23. March 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fiction, Horror, Mystery

Outbreak by Robin Cook, read by Angie, on 03/22/2012

There are outbreaks of Ebola all over the country. The CDC sends Dr. Blumenthal to take care of it. Of course she doesn’t get the support she needs from the upper echelon of the CDC because her superior wants to sleep with her. All the outbreaks seem to be connected. All the patient zeros attended the same conference and they were all mugged. No one will listen to Dr. Blumenthal. Then she goes rogue and she is hunted across the country by this shadowy medical group behind the outbreak.

The book was a bit lame with bits of excitement in between. It wasn’t horrible though. I have definitely read worse books. I found it hard to believe that the doctors at the CDC would be so petty that they would sexually harass and let personal feelings and grudges interfere with Ebola outbreaks around the country. I will suspend believe about the medical group behind the outbreaks. But I had a huge issue with the turnaround at the end. It was like Cook just gave up writing and decided he needed to finish the book and needed a happy ever after. Poorly done. Subject was interesting just poorly executed.

I read the ebook version of this book available through Overdrive.

21. March 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fiction, Horror, Teen Books

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake, read by Angie, on 03/19/2012

First, thank you to the wonderful people at Tor who gave me this ARC. I love you! I love this series and I devoured this book. And no they did not pay me to say this.

Girl of Nightmares picks up six months after Anna Dressed in Blood. Cas has stayed in Thunder Bay to finish high school. He is still hanging out with Thomas and Carmel and dispatching the occasional ghost. And he is haunted by visions of Anna. He doesn’t think she has moved on and in fact he finds out she is trapped in Hell. He is pissed and wants to rescue her. Does he get support for this? Nope. Gideon, Mom, Morphan all want him to back off and leave it alone. Pretty much Thomas is the only one on his side. Of course this isn’t going to stop Cas…he loves Anna and isn’t going to leave her trapped in Hell, plus she is kind of haunting him.

As far as I am concerned Anna Dressed in Blood was awesome. Girl of Nightmare may not be as good but it is a great follow up. We learn all kinds of interesting things about the athame and Gideon and secret societies that could take this series in new directions or it could just end it. I love Cas; I think he is an awesome character and I love the relationships he has with the other characters in this book. I like that the story progresses and that there seems to be a purpose behind all the revelations. Thomas and Carmel grow in this book as well. I think Thomas has the potential to be a true badass! I can’t wait for more people to read this one, which is why I have shared my ARC with all my friends!

The library doesn’t have this book yet since it won’t come out until August 2012, but we will buy it then. Until then read Anna Dressed in Blood and eagerly anticipate.

20. March 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Apocolyptic, Brian, Drama, Fiction, Horror

The Walking Dead Compendium Vol. 1 by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn , read by Brian, on 03/09/2012

I love the television show, The Walking Dead on AMC, so it stands to reason I would want to read the graphic novels too.  This compendium covers the first eight novels into one economical book.  This means you can sit in your chair, grab a beverage, read all night long then call in sick for work.   The story follows Rick Grimes who awakens from a coma alone in a hospital to find the world ruled by the undead.  Rick finds his family with a group of people and they embark on a journey for survival and trying to find a way to have as normal as a life possible in this hideous world.  Even though the story involves zombies it is more human interaction and how people relate to one another in desperate times.  I enjoyed it very much.

02. March 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Kira, Paranormal, Romance, Short Stories

Songs of love & death : tales of star-crossed love by George R.R. Martin, read by Kira, on 02/29/2012

Songs of love & deathI really liked some of the tales.  His Wolf by Lisa Tuttle, was my favorite – what an idyllic life (well sorta).  I wasn’t thrilled with Neil Gaiman’s The Thing About Cassandra (but at least it wasn’t another woman being victimized), but I need to remember that he can do horror, not all he writes if purely fantasy.  Jim Butcher’s Love Hurts had more of that romance with Harry Dresden and Murphy (should be Susan Gonzalez – argh).  Robin Hobbs’ Blue Boots was very nice – quaint, everything ringing true for the setup.  I didn’t quite understand “After the Blood” unless it was basically the same “I am Legend” by Richard Matheson (on which Omega Man movie was based).    Tanith Lee’s Under/Above the Water seemed to resonate with Asian notions of life and rebirth.

27. February 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Horror, Short Stories

Bad Doings and Big Ideas by Bill Willingham, read by Courtney, on 02/22/2012

So, this book isn’t really a graphic novel or part of a series of comics. Instead, it’s a compilation of Bill Willingham’s work from his early days. Before “Fables”, that is. In it, we have a wide variety of tales (and a wide variety of artistic talent), all of which are prefaced with introductions by Willingham. Particular favorites of mine are the stories set in the world of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. Merv Pumpkinhead as a spy? Yes, please. Not one, but two arcs involving the inscrutable Thessaly (a character I always wanted to hear more about)? Absolutely! Top it off with some entertaining vignettes spanning comic genres and you’ve got one heck of a fun read.

19. February 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Apocolyptic, Fiction, Horror, Teen Books, Thriller/Suspense · Tags:

Feed by Mira Grant , read by Angie, on 02/17/2012

Feed doesn’t read like your typical zombie apocalypse book; it is much more like a political thriller that just so happens to have zombies in it. I am not even sure if it should be classified as a teen book even though that is what it is being sold as. In the world Mira Grant has created a virus has been released and everyone is infected with the potential to be a zombie. Once you die you turn into one no questions asked, you can also spontaneously turn but that is rare. The dead have taken over parts of the country but other parts are safe and life goes on. Bloggers have taken over traditionally media and these are our main characters. Georgia, Shaun and Buffy are the bloggers for After the End Times. They are selected to follow the campaign of president hopefully Senator Ryman.

The book is really interesting. There is a great deal of world building, but unfortunately the world-building comes at the expense of info dumping in the plot, which makes for huge sections of dry plot in the book. I had a hard time getting through the first half of the book. There wasn’t a whole lot of action going on and there was a lot of information sharing and politics. It was fairly boring. I wish there was a more interesting way to impart the information, maybe through dialogue instead of text? There was also a lot of repetition of information. We heard about Mason’s law, retinal KA, etc. over and over and over again. I know it is part of the world but it got to be a little much after a while.

The last half of the book when the action picked up was really good. There was less info dumping and more action and dialogue. We really got to see the world move at this point. I love the characters of Georgia and Shaun. They are perfectly drawn and we really know who they are and what they stand for. Their world is fast paced and tragic and you can really see that in the last half of the book. And the end was tragic, but it had to be. You can’t have a zombie book end on a high note. I am interested to see where the rest of this trilogy goes since there were a lot of unanswered questions at the end of this one.

The library does not have this series but I was able to get a copy through Mobius.

11. February 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Horror, Leslie, Paranormal, Teen Books

Three Quarters Dead by Richard Peck, read by Leslie, on 01/05/2012

“Sophomore loner Kerry is overjoyed when three popular senior girls pick her to be in their clique, until a shocking accident sets off a string of supernatural occurrences that become more and more threatening.”

Not the type of book I’ve come to expect from the author of Fair Weather and The Librarian Lies Here.  To say it departs from his usual fare does not quite cover it.  Usually I can see the twist coming several chapters before the author reveals it and I did not see this one coming at all.  A very good book from an author who shows he can keep up with topics that teens will enjoy.

09. February 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fiction, Horror, Paranormal, Teen Books

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, read by Angie, on 02/09/2012

I do enjoy when a book is unique and Anna Dressed in Blood is unique; it has broken out of the paranormal pack and definitely stands out in a good way. It is the story of ghosthunter Cas who moves around a lot because his job is killing ghosts just like his father before him and his father before him. You might say he is in the family business. His mom is a white witch who helps him out and doesn’t mind moving for his job. His current job is Anna Dressed in Blood. She is supposed to have killed a lot of people and Cas decides it is time to put a stop to her. Things don’t go quite as he planned and he ends up making friends and staying longer than intended. He finds that he doesn’t want to kill Anna; he likes her and he wants to help her. After learning her backstory and how she died you as the reader don’t really want him to kill her either! Then comes the real big bad of the book and the big battle at the end…good storytelling and an excellent finish.

I thought this book was a real page turner. I LOVED the character of Anna. She was excellent…you loved her, you hated her, you were scared of her, you wanted to help her. Her backstory was horrible and you could literally feel the conflict coming out of the pages. Great writing. I also loved the supporting characters: Carmel, Thomas, Cas’s mom and Thomas’ grandfather. All a great Scooby gang. Cas I thought was great. I got hints of the Winchester boys from Supernatural (tv show) from him throughout the book. He kind of had that tough as nails, I’m not a normal human attitude throughout. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t, but it was interesting. I thought the big bad at the end was great and I am not going to spoil it with details but I loved the finish of this book.

I wish this was a stand alone novel because I think it ended great. I am not sure where the author is going to take this with a series and it is a bit worrying, but read this book because it is excellent.

02. February 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Horror, Paige, Teen Books

Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper, read by Paige, on 02/02/2012

Vampirates Demons of the Ocean“I’ll tell you a tale of vampirates,/A tale as old as true./Yea, I’ll sing you a song of an ancient ship,/And its mighty fearsome crew.”

Honestly, I picked this book up for the name. I’m a fan of both vampires and pirates and I had to know what on earth a ‘Vampirate’ was. Well, author Justin Somper does his best to describe exatly what they are…a mixture, though strange, of all the pirates you can think of and the more recent (nice-ish) picture of the vampire. Throughout the book you meet a variety of charaters: fierce, female pirates; jovial captains; twins; and (naturally) vampires. The twins, Grace and Connor Tempest, are the main characters who have been seperated by a shipwreck. Somper’s story follows their seperate trials.

I was plesantly surprised by this title…I was expecting extreme cheese but there was actually a pretty good story and I would read the rest of the series (apparently there are at least 6) if the library had them. Currently we’ve only got this title, the first in the series, up here in the Teen section.

23. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Apocolyptic, Fiction, Horror, Teen Books · Tags:

Dust & Decay (Benny Imura #2) by Jonathan Maberry, read by Angie, on 01/22/2012

I have to admit that Rot & Ruin was one of my favorite books last year. It tore at my heart. It was a coming of age novel. In it we meet Benny who learns some hard truths about his world. He learns that what he thought he knew was not in fact that truth. His heroes were actually the villains and his brother who he thought was weak was actually the strongest man around. He also learned that zombies are not the evil in this world–man is. Zombies just have a disease and really can’t control what they do. Man chooses to do the evil he does and therefore should be more feared.

Dust & Decay picks up a few months after the events of Rot & Ruin and we find our band of heroes stronger and ready to set out into the Rot & Ruin to find the jet they saw at the end of the first book. All the characters have grown up in this book: Benny is a lot more mature and accepting of who he is in this world although he does still act like a 15 year old boy palling around with his friends Chong and Morgie at times. Lilah is still the mysteries Lost Girl. Tom is strong and silent, but trying to train the kids and get them ready for the journey ahead but he is ready to leave the protection of the town once and for all. And Nix is ready to leave the town that saw her mother murdered and she struggles with her feelings for Benny.

Their journey is nothing if not disaster upon disaster from the beginning. Maberry can write a wonderful action sequence. And we meet some wonderful and creepy characters along the way. Pretty much everyone from the Zombie Cards shows up for the final battle and it is a doozy. Gameland is back as are more of the Matheis family. If there is one thing I have an issue with in this book it is the repeat of the Gameland/Matheis storyline. It does seem like we did that in Rot & Ruin. I know it is a little different in this book, but it kind of seems like a copout to repeat it hear. I get why it was; the law had to come down and there had to be a show of force, but it still seemed like a repeated plot line from a really gifted author who could have been very original.

And Maberry is very original. He takes something like zombies and really makes it a question of good vs evil. Zombies are only a small part of the equation and really they are just a constant on the equation. Men are really the variables of good and evil on that equation. And Maberry skillfully weaves a tale that makes us think about good and evil, heaven and hell, purgatory and limbo, religion and religious zealots, how to learn when to do what is right.

I can’t wait to see what the rest of this series brings. We have two more books to look forward to I figure Rot & Ruin was the freshman sprint out of the box, Dust & Decay was a bit of a sophomore slump but the next two should pick up as they head towards senior graduation.

20. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Apocolyptic, Fiction, Horror, Romance, Teen Books · Tags:

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, read by Angie, on 01/20/2012

I have to admit that I almost didn’t finish this book. I was about 50 pages into it and I had an internal debate about whether I wanted to continue reading. The part of me that doesn’t like to leave books unfinished won. Am I glad I finished it…sure. It wasn’t a horrible book; it just wasn’t one of my favorites.

Warm Bodies is basically a zombie love story. It is told from the point of view of R a zombie who eats the brains of a young man named Perry and absorbs his life force (because that is what happens in this zombie world when a zombie eats your brains) and suddenly finds himself in love with Perry’s girlfriend Julie. He saves her and takes her back to his hive. Because of his actions R begins to change, to awake and the world begins to change along with him.

I think I am of the old school zombie world. I like my zombies as mindless beings and the zombies in this book are thinking semihuman creatures who have societies. They form relationships and families and they think even though they don’t talk really. There was a lot of deeper things going on about what it means to be human and such, but I am not sure this book asked those questions as well as other books have. Don’t get me wrong zombie literature is a great way to have that debate, but I am not sure a zombie protagonist works or at least not this one. For some reason this story didn’t resonate with me. I don’t know if it was the romance which I just found strange…would a girl really fall in love with a zombie???? Or the strange zombie awakening and the war between the zombie factions at the end (really what were the boneys??).

There was a good idea in this book and I know there are a lot of people that just love it, but it just wasn’t for me.

The library no longer has a copy of Warm Bodies. I read Mobius copy of this book.

20. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Horror, Tracy

Alice in Zombieland by Lewis Carroll and Nickolas Cook, read by Tracy , on 01/19/2012

Alice in ZombielandAlice in Wonderland is a favorite classic of mine. I was a little worried when I saw this version but actually read it all in one sitting. A condensed version with a creepy twist. Alice follows a black rat down a hole in an open grave and finds Zombieland. It has a lot of the same twisted dialog that makes Alice in Wonderland so enjoyable to me. Although it  was a fun read I don’t recommend it  for those with a weak stomach. All the characters are flesh eating Zombies who are ruled by The Queen. Not a good bedtime story for children. It did make me want to read the original again.

19. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Apocolyptic, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Horror · Tags:

The Walking Dead Compendium Vol. 1 by Robert Kirkman, read by Angie, on 01/09/2012

I have to admit that I read this because I have been watching the AMC series. I wanted to see how the comic differed from the series. It is basically the same storyline about a ragtag group trying to survive the Zombie Apocalypse, but there are differences that made this book a fascinating read. The story is brutal and honest and definitely not a pretty one. People die horribly and it becomes a part of life. It makes you question how you would act at the end of the world. Would you retain your humanity or become one of the monsters? Because in this world the zombies are not the only monsters…men are just as evil and they don’t have the excuse of being dead. I always like books that explore this aspect of humanity…who we really are and what we would become when societal conventions and laws are taken away.

My complaints about this book are the fact that the book itself is heavy! It is huge and weighs a ton. This is not something to lug around in your bag and in fact you might want to read it at a table. My second complaint is that I didn’t always find the drawings clear. It was sometimes hard to distinguish characters as a few of them looked a lot alike. But the illustrations also were fabulous in the way they carried the story.

I think I am going to have to check out more of the series to find out what happens next since of course this ends on a cliffhanger.