One Thousand and One Nights

One Thousand and One Nights

3.5 26
by Ruth Browne
     
 

Sheri spends her days fighting zombies and her nights chained to a wall, earning her every breath by telling stories to her captor Aleksy-stories that make them both forget the ruined world. Sheri could put up with the conditions-at least she knows her sister is safe in the community Aleksy leads-until she realizes she's falling for him...even though he wants her

Overview

Sheri spends her days fighting zombies and her nights chained to a wall, earning her every breath by telling stories to her captor Aleksy-stories that make them both forget the ruined world. Sheri could put up with the conditions-at least she knows her sister is safe in the community Aleksy leads-until she realizes she's falling for him...even though he wants her dead.

When Aleksy allowed Sheri and her sister into his compound, he didn't know about the zombie bite on her back. It's only a matter of time before she turns into one of the rising dead and threatens their existence, but Aleksy has a secret need for Sheri and her stories. For everyone's safety, he chains her to his bedroom wall, hoping for just one more day. But how long will the community allow Aleksy to ignore his own rule: always kill the infected. Always.

Previously released on Entangled's Ever After imprint - September 2013

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781622663316
Publisher:
Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
09/30/2013
Series:
Entangled Ever After
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
68
File size:
2 MB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

One Thousand and One Nights


By Ruth Browne, Kaleen Harding

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2013 Ruth Browne
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62266-331-6


CHAPTER 1

Inside, it was black as a witch's belly. The moon glimmered through the window she'd smashed, but the generators were long dead and the shelves blocked out the rest of the light. A zipper purred as she opened her backpack, and the beam of a dimmed flashlight pooled on the floor. Then, boot heels clicking, she moved amongst the shelves.

The last haul had been pretty slim, just a couple of paperbacks in some no-account town that didn't even have its own gas station. On the dirty grey board by the highway, the town's name looked like it had been scraped off with fingernails, and she could only make out the faded postscript: Population 63.

Some of them had still been there.

But this place was better, bigger, complete with a strip mall, a used car dealership, and an adult toy shop. It also had a library.

Paper rustled underfoot as she searched, running the flashlight over rows of spines with their little printed tags. Books had fallen or been wrenched out at random, trampled and left to rot. She picked her way between them, scowling in the dark. What a waste.

Her eyes had adjusted to the light, and when she came to the end of the row she could see the bulky Formica-topped counter where library clerks used to check out books. Over by the exit loomed the frame of a metal-detector. From here she could also see the doors, which had been jammed shut with broken bookcases and furniture. Covering the flashlight with her hand, she stood for a moment and listened intently. There was no sound, so she kept moving.

Passing several aisles of non-fiction, she turned into the children's section and smiled to herself as the flashlight lit up a small collection of dusty bound volumes. Yes! Grimm's Fairytales, a misplaced copy of the Odyssey, and something more rare: most of One Thousand and One Nights. Greedily, she lifted them down and examined them. They were all part of a set dedicated to the library nearly twelve years ago by the Minchin family.

"Bless you, Minchins," she murmured, and packed the books quickly into her backpack. This library's size had seemed promising, but it was heavy on autobiographies and wildlife. Not to mention it was never wise to hang around in one place for too long. Time to go.

She started back along the aisle towards the broken window where she'd made her entrance, her quick stride decisive on the floor-tiles. Then, sweeping before her as she walked, the flashlight beam picked up a crumpled form on the floor ahead. It twitched, and gave a stifled moan.

"Shit!"

A dead boy wearing torn Spiderman pajamas rose like a stringless puppet, gangly with its jaw gone. She was so focused on him, his pathetic clutching hands, she almost missed the stumbling footfall behind her as something came lurching out of the dark. Almost.

There was the whisper of a leather holster, a double-click, and a shotgun blast; the walls rang, drifts of paper billowed, and a corpse with no head slid away in a spray of sticky blood. She pivoted on her back foot as the boy reached for her, and blew him away too. Through the whining white noise in her ears, she heard a chorus of sighs and dry throaty rattles. Well, that was just great. The townspeople must have used the library as a safe place way back when it first happened. She guessed they hadn't heard about the bitten yet those days, and now the place was crawling with them.

"Come on out, bitches!" She hefted the shotgun and sprinted up the aisle. They clotted together to block her escape and she blasted them aside like cornstalks. Grannies in knitted cardigans, yoga-moms in stretch pants, acned teenaged louts in hoodies ... she wasted them all. No discrimination, though she sometimes took pity on the legless ones. Ammunition was limited.

She hurdled the bodies, watching her step on a floor slippery with clotted blood, and boosted herself up and out of the smashed window. Broken glass cut her palms, even through the military-issue gloves she wore, but she gritted her teeth and bore it. Landing in a flowerbed smelling of geraniums, she looked back and saw a forest of hands reaching after her. The townspeople's grunts and howls spilled out into the night as they clamored for a piece of her.

Turning her back, she ducked through a tear in the fence and headed for a knot of trees on the open land out back. The air was fresh and cool, a nice change from musty paper and dead flesh. Since most people had stopped doing people things, the natural world had grown vast and loud. Over the rustle of grass and leaves, crickets sang under a sky full of stars.

Dressed entirely in charcoal wool and black leather, she moved through the grass like a cat, placing her footsteps silently. Tied up tight, her hair was giving her a headache. She loosened the tie and shook it out, the long copper strands glowing in the silver light. Technically she ought to have been wearing her helmet, but it restricted her vision too much and left ugly welts on her pale skin.

Her heart was still thumping in her chest when she ducked under the trees' low-hanging branches. Nothing had followed her, but the shots would've woken the whole town. Some ears were mighty sensitive these days, now that meat was hard to come by. Her keys made a little jingle as she wrestled them from her hip pocket. Moments later, a rolling roar rubbed out the night's noises, and she came out of the copse straddling an old black Kawasaki. She heard no shrieks or cries over the engine, but there was no mistaking the way every leaf, brick, and paving-stone seemed to come alert, aware of her presence.

She lifted her feet to the footrests and gunned the throttle. The weight of the books in her backpack made her grin as she nosed her way through the grass. Knowing the treasure she'd found, she felt reassured — ready to face the long journey back. She bumped off the pavement onto the street, where she quickly picked up speed and left the abandoned houses echoing as she pulled out onto the highway.

Less than five years since the world ended, and things had really gone to shit. Zero running water, ditto electrics, and even if you could find a supermarket that wasn't overrun you'd better have brought your can-opener. Plenty of time to plant your own food of course, but good luck finding a patch of land sufficiently well-defended to hold them off long enough to harvest anything.

The hordes of zombies roamed soullessly about the towns, massing in the cities and touring by twos and threes through the countryside. There was no knowing how the carnage had started, but this had become a world she understood. Hair tangled in the slipstream, she sped along under the midnight sky with not a care in the world. Then she remembered where she was headed. But the stories sat snug against her shoulder blades. Sheri was ready for anything.

High up in the foothills of a Midwestern mountain range stood a fortress. Every door and window in the cluster of redbrick buildings wore iron braces, and the central courtyard was barred over like a cage. Motion-sensing spotlights hooked up to gas-powered generators were rigged up all over the buildings and grounds. Surrounding the compound at a distance was a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire, a guard-tower on each corner. Beyond that, an electric fence and a steep slope studded with spikes, barriers, and strategic ditches. There was no power to spare for the outermost fence any longer, but the dead wouldn't know or care about that. The fortress was more than a hundred years old, and its various occupants had been improving it ever since till it hulked impregnably like a prison camp.

Night was falling as the roar of the Kawasaki's powerful engine drifted up from the ravine below. The approach to the compound was steep, snaking along a narrow tarred road with crumbling brick margins. Above, the bowl of the blue sky was deepening to indigo, and the vanished sun had left pools of shadow thickening under the pines.

Sheri had been on the road since the early hours of the morning, speeding along the highway in the gathering light. When the sun came up, she'd pulled over to put on her helmet, but otherwise stopped only for water and a few handfuls of dried fruit. The day had been hot in the wintry sunshine, the fields brown and tangled with years of undergrowth. She'd seen a few dead cows and some charred thing stirring in the ruins of a burned-down farmhouse, but spent most of the day navigating strings of empty cars or admiring the scenery. Once, when she was crossing a bridge where the road spanned a gushing river, the reeds and prairie for miles ahead lifted up into the air with a sound like thunder: a flock of birds so large it blotted out the sunlight.

Now, climbing into the foothills with a sore ass and knots like fists in her shoulders, she saw the tendril of cooking smoke rising up ahead and was surprised by a rush of home-sickness. She clenched her jaw. Patting the shoulder strap of her backpack for comfort, she put on another burst of speed as the gates came into sight.

Her nose picked up a hint of rot as she passed a ditch close to the road, but if anything was stirring down there she didn't see it. The Kawasaki rumbled up to the gate, where she swung it side-on to squint up at the nearest guard-tower.

"Open up, bitches," she growled under her breath. But the gates remained stubbornly shut, and night was falling fast. The walkie-talkie on her hip crackled. She grabbed it.

"Are you going to let me in or what?"

The unit hissed against her ear, and then she heard a man say, "Take off your helmet."

"For fuck's sakes." With both hands she tugged the bike helmet off, shaking out her hair. She glared up at the tower, where she could see the fading light glint off a pair of binoculars. While he examined her in silence, she cocked her head and gave him the finger.

"Didn't think you were coming back," he said at last. It sounded like Kruger.

"Who gives a shit what you think? Open the gate already." Something was definitely scrabbling in the ditch down the hill. Sheri balanced herself on the bike and looked round. A chill was settling into the ravine, and an evening breeze combed her hair. The pines rustled, but still she heard the scraping of fingers in the earth. "I think you have a crawler," she remarked. She reached for the butt of the shotgun in its over-the-shoulder holster. Against her ear, the walkie-talkie crackled with static until she snapped, "What are you, a child? Let me in."

Finally, a crack opened between the gates and she nosed her way through. They shut behind her with a racket as the men on patrol locked and barred them again. The inner gates were already opening, and she drove up to the buildings with a rumble that reverberated off the bricks. Rows of barred windows watched her arrive, and the sloping eaves leaned down to listen. Outside on the grass, her welcoming party waited with sparking cattle-prods, shotguns, machetes, and chains.

"Look who it is! It's my Sheri." The short Asian-American guy bowed and held out a pair of manacles. "Good to see you again, my Sheri. Did you have a pleasant vacation?"

Sheri cut the engine. "Fuck off Paul," she said, toeing out the kickstand. "That ditch-crawler out there speaks better French than you do."

"You're looking pretty crawly yourself, princess."

They were fanning out to surround her, three men and two women, all familiar faces in the gloom. Spotlights like miniature suns suddenly snapped on and snared her in their glare.

"The shotgun first," said Paul.

With a sigh, she loosened the harness and let the holster slide to the ground. Then she put down the helmet, knelt, and lay face-down with her arms behind her back. The soil was cool through the grass on her cheek. A knee pinioned her in the small of her back and she felt the restraints clicking into place. They smothered her head in a canvas bag, jerked her to her feet, and bundled her up the stairs into the building.


* * *

"How long?" Sheri shook her head slowly and grimaced at the pain that flooded it. Some too-bright light lit the insides of her eyelids red, and her mouth was gummy with saliva. They had jabbed her with something, a sedative. It didn't always happen, but tonight she could feel the drug poisoning her system.

"How long?" The voice she'd barely registered asked it again. "How long did I say you had?"

She licked her lips with a dry tongue and croaked, "T-two nights."

"That's right. Two nights. And you know what?" A hand took her by the chin and tilted her face up till she flinched against the light, squeezing her eyes shut. "Last night was the third night."

"I had to find more," she said. "I had to look farther." Most libraries close to the mountain fortress were in densely-populated areas, and those that weren't were mined out of the kind of material she needed.

"Jesus, Sheri."

Gradually, by millimeters, she opened her eyes. Her face felt swollen and sore, and for a moment she could see nothing. Then the shadow and light resolved into a face, a pair of eyes looking at her, only an arm's length away. "The king of the castle," she said, smiling though it hurt her mouth. Now she felt the collar around her neck and the grip of the manacles. Her wrists were still twisted behind her back, and the pain in her arms came and went in rushes of hot and cold. She was kneeling on a piece of ratty carpet, and by moving her head slightly she could tell that her collar was bolted to the wall behind her by a short length of chain.

The room was large but sparsely furnished: a cupboard with a jug and basin on top, a chair, a bare bulb, and a mattress under the window. Wooden boards made up the floor, and the peeling wallpaper showed cement underneath. They were high up, on the second or third storey.

His black eyes blinked once, and then he straightened up.

"What happened to your hands?"

"I cut them climbing out of a window."

Turning his back, he went to the basin to wash his hands. "Did you find any untapped gas?"

"No."

"Did you look?"

"I asked the attendant. But he just told me braaaains. Weird, huh?"

His back tensed under his blue chambray shirt. Then, deliberately, he dried his hands on his jeans and turned around. His hair was a mess, black and tangled like he'd dragged the night in after him from the evening patrol. "You should know better than to make me angry," he warned her. While she'd been away he'd raised himself a nice crop of stubble. Sexy. She smiled again, but only to herself.

Her leather jacket was too warm, but at least someone had taken off her boots. Her backpack lay at the foot of the mattress. She nodded at it, making her chain slither and chink. "Can I have my bag?" He slid it towards her with his boot. Sheri's mouth twisted and she lifted her expectant eyes to his. "Don't you want me to sing for my supper?" she asked. Anger darkened his face at once. He didn't like to be teased about his obsession, which was unusual by any standards. Yet his longing was plain as daylight — waiting for her had ground an edge to his appetite.

"Fine. What do you have?" he asked like he didn't care.

Her demonstrative shrug of helplessness made the pain flare in her shoulders, but after a bitter pause he came over and sank to his haunches beside her. She turned to look at him and he pushed her face aside with the flat of his hand. Holding her there with one hand, he dug the key from his pocket and unlocked her manacles with the other. The release felt so good that all she could do was lean against the wall and massage her wrists, but as soon as she was free he leapt out of reach like a bullfighter. Denim chafed as he scrubbed her touch from his hands.

"Gosh, you really don't like to touch me, do you?" she mocked him, green eyes narrowed. With a luxurious sigh, she stretched out her legs in their dark leggings. Then she reached up and unzipped the jacket's high collar, dragging the zipper, and his eyes, slowly down toward her navel. Her black T-shirt was standard issue, but she knew very well the rest of her wasn't. When she opened her jacket he showed her his back again, then sat on the mattress with his head in his hands. He had narrow hips and just the kind of firm, muscular ass she liked, but right then she only wanted to claw his kidneys out of his belly for scorning her.

"Well?" he prompted her.

She dragged the backpack between her knees and opened it up. Her treasures gave up their papery smell, and she caressed their pocked and careworn covers as she lifted them out. Around her, the house creaked. From somewhere downstairs came laughter and cooking smells. Her mouth watered.

"The One Thousand and One Nights," she read out, savoring the rolling vowels of the title. His back straightened. "This is Sir Richard Burton's translation, made in 1885. There are eight volumes, but I only found five. He begins by writing: "This work, labourious as it may appear, has been to me a labour of love, an unfailing source of solace and satisfaction ..."

Sheri read well into the preface, which was half a tale in itself. "Again I stood under the diaphanous skies, in air glorious as aether ..." He listened, but soon she knew it was time to move on.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from One Thousand and One Nights by Ruth Browne, Kaleen Harding. Copyright © 2013 Ruth Browne. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Ruth Browne lives in Cape Town, South Africa

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One Thousand and One Nights 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
AVoraciousReadr More than 1 year ago
I love an unusual character 4.5 *Book source ~ Many thanks to Entangled for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Sheri and Dani have been in the foster care system since their parents were killed. Sheri is a bit of a rebel who loves stories and she’ll do anything to protect her little sister. When the zombie apocalypse begins Sheri packs up supplies and a shotgun, steals her foster brother’s motorcycle and takes off with Dani. For five years they survive until one day Aleksy comes across the mountain cabin they’re living in while he’s out scouting for supplies and offers to take them back to his Midwestern mountain range fortress where he and some others are protected from the infected. Sheri agrees for Dani’s sake, but once inside the fortress the others discover Sheri has a zombie bite. She’s bitten, yet she hasn’t turned. Aleksy always kills the infected. What is he going to do about Sheri? This is a retelling of Arabians Nights set in a post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies. I love stories about unusual characters and this story delivers. Sheri is a rebel yet she loves stories. She reads whatever she can get her hands on, but her real talent is in the telling. When Aleksy reluctantly decides he must kill her he’s on his way to her cage when he hears her telling Dani a story of the Beauty and the Beast with Aleksy as the Beast and Sheri as the Beauty. He’s hooked. For four months Sheri tells him stories while chained to his bedroom wall and he occasionally lets her out of the fortress to search for books in libraries and supplies they can use.  Despite having been bitten multiple times, Sheri has not turned. She’s pale as death, doesn’t menstruate, is strong and fast with excellent sight and hearing and yet she’s still a living breathing human, not a zombie. I would have liked to know more about why she hadn’t turned, though I’m sure the characters are just as confused as I am. What has kept her human? The way she treated her bites? Her genetic make up? Her very active brain? A combination of many things? We don’t know. Aleksy’s treatment of her is cruel, but he doesn’t want to be. Conflicted much? This is a great short story that would have been awesome as a longer version with more detail. 
andreea-deea More than 1 year ago
Ok,si this was a interesting book to read.And it was tha first book like this one that I ever read.Zombies??! Nice. But I don`t enjoy it so much that i`ve wanted.There wore parts that I just couldn't stop and parts that I don`t wanted to read it any more.It was bittersweet. The story was good,I mean I love zombies.They are my favorites scary persons,if I can say like that.Just white the writing I have some problemes.I thing this story needs not so much details about the fact,just more details about the person,the actions.I know,my opinion.But I enjoy it.More tha last part.:))
Magluvsya03 More than 1 year ago
Nothing like a Zombie book with a cool twist and an excellent love of fairy tales :) This isn’t really a long one but it’ll take you one a ride that’ll make you forget time! So when the world’s ending, and zombies are taking over… You find someone who can kill zombies, and mesmerize you with their story telling to forget about all the bad things happening around you. Sheri is your main character, and she’s a zombie hunter, but she’s got a secret. And most importantly, she’s a story teller. She was alone with her little sister and was literally living off the land because there was nothing and no one else. She’s such a strong character to me, because she endures some really really horrible things, but she does this to keep her little sister safe. She’s an amazing heroine. So prince charming is not so Prince Charming here. Alex is the leader of the compound of survivors. I hate him a little but but I also see some of his points. However there’s no reason for cruelty, especially when he secretly can’t get Sheri off his mind. He is completely enamored by Sheri’s voice when she tells stories. This is a story that shows you when you don’t give up, sometimes it pays off. It’s a thrill ride, it’s an adventure, and maybe, just maybe, an almost romance :) I really liked this one even if it’s a little short. But I have hope… I’m very much hoping that this is the beginning of something bigger! 5 zombie ass kicking PAWS!
kydirtgirl68 More than 1 year ago
Sheri will do anything to keep her sister safe. When they are lead into a community safe from the zombies lead by Aleksy she will do whatever so her sister stays. That includes being chained up at night because she was bitten. Never knowing when she will turn that is the best place for her. She tells Aleksy stories every night to help make them forget the world around them. Aleksy has already ignored his rule to kill anyone who gets bit. The community wants Sheri killed before she turns but something stops him from doing so. As she spins stories every night he begins to fall for her and now he will have to fight to keep her as long as he can. Yes we all know I love zombie books and this is no exception. Sheri it really a bad ass female who has no problem hunting down zombies and killing them. She puts up with being treated bad by a lot of the community just for her sister. She also loves to read. Yeah I found my fictional book sister here. Even if Aleksy does keep her chained up she understands why he does so. She sees the guy underneath the leader role he holds in place.They both had different lives before the world changed but you see they have changed now. Aleksy at first I didn't think I would like but he really grew on me. I love the chemistry between the two. This gives a neat spin on an old tale and I look forward to more by this author. You get sexual tension that adds just the right touch to the book.I recommend this to anyone wanting a story about zombies, love and more.
kherbrand More than 1 year ago
Sheri has been bitten by a zombie - many times over - but the infection has never materialized like it would with anybody else, and no one knows whether it is just lying dormant, or if she is somehow immune.  For a few months she lived in a remote cabin with her sister Dani, but they knew that would not last forever. Aleksy stumbled upon them and told them about a compound where there were other survivors and took them in.  Upon arriving, Sheri's bites were discovered and she was immediately chained and caged.  The only thing that saved her from death was when Aleksy overheard her telling stories to her sister and he was mesmerized.  He eventually took her to his room - keeping her chained of course - so that she could tell him stories.   As he starts to see more of Sheri and less of her bites, will he be able to let his guard down and let her in? Another quick little story that was a fun read.  I liked the storytelling aspect and that it was that little nugget that kept her alive.  She would travel into abandoned towns looking for libraries and books to bring back to read to Aleksy and there is just something life affirming about that to me.
Book_Sniffers_Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In a world where the undead roam the streets, there are very few people who are still alive. Sheri is one of them but because she’s been bitten previously no one trusts her. Just because she hasn’t changed yet doesn’t mean that she won’t. So, she’s sent out on dangerous missions by herself and upon arriving to her “people”, she’s chained to the wall of the “King’s” chambers. I was really hoping that this would be a good gritty zombie story. Yeah, I know, the girl who’s all about romance wanted horror. Not that the Stockholm syndrome wouldn’t have been a bonus but I was looking for a novel to get me in the Halloween spirit. This one just didn’t work for me. I felt like it was part of a previous story that I had not read. The author takes the readers back in time periodically throughout the story to try to make the characters more than 1-dimensional. We go back to when Sheri is picked up my the “King” and we even get glimpses of her life when the zombie apocalypse happens but I just didn’t really connect with it. I think had this been a full length novel (like I originally thought), the author could have taken the time for more character development as well as laying out more of the post apocalyptic world. Instead I felt like the story was a bit rushed and I didn’t connect at all with the characters. I wish I had known that this was a short story (50 pages) prior to requesting it on NetGalley because I am not a fan of short stories. So that is totally my bad. So I will say that if short stories are your thing and you want something that is a mix of erotic horror, than you’d probably really enjoy this. The author’s writing was good and if she ever writes a full length novel spin off of this book, I’d definitely give it a try.
TinaR19 More than 1 year ago
Halloween is not complete without a story involving zombies. This was a good story, and if you like your romance to include zombies you will enjoy it. I think this could have been a really great story if it was longer. Even though it does contain some important details that bring them to the point in this story, I feel a lot of details were still missing which left me with quite a few unanswered questions at the end. Hopefully, this will continue with another book or become a series because I’d love to read more of this story line. Sheri will do anything to protect her younger sister Dani, including being chained to a wall every night. She chases zombies to protect the people who live in the compound that took them both in when there was nowhere else to go. No one in the compound trusts Sheri because she was bitten by a zombie before Aleksy brought them there. It’s been five years since she was bitten and she has not turned, but everyone in the compound knows it will happen eventually. Aleksy could not bring himself to have her killed, so now he’s become her captor. At night he chains her to the wall and she tells him stories so that they can forget that they are fighting zombies to survive and waiting for Sheri to become one of the things they kill every day.  Aleksy knows he should have killed Sheri the night he saw the bite mark on her after taking her and Dani back to his compound, but there was something that told him not to do it. Day after day he waits for the moment when he will have no choice but to end her life, but each day gets harder as his feelings for her grow. He hates that he needs to chain her for the safety of the others, but secretly her stories calm him, so he’ll keep her alive as long as he can. Will he be able to kill her when that time arrives or will his growing needs put the people at the compound in jeopardy?  I received an e-ARC of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to say while zombie stories are usually not my thing I really enjoyed this one. Who could resist the strong, sexy loyal protector of his people battling his desire for the one woman who his people think will be their end. Not to mention the loyalty of family that is displayed in this book. I would definitely recommend this book to friends and family :)
MTSmith More than 1 year ago
"***Received from Entangled Publishing for an honest review*** (This is a short story/novella. This review is not based on story length but story content as length has very little to do with how much I enjoy a book.) This was an interesting twist based on an old Middle Eastern fairy tale with the same title. I love that this is a zombie tale, that Sheri reads, that she risks her life to find books, that she does this to ensure her sister remains protected in the camp. I love her bravery, her devotion, her smart mouth, and her impulsiveness. I like Aleksy, the camp's King, but only for specific things--his uncertainty as to why Sheri hasn't turned even though she's been bitten, his concern for her (though that seems to be shown only in private instead of in front of the others in the camp, the ones who really need to see that she's not a threat), and his moments of tenderness with her (again, only in private). I understand fear of the unknown; in a post-apocalyptic world, it's acceptable. What I don't like is how Sheri is treated--stripped naked, chained to a wall, not allowed to see her sister, isolated from the others in the camp for fear she might turn and infect someone else--despite her proven loyalty, despite the fact that she has not yet turned into a zombie even though she arrived at the camp with a bite mark. I suppose I can accept her treatment up to a certain point in the story, but how can I accept it when no explanation is given as to why she hasn't turned into a zombie even though she's been bitten? What makes her special enough that she bears the marks of her zombie encounters but remains unaffected? Despite what she is, how come there isn't an attempt to answer the one question on everyone's mind: Why hasn't she turned? Did I enjoy this tale? *shrugs* Yes, but not as much as I think I would have if an explanation had been given concerning Sheri's condition. I had too many unanswered questions by the time I got to "The End" that I felt deprived and confused. Still, it is a beautifully written mini-thriller that I would read again simply for enjoyment and entertainment."
Mennina1 More than 1 year ago
I read this book about the Zombies taking over the world. Shari who finds a rare community in which they have not been bitten by Zombies. She unfortunately might be a Zombie. So they keep her in chains, but she falls for her keeper Aleksy. I was just disappointed that there wasn't more. It left me unsatisfied and yearning for more to the story. This book was good and definitely kept me interested. I would like to have a sequel so I can find out what happens to Shari.
hcollins1 More than 1 year ago
I liked this Novella! It had a great concept that kept my attention from start to finish. It's a very quick read that is packed full of action. Definitely recommend this one. I received an ARC from the publisher for an honest review.
cattouch More than 1 year ago
An interesting take on the children's classic....and on zombies. The heroine is great, a real survivor....the hero I'm not to sure about...Good story turns very sexy at the end.
ReadingOverTV More than 1 year ago
One Thousand and One Nights by Ruth Browne "Night was falling as the roar of the Kawasaki’s powerful engine drifted up from the ravine below. The approach to the compound was steep, snaking along a narrow tarred road with crumbling brick margins. Above, the bowl of the blue sky was deepening to indigo, and the vanished sun had left pools of shadow thickening under the pines." Sheri is a zombie hunter, survivor, and story teller. She and her sister Dani are living in a secure compound under the leadership of Aleksy Komarov. But she's chained up in his room most of the time because she's been bitten and everyone is afraid she will turn into a zombie at any moment. But Aleksy is entranced with her stories. How can she weave such a spell on him with words? This 64 page novella is rich in language, stories, current circumstances and background detail. It's impressive both in its compelling aenture and deep feelings of character history. It never felt rushed yet told a compete tale even though it was short. Very impressive. I will look for more books by Ruth Browne.  I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
Tipsy-Ink More than 1 year ago
“I received an eARC from the Publisher (Entangled Publishing, LLC) via NetGalley for my honest opinion.” So I plan on making this one short and simple much like the book itself. One Thousand and One Nights was in fact a good read if not a bit on the slow side. I was initially drawn to the book description… A female zombie hunter and an avid reader, so needless to say being a zombie anything aficionado and a reader I jumped on the opportunity to read this one and review it. The book had its strong points, mainly the character development. Sheri was pretty cool if not a tad on the nympho side, which felt more like a need for attention than anything else and Alesky was the perfectly conflicted… something you could definitely understand. It was just the lack of drive in the story that almost lulled me to sleep.
Heidiliz72 More than 1 year ago
This was definitely a fun, quick read. I liked the main characters, and their story was enjoyable to read. I really wish I could've found out more about Sheri and what happens to her. She was an interesting character to read about, as was Aleksy. If there is another story set in this world, I'll definitely read it.
MelodyMay More than 1 year ago
All right. I'm not sure how I really feel about One Thousand and One Nights. I liked the story, but just didn't love it. I kind understand why Alesky doesn't fully trust Sheri, after all she was bitten by a zombie. The fear of her turning against the compound is high. Yet, she doesn't and is forced to live as a prisoner. Yes, I know that it's a zombie romance, but it's a romance and it should have a happier ending. However, the ending did leave me kind of like "huh". The story is written well and book blurb did intrigue me. In the long run kind of left me hanging at the end. 
CharleneCF More than 1 year ago
It is a good Halloween read, it will scare you and make you root for the couple.
KYBookmama More than 1 year ago
This was a unique story about future with zombies and less people. I thought the story could have been longer to be developed more or the first of a series that would be continued.
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
The world as we know it has ended. The zombies have taken over and are on the hunt. A few survivors take refuge in a fortress in a Midwestern mountain range. Aleksy Komarov is 'the king' and Sheri is his prisoner. She was infected but has not been turned (into a zombie). Yet. No one trusts her. She is only freed occasionally so she can find more books. Why? She is Aleksy's storyteller. Sheri endures endless abuse so that she can protect her younger sister, Daniella. Is there any happiness and love in a world gone mad? Ruth Browne has written a dark tale of the end of the world. Aleksy and Sheri are survivors who have hardened their hearts so they can function in this new deadly world. The story is well written. The author conveys the sense of despair and desperation that surrounds the characters. This book can be read in one sitting. Just be aware that this is not a typical romance.
sjziegler More than 1 year ago
booksbysteph says "What Would You Endure for Love?" It has been five years since the infection spread throughout the world. Sheri and her younger sister were invited to join other survivors at an impenetrable fortress in a Midwestern mountain range. Sheri was unique. She was "[b]itten, corrupted, but still living." The community was afraid of her and thought "the King of the castle" was "weak for letting Sheri live." But they kept Sheri on a short leash, literally. She was chained to walls, moved with shackles, never able to get close to anyone, including her sister. She does not leave this "humiliation and hatred, for the sake of a sister, a safe place, and the sound of human voices." "[S]he spent a lot of her time pretending she wasn't desperate for human companionship. Ninety-nine percent of the earth's population dead, and these few last living souls were too afraid even to be in the same room with her." The only privilege she gets is to ride her motorcycle to surrounding cities and collect books from libraries. The King, Alex, loves to listen to her read the stories to him. Everyone else hopes she never returns. On a mission to get gas, Sheri gets bitten again and no one knows if this bite will change her. The six before haven't. Finally, the community gets to ask the inevitable question to Alex - the community or Sheri? I GIVE THIS BOOK: 4 Stars I enjoyed this book. I love a good zombie tale. I am humbled to read what Sheri had to go through just so her little sister stayed safe. Though you cannot help to understand both sides of the situation. Even though Sheri had to endure what she had to in this book, she was lucky that a man like Alex watched over her, making sure she did not turn into a zombie and bite everyone in the fortress. I thought the format of the book was creative. It runs day-to-day with little flashbacks that set-up the back-story. Bonus - it all makes sense! Until next time, live life one page at a time!
RomanceaholicBR More than 1 year ago
Combining the classic tale of Scheherazade with zombie horror was a brilliant move, appealing to both the zombie lover and the bibliophile in me like nothing else could have. Perhaps a library isn't one of the first places one might go during a zombie apocalypse, but I loved that it was high on the priority list for Sheri (and in some ways, Alex) to gather books along with other, more immediately needed supplies. The flashbacks, rather than being distracting as I usually find them to be, blended in perfectly with the story to develop both Sheri and Alex's characters, and though there's only one love scene, the tension between Alex and Sheri is there from the very start. My only one real issue with this story was the lack of Happily Ever After, though admittedly, the somewhat uncertain ending fit in with the bleak and uncertain atmosphere of the world that these characters lived in. Recommended for fans of enemies to lovers, protagonists with tragic pasts, and thrilling zombie action. 4/5 Stars {This title was received free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review} 
MCail More than 1 year ago
When I read the blurb for this story I was intrigued about reading a story about a zombie killer and the storytelling was good. What I couldn’t grasp was Sheri falling for a man who locked her up in a cage, chained her up like a dog and even tying her hand and ankles together and leaving her there for hours. That does not scream romance to me. There are only a handful of survivors after a disease starts turning the humans into zombies. Sheri and her sister are living in a compound ran by Aleksy the “king”. He has feelings for Sheri and likes when she reads him stories, so he keeps her in his room chained up, instead of killing her like the rest of the survivors want. They are afraid of her because she was been bitten but hasn’t changed and she fights like no other. Over all I personally couldn’t relate to the love story in this tale, but the zombie killing was kick ass.
cassandra95011 More than 1 year ago
I received a pdf copy of this book for free from Entangled Publishing. I thought this book was Ok and could be great for a few hours of reading enjoyment depending on your interest in the topic.
mysticrosetiger More than 1 year ago
Sheri loved telling stories and getting in trouble. Taking care of her sister Dani after going from home to home. They packed up everything they could when the plague hit and zombies were all around. They made a home as best as they could to keep safe. When one day Sheri happen to come to an empty store for supplies but there was a human there named Alex. Sheri took Alex back to the cabin where they were staying at and Alex was telling them about the compound he was stating at with other humans. Sheri knew that Dani needed other people around and decided it would be best for them to go. When they seen that Shari had been bitten they treated her badly and chained her up to see if she would turn to a zombie. Months went by and she didn't but to pass time, she told stories to Alex. Alex put Sheri to a test to see what she could do and she was bitten again but still didn't turn. Alex finally gave in and seen Sheri for what she really was human. 
ToryMichaels More than 1 year ago
I really did like this quick little read. I liked the inclusion of the Scherezade-type story-telling and how Sheri keeps herself and her little sister alive throughout the course of the book. I get the paranoia that surrounds the compound, given the whole zombie thing. What I never fully understand, and maybe it’s not really explained anywhere, is just why Sheri never is consumed by the zombie infection despite the bites she has taken. Aleksy is a bit of an ass, keeping Sheri chained up the way he does, but it makes sense if he’s afraid she could go zombie at any moment. And, ultimately, they find their way to a resolution and they find themselves romantically involved, but I’m not sure I could call this a happily ever after. More of a happily for now sort, because in a world like the one they exist in, can love be forever? So, I don’t really have too much to say about this other than I enjoyed it. Hopefully we’ll have more books set in this world. I’m apparently on a bit of a zombie kick, given I have another zombie book from Entangled to review. Heh. Thank you Entangled and Ms. Browne for letting me read this. Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.