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Texas Bill

Zombie Fiction or Something to Chew On

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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.

 

I'm not arguing with you! I am dying to know what Tor's been up to while everyone else's lives are going on. And yes, while it would be lovely to encourage him to write less and enjoy his life more, I can't say that I really want Mr. Powers to do that. LOL And because he's as dedicated to writing as he is, and because he doesn't make us wait a year to find out what's next (and also because it's not actually under my control), I suppose I can let go of the "don't leave us with a cliffhanger!" rule for Tiera's story. Probably. ;)

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OC, yep. What you said. As for Tiera, all I will say is I would not want her as an enemy. I am really interested to see how Tor reacts to the changes in Timon and Tiera, since both seem to have quickly evolved in their "Ancient" heritage.

 

As for zombies, I picked up something called Blood, Brains and Bullets by Sean Liebling. This book is supposed to be about the zombie apocalypse but seems more centered on the main character's pursuit of building his harem. Our protagonist is the biggest sexist pig I have seen in "literature" in quite some time and of course, the women just fall all over themselves trying to get into his bed. I don't know if I should be amused or horrified. Also, the editing is pretty bad as well, but some of the terrible things the writer has his alter ego utter are so outrageous I just had to laugh out loud. I am not sure I will be able to finish it since at first the action was really exciting but about halfway in the storyline is all about his other "action". This part is written like a 14 year old boy's fantasies run wild.

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I am really laboring on Left Alone. The book is really well written and descriptive but it is just depressing. I know, what do you expect, it is a zombie book, right? Anyway, I just saw Zombie Crusade II- David's Journey just dropped on Amazon Kindle. This looks to run parallel to the first story and features the "Doubting Thomas" brother who did not listen to Jack Smith's advice until it was too late.

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That's how I felt about Left Alone. It's hard to point to specific flaws in it, because it's well written and there's a lot of seat-of-your-pants action, but yes, it's BLEAK.

 

Mr. Vohs just posted a separate thread and announced he released Zombie Crusade II, so I have downloaded it. I'll probably read it over the weekend. I thought the concept for this was fantastic, so it's going to be fun to see what else he has in store for us!

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I just readThe Hard Road by Lloyd Montgomery, another zombie book where the author, who is clearly not American, tries to write a zombie book set in the United States. The book is full of "Britishisms", which is fine if the story is set in the UK but is jarring to me as I try to figure out the meanings. I mean, petrol is gas, that is easy, but it took me a while to figure out that a "lockup" is a type of storage unit. The book itself is not terrible but the author has a weird sense of time so that an event that supposedly took place all at once seems to have happened a few days ago to some characters was weeks ago for another. Okay if the timeline is a little out of whack if you are telling separate stories, but when these characters meet up the difference is noticeable. For the Emersons, the Sickness is still fresh on their minds and they are apparently still driving on their first tank of gas while Dane seems to have been fighting the zombies for weeks. Oops!

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Just read Taking on the Dead (part one of the Famished Trilogy) by Annie Walls. Kansas City Sunshine Moore was 20 when the world ended, and she lost her boyfriend and parents to the zombie virus that swept through the population like a wildfire. She lives in an underground bunker on her parents' property, worries that the souls of people are still trapped in their zombie bodies, and knows that being around other people is the fastest way to attract zombies - and to lose more people you care about. Kan's self-imposed isolation comes to an end when she comes to the aid of some strangers. She learns that the zombies may be changing and that a woman alone is not necessarily safe, and decides it's time to confront the new world that has developed while she's been hiding.

 

It's a pretty good story. The author does a good job of conveying some of the immaturity and naivete that would be natural to a very young, very isolated woman while still giving Kan grit and a twisted sense of humor. You get to see the way various people might choose to survive during a zombie apocalypse - everything from raiders and cannibals to happily herded sheeple at a government compound - and while nothing is particularly ground-breaking in terms of the plot, it's still very well done storytelling overall. There are a few situations that were a little unbelievable, and I have my doubts about whether certain events would unfold the way they did in the book if it were a real-life scenario, but it's a fun read, especially if you're in the mood for zombies and some adventure but don't necessarily want a ton of gaggingly grotesque zombie action.

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OC, yep. What you said. As for Tiera, all I will say is I would not want her as an enemy. I am really interested to see how Tor reacts to the changes in Timon and Tiera, since both seem to have quickly evolved in their "Ancient" heritage.

 

I can see what you mean about Tiera. She's practically a rage zombie once she locks on to an enemy, because she's tireless and thinks of nothing else when she feels she's being treated unfairly. LOL That was a dark book, even though Timon is understandably still in a somewhat darker place. I do wonder what Tor's response will be when he sees what's happening - and when he realizes that, yet again, the King has abused his family's goodwill for his own ends. Does Tiera overreact to many of the things that happen in the book? Yes. But she's also not wrong about a lot of what she's saying, and I actually had tears in my eyes towards the end. It will be interesting to see how the Baker family reacts - they have always had that code where their friends are given unfailing support, but what happens when family and friends are on different sides of a war?

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Tiera. There ain't no quit in that girl. I am hoping this is all a fake out to get her into the enemy camp. I don't know who Reggie really was but I suspect someone using a disguise spell and a shield to impersonate her there at the end. Her feud with Count Morris was open enough and his support of Rich was such that everyone in the kingdom had to know about what was going on, as well as how Sandra violated the rules of duel to ambush Tiera.

 

BTW, I read a nifty little book called Nano Zombie that was a combo PAW and zombie story. The ending for the first book is a cliffhanger but the overall idea was good. Has a BOL with offgrid housing, and the protagonist made use of caches as well as mining abandoned property without raiding in a post collapse world made even worse by a accidental release of a nanoweapon that creates some very nasty zombies. The action scenes were quite gripping.

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I know! You definitely need to be very, very sure it's worth angering Tiera before you do it, because it's going to cost you. She won't rest until it does. Scary! My hope is that this was all an elaborate set-up (if Reggie was a spy in disguise, then perhaps Sandra is more an assassin than a murderer? And therefore all of the people who vouched for her aren't, well, awful too?). But I'm not sure how that could be effectively pulled off. And I'm not sure whether it would be forgivable to keep Tiera out of the loop on something like that, when her life and the girl she loves is at stake. I have to say, the more Green and the royals manipulate the Bakers, the more I think Team Overthrow the King has a point.

 

Downloaded Nano Zombie - sounds like a winner! Since you like some of the urban fantasy stories, you might want to check out The Fourth Channel by Jen Kirchner. It's her debut and the start of (I hope) a new series - although it doesn't have some huge cliffhanger at the end, so you never know. Regardless, it's fast-paced, snarky, and kind of a fresh take on magic users. Very enjoyable.

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Thanks for the recommendation, Oregonchick. I will definitely check it out. I started proofing Cellophane last night and I have to convince Dale of teh difference between clip and magazine. One of my pet peeves. The story does explain why Penny seems so conflicted about Brian. No spoilers but it makes sense from her perspective. Penny kind of reminds me of Tiera except she is cold where Tiera gets hot. Short book as is often the case for this series but starts with a bang. I didn't quite finish last night but what I read so far I have liked.

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LOL If anyone can school him on the difference, it's you, Texas Bill. Can't wait to read the next installment - it's actually one of my least favorite of his series, but I still absolutely love it, which is really saying something.

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Thanks, OC. I actually got a really nice e-mail back from him thanking me for that information as well as some comments I made regarding the manuscript. Dale, like a lot of our contributors here, is really accessible to his readers and doesn't mind constructive criticism. As for Penny, she is a tough cookie despite her youth and lack of super strength while being extremely vulnerable. Her relationship with Marcia, whose first mode is paranoia, is kind of funny since Penny's powers not only make her invisible but also easily forgotten. Then Marcia is reminded Penny is around then has to rein in her paranoia all over again. Subtle, but funny.

 

By the way, I started reading Last Hope: Onslaught by Drew Brown and just had to set it aside. I have read some zombie books in the past where the protagonist is a reluctant zombie fighter but "Budd" here is not only a chicken$hit coward he is also cocky for some reason. I am hoping the author plans to evolve him over the series but right now he is not playing "hard to get", he is "hard to like" and I am over halfway through the book.

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I hadn't even thought about how Penny's invisibility would factor into Marcia's paranoia - that's hilarious. She always has that, "What do you know? What are you up to?" mindset, and to have someone who can easily get past her normal defenses would have to drive her absolutely nuts. And then for Penny to just be going about her life and accidentally trigger that? Too funny.

 

Bad news about the book. It's not a good sign when you're hoping the protagonist gets bitten, because he probably deserves it for being such a punk. It's also bad when you pass up the "Team Budd" shirt for one that says "Team Zombie." LOL

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As for Penny, her powers are explained in more detail and are quite interesting. I am also reading the latest Day by Day Armegeddon book by JL Bourne. I know, way behind, but i wanted to get it in hard copy and I needed to wait until I had something else so I could get the free shipping from Amazon. After Barnes & Noble raised the price of their club card and cut the discounts, I have not bought a single item from them since.

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On the zombie front, I am reading Six Feet from Hell-Salvation by Joseph Coley right now. This is a pretty good series and the author sure doesn't shy away from shocking his readers. Also, his protagonist, Joe, faces a lot of problems you don't normally see in these stories, such as constant challenges over his leadership, some by his own family.

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I've been looking for some new books, and it looks like the first three Six Feet From Hell books are available as a set for $2.99, so that's exciting!

 

I also just bought Cellophane, and the latest Rachel Morgan book is out, so I'm gearing up for a WONDERFUL weekend filled with good reading. I may have to get some hot cocoa or something just to celebrate. LOL

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I read Six Feet From Hell-Salvation but I was disappointed in it. Don't read the rest of my comments until after you read the latest book.

 

 

 

SPOILERS:

I didn't think it was as good as the first two. Seriously, you know the dead rise so you leave two very ill people alone at night? Folks that had the same symptoms as the zombies had? Also, I thought what happened to Lucy and how she was dismissed was just wrong. She is never vindicated and no one even seems to notice. Also, Buffey? Too bad their train broke down or I would propose tying her to the tracks. Yes, Ronnie died and it was terrible and Lucy was part of it, but she was also as much as victim as Ronnie was after what her family did to her.

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Check out Dead Air by Jon Schafer (there is another zombie book by the same title that is just about unreadable, so be careful). This is a bug in situation where a group of DJs and their station manager hold up in the office building of their radio station. Steve, the office manager, sees what is happening and knows his apartment will not keep the dead out so he rigs up the building as a refuge, as well as providing information to the public while they can. Nothing earthshattering here, but a good read and only 99 cents on Kindle. Even better, the sequel, Dead Calm, is already out as well.

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I just read Trooper Tyree by Chris Okusako, the same guy who wrote Zombie Spring. This is better, as he leaves out the slapstick humor and mainly sticks to the drama as a ragtag group of soldiers led by the aforementioned "permanent" corporal tries to survive in the wake of the zombie storm that is Los Angeles. By the way, "Trooper" is his first name, not a rank or title. There is a little romance but the emphasis is on square jawed heroes and overwhelming odds. I enjoyed reading a story where the soldiers actually try to hold the line instead of crumpling like wet toilet paper. For only a buck, this story outshines some things I have paid $7-$8 for on Kindle. Enjoy.

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I read Arisen Book Three- Three Parts Dead over the weekend and I found it to be just as fast-paced and chock full of zombie goodness as the first two. Again, too short, but at least some plot advancement and new characters introduced. I also read a very nice short story set in England during a zombie outbreak entitled A Family Story...With Zombies that was very entertaining and uplifting. Some funny moments, too. Grab them both and take a bite.

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Off topic, I just finished Ancient Kings by P.S. Power. If you have ever read any of the Young Ancients books, this is a must. The author manages to tie up a lot of loose ends and actually explains a ton about Tor and how he got to be that way. Not as action-packed as Tiera's book, but still a fitting conclusion to this arc of the story. Timon and Tiera make a more than cameo appearance, and the events from their recent books play a large role in this one. All I can say is Wow! The good news is that the author wrote that he expects to eventually have thirty books in the YA series before he is done with it.

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LOL Oh, sure, get me all excited to buy the newest YA book, and then casually remark that we're about 10 days away from it being available. Not nice!

 

... But I am glad to hear that it's a great addition to the story line and resolves or explains some of the questions that have started coming up about what's really going on. I can't wait!

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Sorry, OC. I didn't mean to be a spoilsport. The book is really good and unlike some recent books by Dale, this one is epic in size and scope. In fact, so much happens I need to go back and reread it again just to keep it straight in my head. I did come away from the book feeling I have a better grasp on the Big Three, Tor, Timon and Tiera. As you can expect, some pretty big surprises, too. Just when you think Dale has written himself into a corner, he pulls a rabbit out of his hat. Again.

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I was reading a decent zombie book entitled Heritage by Bruce Coleman, nothing great and full of editing errors but entertaining at least. Then I got to the end and the author really managed to screw up the entire book in the last five pages. I hate it when that happens. Anyone else have this happen?

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