Friday, September 30, 2011

September Zombies: The End...For Now

Well, September Zombies is sadly over...for now. I will work to try to make next year's September Zombies bigger and better and a little bit more organized. I hope you all had lots of zombilicious fun because I did! There will still be periodic zombie sightings here, so you don't have to go through zombie withdrawals or anything like that.

I would like to thank Velvet at vvb32 Reads for creating the September Zombies and inviting me to be a part of it. I would also like to thank all the wonderful bloggers and readers that participated and made the event really fun.

For the next month or so, I will be participating in whatever is going on at The Book Rat for Helluva Halloween III, All Hallow's Eve at Book Chick City, and, more immediately, a read-a-thon from October 3 to October 9 at Castle Macabre.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Zombie Songs 3

More zombie songs to shuffle around and nom brains to!

1) Wake the Dead by The Used

This rock song is deliciously creepy and high energy with heavy guitars and drums. I like that there is just a dash of scream-o added for flavor. It really gives the song a little more anguish and anger.

2) Blood Red Summer by Coheed and Cambria

Although the title of the song is awesome, it's actually the video that is zombie themed. At the beginning of the video, they set traps, fortify their cabin, and keep watch. The rest of the band gets turned into zombies while the lead singer is left all alone, waiting for his zombified band mates to come and eat him. It's actually pretty light hearted for a zombie video.

3) Thriller/Heads Will Roll Mash-up by the Glee cast

I know it's a little cheesy and they tend to autotune the crap out of everyone's voice, but I really like this mash-up of Michael Jackson's Thriller and The Yeah Yeah Yeah's Heads Will Roll. The 2 songs really work well together and I love seeing the Glee cast in zombie makeup. The choreography (that's actually different from the very famous Thriller dance) and spooky football field are awesome. I hope it made a lot of people look up the 2 original songs and enjoy them in their own right. PS they need to give Santana more solos because her voice fucking rocks.

4) The Zombie Love Song by Jonathan Chan

This is seriously the most adorable zombie song ever. It captures images of beautiful zombie love. The ending is kinda gross, but still manages to be cute. :)

Any zombie tunes you guys enjoy? Share them please!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Zombies in Art 3

Last edition of zombies in art!

1) Zombies by KAL1MAR1

A classic face nomming picture with very realistic special effects.

The Battle of Yonkers is one of the most memorable scenes of Max Brooks

' World War Z. It was a disastrous and horrible battle between the US military and the undead which is beautifully rendered in this work of art.

3) Zombie by ~uncherished

I have seen this photo all over the internet and I'm glad I finally found the original source. It's such a simple imagine, but very powerful and well put together.

This photo is a very cute, 50's style photo. It's a homage to the film Fido (which you should totally see if you haven't) about a 50's zombie apocalypse situation where zombies have been enslaved to do menial tasks. A romance develops between a neglected housewife and her zombie butler, Fido.

In My Mailbox: Zombie Edition

It's nearing the end of September Zombies and I've randomly been bombarded with zombie books this week! Yay!

1) Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey - purchased from Amazon. I didn't even know this one was about zombies when I first heard of it.

2) Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry - from Librarything Early Reviewers

3) Dearly Departed by Lia Habel - from Amazon Vine

4) Pat the Zombie by Aaron Ximm and Kaveh Soofi - won from Fiction State of Mind

5) Z by Michael Thomas Ford - won from Shut Up! I'm Reading

6) Dust by Joan Frances Turner - won from Shut Up! I'm Reading

Any awesome zombie reads shuffle their way to your mailbox?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Deadline + Giveaway!

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

My Wishlist: Zombie Edition 3

More zombie books I salivate over!!

1) Sadie Walker is Stranded by Madeleine Roux

Goodreads synopsis:
Sadie Walker fights for survival as the dead close in...In the months since The Outbreak, Seattle has become a walled citadel - the Infected are kept at bay but the city is rife with kidnappings, religious cults and black-market dealings. And things are about to get much, much worse. A group of frustrated religious fanatics, the 'Repopulationists', destroy part of the wall and zombies swarm the city. Devastated by the brutal kidnapping of her nephew, illustrator Sadie Walker flees Seattle with her best friend Andrea and secures passage on a boat with no destination. The ragtag bunch aboard the ship are thrown ashore by a storm and stumble across what appears to be a thriving survivors camp. The shipwrecked group, relived to find food, shelter and friendship, relax into the rhythm of the community's existence. But then people start to disappear...

I loved Allison Walker is Trapped, so I can't wait for the follow-up. I'm not sure if any of the characters from the first one will appear, but I'm hoping for at least small appearances. I'm also curious to see if there is a similar frame story that was present in the first. This comes out 1/31/2012!

2) Blackout by Mira Grant

No official synopsis or cover is released yet, but I need this book now! Deadline is a magnificent book and the ending is completely shocking. It made me sad that I read it soon after it came out so I have to wait so long for the last book! This series is excellent and really delves into the science of zombies while keeping up a great plot with political intrigue and realistic characters. This one comes out 6/7/2012.

3) Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry

Goodreads synopsis:
Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot & Ruin. It’s also six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny’s zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny’s best friend Lou Chong are going with them.

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.

I just read Rot and Ruin and I can't wait to get my hands on this sequel! I've heard nothing but good things about it and the cover is completely awesome. I think I'll be shedding a few tears over this one too, so I'll get the tissue box ready.

Any zombie reads you guys can't wait to read??

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Zombies in Magic

Magic the Gathering has always featured zombies as one of the main creature types for the color black. Who doesn't like shambling masses of zombies at their disposal to vanquish their enemies? Sometimes they get less or more popular, depending on the focus of the given set, but they are always there. Here are some older zombies:

Headless Horseman (later classified as a zombie)

Fleshbag Maurader

Grave Titan

Bog Raiders

Geth, Lord of the Vault

Korlash, Heir to the Blackblade


Since the Unglued set (which featured non-tournament legal cards for fun) in 1998, there have been full art token cards to show regular zombies with no special abilities that are usually produced through a creature, like Grave Titan, or a spell of some sort. These all have the same strength and toughness (2/2), but I like how the artists imagine them differently, depending on the set. Here are a few of the zombie tokens used throughout the years.


10th Edition

Shards of Alara


New Phyrexia


Innistrad is the newest set that features classic monsters in new and different ways. Instead ow werewolves, vampire, and zombies all being black creatures, they are all over the color spectrum except white (which is reserved for humans, spirits, and angels). Here are some of the new zombies and zombie cards that are a bit different than their earlier counterparts:

Skaab Ruinator

Endless Ranks of the Undead

Grimgrin the Corpse Born

Unbreathing Horde

I hope zombies will always be a main creature type in Magic and I can't wait to build myself an awesome zombie deck with these new Innistrad cards!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Walking Dead

I had some misgivings when I heard about The Walking Dead TV show that was going to air on AMC, but I was also really excited. The comic book series is excellent and I'm always salivating for the next book to come out. I was worried that the show wouldn't live up to my expectations or might not be true to the comic book. It isn't completely true to the comic, but I think it actually makes the show better than if it did and makes it exciting for those of us who have read the comic series. I do believe it stays true to the spirit of the comic book.

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.

Although the show follows the graphic novels pretty well, there are significant differences, especially in the latter half of the show. I thought I would hate this, but it gives the comic book readers something interesting to look forward to instead of knowing everything that's coming up. The most significant change is the CDC subplot, which was pretty awesome. I hope it has greater repercussions in the second season. All the other changes are relatively minor and don't really change much at all. The only bad thing about the show was that it was only 6 episodes long.

The Walking Dead first season was a success from special effects to zombie makeup to directing to the musical score. This show is the most realistic depiction of zombies that I've seen and how humans can deal with them. No one is safe and anyone, even main characters, can die. I can't wait for the next season to start! It starts 10/16 and will have 13 episodes.

My rating: 10/10

Friday, September 23, 2011

28 Days Later

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.

28 Days Later is a unique zombie film. I've avoided seeing it for a long time because I would catch bits and pieces and I wasn't really impressed. Seeing the film in its entirety is a different experience, so I'm glad I finally sat down to watch it. It isn't perfect, but a very good addition to the zombie genre. The film has beautiful and powerful cinematography. Danny Boyle is extremely talented and crafted surprisingly artistic scenes. The most visually striking scenes are when Jim is wandering London, which is completely empty. The signs of the apocalypse are the only things that mar the landscape and include overturned cars, money all over the floor near banks, fires, and dead bodies. The aftermath of the chaos, the silence, and the blank canvas of a city created a suspenseful atmosphere. The Infected are also filmed in a different way than the rest of the film, giving them a jumpy, rough quality that sets them apart from the rest of the characters.

The zombies aren't quite zombies. They are more akin to the Beaters in Sophie Littlefield's Aftertime because they are still human, but driven by rage. It makes more sense why they are fast because they are still living, breathing humans. Because they can't feel pain normally, they can push themselves beyond human limits. When humans aren't around, they go into a dormant state, which is a perfect time to conserve energy and rest. They come out of this state when humans get their attention, through movement, sound, or even light in the darkness. The virus that causes the rage state is very much like Ebola: transmitted through blood, saliva, and other body fluids and can communicable between primates and humans. One aspect of the disease that is unique is the infected vomiting gouts of blood in order to spread the disease. This just made sense to me and reminded me of a disease that makes rats get eaten by cats so it can be in its preferred host. With the infected being human, it seems to be only a matter of time until they starve to death (or, more realistically, die of thirst).

The film poses some important philosophical questions. Is survival or happiness/friendship more important? How far should science go with experimenting with deadly viruses/biological weapons? Is there a point when life is no longer worth living? How far would you go to protect yourself and loved ones and survive? At one point in the film, Jim is committing horrible acts of violence against humans to protect the women he's traveling with. The film technique used for the zombies is used for Jim in this instance, challenging the viewer to compare the two. When he finishes his violent acts, one of the women can't tell whether he has been infected or not: his appearance is savage and the acts he committed are very similar to what one infected would do. This also challenges us to define what it is to be human.

This is no ordinary horror film. 28 Days Later explores many themes critiquing society and it revamps the zombie in a unique way. I must say that this is one of the most suspenseful and frightening films I've seen in a while. I literally screamed out loud at some points and had the urge to cover my eyes. The soundtrack created a perfect atmosphere and heightened the suspenseful moments. I had a few very minor problems with it, but overall I highly recommend this film to all zombie fans.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Zombie Songs 2

Zombie tunes to shuffle around to!!!

1) Walk Like a Zombie by The Horrorpops

The Horrorpops are a punk, rockabilly band from Denmark and this song describes what it's like to be in love with a zombie. It's super cute and catchy and I would love to hear more from this band! The fanmade video using images from my favorite movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas is just perfect.

2) Nobody Likes You When You're Dead by Zombina and the Skeletones

First of all, Zombina and the Skeletones is an awesome band name. They are a British band that frequently uses themes of horror and science fiction in their music, which makes my inner nerd do a dance. This song describes the injustices of being a zombie. People just treat you differently. :( I love the video. The band starts out as Tina and the Monotones, but then turns zombie, turning the audience into zombies as they play.

3) Zombies Everywhere by Karate High School

This California band takes a more pop-rock angle to the zombie song. The song describes the zombie apocalypse and, judging by the lyrics, it could easily lend itself to using zombies as a metaphor for blind consumerism, complacency, etc. I like the brain chant in the middle. :)

4) Zombie Me by No More Kings

Another super catchy zombie song with a nice rock groove with a little bit of rap thrown in the mix, describing the zombie experience in a fun way.

Share your favorite zombie songs!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Zombie Apocalypse Giveaway!

I am giving away a total of 9 books to 3 lucky winners to celebrate September Zombies. Here are the 3 book bundles to choose from:

1) Recht and Ash

* Plague of the Dead by Z.A. Recht
* Thunder and Ashes by Z.A. Recht
* Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness

2) Love and Zombies

* Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen
* Flip this Zombie by Jesse Petersen
* Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

3) Zombie Apocalypse

* Cell by Stephen King
* Monster Island by David Wellington
* Pariah by Bob Fingerman

To enter:

* leave a comment with your email address

extra entries:

+2 follow Fishmuffins of Doom
+1 spread the word on Twitter, your blog sidebar, etc. (up to 5 times)

Open internationally. Ends 10/21. Good luck!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Internet Awesomeness: Zombie Edition 2

1) Plants vs. Zombies Wall-nut gets Bitten

Ever wonder if your plants turn to zombies when they get bitten or what they talk about when their not defending your house? Find out in this video!

2) Zombies: The Ramifications of Yes

If only every person making decisions for a company would keep the zombie apocalypse in mind. But how spoiled milk makes people into zombies is a mystery to me.

3) I Love Sarah Jane

This is a great short film about the lives of a group of children and young adults after the zombie apocalypse. The themes share a lot in common with Jonathan Maberry's Dust and Decay, the most notable being recognizing that zombies were once human. I was surprised that such a short film managed to incite such strong feelings of both sympathy and disgust.

Link any zombie videos you would like to share!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Dark and Hollow Places

** slight spoilers ahead **

Annah is haunted by many memories: the memory of leaving her sister when they were young in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, the painful memory of getting caught in barbed wire and being forever scarred, and lastly, the memory of Elias leaving for the recruiters. Elias hasn't come home even though the requisite 2 years is up and her sister was as good as dead left alone as a child in the Forest. Annah is utterly alone and struggling to keep her hope alive in her dilapidated, empty apartment, but loses the battle. Armed with resolve to leave and start anew, Annah sees her sister at the gates to the Dark City with an infected young man. She turns back to find her sister, alleviate her own guilt, and reconnect with her twin. Unfortunately, forces outside of their control seek to keep them from finding a new life, namely the Recruiters (corrupt and brutal military men) and the walking dead.

The Dark and Hollow Places is told through the eyes of Annah, Gabry's twin introduced in the previous book. The change in perspective is at first a little strange and then a welcome experience. Annah is completely different than both Gabry and Mary. Her hard life has taken a toll on her and made her more hardened and callous than the others. Her outlook on life is bleak, which isn't surprising considering the world in which she lives: one without hope or love. The scars on her face are just a fraction of the actual scars she has, both physical and emotional. She is strong and self sufficient or she wouldn't have survived very long in the Dark City. Her journey to freedom from the Dark City is paralleled by her journey to self acceptance. Her guilt and hatred for herself has consumed her for so long that she sees herself as a horrible and broken person, unworthy of any real relationship. As the story goes along, she learns to feel comfortable in her own skin and embrace her identity. This aspect of the story is one I think everyone can relate to. The story is really about a girl struggling to find her place in the world and learning to accept herself.

The change in perspective is especially interesting because the characters and places all look different through Annah's eyes. The Dark City that Gabry's friends so long to live in is actually not somewhere anyone in their right mind would want to live in. The recruiters that rule it are brutal and violent, stealing from and abusing its citizens. The city is broken and horrible, just as it seems the whole world is. It isn't long before that city is also overrun with the Unconsecrated. The view of Elias is also very different. I remembered liking him in The Dead Tossed Waves, but now I really don't like him. He abandoned Annah to join the Recruiters, which was noble at the time. What really angered me was that he chose to stay with the Recruiters even though he knew Annah was out there on her own, waiting for him. He also leads her on and then acts as if nothing happened. To Gabry, he's amazing, but to Annah, he is an insensitive jerk.

The dystopian aspects of the story are still intact and work very well. The Recruiters are awful, but also realistic. They do what they have to in order to survive and lord their power over those who are weaker for entertainment. They prove to be even more monstrous than the zombies and the characters fear them about as much. A wider view of the world is shown as well, but most of it is unfortunately overrun with zombies, dampening the hope that there is some sanctuary still in existence against the undead. This installment is the darkest and best of the trilogy. I recommend this to any zombie or dystopia fan.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Zombie Fluxx

Zombie Fluxx is a zombapocalypse game with constantly changing rules for anywhere from 2 to around 10 people. (The directions say up to 6, but it totally works with a bigger group.) My best friend gave it to me for my last birthday and everyone I know has had a blast playing it. The game comes with 100 cards and, of course, instructions.

There are different types of cards: goal cards, ungoal cards, keeper cards, creeper cards, action cards, and new rule cards. Goal cards tell you what sort of cards you need in play to win. Ungoal cards allow the zombies to win and all the players to lose. Keeper cards are items that have different uses and help satisfy the goal requirements. Creeper cards are zombies move around the board and come alone or in groups. Action cards allow you to do things such as draw more cards, discard cards, steal things from other people, etc. The new rule cards are what makes the game so fun: they change the rules of the game. At the beginning, everyone is given 3 cards. The base rule is to draw 1 card and play 1 card. There are cards to change those numbers, make players groan when zombies are played, render keepers useless or discarded, etc.
This game is super easy to play and usually a half hour at the most to finish. It's fast paced and you have to pay attention to the different rules and win conditions. The game is even better with more plays because no two games are ever going to be the same. Chance is a huge part of game play, so no matter how you strategize, you may become disappointed when a random card comes along and ruins your careful plans. That's about the the only negative for this game. There are many different types of Fluxx games and you can even mix two of the games together. I really want to try Monty Python Fluxx and Zombie Fluxx together because they seem like the most zany fun. I think the zombie version is the best because zombies are superior to pirates, Martians, and even Monty Python. I highly recommend this super fun, party game!

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My Life as a White Trash Zombie

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

The Affinity Bridge

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

Zombie Songs

More zombie tunes!

1) Day of the Dead by Voltaire

The Day of the Dead celebration isn't necessarily about zombies, but I think Voltaire's depiction is pretty awesome: zombies coming from beyond the grave to party!

2) Re: Your Brains by Jonathan Coulton

This song introduces zombies to the office. Zombies are trying to convince a guy to come out of his office so they can eat his brains. But of course, they aren't unreasonable: no one's going to eat his eyes. The lyrics are hilarious and their pleading reminds of the badly misspelled letters from the zombies in Plants vs. Zombies trying to convince you to some out.

3) You're a Zombie Now by Sam Hart

It's sad when a relationship ends because one person turns into a zombie. :(

Share the zombie tunes you love!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Zombie Art 2

More zombie art!

1) Zombie Broadway by ~narm

I love this piece. It has elegance, music, tragedy, drama, and a beautiful art deco vibe. Everything a zombie musical should have. I wish this was an actual musical! More zombie musicals plz.

2) Zombie 1 by ~pophipi

This is a fairly simple photo, but full of the horror of a zombie uprising. I think this is the scariest sight and it would signify the beginning of the end. It's just chilling.

3) Twilight feat. Zombiez by *meru-chan

If Edward had been a zombie, the Twilight books would have been so much more awesome. It's a less subtle necrophilia than vampires. ;)

4) Unholiest by *thegirlinthebigbox

I really like Glee and this is one of the greatest depictions of the main 3 Cheerios that I have ever seen. The work on deviantArt comes with a great little zombie fanfic that I recommend reading.

Share your favorite zombie art!

My Wishlist: Zombie Edition 2

More upcoming zombie books and books I drool over!

1) Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry

Jonathan Maberry is coming out with a new zombie book that looks awesome!

A prison doctor injects a condemned serial killer with a formula designed to keep his consciousness awake while his body rots in the grave. But all drugs have unforeseen side-effects. Before he could be buried, the killer wakes up. Hungry. Infected. Contagious. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang…but a bite. (synopsis from Amazon)

A serial killer zombie? How can I pass that up? Release date: October 25, 2011

2) Autumn: The City by David Moody

I really liked the slow burning first installment in the series and I hope the second is even better.

Everything that means anything to you is taken away in seconds. No warning. No explanation. Nothing. AUTUMN: THE CITY is the first sequel to the acclaimed horror novel AUTUMN. A virulent disease rips across the face of the planet, killing billions of people in less than twenty-four hours. A small group of survivors cower in fear in the desolate remains of a silent city. As the full extent of the devastation caused by the disease is revealed the desperate people fight to keep thousands upon thousands of plague victims at bay and to continue to survive from day to day. They fight to stay alive. The unexpected appearance of a company of soldiers again threatens the survivor's fragile existence. Do they trust this sudden military presence? Will the military bring them hope and answers, or just more fear, pain and destruction? Far more than an ordinary sequel, AUTUMN: THE CITY expands on the nightmare of the first novel and takes the reader closer to discovering what caused the death of billions of people on a single inauspicious September day. (Summary from Goodreads)

The military aspect seems especially interesting.

3) Rebirth by Sophie Littlefield

I just read the first book, Aftertime, and I loved it! The fresh new take on zombies and the flawed, strong female protagonist made for a great zombie read.

The end of the world was just the beginning

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?