Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Epic Apocalypse: Apocalyptic Horror Bundle

Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo

If you like horror or zombies then you will LURVE this book/series.

When reading the Amazon reviews I loved this comment from one fan "I get a sneaky suspicion that in 20 years' time we'll all be talking Romero vs. Tufo"; the fact that in the UK alone he has 140+ and USA is 575+  tells you what a great book this is.
Mr Tufo introduces you to a family struggling to survive during the apocalypse, the love shown amongst them really marks this out as a "more than horror book", and it also has SO many other elements to it.

It is written from Mike Talbots PoV, with some other diary entries thrown in for good fun, his wife, Tracey, especially makes me giggle. It is not purely a diary/journal though, so don't be put off.

The humour is a large part of the story; the Talbotisms really guide you through some of the most horrific descriptions of the start of ZomPoc that I have ever read.

The scares and horror scenes are, unfortunately, all too believable and the route of initial infection is personally terrifying.
Many times you are left on tender hooks as the Tufo family seems to get/put themselves into some very butt clenching scenarios.  As others join the group this seems to multiply as Talbot has a way of antagonising people!

The climax to this first book is pantwettingly scary; Eliza is in a realm of her own.

It's hard to say more without giving the story away, particularly as I know how it progresses through the next 6 books, and onto Lycan Fallout.

As a side note, Mark Tufo is very involved with his fans and enables you to comment and ask questions on Facebook his page, often having random Unfair Competitions of the day to win all sorts of stuff you never knew you REALLY wanted. I also believe that a new trend has been started, if you become a fan you are called a Tal-BOT!

Return of the Phoenix: Monster Squad by Heath Stallcup

Ok, it is hard to believe that this is the first book from this author, I'm sure (and hoping!) he has many hidden away, ready to launch.  It is simply AMAZING!

The whole layout of the story is brilliant, he slowly gives you background on every member of the "squad" and the main outer characters, without detracting from the story line, each little nugget of information really blends in and allows the character to become real; I am already missing them.

There is some seriously hard core military stuff for those of you that like it, but nothing that bores us non gun toting fans silly.
The humour is subtle but grin worthy. The erotica was fantastic, not gratuitous and very much needed in such a hard hitting novel, plus it’s done with love. Now for the monsters!

Well from vamps to werewolves to trolls and everything else that goes bump in the night.... what can you say! HS even manages to have back stories on these guys! I am sort of expecting a troll to turn up in my back garden any minute now and will be most disappointed if it doesn't!

The little blurb at the end promises at least three more in the series... I will be booking the release date day off as Holiday to fully enjoy it.....bring it on!
This new author is one to WATCH!!!

Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer by Armand Rosamilia

Aha! at last a full novella full of Darlene! I love this girl!  Thong obsessed! What a butt kicking woman!

She can even stop in the middle of Zompoc to shave her legs!

Lots of true to life moments, people will probably be horrible and not all jolly friendship types when Armageddon begins but Mr R manages to bring some dark humour into that future.

I was a bit confused at the ending (I can’t do spoilers) but am looking forward to more from this great girl, with some real insecurities....

Chaos: A New World by John O’Brien

My Hubby attended the World Horror Convention in Portland Oregon, with me and among others met this author, who very kindly gave me a signed copy of this book.

As Horror is not  his my usual bedtime reading the fact that it was a gift in no way influenced my opinion of this story. He grabbed it off me and this was the result!

As an ex-serviceman details of the weapons and the plane were as food and drink to me.

On receiving the book I explained to John that I have a 20 page rule i.e. if I am not hooked by then I will not waste my time trying to continue, needless to say I had no difficulty passing that barrier

The book is set on a premise that could actually happen if we (society) are not careful and drives forward at a good pace.
The characters are well rounded and in most cases likeable with the odd clusterf*** to provide contrast.

There are quite a few twists and turns throughout the plot.
The lead character is Jack Taylor an ex-USAF and Special Forces veteran, who faced with the collapse of society and the evidence of an epidemic decides to try to secure his family and then set out to rescue his girlfriend Lynn, who is based in Kuwait.
He has, because of circumstance, been able to take his children and his son’s girlfriend with him, to leave them behind would have placed them in obvious jeopardy.

The action is based initially on his collecting his children and the girlfriend, the drive to collect them through eerily quiet streets gives no real hint as to what is yet to come; only that it is not going to be a picnic in the park.

Jack then begins preparing/planning to get an aircraft, that hopefully Jack is able to fly, if not initially, at least after reading the manuals.

They proceed to put the plan into action.
It progresses through their locating and acquiring a C130 and then their cross country/cross continent travel to locate Lynn.
With stops and confrontations on the way not least with authority,

The action involving the people affected by the epidemic is fast paced and because of the way it is written, you can almost feel them outside and hear them in you nightmares, you certainly do not want to open the door to check.

The characters of the children and the girlfriend are quickly established and they mature throughout in response to the circumstances and trials that they are forced to face.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and read it at one sitting interspersed by breaks for food and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys this genre and likes the military angle that John puts on it.

I would rate this 3 – 4 and am already reading the next book in the series and looking forward to not only meeting all the current characters again but new ones along the way.
Having never read this type of story before, I am now a fan.

The Dead Wait (preview) by Joe McKinney

Great comments to readers and loved the “ground rules”.

The bug-out bag list is now on my shopping radar although so many pages of it did seem excessive.

I’m glad JM explained the zompoc was quite slow in coming or it would have felt very unreal even for fiction.  I loved the premise though and have put the book on pre-order.

My favourite bit was the drunk bear story.

This little sampler has allowed me to see why so many people rave about JM writing and I look forward to a start of a new series from him.

Trudge: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse by Shawn Chesser

I fell in love with this family. However, the initial attack scene was totally off for me and the inner dialogue could have been so much better.

This sort of sticky but bland writing continued but the actual story and characters were brilliant.

Around chapter six it seems that SC slides into some awesome author mode and the book/writing steps up several gears. The beginning needs some more kick and condiments to it (IMO) to draw in new readers.

The main characters are Cade, his wife Brook and daughter Raven. As they are on opposite sides of the country the dual settings and storylines really give good, but non distracting, tension.

I really enjoyed all the news caster feed, back histories of the family and even the political rhetoric. The military element is there but again, it is non distracting to us less interested readers.

As each group gathers and loses members no character is safe. There are occasional humour moments which really bring home the realism of the people and the horrors they are facing.

The White House situation was a shock but brilliantly done, it also allowed for the “why” to occur.  SC left the book hanging on a fantastic note, no shocking cliffhanger but I have to know what happens next.

Surviving the Dead Vol.1 by James N. Cook

Gabe & Eric have bonded hard and fast over beers, martial art fights and grief. 

The start of this book really drew me in but then swung me back to sometime before the apocalypse.  I was slowly informed how they got set up so well, plausibly believable.

JNC does a spectacular job of starting the zompoc with a unique way of describing the ground rules regarding infection and how to kill a zombie.

Both men are 3D and I worried about them from the start.

As I was led to follow Eric on his cross country trek to get to Gabe I lived all the detailed descriptions of the houses and places he visits.

There is a lot of gun chatter and strapping on of weapons, which for non ammo-nerd this gets a little tedious.

When he stumbles upon a group sheltering in a warehouse it’s nice to see JNC does not go down the “only the bad survive” route.   A plot is soon hatched amongst them to raid the nearest town as Eric brings valuable information about the undead.

The planning does get a bit repetitive after a while and I wanted to skip on past to get to the action. However, I really enjoyed all the people interaction and I did enjoy the way JNC incorporated the back story of everyone in the group in a different way for each.

One niggle in the continuity is in the first chapter where it states that Eric is not a good shot due to being rusty, but then as the story travels backwards you are shown how much practice he gets and how often he is told how good he is!

As JNC brought me full circle I have to say I really enjoyed the hope given and not just the misery.

I am supposed to be going to Atlanta for the next WHC (2015) after reading this I am not so keen.