Posts Tagged: Zombies

Book Review – The Girl with All the Gifts (The Hungry Plague #1) by M.R. Carey

June 12, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 15 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.

Book Review – The Girl with All the Gifts (The Hungry Plague #1) by M.R. CareyThe Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Series: The Hungry Plague #1
Published by Orbit on June 10th 2014
Pages: 448
Genres: Horror
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: Fellside, The Boy on the Bridge

five-stars

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius."

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

“Pandora […] was a really amazing woman. All the gods had blessed her and given her gifts. That’s what her name means – ‘the girl with all the gifts’. So she was clever, and brave, and beautiful, and funny, and everything else you’d want to be. But she just had the one tiny fault, which was that she was very – and I mean very curious.”

Melanie is a curious little girl, much like Pandora was. She loves school, loves learning but loves her teacher Miss Justineau even more. She’s never seen the outside world, only her cell, the corridor, the shower room and the classroom which is located on an army base. Melanie is an incredibly intelligent little girl, capable of extremely high level classes for someone her age. Other than being near genius, she’s just a normal little girl, until she catches the scent of human flesh.

‘…the Breakdown, when the world filled with monsters who looked like people you knew and loved, and every living soul went scrambling and skittering for cover like mice when the cat wakes up…’

The normal hungries that roam the earth are your classic type zombie: they’re mindless and single-minded when it comes to obtaining their next meal. Melanie and her classmates are high-functioning zombies or “hungries” that are capable of speech and emotions, things the normal hungries are incapable of. These children have been captured for the sole purpose of experimentation, in hopes that they are the key to a possible cure for this terrible disease that has consumed the world.

There are many interesting aspects to this novel that I wouldn’t normally expect to find in a normal zombie-type book. First and foremost is the cognitive abilities of these children despite their undead status. It was an interesting aspect and leads to the next aspect: the ethics behind the experimenting on these coherent children even if it’s done for the good of the human race. The doctor conducting the experiments, Doctor Caldwell, has completely disconnected herself from the belief that what she is doing is wrong and successfully convinces you as a reader in the chapters told from her POV that it’s for the greater good. Switching to the chapters told from the POV of Miss Justineau offers you the opposite stance as she’s become attached to not only Melanie but the whole of her students even though she fully understands exactly what they are and the danger they represent. The perplexity of the situation their forced into isn’t simple nor straightforward.

The other aspect to this novel that is the main driving force is the relationship that develops between Melanie and Miss Justineau. Melanie has suffered through a life of solitary and Miss Justineau’s teachings are the shining beacon of hope that she always has to look forward to. In turn, Miss Justineau develops an affection for Melanie despite her best intentions to remain distant. The relationship was surprisingly heartfelt and touching.

Setting all the unexpected aspects aside, my favorite aspect of zombie novels is always the why and seeing what route each author takes. Zombie novels have become quite common these days and thus requires them to have an original aspect that hasn’t been done before. The Girl With All the Gifts does just that. The individuals in this novel are infected with Ophiocordyceps, a genus of fungi that actually exists in our world today but grows only on insects. I can’t express enough what a superb job M.R. Carey does at explaining the details of this fungus and how it came to be possible for it to infect humans. He goes into incredible detail yet explains it in such a skillful way as to avoid leaving us non-scientists completely clueless.

While The Girl With All the Gifts had many incredible facets to it, the ending was the most memorable. Shocking and unexpected yet such a fitting ending to this amazing story. Engaging, shocking and thrilling, The Girl With All the Gifts is one incredible read that thankfully manages to live up to all the hype.

Parasite (Parasitology #1) by Mira Grant {PurchaseMy Review}
The Host (The Host #1) by Stephenie Meyer {Purchase}
Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory {PurchaseMy Review}

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Early Review – Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1) by Susan Dennard

May 16, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012, YA 1 Comment

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 – Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1) by Susan DennardSomething Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Series: Something Strange and Deadly #1
Published by HarperTeen on July 24th 2012
Pages: 416
Genres: Romance, Steampunk, Zombies
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

I’m a huge fan of world building. To me, it’s vital that you set the scene with a proper introduction in order to hook the reader from the very first page. Unfortunately, you don’t get a lot of that with ‘Something Strange and Deadly’ initially so it took me a while to get into it. The opening scene dives right into the action where Eleanor is picking up her brother from the train station not realizing that the walking dead is everywhere. The zombies are explained a bit further later in the book but using this as the opening scene didn’t work in my opinion, especially since it continued to be fast paced and ceased to slow down any time soon.

The ‘zombies’ really played a small part in the story, much less of a part than I had expected. Plus they weren’t truly zombies, they were dead bodies which were being controlled by a necromancer which is completely different. The magic and the steampunk and the explanation was explained fairly well; however, I found it to be too over the top.

This book was chalk full of characters that appeared to be quite shallow and essentially difficult to like. I had difficulty liking Eleanor at first (I kind of came around to liking her by the end though) and I immediately disliked Clarence because, really… Clarence? Besides his name, he was quite pompous and clearly thought he was better than anyone and everyone. Hard type of person to like, even if you want to feel bad for him because his name is Clarence. And then there was the immediate familiarity between Eleanor and Clarence. At the seance that her mother was hosting at the very beginning of the story, Clarence and Eleanor had never met yet after a single conversation not only is Clarence bossing her around but Eleanor is as well, expecting him to explain himself.

“I would greatly appreciate it if you would keep our conversation in the hall to yourself.”
“Of course,” I said primly. “Thought I want some explanation of your behavior.”
“How about a bouquet or roses instead? Or a new hat?”

The book lacked a whole lot in the explanation area too. It did more of the ‘simple state’ rather than talk about something and show with supporting evidence. Considering this is a steampunk story and explanation can be difficult I’d give it a pass; however, I’ve read some well written steampunk stories so I do know that it’s possible to pull off. Here are just a few circumstances that I had issues with:

“Can you stop a spirit like that?”
“Yes, in the same way I stop the walking Dead. I magnify an electric spark and break apart the soul.”
Is that supposed to be a sufficient explanation?

“Your letter was covered in spiritual energy.”

How exactly is that possible? It’s KIND OF explained later that these particular goggles that can see said spiritual energy operate on magnetic energy, fluid with magnetic powder, and are calibrated with grave dirt… I don’t know. You lost me completely. Steampunk and I do not get along. Bottom line I can see the appeal but I don’t think this was the book for me.

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

April 26, 2012 Bonnie 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!
_______________________________

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 Review – Married With Zombies (Living With the Dead #1) by Jesse Petersen

January 31, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2012 2 Comments

Book Review – Married With Zombies (Living With the Dead #1) by Jesse PetersenMarried With Zombies by Jesse Petersen
Series: Living With the Dead #1
Published by Orbit on September 1, 2010
Pages: 272
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Funny-ha-ha
Format: Paperback
Source: the Author
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Eat Slay Love, Shambling With the Stars, Club Monstrosity

four-stars

A heartwarming tale of terror in the middle of the zombie apocalypse.

Meet Sarah and David.

Once upon a time they met and fell in love. But now they're on the verge of divorce and going to couples' counseling. On a routine trip to their counselor, they notice a few odd things - the lack of cars on the highway, the missing security guard, and the fact that their counselor, Dr. Kelly, is ripping out her previous client's throat.

Meet the Zombies.

Now, Sarah and David are fighting for survival in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. But, just because there are zombies, doesn't mean your other problems go away. If the zombies don't eat their brains, they might just kill each other.

‘…I never would have guessed that unlike therapy, unlike the self-help books that littered our apartment at the time, killing zombies would save my relationship.’

Sarah and Dave are having marital problems and have been attending marriage counseling once a week for the past 6 months. On the way to their weekly visit, their session ends up going far differently than the others: their marriage counselor attempts to eat them. After a momentary fight for their lives where their marriage counselor ends up with a stiletto to the head, they realize something is definitely amiss. From that point on, their lives were never quite the same; yet somehow it managed to change their relationship for the better. After the two make plans to leave their home in Seattle and head to Dave’s sisters house, they realize that not only is the world going to shit, but it’s happening quickly.

This was the book that started my zombie crazed love so I’m really quite partial to it, but I couldn’t have started with a better one. It has the perfect mix of blood and guts, sarcastic humor, and demented brain seeking zombies. I loved Sarah and David; they were a perfectly realistic couple just doing what it takes to survive (from the zombies and each other). The chapter titles were a hilarious addition as they were a new ‘suggestion’ with each new chapter.

‘Chapter 2 – Balance the workload in your relationship. No one person should be responsible for killing all the zombies.’

A super fast and enjoyable read that you simply won’t be able to put down! If you’re a fan of zombies, this is a must for you!

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

January 25, 2012 Bonnie 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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Early Review – This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

January 24, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2012, YA 0 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 – This is Not a Test by Courtney SummersThis is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on June 19th 2012
Pages: 337
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: All the Rage, Sadie

two-half-stars

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.

To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.

But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside.

When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

‘The radio crackles the prerecorded voice of that woman at us over and over…
‘This is not a test. Listen closely. This is not a test.’
But I think she’s wrong. I think this is a test.
It has to be.’

The Storyline
‘This is not a Test’ includes a group of sorrowful teenagers trying to survive (some of them at least) and a post-apocalyptic world full of zombies.

Sloane Price has survived the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. She’s joined up with 5 other kids she went to school with and they are all hiding out in their old high school, trying to survive. Except Sloane never intended on being alive for very much longer. Ever since her sister Lily abandoned her she hasn’t been the same and lacks any sort of will to live. She escaped from the beatings their father inflicted on them both, and didn’t take Sloane with her. Being surrounded by kids who want more than anything to live makes her feel like an outcast as she continues to search for her way out so that she’s finally ‘free’.

Thoughts
I am a huge fan of zombie novels, and there’s certainly no ‘right’ way to do them but with most zombie novels I’ve found that I particularly enjoy the world building aspect and finding out how the zombies came to be. If it’s lacking in world building it better have a super fabulous story to focus on instead. The world-building aspect isn’t explained in this story and it came off feeling like a normal teenage angst ridden story, just with zombies thrown in as secondary characters, rather them being an actual part of the story. It’s almost like the author decided on two genres but forgot to mix them well enough so that they were good and blended.

I had a hard time liking the characters. These were all high school kids, hiding out in a high school, still playing high school games. I kept waiting for them to toughen up, to harden from what has happened to them, but it just didn’t happen. Plus? The zombie action was quite minimal for my liking.

The ending was bleak, brutal, but unsatisfactory; more than likely just simply due to my personal preferences.. I can see how this story will be liked by many, it just wasn’t overall exactly what I had anticipated.

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Short Story Review – Countdown (Newsflesh 0.5) by Mira Grant

November 17, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories 2 Comments

Short Story Review – Countdown (Newsflesh 0.5) by Mira GrantCountdown: A Newsflesh Novella by Mira Grant
Series: Newsflesh #0.5
Published by Orbit on August 1st 2011
Pages: 85
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Feed, Deadline, Parasite

five-stars

The year is 2014, the year everything changed. We cured cancer. We cured the common cold. We died.

This is the story of how we rose.

When will you rise?

Countdown is a novella set in the world of Feed.

 

’There is nothing so patient, in this world or any other, as a virus searching for a host.’

Countdown is a must-read for fans of the Newsflesh novels. Countdown takes you back before the virus was spread, before the zombies came alive, when the world was still as vivid and vibrant as it is today. This is a super short story and left me wanting much much more, but it was still an extremely informative piece of writing that I felt was essential to truly understanding the Newsflesh world. You don’t get to read anything about Shaun or George or even Buffy, but you do get a glimpse into the life of Amanda Amberlee, the creator of the cure Dr. Alexander Kellis, and of the group responsible for unleashing it onto the world, ‘The Mayday Army’.

Once again I’m astonished at the ability that Mira Grant has in world building. Even with a short story, she does a phenomenal job at pulling you right in. She makes you feel as if her world truly does exist and that you need to remember to grab your shotgun before leaving the house to protect yourself from the zombies waiting outside. This short story made me love the first two Newsflesh books even more and also made me just a tad bit crazier over my desire to read Blackout. (As if that was possible).

Mira Grant? You’re amazing.

’When will you Rise?
And the world gave itself an answer:
Now.
Welcome to the aftermath.’

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Book Review – Fighting to Survive (As the World Dies #2) by Rhiannon Frater

November 8, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Fighting to Survive (As the World Dies #2) by Rhiannon FraterFighting to Survive by Rhiannon Frater
Series: As the World Dies #2
Published by Self-Published on February 17th 2009
Pages: 307
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

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

three-stars

 

Katie and Jenni have found new lives with the survivors of their makeshift fort, but danger still lurks. Nothing is easy in the new world where the dead walk and every day is a struggle to keep safe. As the elements, bandits, and the zombie horde threaten their safe haven, Jenni and Katie join the other survivors in fighting to survive as the world dies.

 

*Please note I read the older, self-published version. There is a newer, edited version available but my review is not based on that version.*

The Storyline
Fighting to Survive picks up a few weeks after The First Days left off: Katie and Jenni are helping establish a new life on the fort and working to minimize the ongoing danger of the zombies. Nothing much happens (in my opinion) in regards to the zombie as this book focused mainly on expanding on new characters, the growing of existing relationships, and establishing more problems outside of the zombie issue. The writing was still a bit stilted for me and I still love the zombie action scenes far more than the character interaction scenes.

The Relationships
So I totally get that everyone is living day to day not knowing how much longer one another will survive, but does that give everyone the right to become a bunch of hussies?

“We just decided today,” he explained. “Life is so short. We just don’t’ want to waste time. We’ve been sleeping together in my tent. Might as well make it official and be a family.”

Uhh… okay?

Jenni and Juan were already together in the last book and their relationship steadily progresses until they are eventually living together. Jenni and Juan’s relationship is strange though and I’m not positive whether they actually like each other or not. And I swear… I was going to snap if I hear Loca one more time.

Then there’s Katie and Travis. In the last book Katie kept trying to keep Travis at bay by continuing to remind him that she is in fact lesbian and no she will not be with him. Her reasoning behind this was explained in the last book as she didn’t want to tarnish her memory of her wife Lydia even though she did have feelings for Travis. View Spoiler » I felt that whole storyline and the ending was anticlimactic and definitely inevitable. But… View Spoiler »

Final Thoughts
Reading these books back to back has caused me to become quite cynical. I do plan on finishing up the trilogy but will come back to it at a later date when I’ve managed to forget some of my irritations. I’m hoping the third one has lots of zombie action scenes and EVERYONE gets eaten! hahahaha

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Book Review – Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration #1) by Lia Habel

October 18, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 3 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.

Book Review – Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration #1) by Lia HabelDearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Series: Gone With the Respiration #1
Published by Del Rey on October 18th 2011
Pages: 482
Genres: Romance, Steampunk
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


two-stars

A classic romance, suspense thriller, rip-roaring adventure, and macabre comedy all at once, Dearly, Departed redefines the concept of undying love.

CAN A PROPER YOUNG VICTORIAN LADY FIND TRUE LOVE IN THE ARMS OF A DASHING ZOMBIE?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the mores of an antique era. Sixteen-year-old Nora Dearly is far more interested in her country’s political unrest than in silly debutante balls. But the death of her beloved parents leaves Nora at the mercy of a social-climbing aunt who plans to marry off her niece for money. To Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses. Now she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting a fatal virus that raises the dead. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and thoroughly deceased. But like the rest of his special undead unit, Bram has been enabled by luck and modern science to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

Dearly, Departed was quite enjoyable for me … at first. I found myself overwhelmed by the storyline because it had entirely way too much going on. I picked this up solely because it was a zombie novel (gotta love zombies) but then I was thrown into this odd dystopian society and THEN it transformed into this weird steampunk society where everything is set in ‘Victorian’ times. That was all just a bit too much for me and made it quite unbelievable and entirely too hard to follow. Suffice it to say I’m going to skip my typical summarizing of the story because it’s simply entirely way too much to summarize.

I found each and every one of them to be an enjoyable addition to the story, but the multiple change in point of view added to the ‘entirely-too-hard-to-follow-ness’ that was going on for me. I thought it was an interesting touch when one of the POV’s was even the ‘villain’, but it didn’t work for me overall.
Bram was my favorite… he was charming, interesting, and quite funny. You could almost forget that he was a zombie.

’I gave her as long as she needed, all the while mentally designing my tombstone. R.I.P., Captain Abraham R. Griswold. He was completely useless and made girls cry.’

I think that was a part of the problem though… I didn’t want to forget he was a zombie! Zombies aren’t supposed to be mistaken for humans! I think I was missing the overall zombie-ness about him.

The zombie’s in ‘Dearly, Departed’ were an odd bunch. They were all infected with what is known as the Lazarus syndrome which caused people to come alive a few short hours after being pronounced dead… but they didn’t all come back the same. We had the Gray’s who are your typically moaning, limb dragging zombie-types. Then there’s a zombie army that fights the Gray’s. The members of the zombie army are zombies but they stayed fairly human, as far as personalities go… they still looked just as gruesome as normal zombies.

’I desperately wanted to roll my eyes, but we were discouraged from doing so. The muscles around the eyes are always some of the first to go.’

Well shucks. I was so hoping to like this more but unfortunately this really didn’t work for me.

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Book Review – Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory

October 9, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 1 Comment

Book Review – Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl GregoryRaising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory
Published by Del Rey on June 28, 2011
Pages: 449
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

In 1968, after the first zombie outbreak, Wanda Mayhall and her three young daughters discover the body of a teenage mother during a snowstorm. Wrapped in the woman’s arms is a baby, stone-cold, not breathing, and without a pulse. But then his eyes open and look up at Wanda — and he begins to move.

The family hides the child — whom they name Stony — rather than turn him over to authorities that would destroy him. Against all scientific reason, the undead boy begins to grow. For years his adoptive mother and sisters manage to keep his existence a secret — until one terrifying night when Stony is forced to run and he learns that he is not the only living dead boy left in the world.

In Part I, the Mayhall family find a woman long dead on the side of the road with a baby wrapped up inside her coat. Shortly after, Wanda Mayhall realizes what he really is, yet decides that they are going to keep him anyways and hide him from the world. We watch Stony change and literally grow from a baby into a young man just as any normal living human being does. We watch him become an integral part of the Mayhall family and develop into his own unique person. This was my favorite part of the novel.

Following Part I, which I was absolutely in love with, there was a major shift in the story and I wasn’t exactly on board with it. It became overly political, it became slightly philosophical, and I realize in retrospect that this was the world that the author was creating but it wasn’t exactly how I thought the story was going to go (or how I would have preferred it to go). I did enjoy the scientific aspects of the story and how the Living Dead were researching to find out what made them the way they are and what made it possible.

’Here was Thomas’s blood before he died, six hours after the bite: perfectly normal. And here was Thomas’s blood after he passed, at the 6:12 mark: dark, viscous, waxy. The transformation had occurred between observations, like the state change in a quantum particle. Like death itself.’

Many parts of this book required a certain amount of imagination. The idea behind the zombies in this book was that “Consciousness was the key.” At one point Stony explains how he once removed one of his toes and yet it still failed to decompose even though it was completely separated from his body. Once the toe was finally off his mind and he had failed to continue checking on it and thinking about it, only then did it finally start rotting and decomposing. I found this to be quite an interesting concept yet extremely hard to understand. Was that the only thing that kept these zombies ‘alive’? That if they had stopped thinking about themselves as a living dead person would they simply cease to exist?

’Where one dead thing ended and another began was largely a problem of perception and definition.’

I was overall disappointed with this book; however, I think that was largely because I was expecting something different entirely. I thought the storyline with the LD ‘governments’ and the plans being hatched by them was pretty strange and largely unbelievable. I had a hard time understanding where all the money came from… how one person could be the sole benefactor of so many. Also, the ending was inevitable but a bit too anticlimactic I thought. I loved Stony in the beginning but I was pretty disappointed at how the rest of the story unfolded.

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