Saturday, 22 March 2014

Vaccination by Phillip Tomasso (III)

This is a mixed bag review for me,  there are spoilers, so be warned. 

Phillip Tomasso needs to spend time editing, proofing, and fixing the various errors. The whole story could have done with a good proof read or better still a beta reader to point out the inconsistences, grammatical errors, tense confusion and misplaced words (eg harm instead of arm – however I note this was pointed out the PT in Oct 2013, he responded to the comment saying he would tell his editor (who should be shot!) but the book remains the same).  These are important elements a writer should get right in order to master his craft and hopefully sell more books!

He has potential, but there were too many mistakes for me to really enjoy or get involved in the story.

Whilst it had a great explosive start, you do know what’s coming as it’s a zombie novel but thought this was a fantastic opener. I really enjoyed the unique initial setting of the 911 dispatch office to witness the start of the zompoc.

I did not like Chase the chain smoking, divorced obsessed father who treats his girlfriend, Allison, as an afterthought. He is “there” for his kids but happy to kill himself with the constant smoking (and drinking), his inner dialogue not mine!

As the story moved on I actually began to despise him, hoping that the next zombie attack would see him ripped to shreds, not a good emotion for the would be hero of the book.

Basically he is a self-centered a*rsehole who is both condescending and uncaring, and whilst PT struggles to interject some humanity and humility in the man he goes back to being said a*sehole 5 lines later. This does not appear to be clever writing by the author, merely inadequate character growth.

With the regards to Chase’s chain smoking, this is really focused on at the beginning of the book but then as they run for the lives it is forgotten, he is an addict so where is his craving? Feel the author missed a beat here or just used it as a filler early on and then conveniently forgot about it.

I am not sure how the a*seholeChase survives as he frequently makes idiotic choices. His whole mentality is “save the kids” BUT on his way to them, he stops to bury a stranger, twice, then when they raid a convenience store suddenly the need for cigarettes kicks in, additionally he becomes obsessed about toothbrushes! Until a child zombie appears and  then 3 grown men go all stupid.

This is a prime example of a plot twist that is mentioned but not followed through, why is the childzombie playing with a ball?

The other characters are like after thoughts as they are never fully introduced or given back stories. David and Josh, the brother combo, were excellent in the first chapter but then just become shadows with a small mention to their history, but only as a tool to explain why a*sehole Chase must be more kind, caring etc.

Allison his, of course, stunning girlfriend was pleasant enough but to the point of irritation in the end, PT never really fleshes her out apart from as a buffer to a*rseholeChase' needs.  I began to like her only until the words “I love you” manage to stop her dead (excuse the pun) in the middle of a zombie attack to go all mushy and hug Chase, totally unbelievable.

A*seholeChase keeps thinking about ditching Allison  or his new friends if they don't "toughen" up,  slow him down or stop him reaching his kids but this continual internal dialogue gets old quickly, especially when his companions keep saving him, and he keeps getting emotional epiphanies only to resort to a*seholeChase 5 lines later.

I was impressed that the sudden 4 mile hike for sedentary people was difficult, a nice slam of reality but then they manage to have only one meal and drink in 3 days too? I was also curious as to where a*seholeChase thought he was going to plug in his mobile charger that he was so desperate to get hold of.

Plot inconsistencies abound and this particular one really annoyed me; why make a big fuss of NOT stopping at your own house only to "face palm" later and state “oh that’s where the kids would have gone in an emergency”?

There was one giggle moment, I hope it was intentional, with the whole “universal” fist in the air signal for stop, which did endear me to Allison for about 5 mins before I wanted to slap her silly again. 

The kid interlude was nice but seriously doubt after two days they stank that badly they needed to risk their lives for a cold shower, the irritation only continued regarding a*seholeChase that his children became simpering idiots the minute he found them, despite having survived and killed many zombies on the trek to his house.

Lack of imagination from the author regarding potential danger situations, er hello it’s the zompoc!, where also irritatingly inconsistent, allowing his characters to get into 3 car accidents, especially when he gives the person wearing the seatbelt concussion but the one who went through the windscreen a cut forhead, erm.

There were hints that the zombies had differing levels of speed and intelligence but just not enough information to make you really think about it, again no follow through on plot twists/ideas.

The Blurb, and several 5* reviews, state this is unique infection vector but actually loads of authors use the vaccination excuse for the zompoc.

I did note that PT has a slew of 5* reviews, which astounds me but also noted that many of the 3 and below are commented on by the author (at least on the USA site) so I expect a comment, or maybe as he now has book 3 out he won’t bother!

Whilst the ending was intriguing, PT killed off the only character I liked in a dubious plot irregularity;  shot in the head, turn the page shot in the heart.  
Therefore I am not pulled to want to read the next two instalments of the series.   Would I recommend this book? only if a freebie.

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