Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Shaun Mason is a shell of his former self. He doesn’t find joy in poking at zombies or blogging anymore. His life feels empty because his sister Georgia was killed. He doesn’t feel completely alone because George speaks to him in his head. Although well aware that the voice isn’t really George, he still speaks to her and makes his co-workers uneasy coupled with his penchant for rages and bursts of violence. Everything turns around when a CDC scientist fakes her own death and comes to him for help. Her work researching KA reservoir conditions is being repressed by someone killing everyone else on her team. Her research could lead to the real people that killed Georgia. So, after avoiding a messy murder attempt disguised as a zombie outbreak, Shaun and his news team need to stay one step ahead of their enemies and figure out why this research is being suppressed and how it relates to his sister’s death. Shaun needs to keep enough sanity to not completely alienate his friends and stay vigilant because the slightest mistake could mean the death of everyone he cares about.
I loved Deadline. As with the first book, I was completely glued to the page within the first chapter. If I had my way, I would have sat and read this book for as long as it took me to finish it. But in real life, pesky things like eating and sleeping forced me to reluctantly put the book down. The aspect that struck me the most was the detail in describing the Kellis-Amberlee virus and how it works. I’m always interested in the science aspect of zombies because I like the zombie mechanics to actually make sense within the world. This virus is the most unique I’ve ever read because a dormant version of it is in each and every person. I really couldn’t have asked for more scientific detail, which made the world incredibly realistic. When I read the book, I felt fully immersed in this wonderful and terrible world that seemed so much like our own.
In Feed, I noticed Shaun, but he didn’t honestly make a huge impact with me. Georgia’s character outshined him, mostly due to the fact the she narrated that book. He really shines in Deadline and has many more facets than I previously thought. Fiercely loyal and quick to anger, Shaun is an emotional character who feels crazy and broken since his sister died. The only one who really understands him is her voice in his head. He knows she’s dead and not really speaking to him, but the inner voice still provides insight and guidance. Shaun grew as a character from being shallow and adventure seeking to someone more fragile and serious. Through all of his pain, he never once gives up on finding answers. I enjoyed getting to know Shaun. I really want to reread Feed now and pay more attention to his character to better see the changes he’s gone through.
Deadline is a relentless adventure. The plot doesn’t stop and alternates between heart-stopping adventure and slow burning mystery solving. I like that this book is half action movie and half cerebral mystery. The ending is completely shocking, but sets up the next book. I’m glad Deadline isn’t a typical second book, where it’s typically just filler for the finale. I can’t wait for the next book and I would recommend this to all zombie fans.
My rating: 5/5 fishmuffins
Giveaway alert!! I'm giving away one copy of Feed and Deadline by Mira Grant to one lucky reader. Comment below with a way I can contact you. +2 entries for following and +1 for spreading the word (up to 5 times).
Open internationally. Ends 10/27/ Good luck!!
Monday, September 26, 2011
Sounds easy. Sounds wonderful. Except that everything that can go wrong does. Before they can even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town. But as soon as they step into the Rot & Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, insane murderers and the horrors of Gameland –where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all…could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive?
In the great Rot & Ruin everything wants to kill you. Everything…and not everyone in Benny’s small band of travelers will make it out alive.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Right off the bat, in the very first scene of the first episode, The Walking Dead challenges the viewer if they really want to watch the show. The first scene is where Rick runs into a little girl who he assumes is human, but then he sees her ravaged face and realizes he must kill her. He shoots her and she falls as a gout of blood shoots from the back of her head. Squeamish people or people who don't want to watch zombie children getting killed will change the channel after a scene like that. I really respected the director and writers for starting with such a strong scene because that's the reality of the show. It's better for those people to stop watching now instead of two or three episodes in. Plus I always respect the people that will kill children in horror media because it's still a taboo in the genre and still pretty rare to see.
The characters are true to their comic book counter parts, which is amazing since the series is largely driven by the human characters as opposed to the zombies. The themes explored are all about us: what would we do to survive? how do we stay moral without any government or organized society? what do we need to sacrifice in order to survive? Rick is my favorite character because he's thrust into a leadership position that he doesn't really want. He has to make the hard decisions and lead this hodge podge group and it's on him whether they live or die. He's also the easiest to like. There are characters that we aren't really meant to like, such as the Dixon brothers. They are racist, abrasive, and horrible, but do they really deserve to be eaten by zombies? The entire cast is talented and convey the emotional horror of the zombie apocalypse very well.
Friday, September 23, 2011
A group of idealistic animal activists break into a laboratory to free monkeys that are being experimented on. The captive scientists warns them that they are extremely contagious, but they don't listen, unleashing a devastating virus that causes mindless rage in the infected into the world. 28 days later, Jim wakes up in an empty hospital room. Then he discovers that the hospital, the street, the city, and all of England is a barren wasteland. After encountering other survivors, he discovers that the last piece of news before the TV and radio went out was that the virus was spreading. Jim and his small group of survivors hear a broadcast over the radio, urging them to join a military group for shelter, safety, and an answer to the plague. With no other options or places to go, they head to the location, satisfied with some sort of plan for the future. They try no to dwell on the fact that the men that left that message may already be dead.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Angel Crawford is white trash and she knows it. She lives in an old, broken down house with beer cans for a driveway with her drunk, abusive father. Her addiction to prescription meds and her enjoyment of pot and beer keep her from keeping any one job for long. Angel also has a felony on her record because she bought a car that had been stolen from someone she mistakenly trusted. Her life completely turns around when she wakes up at the hospital. She is told she overdosed on drugs, but she remembers being covered in blood. An unknown benefactor leaves her mysterious liquid medicine and a job offer at the county morgue. Unable to previous stomach any sort of gore or blood, Angel is surprised that she is unphased by the job, even when she has to help with autopsies. The only really weird thing is when she gets really hungry at the smell of brains… Over the weeks she works there, a rash of beheading murders occurs, but they seem to be unrelated in any way. Can Angel figure out what they have in common and stop the killer?
My Life as a White Trash Zombie is a different type of zombie novel and proved to be funny and enjoyable read. Based on the title and cover, I didn’t have huge expectations and I didn’t expect to get as sucked in as I did. Angel is a great main character. Despite her screw-ups, flaws, and complacency, she is a clever person who just needed a second chance. When her drug dependence was killed by becoming a zombie, she took the opportunity to straighten her life out. She went from uncaring and downright lazy to productive, cunning, and vulnerable. Without drugs to numb her, she experiences the world differently. She actually cares about those around her, much more than for herself. I really connected with her character and grew to like her more as the book went on.
One of my favorite things about this book is the mechanics of Diana Rowland’s zombies. Angel didn’t even realize she was a zombie at first. They can blend seamlessly into human society as long as they can consume brains about every couple days. With brains, they are no different than humans. They look the same, eat the same food, and feel the same. The only difference in that state is drugs or medicines have no effect at all. When they don’t have access to brains, zombies deteriorate quickly. Their skin gets grey and very fragile. Nails fall off. Skin is brittle and easily tears. They start to smell of decay. Plus their senses are heightened and the humans around them smell like delicious food. I really like these new zombie mechanics and look forward to how Angel is in the next book when she’s fairly used to her new state.
My only criticism would be the mystery aspect. The villain became obvious and there wasn’t any intrigue or nuance. I expected red herrings and wrong turns, but came away a little disappointed. Maybe the next book will be better now that all the world building is already in place.
My Life as a White Trash Zombie is a quirky zombie read that I highly recommend. I can’t wait for the next book, Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues.
My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins
Friday, September 16, 2011
Victorian England is in turmoil. Revenants, undead creatures, prowl the night and spread their sickness to unsuspecting citizens. Also, a supposed ghost of a murdered police man has been strangling passersby in White Chapel. Many have died so far and there are no witnesses or leads. Sir Maurice Newbury, agent of the Queen and anthropologist for the British Museum, is in the middle of investigating that series of murders when the Crown requested that he investigate a mysterious and tragic accident. An aircraft piloted by an automaton crashed in Finsbury Park and killed everyone inside of it. He and his intrepid assistant, Veronica Hobbes, are on the case and investigate. It starts off as a conventional investigation until multiple attempts on their lives are made. Can Maurice and Veronica figure out the two mysteries before more people die or they are killed?
The Affinity Bridge is steeped in an alternative history version of Victorian England. There are flying airships in the air, clockwork automatons as servants and pilots, revenant zombies in the streets, and even a crude life support system to keep Queen Victoria alive. The book opens with a horrific zombie scene in India and then the story goes to England, where much of the investigation is simply in Victorian society. At points, I was lulled into the sense that I was reading a normal Victorian mystery novel and then I would be jarred when clockwork men or zombies attacked. I haven’t read a book quite like this one and I enjoyed that the supernatural aspects weren’t all encompassing. Even though the technology in this book is more advanced than the actual era, poverty, hunger, and their infamous mistreatment of mental illness unfortunately still exist. These stark realities gave the book a believability I don’t think it would have had if they were absent.
The main characters in this book are flawed and dynamic, with their own sets of insecurities and sordid secrets. Maurice Newbury is a brilliant detective and anthropologist with an addiction to opium. He is slightly Holmes-like, but much more eager to physically fight. I felt they portrayed his physical strength and stamina a bit overexaggerated. His past is rather murky, but the small allusions to it left me wondering. I always like a story to feel that there is more to it than the book can contain. Veronica Hobbes is my favorite character. She is a strong, confident woman with a no-nonsense attitude. She’s very sensible and seems rather cold, but her close relationship with her sister proves otherwise. I really feel Veronica wasn’t utilized to her fullest ability and I hope the next book will improve.
The rest of the characters are largely one dimensional and more like stock characters, even the villains. They didn’t have facets to them like the main characters did. Victorian society also isn’t portrayed very realistically. The close friendship between Veronica and Maurice would have been largely disapproved of and would have had serious consequences for Veronica.
Overall, I enjoyed The Affinity Bridge despite the lacking minor characters and depiction of Victorian society. I would recommend it to fans of Gail Carriger’s Alexia Tarabotti series.
My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
1) Zombie Broadway by ~narm
Civilization has fallen, leaving California an unforgiving, decimated place. But Cass Dollar beat terrible odds to get her missing daughter back—she and Ruthie will be happy.
Yet with the first winter, Cass is reminded that happiness is fleeting in Aftertime. Ruthie retreats into silence.
Flesh—eating Beaters still dominate the landscape. And Smoke, Cass's lover and strength, departs on a quest for vengeance, one that may end him even if he returns.
The survivalist community Cass has planted roots in is breaking apart, too. Its leader, Dor, implores Cass to help him recover his own lost daughter, taken by the totalitarian Rebuilders. And soon Cass finds herself thrust into the dark heart of an organization promising humanity's rebirth—at all costs.
Bound to two men blazing divergent paths across a savage land, Cass must overcome the darkness in her wounded heart, or lose those she loves forever. (summary from Amazon)
I'm not wild about the possibility of a love triangle, but the rest shows great potential.
Any other zombie books on your wishlist?