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Texas Bill

Zombie Fiction or Something to Chew On

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I like the O'Brien book so far but I am rationing it out so I don't finish it too soon. The night runners are becoming even more scary and one wonders what exactly they are going to evolve into.

 

I just plunged in and read the whole thing. It was good, as all of his books are, although as you mentioned, there was an annoying cliffhanger ending - and it's a doozy! There is a lot of speculation (on both sides of the gene pool) about what the other group will do in the future, and it will be fascinating to see how each side's strategies evolve. The night runners are such an interesting "zombie" type because they are still alive and have varying degrees of awareness; the potential for them to develop into nearly unstoppable foes is rather terrifying.

 

While I like his characters and his writing, and even the way he switches from Jack's perspective to that of the other survivors and the night runners, I have to say that I still think he needs a stronger editor. He tends to write in present tense - but not always - and that's a sloppy choice for any extended narrative. It's the norm to write in the past tense ("Jack drew up his M4 and felt the familiar kick as he answered the night runner's shriek with noise of his own"), and sometimes he does, but then he also mixes in present tense ("'You need rest,' Lynn says."). It's annoying. And nit-picking, I know! But still, he's five books in - this stuff should be getting addressed by now.

 

I am looking forward to Mr. Vohs' sequel to Zombie Crusade but I can't get a good read on the ETA for that one.

 

No ideas about when it will be released, either, but I definitely want to read it when it comes out. The first one was really well done.

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Wally, Oregon Chick, glad we didn't have to read about night runner sex but I bet we can all agree on one thing- they definitely "do it" with the lights out! Also, that past to present tense stuff bugs me too. Switching perspective I have gotten used to, but please pick a tense and stick to it. As I sit her ein my office thinking about it, I wonder what happened to the sequel to Ragnorak? I really liked that book, too.

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FYI, P.S. Power's new Gwen Faris book was just released. Strangers and Lies is not long, but it sure packed a punch. We have some secrets revealed here, as well as some strangers showing up, and we finally get a take on just how much power our little Gwen is packing. I liked it. I did get a proof copy, but like always I went and bought a copy for my Kindle for rereading. Tiera's tale is up next.

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Weird. I know he sometimes has trouble linking new releases to his home page. Search under Strangers and Lies.

 

I have, and it brings up Monsters and then a bunch of unrelated works from other authors. When I search under his name, I just see a list of the books that have already been released, and Strangers and Lies is not numbered among them. If you are in contact with him, please let him know that there's some kind of glitch on Amazon, because I definitely want to send a bit of cash his way ASAP. ;)

 

Hope you had a wonderful holiday, Texas Bill!

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Pipiens Culex just published a new zombie story (Rabid Zombies) that I just got from Kindle but I have not had a chance to read it yet. It sounds interesting, anyway. OC, did you like Strangers and Lies? It was really short, but Dale said that was where the story ended for him when he was writing it. He has promised to do some stand alone Gwen books in the future in his ample spare time.

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OC, did you like Strangers and Lies? It was really short, but Dale said that was where the story ended for him when he was writing it. He has promised to do some stand alone Gwen books in the future in his ample spare time.

 

I did like Strangers and Lies, even the bizarre plot twist midway through the book that had me wondering what was real and what wasn't! No, it wasn't a long book, but there was a lot of action and further character development, which is more important than ensuring the book is X words or Y pages long. What was interesting to me was that, while there's obviously room for future Gwen novels, the ending of this book could actually work to wrap up the series as a trilogy, maybe with a couple of smaller "happily ever after" ideas tucked into an epilogue and then all of them bundled into a box set? Personally, I'd be disappointed to have no future Gwen books, but that was actually my first thought when I reached the end.

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I thought the way Gwen reacted to the plot twist was really funny. Also, I can just imagine all the crazy investigations she could get into now that she is more acclimated to her new environment. BTW, I am about half way through Rabid Zombies and I have to report so far, so good. I really like it when preppers write stuff like this because they can introduce prep ideas to the otherwise clueless.

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Finished Rabid Zombies. I liked it but the ending was kind of screwy. Good zombie fun though. You can pay 99 cents for it on Kindle or download free from the author's website. I've liked all of his books so far. Nice to read a book about surviving adversity written by a prepper.

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I finally allowed myself to finish New World:Dissention by John O'Brien. Thaks to Oregon Chick's warning I knew it was a cliffhanger ending (hate that) but as she noted, overall a good book. I wanted to stretch out the goodness before having to wait for the next book. I also read Rise of the Living by Jason Henry, which is a completion of his zombie trilogy. The book was short and seemed a little rushed, like he was in a hurry to finish the story, but was a decent enough read and unlike most zombie stories the endign was mostly a happy one. Since I picked it up for free, I cannot complain.

 

For all of you who read The Leftovers by Christian Fletcher, the sequel, Left Alone, was recently released on Kindle. If you like zombie stories that are really horror and grab you by the throat, check out The Leftovers. I haven't had a chance to read the sequel yet, but I expect it to be shocking and cringe-inducing as well.

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I received a MP a few days back requesting a list of Zombie books that did not suck so I did a scientific search (that means scrolled through Kindle) and came up with the following in no particular order:

 

James Cook Surviving the Dead series

Stephen Knight The GAthering Dead series

Christian Fletcher The Leftovers and Left Alone (I just started)

J.W. Vohs Zombie Crusade

Joseph Talluto White Flag of the Dead series

Keith Blackmore The Mountain Man series (new sequel just came out)

John O'Brien New World series

J.L. Bourne Day by Day Armageddon series

D. Nathan Hilliard Dead Stop

Eric Shelman Dead Hunger series (Book 4 just came out)

Craig DiLouie Tooth and Nail

Shawn Chesser Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse series

Glynn James Arisen series

Chris Braid The Virus Sequence series

Thomas Watson Blue Plague series

Luke Duffy No More Room in Hell series

David Forsyth Sovereign Spirit Saga

Michael Clary El Paso Under Attack and Regulators

Mike Fosen Slow Burn

A.C. Thorne Still Alive

Shane Gregory King of Clayfield series

D.A. Roberts Ragnorak Rising

Jeff McClure This World After

Joseph Coley Six Feet From Hell series

Bryan James LZR-1143 series

Kirk Allmond What Zombies Fear series

Chris Okusako Zombie Spring

J.P. Ayers Phoenix Rising series

 

I am sure I am missing some and you guys feel free to fill in more. I did the search late last night and I am just typing it up today on my break. Comments?

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Well, Wally don't feel like you have to read ALL of them. This is purely my own list (and I am sure I left some good ones out by accident) but feel free to add to it. One of the things I find puzzling is why books like Virus Sequence series by Chris Braid not get more run while The Remaining series gets all the raves. Good stuff, military style action and nobody running around with a baseball or cricket bat trying to battle the walking dead, unlike some other unnamed books I could mention. Maybe it is the dialog, since the author gives some of the lads a heavy Scottish or Cockney accent, but I found it amusing. Or it could be that since the remnants of this English scout platoon refrain from doing obviously stupid things, the action is not always quite so desperate. I dunno.

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Okay, just a quick note to P.S. Powers fans. A Simple Darkness is tenatively scheduled for Jan. 15th release. This is Tiera's story. This is a short fuse to get it proofed but Dale is pretty quick about his turnaround and he usually makes his self-imposed deadlines.

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Eric Shelman's Latest zombie book in the Flex Sheridan Chronicles (#4 Evolution) was a real rollercoaster. For some reason the fun seems to have diminished in this series, I guess because the survivors are realizing things aren't going to be getting better for a long time. Good, familiar characters with some surprising loses, this latest book has some shocking changes in the status quo. Worth the time and expense.

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Oh, my gosh, have I been on a zombie reading bender!

 

I finished Left Alone, the sequel to Leftovers, which was definitely a good read but is a little heavier on the action than on the character development. We're still learning more about Smith and Wilde Man and Batfish, and about the dangerous world they now live in. The zombies are bad but the survivors are mostly worse, and there's a lot of adventure to be had when Batfish is seized by mauraders and Smith and Brent have to find a way to get her back, despite having the odds tremendously stacked against them.

 

Rabid Zombies by Culex Pipiens was quite well-done. Yes, it has the usual ex-Special Ops guy as a hero, but there's also a cast of several civilians who have varying survival skills but band together into an effective squad. There was a bit of ragging on a liberal senator that had me rolling my eyes (it really was utterly pointless - he was such a ridiculous caricature that it was clearly just about political venting, not about having a real character or advancing the plot). The rest of the story, however, was fast-paced and gripping, with lots of action and characters you like... or possibly love, in the case of little Nicole. The author in particular does a great job of showing how adaptability and common sense can be great survival skills and showing how effective a group can be when they work together for mutual protection.

 

I also read a trilogy, the Zombie-ish Apocalypse books. The first is Sundered, the second Bound, the third Dauntless, by Shannon Mayer. They are first and foremost a very sweet and at times sad love story, about a married couple who had been suffering from infertility problems. Scientists announce a cure-all, called Nevermore, which not only improves fertility but decreases the risk of Parkinson's, heart disease, diabetes, and - the part that everyone is most excited about - helps you drop excess weight without changing your diet. Hundreds of millions get the injection... only to discover that it causes unceasing hunger and the rapid loss of humanity, a catastrophic combination that results in what are essentially living zombies (but not REALLY zombies, hence "zombie-ish"). After being crushed that she couldn't get the injection due to allergies, Mara busily makes plans to hunker down in her little farmhouse with her husband, Sebastian - who is trying to find a way to tell her that he went behind her back and got the injection just before the news broke about its side-effects. But is his love strong enough to protect her from what he's going to become? And will Mara be able to bear a difficult future if Sebastian is no longer at her side? It's beautifully told, and there's plenty of action between the "Nevermores" and the crazy people who are trying to survive, and I absolutely couldn't put it down.

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OC, thanks for passing these on. I was just about to start Left Alone (as soon as I finish A Simple Darkness proof). Leftovers had a some wrenching scenes in it and I expect more abuse here. Shannon Mayer is a talented writer and her zombie-ish series was entertaining. BTW, really off-zombie topic, but anyone else here read Ilona Andrews? This husband and wife duo have some really cool fantasy books and zombies do crop up occasionally in the Kate Daniels books if I recall correctly.

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Just finished Evolution (the Flex Sheridan Chronicles), mostly because you reminded me that it was out! LOL I absolutely loved it, although I agree that there was a lot more despair and a lot less laughter in this installment. While it's discouraging to the characters, I actually find it a lot more interesting that Hemp's wonder cures actually don't work for all zombies, and that there's a long way to go for survivors to find real safety. I am curious to see if this is the end of the series - because it definitely could be, based on the epilogue - or if more books will come.

 

I would definitely be interested in The Dave and Serena Chronicles as they go to California; Dave's always been somewhat of a goof, but the trial by fire he received in this book will likely change that to some degree. "That awkward moment when you know you ought to stop typing so you don't give away the WHOLE book for people who haven't read it yet..."

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BTW, really off-zombie topic, but anyone else here read Ilona Andrews? This husband and wife duo have some really cool fantasy books and zombies do crop up occasionally in the Kate Daniels books if I recall correctly.

 

Love Ilona Andrews. I devoured the Kate Daniels books when I first discovered them, and then wind up pre-ordering the (hugely expensive) new releases so that I get them the moment they come out. I just love how tough and loyal Kate is, all of the pack-related stuff from Curran and his people, and the overwhelming danger that seems to crop up all the time. Have you read their other series, The Edge? It's newer but really good: http://www.ilona-andrews.com/the-edge

 

Laurell K. Hamilton also has some great books. Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter actually has necromancer capabilities and sometimes brings zombies to life herself. Sadly, there are 21 books in the series - so far - and LKH seems to have run out of plot around book 8 or 9, which makes the books after somewhat repetitive and far more about sex than about plot and character development. Thankfully she seems to have realized her mistake and her other major series, Merry Gentry, ends at book 8. LOL Don't get me wrong, I loved the books, but I can see why she hasn't published more.

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As for Ilona Andrews, I just finished the last in their Edge series. I bailed on LKH when her books became more about the sex that than the plot. I finished up proofing A Simple Darkness this weekend. As the name implies, it gets very dark. Tiera is nothing like you would think based on the limited exposure she has received so far (except she really is a b****), and Dale really manages to mess with your head. I can't wait to find out what happens next.

 

I am reading Left Alone right now and I swear, that author is really skilled at making you feel the atmosphere and he is unafraid of running his characters through the ringer, sort of like Eric Shelman in the Chronicles. I hope there is a Dave and Serena sequel, because Dave has developed a lot in just these last few books. That was some really hard times in Concord and Capt. Bart would hate the ending because you know how much he hates relying on luck! Oops, and there goes another awkward moment when you realize...Ha!

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I'm so excited for Tiera's story, dark or not. It will be so interesting to see that world from a female character's perspective... Especially one who may be psychotically convinced that men are worthless. Plus I just love the whole Young Ancients series, so any excuse to "visit" is a good one!

 

One of the things I liked about Left Alone was that you could feel the fatigue and depression and alone-ness of each of the survivors, but especially Brent as he's the narrator. They may be traveling in a group, but they aren't a happy family - and they aren't sure that "happy" is even something they can ever look forward to. It adds a very realistic sense of desperation about the way they act and react to what happens around them, how some things cause real grief and rage while other things that on the face are equally bad barely seem to cause a ripple.

 

Oh! I forgot another series that you might really enjoy if you like the Kate Daniels books: The Hollows series (also sometimes called the Rachel Morgan series) by Kim Harrison, starting with Dead Witch Walking. She's a witch PI, who works with her roommates - a living vampire named Ivy and a snarky pixie named Jenks. Rachel has a very soft heart and shows a surprising amount of compassion for being as tough and determined as she is.

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Yep, I am a Rachel Morgan fan from the get-go. I actually got a little teary when Matilda died. That Leftover book was so viceral and painful (especially the results of jumping though those windows, or failing to in one case) that I cringed reading each page. Now I get the same feeling reading Left Alone.

 

I hesitate to add this detail, but the Tiera story ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, but when I gave Dale grief about it he assured me the new Tor book will be out in March. He said he plans to release a new YA book every two months in 2013 while still keeping up with his other obligations. Guy writes twelve hours a day, 5,000 to 10,000 words per day. I want to suggest he find a hobby or start dating but I am afraid he might wander away from his computer. I am a selfish wretch sometimes.

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