Zombies in the Big City (Zom-B: City – A Book Review)

Zom-B: City (Zom-B #3)
Author: Darren Shan
Published: 2013

On Goodreads

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Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated D for an undead teenager that will do whatever it takes to survive, but won’t be anybody butt-monkey.

 

The lack of Activity, the silence, the zombies sheltering in the deserted cars—I assume the worst.

B has finally made it out of the underground facility that was gearing up to use her as a weapon. Now in the city, B has heard that the military is sweeping the city for survivors. While she weaves through the city, making her way through zombies, she meets different people as she makes her way to the next pick-up point. Trouble quickly finds her and she must make some dangerous choices.

 

Zom-B series so far…

Zom-Breview

Zom-B: Undergroundreview

 

In this next chapter of B’s zombie adventures, she is in London and she comes face to face with the mutants that are responsible for the zombie breakout. It’s wild and I’m was left wondering what B will do now. They’re still pretty creepy. The story still keeps up with the action and gore of the undead, though pretty basic which didn’t leave me shocked sadly. The danger this time are ones that were seen before shit broke loose all the way at the beginning. B describes them as mutants and they’re pretty gnarly looking. Instead of attacking her, they and Mr. Dowling (A creepy fucking clown. Like seriously, why does it always have to be clowns?) want B to join them as they terrorize people. Of course, this conflicts with her new lease on life to be a better person.

New characters came into the story and as usual, I wonder if they’ll be seen again. A group of military delinquents and a not-all-there artist, Tim, who is pretty sure he’s a prophet of the zombie apocalypse. They’re pretty wild and not all there. I actually got some The Walking Dead vibes with these other people. I do hope that B finds somebody that doesn’t come off psychotic. Her journey is a lonely one and while I still don’t like her, I do feel some pity for her, but she’s tough and literally heartless. Whatever comes next, I’m sure she can hack it.

 

Overall

The books move pretty fast so I get them done within a couple hours. Each act as a chapter with something new and grisly. While sometimes silly, I still find myself intrigued. This may be the 3rd book, but the story is pretty slow going with curiosities in every book that leave me with questions. I want to know what is in store for B next. Of course, I already know it’ll be worse than this.

 

Quotables:

“The dead are the best listeners in the world. The corpse takes it all in, never interrupts, doesn’t criticize me, lets me waffle on for as long as I like.” (B, 15)

“In the end, stripped bare of everything else, as everyone is eventually, all we’re left with is the truth.” (Tim, p. 91)

“Silly old B! Still keen to help the living. Will I never learn?” (B, p. 162)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Girls Chase Boys by Ingrid Michaelson.

 

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B’s Z-demption Begins (Zom-B: Underground – A Book Review)

Zom-B: Underground (Zom-B #2)
Author: Darren Shan
Published: 2013

On Goodreads

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Amazon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

Rated U for unwanted undead teenagers with a whole lot of hungry angst.

 

Can you hold on to your humanity if you’re a monster?

In the next chapter of B’s life—or rather, undead life—she awakens in some underground facility where zombies are being filtered to see which ones are regaining their consciousness and which ones aren’t. Those who do are the lucky ones.

After getting the lowdown on what life is about to be like as one of the undead, B then meets others like her, also known as zom-heads. Not everything is as it seems and B is still determined to make amends and lead a life of doing the right thing. But, it takes time to get it right.

The series in review:

Zom-B: Review

 

Shan moves right into the next part for B. Her life didn’t end when she became a zombie. Well, it actually did, but she’s back, and ready to turn over a new leaf. Easier said than done though, especially when you’re undead. This new place isn’t so didn’t from her old one. The scientists studying her and using her, as well as her fellow zom-heads, only for their own benefit. She isn’t allowed to pass go, collect $200 or even roll for doubles to get her freedom. She is their latest plaything and B doesn’t like being anybody’s plaything.

The new big bad isn’t the undead, though they’re still a pain, it’s the scientists looking to weaponize the undead. Humanity in one of its lowest forms. Sucks pretty hard. It really did turn it around, making zombies seem like the hero—anti-hero, really—while humans are the big bad. That’s one hell of a switch-up.

This installment, like the last, is short but jam-packed. The scene illustrations really add to the imagery and really gave me that graphic novel feel. It was fun! The writing remains gritty and bloody, if not a little bit more than before. From time to time, the story felt like it dragged a little, but not enough that it took away from the story-telling. Every book gets its moment that has a lull.

I have to say, the best thing about this book is getting the unique POV of a zombie. It’s unique, gory, and enticing rather than some brainless adventure. This is definitely one of the major things that keeps me drawn to this series. It completely turns this story on its head. Everything changed for B because she’s dead. Nothing will ever be the same, but even in this undead life she seeks redemption and that’s a long road.

 

Overall

I’m still reading these books. While they come out as more of a light read over something dense and detail-driven, they’re still interesting because of the main character, who I still hate. LOL. So, I look forward to the next chapter to see what’s next for B after her time underground. Maybe she’ll run into some old friends…or enemies.

 

Quotables:

“So I’ve turned into a big bad wolf/ All the better to see, hear and smell you with, my day.” (B, p. 37)

“There are a lot of black-hearted, mean-spirited bastards in the world. It’s important that we hold them to account. Butt always remember that you might be the most black-hearted and mean-spirited of the lot, so hold yourself the most accountable of all.” (Mr. Burke to B, p. 44)

“Real loneliness is when your dad beats up your mum and you’re lying in your bedroom, listening to her weep in the room next door, and it feels like the whole world’s against you.” (p.71)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Berzerk by Eminem,

 

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Zombies on a School Day (Zom-B – A Book Review)

Zom-B (Zom-B #1)
Author: Darren Shan
Published: 2013

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Barnes & Noble

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated R for a revolting, racist kid who decided to find redemption in the zombie apocalypse.

 

The news outbreaks of zombie attacks across the world have to be a joke, right? That’s what B thinks. Then suddenly school turns into a zone of blood, guts and the walking dead. B is forced to allegiances with the nearest person, not undead. There are no friends or enemies. Just whoever and whatever it takes to stay alive. But, one regrettable move will make B rethink life completely.

 

I got a handful of these books because I was curious. Also, they were relatively inexpensive. Who doesn’t love a good zombie book?

Right out of the gate I was surprised. I don’t like the main character. In fact, B is outright horrible and knows it too! However, she comes out of a household of domestic abuse and in some cases, it trickles down to the children. It’s sad but true. I do like that it was given such a personal POV. I do admire that B soon realizes she doesn’t want to be the racist bully at all. Soon enough, it becomes about redemption and that is a long road.

While the book is pretty short, it has a lot in it. It moves fast so it was a quick read, but I didn’t feel like I missed a thing that Shan didn’t want me to. I do like that there was so much gore and action too! It was brutal and the bomb drops were major! I also like how succinct the book is. When it ends, you know it’s not the end of the book, just the end of a chapter and what’s coming will be bigger.

 

Overall

Not a series I’m addicted to or anything I’m going to gush over like you’ve seen me do, but it is intriguing. There’s a lot that’s coming and I look forward to the next ones. I’m a sucker for a good redemption story, and of course, zombies!

 

Quotables:

“At the end of the day you have to work out for yourself what’s right or wrong.” (p. 46)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Ride Wit Me by Nelly ft. Ludacris.

 

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Ghostfacers! of the Victorian Age (Something Strange and Deadly – A Book Review)

Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1)
Author: Susan Dennard
Published: 2012

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - Something Strange and Deadly

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt Half bolt

22/25

 

There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt’s life is complicated. Her brother has gone missing. Her mother is breathing down her neck for her to find a rich suitor to repair their fortune and reputation. In a world where necromancy and running from the dead is so common. With technology and science growing, the hope that the dead can be extinguished and defeated is no longer just a dream.

Eleanor seeks out the help of the Spirit-Hunters, who help defend the city from supernatural forces, to find her brother. At first, they turn her away, but as it turns out, her brother may have something to do with all of the dead rising. Working together, they’ll figure out who’s causing the dead to rise and bring an end to the vengeful uprising in the city.

 

This book marks 22 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. This was a random and also a chance to get outside of my usual box.

 

First things first, the cover of this book is gorgeous! Mystifying with a chrome-like shine and the mysterious Eleanor front and center. The gears surrounding the tree really gave way to the Victorian era and industrial age as it also gave way to darkness. Just stunning.

Scarlett Reader

The world building was rather interesting, especially since there is a specific time period. The Victorian era is interesting because technology takes a leap, but the class system in which women are still at the bottom of the pit and considered fragile glass statues that are utterly useless is still very much in play. The delightful twist? ZOMBIES and GHOSTS! I thought that was really interesting. The supernatural is an everyday occurrence with procedures on how to handle it.

Scarlett Reader

I hit a snag with the characters. I wanted to be interested in Eleanor and Daniel and Joseph and the others characters, but I couldn’t. The way they interacted and acted was unrealistic and overdramatic. In some cases, it just came off as confusing. I couldn’t get a full read on their relationships between each other. If I had a favorite, it’s Jie. She’s spry and sneaky and takes no crap from people. My least favorite was definitely Eleanor’s mother, but only because of how she’s dependent on her daughter getting married for a better lifestyle. The woman is disgusting in how she doesn’t care for the welfare of her daughter. She only wants the reputation, riches, and materialist things.

On a side note: The Spirit-Hunter gave me Ghostfacers vibes. I was giggling to myself a few times over because all I could hear was their them song while imagining Sam and Dean Winchester rolling their eyes. A Supernatural thing.

 

The snag with the characters I think came from the style the book was written in. I could get a grasp on it. Though it was comical in places, the story was quite vague. I just wasn’t convinced. There was so much focus on the word dead and rot. It became redundant sadly. It felt as if vocabulary relating to the time era was just plopped in there and it diminished the story.

 

Overall

I enjoyed the book, but not as much as I hoped to. Not enough to finish the series. I was too thrown off by the style and redundancy. This book just didn’t reach geek-out territory.

 

Quotables:

“What did the stories say? The Dead hunt endlessly until they’re laid to rest or their bodies are destroyed.” (p. 3)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song Today? Love is to Die by Warpaint.

 

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Brainssss! On The Mississippi (Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim – A Book Review)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim
Author: Mark Twain & W. Bill Czolgosz
Published: 2009

Huckleberry Finn

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

There warn’t no home like a raft, after all. The monsters cain’t get you there. Not so easy.

In this book, by the father of American Literature, the pox is causing people to drop left and right and they come back as zombies, also called baggers. Huckleberry Finn and his dearest friend,  Jim, a bagger now, go on the run after Huck fakes his death and it’s blamed on Jim. The two travel the Mississippi and there’s more than scammers, robbers and the people pretending to be baggers.  Peoples’ baggers are turning on them, going crazy and eating them. Huck can’t help but wonder if Jim will turn on him.

Huck Finn

I was very surprised with this book. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of America’s biggest classic novels right along side Tom Sawyer and To Kill a Mockingbird. I debated whether or not to get this book and in the end decided to give it a read (obviously). I was glad that I did. The adventure this time around was much wilder and dangerous than before.

One of the primary curiosities I had about this novel was if it would run along the same vocabulary and language as the classic novel did. It does and even adds some new vocabulary to keep with the time period and tone of the characters. A bagger or bunderlug refers to a zombie. Huck will often refer to zombies as bagger. I was very happy to see that with that extra addition. Keeping with the language Twain created really got me to respect this book on a major level. Keeping this was incredibly beautiful and a great homage to Twain. The book didn’t have to keep the language so I loved that it did.

The addition of the walking dead added some detail I didn’t expect. People were able to hang on to their loved ones, though sometimes it doesn’t always work out that way. I found that element to be extremely touching since zombies are usually portrayed as hungry and utterly brainless. It was also pretty funny the way Huck would describe the way they acted. There were some real The Walking Dead moments that I thought of while reading though.

Huck Finn

Approaching a classic with such a spin can be tricky I imagine. It does add something unique and fun however. More so, the novel twists the idea of blind trust and faith. You see this the further you read about Huck and Jim’s wild adventure on the river. Jim protects Huck from a bagger gone bad. There’s even a man who pretends that he’s a bagger.

If you’ve enjoyed Mark Twain’s work of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn then you’ll enjoy the twist. The zombies did make the novel more interesting and yes, I was pulled in because of the zombies. Using the undead angle has the perk to pull in different audiences to get them to read the classic. I was certainly surprised. This was great.

Quotables:

“A full bagger is a damn problem. You got to go after the marbles in his head and knock ’em all out ‘fore you can put him down.” (Huckleberry Finn, p. 12)

“I don’ feel too much, Huck. Stuff is all dead inside o’ me. Sumtimes I’m not even sure I’m here. I gots to touch myself to know, an’ even dat don’t always work.” (Jim, p. 86)

“Jim sat still. Baggers was good at sittin’ still. They was already dead, so it was only a matter of bein’ themself’s. No tics or twitches or nothin’.” (Huckleberry Finn, p. 114)

“I neva hear o’ no bagger sellin’ himself. You is dead now. The only one who kin sell you is some’un other than youself.” Huck to Birdock

“Jus’ cause somethin’ ain’t been done before, it don’t mean it can’t be done at all. An’ why can’t a bunderlug sell his own self? I knows of wimmen who sells themselves all time.” (Huck and Birdock, p. 205)

The Classic Hybrid

Classic Literature is a staple in every bookworm’s life. While they tell a beautiful story of either love, tragedy, loss of sanity or death (or all of the above), they also show underlying themes that relate to the real world—the wish to turn back time, the destruction through paranoia, and the obliteration of families. And, let’s not forget, self-discovery. That’s a big one.

And now, there are versions of classics that have been morphed into something brand new (well not totally new, but you understand what I’m getting at) by including the infamous supernatural genre, creating a hybrid of sorts. I believe that the addition of zombies or vampires in a classic piece doesn’t entirely destroy the book, but instead tries introducing and involving new generations that are infatuated with the supernatural genre to them.

This new hybrid isn’t just for introducing future bookworms to classic literature though. Nope. Having read both The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim, I can say that there’s also a joy in having more fun to a classic novel, which is the primary reason I’m writing this entry (I enjoy werewolves, ghosts, witches and vampires, remember?). These types of books are fantastic for hooking a classic reader or a supernatural reader.

Down below are a list of ten classic books that while still spin the beautiful yet tragic stories of beloved classics they also give a dose of something wicked:

 

P&P-amazon

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Author: Jane Austen, Seth Grahame-Smith

Based off of the Jane Austen novel, the Bennet sisters have more to be concerned about than just experiencing the pressure of marriage, love, and going to balls. Zombies are afoot and these women take to the battlefield of the undead. A film came out based on the novel in 2016.

 

Huckleberry Finn - amazon

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim

Author: Mark Twain, W. Bill Czolgosz

A strange, mutant type of tuberculosis comes to nineteenth century America and it’s bringing its victims back to life. Huck Finn and his best, undead friend, Jim, go on the run when his abusive father comes home. Then, the virus mutates again…

 

android - amazon

Android Karenina

Author: Leo Tolstoy, Ben H. Winters

Taking place in a dystopian society, this tale of true love and jealousy, is surrounded by AI in a steampunk world. Anna Karenina, Alexei Vronsky, Konstantin Levin and Kitty Shcherbatskaya try to find love as their high tech, high society lifestyle is threatened. Can they salvage it?

 

Sense - Amazon

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

Author: Jane Austen, Ben H. Winters

You’re not going to find mermaids in here. If that’s what you’re seeking in this twisted classic novel then turn back. There are however octopi, giant lobsters and even two headed serpents among this retelling of the Dashwood sisters’ journey to find true love.

 

meow - amazon

The Meowmorphasis,

Author: Franz Kafka, Coleridge Cook

Why morph into a startling, crunchy beetle when you can morph into a cute, fluffy kitten? That’s exactly what happened to Gregor Samsa one day when he wakes up late for work.

 

SW - wookiepedia

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars

Author: Ian Doescher

It’s Star Wars. That automatically makes it a classic, not to mention it’s Shakespeare rendition. Doesn’t that make it a double classic?

 

Jane - S&S

Jane Slayre

Author: Charlotte Bronte, Sherri Browning Erwin

Enter Jane Slayre, a demon-slaying orphan. Enter Mr. Rochester, the master of the estate that she suddenly inherits. Both have a few secrets, including being raised by vampyre and a werewolf in the attic, but their love isn’t one of them. Will they get their happy ending?

 

Grave - S&S

Grave Expectations

Author: Charles Dickens, Sherri Erwin

Blooming, wolfy, Pip fights alongside zombies in this classic twist, until suddenly he is mysteriously shipped off to a school for the best werewolves and away from his beloved Estella which may be a good thing because she has a couple secrets of her own.

 

Vampire count - amazon

The Vampire Count of Monte Cristo

Author: Alexandre Dumas, Mathew Baugh

This story twists and turns as Edmond Dantes is falsely imprisoned and taken away from his fiancée, the lovely Mercedes. While imprisoned, Edmond makes a dark pact with dark magic be set free? The pact? He died and came back a vampire.

 

Little Vampire Women - Amazon

Little Vampire Women

Author: Louisa May Alcott, Lynn Massina

The March sisters are dealing with a lot more than just sisterly squabbling in this book. They’re also avoiding hunters that threaten their immortal existence.

These can be found at Amazon.com, Quirk Book and Barnes and Noble

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. One day, I hope that one comes out about Moby Dick, the demonically possessed whale.