Archive for March, 2013

Dead StopThis book was shortlisted for the Zombie book for April, but Tankbread got there instead. Well, I’ve already read Tankbread, and enjoyed it, so I started to check out the other books. This one sounded OK and was on Amazon Prime, so I grabbed it.

It’s not exactly what I expected from the blurb on Amazon. I expected another standard zombie adventure, with the usual characters and lots of guns. What I got was something quite refreshing.

It started like a 1950s horror film. Set int the graveyard, with bodies rising form the grave. It really had the atmosphere of something like The Thing, or Invasion of the Bodysnatchers.

Then you jump to the truck stop. Suddenly I felt like I was in a good old 80s film, with a mixed bunch of characters, including a load of just finished high types. I’ve got to admit I did a little internal groan as I wasn’t wondering whether this was going to be an 80s slasher movie… “don’t go into the bathroom on your own”.

I was wrong.

It’s a great book and keeps that interesting mix of feeling like a 50s story crossed with the 80s more graphic story. The monsters don’t stay hidden until the last scene, and there’s plenty of blood and gore!

Great mix of characters too. Lots of people stepping and doing their bit and of course a couple of idiots that you kind of hope might die quite early and quite horribly (I’m trying not to give away any spoilers here). Also as a UK lass, it’s quite refreshing for me to read a zombie book that isn’t packed to the high teeth with guns. These guys have to deal with some pretty fast and strong zombies without the usual US firepower.

Quite cool too that people do get injured and do struggle. In a lot of books the heroes get into all sorts of trouble, but never get any zombie-related injuries. These guys get hurt.

It’s a fab read and I found I couldn’t put it down. I liked the characters and they developed pretty quickly without the usual splurge of back story.

Pick it up and give it a read – it’s a real change from a lot of the books out there!

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Dead AmericaIn a sentence – Sam Spade meets zombies!

I got a good deal on the this – I got it on the Amazon Lending Library. It had some interesting reviews and was basically my free book for the month.

It reads like a Sam Spade old style crime story, with a smattering of film noir. Crime novels aren’t really my cup of tea but this sort of worked. It’s also a more unusual storyline. The zombies aren’t brain eating, shuffling monsters. They are not much different to the living, except they are dead.

Faraday is a private investigator and an ex-cop. He’s also living. He’s called in to investigate a couple of cases and things start to intertwine and get complicated. He’s a wonderfully cynical character and a little down on his luck. His wife ran off with his best mate and partner and there’s clearly something else that happened and that’s why he left the force.

It’s not a typical zombie story. Like I said earlier, these zombies don’t really behave like your standard zombies. They exist alongside the living, but more like second class citizens. They even have a lower minimum wage as they aren’t deemed to need the same things as the living workers. They do all the jobs no=one else wants to and also they are undercutting the living in other jobs due to that lower minimum wage. SO, as you can expect there a real undercurrent of bad feeling between the living and the dead. That runs through the whole story.

If I went into anymore, then I’d start to give away some spoilers.

Suffice to say, it’s a quirky story and refreshing in that it doesn’t follow the usual standard zombie stereotypes. The characters are also and interesting bunch with bits of back story peppered throughout the pages. There’s are even zombie crime lords. You find yourself piecing everything together as you go along the finale.

It’s well worth the read. And it’s something a little different.

Ragnrak Rising: the ReckoningAll I can say is wow!

I read the first book a little while ago and my review is here – Ragnorak Rising: the Awakening

I read book one on a recommendation and actually enjoyed it. I’d found it  a bit stilted at the start and thought it had a bit of an obsession with describing guns and ammo, bt there was none of that in this book.

It starts right where the other book left off. Wylie is at the dock with his dog, Odin. He’s surrounded by zombies left over  from the explosion at the end of the last book. He needs to find his way back to the jail and to his family.

Of course his journey isn’t easy and like the first book he meets up with some interesting characters along the way. SOme good and some very bad…

His journey back to the jail is only part of the story though. There is another group in the city, the Freemen, and they don;t want to share. A large part of the book is around the fight with these guys. It’s a little more ‘Mad Max’ with these guys but it works really well. There’s also a few Rambo-syle moment with Wylie. He’s a really good character and grows even more in this book. His relationship with Spec-4 still really works, and stays on that professional/friend level.

I liked the addition of the new characters in this book. They do give this book a different edge to the last book as there are more military personnel in it. I like the fact that strong women characters are still built into the storyline as nothing out of the ordinary. I did find all the extra characters a little confusing though and did get some of them mixed up.  I wasn’t too sure about Wylie’s wife either as he stock position in the book seemed to be not being pleased as he was off on another mission but passively accepting it. Actually that worked well towards the end of the book when she stepped up – don;t worry I’m not going to give you any spoilers!

This time the book ended at a better point. Not the huge cliffhanger that the first one ended on, but still left me thinking there’s more legs in this series.

I think there’s a new one out in the summer – so keep your eyes posted!!

OMG – only 3 episode left? What’s that all about?

Also it drives me mad when you see promos and sneaky peeks online and then when you try to play the video, it’s not available in the UK…

Well, I’ve done a bit of searching and come up with these!

Cool eh?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt like the last couple of episodes have been ‘fillers’ and have been waiting for the action to start. This looks like it should kick off.

Is Andrea going to kill the Governor? Even Milton seems to be waking up how unhinged the guy with the black eye-patch is!

Those of you that have read my other reviews will know that I tend to read on my Kindle and I hate it when the book finished when my Kindle is showing less that 98% complete…. so, sorry but this does have an effect on my reviews…

HiveI picked this up on an Amazon recommendation and with the added bonus that it was 49p. It also had some 5 star reviews, although one did worry me – here’s the quote

“BEST BOOK EVER – A MUST BUY
I couldn’t put it down!
THIS AUTHOR IS A LITERARY GENIUS!
HE DESERVES A NOBEL PRIZE! – OR TWO!!!”

Hey ho, I decided that with the other good reviews and the bonus price it was well worth a read. I wasn’t wrong. It’s not a long book but it’s an interesting read.

The story is set a long time after a zombie apocalypse and Azine is leading a bunch of mercenaries on mission to find some ‘prospectors’ that have gone missing. Azine’s bunch are basically a group of hired guns and the prospectors look for things from the old world prior to its disintergration after the zombies rose. The cool bit for me is that Azina is a female leader, but she is written very much like a man. It’s done very well.

The other characters are also well-written and bounce off one another really well. Like I said, it’s a short book, but it zips along at lightening speed. Zombies haven’t been seen for a long time, but as they are searching for the prospectors, they uncover a hive of zombies and things start to happen pretty quickly from that point.

When I finished it I was delighted to see that there is a Hive II which I downloaded straight away.

This is where I was a tad annoyed. The story develops well but the book ends at 79%. It is not only too short, but the author has added some chapters from another of his books in the remaining 31%. Now I understand cross-selling but it always makes me feel cheated when the book ends 2/3 through.

I have heard that the author is working on the 3rd part of the Hive series and will combine into one book, which will make a lot more sense and make it into a more meaty sized novel. I do wish there was some sort of warning at the start of a Kindle book to say – look, this book ends at 79% so do not think you are getting more.

All in all though a pretty good read and I’d like to get the 3rd book to see how it concludes.

Area 187Let’s get started on this. It’s a good meaty book. It’s not a book that’s been split up into three parts to drag it on. When you get to the end, you feel satisfied, like you’ve eaten a good meal and not just the starter…

It’s a very interesting take on the zombie genre. It’s not the usual postapocalyptic world. Well, not on the outside anyway.

I’ll try to not give away any spoilers here… There has been an accident at a secret US government facility in West Virginia and a several test subjects have been released/escaped with a necrotic virus. The government Homeland Security department closed down the whole area, which becomes Area 187. People are trapped there, some chosing to stay, but Homeland maintains quarantine and denies there existence.

The story really isn’t your standard ‘the world has been destroyed by the zombies’ sort of book. Only the people in Area 187 are really affected by the virus and its effects. Some journalists outside, and inside, the USA are trying to break open Area 187 and force Homeland to admit to forcing living US citizens to be trapped there.

There are some interesting and different characters in this book. Some of written exceptionally well, and you really do not like them at their entrance into the story, but they develop so well that you really wouldn’t want them to die at the hands of Homeland or the zombies. Some good relationships are developed too. It’s also not a ‘happy ending’ book and bad things happen to good people. I like some of the new concepts too such as diggers.

I’ll admit that I found the first chapter a bit confusing and hard going. I’d seen reviews to say how good the book was but  by the ned of the first chapter I really wasn’t convinced. By the end of chapter 2 thought I was completely on for the ride…

Like I said at the start, it was pretty meaty. It kept me reading. In fact I struggled to put it down. And, the sign of a good book – I felt a bit lost when I’d finished it.

I will be checking out this author again as the story was original and the characters really well written and developed.