Sunday, 27 November 2016

ready DEAD: End by TW Brown

The authors note followed by the mega fan comments were enough to make me cry; so I left this book for another two weeks. This is the END.

Having invested a few years in this series I have thus far, lost friends, disagreed with the author, cried, laughed, been disgusted, been horrified but always been drawn back to continue the journey, only now it’s finally, really, truly coming to an END.

Looking back, is it the writing style that I have enjoyed? The world TWB has foretold? The vivid characters? After all, I still have DEAD: “in your town” series; so lots more zombies, great characters and yucky moments. I also have That Ghoul Ava, Zomblog and the other many books that TWB has planned to enjoy.   

So what makes me so sad about the end of this book series?  I suppose I don’t want to say a final goodbye to Thalia, Billy, Jody, Catie, Dr Zahn and all the other multitude of characters that TWB has brought into my life (even the personally irritating Juan!).

Not all the stories or people have panned out as I wished they would. Catie really annoyed me, I’m not so sure Kevin would have been proud of her methods but I did like her ending. 

Thalia, sigh, I have loved this child, and been privileged to watch her grow up, so letting her go and seeing what happened to her made me cry. 

As for crying, I did lots of that in this book. Juan, Jody, Billy; saying farewell in various ways, some fizzled out, some got the happy ending and some got gruesome take outs; TWB did not shy away in making anyone safe or anything unimaginable.

As for my name sake, well, a huge lump came to my throat for her ending with the gorgeous Paddy. 

A few things were still not finished in my view of the world; what happened to Egypt? Kid zombies? Cats….. what the hell is it with zombie authors and cats!!

I did feel a little cheated at getting to 92% and then given two (ok they are great but…) first chapters of other books!

I did like all the little jibs, jabs and subtle references; very clever Mr TWB, very clever.

As a post-script TWB has now started his stand alone (but a series) of DEAD snapshots... so go take a look!

                            DEAD: End

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Alien Hunters (1) by Daniel Arenson

Midnight is a Pirilian, she is purple with yellow eyes and indigo hair. She was incarcerated by the Skelkiens, a predator race, but she escaped and is now on earth searching for a saviour, with a blazing fire fight with a starry setting this is how the book explodes in your face.

These Skelkiens are bad news and not just to Midnight, after they destroyed her world they are desperate to see her torn to shreds so that they can access her magic as their energy source.

Back on Earth is Riff, a blue musician who manages to annoy the local cult leaders (Skelkiens) who previously murdered his mother (told you they are bad news), after a particularly bad music set in the bar he lives in a magical, cryptic note is left by his magician father.

Riff and an ex-girlfriend, Romy, who happens to be a warrior, his brother who is also an ex Knight manage to buy a weird spaceship that looks like a dragon and comes with two even stranger crew, set off to find Midnight who has been prophesied to them by Riffs father, and so the story begins!

The topic allows the author to really put some amazing critters, ideas, cults, myths and characters in. It also allows for a lot of leeway as this is set many thousands of years into the future.

I did get fed up with all the repeated information in the story as DA kept reiterating the past, the characters and plotline which was really unnecessary. There are also some issues with “copied work” (I won’t say plagiarism as that’s a bit strong) and the lack of actual science, some of the characters are so cliché as to be bad, but not so bad as to be funny.

That said this is full of humour and lots of goings on, with some unlikely heroes and lots of fun, danger and excitement. The book IS written in a tongue in cheek way as to evoke all the kitsch of the sci-fi world.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Slasher: the Escape of Richard Heinz by Iain Rob Wright

Richard Heinz is a brutal killer, rapist and psychopath.  Convicted to a life in a mental institution he has managed to escape.

He must be brought to justice but it ends up as a cat and mouse chase through the dark, cursed woods of Redlake at night, in the rain – the atmosphere is so thick it is easy to visualise.

Blake Price, the famous author who once attracted this lunatic to his house, is called upon to help. The trauma that he faces is brutal.

Not as brutal as the rape and murder of Heinz latest victim and that’s not taking into account the law enforcers trying to track and capture him.

A very swift read that fully packs a punch, love the way IRW manages to draw in so many characters from other books and link events and moment.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Eye Witness Zombie Anthology

For a debut anthology for this now well established publisher/editor/author, its Amazing (yes, with a capital A!) to be able to bring all these wonderful authors together, with such differing styles and then lay them out in such a great order! Brilliant!

And THEN to add this line in the prologue "if you find an error, please feel free to email the mistake" I think shows the strength, dignity, courage and grounding this team has.... They still carry this on, several series and anthologies later. Another Amazing quality!

Why am I just getting round to writing this review now, two years after it was published and over a year (March 2012) since I bought and read it? Well, I guess I forgot! I got so excited I just marched my way through all the other anthologies, the Dead: The Ugly Beginning series and now my favourite That Ghoul Ava: Her First Adventures (Unabridged).

Love the little author bios before each story. The drawings are wonderfully intricate and the tickertape news is inspired!

Doomsday Ramblings by Tonia Brown: The gentle undertones of barbed comments, low expectation, love of a still over his wife and general disdain that this author describes shows what is obviously a terribly sad marriage in a strangely wonderful way.

Littered with humour you are lulled into the backwoods of stupidity before Ms Brown slams you with blood, gore, alcohol and general eeew.

A Soldiers Lament by Patrick D'Orazio: Told in the first person, this army lad is fed up with saving civvies rumps! 

So much action occurs in such a small space of time its hard to keep up, however, this worn out cynical solider manages to ramble on for another few blocks and always ends up the same. Did not grip me, but well written.

Childish Things by William Wood: As if a ZomPoc is not bad enough, you get trapped inside a cartoon whale! 

Or maybe you are the person who meets the whale... which has eyebrows! Funny, but sad. Great idea for a little story.

Mere Symptoms of Living by Kris Ashton: What would happen if during the ZomPoc you got locked in the bathroom.... Well now you are about to find out! 

Smirk inducing humour throughout, the inevitable ending but so well written I felt a little tear in the corner of my eye.

All in your head by Stephanie Kincaid: If you spot a zombie on the way home are you going bats? 

Should you up your medication? 

Write a reflection on the issue! 

Or just go grab a bite to eat.... Some great humour mixed with the gore.

The Nightmare by William Lederman: Great story, hated the ending... what a blinking waste of ink. Thought it was a cope out, sorry.

Run Through The Jungle by Tony Monchinski: So far the saddest tale, a great group dynamic tale.

I felt a little shaken after this one, the constant sad endings are a bit much to take after awhile.... What the heck am I saying this is a ZomPoc anthology!!! 

Does what it says on the cover!

Dredge by Nikki Sedlock: My absolute favourite story, because it's basically what I day dream about, well this was pretty much my plan! 

Im hoping for less gore and more showers tho! Will definitely be looking this author up!

One Nation Undead by Mike Harrison: OMG what a start!! Talk about gripped. 

Two believable characters which could easily flesh out a whole novel, great writing, fast but not furious, nothing in the emotion is lost. 

The ending was, well you will have to read it!

Eye in the Sky by John McCuaig: A personal favourite as set in my own country! And unique in this anthology as set in the future. Loved the little interspersed song titles, very clever.

Embedded by Andrew Black: First person writing, with some great explanations of what is going on. Lots of different tortures going on in this little story, hard to pinpoint which is the worst.

Baby Killer by Ron Harris: Brave subject, not enjoyable to read, had a hard time with this one; but nothing wrong with the writing.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Bob meets Sam by Jaime Johnesse

Starts off with a blast as Bob goes into full on dance, and body part flinging mode within the first few lines. We are also reintroduced to Griff, the empath.

The tongue in cheek humour is forefront with Bob and even if a little stinky/slimy he is such a likeable guy.

What is not to like about JJ’s writing, especially her dialogue pieces as they give her characters such life with getting stuck down in the he said/she said back and forth.

When Bob catches up with Sam, the shape-shifter, at Griff’s bar JJ explains  how they both became part of the supernatural world and how they met, a really great story in and of itself. However, when Bob learns that the necromancer he helped to capture has escaped he has to help to recapture him.

Bring on New Orleans, Voodoo hoodoo, witches, zombies and mayhem galore!

JJ moves her stories along quickly, but still holds tension, and this was no exception, fast paced but with full on mental imagery to pull you into the story.

I am looking forward to the much promised updated Sam the Shifter book.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Cast in Fire: Revelations Series 2 by Jaime Johnesse, Chirstine Sutton & Lisa Lane

I want a hell hound!!

Poor Frank, the cat loving demon, his love of kitten mugs is so endearing and yet he loves his job as a torturer in Hell, he is a guy I would love to know personally!

The ongoing escape of Djinn continues as does the drain on Lucifer’s soul reaping, with dire consequences, revelations of the fall from Grace are given up during one of her many “moments”.  A time that Poly tries hard to hide.

Poor Drew is sinking further into her soul/energy draining addiction and I loved finding out more about her past history.

Lenny, such a cutie, but the girl you want on your side in a fight not the one pounding you! Her shape shifting abilities bring some interesting  elements to the, multiple, fight scenes.

When the Djinn do their ultimate weapon release the World goes into melt down but one Senator seems to be immune and keeps rising to the top of the pile.

I love the way all three authors gel so well in their writing, you can see the differing styles in their characters but they blend their story lines so well in the joint scenes.

A few new characters in this episode of the trilogy but I think my favourite is Gabriella and her cat Vincenzo.

However, Nick the Ghul, also intrigues me and I look forward to finding out which side he really plays for.

Just when you think all is coming right for the World the ladies kick you in the gut with the final comment, talk about leave you on a knife edge and ready for the final instalment – a good tease ladies, but oh so wicked!

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Edinburgh Elementals (books 1, 2 & 3) by Gayle Ramage (narrated by Chris Barnes)

Michael and his family are moving in to a new home, thankfully he discovers he has a really helpful if unusual neighbour called Hattie. Hattie with a bobble hat.

Pixies it seems like to live in lofts; much hilarity ensues at Michaels disbelief, Hattie trying to catch them and the Pixies trying not to be caught!   I shall never look at a hedgehog the same way.

I really enjoyed this short story, it made me laugh out loud several times and I thought the characters had a good depth given to them for a shorty.  The world Gayle Ramage creates sounds like an exciting one and I look forward to more.

Chris Barnes narration really gives a great edge to the story.

Hattie gets burgled and of course she has unusual things in her house.   Sadly, all the witches in the town cannot seem to protect this lovely necklace that allows the wearer to cry tears of gold.
Hattie is keen to get this back as the wearer is not usually a very lucky one despite the gold.

After a bit skulduggery she tracks down the thief.

Whilst I enjoyed the story it did not have the belly laughs of depth of story of the first one, the creatures and myths were eluded to but never fully formed and Michael and his family were a mere after thought.

Hattie finds a Forest Spirit in her boot who happens to think he is a God, in fact he is just a grumpy git called Vic. However, she has been tasked with a job by the elusive coven and is on her way North.

Unfortunately, Hattie’s car breaks down on the way to see the Ice Giants. She finds a lovely B&B owner, Mrs Dinky and the lovely mechanic Carl.

was very LotR in its enormity with huge ice statues guarding the entrance etc.

Loved the colour descriptions.

I can’t give the ending away but I do hope Gayle Ramage writes a few more.

Vic has all the fun lines and I would really like to have him in more stories. A few more giggles in this one, but still felt a bit serious.
I think Chris Barnes had a riot reading this one, it really showed. Although I think his English accent needs some work!

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

God Bomb! by Kit Power

I adored the authors note it really set the scene for the entire story with its tongue in cheek poke at God and religion but with a definite "is it/isn’t" element.

However, I did not enjoy the sex scenes as felt they were not needed as the same outcome of disgust could have been achieved with a different antagonist.

The pace is very fast in the middle and could almost hear the author narrating this to me, I did go back and reread a few pages.

At first I hated the ending as I felt it was a cop out, then I let it roll around for a few days as this story kept creeping back into my thought I enjoyed it more and implanted my own meaning into various points. I can only assume this was the authors intention with his original notes regarding asking questions.

I do think it could have been a longer book with more follower’s stories and linkage to The Book (ala IRW in Final Winter) but I believe this is Kit Powers first novel and its a clever piece of writing, with some impressive thought provoking comments.

I have enjoyed KPs short stories in the Hells Gate anthologies.