Genre: Horror

Early Review – The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

Posted May 7, 2013 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2013 / 19 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – The Shining Girls by Lauren BeukesThe Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
Published by Mulholland Books on June 4th 2013
Pages: 384
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller, Time Travel
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Broken Monsters, Slipping: Stories, Essays, & Other Writing

five-stars

The girl who wouldn’t die. Hunting a killer who shouldn’t exist.

Chicago 1931. Violent drifter Harper Curtis stumbles upon a house that hides a secret as shocking as his own twisted nature: it opens onto other times.

Harper uses it to stalk his ‘shining girls’ across decades – and cut the fire out of them.

He’s the perfect killer. Unstoppable. Untraceable. Until one of his victims survives and turns the hunt around.

Chicago, 1992. Kirby Mazrachi’s determination to find the man who tried to kill her has taken over her life.

The cops no longer return her calls. Her mother copes by writing morbid children’s books. Her only ally is Dan, the burnt-out ex-homicide reporter who covered her case.

As Kirby closes in on her would-be killer, what she finds is ... impossible. Murders scattered across the decades along with evidence that makes no sense. Meanwhile, Harper is closing in on her, too.

‘Everything happens for a reason. He should be grateful. It’s because he is forced to leave that he finds the House. It is because he took the coat that he has the key.’

Harper stalks his Shining Girls through time and the House helps him. He visits the girls when they are children, takes mementos from them and tells them he’ll be back for them when it’s time. When that time comes, he leaves their bodies with a new memento, one taken from a different Shining Girl. His goal is to kill them all, all who Shine, and his mission is complete. Except one survived. And now she’s the one looking for him.

The writing style is extremely explicit. The murders are terribly graphic and incredibly detailed so if you can’t stomach ‘Dexter’ you’re definitely not going to be able to manage this one. I have quite the stomach for gruesome tales but even this one came close to pushing my boundaries. Added to the gruesome details is the heartbreaking bits. There’s this one scene in particular where one of the women is trying to stop the killer and in the process is telling him about her kids and how she has to be there for them because they’re going to be waking up soon… I’m not much of a softie for sad times but even that got to me pretty bad. Plus, I think it should be mentioned there’s also a gruesome scene involving a dog that may or may not have caused a tear or two.

‘He only has to think of a time and it will open onto it, although he can’t always tell if his thoughts are his own or if the House is deciding for him.’

Much like what karen says in her review of The Shining Girls, this book reminds me very much of Life After Life despite it’s obvious differences. Life After Life isn’t technically time-travel but the transitions through time are quite similar, also both novels lack the scientific backing to support the time-traveling, it’s either believable or it’s not. Both novels had similar writing styles with bouncing back and forth to different times. It shouldn’t make sense and it should be terribly confusing and hard to follow but somehow it manages to make complete and utter sense. Lauren Beukes writes with such confidence though that it really leaves no room for questioning. I never had a doubt.

‘It’s the same tug in his stomach that brought him to the House. That jolt of recognition when he walks into someplace he’s meant to be. He knows it when he sees the tokens that match the ones in the room. It is a game. It’s a destiny he’s writing for them. Inevitably, they’re waiting for him.’

This book blew my mind. I finished it late one night and ended up unable to fall asleep because I simply could not stop thinking about it. There were a few questions that went unanswered that I wish had been but my overall opinion of the book remained bright and shiny. (ha, pun intended) The two things I had issue with her major spoilers but I had to include them. Please do not click if you have any intention of reading this!
View Spoiler »
View Spoiler »

The Shining Girls is a horrid and nightmarish tale but so completely intense and unforgettable that it’s certain to leave a lasting impression. It’s a story possessing such vehemence you practically need a good, strong drink to aid you through it. In honor of the drink the House never failed to provide I recommend a whisky straight-up, no ice.

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Early Review – In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

Posted March 7, 2013 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2013, YA / 8 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat WintersIn the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
Published by Amulet Books on April 2nd 2013
Pages: 404
Genres: Ghosties, Gothic, Historical Fiction, Horror, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Cure for Dreaming, The Uninvited: A Novel, The Steep & Thorny Way

four-stars

In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?

Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.

‘Stay still. Smile. And summon the dead.’

Mary Shelley Black is a sixteen year old girl living in a war ravaged world. After her father is arrested she is forced to flee and stays with her Aunt in San Diego. After losing her father and finding out that her childhood love, Stephen, has lost his life in the war, Mary Shelley struggles desperately to cling to a reason to continue living when she’s visited by Stephen, as a spirit who is traumatized by visions of his death that he continues to re-live. Realizing that she’s the only one that can see him and the only one that can help him she begins to seek out information regarding his death and what truly happened to him.

Wowsa. This book was high on my anticipating in 2013 list and I’m so very glad to say that it lived up to all the anticipation. This was a fabulous, and fresh ghost story that fans of the genre will enjoy.

‘I think between the war and the flu, no one’s going to escape getting haunted. We live in a world so horrifying, it frightens even the dead.’

Blackbirds had an amazing story albeit based strongly on actual history. The story centers on the year 1918 when the Spanish influenza has swept through cities and World War I is ongoing. It was quite a dreary time to write about and Cat Winters didn’t hold back or try and make the story any less bleak and I loved that. The black and white pictures that were included throughout the book made the perfect addition to really showcase the mood of the story.

And oh, young love. The love between Mary and Stephen was so touching and quite shocking in its fervency. It may have seemed a tad unlikely that two could love each other so much at such a young age but it was beautifully written and completely believable. Your heart will ache for them.

This could have been like any other typical war story but what really managed to make this something special and distinctive was the focus on the increased interest in a spiritual nature as mourners became willing to attempt anything to assuage the pain of losing a loved one. A truly wonderful story, Cat Winters debut is an absolute triumph. In the Shadow of Blackbirds possesses a subtle intensity that will leave you breathless.

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Early Review – The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper

Posted February 12, 2013 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012 / 3 Comments

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – The Demonologist by Andrew PyperThe Demonologist by Andrew Pyper
Published by Simon & Schuster on March 5th 2013
Pages: 304
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon | Book Depository
Goodreads


three-stars

Fans of The Historian won’t be able to put down this spellbinding literary horror story in which a Columbia professor must use his knowledge of demonic mythology to rescue his daughter from the Underworld.

Professor David Ullman’s expertise in the literature of the demonic—notably Milton’s Paradise Lost—has won him wide acclaim. But David is not a believer.

One afternoon he receives a visitor at his campus office, a strikingly thin woman who offers him an invitation: travel to Venice, Italy, witness a “phenomenon,” and offer his professional opinion, in return for an extravagant sum of money. Needing a fresh start, David accepts and heads to Italy with his beloved twelve-year-old daughter Tess.

What happens in Venice will send David on an unimaginable journey from skeptic to true believer, as he opens himself up to the possibility that demons really do exist. In a terrifying quest guided by symbols and riddles from the pages of Paradise Lost, David attempts to rescue his daughter from the Unnamed—a demonic entity that has chosen him as its messenger.

‘Wandering this darksome desert, as my way
Lies through your spacious empire up to light
Alone, and without giude, half lost, I seek…’

‘The Demonologist’ is a sophisticated thriller that focuses solely on John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ (and I think it should be noted that it’s not a prerequisite to have read Milton before ‘The Demonologist’ either.) It’s not overly steeped in symbolism without sufficient explanation that anyone couldn’t pick it up and understand it.

David Ullman is a non-believer despite the fact that he has dedicated his adult life to studying demonic literature, primarily Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’. When he’s approached one afternoon and asked to be a witness to a phenomenon that requires his professional opinion as a ‘Demonologist’ he accepts the offer and shortly afterwards is headed to Venice, Italy with his twelve-year-old daughter Tess. What David sees in Venice will leave him questioning everything he has ever believed. And when Tess is taken, he has no choice but to accept the things he saw in order to save her from the Underworld.

‘…I am an insistently rational sort, a spoilsport by nature when it comes to the fantastical. I’ve made an entire career out of doubt.
Yet here I am. Seeing the unseeable.’

Extremely creepy and unnerving. The type that really manages to burrow it’s way under your skin. The type that gives you goosebumps. The type that leaves you gasping at it’s intensity. The story line was riveting and I found myself flipping through pages rapidly. I’m not typically a fan of scary stories but this one was incredibly well done (I just made sure I kept to reading this while the sun was still up. But even with the sun there were moments where I feared my eyeballs were about to fall out of my head).

Just like that.

So why only 3 stars? Despite the fact that this book had me completely captivated, I felt the ending was an absolute disaster… to put it lightly. There were so many questions generated throughout the book that it was an exciting race to get to the end to get some answers. But it felt like the ending was entirely way too rushed to the point of it being utterly unintelligible. There were so many loose ends that the author may have possibly intended in order for the reader to interpret individually but that didn’t work for me at all. I even thought for a minute that this was a first in a series because of the abundant amount of unanswered questions but to the best of my knowledge, this is a stand alone. A completely enjoyable book with a less than satisfying ending.

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Early Review – The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Posted January 11, 2013 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Early Review, Giveaways, Read in 2013, YA / 27 Comments

I received this book free from a Giveaway, the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – The Madman’s Daughter by Megan ShepherdThe Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
Series: The Madman's Daughter #1
Published by Balzer + Bray on January 29th 2013
Pages: 432
Genres: Fairy-Tales/Retellings, Gothic, Horror
Format: ARC
Source: a Giveaway, the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.

‘Dead flesh and sharpened scalpels didn’t bother me. I was my father’s daughter, after all. My nightmares were made of darker things.’

I feel the need to start off by saying I didn’t dislike this book but obviously considering my rating I have some explaining to do. There was creepiness, there was a decent story line, but the pacing was so incredibly slow that it had an adverse effect on my overall opinion on this gothic retelling.

Let me tell you guys, the beginning of this story had so much creepy going on it was amazing. I remember starting this book, finishing the first couple of chapters, stopping for a second and saying to myself, “This is going to be so awesome.” Juliet seemed to be a very promising main character and I couldn’t wait to hear her story. But the gothic thriller aspect seemed to be put on the back burner and definitely became less of a focus. What did it end up focusing on? Romance, of course.

There was so much emphasis put on the romance and her being torn between two men, her swooning and constant need to fan herself that I would go so far as to consider this ‘historical-romance-lite’. If not for the creepy and exceptionally gruesome bits in this story I don’t believe I would have finished this. As it was though, the romance didn’t feel fitting in this type of story, like an irregular puzzle piece.

I had been forewarned that the middle dawdled but that the ending was a big shocker so that gave me hope. The pacing was definitely off for the vast majority of the middle portion and didn’t actually start picking up until almost the very end of the book. The big reveal happened and it was definitely the most interesting aspect of the entire story but it happened a little too late for me. There wasn’t a slow build-up to the grand finale which would have made this immensely better. Instead we received a storyline that plodded along, lacking in intensity, never quite gaining enough steam, and then we’re hit with the big ending. The middle section certainly required something more for me to still be invested enough in the story to be excited for when the big conclusion finally did happen.

Oh, and there’s a cliffhanger. Naturally. I think my response to that final page was something along the lines of, “Dude. For real?” Considering I was more than a bit bored through the majority of this story I was at least hoping we’d get some answers. I had still considered giving #2 a shot since sometimes it takes the first book to build the story (in a series) and book 2 is where we can finally get to the meat of the story. But my understanding was that this was a retelling of the Island of Dr. Moreau, however, the summary for book 2 states it was written: with inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘THE STRANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE’ and I’m not sure I feel about the mixing of multiple retellings.

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Book Review – The Twelve (The Passage #2) by Justin Cronin

Posted November 6, 2012 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2012 / 1 Comment

Book Review – The Twelve (The Passage #2) by Justin CroninThe Twelve by Justin Cronin
Series: The Passage #2
Published by Ballantine Books on October 16th 2012
Pages: 626
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror, Paranormal, Vampires
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The City of Mirrors

three-stars

THE EPIC STORY OF THE PASSAGE CONTINUES...

At the end of The Passage, the great viral plague had left a small group of survivors clinging to life amidst a world transformed into a nightmare. In the second volume of this epic trilogy, this same group of survivors, led by the mysterious, charismatic Amy, go on the attack, leading an insurrection against the virals: the first offensives of the Second Viral War.

To do this, they must infiltrate a dozen hives, each presided over by one of the original Twelve. Their secret weapon: Alicia, transformed at the end of book one into a half human, half viral—but whose side, in the end, is she really on?

The Passage series

I felt like I waited half a lifetime for this to be released and I’ll admit, I’m pretty damn disappointed. The Passage blew me away and is one of my all-time favorites/ The Passage really took some patience and focus because Justin Cronin’s writing is so intricately detailed that it’s incredibly easy to miss something important but it was SO worth it. It all began with several individual story lines that had no apparent relation with one another but as time progressed they started to intersect with one another to form one hugely multi-faceted story. The Twelve brings that writing style back into the spotlight with a new array of characters and new storylines.

There were such an immense amount of characters and intersecting storylines from The Passage that I was more than a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to understand what was going on in The Twelve. Fortunately, we’re given a refresher in the form of biblical writings from “The Book of Twelves”. I thought that the way it was done in the prologue was sheer genius. (Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical at first by the biblical approach he took and continued to take throughout the extent of the book. It threw me a bit but Justin Cronin is a genius and it managed to work out.)

It’s strange though, because if you really think about it the original story line from The Passage was solely focused on government conspiracies and the creation of a virus that went completely wrong and was unleashed on the world after the virus was given to death-row-inmates. In The Twelve, the story is centered around a city where individuals are utilizing vampire blood in order to achieve immortality. A far cry from the original story, which was a bit of a disappointment because I would have loved to find out more about the original Twelve.

The main difference for me between The Passage and The Twelve is how the multiple storylines inevitably intersected. With The Passage it was seamless and once everything came together there was the big ‘Ahhh’ moment where everything was clear and the light bulb went on. For me, I think when the ‘Ahhh’ moment was intended to happen my reaction was more along the lines of ‘Uh… I still don’t get it.’ Completely riveting story lines, complex and detailed to the max, but ultimately lacked in coming full circle and left me with far too many questions than answers.

The City of Mirrors, the final installment, isn’t due out for 2 years but I will of course be reading it. I’m hoping that questions are finally answered and aren’t left as they have been: a bunch of hypothetical possibilities.

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Recommend A… Book You Read On a Vacation

Posted September 10, 2012 by Bonnie in Recommend A... / 0 Comments

Recommend A… Book You Read On a VacationI Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Series: Jasper Dent #1
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on April 3, 2012
Pages: 368
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: I Hunt Killers, Game, Blood of My Blood

What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

Recommend A… is a new meme hosted by Chick Loves Lit. Every Monday is a new topic which allows participants to recommend a favorite book of theirs.
This week’s topic?

Recommend A…Book You Read On a Vacation

It took me FOREVER to get through this on my last vacation, despite how truly awesome this book is. My excuse is I just got engaged and I was totally in the mood for romance and not serial killers. 🙂 This was still one seriously awesome book though and I can’t wait for the next installment.
Read my review of this book here!

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Book Review – House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

Posted May 11, 2012 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2012 / 2 Comments

Book Review – House of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Published by Pantheon on March 7, 2000
Pages: 709
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth -- musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies -- the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.

Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices.

The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story -- of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.

Holy crap I finished! If anyone has seen this book in its physical form I’m sure you can understand the need for celebration. (If you haven’t seen this, it’s a beast.)

I’m not even sure what to say about this book. So here are some random statements for you to enjoy.

This is insane. This has entirely way too many footnotes. And changing the font to differentiate between who’s talking? Doesn’t help. Seriously, what is the point in having the word ‘house’ be blue? If I ever move into a house that has some doorway mysteriously appear that leads to some deep, dark, cold hallway I’m not exploring. I’m fucking moving, end of. Who the fuck installs cameras all over their house? It’s like Real World, just in a freaky man-eating house. These guys, especially Lude, have A LOT of sex. But seriously, what’s the point in sharing this with us readers? I really couldn’t give a shit less. And if Johnny Truant is supposed to have stopped showering weeks ago and doesn’t really leave his house or eat real food anymore, and looks like some disgusting hobo how is he still able to hook up with all these hot babes? And how exactly does one go about having sex on a Nordic Track? Nevermind, don’t answer that. Of course! That makes complete sense. You just saw the house eat someone and you decide to go explore again. Sure, why the fuck not? Maybe you’ll get lucky and it’s just not hungry anymore. So, he’s burning that book… is that supposed to be the book we’re reading and if so how did it end up in that old guys house? And I still don’t understand the claw marks in the wood next to his body. Did anyone perform an autopsy? Oh! So we were also supposed to have picked up on clues in this jumbled mess? About your Mother? I can barely understand what the fuck is going on let alone find the CLUES. Is this some type of Freud thing that went over my head? I still don’t get what the growling was.

So, I have one final question: Was ANYONE supposed to understand this or was the author just being cute fully intending on leaving everyone completely clueless?

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Blog Tour Stop + Author Guest Post! Siege (As the World Dies #3) by Rhiannon Frater

Posted April 26, 2012 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Guest Post, Read in 2012 / 13 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour Stop + Author Guest Post! Siege (As the World Dies #3) by Rhiannon FraterSiege by Rhiannon Frater
Series: As the World Dies #3
Published by Tor on April 24, 2012
Pages: 365
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The First Days, Fighting to Survive, The Last Bastion of the Living: A Futuristic Zombie Novel

four-stars

Siege is the conclusion to Rhiannon Frater’s As the World Dies trilogy, which should appeal to fans of The Walking Dead. Both The First Days and Fighting to Survive won the Dead Letter Award from Mail Order Zombie. The First Days was named one of the Best Zombie Books of the Decade by the Harrisburg Book Examiner.

The zombie illness has shattered civilization. The survivors who have found tenuous safety in Texas defend their fort against the walking dead and living bandits.

Katie has made peace with the death of her wife and is pregnant and married to Travis, who has been elected Mayor. Jenni, her stepson, Jason; and Juan—Travis’s righthand man—are a happy family, though Jenni suffers from PTSD. Both women are deadly zombie killers.
In Siege, the people of Ashley Oaks are stunned to discover that the vice president of the United States is alive and commanding the remnants of the US military. What’s left of the US government has plans for this group of determined survivors.

Today is my official day on the Siege Blog Tour and I’m super excited to have Rhiannon stop by with a guest post on her favorite zombie stuff today! How fun right?? But first… check out my review for Siege.

That was damn awesome. 🙂 Siege was hands down my favorite from this entire series. I loved how everything was concluded because it was far from perfect and typical of what one might expect from a world with zombies: nothing ever goes right and NO ONE is safe!! In Siege, fighting the zombies has become the least of their worries. After a member of their community betrays them it causes everyone to realize that the zombies are not the only things that people need to fear.

The thing I loved most about this small community of survivors was how strong, independent and extremely resilient they all were. (Almost) everyone was ready and willing to work hard and do their part in the community but of course there were the individuals that still thought themselves better in various ways and wouldn’t be ‘reduced’ to menial labor. Those particular characters cracked me up because I know for a fact there will always be those people in the world, especially the women still wearing high heels and makeup while the world is going to shit.

This one had me on the edge of my seat for almost the entire story. It was exciting, nerve-racking, emotional and incredibly realistic… a real nail biter. A well written story of survival and doing anything and everything to secure it. Siege didn’t lose any of its original snarky humor but still managed to be one highly emotional thrill ride. If you’re any kind of zombie fan, do not deny yourself this series!

And now let’s see what Rhiannon’s favorite zombie items are!
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Guest Post

Ever since I started writing about zombies, I have been given a ton of cute zombie merchandise by family, friends, and fans.  I decided to compile a list of some of my favorite zombie stuff that is available for purchase. Some of the items I already own, some I don’t.

Enjoy!

10.  Brain Cupcakes

How cute are these? I totally want them! Perfect for when the nieces and nephews are over and playing zombie video games or watching zombie movies.
Available at Amazon.

9.  Dismember-Me Plush Zombie

This was a gift from a friend and I love him!  He’s so much fun to pull apart when a book is frustrating me. Right now he’s in pieces on my desk!Available at Think Geek.

8.  Ghoulia Yelps from Monster High

My niece LOVES Monster High. And I admit, so do I. My husband bought me Ghoulia Yelps, the daughter of the Zombies, as a gift. I love her. She’s so adorable despite being dead. In the cartoon on the Monster High website she’s the smartest of all the kids, though she can only talk in moans.
Available at stores everywhere!

7.  The Zombie of Montclaire Moors Statue

I saw this guy on the table of another author while at an event in Los Angeles. I WANT HIM!  Of course, the neighbors would have a fit.  Oh, well, I guess that is what back yards are for.
You can get him at Toscano.

6.  My Zombie Ate Your Honor Student Bumper Sticker

Yes, I have this on my car. yes, I love it. And yes, I’m sick of all those honor student bumper stickers on the SUV’s careening around Austin. *evil grin*
Available here.

5. Zombie Head Cookie Jar

Need, want, will kill to have it!  I love this cookie jar so much.  It makes me giggle whenever I look at it.  Since I love making cookies, this is a must have item on my next birthday.
Also at Think Geek.

4. Zombiewood Wench Dress

I admit I would have to hit the treadmill a lot more often to fit into this dress, but I think it’s so adorable. I love it.
Available here.

3. Zombie Necklace

I would definitely wear this and with pride. I love the old school font and the sparkles. ACK…does this count as a sparkling zombie?
Available here.

2. Iron Fist Zombie Shoes

I own these!  I wanted them so much I ordered them from the UK long before they became available in the US. I like to wear them at book signings and at conventions. I’ve busted the heels TWICE, but always get them repaired. Love them!
Available here.

1.  Iron Fist Zombie Purse

When to purses, I’m a Betsey Johnson girl, but when I saw this purse, I squealed. WANT IT! WILL HAVE IT
Available here.
What is some of your favorite zombie stuff?
______________________________
Thanks so much for stopping by Rhiannon, your top ten list is awesome (and I totally want that bumper sticker!!!) Be sure and check out the rest of her As The World Dies: Zombie Trilogy below on Goodreads.

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Book Tour Review – I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Posted April 13, 2012 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2012, YA / 2 Comments

Book Tour Review – I Hunt Killers by Barry LygaI Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Series: Jasper Dent #1
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on April 3rd 2012
Pages: 368
Genres: Horror, Mystery
Format: ARC
Source: Book Tour
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Game, Blood of My Blood

four-half-stars

It was a beautiful day. It was a beautiful field.
Except for the body.

Jazz is a likable teenager. A charmer, some might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, "Take Your Son to Work Day" was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminals' point of view.

And now, even though Dad has been in jail for years, bodies are piling up in the sleepy town of Lobo's Nod. Again.

In an effort to prove murder doesn't run in the family, Jazz joins the police in the hunt for this new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

From acclaimed author Barry Lyga comes a riveting thriller about a teenager trying to control his own destiny in the face of overwhelming odds.

‘Jazz was afraid of two things in the world, and two things only.
One of them was that people thought that his upbringing meant that he was cursed by nature, nurture, and predestination to be a serial killer like his father.
The second thing…was that they were right. ‘

When a woman is found murdered in Lobo’s Nod, the last thing on anyone’s mind is that it could potentially be another serial killer because they’ve already dealt with one in their lifetime. Billy Dent was a local of Lobo’s Nod, who murdered into the triple digits, is behind bars but his son Jazz still lives in town with his Grandma. Having grown up with Billy and being taught everything he knew it was inevitable that Jazz would be far from a normal kid.

‘Jazz hadn’t given her many details of exactly what life in the Dent house had been like, but he’d told her enough that she knew it wasn’t hearts and flowers. Well, except for the occasional heart cut from a chest. And the kind of flowers you send to funerals.’

Since his father went to prison, Jazz has struggled with nightmares, memories, and the fear that he’s going to end up exactly like Dear Old Dad. When the woman is found murdered, Jazz feels that it really is another serial killer and he decides to use his knowledge to help find him since he knows exactly how the mind of a serial killer works.

Maybe it’s because I’m a big fan of mysteries/thrillers/true crime but this was a lot of fun. The subtle humor that Mr. Lyga managed to swirl into the mix was perfection and managed to really take the edge off the more gory bits. This was definitely raw and gruesome though, but it was extremely well done. The YA classification in this case definitely applies to the older YA crowd. I was really shocked at how detailed some of the crime scenes were described and a few of Jazz’s nightmares (which include cutting of human flesh and his fears that these aren’t nightmares at all). I’d only recommend this to fans of the genre that are able to stomach some pretty detailed descriptions.

I Hunt Killers definitely ends with the possibility for more but can work as a stand-alone novel as well. And apparently we actually can look forward to more as this is a planned trilogy.

Much thanks to Wendy Darling at The Midnight Garden for allowing me to be a part of her blog tour!

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Audiobook Review – World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

Posted January 25, 2012 by Bonnie in Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2012 / 0 Comments

Audiobook Review – World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max BrooksWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
Published by Random House Audio on August 30, 2006
Length: 6 hours and 3 minutes
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror, Zombies
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

“The end was near.” —Voices from the Zombie War

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”

Note: Some of the numerical and factual material contained in this edition was previously published under the auspices of the United Nations Postwar Commission.

I did like this one surprisingly. I say surprisingly because this is ultimately a documentary of what happened in ‘World War Z’ and had great potential of being boring. I thought it was a nice change up in writing style. Considering the fact that all of these personal statements, made by different individuals involved, were conducted after the war was ‘over’ it didn’t have the excitement or in the moment terror that I always love in a zombie novel. Despite the fact that I didn’t enjoy the political aspects, they were nonetheless extremely interesting as they were detailed and very thorough. Everything was covered quite comprehensively in this book; it could be an actual testimonial of a real zombie war.

I had attempted to read this book before but failed to get very far; I found it hard to read something written in such a way. The audiobook was completely different for me. The audiobook added more to the story than was present in the ‘print’ story. Each individual making their statement regarding what happened was spoken by a different individual rather than the narrator alone using different voice inflections. This was my favorite part and what made it even more real for me.

Definitely a winner for any zombie lover out there.

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