Tag Archives: zombies

Review of Summer Of 68, by Kevin Milikin

I won an audio copy of Summer of 68, by Kevin Milikin

Description from Goodreads:
When the world ended some people believed that it was the fault of a failed space probe, others–an act of vengeance from an angry God. No one knew the reasons why but across the globe, millions of the recently deceased rose from the dead, possessed with one singular goal: To eat the flesh of the living.

Over the course of a few short hours the world was lost.

In the Northern California town of Red Bluff, a Sheriff struggles to grasp this strange and hellish turn of events that have ravaged his small town and maintain order as it all falls apart.

Two brothers struggle to make sense of this new world, traveling through the putrid remains of their beloved town–torn between survival and the love their mother. The world has ended and soon they will learn that all they need to survive is each other.

Review:
With a few exceptions the writing here is smooth and pleasantly atmospheric. However, there is nothing new offered in this zombie yarn. It is nothing more than the struggle for survival of a few random people in the face of a mysterious zombie plague. No explanation is given, no certain ending provided, no real reason even for why the character we follow are the characters we follow. I won’t go as far as to claim the book has no plot, but it does seem distinctly without purpose. Why are we following the sheriff and two young boys as they explore the landscape? Why not the baker or the barber? What is the goal?

The book is heavy on the zombie gore. So, if that’s the sort of thing you’re interested in, this will be a hit. If you like a little more storyline with that gore, maybe not.

For the most part Rick Gregory did a fine job with the narration. He had an odd habit of breaking sentences in unexpected places and pronounced a couple words in ways I hadn’t expected. But mostly it was easy to listen to.

Review of My Life as a White Trash Zombie, by Diana Rowland

I borrowed a copy of My Life as a White Trash Zombie, by Diana Rowland from my local library.

Description from Goodreads:
Angel Crawford is a loser.

Living with her alcoholic deadbeat dad in the swamps of southern Louisiana, she’s a high school dropout with a pill habit and a criminal record who’s been fired from more crap jobs than she can count. Now on probation for a felony, it seems that Angel will never pull herself out of the downward spiral her life has taken.

That is, until the day she wakes up in the ER after overdosing on painkillers. Angel remembers being in an horrible car crash, but she doesn’t have a mark on her. To add to the weirdness, she receives an anonymous letter telling her there’s a job waiting for her at the parish morgue—and that it’s an offer she doesn’t dare refuse.

Before she knows it she’s dealing with a huge crush on a certain hunky deputy and a brand new addiction: an overpowering craving for brains. Plus, her morgue is filling up with the victims of a serial killer who decapitates his prey—just when she’s hungriest!

Angel’s going to have to grow up fast if she wants to keep this job and stay in one piece. Because if she doesn’t, she’s dead meat.

Literally.

Review:
Sigh, there wasn’t really anything wrong with this. The writing was fine. It’s a bit funny. The editing didn’t stand out as problematic. I liked the character all right and the mystery, while not difficult to figure out, wasn’t super obvious either. But I was just kind of bored and blasé about the whole thing. Nothing stood out or struck me as particularly interesting. Meh

Review of Zoey and the Zombies: A Mondamin Court Adventure, by R. J. Eliason

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I won a paperback copy of Zoey and the Zombies: A Mondamin Court Adventure, by R. J. Eliason, through Goodreads.

Description:
The world is over ran with undead. Giant hordes of zombies are pouring out of the East Coast, threatening the Midwest. The defense of Mondamin Court, a quiet neighborhood in Des Moines, Iowa is up to a disabled cop, a fourteen year old boy and a transgender girl. What could go wrong? Mondamin Court is a typical lower middle class neighborhood in a midwestern city. The people are a cross section of normal Americans. Each book starts with the same setting and characters but they face a different apocalyptic scenario.

Review:
I found this enjoyable. I really appreciated that it took on some serious themes and included some intriguing human/social insights. But the only thing that separates it from a hundred other zombie survivor books is the presence of a prominent lesbian couple and a trans character (who is admittedly badass).

These inclusions are great, but not enough to carry a book. Unfortunately, I kind of felt like the author expected it to. She went to great efforts to include several diverse characters, as well as do things like present a prostitute in a humanized light, which is unusual and, again, great. But unfortunately she fell prey to as many stereo-types as she upended and eventually the variety felt forced. Partly because there are about a million characters to diversify. Far, far, far, far, far, far too many characters are in this book. I very quickly gave up on keeping track of who was who, outside of the main ones.

The main characters were varied and some of them were complex, flawed but redeemable. Others, not so much, but with so many I don’t know that it would be possible to flesh them all out. A lot of them, especially the young, were forced to consider heavy ideas and I liked how a lot of it was handled.

There are some pretty significant plot holes and, despite the blurb describing the people of Mondamin Court as “a cross section of normal America,” they seemed to have unusual and convenient skills to survive the zombie apocalypse, not so normal really. How many of your suburban neighbors know how to use a halbert, own katana or wakizashi, or happen to take belly dancing that includes scimitars, or are fully prepared preppers with hydroponic stations, know how to can and stretch rations almost indefinitely, or keep goats?

All in all, when I look at technicality I find complaints, but if I stand back and just think about my reading experience, it’s more positive than not.

On a side note, not even really as part of my review, I couldn’t help noticing some odd formatting in the book.

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Here is an example. The font size changed, as did the justification of the margins and I think the line spacing. Again, it’s just something I noticed. It didn’t really effect the reading experience other than occasionally being pulled out of the story by a double indention or style change. *shrug*


What I’m drinking: What the English might call Builder’s tea. One inexpensive bag of black tea, quite strong and a dash of milk. This is one of my comfort drinks. These days, I’m often off dairy. So, I don’t drink it as often. But for pure, melt into the couch relaxation, it’s my go-to drink.