Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Married with Zombies-Jesse Petersen

I think if my husband and I were in the middle of a zombie apocalypse…we might behave like this couple…

“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.”

Okay, so we are this couple without being on the verge of divorce. Like so many zombie books that I have been reading lately, I have Jenn to thank for this little nugget. So. Thanks Jenn! And I really, really enjoyed it. Hell, I loved it. Its always nice when you can love the characters while at the same time yell and laugh at the sometimes dumb things they do or how they react to on coming zombies.

What I got me really pulled into the book is the fact that Sarah and David find out that zombie apocalypse is upon them is when Sarah barges into their marriage councilor’s office and sees her devouring the couple before them. Of course, action and confusion ensues and the zombie councilor goes down: death by stiletto thanks to Sarah. I loved the snipping and bantering that went on back and forth between this couple. It seemed real and genuine. What better way to test your relationship than the end of the world? One of the funniest parts in the book for me is when Sarah goes into their bathroom to find their neighbor a zombie stuck in the bathtub, and she hits him in the head a book by Dr. Phil then finishes him off with the lid to the tank of the toilet. Then having to go out to the living room and tell David what happened. Of course, it was sad for David. The neighbor was kind of his friend. That part was kind of a bummer. And my heart strings got tugged on when they had to shot Amanda (while in the backseat of their crappy compact car) and David’s sister Gina because they were attacked by zombies and rather than deal with the change, they beg to have our heroes kill them.
The narration flowed naturally for the most part. Petersen made you not really care about how the zombies came into the world, only that they are there and an obsticle for Sarah and David. My only issue was the gratuitous cursing through out Sarah’s narration. Don’t get me wrong, I have a potty mouth myself. I am trying to work on because I have a one year old and she’s smart and I have no idea when she’ll start picking up on things. Last thing I need is for karma taking revenge on me for teaching my nephew to say “shit.” Anyway. Sorry. Tangent. As an amateur writer, I feel that things like cursing should be saved for dialogue and big impact moments. But that’s just me.
So normal ridiculously funny married couple with issues+zombies+a random encounter with a crazy religious group (totally didn’t mention that! Well, read the book. Trust me. Good stuff)= a total laugh out loud read. One of the funnier books I’ve read in a while. If zombies start shuffling around, I wanna be with Sarah and David. They are a pretty good with a shotgun, and they’ll make you laugh.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Deadline-Mira Grant


Let me tell you, I love this book.

“Shaun Mason is a man without a mission. Not even running the news organization he built with his sister has the same urgency as it used to. Playing with dead things just doesn't seem as fun when you've lost as much as he has. But when a CDC researcher fakes her own death and appears on his doorstep with a ravenous pack of zombies in tow, Shaun has a newfound interest in life. Because she brings news-he may have put down the monster who attacked them, but the conspiracy is far from dead. Now, Shaun hits the road to find what truth can be found at the end of a shotgun.”

This is the second book in the Newsflesh series by Mira Grant and I have to say, it is great! There are a few flaws here and there, but I’ll get to that. Let’s talk about why it’s so awesome.

So I have a feeling most people were probably shocked by the level of action from the first book, Feed. And to that I say, well duh! What did you expect? The first book was told from Georgia Mason’s point of view, while this book is told by Shaun. I like the differences. It makes sense. Georgia was a Newsie, so everything was to the point and factual and she tried to make us see the truth of her words. With Shaun, well he’s an Irwin, so of course there’s going to be zombie hordes and bombs and such things! Would you expect anything less?

The back and forth of Shaun teetering on the edge of sanity was a nice insight into Shaun as a person. From Georgia’s POV, we see him as a little naïve; always the follower and never the leader, always the Irwin, ready to be the first one to die. But, when Georgia is murdered, Shaun’s world crashes and all he has left is a raiment of her. Her voice speaks to him and guides him. His coping mechanism shows the depth of grief and loss on reality. Without Georgia telling him what to do, he seems lost in the world. We see how she was all he had, and he was all she had. They were as close as any siblings could be. It was a nice change of pace from the first book. I enjoyed Georgia’s wise cracking and intellectual voice, but I felt that Shaun’s was more raw and emotional.

But, when the End of Times blog new site gets a surprise visit from a CDC agent on the run and then gets firebombed by the CDC for a zombie outbreak, Shaun gets fired up and somewhat takes control of the situation around him. There are mentions in the book of how all he wants to do is cut and run, but knows deep down that by doing that he would not only let his staff of bloggers down, but that he would never find out who murdered his sister.

I enjoyed the idea of how our society has broken down under the fear of infection, though in the end, when we die, we just get back. So we are already infected, it’s just a matter of time. I mean, it kinda is already happening if you think about it. The fear breaking down our society, not a super mutant zombie virus infection.

I am also pleased to find that a little bit of the conspiracy is revealed. People who have conditions like Georgia, where her eyes had the live infected zombie cells without her being a zombie (they are called reservoir conditions), could actually get better, but this news is being withheld by the (dum dum dum!!) CDC! However, we don’t get to see the whole big picture, only some of it. Because, well….


Shaun gets attacked by a zombie. That’s right. Big chunk taken out of his arm. Oh! Twist! He gets better. Yeah. Totally. I won’t tell you the super big spoiler that I feel really is a twist that should have been saved for the beginning of the third book, Deadline.

My only complaint about the book was the time wasted in describing who the blood testing machines work. I get what Grant was doing, exploring the emotions of getting tested: “do I live another day as me, or is this the time I turn?” But really, I was over the whole testing procedure in the middle of Feed.
So read Feed, and read Deadline. Granted, it’s more thiller than zombie horror, but if you are like me, you’ll devour this book. Yum. :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Witch and Wizard-James Patterson

You know, I have never really read any James Patterson books. But if they are all like this book I’m about to review, holy crap I’m staying far, far away.


Everything is about to change. The government has seized control of every aspect of society, and this is the astonishing testimonial of Wisty and Whit Allgood, a sister and brother who were torn from their family in the middle of the night, slammed into prison, and accused of being a witch and a wizard. Thousands of young people have been kidnapped; some have been accused; many others remain missing. Their fate is unknown, and the worst is feared—for the ruling regime will stop at nothing to suppress life and liberty, music and books, art and magic . . . and the pursuit of being a normal teenager."

So I was kind of excited about getting a chance to read this book. I was. And when I started it, I really wanted to like it. It's always been one I thought about reading but never did. Well, I checked it out from the library. It started off pretty good. Starting with the characters current situation and then taking us back to when it all started.

The idea of the story is good. The writing is awful. Not good. I don’t know about you, but I like to read descriptions and see what makes the characters tick. Patterson and his little writing buddy didnt provide this at all. All the chapters were only a couple pages long of some rambling and dialogue and provided nothing for me to grab on to. The new Harry Potter? Yeah right. Don't think so. Like I said, I’ve never read a James Patterson book, but this little nugget makes me wonder if all his books are written in this half assed way of nothing but shifting points of view and on going dialogue that I feel doesn't present any kind of plot development.

Probably one the worst books I’ve ever read. Yeah. Sorry Mr. Patterson.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wither-Lauren DeStefano

The world is ending. But how is the world falling to its doom? Well, according to Lauren DeStefano, it’s our own damn fault. And we are whimpering on the edge of oblivion.

“Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive.”
So yeah, not the best book blurb, but to the point. Sort of. The book opens up with Rhine in a van with a bunch of other girls, who are then paraded in front of a rich young who picks our heroine and two other girls. We follow Rhine and her sister wives through their different adjusting mechanisms. For Rhine, she plans to not accept her new luxurious captive life, but fights to escape.

DeStefano’s writing if easy to read and flows very nicely. Her descriptions are nice and Rhine’s POV is well written, I just couldn’t feel to sorry for her. I felt that, though she was taken against her will, that there wasn’t enough struggle. I felt her defiance but that was it. The two action-type sequences of her escape didn’t pull me in. I just read the words and turned the pages.

Rhine felt a little forced in an attempt to be made set apart from her sister wives. The oldest is distant and depressed, the youngest eager to please. Rhine is given the condition heterochromia iridis, where she has one blue eye and one brown eye, and her name sets her apart. In the book, she discovers that once upon a time in a land called Germany, there was river called the Rhine and imagines that it is probably underwater and the river is free of its confines of land. This drives Rhine even more to escape. I can understand DeStefano’s choice to make her hero standout, to not blend in, but I felt that the use of heterochromia iridis and the imagery of her name might have been a bit much.

Ah! But then she must chose between her handsome kind and clueless husband or the handsome kind and a little less clueless servant. Of course a love triangle has to be put in place. It’s young adult fiction law. At least I didn’t revert to an angst ridden teenager reading about her mixed emotions.

For all of these slightly negative things, I thought book read nice. It’s a unique story to tell and I enjoyed reading it, but I felt the world DeStefano came up with just sort of gave up. We tampered in God’s domain and now we are paying for it. Let’s lay down and die. I guess if the world is going to end, I say bring on the zombies.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Side Jobs-Jim Butcher

In preparation for the NEW Dresden Files book, Ghost Story, I checked out Welcome to the Jungle and Side Jobs from the library (see previous post for Welcome to the Jungle review). And I need to do some lovefest drooling right now for Mr. Butcher.

Mr. Butcher. Or Jim. Can I call you Jim? Jim, you are by far my favorite writer and have developed one of my favorite characters ever. Dresden is relatable as that crazy weirdo friend that always has your back, even if you get into a fight with a guy named Bubba who’s three times both your weights combined! At the same time though, he’s well, a wizard! An honest to go spell flinging wizard, who fights the good fight and makes the tough decision that I know I couldn’t make. So Jim, thank you for writing like you do and always making Dresden have the world on his shoulders to bear, because if he didn’t I don’t know who else would.

Lovefest finished.

Side Jobs is a great appendix to getting down to the nitty gritty of Harry Dresden. Not just Dresden himself as a character, but the supporting cast that keep Dresden on his feet: The former “Fist of God” Michael, the alpha female Sgt. Murphy, the sometimes-hard-to-handle apprentice Molly, the vampire half-brother Thomas, and of course,  let us not forget about Mac and the werewolves.

Restoration of Faith-pre-Storm Front
Vignette-Death Masks and Blood Rites
Something Borrowed-from My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding, between Dead Beat and Proven Guilty
It’s My Birthday Too- from Many Bloody Returns, between White Night and Small Favor
Heorot-from My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon, between White Night and Small Favor
Day Off-from Blood Lite, between Small Favor and Turn Coat
Backup-from Thomas’ point of view between Small Favor and Turn Coat
The Warrior-from Mean Street, between Small Favor and Turn Coat
Last Call-from Strange Brew, between Small Favor and Turn Coat
Love Hurts-from Songs of Love and Death, between Turn Coat and Changes
Aftermath-from Sgt. Karrin Murphy’s point of view, after Changes

As you can see, it would take me quite a while to review each individual story but I will sum up. Butcher does an amazing job giving just enough information to satisfy my Harry Dresden fix. The only stories I had read before I got this book was Restoration of Faith and The Warrior. The other stories help me understand Harry and his relationship with people and who he has grown from a naïve P.I. in training to his complicated relationship with Sgt. Murphy. Backup and Aftermath, the two tales that are told from Thomas’ and Murphy’s point of view, give a great outsider look on Harry Dresden. I loved hearing what Thomas and Murphy thought and felt about Harry. It helped me better understand this flawed and heroic character.

I suggest reading all the books up to Changes before reading this. I know there are like 13 books now, but I think this pallet of short stories is more of a supplement for fans rather than someone who doesn’t know who Harry Dresden is.

Jim Butcher…you never disappoint!

Welcome to The Jungle-Jim Butcher

So even before I started reading this, I already loved it. Anything dealing with Jim Butcher I’m going to love. Especially if it’s my favorite wizard private investigator, Harry Dresden.

“When the supernatural world spins out of the control, when the police can’t handle what goes bump in the night, when monsters come screaming out of nighmares and into the mean streets, there’s just one man to call: Harry Dresden, the only professional wizard in the phone book. A police consultant and private investigator, Dresden has to walk the line between the world of night and the light of day. Now Harry Dresden is investigating a brutal mauling at the Lincoln Park Zoo that has left a security guard dead and many questions unanswered. As an investigator of the supernatural he sense that there’s more to this case than  a simple animal attack, and as Dresden searches for clues to figure out who is really behind the crime, he finds himself next on the victim list, and being hunted by creatures that won’t leave much more than a stain if they catch him.”

That out of the way, Welcome To the Jungle was written solely as a graphic novel that takes place before the first Dresden File novel, Storm Front. We follow Dresden as he investigates the death of a zookeeper under some spooky circumstances. Many think that the zookeeper was mauled by the alpha gorilla, Moe.  Being Dresden, he is thrown head first into a situation that seems to be way too much for him, but somehow he manages to defeat the villain, an ancient group of woman known as Hecatean Hags, who are trying to a ascend to a greater and darker power. The big battle in the end between Dresden and the Hag is a typical Dresden battle to the death: when all appears to end bad for our plucky hero, something completely random saves his hide. Dresden manages to free Moe the Gorilla and the Hag gets what she deserves.

The story was fun and easy to read. I got through the whole story in about an hour. It was fast paced and fun to read. To me, this story could have fit anywhere between the earlier books, when Dresden is less hardened by later situations. As much as I enjoyed this, I really missed reading Harry’s descriptions of the world around him. Don’t get me wrong, I loved seeing the world brought to life by the artist, Ardian Syaf, but I love the way Butcher has his hero tell his story. However, this doesn’t take away the story. It’s a solid story filled with the write amount of action and suspense and “Holy crap that did not just happen!” moments that make the Dresden Files series so amazing to get absorbed into.

If you’ve never read any of the Dresden File novels, I say you should you read the series. Now, should you start with Welcome to the Jungle or Storm Front? Since this is supposed to be a prequel to Storm Front, I guess you should read this first. But does it matter? No, not really. Like I said before, this story really could go between any of say the first two or three books. But it really makes no difference.
Introduce yourself to the world of Harry Dresden if you haven’t. Trust me; it’s an addictive ride you won’t want to get off of. J

Friday, September 16, 2011

Something Deadly This Way Comes-Kim Harrison

Oh Kim Harrison. I love your books so much.
There. That said…

Something Deadly This Way Comes is the third installment of the Madison Avery series. Madison is indeed sassy and smart, like most young adult heroine are, but she is also slightly reckless, a wee bit headstrong, and more than slightly determined to prove that given a chance and choice, a soul bound for fallen from grace can be saved, sparing the life and the soul.

In this edition, Harrison thrusts Madison further than the previous books. Madison discovers more of her powers as the Dark Timekeeper, such as being able to stop time, her relationship with Josh grows, and her band of renegade angels are beginning to understand what she is attempting to do.
But when Madison attempts to rekindle the love of life in an issued laden teen named Tammy, she fumbles and makes things even worse for the girl. Now Madison must attempt to fix the mess she’s in while fighting off a Light and Dark Reaper and her own self-doubt.
Harrison is so good with creating specific phrases that her characters say. For her Hollow series, her protagonist constantly says “Crap on toast” while her side kick pixy is always saying some a little dirty about dear ol’ Tinkerbelle. Madison’s phrase is “puppies presents.” A cute little euphemism. Don’t get me wrong…I have the mouth of a pirate, but there is such a thing as too much. It makes the characters unique and it gives them the alternative to cursing.

The plot moves along at the pace it should and then BAM! Surprise! Harrison lets Madison find her body. Finally! I was starting to wonder if poor Madison would ever be able to eat French fries again. I loved how Madison’s body is in the same condition it was when she died the night of prom in a car crash: the torn, tattered, and blood stained dress, dried blood on her arms, a bruise across her chest from the seat belt. With all the beautiful imagery Harrison uses to describe the joy of getting her body back, she punches it with humor with the poor gal dancing around needing to use the bathroom.
The action scenes were well written, showing the passion of angels and how out of place Madison is. My favorite scene, however, is after the battle for Tammy in an empty bus station. Paul, the rising Light Timekeeper, and Tammy are walking out and they are stepping over bits of debris and destruction talking about what just happened and how Tammy can save her soul. The imagery matches the despair, I feel, that Tammy feels. And then with a little guidance, walking away and leaving it all behind.
Madison is a bold teen character who is more real than most I have read. She’s so much fun to get behind and at the same time being able to smack yourself in the head for the things she says and does. I wouldn’t mind reading another adventure of Madison, the Dark Timekeeper, finally reconnected with her body, with her friends by her side trying to change the world.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

An apology

I feel like I have said this before but for the 2 people who might be readingmy blog let me apologize for lack of postings. No internet + 10 hour work day + being a mom and wife x no internet = no blog posts. But I promise: a post is coming very soon! In fact losts of posts are on the horizon!

Nerd Out!