The Dead Days Journal: Volume 1 REVIEW

The Dead Days Journal (Volume 1)
Sandra R Campbell
Publication date: April 2015
Genres: Dystopia, New Adult
See on: Goodreads

Buy links: AmazonBarnes & Noble

The daughter of a radical doomsday prepper, Leo Marrok spent her entire life preparing for the end. A skilled fighter and perfect marksman, Leo is her father’s second-in-command when Armageddon comes to pass. Together, they lead a group of survivors to a secure bunker deep in the Appalachian Mountains.

Vincent Marrok is willing to take extreme measures to repopulate their broken world. Leo’s refusal marks her as a traitor. With father and daughter at odds for the first time, their frail community is thrust into turmoil. Until the unthinkable happens, a blood-thirsty horde arrives. The impending attack will destroy all that they have worked for.

To protect her home and everything she believes in, Leo puts her faith in the arms of the enemy—a creature only rumored to exist—the one she calls Halloween. An alliance born out of necessity evolves into feelings Leo is ill-equipped to handle.

The Dead Days Journal is a post-apocalyptic story of love and family told through Leo Marrok’s first-hand account and the pages of Vincent’s personal journal, giving two very different perspectives on what it takes to survive.

Mature themes, adult language, sexual situations, violence and gore. 18+

At first, the title of the book led me to think that what the characters would be facing were the undead. I was totally off the mark.

Being the last survivors of the human race, all that Vincent Marrok wanted to provide is safety for his family and the legacy they would leave behind: the future generation. And yet, there are creatures whose sustenance consists of human beings are out and hunting them. Can these last bout of survivors, survive?

And then, here's his daughter, Leo(na) whose sole problems were of her love interests.

Leo is in fact, the protagonist of the book. And yet, most of the time, I truly enjoy reading her father's journal entries more than Leo's side of the story. The entries depict the world they live in, the lives of the band of people under Vincent Marrok's care and the means to which he deems necessary for the survival of the human race. I like how it was written in the form of journal entries as it gives the feeling of authenticity to the reality they were facing. His side of the story is what I enjoyed the most. It's very telling the situation they were in and all that Vincent Marrok wants is security for those under his care, whatever means is necessary to acquiring it.

 Leo's story, however, tries to inject a romantic feel to the book and it fails miserably.

I don't know what to feel about Leo. She's 22 and yet, the way she acts in the whole book makes me think that she's 16 years old. She lacks maturity in the way she behaves, thinks and acts. There were instances wherein she thought of herself more than others, especially when it comes to her relationship with Ben. When it's her part of the story, it indeed focuses on her too much to the point that she does not see the side of others.

I truly wouldn't mind if the author removes entirely Leo's parts and instead, those parts be told by her father in the form of his entries. If this story focused more on Vincent Marrok and his entries, I would have absolutely enjoyed this story. And that is what makes me wait for the second book. The Dead Days Journal is interesting and would be a good read if it shines the light on Vincent Marrok, the leader of his people and the one that could possibly lead them to their demise.

Sandra R. Campbell lives along the tranquil waters of the Chesapeake Bay with her husband and weight challenged cat. She can trace her passion for the macabre back to reading Edgar Allen Poe as a child, with her pet crow, Big Fellow, by her side. She has since submerged herself in a wide range of dark literature. An avid thrill seeker, Sandra is always looking for her next big adrenaline rush, and when spelunking, diving and monster hunting fails to deliver, she turns to the creation of through-the-rabbit-hole worlds and sends her characters on their own adventures. Sandra is a member of Romance Writers of America, Maryland Writers' Association and the director of a MWA critique group. She is also the founder and co-author of free fiction website


  1. I'm a little nervous about moving into the New Adult genre, I'm perfectly happy where I am right now! So I'll probably be giving this book a miss - great review nevertheless!

    Most recent post on Enchanted by YA:

  2. Hi Anna! Thanks for visiting the blog. May I ask what's keeping you from reading NA?

  3. You're welcome! I guess the major thing is I'd have no idea where to start... makes it look daunting

  4. Hmm..If you're venturing into NA, I highly suggest Four Summers by Nyrae Dawn. It transitions from YA to NA and the story is really good. :)