Cover Image: The Deading

The Deading

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The Deading

Can the human body work like and a rechargeable battery?
All kidding aside😜 or am I????
A whack of a premise this story has some SciKingisms throughout.
So we have a contagion in Oysters???

Your kidding Nope!!!

And like all books of these nature , certain locals have applied marshall law and they ain't a budging!

And let's not forget the government watching over like big brother!!!!

This shore type town has goneape shit

I took my time 🐌 reading this !!
At times, I liked what I read and other I did not.
I received this from Netgalley for a honest review!!!!
I give this ⭐️⭐️⭐️'s

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I really struggled with this one.

The cover is what initially drew me in, but the whole time I was reading I was just confused. The writing felt so disjointed, I didn't connect with a single character and I just had a really hard time continuing.

I would say that about 20% of this was just details of birds which was just bizarre and honestly boring. I was really excited for this one so I'm sad I didn't like it.

This may be great for some but I did not click with this story and was just happy to be finished!

<i>Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for providing me with an e-arc</i>

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Unfortunately the way this book is written just really didn't work for me!! I had to DNF at around 30%.

I loved the cover and premise but the writing is clunky and disjointed (I think it's supposed to be like this).

Not for me but may be for readers who like experimental and unusually written stories!

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Without giving too much away, a small coastal town gets quaratined after an infestation plagues the inhabitants. It is my first time dipping my toes into the eco-horror genre and I am still undecided if it is really my thing. I did not feel captivated by any of the characters and found many parts hard to follow and keep me engaged. However I love a dystopian book and this definitely had that edge to it. There were some pretty grim scenes and some emotional parts too. The ending did not really surprise me but I think it was fitting for the story. Some of it felt a bit unrealistic (like how quickly people turned to cult like behaviour) and sparse on some of the details (about the drones/ government) but it was interesting to read something different to my usual tastes.

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This book was very chaotic, it seemed like a mismashed collection of short stories. The narrative was very confusing and derivative. Lots of extra details and chapters that made this book longer than it needed to be. Not a lot of horror or even sci fi present. Definitely nailed the dystopian theme but so chaotic, not worth the read.

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DNF at 40%. I liked the varied perspectives that we get and there is some fun eco-horror in here, but none of the characters are making me root or get invested in them and the theme of generational destruction of our environment and whether we can come back from it feels like Belardes is bashing me on the head instead of exploring it through the story.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC!

Unfortunately this book was a real disappointment for me. The first chapter was really interesting and I was keen to see where the story would go, but unfortunately it just went south from there for me. I was really hoping for a solid horror/sci-fi combo here, and didn't get it all. I didn't connect to any of the characters at all, the story felt disjointed and incoherent at times, and while there was certainly a post-apocalyptic vibe, it was all a bit too vague for me to really connect.

I was particularly disappointed by the lack of thought that went into the story. I got no sense of dread, and very little enjoyment from the entire novel. All up, I was pretty disappointed with the whole book, and this one was definitely not one I enjoyed.

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'The Deading' by Nicholas Belardes has an attractive strange premise (if you're into the dystopian, contagion, sci-fi sort of thing), but is a bit ambitious which leads to a distinct lack of flow and coherency. It seems like it needed more time to tell the complete story and perhaps a bit more editing (changing POVs was often disjointing).

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I rated this ARC 3/5 stars on StoryGraph. It had a good start, and the concept was amazing. Bernhard was such an interesting character, and I wish I learned more about him. The different POVs are well-written, and since the writing style changes it feels like a different person. It's obvious when the POV changes, and I love that. I saw some reviews that disagreed on this, so beware of that.
But the damn birds... There were so much talk about birds, and I don't understand why? If you have a big interest in birds it probably won't affect you, but I saw many other reviews that agreed there were too much stuff about birds. It would've been fine if I came prepared for that, but there is no mention of birds being such a big part of the book, and the birds give no meaning or sense to the story.

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Loved characters. Had amazing plot! I wouldn’t read such books on usual basis but this book had me hooked since the beginning. Though I think ending was much better.

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DNF at 30%. I love cli-fi and horror *and* I love birding, so I'm the target audience for this book.

Unfortunately, the writing is tirelessly purple, the message is lost to navel gazing, and the actual use of this theme of "deading" didn't make any more sense at 30% than it did in the intro.

I stopped after a weird chapter from some pluralized-teen POV that was just weird. Totally out of place, wrong, a little offensive, and maybe, dare I say it, stupid.

Thanks to NetGalley and Erewhon and Kensington an e-arc to voluntarily read and honestly review.

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DNF at 50%. I like the concept, and parts of it were enjoyable, but there was just far too much information about birds that I didn't find engaging. I wanted to give it a genuine shot, but it really just did not keep my attention or interest unfortunately.

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The Deading" by Nicholas Belardes is a dystopian novel that combines horror and science fiction elements to tell the harrowing tale of a seaside town, Baywood, facing a mysterious ocean-borne contagion. The story explores the downward spiral of the town as it becomes infected, transforming its wildlife, landscapes, and people.

The narrative introduces a unique concept where infected residents undergo a process called "deading," where they collapse and die, only to rise again changed, both fanatically and physically. As the government cuts off the town from the rest of the world, tensions rise, and disturbing beliefs and autocratic rituals emerge, overseen by the death-worshiping Risers.

The central characters include Blas, an introverted bird lover, and his older brother Chango, who must navigate the chaos to survive. The author weaves a claustrophobic and haunting atmosphere throughout the story, exploring the disintegration of society, the horror of survival and adaptation, and the unexpected solace found through connections in nature and between humans.

While the premise is intriguing, the execution has received mixed reviews from readers. Some appreciate the atmospheric tension and thought-provoking elements, especially in the latter part of the novel. However, others find fault in the writing style, citing issues such as the insertion of oyster and bird facts in a disruptive manner, making it challenging to follow the story. Some readers also mention a lack of clarity in certain plot points, leaving questions unanswered.

Despite the criticisms, the book has its merits, and readers who enjoy dystopian fiction with a blend of horror and science fiction may find "The Deading" to be a compelling read. It offers a unique take on the genre, and its exploration of societal disintegration and the impact of a mysterious contagion adds depth to the narrative.

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I'm not quite sure how to review this work. It was not my cup of tea due to a misunderstanding on the subject matter - the description of the Last of Us x Under the Dome made me think of the book as an action-filled post apocalyptic romp, similarly to the 2 referenced works. However, the book is a lot slower in both pacing and action, and I did not realise there would be such a heavy emphasis on the more science-y aspects of this apocalypse. As such, my interest was not really piqued, and I stopped reading around 40% through.

However, I'm also aware that there are people who are very interested when books have a heavier reliance on concrete science in post apocalyptic fiction, as they believe it adds added realism. Those people would be much more likely to enjoy this work.

Not my personal cup of tea, but I can see how others would like this. I will say that the beginning was very slow, and a bit of a slog to get through. However, the characters were engaging, and I was interested enough in them to stick with the story to its halfway point despite not being very interested in the plot.

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Man, this book sounded SO up my alley. Eco-horror, a bit of cult horror, a bunch of birdwatchers and bird references, a literary tone, and a healthy dose of anti-government sentiment and you have a cocktail for what could be one of Bebo's favorites.

Alas, I feel rather ambivalent towards this one. It wasn't horrible at all, and I really did enjoy the prose. I just immediately felt myself lose interest once we got into more sci-fi territory. My need for clarity/concreteness also reared its head when this book failed to answer my many questions about who is targeted by the deading, what the actual goal of the thing that was once Bernhard was, why the cult formed in the first place, what happened to Ingram, and so on.

I was also a bit confused by the narration of this book because of the shift in perspectives without actually revealing who was talking. While I don't mind a good mystery, I do need some clarification because I am a little slow on the uptake sometimes.

All in all, a bit disappointed by this one. It definitely could have been worse though.

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Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for an advanced copy of the Deading.

As a scientist, the author note alone was a fascinating read. As a life long bird nerd. This book spoke to me at many levels. And boy does this go hard on the birding.

That said. It is a hard read. Particularly in the way it feels like the Blair Witch project in written media. Oh and did I mention the birds. Lots of birds.
It's starts as describing Deading the macabre form of planking. Then has an essay on climate change. Then the real deading. The adoption of the teen cult. Little is done to link all those things together. And while I appreciate the deliberately through the looking glass narrative, and that it was also deliberately confusing, it had no real resolution to that. Was this evolution gone wrong under the influence of climate change. Or was it aliens. Who knows. I don't. Honestly this book has a lot of tangents unreigned. And characters without real identities. Blas being the most developed character, a probably autistic kid obsessed with birds.

The positive are, I enjoyed the writing. It was about the mood. The ambiance. I get that.
It's a niche read.

Review also posted on my Goodreads account.

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Received as an ARC from NetGalley and Kensington/Erewhon Books in exchange for an honest review (thank you, both).

The cover and blurb for the book sucked me in, thinking this would be science fiction body horror, reminiscent of Annihilation meets The Birds. Instead the book focused mainly on birding, scientific descriptions of birds and aquatic animals, and members of the cult-like "Risers" affected by the alien phenomenon when I'd hoped the book would go into more detail on the body horror and the character of Bernhard.

The Deading begins with body horror, and a truly terrifying experience with snails that has made me a little fearful of the slimy creatures, but after the first few chapters the story seems to take a complete turn. I wanted to learn more about Bernhard and Chango's transformations and the entity but we barely got any time with the most interesting characters.

With six different perspectives - four in third person and two in first person (with one of those perspectives being an unnamed character) - it was hard to keep up with what was happening in the story.

As much as I hoped to like The Deading, it wasn't for me.

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The Deading
Debut Novel by Nicholas Belardes
Release Date: July 23, 2024

Following an ecological disaster, the residents of a coastal town are struck by a phenomenon they refer to as Deading. They collapse, seemingly dead, only to rise again some time later with a secret knowledge that resembles a spiritual awakening. This awakening isn’t as divine as it first seems. Things go dark in a hurry, especially for those who cannot die and rise again at will.

I would label this story as part Eco Horror, part Sci-fi. It gave me strong Annihilation vibes, but it was definitely its own thing. I’ve never read anything quite like it. The imagery was both beautiful and terrifying. The writing had almost a musicality to it, a certain cadence, which took some getting used to, but ultimately, I liked it.

I’ll admit there were times when I felt this novel was smarter than me. I’m a nature lover, but some of the ornithology/birdwatcher talk went over my head. There was also this vastness to the novel that I was drawn to, but I don’t think I was quite grasping, if that makes any sense. But perhaps that is the point? Nature is vast and unknowable.

Despite feeling slightly confused at times, this book hooked me. As the story progresses, the stakes kept rising, and I *had* to know what would happen. It was a weird, bird-filled ride from the very first page, and I kinda loved it. My only real complaint is that I wish there had been more to the ending. I was definitely left wondering about several things.


Plot: 🦅🦅🦅🦅 /5
Characters: 🕊️🕊️🕊️🕊️ /5
Weirdness: 🦆🦆🦆🦆 /5
Ending: 🦃🦃 /5
Overall: 🦜🦜🦜.75 /5

Thanks to NetGalley, Erewhon Books, and Nicholas Belardes for allowing me to read an advance digital copy!

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Full disclosure: I DNF’ed at about 34% read.

The cover art and blurb were enough to draw me in and request an arc (thank you!). However, the book just never really grabbed my interest- the POV switches and the very slow start to the story made it a struggle.

There’s definitely interesting ideas in the book, but the execution just didn’t land for me.

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The Deading sounded absolutely amazing but sadly I did not enjoy it...
The one thing I really liked was the cover as it is stunning!
I really struggled to finish this book as i found it both confusing and boring.
I also didn't love the writing style or characters.
I sadly can't recommend this book.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a review.

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