27. August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Apocalyptic, Fiction, Science Fiction, Teen Books · Tags:

Fire & Ash by Jonathan Maberry, read by Angie, on 08/26/2014

I am not sure why it took me so long to get around to reading this final book in Jonathan Maberry’s Rot & Ruin series. I love this series and I loved this book. It was the perfect ending to the series. 

Benny and the gang have made it across the desert and to the safe haven of Sanctuary. Of course nothing is quite what it seems. The military staff at Sanctuary is very secretive and won’t tell them anything about what is happening. The Reapers led by Saint John are still out there and headed to the Nine Towns. Chong was bitten in the last book and is becoming more and more like a zombie. This is the first time Benny, Nix, Lilah and Riot have a chance to take a moment and take stock of themselves and what they have discovered in the Rot & Ruin. They are not the same people they were when they started this trip to find the mysterious plane. They thought they would find all the answers and all they found were more questions. There is also the case of the missing Dr. McReady. She was supposed to be on the plane they found in the desert and she supposedly has a cure for the reaper plague. The teens set off with Captain Joe Ledger to find her and the cure and bring an end to the zombie nightmare. 

What I love about this series is the fact that even though it is about zombies it really isn’t about zombies. It is about the inhumanity of man and how without society’s strictures man becomes the monster. Zombies are just mindless disease carriers. They have no thought or rationale, but man chooses to do evil or good. This theme is more explicitly stated in this book than in some of the others, but it is an important theme. Benny has to find the person who can fight and win against Saint John. He has to do decide if doing what has to be done to win will make him cross that line in becoming a monster himself. In some ways this book is about redemption; the redemption of Benny, Chong, Nix, Lilah, Riot and even Joe and the redemption of mankind. Is mankind worthy of saving? Or should they allow everyone to be released to the darkness. I really loved how this series ended; it was perfect and felt natural. Humanity is worth saving and there is hope in the world.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Fiction, Graphic Novel · Tags: ,

New Deadwardians by Dan Abnett, read by Brian, on 02/09/2014

It is post-Victorian England, most of the upper class has voluntarily become vampires to fight off the poor who are zombies.  Chief Inspector George Suttle, investigates murders, of course almost everyone is already dead, so go figure.

dead

06. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Angie, Apocalyptic, Fiction · Tags:

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks, read by Angie, on 11/05/2013

The history of the zombie apocalypse told through a series of interviews with survivors, politicians, soldiers, and others. This is not the zombie war up close and personal; it is recollections told years after the hostilities have calmed down. We learn how the outbreak started, what the first responses were and how each country handled the great panic and cleanup. At first I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book. I didn’t feel like I was getting a complete picture of the World War Z. I thought the beginning was pretty fragmented and a little hard to follow. But then I got into the story and couldn’t put it down. I wanted to learn more about what happened and how the people handled it. I loved that we got a picture of the entire world and how different groups handled things differently. My quibble is that I didn’t feel like things were adequately explained. It seemed like there were some geopolitical changes in the world that must have happened before the war and we are just supposed to know what they were. I also think I would have liked less broad and more specific information. As much as I love stand alone books it seems like there was so much information that this book would have benefited from being a duo or trilogy.

**UPDATE** I watched the movie and then I thought…Did I miss something? Is this about the same thing? Other than the zombies it really didn’t seem to be from the book. So I thought I should reread the book to see if I was wrong. I wasn’t really. I think they just took the idea of the book and made the movie. Not that it was a bad movie. It was a fun, zombie flick. So this time around I listened to the book on audio. Didn’t really change my opinion of the book. Still had the same strengths and weaknesses. I did really enjoy the huge cast they had narrating. I kept looking at the list and trying to place who the person was. I think I got more out of it reading it though.

03. October 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Science Fiction · Tags: ,

Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Bacigalupi, read by Angie, on 10/02/2013

Zombies rule! Especially cow head zombies. Rabi, Miguel and Joe are friends who play on the same baseball team. They live in a small Ohio town with a big meat packing plant. Milrow Meat Solutions is pumping their cows full of all kinds of things, which have the effect of creating zombies. The boys have to battle the zombies and evil plant executives to survive the summer.

This book was full of humor and fun and zombies! It also had some serious messages about immigration and domestic abuse and corporations. At its heart it is a story about friendship and what you will do for your friends. All set against the backdrop of the zombie apocalypse. I loved it!

16. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Apocalyptic, Fiction, Horror, Teen Books · Tags:

Engines of the Broken World by Jason Vanhee , read by Angie, on 09/15/2013

Gospel and Merciful Truth live in a cabin in the woods with their mother, who has just died. Their only neighbors are Widow Cally and Jenny Gone and the Minister, a made thing who preaches the word of God. They are surrounded by a closing fog that leaves nothingness in their wake. Merciful thinks her mother is up and moving even though she is dead. The minister is keeping secrets. The world is ending and strange things are happening.

I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book about the world ending because God is punishing humanity. Most apocalyptic books have some references to God and religion (not always positive), but I don’t think God is often shouldering responsibility for the end of the world. This is an interesting mix of horror and spirituality. The characters are confined to the cabin because of a snow storm for the majority of the book which makes it very claustrophobic. Gospel and Merciful have to rely on themselves for most of what they know. Everyone is hiding things from them or lying and it is up to them to discern the truth. I’m not sure it all makes sense; the backstory is not adequately explained in my opinion. There is a sense of mystery and unknowingness that permeates the entire thing. There is also a beauty in Merciful’s story as she tries to figure things out. Ultimately she is responsible for her choices and the decisions she makes and she accepts that. There is no happy ending for our characters; just choices, mistakes and an ending.

I received a copy of this book at ALA 2013 and from the publishers on Netgalley.com.

29. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Leslie, Teen Books · Tags:

Dead City by James Ponti, read by Leslie, on 08/25/2013

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Most kids have enough to deal with between school, homework, extracurricular activities, and friends, but Molly Bigelow has something else on her list: hunting zombies. By day, Molly attends MIST—the Metropolitan Institute of Science and Technology—but outside the classroom she’s busy dealing with the undead. Because not only do zombies exist, they’re everywhere, and it’s her job to help police them and keep the peace. Sure, she’d like to be a regular kid, but given that her mother was the most revered (or feared, depending on your perspective) zombie hunter in the history of New York City, “regular” just isn’t possible. Molly’s got some legendary footsteps to follow—and some undeadly consequences if she fails.

I enjoyed this book, I think it would be alright for younger readers, as well.  It reminds me of the Maureen Johnson series, but with zombies, instead of ghosts.  The way they train to protect the zombies from the living, as well as the other way around, is a nice addition.  The teams don’t just exist to get rid of them.  It makes you look at New York City in a whole, new light.

20. August 2013 · 1 comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira · Tags:

Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop, read by Kira, on 08/19/2013

daught of bloodd of b2I loved Anne Bishop’s newest book Written in Red, and thought I’d try another of her books while I wait for the sequel to Written in Red.  Wow! what a difference 15 years can make.  Don’t get me wrong, it was still an engaging story, but Written in Red was so much better.  There was a great deal of cruelty by the characters that perpetuated more cruelty, rather distressing.  Spicyness level of 4 out of 5.d of b3

12. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Angie, Apocalyptic, Fiction, Science Fiction · Tags:

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks, read by Angie, on 08/10/2013

The history of the zombie apocalypse told through a series of interviews with survivors, politicians, soldiers, and others. This is not the zombie war up close and personal; it is recollections told years after the hostilities have calmed down. We learn how the outbreak started, what the first responses were and how each country handled the great panic and cleanup. At first I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book. I didn’t feel like I was getting a complete picture of the World War Z. I thought the beginning was pretty fragmented and a little hard to follow. But then I got into the story and couldn’t put it down. I wanted to learn more about what happened and how the people handled it. I loved that we got a picture of the entire world and how different groups handled things differently. My quibble is that I didn’t feel like things were adequately explained. It seemed like there were some geopolitical changes in the world that must have happened before the war and we are just supposed to know what they were. I also think I would have liked less broad and more specific information. As much as I love stand alone books it seems like there was so much information that this book would have benefited from being a duo or trilogy.

05. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira, Paranormal, Reviewer, Romance · Tags: , ,

The Demon's Librarian by Lilith Saintcrow, read by Kira, on 08/04/2013

Head Librarian, Francesca Barnes, has discovered a treasure cache of sorcery books in a secret room in the sub-basement of the old city library.  When a monster starts attacking cats and then children, she uses the knowledge to track down and kill the beast.

This alerts the evil ones to the growing presence of a new gifted “Golden One” coming into her powers.  Ryan, and his keeper Paul of the Order (the good side), are trying to track down this cache of books.  Since Ryan is half-demon/half man, lacking a soul, he cannot trust himself around women, and especially not around sorceresses.

However, his hdemon's librarianorn-dog handler/keeper Paul takes off on a false lead, because this other woman is good looking and Ryan ends up investigating Chess (Francesca), keeping tabs on her,  rescuing her, and before its too late, he is hooked/imprinted on Francesca.

This book was a quick enjoyable read, nothing taxing or extraordinary.

02. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Apocalyptic, Fiction, Science Fiction, Teen Books · Tags:

Sick by Tom Leveen, read by Angie, on 08/01/2013

Imagine you go to a huge high school in Phoenix. Imagine this high school gets locked down everyday; it has a huge fence with spikes on the top and locked gates. Now imagine the zombie apocalypse starting during an assembly at this school. That is what happens in Sick. Brian and his friends are in the last period of the day when all hell breaks loose. Kids are sick; infected with something that turns them into zombies determined to suck your bones and eat your flesh. Brian and crew barricade themselves in the drama department, but he is determined to find his sister and girlfriend and get out of the school.

There is nothing revolutionary about this take on the zombie apocalypse, but it was definitely a fun, exciting read. The zombies are a little different in that their skin crystallizes and they start walking on all fours. I thought the tension in the book was great, the horror was just right and the kids were all written perfectly. Everyone reacted differently to the circumstances and I thought everyone’s reactions were justified. There were no weird revelations or stereotypes to deal with. This is just a straight up zombie book for teens and it is worth the read.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.

26. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Paranormal, Tammy · Tags: ,

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks, read by Tammy, on 06/24/2013

Moving and thought-provoking. Definitely not two words I thought I’d ever use to describe a zombie novel.

world war zIt didn’t dwell on the gore of a zombie attack and killing zombies though some of that action is described. Instead it is a collection of first person accounts from doctors to soldiers to individual citizens and political leaders in a variety of countries and cultures. It clearly brings home the emotional, social and economic damage caused by world-wide plague conditions or even an individual country laid low by a plague outbreak. It deftly combines the two (war and plague) never completely forgetting that the enemy were once other human beings often neighbors and friends or family who did not choose to become the enemy but for your survival and the survival of the human race and the human spirit — they all have to die.

06. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Apocalyptic, Brian, Fiction, How To's, NonFiction · Tags:

Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks, read by Brian, on 06/04/2013

If you are a hardcore zombie fan, this book is for you.  Max Brooks wrote the popular World War Z, where the world had to fight off zombies to survive.  He takes a fiction/nonfiction look on what to do to survive such attack and the other humans still hanging around.  You learn how the living undead move and survive, the best way to fight depending on where you live, what the best weapon is to use and many more things.

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03. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Apocalyptic, Brian, Fantasy, Fiction, Food, Horror · Tags:

Apocaylpse Cow by Michael Logan, read by Brian, on 06/01/2013

Do you want to stop eating meat?  Read Apocalypse Cow and your meat eating days will be in the past.  The setting starts out at a slaughter house outside of Great Britain.  A cow dies and then comes back to life to attack the owner of the establishment.  Without warning all the cows start attacking the humans.  A special group of men are sent  to take care of the problem.  The only issue, a cow gets away starting and an epidemic of animals turning into zombies begins.  This book could have been called, “Revenge of the Animals”, as the human population [Great Britain area] starts to head towards extinction.

cow

24. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Apocalyptic, Brian, Fiction, Horror · Tags:

World War Z by Max Brooks, read by Brian, on 04/22/2013

World War Z is the first hand account of those around the world who survived the near extinction of the Zombie War.  Max Brooks travels the world to interview men, women and children to document this historical event.  The book is chilling and makes you think of present times.  My favorite part is when a man commented on how whales got the worst of it when the plague broke out.

worldwarz

19. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Melody, Teen Books · Tags: ,

Undeadly by Michele Vail, read by Melody, on 03/17/2013

Undeadly is a great debut novel by Michele Vail.  It is the first book of what seems will be a promising series The Reaper Diaries.  Vail’s Undeadly is a refreshing new take on the zombie genre by mixing necromancy with Egyptian mythology.  Great characters and the romance that is inevitable in teen fantasy is not as sticky sweet as the norm.

24. February 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Dystopia, Fiction, Science Fiction, Teen Books · Tags:

Flesh and Bone by Jonathan Maberry, read by Angie, on 02/22/2013

Benny, Nix, Chong and Lilah are still trekking East on their quest to find the jet. They are still really from the loss of Tom at Gameland. They rescue a child from a zombie hord and meet Riot and the Reapers. Riot is trying to lead a group to Sanctuary when they were attacked by the Reapers. The Reapers, led by Saint John and Mother Rose, are trying to finish what the zombie plague began and end humanity. Our group gets separated and danger finds each of them. In addition to the Reapers, they also discover the remnants of humanity. There is hope for them if only they can find Sanctuary.

These books are about so much more than zombies. It is about humanity and what the human race is capable of, both good and evil. I am glad we find out more about what is going on outside of the mountain communities in this book. We learn that there is a form of civilization left who is working on saving what is left of humanity. Whereas some of the previous books were about evil and despair this one is ends with hope (amid all the evil and despair). I can’t wait for the fourth and final book in this series.

20. February 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Classics, Fiction, Horror · Tags:

Alice in Zombieland by Nickolas Cook, Lewis Carroll, read by Angie, on 02/19/2013

Alice meets zombies in this fun mashup. This book follows the Alice in Wonderland story pretty well it just adds zombies to the mix. In fact, Alice herself becomes a zombie after falling down the rat hole and starts craving meat. While the book isn’t stellar it is a fun read. I really enjoyed how the author integrated zombies into every little bit of the Alice story.

30. January 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Paranormal, Teen Books · Tags:

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter, read by Courtney, on 01/16/2013

First things first: I was really looking forward to this one. It all sounded like so much fun…Alice in Wonderland plus zombies. How could it go wrong? After a few hundred pages, I now know better.
Alice’s father has always been afraid of monsters that no one else can seem to see. He won’t let the family out of the house after dark, no matter how badly it impacts their lives. On Alice’s birthday, she asks for one thing: for the whole family to attend her little sister’s dance evening dance recital. After considerable cajoling, their father agrees. On the ride home from the recital, Alice’s father spots his mysterious monsters and manages to crash the car. Everyone except for Alice dies. While in the hospital, she meets a girl named Kat who will later become Alice’s BFF. When the school year rolls around, Alice is living with her grandparents and going to a new school. She immediately becomes entranced by bad boy Cole, in spite her inner voice telling her to stay away. Around the same time, Alice is noticing that she is seeing and smelling things that shouldn’t exist. Creatures that lurk in the dark. Creatures that no one else can seem to see. Students are known to have gone missing and the group of kids that Cole hangs out with always seem to be battle-scarred. Naturally, Alice is determined to get to the bottom of all this. As the title implies, Alice discovers that zombies are real, but they exist in the spirit realm and can only be fought there as well. Luckily, Alice has abilities that surpass even the best of the current zombie hunters. So there’s that.
My problems with the book? I had more than a few. I’ll just touch on some of the bigger issues I had. First and foremost, the Alice in Wonderland theme. It was practically non-existent. Aside from the fact that the protagonist’s name is Alice and her pal’s name is Kat, there are very few other parallels to the original. In fact, if it weren’t for the title and the chapter titles, one could easily forget this was supposed to have anything to do with Wonderland at all. It feels like a cheap ploy to pull in fans of more traditional mashups. Second issue: the zombies. Really? Spirit zombies? Zombies that can only be fought in the “spirit realm”? That can’t be seen by the average person? Takes most of the “zombie” out of the zombies. I mean, they can’t even kill them by chopping their heads off. And the zombies don’t really eat flesh so much as they consume “goodness”. If it weren’t for their quasi-physical description, they could just as easily have been some other supernatural spooks. A part of me even wondered if this was originally written as a vampire tale, but turned zombie as trends changed. Final issue: the writing. It’s clearly meant to sound like an average teen, but comes across as forced and cumbersome. It’s as though Showalter really wants Alice to be Buffy, but it’s just not going to happen. Alice is constantly questioning the logistics of her situation, which is necessary since nothing would make the slightest lick of sense otherwise. There’s entirely too much telling and not enough showing. When all your exposition comes from one character constantly demanding information, there’s likely an issue with the plot itself. I’ll be passing on the sequels.

22. January 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Dystopia, Fiction · Tags:

The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury (The Governor Trilogy #2) by Robert Kirkman, Jay Bonansinga, read by Angie, on 01/20/2013

road to woodbury This is the second book in the Walking Dead trilogy. It tells the story of Lilly Caul and how she came to Woodbury. Lilly is a survivor from Georgia who is part of a large group. She and a few others leave the group and set off on their own. They eventually reach Woodbury. Some of the group find their place right away. Bob, the drunken Army medic, becomes a favorite of the governor. Megan becomes a prostitute selling herself to survive. Scott, Megan’s druggy boyfriend, disappears. Lilly and Josh are left wary of Woodbury and its leader the Governor.

I really enjoyed this book as a addendum to the series. Lilly and Bob are both seen briefly in the comics. Bob is given the tasks of fixing the Governor after Michonne has her way with him and of taking care of Penny. Lilly is actually responsible for killing Lori and Judy and because of that she kills the Governor. I love that these little characters are given a backstory and a book of their own. I found their journey interesting. I think Lilly’s story is a fascinating one. She goes from basically helpless and reliant on others to survive to part of the Governor’s army. I am a little confused on how she went from hating the Governor to fighting for him but I think it is all part of surviving the world of the zombie apocalypse.

22. January 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Dystopia, Fiction · Tags:

The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor (The Governor Trilogy #1) by Robert Kirkman, Jay Bonansinga, read by Angie, on 01/20/2013

rise of the governorThe Governor, our big bad villain from the Walking Dead series, turns out to have a really interesting backstory. This book explores how a person becomes the sadistic creature we know from the comics. Rise of the Governor follows a band of survivors comprised of Phillip Blake, his daughter Penny, his brother Brian and two buddies from high school. This group is just looking for a way to survive the zombie apocalypse. They move around a lot, making their way to Atlanta and then escaping to the country. Along the way who they are becoming is taking shape. Phillip is the leader of this group and he does whatever needs to be done to survive. Penny is pretty much catatonic throughout the entire book. Brian is whiny and not surviving very well; he has problems killing zombies and relies on his brother for everything. We lose one HS buddy and the other becomes more and more religious. This all comes to a head when the group is attacked by evil humans. Penny is killed and Phillip goes off the deep end. He starts raping and torturing their captives and he keeps Penny alive (or undead) and tied to a tree. Our group makes their way to Woodbury where they live in obscurity until the Governor steps up. I am not going to give away the twist but it was definitely a big one. Holy cow!

After reading the graphic novels I was really interested to know how the Governor became the Governor and this book does that. It explains the crazy journey of the Governor and what led him to become the benevolent leader of Woodbury. It is a fun addition to the series.