Culmination Book Reviews

July 25, 2016

Hello, everyone!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Today I finished Culmination, by Holly Smith, the second book I received in exchange of an honest review.

The plot is built around a sudden event that made the world (and any kind of organization our society had ever known) collapse. People who had never ever worried about such events were caught by surprise, but not Ilana and her brother, Ethan. They were much more than prepared for an "TEOTWAWKI" (the end of the world as we know it) event, but they needed people who shared their same views so they could be successful – and survive.They were lucky enough to find those people, and that is when the story truly begins.

So, have you ever wondered what you would be willing to do in order to survive? Would you break your own beliefs and convictions, if this meant you would be kept alive? What is the price you would be willing to pay?

This book embraces these questions and some more with no euphemisms: each page is a shock and makes you wonder what you would do on the characters' shoes. It is a strong book, with some explicit sex and violence scenes, so any issue was addressed strictly to the point, which was shocking for me in some of its parts.

My only issue with the book was that it became too unrealistic sometimes, with some characters simply accepting tabus with no further questioning, saying "ok" and nodding, but with no further explanations. In my humble opinion, the book could be longer, but dive a bit deeper in some issues instead of making the characters (most of the time) simply agree with everything. However, the end really surprised me and I liked the book; I even think, truly honestly, that this book could be adapted into a movie. It would be a huge success!

So I do recommend it, but as I said, I just finished it wanting to have read more difficulties from Ethan and Ilana in convincing others about some issues.

Has anyone read it and has a different opinion or point of view? I would love to know it!

Have a great week, everyone, and see you soon!

Denise @ My Paper Trips

August 18, 2016

The apocalypse is a rather popular subject when it comes to books and movies. The important thing is to offer a perspective with a tint of freshness to it. Culmination uses this theme as a backdrop to highlight human condition and how people could react in the most difficult of situations.

While a young couple is enjoying the first moments together as newlyweds, their honeymoon drastically changes due to a total electrical blackout, which they will soon learn was a global phenomenon. But at least they are not alone, as they find more people with whom they soon become close friends. As it turns out, two of their new acquaintances are survivalists who have long prepared for the dawn of civilization. So, the group moves into a high-end cave, equipped with anything they need to survive in luxury. However, even if things should have ran smoothly, since everything was anticipated, it seems that one element was gravely overlooked, human nature, and the cost of this oversight is to be discovered in the pages of the book. Actually, Holly Smith offers a good example of a self fulfilling prophecy, if you believe that something will happen strong enough, you will mold your perception of reality in such a way as to see it realized.

Culmination is a good addition to the ever-growing literature on the apocalypse, the focus on human nature and the manner in which it is dissected reflects on Holly Smith's formation as a psychologist. Still, I would not recommend this read for all ages, since there is some graphic content throughout the novel; young adults however, should find it quite interesting. Furthermore, some of the characters are a bit one dimensional; they seem a bit too focused on a single aspect, like cooking. Also they tend to overlap. This is mostly observable in their similar speech patterns. As far as the plot goes, although at times the action is predictable, there are some mesmerizing twists which compensate for this aspect. All in all, the most striking aspect is the author's ability to manipulate the perspective of the reader. Holly Smith's Culmination is above all, about the resilience of civilization and the vulnerability of humanity.

Timea Barabas @ Booksellers World