Archive for the ‘Book reviews’ Category

Sadie Wlaker is StrandedI downloaded this onto my Kindle as soon as I’d finished Allison Hewitt is trapped. I really enjoyed that book and wanted to read more by the author. Here’s my review – Allison Hewitt is Trapped.

I’ll tell you what, this book didn’t disappoint.

It’s the same zombie apocalypse but with different characters. Sadie isn’t Allison, but she does aspire to Allison’s story. Due to the blog Allison wrote in the fist book, she’s a bit of an underground celebrity. She doesn’t appear in this book though. This is Sadie’s story and about the people around her and the people she meets on her own story.

Sadie’s is in Seattle and it’s several months after the zombie outbreak. Seattle is vaguely functioning and is slowly starting to rebuild itself. Then an infected gets in and all hell breaks loose. Sadie’s and her nephew and friend escape on her friend’s uncle’s boat during the chaos. There’s a mixed bag of characters on the boat. I don’t think I’m giving anything anyway when I say that something (involving zombies of course) happens and they end up getting stranded on an island. I guess the clue is in the title… 🙂

This story ends up also being a bit of a whodunnit mystery as well as a zombie novel. There’s not as much zombie action as most zombie books but the series of events that happens on the island and then trying to unravel what’s happening makes for a very good read.

This is almost a standalone book too and not exactly a sequel to the first book. There is the occasional nod to the first book.

I really enjoyed it. I liked the new characters. All with their own backgrounds and secrets. I liked the way the story unravelled in the whodunnit style too.

I really hope there will be another book in the ‘series’!

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Allison Hewitt is TrappedThis is a cracking book!

It cropped up in my suggested read on Amazon and the title of the book really pulled me in to have a read of the blurb and the reviews. I do love a quirky title!

I normally try and seek out the unpublished authors and quite like a bargain on price. Well this wasn’t on offer or anything but something about it just made me want to grab it. As I said on the opening sentence, it’s a cracking book.

The zombie apocalypse happens and completely ordinary Allison ends up trapped in the bookstore where she works part-time. She’s trapped in the employee break room with her boss, some colleagues and some customers. They have security cameras so can see a little of what’s going on outside. They have some food, but all snacks and pop (soda to American readers).

What Allison does have though is power and an internet connection. To hep keep her sanity she starts to blog. The story is written in a series of blogs, which work really well as chapters. Each blog entry also contains comments from her followers which gives an insight into what is happening around the world and outside the confines of Allison’s break room.

Allison is a brilliant character and you find her starting to take control and being the one the decided to venture out for food. She gels with some of the other characters but some of them are still just colleagues.

If I write much more about the storyline then I’ll start to give spoilers and I really don’t want to do that. There does come a point though where they need to look at moving from the safety, and the confines, of the bookstore. Much of the book focusses on this. It develops really well, especially Allison’s character. Things don;t go smoothly and sometimes the good guys don’t make it…..

Allison, hopefully with her beloved axe, is just the perosn I’d want to be trapped with in a zombie apocalypse!

As soon as I finished it, I looked for other books by the author and found Sadie Walker is Stranded, which I downloaded immediately. I’ve already finished it so a review of that will follow shortly….

After the Shock: EchoThis book picks up exactly where the last book, After: the Shock finished. That’s always a good start in by view!

In the sequel we catch up with one of the characters from the last book and of course meet a few more.

I said this in my review of the first book, that these aren’t zombies as such, they are zapheads. At the end of the last book there are some observations that the zapheads are starting to change. Much of their initial violent behaviour seems to be leaving and they seem to be banding together and starting to work together. This continues in this book.

There are loads happening with Jorge and Franklin and some of the other characters get themselves into trouble. The zapheads are congregating together in groups and doing some quite od things

The book itself romps through. I couldn’t put it down once I’d started, but I do tend to find that with Scott Nicholson books. They are real action books. It flips between the different groups of characters and keeps you on the edge of wanting to know what happens next.

My only gripe is that the book is way too short. I read it in a day. It felt more like a novella. In fact, it finished at 86% on my Kindle and the rest was other books by the author. I would sooner have waited a little longer for a sequel and had something a bit more meaty! If you regularly read my reviews, then you’ll know this is a pet hate of mine…

Anyway, the story clearly hasn’t finished and you are left with a cliffhanger, so I guess there will be another book out soon.

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!

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.

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.