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Texas Bill

Zombie Fiction or Something to Chew On

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Just read the most recent book in The Remaining series by DJ Molles. It was sooooooo depressing, more because the main characters seem so disheartened and beaten down by the reality of a world filled with zombies and too few survivors than because of any particular action that is taken. For character development, this is probably a crucial stage where heroes have to decide on more than just a gut level whether they want to fight or give up. But for readers, it's not an easy trek.

 

What's worse is that it ends on a sort of multi-cliffhanger situation, which actually left me feeling a little betrayed. "I slogged through the heavy emotional stuff, the action gets good - and then the book ends? WTH?" ;)

 

Anyway, I am looking forward to the next installment in the series because it is well written, the characters are compelling, and the set-up at this point, with enemies on all sides, is just too darned engrossing to walk away from. But if I could beg DJ Molles for anything in the next one, it would be a lot of action, some levity, and a thread of hope.

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Thanks Oregon Chick. I read the first one by Mr. Molles, bought the second and read the first 20-30 pages and put it down for some reason. Maybe now I will pick it up.

 

If you are looking for a zombie book with some scary zombies, hard action and some slapstick humor, check out Zombie Spring by Chris Okusako. This book has some problems, and my main pet peeve is the constant jumping from first person to third person, but the story is engaging and unlike a lot of these tales in this genre, longer than 200 pages. I also read The Darkening by Cynthia Melton, which was decent but another of those novella length zombie stories so hard to tell how good it will be. Sort of reminded me of that great 1980s B-movie Night of the Comet.

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OC,

part of the reason I don't read a lot of this kind of stuff is just that. The real world is depressing enough, I don't need a depressing book. As to the ending, I stopped buying comic books (I won't tell my age - let's just say I was well into my late teens) when they started doing the cliff hanger at the end crap. That to me was a blatant attempt to hook me into buying the next book in the series. I don't demand happy endings for my books, an 'open ending' works just fine but I resent being told to buy the next book to find out what happens. The hero doesn't even have to survive (none of us get out of this alive - but a good death is not to be despised) provided his death makes sense and was meaningful. Sands of Iwo Jima comes to mind; Striker dies in combat but the platoon grows up, learns to be men and carries on. A meaningful and honorable death for a platoon sergeant.

 

I also don't mind book series, I read Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Rick Brant as a kid. E.E. Doc Smith (Lensman, Skylark of Space series) and of course Louis L'Amour plus others as an adult but each book was complete unto itself. You didn't NEED to read any of them in order (I prefer it that way but it wasn't necessary) nor did you HAVE to buy the next one to find out what happened in this story. The only thing worse is the deus ex machina; you know, the mother ship lands and returns all the missing sky divers in the last 2 minutes of the movie when there was not a SINGLE, BLOODY CLUE that there were flying saucers around. I watched that movie and I'm still ticked about the wasted time!:mad:

I can forgive a lot but insulting my intelligence and/or wasting my time, especially with lazy writing, I won't forgive.

 

Just my not so humble (and slightly ticked off - you reminded me of that "expletive deleted" movie) opinion.

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I hate cliffhangers. I especially hate cliffhangers in a book where the second book is not due out for 6 months to a year later. What will usually happen is I get mad, archive the book and forget about it. When the sequel comes out, I may or may not pick it up because of the bad taste the previous book left with me. I don't mind this so much when I am reading a serial and the next episode will be out in two weeks, but otherwise, give me a break.

 

Captain Bart, you are dating yourself with that E.E. "Doc" Smith reference, you know? I read them all myself as a kid and thought being a Lensman was the coolest job in the world. I still kinda do.

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Agree with you both.

 

Capt Bart, I don't mind tragedy - things that are sad but have meaning, like a beloved character who goes out fighting, can break your heart AND be uplifting at the same time. The fact that we each only have a short number of years in this mortal form is the great truth we all must face, and to see someone face it with courage is inspirational. But depressing and morbid and bleak do not make me a happy reader; saying we not only have short lives, but they are short and pointless is a terrible statement to make. It's one of the reasons I can't stand the movie Fargo - I don't mind violence in film, but the amorality, the destruction of lives when nothing is gained or even lost from it, actually makes me queasy. It's why I can enjoy some horror movies but others make me feel like I need a way to scrub my brain.

 

Texas Bill, I may actually wind up not reading more of The Remaining because the more I think of it, the angrier I get. The "ending" includes: a coup being started from within the band of survivors, one character being taken hostage, another being dropped with nothing but a K-BAR in the midst of a pack of zombies, other characters making imminent contact with a group of survivors who are marauders claiming to be doing God's work, and a horde of hundreds of thousands of zombies on their way into the area. There are also questions about whether there's a functional government and if the zombies are actually evolving in some way. Grr.

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Yikes!, OC. Glad I did not follow up with the series after all. All you need is Sweet Penelope tied to the train tracks by Snidely Whiplash to have the whole kitchen sink in there. I don't mind books with continuing plot threads but that is rediculous.

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"Snidely Whiplash" made me laugh really, really loudly.

 

My other really loud laugh today came when my sister said something to the effect of, "I'm talking about the absolute worst-case scenario here" to which I replied, "Ninja zombies?"

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The thing with the helmets actually came up in a zombie novella some of the "Mad Max" bad guy survivors outfitted some Zs with them to make their Arena style games more fun. I think the book was Revenge of the Living by Jason Henry, the second in his Virginia is for Zombies series.

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Okay, I am hanging around waiting for multiple authors to get their latest offerings out in December, but I can't get a release date beyond "sometime tenatively in December". That is, except for the sequel to Blue Plague, which I thought was supposed to be out in November around Halloween. Anyone have any insight on when these sequels are supposed to drop?

 

Blue Plague 2

Snareville 3

New World Book 6

Ragnorak Rising 2

 

Any others would also be greatly appreciated. I am going though a zombie dry spell and of course, recommendations are appreciated. Thanks.

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I'm waiting for Ragnarok, New World, and Snareville, too. So I've switched back to my usual paranormal romance novels for the time being.

 

I found a list of recommended zombie novels on GoodReads.com, which include some of the books we've discussed here along with:

 

Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy) by Mira Grant http://www.amazon.com/Feed-Newsflesh-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B003GFIVSE/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

 

Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Stony-Mayhall-ebook/dp/B004J4WKMY/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

 

Eden by Tony Monchinski http://www.amazon.com/Eden-Zombie-Novels-ebook/dp/B0052AA3VO/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

 

Monster Island by David Wellington http://www.amazon.com/Monster-Island-A-Zombie-Novel/dp/1560258500/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

 

Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo http://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Fallout-ebook/dp/B003A022YO/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

 

White Flag of the Dead: Zombie Series by Joseph Talluto http://www.amazon.com/White-Flag-Dead-Zombie-ebook/dp/B004SUP1XE/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

 

Rise Again by Ben Tripp http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Again-ebook/dp/B003UYUS6E/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

 

 

They also wholeheartedly recommended Dead Living by Glenn Bullion, but that's not available on Kindle as far as I can find.

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Thanks, OC. I read the Newsflesh trilogy, which was pretty good as well as the White Flag of the Dead series, which was also good, especially the earlier books. I read the first few chapters of Monster Island and just could not continue for some reason. Just did not like it. I will check out the others.

 

I did just see that Chris Braid just published his sequel to Going Viral, which was a great book. Finally, someone other than Luke Duffy in England who knows where the bullet comes out of the gun. This is the story of a group of British soldiers who have tried to hold the line against the infected and end up having to pull out to the countryside, and a few civilians that meet up with at the end of their journey. Lots of action and some hearts-strings are tugged upon in the ensuing melees. Full of great "Limey-isms" (sorry, I just made that up). Anyway, keep passing on the reviews, guys.

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I finished the Going Viral sequel and other than being too short, I really enjoyed this book. The author knows his weapons and tactics as well as doing a good job of story-telling. I also read The Road to Nowhere by Lee Argus, which was okay but could have been better. Sorry, if you are being hunted by nocturnal cannibals, I think you would make more of an effort to arm yourself, even in the People's Republic of California (though the story starts in Las Vegas). "Uh-oh, my shotgun is empty. I think I will stick with my pistol and two loaded magazines I found in the street." Apparently, California has no ammunition for sale anywhere.

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Just read The Rising Dead by Devan Sagliani, and it's a steal at only $0.99. Well written, lots of up close and personal fighting with truly disgusting zombies (who drip a foamy ooze that seems to have worms or maggots in it - ew!!!), atypical characters who have diverse and interesting personalities and responses to the zombie pandemic, and it's all tied together with a huge bow of paranoia-inducing conspiracy. It's set in Las Vegas, but not on the strip - instead, it's an ex-military guy (Gunner) trying to help neighbors from his low-income apartment complex, most of whom are UNLV students. He's a prepper, saw something like this coming, and made a bunker out of his apartment, but they all quickly realize that their best chance of survival is to get away from the city entirely.

 

Some things that I didn't enjoy: while the characters are interesting, not many of them are particularly likable. The one I liked the most in the entire book was the first to be bitten and turn, actually. The overall outlook is... bleak. And there's a fair amount of time spent talking about a drunken college party, as well as pin-up girls, internet porn stars, and an apparently stalkable girl-next-door type - yes, one of the residents of the apartment does a geek-flavored internet porn show, but do we really need to know about a security guard's favorite skin mag, what's happening upstairs at a frat house, etc.? It comes across more as masturbatory fantasies than useful to the story (or at least it did to me).

 

But overall, this is definitely worth the read. And if you harbor any illusions about waiting for the government to come and save you when the zombies arrive, well, this will make you rethink that decision, too. LOL

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For any of your guys following the Mad Swine series, the second book is out on Amazon. I will not be paying $7.99 for it since I thought the ending of Book One was completely wrong in a book that was pretty good up until then. I forget the exact details, but when the leaders of the neighboring bad guys show up at your front gate and threaten to kill you and make slaves of your people and you have them outnumbered 10 to 1, the answer should be A) Shoot them and bury the bodies. Instead, the "good guys", who are already involved in a shooting war with the "bad guys", chooses answer B) and lets the bad guys walk away to launch their attack later. Sorry for the spoilers but this book just went off the rails for me at that point. Maybe this should also earn an entry in the "Where Survival Fiction Gets It Wrong" category.

 

Anyway, Shawn Chesser's new book in the Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse series, Pound of Flesh, also just came out for anyone interested. I have not read it yet but at $3.99 the price is more in line with e-book standards. BTW, what is the thought process lately behind charging $2.99 for 40-50 page short stories and over $5 for books that are barely long enough to be novellas? Sure, there is the profit motive but I have reached a stage where I refuse to pay paperback prices and up for an e-book.

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Holy thread hijack, Batman, but I wanted to run a draft of the next book cover past you guys. :) I'm actually going to have the vehicle replaced with some other rigs, but the general thrust will remain the same. No zombies in this one, though...only disaffected survivors of a nuclear exchange who tend to be cannibalistic.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1701[/ATTACH]

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LOL@sknight. Now we have to ask to see your hijacking license, official paracord turban and vest (contact Tinderwolf.... it'll take him a minute to figure out what you are talking about), and you must pay dues to the hijackers union....lmao.

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Mr. Knight, please feel free to hijack at your convenience, as far as I am concerned, anyway. That looks like an AWESOME cover with the shifting red and black tones. When can we expect to get our grubby little hands on this jewel? Just think of us if you need any beta readers (hint, hint).

 

I'll be sure and mention Earthfall over at our Survival Fiction thread. This would fit right into the category for sure. Irradiated cannibals are actually scarier than zombies any day of the week. They wouldn't happen to be Mutant Zombie Bikers, would they? Those are simply the worst. They are like cockroaches after the apocalypse- You can't eat just one. Wait, that's Lay's Potato Chips. My bad.

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Really like the artwork and the cover overall. Sans serif fonts are always clean looking, but they almost look like a stone monolith in the center of your cover (which works great with the title). The illustration and coloring is ominous - specific elements (like birds and a cityscape) are obscured so that it could be anywhere, and a kind of claustrophobic feeling comes from the clouds/dust. Overall a feeling of ruin and desolation, which is of course ideal for a post-apocalyptic tale.

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Sorry, Steve, it's just plain Bill. Whereabouts from Texas do you hail? I saw on your bio you live around NYC but I did not know you were from the Lone Star State. Did you and your family weather Sandy okay? My wife has family on Long Island but they came through with only a little damage, and one of my friends that works in Manhattan sent me some pictures of the mess around her office that looked terrible.

 

As for beta reader, I am always game. OC gives me some playful grief because I proofread for a couple of independents so, with the authors' permission, I get to hype their new stuff here and give out release dates and such. As independents, they don't have much in the way of marketing so if it is good I do what I can. Anyway, stop goofing around reading this and get back to writing!

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