Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hero For Hire (Tales from Beyond the End #1)

About Hero For Hire
One day her prince would come…disguised as a zombie-killer.

Having been disgraced and tossed out by her own scientific community, Gwyn is convinced she can develop a cure for a SuperVirus that has turned the Infected into zombies. By pure luck and determination, she has survived on her own for years, but while out scavenging, a clash with the local zombies leaves her potentially infected. Now, running out of time, she needs help and takes a chance on a hero for hire.

Rafe loves the apocalypse. Since the world went to hell, everything’s come up roses for him. Having procured a mansion in the Hollywood hills, adopted a slew of homeless boys and one cantankerous but useful Doc, Mr. Charming is benefiting from the nasty zombie infestation. His job? Killing the bastards, which he considers fun anyway.

Gwyn Snow needs Rafe Charming to help retrieve her research from the Paragon Pharmaceuticals lab, also known as Zombie Central. Believing she can yet save the world, Gwyn makes Rafe question what’s right and what’s worth the fight.

CONTENT WARNING: Prince Charming, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves as you’ve never seen them before.

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I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I decided to read this book because who can resist a fairy tale based story that is mixed with a zombie apocalypse.  I mean, isn't that set up pure book gold?!

The setting of the book should make the whole story very dramatic and serious. Authors Merissa McCain and Margaret Madigan, however, mixed the perfect blend of humor into the story so readers won't be too uptight about the dire futuristic setting. There were some scenes that had you holding your breath as characters battled zombies (what's a zombie novel without fight scenes?!), but the comic relief that came afterward allowed readers to catch their breaths before characters entered another dynamic situation.

The story provided a dual point of view that allowed readers to get in the head of Gwyn and Rafe. The story would have been lacking had the authors decided only to go with Gwyn's version of events.  Plus the story really needed it because the characters do get separated at one point and being in the head of Rafe of Gwyn really keeps the story moving and flowing well. It was a very wise decision by the authors.

My only push back to the story is why did it take Gwyn and Rafe this long to meet? I would think Gwyn would have sought help sooner than she did. I understand the circumstances behind it. She probably didn't have the opportunity until she saw the sign pointing her way to Rafe. She had to expand outward from her little hidey hole to seek supplies. If it were me, I would have tried to find somebody, anybody to help keep me company and to help watch my back. But that's a minor point. I bought into what the authors were telling, and I enjoyed their story.

The story is definitely geared to adults.  There's action, suspense, and some romance. Yes, there is a sex scene in it. It is tastefully written, but might not be appropriate for the young adult audience.

McCain and Madigan have put together a fun and entertaining story that's quick to read and very enjoyable. Don't dig for deep thoughts or themes in this one.  The plot isn't overly complex and the main characters are very fitting for the story. There aren't irrelevant characters that you have to try to keep up with. The best part was you can take their story for what it is--a futuristic version of a memorable fairy tale.  It's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves meets I am Legend.

About the authors:

Merissa McCain
My name is Merissa McCain. I grew up in the African bush, without T.V, and often without electricity. I now live in the deep South, with my very own superhero, and my three minons. Together, we attempt to take over the world. When not otherwise occupied with planning world domination, I love to read, write, drink strong coffee and eat dark chocolate--not necessarily in that order and sometimes all at once. I'm a voracious reader, and will devour any type of good fiction I can get my hands on, but I'm particularly partial to happy endings.

I write with a partner (Margaret Madigan) and on my own. We love to hear from our readers, so please shoot us an email at or

Margaret Madigan
Hi. I'm Margaret Madigan. Or M.K.D. Bail, depending on what literary genre we're talking about. I live in the vast Northern Plains where it’s quiet and mostly empty, and very conducive to letting my imagination run wild. As a result, I have difficulty focusing on just one genre of storytelling. Of course, I love romance, so I write a lot of that, but I also write science fiction, a bit of horror, and dabble in other genres just for the fun of it.

When I’m not writing you’ll find me in a college classroom teaching English, or working as a literary agent for an amazing agency…and of course enjoying time with my family.

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