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If you no longer recognize someone, how can you possibly be expected to trust them with your life? Some might describe Blake Brannigan’s life in the small Yorkshire village of Thwaite as bordering on mundane. His job in a café doesn’t exactly set the world alight. But, he’s got his own house, a boyfriend, and a close-knit group of good friends. For him, that’s more than e If you no longer recognize someone, how can you possibly be expected to trust them with your life? Some might describe Blake Brannigan’s life in the small Yorkshire village of Thwaite as bordering on mundane. His job in a café doesn’t exactly set the world alight. But, he’s got his own house, a boyfriend, and a close-knit group of good friends. For him, that’s more than enough to lead a contented life. Then in one fell swoop, everything’s ripped away when he’s forced to flee the village with only his boyfriend for company. He doesn’t know why they’re leaving. He hasn’t got the faintest clue what’s going on, and he’s struggling to understand the actions and behavior of a man he thought he knew. A man that it soon becomes clear knows far more about what’s happening than he’s letting on. A man hiding a multitude of secrets. When the true extent of what’s happening comes to light, Blake is rocked to the core. Peril lurks around every corner. The smallest decision suddenly spells the difference between life and death. If Blake’s to have any chance of survival in this new and frightening world, he’s going to have to unearth buried secrets, figure out whether love really can conquer all, and face emotional, physical, and mental challenges the likes of which he could never have imagined. One things for sure, when life suddenly boils down to nothing more than the desperate need to find refuge, priorities change. Blake’s certainly have.


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If you no longer recognize someone, how can you possibly be expected to trust them with your life? Some might describe Blake Brannigan’s life in the small Yorkshire village of Thwaite as bordering on mundane. His job in a café doesn’t exactly set the world alight. But, he’s got his own house, a boyfriend, and a close-knit group of good friends. For him, that’s more than e If you no longer recognize someone, how can you possibly be expected to trust them with your life? Some might describe Blake Brannigan’s life in the small Yorkshire village of Thwaite as bordering on mundane. His job in a café doesn’t exactly set the world alight. But, he’s got his own house, a boyfriend, and a close-knit group of good friends. For him, that’s more than enough to lead a contented life. Then in one fell swoop, everything’s ripped away when he’s forced to flee the village with only his boyfriend for company. He doesn’t know why they’re leaving. He hasn’t got the faintest clue what’s going on, and he’s struggling to understand the actions and behavior of a man he thought he knew. A man that it soon becomes clear knows far more about what’s happening than he’s letting on. A man hiding a multitude of secrets. When the true extent of what’s happening comes to light, Blake is rocked to the core. Peril lurks around every corner. The smallest decision suddenly spells the difference between life and death. If Blake’s to have any chance of survival in this new and frightening world, he’s going to have to unearth buried secrets, figure out whether love really can conquer all, and face emotional, physical, and mental challenges the likes of which he could never have imagined. One things for sure, when life suddenly boils down to nothing more than the desperate need to find refuge, priorities change. Blake’s certainly have.

30 review for Refuge

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    4.5 stars A stunning foray by HL Day into speculative fiction. I could barely put it down and was often on the edge my seat as an unlikely group of six survivors flee alien invaders and their “sentinels. Very well written and edited, solid world building, well drawn characters, and quite the exciting storyline as our troupe of survivors trek north on foot across a hostile English countryside toward Scotland and safety. Highly recommended.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gabi

    The first half of the book was a bit boring. :/ We're jumping between two timelines. At first we find out, how Zed and Blake got together, and then 3 years later all hell breaks loose. Aliens are coming, the apocalypse is here, and they're fleeing the city. I liked that we saw two sides of Zed. The slightly innocent, very weird new guy in town, with hearts in his eyes, who can't see farther than Blake's beautiful face; and the cold, commanding alien soldier, who's one purpose in life is to get Bla The first half of the book was a bit boring. :/ We're jumping between two timelines. At first we find out, how Zed and Blake got together, and then 3 years later all hell breaks loose. Aliens are coming, the apocalypse is here, and they're fleeing the city. I liked that we saw two sides of Zed. The slightly innocent, very weird new guy in town, with hearts in his eyes, who can't see farther than Blake's beautiful face; and the cold, commanding alien soldier, who's one purpose in life is to get Blake to safety, even if it means no one else gets to live. What I didn't like, is that the story itself was common, familiar.The fact that it slightly resembled The Fifth Wave, is what made it boring. It wasn't predictable, I wouldn't go that far, but I wasn't surprised either, I wasn't on the edge of my seat, nibbling on my fingernails. After an alien invasion, if my own boyfriend would drag me to the middle of nowhere and force me to walk 'until we get to the bunker', with no explanation, I would have had several questions. And I get that they were kinda occupied with surviving and all, but come on. How can you not ask 'Dude, how do you know where to go, why do you have a backpack full with all the necessary supplies, why do you know so much about aliens, why are you not surprised they're here, and why do you seem to have an answer for everything, and yet refusing to give them to me?' Even when I'm fighting for my life, I would refuse to go any further until I know something. The lack of passionate, all-consuming love disturbed me the most. When Zed left, I think he should've fought harder, cling to Blake and he should've been more devastated. And when they reunited, I expected more tears, and more... just MORE. It wasn't as emotional as I wanted it to be, and I'm not talking about just the romance, but the other characters too. When they left the city, and they thought all of their friends were dead, there weren't any tears and 'ohmygods' and reminiscing about the old days 'when they were alive'. And what happened to the ex-boyfriend? They were still friends, how could he not mourn him? The second half was a bit more interesting. Blake had to survive on his own for a bit, but that didn't last long either, as predicted. Even though this book was more than 500 pages long, with all the 'essentials' missing, it wasn't enough. I expected it to be more detailed. After Kept in the Dark was such a huge hit for me, I was a bit disappointed. Originally I wanted something exciting with a bit of action, and earth shattering love, but in both regard I found it lacking. It wasn't bad, but I'm not sure I'm interested in the next book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Line

    Shelving this for now, since I got sort of stuck.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Joyfully Jay

    A Joyfully Jay review. 4.5 stars This was a great read. There are so many elements that initially come across as trite (much like my tired summary of the story), but that get delightfully turned around later in the book. As an example: Yes, Blake is initially portrayed as completely reliant on Zed for guidance and encouragement. He comes across as a bit whiney, especially before it really sinks in that it’s “rocks fall, everyone dies” end-of-days level craziness unfolding. However, later in the s A Joyfully Jay review. 4.5 stars This was a great read. There are so many elements that initially come across as trite (much like my tired summary of the story), but that get delightfully turned around later in the book. As an example: Yes, Blake is initially portrayed as completely reliant on Zed for guidance and encouragement. He comes across as a bit whiney, especially before it really sinks in that it’s “rocks fall, everyone dies” end-of-days level craziness unfolding. However, later in the story, the roles are sort of flipped and it’s Blake who has to take the lead and serve as the same sort of bedrock for other characters. It just really tickled me that Day took the care to craft the story to allow Blake to be both follower and leader. Another element that kept me turning pages is how the first half or so of the book is told in alternating timelines. We open with a chapter in the present, skip to three years ago when Blake and Zed first meet, and flip-flop back and forth. This was a great way to show the audience not only how Blake/Zed came to be a couple, but also little slivers of what kept them together. It’s not gobs and gobs of backstory, but Day hits some good relationship milestones this way and broadens the cast of characters a bit with the best friend Cherry, convenience friend-with-benefits Brendan, and a few other friends. The one “criticism” I have about this flip-flopping was that it wasn’t exactly immediately clear that present-day Zed was the same guy as three-years-ago Zed. There were two reasons for this. One, present-day Zed is almost always referred to as “boyfriend” so I was just guessing it was the same guy from the flashbacks. The other is that with this being a sci-fi book, I wondered if maybe this was a case of body snatchers. Read Camille’s review in its entirety here.

  5. 5 out of 5

    M.I.A

    Hmm I like H.L. Day's style but Refuge fell short for me. * 3 I'm sorry Stars* It wasn't the storyline, that was entertaining. Alien's and all, dystopian setting. I'm a fan but the heart of the story was lacking for me. I can enjoy any setting/time period/sub-genre if the romance is strong between the main characters. Unfortunately, Zed (view spoiler)[ being an Alien (hide spoiler)] and the characterization he needed for the storyline led to a character I couldn't connect with. Couldn't feel h Hmm I like H.L. Day's style but Refuge fell short for me. * 3 I'm sorry Stars* It wasn't the storyline, that was entertaining. Alien's and all, dystopian setting. I'm a fan but the heart of the story was lacking for me. I can enjoy any setting/time period/sub-genre if the romance is strong between the main characters. Unfortunately, Zed (view spoiler)[ being an Alien (hide spoiler)] and the characterization he needed for the storyline led to a character I couldn't connect with. Couldn't feel him, his emotions, or his love for Blake. And, we don't delve enough into who he is outside of his relationship with Blake, not enough to make him a truly living, breathing, impactful character. Blake is sort of crotchety, quick to anger, and emotionally erratic. I didn't get a chance to genuinely like him. Their relationship was not deep enough for me to believe in their love. And, as a character, he was sort of flat. Didn't have enough layers to him and honestly, I didn't feel like I knew him well enough either. Honestly, it felt more like Zed just happens to be the only other gay man in town and Blake was new and out of the norm for Zed, so why not?, Then, like most relationships, you spend enough time together, you like each other, it's habit-forming. That was my personal take-away from their relationship, not very moving or epic. This entire story was action & setting focused and not character-driven enough for me. So, is this good? Hmm, it's not bad, and I bet it was fun to write, but it doesn't deliver as a romance. And for me personally, without a strong romance, I tend to skim and lose interest fairly quickly. I might still give the next book a try, at some point, perhaps. We shall see.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Viki Evans

    When I pre ordered this I didn't realize it was an end of the world story. It was a nice surprise. I loved every single thing about it. It's part of a series and it doesn't end in a cliff hanger. Really looking forward to book two xx When I pre ordered this I didn't realize it was an end of the world story. It was a nice surprise. I loved every single thing about it. It's part of a series and it doesn't end in a cliff hanger. Really looking forward to book two xx

  7. 5 out of 5

    James Berry

    Not usually the biggest fan of sci-fi but I love dystopias, and this was another amazing book that made 2020 more bearable. This novel starts at full speed and keeps going, peppering in little flashback vignettes of how Blake and Zed met to allieviate tension and give us time to breathe. The writing gave me the same vibes of How I Live Now or The Host, which is good, but decidedly more adult. I anticipate the next one coming out ASAP!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sali

    Love this book. HFN, #1 in a series. Love the plot, love the guys, all the secondary characters.. Even the one I didn't like, they are well written characters. Both Main guys are fabulous. They do not fit the stereotypes I expected to see in this kind of trope/books. They surprised me each time. They are both there, doing what need to be done, supporting each other, acting as adult. I love how everyone was written.. The world building is great, there is a lot we still don't know at the end. But Love this book. HFN, #1 in a series. Love the plot, love the guys, all the secondary characters.. Even the one I didn't like, they are well written characters. Both Main guys are fabulous. They do not fit the stereotypes I expected to see in this kind of trope/books. They surprised me each time. They are both there, doing what need to be done, supporting each other, acting as adult. I love how everyone was written.. The world building is great, there is a lot we still don't know at the end. But we know enough to understand.. There is a bit of sex, not a lot, just enough! This book is a story between two guys, a story between a group of friends, a story about surviving.. I love everything about this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lisa The Novel Approach

    ~ 3.5 Stars ~ When new-to-me author H.L Day’s new release popped up, I pounced on it with very little deliberation. Having not read her before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I couldn’t pass up the cover or the blurb for Refuge. Looking at her previous releases, it looks like this is her first foray into writing paranormal or urban fantasy, and I think she did an admirable job with it. The world building that’s necessary to make a novel like this really shine is immense; Day is off to a good ~ 3.5 Stars ~ When new-to-me author H.L Day’s new release popped up, I pounced on it with very little deliberation. Having not read her before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I couldn’t pass up the cover or the blurb for Refuge. Looking at her previous releases, it looks like this is her first foray into writing paranormal or urban fantasy, and I think she did an admirable job with it. The world building that’s necessary to make a novel like this really shine is immense; Day is off to a good start with Refuge, but I hope to see even more detail and development in the next books in the series. It’s near impossible to do a comprehensive review of this book without veering into spoiler territory, so I’m going to keep it pretty brief as far as story points are concerned. What you already know from the blurb is that something unexpected happens that causes Blake and his boyfriend to have to flee their home in the village of Thwaite—something dangerous that Blake’s boyfriend obviously knows about. He initially refuses to discuss anything with Blake, though, only telling him to get his shit together in seven minutes or he’s going to get left behind. The lack of sharing on his part got sort of frustrating at a point. I didn’t understand why he had to keep poor Blake in the dark for as long as he did. But, eventually, he is forced to disclose some things, and we begin to get a picture of what is happening. In the beginning of the book, Day goes back and forth between present day, and a timeline that is set three years prior. I actually didn’t love this method. Sometimes the flashback thing works really well for me in stories, but in this case, I found Day to be unnecessarily vague in the earlier present day chapters about a particular detail, and it frustrated me as a reader. Once that detail is confirmed, though, the timeline switches stop, and things begin moving forward. I enjoyed the overall pace of the book, and Day’s storytelling is engaging, if a bit predictable at times. I enjoyed the characters—especially Zed—and hope to get even more character development in the next book. Zed was lovely and quirky, and just SO in love with Blake. I adored that about him. I liked him both when he was being all bumbly and awkward, and when he was more confident and take-charge. Blake’s character evolved along with the story, and definitely grew on me as the book progressed. His personal growth was fantastic; I really liked where he was at the end. I also really loved Blake’s best friend, Cherry, who owned the little café he worked at. She was so fun and sassy. All in all, Refuge is absolutely worth the read. The premise was intriguing, the story engaging, and the last fourth of the book in particular was so good and suspenseful. I’m definitely excited to see where the author takes the story from here! Reviewed by Jules for The Novel Approach

  10. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Bassett

    An intriguing start The beginning of this book is told alternatively in present tense while dealing with a hostile alien invasion, and flashbacks to how Blake met his boyfriend. It’s fairly effective - you start the story off with a bang, but still get needed backstory. Zed is kind of adorable, with his helpless attraction toward Blake and his cluelessness in general about most things. The majority of this book was spent in setting up the situation and chronicling their journey to get somewhere sa An intriguing start The beginning of this book is told alternatively in present tense while dealing with a hostile alien invasion, and flashbacks to how Blake met his boyfriend. It’s fairly effective - you start the story off with a bang, but still get needed backstory. Zed is kind of adorable, with his helpless attraction toward Blake and his cluelessness in general about most things. The majority of this book was spent in setting up the situation and chronicling their journey to get somewhere safe. Based on the way the book ended and the title of the next, it looks like they’ll start to fight back, not just try to survive. Sci-Fi is not usually my thing, but I’ll definitely read the next when it comes out.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ayla

    This was definitely a book I was nervous to start. I have really enjoyed the HL Day books I have read before, and while this is completely different from the things I have read from her and really a far jump from what I am used to reading.. I LOVED this story! Her writing is incredible. This story was easy to follow and kept me interested! I loved Blake's sass. And I immediately liked Zed. (view spoiler)[From the first interaction I was sure Zed was an alien.. I mean come on "You wouldn't unders This was definitely a book I was nervous to start. I have really enjoyed the HL Day books I have read before, and while this is completely different from the things I have read from her and really a far jump from what I am used to reading.. I LOVED this story! Her writing is incredible. This story was easy to follow and kept me interested! I loved Blake's sass. And I immediately liked Zed. (view spoiler)[From the first interaction I was sure Zed was an alien.. I mean come on "You wouldn't understand my full name". (hide spoiler)] And that fact just made me even more excited to keep reading! I couldnt help but love Zed's honesty. Every weird thing that came out of his mouth in the flashbacks just made me giggle. Zed's character, especially in the flashbacks, was just so pure. I couldn't help but be charmed by him. The set up of the book was really good. I usually hate with a passion flashbacks or any sort of time jumps. I am always eager to get back to the present. However, for this story, I was eager to get to the past and then again back to the present. I wanted to see Blake and Zed's past and was super intrigued by it. However, what was happening in the present was really interesting as well. As I said before, for me, this was dang good writing. It held everything from a little bit of action, suspense, emotion, intrigue and more. The development of each of the characters was incredible. Even though I basically was growling at Tim and Lauren the entire time they were on page, Lauren really redeemed herself at the end. I cannot wait to read more about these characters!! I need that HEA! :) If you want to read a great book that is different and will keep you on your toes and interested, read this book!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Qin

    I am all for writers taking a page from some predecessor and then plying it to their hand, so long as the end result is sleek and proves entertaining enough. Unfortunately, Mrs Day's ripping off of Rick Yancey's The Fifth Wave left me cold on account of its awkward narrative structure, hard to account for tendency to inappropriate humour, and boring, color- and movement-blind writing. The two plot lines that keep criss-crossing, one in present time whose hallmark is the weird avoidance of naming I am all for writers taking a page from some predecessor and then plying it to their hand, so long as the end result is sleek and proves entertaining enough. Unfortunately, Mrs Day's ripping off of Rick Yancey's The Fifth Wave left me cold on account of its awkward narrative structure, hard to account for tendency to inappropriate humour, and boring, color- and movement-blind writing. The two plot lines that keep criss-crossing, one in present time whose hallmark is the weird avoidance of naming Blake's significant other (we thus get hundreds of that tiresome tag "his boyfriend", as Blake happens to be the main narrator of the alien apocalypse), the other three years ago purporting to tell minutely how Blake and Zed met, fell in love and became the rather weird pair that will live through the end of the world, result in confusing storytelling. I fail to see what is gained by these distinct temporalities, whose rigid superposition devoid of any thematic interplay only serves to divide the reader's attention between the then and the now; whatever modicum of suspense Mrs Day sought to produce through this uncouth, mechanically applied literary device is dearly paid. Past Zed as he gets to know Blake serves far too much as a source of cheap fun for my taste - if his quixotic mannerisms were designed to subtly allude to his not being from Earth while underscoring Blake's bland normalcy by contrast, it is clear that the author has gone overboard and rather missed her goal. Finally, the writing values were not all that they should have been. Neither muscular nor florid, her prose usually verges on the side of insipid, and utterly fails at imbuing both the past passages with a strong sense of romantic inevitability between Blake and Zed and the slices of narrative devoted to the heroes' race against time and bloodthirsty aliens with anything akin to breathless excitation. On the narrowly technical side, many things are subpar. Ready as I am to forgive the occasional solecism, it is extremely irritating to meet those very blemishes next to blatant instances of poor English style resulting either in obscurity or in bewildering nonsense: "Zed took a step toward the bed. Given their different levels [read: given the different levels they stood at], it brought Zed’s cock into [read: within] touching… or sucking distance of Blake" is but one of the inumerable cases of crabbed writing the book teems with. Equally as offensive are the many self-contradictory sentences, my favorite example being "Zed stood in the middle of the room. For all his seeming comfort with nakedness, he still managed to appear somewhat awkward". As I could not care much about what befalls the secondary cast (which almost entirely consists of stereotypes) and especially the protagonists due to the dryness of the present-day narrative, the dreariness of their portrayal and their significant lack of romantic chemistry, I trust there is no need for a longer exposition of the vices of this book. It clearly is not for me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cristina

    Refuge by H.L. Day was interesting and cute, but lacking for me the depth and angst I would have expected to find in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic novel. The premise is very intriguing - Blake's life, provincial, quiet, uneventful, is suddenly shattered by a sequence of explosions that completely disrupts his - and everyone else's - world. His boyfriend of three years - the sweet but slightly bizarre Zed - turns into a short-tempered and practical man and Blake struggles to understand what's re Refuge by H.L. Day was interesting and cute, but lacking for me the depth and angst I would have expected to find in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic novel. The premise is very intriguing - Blake's life, provincial, quiet, uneventful, is suddenly shattered by a sequence of explosions that completely disrupts his - and everyone else's - world. His boyfriend of three years - the sweet but slightly bizarre Zed - turns into a short-tempered and practical man and Blake struggles to understand what's really going on around him. Following the template of dystopian fiction, the author does a nice job in constructing a world that is at the same time familiar and new, where new enemies seem to lurk around every corner. I imagine that being the first volume in a trilogy, the stakes will become higher and higher as I go along and perhaps this slight impression of having just read something underwhelming will be rectified. As things stand, I like the two MCs - but I'm not so sure about some of the secondary characters - and I'm curious to proceed with the second instalment in the trilogy. A rounded-up three stars for me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Witchiepoo

    Wow talk about some twists and turns in this story. This book made me laugh, scream and cry. The book was a bit slow to start with a vagueness to the story, but the story soon flowed together and all I can say is this story was a roller coaster. This book was supplied by the author for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    I am ashamed to say I don't read sci-fi as often as I should, because I really love it. But I get off on other tangents and forget to slide some sci-fi in my reading. Shame Shame on me. Because this was a good one. It had a few points were it kind of lagged a bit but overall I really enjoyed it.. Blake meets a strange man who can't keep his eyes off Blake. Blake thinks he's a little creepy but, he's broken up with Brendan again and he needs a one night stand. But Blake is noticing things that see I am ashamed to say I don't read sci-fi as often as I should, because I really love it. But I get off on other tangents and forget to slide some sci-fi in my reading. Shame Shame on me. Because this was a good one. It had a few points were it kind of lagged a bit but overall I really enjoyed it.. Blake meets a strange man who can't keep his eyes off Blake. Blake thinks he's a little creepy but, he's broken up with Brendan again and he needs a one night stand. But Blake is noticing things that seem odd for him. But he just shrugs it off as it’s one of Zed’s many quirks. But little by little more odd things are happening and Zed says he can’t explain right now. Blake and Zed seems to just mosey on through life as boyfriends when one strange day, Zed is impatient for Blake to get a backpack ready because they have to leave. Like Now. And again, Zed can’t explain. Blake does it reluctantly and as they leave out of town, he now knows why. Explosions all over his town. Everything is being destroyed. They have no idea if anyone is even alive. After a short drive, it seems like anyway, then the car dies. And now they are on foot. Trying to find refuge from these sentinels and aliens that have come to harm them. He and Zed run and walk as far as they can, when the are attacked by 2. One bites Blake and Zed has to explain he may in all likely die if they can’t get to the bunker. Well they get there, Blake is saved, but at the cost of finding out what all is going on. Zed is also an alien. His  boyfriend of three years is an alien and no one in the bunker or ship likes Blake. Blake has to go back on his own. But Zed had given him supplies and a map to make it to another bunker. If he makes it anyway. Along his journey, he feels he needs to head home first, just to check before heading for the bunker and safety. And thank goodness he did. Now they all have to survive and get to the bunker before the sentinels get them. It’s a harrowing journey. Scary and grief filled. I feel for Blake so bad in this book. To wake up one day knowing your boyfriend is forcing you to leave everything behind with no explanation. Yeah. I don’t think i’d be too nuts about it either. Especially when I have to watch the only world I’ve known is being blown up  Knowing the only family I had left were the friends I had left behind. But then I’d want to survive as well. Hard choices. It was even harder for Zed. He had to hide himself for so long. He wasn’t supposed to let anyone in. get too close. But something about Blake drew him in. He broke his own rules and laws for Blake. Eventually deserting the only life he’s ever known for Blake. All for love. So for Blake and Zed, even if it was just them two, they had to survive. For each other. This is a good story. I need the next one, because i have to know how this ends now. There is a lot going on in this story, with survivors, the aliens, and Zed’s people. Will they come back for him for deserting? Inquiring minds….wanna know! http://lovebytesreviews.com

  16. 4 out of 5

    WhatAStrangeDuck

    I'm sorry to say that I was a bit underwhelmed. Ok, so this is the first part of a series but IMHO the world building left a lot to be desired. I'm left with a shedload of questions that may or may not be answered in further installments of the series but I'm kind of scratching my head why the main protagonist and narrative focus, Blake, doesn't ask them in this book. In fact, I don't have any clue how it is possible for two people to live together for three years seemingly without having a sing I'm sorry to say that I was a bit underwhelmed. Ok, so this is the first part of a series but IMHO the world building left a lot to be desired. I'm left with a shedload of questions that may or may not be answered in further installments of the series but I'm kind of scratching my head why the main protagonist and narrative focus, Blake, doesn't ask them in this book. In fact, I don't have any clue how it is possible for two people to live together for three years seemingly without having a single conversation. Because that's how their relationship feels to me. I had a really hard time to get any connection to Zed and that was largely due to the fact that for a long time in the beginning of the book Zed was referred to only as "his boyfriend". Say what? And then they get thrown into a dire live-and-death situation and still Blake still doesn't ask the questions I would ask. Starting with "WTF is going on here and WHY?!" Apart from that there are numerous other things that don't make a lick of sense to me. But then again, I'm known to have a very fragile grasp on suspending my disbelief. At the moment I don't think that I'll get the next installment in the series but we'll see.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jules Lovestoread

    3.5 stars. I liked this quite a bit - especially the last quarter of the book. Interesting premise, and some suspenseful moments. I'm definitely excited to see where the author takes things from here! 3.5 stars. I liked this quite a bit - especially the last quarter of the book. Interesting premise, and some suspenseful moments. I'm definitely excited to see where the author takes things from here!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Micah

    This was FUN. I love books that take the audience on a long journey and you get to travel with characters over long distances and miles and miles. This let like an adventure that I was actually on. I like all of the characters. Even the shitty ones have a redeeming moment. For a post apocalyptic book, the horror was kind of tame? There were a lot of close call moments but I kind of just wanted more on the violence front. I’d rate this book PG. not even pg-13. Regardless, this was fun. Will be fi This was FUN. I love books that take the audience on a long journey and you get to travel with characters over long distances and miles and miles. This let like an adventure that I was actually on. I like all of the characters. Even the shitty ones have a redeeming moment. For a post apocalyptic book, the horror was kind of tame? There were a lot of close call moments but I kind of just wanted more on the violence front. I’d rate this book PG. not even pg-13. Regardless, this was fun. Will be finishing the series

  19. 5 out of 5

    Violet Marshall

    This is the first book in The Fight for Survival Series that ends in a HFN. A captivating book the writing was great. The plot was entertaining and it was steady throughout the book. I found the story and characters intriguing. My only complaint is that in the beginning of the book the chapters are separated into past events and current which is fine because it helps to keep track of when events happened. The problem that I had with it is the amount of material in each chapter. I think that if m This is the first book in The Fight for Survival Series that ends in a HFN. A captivating book the writing was great. The plot was entertaining and it was steady throughout the book. I found the story and characters intriguing. My only complaint is that in the beginning of the book the chapters are separated into past events and current which is fine because it helps to keep track of when events happened. The problem that I had with it is the amount of material in each chapter. I think that if more material had been put in each chapter or having 2 chapters back to back for each past or current telling (chapter 2 and 3 being the past that sort of thing) that it would have been a smoother read and less confusions of the events in total told the transitions were just too fast. The characters were developed and thought out. Blake Brannigan and Zed are the MC’s of this book. I would’ve liked more about Zed, but I understand that might be in another book. There was humor, aliens, friends, explosions, EMP’s, loss, travel, a café, sex, sentinels, bunkers, a cat, action, suspense and so much more in this book. Here is a quote from the book, “If Blake had thought Zed was twitchy before, it was nothing in comparison to today. Any noise, no matter how seemingly innocuous, was treated with the utmost suspicion, the barrel of the gun immediately swinging toward it as they trudged ever onward.”. There is more but you will need to read the book which I can highly recommend. I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait for the next in the series. I voluntarily read an advance copy of this book for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sue bowdley

    I can't believe I waited so long to read this..It was brilliant....Hl Day has fast become one of my favourite authors and I loved this one so much.....Blake and Zed were just brilliant together...Not over run with sex but more on what was going on with the world...Zed wanted nothing more than to keep his boyfriend safe...Blake although not your typical hero came through more times than he probably thought possible..I also loved the other characters...(although I could have slapped Brendan)....Wh I can't believe I waited so long to read this..It was brilliant....Hl Day has fast become one of my favourite authors and I loved this one so much.....Blake and Zed were just brilliant together...Not over run with sex but more on what was going on with the world...Zed wanted nothing more than to keep his boyfriend safe...Blake although not your typical hero came through more times than he probably thought possible..I also loved the other characters...(although I could have slapped Brendan)....When the world went to hell you were left wondering what would happen next..Would they all make it?..Who wouldn't....I really can't wait for the next one and am so glad I read this x

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mary Mary

    It is a wonderful survival story with a love, friendship, aliens (and alien wolves). I couldn't stop reading, i stayed awake whole night just to know they are as safe as possible. The story was absolutely brilliant, just like while reading other books by H.L.Day, i got sucked into Blake's world right from the start. I loved all characters here, not only Zed and Blake, they were all pretty great (even if some of them were annoying) and felt real. I have no idea how am I supposed to just sit and wait It is a wonderful survival story with a love, friendship, aliens (and alien wolves). I couldn't stop reading, i stayed awake whole night just to know they are as safe as possible. The story was absolutely brilliant, just like while reading other books by H.L.Day, i got sucked into Blake's world right from the start. I loved all characters here, not only Zed and Blake, they were all pretty great (even if some of them were annoying) and felt real. I have no idea how am I supposed to just sit and wait for the next book in this series. This story ended in HFN and it seems like everything is possible (including general coming back...)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Diane Dannenfeldt

    I can't wait for the next book. RTC I can't wait for the next book. RTC

  23. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Ellis

    Usually I steer clear of dystopian/apocalyptic books (especially including aliens) as they often have a bit too much change to make the reading interesting and easy to follow/understand. This was not so with Refuge. I liked the flashbacks because they gave a bit more understanding to the present time, though they were a bit short for me. The MCs were totally loveable, though each in their own way and for vastly different reasons. When things come to light that were not known at first, the readin Usually I steer clear of dystopian/apocalyptic books (especially including aliens) as they often have a bit too much change to make the reading interesting and easy to follow/understand. This was not so with Refuge. I liked the flashbacks because they gave a bit more understanding to the present time, though they were a bit short for me. The MCs were totally loveable, though each in their own way and for vastly different reasons. When things come to light that were not known at first, the reading picks up and gets more involved. The relationship between Blake and Zed is extremely well fleshed out and written with depth of character. I cannot wait to read more from this author! This book was provided to me for an honest review by the author.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Helen Oakes

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. *arc received in exchange for an honest review* This is my second HL Day novel and as much as I liked the book it wasn’t as enjoyable as the other novel I have read. I think that’s because I didn’t care for Blake as a character. I’m hoping that seeing as this is only book 1 in a series he’ll flesh out a little bit and develop as a character as the books continue. I enjoyed the drama, I can’t wait to see what will happen to Zed. I didn’t realise when HL Day said it was a sci-fi book that it meant *arc received in exchange for an honest review* This is my second HL Day novel and as much as I liked the book it wasn’t as enjoyable as the other novel I have read. I think that’s because I didn’t care for Blake as a character. I’m hoping that seeing as this is only book 1 in a series he’ll flesh out a little bit and develop as a character as the books continue. I enjoyed the drama, I can’t wait to see what will happen to Zed. I didn’t realise when HL Day said it was a sci-fi book that it meant an alien romance novel rather than just the fact it’s a post-apocalyptic novel. I’ve never read an alien romance before so I don’t have anything to compare it too but I can’t say I was put off by it. I kept reading and I did like the romance aspect - it provided a storyline in the characters having something to fight for. I look forward to the next story in the series.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nanna Sander

    3.5 stars. This distopian, post-apocaliptic story left my heart beating double time, and me sitting on the edge of my seat throughout the whole thing. A big part of this is about love and sacrifice (which I liked a lot), but there was so much of the apocalypse stuff I never really got an answer to. (view spoiler)[Why are the aliens invading? What do they want/get out of destroying us? Will they come back for Zed? What about the people in the camps? (hide spoiler)] And I would have loved to find 3.5 stars. This distopian, post-apocaliptic story left my heart beating double time, and me sitting on the edge of my seat throughout the whole thing. A big part of this is about love and sacrifice (which I liked a lot), but there was so much of the apocalypse stuff I never really got an answer to. (view spoiler)[Why are the aliens invading? What do they want/get out of destroying us? Will they come back for Zed? What about the people in the camps? (hide spoiler)] And I would have loved to find out more about Zed's background, because he is a really interesting and quirky character. However, since this is the first in a series, we'll probably have some of those questions answered later on.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra

    I wanted to love this soooooo much, because I love all the other books by this author. But I just couldn't. I really love sci-fi and everything with aliens so I wasn't worried about the subject. As I said in the past, I read almost anything as long as there is romance in it. ;) But this story just didn't work for me. I feel so bad (and sad) saying that. It really breakes my heart. :( But the romance here didn't feel real. Or maybe it felt too realistic. In real life, only very few people would p I wanted to love this soooooo much, because I love all the other books by this author. But I just couldn't. I really love sci-fi and everything with aliens so I wasn't worried about the subject. As I said in the past, I read almost anything as long as there is romance in it. ;) But this story just didn't work for me. I feel so bad (and sad) saying that. It really breakes my heart. :( But the romance here didn't feel real. Or maybe it felt too realistic. In real life, only very few people would probably die for their partner, but in a romance novel I WANT them to risk their lifes for each other because they are in LOVE! The way Zed casually talks about how he would probably have left Blake behind if he hadn't come with him at the beginning just felt wrong. Even when his frigid persona is explained during the story it didn't ring true for me. Because in the flashbacks he's shown as clueless but not cold and he seems to totally adore Blake. So how could he even consider leaving him to a cruel death?!? I don't get it. Unfortunately, that isn't the only problem I had with the book. The whole premise felt ill thought through and unrealistic. I can't explain it without spoilering, so here goes. (view spoiler)[ There are aliens who fly millions of lightyears through the galaxy and have technology far advanced from ours but then they just bomb towns and cities and send dog-like creatures to kill people? And they eat them all and there is nothing left not even blood? Then these creatures find Blake and his friends and follow them (repeatedly) but always lose interest in them before they get them? And they never find them again even though according to Zed they have a great sense of smell? And why would these other aliens come to Earth to "observe" the attack? What are they researching? Why did they know years in advance what would happen and placed "agents" (who never did anything by the way) only to leave once the attack started? If their technology isn't as good and they are afraid of the other aliens why get involved at all? And if their technology is better why not help other species? And don't get me started on Zed and Blake and their actions! Blake is just following like a sheep and never asking any questions. Or at least not the right ones. He gets only the barest information and then is like "oh, okay, fine". Huh!? It speaks for him as a character that he follows the person he loves because he feels that Zed is serious and he trusts him. I can understand that. I can admire that. For these first hours during the start of the book. After that, you better believe I would demand answers and would pester you until your ears bled if you wouldn't give them to me. And what was Zed thinking, bringing Blake along to his people? He must have known that he wouldn't be welcome there. But as far as I understood, it was his plan from the beginning. What kind of asinine plan is that?! He had three years to come up with something to make sure the person he loves survives and this is his plan? Uh, no, just no. And about their survival ... do they think their food and water will last forever? Yep, they're in a bunker now and safe from the aliens and their watchdogs (until they break in with their advanced technology). But they can never venture outside again, they can never do anything again (except die of boredom before they die of thirst or hunger). And now that even more people are coming to their little sanctuary the resources will go even faster. (hide spoiler)] There were so many things that didn't gel with me. Every other chapter another questions would pop up for me and it was incredibly frustrating to never get any answers! But what bothered me most was Zed's split personality and that I couldn't buy into his and Blakes romance. I was kind of relieved when it ended and I don't know if I can bring myself to pick up the sequel when it comes out. I can't imagine any ending to this story that would make sense to me. I am in no way giving up on this author, because I love all of her other books. I will definitely pick up any contemporary that she gets out there in the future. She can do soooo much better than this, so please pick up one of her other books, they are great!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Cato

    Thoroughly enjoyed this one!! Edge of your seat action the entire way through...engaging main characters...laughter and tears...cannot wait to read the next one!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    2021 Re-Read: With the release of book 2, I needed a refresher. Still a good story. I gotta say, though . . . I understand that Blake was supposed to be pretty useless in the beginning in order to show his character growth and all that jazz, but, wowsers, is it hard to watch him get there. Original 2019 Review: Well then. I'll certainly be eagerly awaiting the next installment of this series. 2021 Re-Read: With the release of book 2, I needed a refresher. Still a good story. I gotta say, though . . . I understand that Blake was supposed to be pretty useless in the beginning in order to show his character growth and all that jazz, but, wowsers, is it hard to watch him get there. Original 2019 Review: Well then. I'll certainly be eagerly awaiting the next installment of this series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    I waited far too long to read this I remember when Refuge first released. The cover immediately caught my eye, but considering sci-fi isn't a preferred trope of mine, I didn't passed the book up. After seeing the initial positive reviews, I always intended to double back and read Refuge, especially after reading and loving this author's subsequent releases. My ever growing to-be-read list being what it is, I had yet to do that. With the fast approaching release date of the second book in this ser I waited far too long to read this I remember when Refuge first released. The cover immediately caught my eye, but considering sci-fi isn't a preferred trope of mine, I didn't passed the book up. After seeing the initial positive reviews, I always intended to double back and read Refuge, especially after reading and loving this author's subsequent releases. My ever growing to-be-read list being what it is, I had yet to do that. With the fast approaching release date of the second book in this series, I finally made the time to dive in. Refuge was absolutely amazing...the type of read that's ridiculously hard to put down even when it's later and your eyes are burning with exhaustion. Considering my initial hesitation to read Refuge when it first released, I feel it's prudent to mention that despite sci-fi elements fueling the conflict, this book didn't feel outside the realm of my interests at all. Refuge was filled with fast-paced action, suspense, and an original plot. The romance between Zed and Blake was prominent, but certainly not the primary focus of the book, making this a satisfying read for those who value a great story over all else. The characters were well developed and dynamic. I loved that both the main and secondary characters weren't perfect, but were relatable, interesting, and people I wanted to see succeed. As I've come to expect from this author, there was some good banter and humor mixed in with the exciting plot. The writing was smooth and the pace fast. And while the ending was satisfying, this is definitely a happy-for-now conclusion that leaves the reader eager for more... luckily my wait won't be long!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    I think this is my favorite book thus far this year, and I read quite a few books so far. Not only is this a thoroughly captivating story, but the entire premise is haunting and beautiful at the same time. Apocalyptic and scary in many respects, but with a strong sense of passionate and bonding love that is the strength that keeps us moving forward with these wonderfully written characters , of Blake and Zed. With every step taken when everything gets ripped away and life is fundamentally foreve I think this is my favorite book thus far this year, and I read quite a few books so far. Not only is this a thoroughly captivating story, but the entire premise is haunting and beautiful at the same time. Apocalyptic and scary in many respects, but with a strong sense of passionate and bonding love that is the strength that keeps us moving forward with these wonderfully written characters , of Blake and Zed. With every step taken when everything gets ripped away and life is fundamentally forever changed I found myself reading sometimes with bated breath, and felt the bone chilling fear and rejoiced when the love and breath of reprieve was giving. This was one of the most exciting reads that had me on the edge of my seat and so engrossed I lost track of time and nothing mattered but getting to the next page. I am so super stoked for the follow up to keep going on this journey. Besides our main characters , each of the subsequent characters all play integral roles in how this book as a whole is a wonderful read.

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