Book Review: Extinction Parade Volume 1 by Max Brooks


Title: The Extinction Parade Volume 1
Author/Artist: Max Brooks, Raulo Caceres
Published: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Avatar Press

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
Max Brooks, the best selling Zombie writer in history, unleashes an all-new horror epic! As humans wage their losing fight versus the hordes of the subdead, a frightening realization sets in with the secretive vampire race: our food is dying off. This is the story of the vampire’s descent into all-out war with the mindless, hungry hordes of the zombie outbreak as humanity tries to survive them all! This collected edition contains the entire first chapter of Extinction Parade

Courtesy of banners04

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World War Z redefined the Zombie genre for me. Extinction Parade takes it one step further, by introducing a secondary supernatural creature: the vampire. In this volume Brooks sets up an epic battle of zombie vs. vampire and the winner maintains the right to hunt and feed on the dwindling human population. It’s a riotous bloodbath with gore and violence. The art is beautiful, and something that I’m drawn to when I’m looking for graphic novels to get into. The story line is something different and I’m interested to see where it goes in further volumes.

The aspect of vampires v. zombies is something that I’ve thought about–especially since both beings at their core are reanimated corpses. I found it fun to read and to see the differences between the two. The vampires that are portrayed in this book are what I consider traditional vampires. Strong, badass and rather nasty when it comes down to it. I am intrigued by the vampire’s caretaker and I am going to grab later volumes of this to figure out the story line that’s happening there.

Overall: pink3 Bloody, gory and violent this graphic novel throws together two of the undead supernatural creatures in a knock down drag out fight for food. It’s vampires v. zombies and the prize? Us.

Book Review: The Outside by Laura Bickle


Title The Outside (The Hallowed Ones #2)
Author: Laura Bickle
Published: September 3rd 2013
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

The Summary:
One girl. One road. One chance to save what remains…

After a plague of vampires is unleashed in the world, Katie is kicked out of her Amish community for her refusal to adhere to the new rules of survival. Now in exile, she enters an outside world of unspeakable violence with only her two “English” friends and a horse by her side. Together they seek answers and other survivors—but each sunset brings the threat of vampire attack, and each sunrise the threat of starvation.

And yet through this darkness come the shining ones: luminescent men and women with the power to deflect vampires and survive the night. But can these new people be trusted, and are they even people at all?

In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, it’s up to one Amish girl to save her family, her community, and the boy she loves . . . but what will she be asked to leave behind in return?

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I have mixed feelings about The Outside. On one hand I really enjoyed it–when I sat back and just read it for entertainment’s sake. On the other hand I was rolling my eyes at the ‘cure’ against the vampires and the fact that even in the most basic sense it wouldn’t work. There’s just no way that the way the glowing people got their glow would work in any stretch of reality. Not to mention the positive/negative thoughts influencing the environment and in turn humanity v. vampires. My science brain was side eyeing most of this story pretty hard.

I do really love the different explorations of faith v the vampires. The Pentecostal Pastor encounter was terrifying, though the snakebite that one of the characters endures and then is healed simply by prayer? Oh, my science brain started to roll its eyes once more. The Catholic take was amazing, and really well written. I liked how Katie was exposed to different faiths, in a way affirming her own faith. Yes there is a lot of religious tones in this story, and often the reader is smacked over the head with them. But Kate is experiencing the world for the first time, and the world is going up in flames. She’s going to cling to what gives her comfort–her faith, and the Amish take on God and faith.

There’s lots of character growth. Katie grows as a person and starts to form her own world view. Alex bothered me for about 90% of this book, most of the times I found him condescending and overbearing, up to and including his want to make bend to his will in a rather serious situation. Elijah makes an appearance and his character doesn’t bother me as much this time. He too grows and changes for the better. These characters are scared, and it shows. People do rash things in drastic situations, and this is what adds realism to this story. I was happy with the way the story ended, but I found that there’s a third book coming out, so I’m interested to see where the series goes from here.

Overall pink3 If you can ignore the weird science/overblown faith and read it for enjoyments/continuation sake it’s entertaining.

Book Review: Reunion (Wunder #2) by A.R. Von

Reunion (Wunder #2) by A.R. Von
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Self through Amazon.

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The Summary: Wunder’s life has been far from perfect, being part Zombie in a world devastated by the plague of the walking dead. Still, she knew there was something special awaiting her, someone out there who could change everything and she did find him. Pete is everything she dreamed of and more, as she discovers passion and fulfillment for the first time in her life.

Now her life turns into a journey of discoveries. Secrets from the past come full circle and her world is changed forever. In the coming chaos, can she keep her new found happiness and the man of her dreams?

The Review: I’ve been a fan of Wunder since I read the first chapter. I thought it was an interesting world, and something that could very well be expanded upon. The erotica was a different touch, but something that was well written and done properly. I read part 0.5 and wanted even more. I sat down right after I purchased Wunder #2, and read it and really had the series connect and click for me. Part two has a different pace than the other parts of the Wunder-verse, and I think it’s here that we really get to see the extent of A.R’s writing abilities. I’m a fan of her work, but Wunder #2 made me really love it even more.

There’s character development, and even more world expansion. I really love how Wunder has grown, and how she’s slowly starting to find her place. Pete gets a little lost in the shuffle, and his reaction is not only believable, but it’s done really well. This series was already atypical for the zombie genre, but what AR is doing, is creating something really substantial and frankly, something I really like. I want more, as the Wunder releases are short, Wunder #2 is a bit longer, but it still leaves me wanting for more, (which is why I can’t get into too much detail about it, as I don’t want to give anything away). I want more. And I want more Tank. Because everyone needs a Tank.

Purchase the Wunder series available all together: Wunder on Amazon

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Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis.

Release Date:September 24, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

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The Summary: Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.

The Review:
I am in love with this book. I finished it in a matter of hours, and it’s still just pulling me in. I want to sit down and read it all over again. Not A Drop to Drink is a really interesting take on a YA post-apocalyptic world. Lynn is a great character, who can and does stand on her own. She’s grown up in a harsh world, where the water supply is strictly controlled by the cities. Raised by her mother, she lives on a piece of land that has a pond. She and her mother defend this land, and live off of it, doing okay for themselves. Lynn continues to grow as the story progresses, suffering loss and coping with it. She has little knowledge of the world outside of what her mother has taught her, and her world expands and grows, she changes along with it.

I really loved the writing in this book. It’s fast paced without being rushed, there are a few points that I would have liked to see expanded, but for the most part the pace is great. The description of the world, and how it’s changed, and the people in it are stellar. It’s the kind of writing that transports you to the setting. You’re there with Lynn and the others, going through what they go through. What I love most about Lynn as a character, and this is something shaped by her world, is she’s a badass simply because she has to be. She hunts, defends herself, and kills without question, because she has to. Otherwise she’ll die. The side characters were really great too. Stebbs was really well written, and I love the mentor/pseudo-father figure he provided. I actually liked Eli and the relationship that he and Lynn were building. It was a cute breath of fresh air, and I really appreciate that Eli didn’t push Lynn into anything at all.

My only complaint about this, is the last few chapters progress really quickly. I appreciate the epilogue and the further development of Lynn and her relationship with Lacey–I just wish there was more to it rather than a large time jump. I would have loved to see how things changed after the last chapter. Overall though, this book blew me away. It’s amazingly written, and just one that I want to throw at people and tell them to read it.

Let’s talk more! Tell me about a book that stood out in particular genre-wise for you. Have you read Not a Drop to Drink? If so we can talk about it more too!

Review: The Last Policeman by Ben Winters

The Last Policeman by Ben Winters.
Release Date:June 10, 2012
Publisher: Quirk Books
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The Summary: What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway?

Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There’s no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact.

The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job—but not Hank Palace. He’s investigating a death by hanging in a city that sees a dozen suicides every week—except this one feels suspicious, and Palace is the only cop who cares.

The Review: The cover initially drew me in, but it wasn’t until my mom tossed this book at me and told me to read the back, in her words “It’s a Shelly book”. From the first sentence of the premise I was hooked. I’ve been on such a big post-apocalyptic/pre-apocalyptic kick right now that I read this in a matter of hours. It’s a great mystery story, walking the line between obsession and the pull of duty, Palace is determined to find the person who got away with murder. Palace is a wonderful character, one who sticks to his guns and doesn’t waiver despite the world literally crawling closer to destruction. His narrative drives the book, and it’s a voice I really like. A bit dry, very sarcastic and just something that one day I hope to write.

It’s an interesting read. I love how characters respond to the news of the asteroid coming closer, and the frenzy fueled paranoia to complete a bucket list, or to just up and leave all responsibility. Societies paranoia and reaction to the asteroid become characters as much as Palace and the other members of the police force. This book is gritty and raw, and stark. It feels so incredibly real and it’s something that is still bouncing around in my head. I’m searching for the second book. I really should have picked them up together, because it really is a “Shelly Book”.

This is a book that left me stunned, even at the end when a few new plot points were introduced. Winters has created a story and a world that I’m jealous of, and it makes me wish I had thought of it first. This is a book that motivates me to write, and I’m really glad I picked it up.

Purchase The Last Policeman:
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