Saturday, 12 March 2016

First Time Dead 1 Anthology

Hello Again by Megan Tregler:
I found MT so descriptive I could almost taste the colours she was describing, her style of writing was beautiful.

Jackson is mourning the rapid, recent and strange death of his wife. As he looks out of the pond in which her buried her ripples start to appear and those among us who understand the way the zompoc works knows what is coming up from the depths.

The difference to this beginning of the apocalypse (and those are always my favourite) is that MT puts so much emotion into their previous relationship with little comments or flashbacks that the love and horror combine.

Add to that the final line and it’s shudder worthy. I also really enjoyed Jackson as a character.

Twisted Words by Andrew Stockton:
Antony is an English book dealer and the story starts with him visiting a wealthy collector to purchase some items; I am always bias to love stories that are set in my own country. Although I am at loss as to why if you lived in the Highlands you would “crack open an Irish (whiskey)”.

As his host gives him a guided tour of the estate he lives in they come upon a twisted tree that has an unusual story. A story within a story, hard to pull off but done very well in this instance.

The following description of love, torment and decay is very palpable not to mention heart wrenching.  As the story unfolds and then reaches a climax I was impressed that the ending did not fail the brilliant story.

Everything I know about Zombies I learned from Star Trek by Sam Christopher:
With a title like that I was really interested, however, it turned out to be far to disjointed for my liking. The majority of the time the language was incomprehensible and I finally gave up after three pages of confusion.

BUT that’s the great thing about anthologies, to others this story will be brilliant.

Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Dillon Cox:
Ah, that age old start to the apocalypse; the military and their marvellous experiments, I do love a classic.

Lori and her baby brother, Zack, could be out for a road trip if they were not running from the undead! Nothing really felt strained, hard or dangerous for these two. 

In addition, Lori is stunningly beautiful and the chap they meet happens to be an upstanding, military trained hunk, with a fully functional off the grid hideaway etc etc

I was a bit concerned that Zack was sleeping the whole time and was also waiting for the gore/horror to start. Whilst the writing was good the story IMO was not.

Just Another Day by Chantel Boudreaux:
Margot has a busy job, a needy family and she is trying to become an author or at least plagiarise her currently compromised husbands work.

I love the way that CB writes with such humour, the explanation for her families circumstances are brilliant and almost believable.

CB is always a joy to read.

Inland by Martin Milhomme:
Jake is surving the zompoc on a boat in the Florida Keys  when happens upon a traumatised, nearly eaten Angela. However this initially good story took a nose dive when she went from the screaming abdabs to offering a “fun afternoon” in the space of 24hrs not to mention said “fun” was had post an amputation, medications, a blow torch incident and alcohol!

At that point I gave up, yes zompoc is fictional (currently) but I need to believe they could be true.

He’s not Heavy by Rebecca Snow:
WOW this was my favourite story.

Well thought out with a twist I did not see coming. I really enjoyed the build-up and the characters were spot on with great back stories, really all crammed into a small story.

Bravo – an author I intend to look up.

As I Watch Her Walk Away by Dave Minyard:
So sad but also so funny, at least I hope that’s how it was intended.

A happy young man describes his demise at the start of the zompoc, it all felt very real and very fast.   I really enjoyed this one.

Things Worse Than Death by Bryan Vogt:
Poor Peter has a unique on several survivors as they crash through various rooms trying to escape the oncoming horde.

Cleverly written with a brilliant twist at the end. Another author to look out for (for me!)

Death by Dad by Lisa Conger:
Not sure how I felt about this story as it sorted flitted about a bit.

Whilst the writing was clear there was just something wrong; lack of character in the characters and the story kind of went nowhere IMO.

Forgive me Father for I have a ….. Burp by Michael J Evans:
A zombie yet to lose all his brain power is over wrought by the desire to confess post eating his wife.

Whilst the writing was and the story a good one it really lacked some humour, this could have been a gigglefest with some extra input to make it lip smackingly good, which is a shame.

The Overpass by John Lemut:
I was totally engrossed in this story, the characters felt rounded and the timeline jogged along really well and then just as it got really intense it stopped!
I do hope this is part of a larger novel elsewhere, otherwise I’m stumped.

At the end are some footnotes regarding the authors, personally I would have liked these at the end of each chapter.

Overall I liked this anthology as a couple of stories were fantastic and others I would have chucked, but that’s the joy of them, it’s like a mixed bag of sweets!