Posts Tagged ‘apocalypse’

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.

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

I couldn’t put it down!

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.

After the ShockOK, I’ll start by saying this isn’t exactly zombie book. This is about ‘zapheads’. They are sort of zombie-like so I’m going with the flow on this.

It was on my Amazon Prime list and I’ve read a couple of books by the author so I thought I’d give it a go. I found the other books I read by the author, Liquid Fear and Chromic Fear, to be pretty fast-paced stories. I bought them as holiday reads and they worked perfectly for that.

Anyway, onto the story. I’ll try to keep it a bit vague and not to give too many spoilers. It starts a little while after an event which has affected the large majority of the population. There has been some sort of sun flash which seems to have zapped people’s brains, hence the name zapheads. These zapheads are roaming the streets and attacking and killing people. They seem to be full of hate and anger. It’s a similar type of idea to Haters by David Moody (now that’s a good series).

The story focuses around a couple of small groups and how they are surviving and how their paths cross. Rachel is one of the key characters and she’s on here own trying to get out of the city. We don’t know much about her but there are plenty of internal flashbacks to build her story. She meets up with another guy and the soon find a 10 year old boy in a hotel room. Their paths cross with a bunch of slightly insane military bods who seem to be doing just as much damage as the zapheads.

There’s also a couple of university lads trying to keep it together who meet up with another small group, who are having their own power struggles. Eventually all their paths cross.

There’s also a third storyline with and older survivalist kind of guy who takes in a mexican family.

Towards the end of the book it also starts to become apparent that the zapheads seem to be evolving and starting to sort of work together.

It’s a fast-paced book and some of the characters work really well. Everyone is dealing with the situation in their own ways. There’s not really anything new in this book, but it all fits together well and keeps you gripped.

It didn’t take too long to read. That’s the kind of annoying bit. The book ends, just as it’s starting to get going. The groups have met up, the zapheads are evolving and then that’s it. But, do you want to know the most annoying piece? I was reading it on my Kindle and the story ended while my Kindle was only on 89%. That drives me mad! The remaining 11%, yes 11%, was padded with info about other books by the author.

Clearly there’s a second book, called ‘After:the Echo’, but I feel like I’ve only read half a book anyway. I feel a little bit cheated as I think this is just half a book. I enjoyed it, but they might as well have joined both books together and charged one price…

C’mon authors, when a does a book get split into smaller books and become a series? I like a good series, but I also like to feel like I’ve read a whole book!

Rot and Ruin  This is another book that I picked up to read as part of the Zombie Book of the Month Club on Facebook. Everything that have selected as the book of the month has been great so I knew it would be a goodie.

It’s a YA (Young Adult) book but don’t let that put you off. If you’re into your post-apocalyptic fiction you’ll have no doubt read other YA books and really loved them. Think of His Dark Materials, The Hunger Games, Chaos Walking (The Ask and the Answer), Warm Bodies,  or even Delirium. Fantastic books that are written for a younger audience, but still pack a punch that an adult will enjoy.

Well, the first book, Rot and Ruin, was the book of the month, but as soon as I read it I had to download the next book, and then the next book, and so on. you know what I mean! Once I start a series, I have to finish it.

Here’s the list of the books:

  • Rot and Ruin
  • Dust and Decay
  • Dead and Gone (a shorter story, introducing a new character)
  • Flesh and Bone

Flesh and BoneNow, onto the story. It’s 14 years after the zombie apocalypse and Benny is just about to finish school and needs to find a career. He was a baby when the  first zombies started to rise (First Night) and was saved by his brother, Tom, but he resents his brother for leaving his parents. Tom is a bounty hunter and wants Benny to join the family business. The story introduces the world outside their town, the Rot and Ruin, and allows the poor relationship between Benny and Tom to blossom and grow as Benny understand more about what his brother does and what really happened on First Night.

The path is pretty rocky though and they encounter zombies and other bounty hunters, who run the Zombie Gameland. No, it’s not a nice place to visit. Also there’s the introduction of the Lost Girl, Lilah

The second book continues the story and has Tom, Benny, Nix, Lilah and Chong trying to find the jet that they saw fly over in the first book. The group end up getting split and find that Gameland has been rebuilt and things are worse than ever. There’s a pretty sad ending to this book, so be warned!

Dust and DecayDead and Gone is a shorter book and introduces Riot to the group of characters. It also brings in the Night Church and the Reapers.

Riot, the Night Church and the Reapers feature heavily on the 4th book. This one is a real page turner and expands the Rot and Ruin into other groups and cultures. Of course it ends with even more of a cliffhanger than the other books!

Now, the first book I really enjoyed. Benny was a bit annoying at the start as he was just so angry with Tom but had never discussed First Night with him in 14 years… By the end of the book I’d grown to like him more and loved the relationship with him and Tom. The second book for me was a not as strong, but still a great book. But this is often the case with a series of books. There was a good building of characters and Chong and Benny bounced off one another really well. Nix is quite annoying and the ‘anger’ seems to be firmly in her court in this book. The 3rd book (Flesh and Bone) is fantastic though. The addition of the Night Church and the Reapers pulls in a group that are more scary and dangerous than any zombie. By this book you know the main characters pretty well, but the introduction of new characters really adds to the book. This book also brings in the idea that the is a Sanctuary out there.

ThDead and Gonee is a further book scheduled which will hopefully tie up the loose ends. And there were plenty at the end of Flesh and Bone.

This is a fantastic series. Not the same level of gore as a standard ‘adult’ zombie book, but more focus on the character and relationships, and to be honest, the storyline (which can be missing from some blood and gore books).

Oddly enough, the only character I found was lacking in roundness as Lilah. In the first book there is a lot of talk about the ‘Lost Girl’ and all the myths that surround her, but when you meet here, there’s not a lot of depth to the character. Riot was a much more rounded character and only featured in the last couple of books.

It’s really just a minor quibble as the series really romps through. Every book is a real  page-turner, especially the last book, which has the focus on a character or a group for each chapter, so you’re dying to read the the next chapter. Very cleverly written.

This is prabably the first book I’ve read where you actually feel a little sorry for the zombies. The words of Tom echo through the books – ‘they were all once human’. Yeah, OK these are still zombies that will eat you and kill you, but they are pictured as more pathetic creatures who can’t really be blamed for what they are. This isn’t the namby-pamnby returning to humanity that you get in Warm Bodies, just a real sense of they are what they are, don’t kill them or torture them just for the sake of it. There’s more a dignity to them – when they aren’t moaning and trying to eat you!

Surviving the DeadThis book was recommended by Mark Tufo on his Facebook page. I believe that the writer is another self-published author, which always encourages me to try a new author. I’m glad I did.

I’ve read a couple of books in the series and I’m guessing that there are likely to be more. The first 2 in the series are:

  • No Easy Hope
  • This Shattered Land

It’s a really good series. Of course, like most post-apocalyptic books, there is a survivalist or an ex-Marine or someone who was trained and prepared for such an event. The interesting twist with this book is that the main character, particularly in the first book, isn’t the survivalist. He’s a pretty wealthy guy who’s best mate told him that the world was going to end. His best mate is an ex-marine and former mercenary.

Eric, due to some help from his friend Gabriel, is pretty well prepared when the dead start to rise, but after a while his stocks start to run out so he decided to go and join forces with Gabriel. This is mainly his story in getting there. The second book picks up from there and their journey from Gabe’s stronghold. The first book is mainly Eric, but I think the second book benefits from having Gabe headlining in the story too.

Survivng the DeadBoth books are real page turners and I really enjoyed racing through them . here were some pretty good, interesting characters – and of course a liberal sprinkling of bad guys. You really find yourself routing for some of the characters.

Although this is a zombie book, there’s not masses of zombie gore, which is fine and fits with the way the book is written.

I believe that there’s going to be a book 3, which I can’t wait to read. Bring it on Mr Cook!