save the town survivors, which Layla does in a slam-bang action scene using a fierce combination of medieval and modern weaponry.With her calm presence, her extensive academic background in studying medieval battle tactics (because life gets down to the non-electric basics mighty fast during the zombie apocalypse, folks), and her skill with weapons, Layla soon becomes the leader of the survivors. All while dealing with her new second sight and the fact that her high-school sweetheart (who betrayed her) is still alive and human. She excels at strategy and staying alive.After a few months the survivors are found by a mysterious group that comes in a boat across the lake. They promise them a safe haven at an island luxury hotel. But something is off about the newcomers, and another frightening adventure with a new enemy is just beginning. Layla can't convince her friends to stay where they are, and is forced to go with them to try and protect them. By this time Layla has embraced her abilities, and the story is richly woven with creatures and tales from folklore.I won't go into further detail because it would spoil the ending of the story, which is really a fantastic beginning to Book 2. Reading this literally left me breathless, as I kept going, wanting to know what happens next. Layla is a fabulous heroine. Reluctant, grieving, ethical, smart, and capable, she is a superior leader, a fiercely loyal friend and just all-around wonderful. She does the job because people are depending on her and because it's the right thing to do. And she is damn good at it.This story had so many fantastic elements all wrapped up in one superbly written and plotted book. Folklore, fairies, magic, zombies, medieval weapons and battle strategy, all held together by the very human drama playing out with a small group of survivors, who may be on their way to losing status as the dominant species. I have a particular interest in folklore, and reading this absolutely delighted me - I haven't read this many references to classical folklore since I cracked open one of my Katharine Briggs books!Book 2 is The Shadow Aspect, and the publication date is May 1, 2013.

  • Lori {Romancing the Dark Side}
    2018-10-08 00:44

    Romancing the Dark Side Review:A fantastic mix of the walking dead, vampires and so much more!In The Harvesting we meet Layla, a young, independent woman who receives an unexpected phone call from her psychic grandmother to return to her childhood home of Hamletville. Always one to listen to her elders, Layla heeds her grandmother's request, not knowing that one phone call will change her life forever. When she arrives in Hamletville, Layla comes face to face with the demons of her past and must prepare herself for the oncoming zombie apocalypse that threatens her world.The Harvesting is a page turning, suspenseful story with paranormal and horror elements that literally kept me on the edge of my seat from the moment Layla arrives in Hamletville. The dark and mysterious tone lend a feel of unpredictability to the supernatural world Ms. Karsak brilliantly writes. The fast-paced story adds to the intrigue of plot.I instantly connected with the heroine, Layla. When she's introduced she's just an average young woman living out her life in another city, with a career she loves and looking for romance. As the story progresses, Layla discovers she has inherited her grandmother's psychic abilities, but even with that supernatural ability she's easy to relate to.I love a fierce heroine but I also love one that is more ordinary and I think that's what draws you to Layla's character; sure she's a natural born leader and has plenty of courage, but she would be all those things even without her ability to see and communicate with spirits. Layla has all the qualities of a leading lady: passion, determination, strength and vulnerability. The horrors she experiences would make anyone cold, bitter and heartless, yet Layla's kind heart and soul remains intact throughout the book, making her an exceptional heroine. Ms. Karsak broke the mold with this memorable heroine!In the midst of zombie attacks and blood sucking vampires, The Harvesting also incorporates a short-lived love triangle and a tasteful blooming romance. I'm a huge fan of sexiness in my paranormal books and while the romance is not the main focus of this story, it's perfectly woven into the plot without losing its edginess. Every character has their own voice and whether you love them or hate them, you'll definitely remember them all.With a sensational heroine, an impending zombie apocalypse, vampires and forest spirits, The Harvesting leaves no stone unturned when it comes to excitement, twists and turns and the supernatural!{ebook courtesy of author via BB Book Tours}

  • Sheri
    2018-09-27 00:08

    I admit it…I have a weakness for zombies, but I have never really read a good zombie apocalypse book. So when I saw this one being advertised, I jumped on it, fervently hoping it would live up to my zombie expectations. Layla is your typical left-the-small-town-and-never-want-to-go-back kind of girl. I mean, really, who could blame her? Rural small town has nothing on the big city life. But when her grandmother called her frantically wanting her to come home, Layla dropped everything and went. What she discovered there was mystery, lost love, death, and…yes…zombies. Layla is so my type of girl – strong, independent, and kick-ass with a sword. She has a sense of responsibility and often acts on that without thinking, which eventually puts her in charge of the apocalypse survivors, albeit reluctantly. This book jumped right into the action, and was action packed all the way through. The author did a great job integrating the romance into the story, though I would have loved to see more Layla and Jamie! The author was able to build up the story and bring it to life (haha, to life…since they are zombies? Never mind) through her descriptions and world building, and I was definitely not disappointed with the zombies. The ending was different in an interesting sort of way, and I am definitely going to be looking for the next book to see what happens!I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Naomi
    2018-10-04 02:50

    What can I say but WOW!! I haven’t read a lot of zombie books, but The Harvest was amazing!! From the very first line in the book I was captivated……“If you ever need to slice someone’s head off, this is the blade you want,”Seriously, you can tell that book is going to be action packed from that first statement! And boy, was it ever!Layla returns home after her Grandmother called her to come home immediately. When she arrives, her Grandmother doesn’t give her any answers, just sends her out to collect supplies to stock up the house she has been fortifying. Grandma makes sure that Layla knows where everything is and makes sure that she can use the firearms that she has stocked up on, before putting Layla into and induced sleep. When Layla awakens, she now has the Sight, and she finds out that the apocalypse has arrived. The people down the hill, in the small town need her help. She pushes everything else aside and dives straight into the battle to save the lives of the people that will rely on her guidance.I liked Layla right from the start. You could tell she is a take charge kind of person and is great handling a weapon. She has been using a shashka from a young age but has also used any blade you can think of. She can certainly hold her own in a fight and is definitely a kick-ass heroine!! After 4 years of being away from home, she returns and like anyone who has a past, some feelings resurface. She may be a bad-ass, but she is a girl with feelings too.Grandma is a hoot!! She just sends Layla off on errands and when Layla questions her, she just continues on as normal, like it is something she does every day. When Grandma was running through the guns and making sure she could shoot, she was cracking me up.“Now, this is .44 Magnum, like the Dirty Harry movie. It has good stopping power. Lift up the safety and boom,” Grandma said pulling the trigger. The gun barrel let out a resounding noise, shattering Grandma’s old mantle-piece vase. “The man told Grandma this is a kill-shot gun, very powerful,”We meet a lot of other characters from the small town as well, and two in particular are standouts – Ian and his brother Jamie. Ian was Layla’s high school sweetheart, but I thought he was a jerk. Jamie was a medic over in Iraq and is a nice guy. The three of them form a great team, along with other strong willed people in the town, they step up and take charge.What I really enjoyed about the whole book was that there were plenty of twists to keep me guessing and asking myself questions. Now that the zombies are here, can other paranormal beings be out there too?? I was so intrigued I just had to keep reading until the end. Even though there weren’t any romance scenes in the book, there was the occasional sweet moment that made me go aww for Layla. There was plenty of sword action, gunfire, grenades and firepower to keep me glued to the pages. I loved it and after reading The Parallel at the end of the book, I was left wanting more!! The next book in the series, The Shadow Aspect, is due out soon……I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

  • Neyra ♦
    2018-10-12 00:07

    What to do..What to do..I was intrigued for the first couple of chapters of the book, but after some pages, I started to get bored. The Harvesting went from interesting to just plain old ridiculous in one fell swoop.Layla Petrovich is making a life for herself in D.C, but a cryptic call from her grandmother has her returning to her hometown of Hamletville. when she arrives, her grandmother gives no explanation, simply says, "here's a list, bring back the supplies" (I'm paraphrasing of course); and when Layla questions her, she replies simply, "you'll see." (How ominous of her) After her errands, Grandma Petrovich gives Layla a 'special' tea which knocks her unconscious for two days. When she awakens, the world she knows is in chaos, and thanks to her grandmother's tea, she can now "see" spirits of the forest and of the dead as well.I'd been looking forward to The Harvesting but never really got around to it since I fell into a terrible book slump. In the mean time, I have been obsessed with all things Walking Dead, so imagine my disappointment when I finally get to reading the book, and the zombies are nothing like my beloved Walkers. Like the zombie expert I totally am, I noticed how amateurish these zombies were; frothing at the mouth like some rabid dogs, running quick as a bullet, and "thinking" even going so far as "speaking" to the MC. I know I can't lump every zombie out there in the book world and expect them to be like TWD, but I just couldn't see this paranormal aspect being thrown together.But just when you think that the only thing the citizens of Hamletville had to worry about were the Undead, Karsak throws you a curveball by throwing Vampires into the mix. It seemed to me she couldn't decide whether to make this book about zombies, vampires, forest spirits or ghosts so she settled for blending them all together without tying any loose ends and calling it a job well done. The writing was stilted, and at the risk of sounding completely biased, if the author's name were hidden, you would still be able to tell it was written by a woman. Everything about the action scenes were ridiculous and so convenient for the MC. And please, lets not even get started on the romance; though Jamie seemed sweet, I have never been, nor will I ever be a fan of "keeping it in the family". That being said, I wont continue this series.

  • Lindsay
    2018-10-05 03:07

    First off… the new cover. GASP! I loved the old cover, but this one is AHHHmazing! Now, I should follow that with an apology. I won this from a giveaway during last zOctober (hosted by My Book Addiction) and it took me almost forever to finally read it. Now that I’ve finished it, I can’t help but wonder “What the hell took me so long?!” Melanie Karsak can write any story, any genre. Shut up and take my money.While the book wasn’t non-stop excitement, it was far from slow. The action scenes are spaced out perfectly, but the first half of the book was more about how to survive when the world is falling down around your ears. Honestly, we should all take some notes and start stocking up for the apocalypse! Or even better… everybody head to Melanie’s house! She’s got everything figured out! ;) Halfway through, the book took a U-turn, and headed into a whole new town of weird. I’m not going to spoil things for you, but this isn’t your standard zombie novel. There are so many other paranormal creatures thrown in, and I felt like it was perfectly natural for them all to exist in this new world that Melanie has created.I was extra lucky to win one of the old copies, which contained the first chapter of Midway, book 1.5 in the series. Normally, when I see a bonus first chapter thrown into a book, I would avoid it. It’s such a tease to get this little nibble of a book I can’t have yet. Well, I guess I’m just a masochist. I was still reeling from the conclusion, and I needed just a teeny bit more. I couldn’t stop myself! Now I’m sitting here, biting my nails in anticipation! Midway should be out this summer, so at least I don’t have long to wait.

  • Beth(YA Books Central)
    2018-10-14 23:59

    I joined the blog tour for The Harvesting and chose a review as my tour stop. Let me say that I am so glad I did. I love the horror/zombie genre and this one fits right in! There are so many turns and twists in this story. You begin reading and you think you know what is happening but you really have no idea…I began reading and the main character, Layla grabbed my attention immediately. Layla is a strong heroine with a great personality. She receives a call from her grandmother (who is known for being a psychic) who tells her to come home immediately. Layla travels home and her grandmother is basically preparing for the end of the world. Layla loves her grandmother so she follows her orders but she is skeptical about what her grandmother thinks will occur. The next thing you know the end of the world IS happening and thanks to Layla’s grandmother’s they are prepared. I really don’t even know where to begin. Layla has to deal with so many trials and tribulations. There is romance, suspense, and FULL of lots of ACTION!! The survivors that are left after the apocalypse are depending on Layla and her instincts to help them survive. This is the main reason that I love zombie stories. They are not about the gore and blood factor…They are all about the survivors and how they come together to overcome the odds. This story was incredible. I could not put it down. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. I really loved Melanie’s writing style and how she placed everything so perfect where the story just blended. I am really looking forward to reading the sequel!!!

  • Toni
    2018-10-01 01:11

    WOW! I am almost speechless. Thank you Melanie Karsak for sending me a copy of this masterpiece! This is not just a book about zombies, as I originally thought, but a book that combines the zombie apocalypse with fantasy and the paranormal. There are so many twists in this book I thought I would get dizzy. I never would have imagined there could be so much packed into one book and still flow so nicely and be so easy to read. I could not put this book down. It's going to be a long wait for the second installment! Full review to be posted soon on My Book Addiction

  • Carolyn F.
    2018-10-01 21:56

    AudiobookI thought this would be an after the flu/trying to get by zombie book, but for some reason the author wanted to mix it up by throwing in paranormal aspects to it which I felt weren't needed. I think the book would have been a bit better with people learning to survive and realizations about affections being the main part of the book. The whole second half of the book felt like I was reading another book. If this had been a physical book instead of an audiobook, I would have stopped reading it. The writing was good but with my main complaint being the story line, I'm giving this book 3 stars.

  • Abbie
    2018-10-04 19:45

    Layla was a strong character, and most of the time I liked her. There was one or two times where she annoyed me though.This was an okay read, but I didn't always find the action interesting, so there were times where I felt bored.Overall, An Okay Apocalyptic read.

  • Girlgeorge
    2018-10-03 21:53

    Just met this author tonight at our local Zombie Walk. Love supporting our local writers!! Bought myself an autographed copy :)

  • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)
    2018-10-15 21:10

    From http://readingandwritingurbanfantasy....This review has minor spoilers. I do mention what supernatural creatures are in this world besides the zombies. At A GlanceWell that was a hell of a thing. Zombies, Vampires, AND Spirits! This is the kind of book that you end up loving for it's uniqueness. The GoodThe Harvesting blew my mind. I never expected it. It gives off the persona that it's just another zombie book. But it's a lie. This isn't just a zombie book. This book has everything: fantasy, horror, folklore, zombies, vampires, spirits, romance, action, drama, death, and survival. I was drawn in from the beginning when Layla's grandma foresees the zombie apocalypse and helps Layla prepare for the coming fight. When Layla helps her hometown survive and thrive during the zombies. And when Layla does everything--like walking into a nest of vampires--to protect the people she loves. The first thing that made this book different from every other zombie book is that there is not much fighting between the humans. Zombie books always seem to portray people going after each other as the world gets consumed. But in The Harvesting, the town works together, very effectively I might add. Sure, there are a few glitches, but it was nice to see a town that can work together in a world that is falling apart. Layla is an amazing character. She isn't super woman or anything. She has her moments of fear and insecurity. But she is one tough chick overall. She knows a lot about weaponry, both from her job in ancient weapons and through her grandmother's teachings. She takes her "crazy" grandmother in stride. She humors her when she makes Layla gather supplies and board up the house, knowing her grandmother may have a good reason for being paranoid. And when the zombies come down on the town, Layla risks her life immediately to save the few people left who are not infected. She is an amazingly thorough leader who knows how to delegate tasks accordingly. I respect people like that. I am all about take-charge attitudes from people who are competent.I really liked both love interests in this book, but for different reasons. There is Ian, the old boyfriend who left Layla heartbroken. Then Jamie, Ian's brother, who is like a brother to Layla but might be something more now. I loved to hate Ian. He isn't a bad guy per se, just a screw-up. His actions are not always appropriate. Jamie is just pure awesomeness. He also has a take-charge attitude, like Layla. The three of them made a pretty great team. But it's Layla's feelings for Jamie that was the funniest to watch. Layla's struggle between the two love interests was completely believable, and it was nice to see her work through her feelings slowly.The supernatural element--besides the zombies--made this book even better. We get these mystical forest spirits that help Layla with her rough journey. Then there are the creepy vampires who use the zombie apocalypse to their benefit. It's a pretty good set-up on their part, but what a creepy concept. Zombies wanting to eat you is one thing, but throw in vampires wanting to eat you, DOUBLE WHAMMY. The action was really great. Melanie does not hold back on the horror and gore of zombie killing. The world-building was amazing. I was sucked into the writing style right away. The story flowed easily; I kept forgetting I was even reading a book. The twists and turns kept my adrenaline going the whole way through. I can't wait for book two. The BadI think the first half of the book with zombies was the best part, the second part with the vampires lacked a little. The ending left us with a lot of questions on what's going to happen next, so it was a bit frustrating. The last chapter of the book confused me. I am assuming it is a segue to the next book, but it left me scratching my head with why it was included at all. The SnugglyThis is not a romance heavy book, which is common in zombie books. We have an interesting sort-of-but-not-really love-triangle that works out perfectly. I loved the slow build and past love drama. I great addition to spice up the story. No sex though, but some sexual situations. Final ThoughtsI was so pleasantly surprised by The Harvesting. It seems like books from blog tours have been really disappointing me lately, but The Harvesting broke the bad book streak. I will be keeping my eye on this author for now on. She knows what she's doing. Highly recommended. Quotes"Who would have thought that the end of the world would bring me the one thing I thought I wanted most."*****“If you ever need to slice someone’s head off, this is the blade you want.”*****"The world, it seemed, had gone silent. It was something we knew but did not talk about. We were alone."*****“Now, this is .44 Magnum, like the Dirty Harry movie. It has good stopping power. Lift up the safety and boom,” Grandma said pulling the trigger. The gun barrel let out a resounding noise, shattering Grandma’s old mantle-piece vase. “The man told Grandma this is a kill-shot gun, very powerful.”

  • chucklesthescot
    2018-10-02 20:09

    Layla's grandmother calls her back to her hometown, where she has been making preparations for a zombie apocalypse that hasn't happened yet. Layla knows all about ancient weapons and her grandmother's gifts, so agrees to go and help, even if it means having to see Ian, who cheated on her and married his pregnant mistress. Then the zombies come one morning and town is in chaos as everyone tries to survive with Layla leading the fightback. But the zombie outbreak is just the beginning of this town's problems...I had seen mixed reviews of this online so I wasn't sure what to expect but I was pleased to enjoy it. I liked the zombie parts-there was plenty of action, tension and death to enjoy which kept me quite happy. It was interesting to be in a small town and to watch how they cope with the outbreak and then plan to protect themselves from the outside world. Layla and some of the others living there are pretty capable and you think that the town has a chance of surviving, despite a few setbacks. You always need to have a few disasters or near misses to keep the tension up and have you worrying about the characters you like. I mean, who doesn't love a good old zombie attack! I liked that they made mistakes and let their guard down at the wrong times which gives a sense of realism to the story. People are going to be lulled into thinking things are safe, they will be plagued by doubts and they will do dumb ass things at the wrong time. We are human after all and most people have not planned for how to live in a zombie apocalypse!The book then takes the most unexpected twist when the people make contact with the outside world and the offer of a safe haven on an island appears. Do they trust these strangers and escape the fear of more zombie attacks and the town being overrun or running out of supplies? Or should they stick it out and stay together in their fortified town? The direction that the story takes here is a HUGE plot twist which should never have worked but I loved it! Erk, it's so hard to say anything without giving a spoiler! And I want to talk about it because it is so cool a twist! The action switches to a new challenge for our survivors, which is full of danger, intrigue and trauma. The characters are well developed so that you actually give a damn about them and there are a lot that I liked. There are lots of good action scenes and a ton of nerve shredding tension to enjoy. It was also refreshing to see an MC not reliant on guns, who was skilled in using blades and swords, and characters using a bow as well. Layla is a good character, trying to deal with the humiliation of seeing Ian every day, while forming a friendship with his brother Jamie. Now I'm the first one to scream about how much I hate love triangles but this is not my pet peeve of every hot guy in the country loves the new girl at school sort of thing. Layla and Jamie already knew each other and had a connection which gets stronger as the outbreak begins, so thankfully they had the basis for a relationship. Jamie never liked seeing how Ian treated Layla and had a crush on her, something that can be common-an attraction to your brother's girl. Layla and Ian have a shared romantic history and differing views on current morality, ie him being a slimeball, but it was logical that she would be a bit conflicted facing him after all these years. Ian was quite happy to pick things up as if he never broke her heart with no thought that she has moved on in her life. It didn't bother me the way that it all unfolded, which makes a change. It also quickly developed both Ian and Jamie as characters.There were lots of interesting characters amongst the people in the town. I liked Buddie as he was capable, rational thinking and viwed everything with suspicion. I could see a bit of a prepper in him and he was vital to the group survival. Layla's grandmother has known what was coming and tried to prepare carefully to give Layla a good chance of securing the town. We also have Frankie and her two young daughters who Layla swears to protect at all costs.I wish I could say more about the second half of the book but I'm determined not to put any major plot spoilers in this review. So if you like the sound of zombies and other nasties with death, disaster and romance, you'll just need to read it for yourself!

  • Mandy (I Read Indie) Anderson
    2018-10-19 22:14

    "Layla, Grandma needs you to come home." Those words would change Layla's world forever. If she had been the type of grandchild to never listen, then most likely she would be dead instead of fighting the undead. Back in her hometown of Hamletville, Layla is hit with the memories of her past love and a home in disarray. Why is her grandmother hoarding food, guns, and medicines? And why is everyone suddenly getting sick with this nasty flu strain?When I was approached to do a review on The Harvesting I jumped at the chance. I saw the word zombies and knew for certain I had to review this book. And goodness I was so glad I did. We get a little bit of romance, a lot of zombies, a smidge of vampires, and a dash or spirits. Crazy right? Absolutely. All pulled together to make one great read.This book kept me up late reading...then up early the next day to finish it. So much goodness packed into one book. I was floored at how much I loved the idea of vamps, zombs, and even a shift coming together. Yeah, I know we see them all together in books and movies and shows...but guys. I don't know what to say. It was just a really good read. I am hoping that with that ending (and the book that is up on goodreads without a blurb) is going to be the next book. I need to know what the deal was with that ending. My interest is most definitely peaked and I will be reading it for sure!Although the book starts out rather clean and YA’ish, towards the end it leans toward New Adult/Adult. There are a few scenes that were a little raunchy and I could have done without the visual. But all in all, I was happy where the author took everything and the ending. The book, although intense at times, was also funny and light. I was also pleased with all the characters. Let me just say that the author has no problem offing someone if need be. No one is safe. Oh I mentioned earlier that Layla has to face her past love, right? Well I was pleased with how that all went down. I won’t say who the romance is with…but it was sweet none the less. It was all very well done and the readers, I think, will enjoy it. It was the right amount for the circumstances at hand to make this whole thing believable. So, that was a great bonus to the story for me…cause I love romance. Zombies + romance= me happy!Fav Lines:The world, it seemed, had gone silent. It was something we knew but did not talk about. We were alone.

  • TheGeekyBlogger
    2018-10-20 01:47

    Listened for Fun (Audible)Overall Rating: 4.00Story Rating: 3.75Character Rating: 4.25Audio Rating: 4.00 (not part of the overall rating)First Thought when Finished: The Harvesting is a story that grew on me over the course of the story and I am very curious as to where it is heading!Quick Thoughts: This was a Dewey's ReadaThon listen and I was scared in the beginning that I had selected wrong. I didn't particular like the characters and quite frankly was hoping some of them would die (like major ones). However as the story progressed and the "world" got worse--the writing really hooked me. I can't say that I love any of the characters but they are fitting for what is going on. This book took 3 turns that I didn't expect and the end had me wondering where exactly they were going now. I will continue the series because I just have to know!Audio Thoughts Narrated By Kristin James / Length: 7 hrs and 7 mins I thought Kristin was a good fit for this story. She was able to bring the characters (and their flaws) to the surface. She was able to hook me into the story and keep me on the edge of my seat. I do really think her narration coupled with Melanie's writing was a great match.Part of my Read It, Rate It, File It, DONE! Reviews

  • Tara Neideffer
    2018-10-02 01:52

    The Harvesting was definitely action packed. I liked the characters and I liked the small town feel of the book. The main character, Layla, was smart and easy to like. I really liked her grandma and wished there would have been more of her in the book. I also liked the set up of the town Hamletville being somewhat closed off from the rest of the world with only one main bridge and a couple side roads taking them out of their town, it gave the book a lonely feel to match the desperation going on in the town and the rest of the world. The writing was fairly good and there were enough details within the book to picture being there yourself. The only thing I didn't really care for was the last half or so of the book when other people get involved who are not "normal" and step in to "try" and help them. It seemed a little rushed and I think I would have rather the last part of the book gone in a different direction, but I still enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the next one in the trilogy.

  • Zee1
    2018-10-01 18:45

    Full review at http://thesaucywenchesbookclub.blogsp...This was not at all what I expected it to be. I really thought this would be your standard Urban Fantasy (which I love), snarky heroine, sexy snarky hero, etc. But not at all! It's a serious, adult, dark fantasy. It had a lot of old world lore in it, which makes the possibilities endless with where the story can go. I was instantly intrigued with the story once Layla's grandmother called her and told her to come home IMMEDIATELY. And then, the zombie outbreak! Wow. I thought it would be a bit like The Walking Dead, and I was perfectly okay with that, but guys, there is soooo much more happening. I was surprised that there were other creatures to deal with, not just the undead, and that the undead weren't exactly your standard undead (eventually). Will definitely be reading this series.

  • Jeff Holton
    2018-10-10 00:05

    A friend of mine reviewed this book for my web site Colossal Pop (www.colpop.net) and gave it a favorable review so I thought I would check it out. I wasn't sure what to expect but so far it has been a great book. I am about 200 pages in and definitely hooked. I am anxious to see where this all goes especially since it is a trilogy. I will complete this review when I finish it within the next couple of days.Just finished The Harvesting and this was a fantastic book. I was looking forward to the next book to see where this story goes. You can't go wrong with Vampires, zombies and first spirits. I highly recommend this book.

  • Stephanie Robertson
    2018-09-20 21:13

    I won this book on Goodreads. I love this book it is great and I can't wait for the second book of it to come out to read, I know I will be buying the whole series that is for sure. On a scale of 1 to 10 this book is a 10 definitely.

  • Emmie Mears
    2018-10-08 19:51

    Interesting twist on vampires and zombiesThis was a surprisingly refreshing read. Fun and quick, but with unexpected layers. Strong, capable hero -- I really enjoyed Layla.

  • Tiffa (The Readers Lair)
    2018-10-22 01:03

    I received an eBook copy of this book for a blog tour, in exchange for an honest review.Layla is living successfully and happily in New York when she receives a rather anxious and demanding phone call from the psychic Grandmother that raised her. Layla’s Grandma demands that she must return to her home town straight away, and then hangs up without giving a reason. When Layla arrives, she finds her Grandmother has been stockpiling supplies, getting rid of unnecessary objects and sends Layla out on errands to gather even more necessities – all, again, without telling her what’s going on. Her Grandma teachers her how to load and shoot the firearms she’s stocked up on, and puts her into an induced sleep. Once Layla awakens, she finds the Zombie Apocalypse has spread to her town, turning many of the people into flesh eating Zombies, her Grandma is missing and she now has psychic abilities. However, Layla has to push all that aside as she tries her best to protect the town and the people in it; who have all of a sudden turned to her for guidance.The Harvesting was a great New Adult/Adult post apocalyptic and fantasy novel all squished into one. I liked this book, I really did; it contained humour and just enough romance to satisfy my girlish need. However there were quite a few things that just irritated me, didn’t seem to fit or I found brought the rating of the book down in general.Layla, our main character, is the kick-ass heroine who appears in town and helps save the day - pretty predictable, right? Although I liked Layla’s character overall, I didn’t feel that she was very well developed at all. Layla is a fencing/martial arts sword instructor and curator. As the book progressed, I kept hoping that we’d find out more about Layla’s character, past and personality but I was disappointed. She has bad history in the town, leaving after a messy breakup with her high school sweetheart four years ago and hasn’t returned since. The only characteristics I managed to pick up from Layla is that she’s strong-willed, a great sword wielder and a natural born leader.Throughout the entire novel, we meet quite a few new people from the small town. Although they’re pretty much glossed over and not well described; it was fun to read about them as they blended into the story. Two people we meet in particular are Ian and Jamie, who are brothers from the town. Ian is Layla’s high school sweetheart and ex-boyfriend. I hated Ian from the start, not just because of the things he did to Layla in the past, but because his character was a complete and utter jerk. Jamie is a sweet and kind guy, who’s just come back to the town from being in Iraq as a medic. I loved Jamie from the start, he was such an easy going guy that you could tell that Layla could fully relax and be herself around him.Although I was disappointed not to know more about the characters personalities, it didn’t stop me from wanting to continue reading this novel. I did find that the novel was constantly jumping from scene to scene; often jumping a month or so into the future with no pre-warning – which was really annoying and hard to keep up with. I also wished there was a lot more detailing than there was, it felt like the author was just gliding over the details and important information. Whether this was intentional or not, I found it slightly frustrating.The story had so many different aspects to it, which I loved. There was plenty of Folklore, fairies, magic, weapons and battles to keep any fantasy and post-apocalyptic enthusiasts entertained for a while. At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about all these different aspects, seeing as I at first I thought it was just a Zombie novel, but the more I read the more interesting and appealing it was. Along with being a post-apocalyptic novel, we meet another super-natural being – which I thought was totally out of place at first – but looking back, I realised it helped make the novel what it was.Overall, I enjoyed reading this book; it had so many different twists and turns that I never knew what would happen next. Unfortunately, I did only rate it 3/5 stars because of the aspects mentioned above. Melanie Karsak’s writing was completely different from what I’ve read before and I’ll be sure to check out the sequel to this book, The Shadow Aspect, when it’s released!

  • Dragana
    2018-10-15 23:44

    Invite for The Harvesting blog tour appeared in my mailbox while I was still in my omg-zombies-are-so-cool phase inflicted by Warm Bodies. After I enjoyed R's adventures, I was in a mood for more zombie shenanigans. The Harvesting delivered large quantities of zombies to keep me satisfied and surprised me with likeable kick-ass heroine and more.Layla loves her life. She works at Smithsonian, teaching about her greatest passion: ancient weapons. She is not thrilled when she gets a phone call: "Layla, Grandma needs you to come home." But love for her grandmother makes her go back to Hamletville, her childhood home, place of many memories and not all of them are pleasant. So imagine how irked Layla is when, after she dropped everything and came to the rescue, her grandmother refuses to answer any of her questions.Why did grandmother call Layla? What is wrong? Why the hell is she piling up all those groceries and other stuff? The only answer she gets is: "You'll see." I don't think that the thing Layla expected to see were zombies crawling around and attacking people, but that's what happened. I was not surprised since The Harvesting was advertised as zombie novel, but Melanie Karsak did manage to surprise me, because she did not stop at zombies. Other types of paranormal creatures will make appearance in this novel too: some because they want to help humans and some because zombies are diminishing their food supply.Layla proved to be very likable and strong character. She is not selfish, she tries to help the other people in her hometown, she does not take killing easy.... In one word, Layla makes all the right decisions. And her knowledge and use of ancient weapons, especially her favorite - russian sword called shashka, makes her definitely kick-ass.In fact Layla is so cool, that secondary characters pale in comparison. I would have loved to get more of their characterisation, since we definitely get a glimpse of some interesting personalities. I think it would have added additional weight to The Harvesting as a novel and made me cheer for them as a group and not just for Layla as a leader.For those who like a little bit of romance, The Harvesting provides that too. As Layla says:"Who would have thought that the end of the world would bring me the one thing I thought I wanted most."Don't expect a lot of steamy scenes, since people have to fight for their survival, so it's more of like a side story. And although we have a love triangle, it definitely is not one of those annoying and irritating ones. There is a history and a lot of reasons for the love triangle situation and I especially liked that Layla does not lead-on both of them eternally.Maybe I would have given The Harvesting 4 stars because it's a debut and it managed to add something new to zombie-apocalypse theme but the last chapter ends in cliffhanger and then epilogue is from totally different perspective and follows a group of characters that have nothing to do with Layla. I said it many times and I will say it again - I hate cliffhangers. They should die slow and painful death, just like us poor readers that are waiting for sequels to the cliffhanger-infected-series.If you are post-apocalyptic zombie novel fan and you don't mind that there is cliffhanger at the end, check out The Harvesting. You will definitely find strong heroine to cheer for and a little bit of action, mystery and romance.My rating: 3.5 starsI recommend this book to fans of: zombie apocalypse; small town setting; strong kick-ass heroines that are main focus of the book; light romance as side story; ...Disclaimer: I received a free eBook as part of the blog tour in exchange for a honest review. This text is also posted on my blog Bookworm Dreams in a little bit more styled edition.

  • Melissa Hayden
    2018-10-18 20:09

    Good grief! If you haven't read or listened to this one, you SHOULD! I listened to that audio and man... this is an AMAZING combo of writing by Melanie and voice by Kristin. You will enjoy this, if you enjoy UF.****FULL REVIEW****When Layla returns home, at her Grandmothers strong request, she finds the house boarded up and all sorts of supplies stocked up. Layla is concerned her grandmother is losing her mind, but she knows the woman has a strong connection with the spirits. Layla sees on the news of an outbreak of sickness that has a mortality rate of 100%, with signs of brain activity afterward... Layla drinks a special tea from her grandmother, and when she wakes the world is not as she remembers it. Layla's knowledge of swords, knives, and hunting that she's learned through her life will come in handy in the new world she's to live and survive in.I had the great opportunity to listen to the audio book version. Kristin's work is outstanding. The emotion she shows through her voice is easy to grasp at and understand. She brings the intricately written Layla to life. She hits the rushed, horror filled moments making them pop with the suspense they are to feel and with shaking that fit's with Layla. It's like listening to a movie with the height of all emotions bubbling to the surface in her voice. She even does a Russian accent for Grandmother. I really enjoyed Kristin's work in this story! She really brought the story to life.Between Melanie's writing and Kristin's reading, I even teared up at the thought of why Grandmother did all she did. And even a few other times through the book I felt caught up in the world with the characters, hurting for what they had to do.Starting the book I knew from the description and others that there is a battle coming. Listening to the stocking Grandma is doing, the weapons she's collecting, and getting to know Layla and her Grandma has caught my attention right off. I want to know all! Grandma is scaring Layla, and making anxious as well. Then the moment comes. It's rough seeing the place Layla grew up go through all they have to bare. The people of this town have to come to grips with killing those they loved in life when they die. It's heart wrenching listening to how these people remember everyone and have to put them to their final resting place.This book is full of all emotions. Love of loss, love blooming, and scary and rushed adrenaline moments. All blends together with action and emotions wonderfully in this world. Well done Melanie!I love the subtle blends that Melanie has brought to the story. There feels to have nature and American Indian influences in the spirits around the Hamletville. The wood spirits around the area, and everywhere, is a helping hand for Layla. The world has changed, and they are able to suggest things in small ways.Just when I thought I was settling in, the story has a turn that brings us to something new! Oh this was wonderful! This story has so much more than I was ever expecting to read. We struggle through in Hamletville with Layla and those that survive, but then to come upon another obstacle in their lives and choices they made. Oh a new foe appears and is exciting to see!There is a bit of love in the book as well. Layla returns home, where her ex-boyfriend and the love of her youth still lives. But there is a potential other interest. It's not a three way that we all see all the time. Actually, Layla has her mind made up early on, it's that one of them has to get it through their skull that there's not a chance with her. And, I'm thrilled with the one she picks. He's TOTALLY the right choice.Layla is a wonderful lead character. She's the strong woman that I would love to be in this situation. She is knowledgeable from her history studying and profession. She's also kick arse with a sword and guns, yet she's not one with a large head that takes charge. She's respected by all that know her and knew her grandmother, and she's looked to for help and advice. She's amazing.If you haven't read or listened to this one, you SHOULD! I listened to that audio and man... this is an AMAZING combo of writing by Melanie and voice by Kristin. If you are a UF fan, you'll will enjoy this.

  • Diana (Offbeat Vagabond)
    2018-10-16 21:44

    Original review here: http://offbeatvagabond.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-harvesting-blog-tour-review.htmlThe Harvesting is a story that follows a woman named Layla who teaches fencing. She loves her job and her students. Her life is looking up and things are good. She soon gets a call from her grandmother to visit her and to come quickly. Layla is disappointed, but will always do what her grandmother says since she would never call for nothing. Her grandmother has a special sense for these things. She gets sent on a crazy errand by her grandmother for automatic weapons, grenades, and many other things a granny usually doesn't need. After one night of seeing that a terrible flu has been broken out, Layla knows why her grandmother was preparing for war. This flu has lead to a huge infection and her grandmother knows that since Layla is quite a fighter, she will be strong enough to defend the city against the zombie invasion. But she doesn't know that it isn't only zombies that her and the other survivors have to be careful about. Whoa!!! I am not even sure of what I just read. And that is a good thing. This book went beyond the usually zombie read. There was so much more to this story that I didn't see coming. I was so curious as to why a zombie book would be called The Harvesting, now it makes sense. Wow, that was just brilliant. This should be a movie dammit. Being a horror-movie fan, that would make me sooooooo happy. I loved the main character Layla. If the zombie-apocalypse were to take place, I would find Layla. This chick was almost like a one-woman army. When the town was first under attack, the way she saves them was worthy of Ash, it was so cool. Layla definitely gets the kickass heroine stamp. I loved her relationship with her grandmother. Actually, I just loved her grandmother period. She is a psychic, so she is sometimes seen as a little nuts. But she knew so much and was able to do all she could to help Layla in the coming war. Not to mention, a grandma with a semi-automatic always gets a major vote in my book. I also enjoyed the townspeople. We have Jamie, the love interest. I loved him. He was equally as badass as Layla. Jamie is the brother of Ian, Layla's former boyfriend who was a bit of a jerk in this book. When she arrived to town, she tried to stay clear of him because she still had feelings for him. This made sense given how they broke up which was ridiculous. I would have said good riddance, especially after Layla first saves the town and tragedy strikes. What Ian does after when he is alone with Layla had me so pissed. What is wrong with him? All I have to say is, “Run, woman, run!” Jamie was a much, much better choice. I wanted to slap her for taking so long to see his feelings for her because she treated him like a brother. As I have said, this goes beyond the normal zombie read. They are trying to survive and protect their town. They way they pull together to watch out for everyone is great to see. Layla has grandma's power to see spirits and take direction from them. They help throughout the book and those were some interesting scenes. I hope we see more about them in the next book. But then after we get zombies, halfway through, the book gives us a twist that I didn't see coming. I won't spoil it, but it is a great idea. Let's just say the townspeople are met by an interesting pair with their own agenda. Overall, this book is a must read. If you love the supernatural or stories on the apocalypse, you have to read this, There is a lot of action, blood, gore, magic, and a bit of romance. This had everything I could ask for. I can't wait for book 2 especially given the ending. The ending is so crazy, it almost felt like I was reading a different book. I want to know where that goes. Freaking cliffhangers, you kill me! Highly recommend this book. You won't be sorry.