Member Since 2012
This follow on to the Shining is entertaining if predictable. The life of post Overlook Hotel Dan is actually more interesting than the main plot. Although there are ghosts and supernatural creatures I wouldn't say the book is scary in that way. The main problem is that the bad guys come across as rather silly and end up being done in more by microbes and old age than anything Dan and his posse do. Worth a read/listen but don't expect any chills.
UGH! After a great start in the first novel Dulaney falls dead in this follow up. High points are the narration by E Rodgers and the fact that Dulaney is actually a very good writer. Her writing quality provides cover for the fact that this seems like a jumble of scenes tossed together for no particular reason. There doesnt seem to be any effort to be creative as everything is old and predictable. Much of the story takes place in a prison (very similar to the WD series) but she makes no effort to make the stay there very interesting or different from the series. Except that there seem to be endless supplies that no one is making any effort to ration. Also, the bad guys are bad for no reason other than thats how they are written. I found myself many times saying "what? - no way." There are huge gaps in the logic of why the characters go from one place to the next. Also, even though they know that noise attracts the zombies they fire off rounds like they live in an ammo factory. The answer always seems to be to waste ammo and make noise when simpler tactics would be much more practical - like how about we create a distraction so the zombie hoard turns before they get to the hide out? And how the heck (spoiler) despite the fact that everyone is on high alert, does the main bad guy steal a horse, cut through two fences and escape right into the zombie hoard without anyone noticing?! There are a few good scenes but overall I found myself drifting and wondering how much longer it was going to go on.
This year I have been on a zombie fiction binge and have read just about everything out there in the genre. The good, the bad and the put it back in the grave smelly. Most of it is written from a male perspective with women playing a secondary or pseudo supporting role. By pseudo I mean that women's characters are not very realistic and either just written the same as men, as sexy screaming victims or over the top super-hero like in their abilities.
It has begun to annoy me that there is an absence of realistic women characters & writers in genre. I had recently even polled a group of my lady friends as to what they would do in the event of a zombie apocalypse. "The girl with all the gifts" goes a long way with depicting realistic women but in the end... written by a guy.
Enter C Dulaney. Finally, a lady takes a swinging axe at the walking dead! And slams it squarely in the brain. Dulaney does a great job with the characters - both men & women and backs them up with a great story.
The set up is your typical zombie beginnings and survival layout but well written enough and with solid enough characters to keep you fully engaged. There is enough mayhem and gore for the most ardent fan, but with a feminine spin (not softer just feminin-er). You'll find no glittering love bird zombies here.
My only plot complaint is that this particular group of survivors has a ready made zombie apocalypse plan that they put into action as soon as the brains hit the fan. May have been more believable if it had been a disaster survival plan that they quickly adopted. But, its part of the very beginning of the story so its easy to just suspend disbelief on that along with the whole zombie uprising thing in general.
This first edition is action packed, fun, engaging and scary. Well done C Dulaney! Readers - read this one.
Excellent Zombie Thriller!
I don't know but this would be an excellent book to adapt as a screenplay. I hope Mr. Carey is pursuing that. I'd love to see this as a movie.
If you only read one horror book this year this should be it! Carey has written a tightly wound classic of the genre and it is scary! Unlike many such thrillers that never explain the science of how the zombie apocalypse occured (or need to) Carey makes it critical to the story and weaves it in as well as Michael Chrichton would have. The science is frightening because it's so real! Finty Williams is wonderful as the narrator and really brings the characters and situations to life... and undeath. My only complaint is that it ended too soon but the conclusion is brilliant and chillingly believable. This and DJ Molles series (The Remaining) are my top picks of all time for this genre. *one last note for us military sticklers and fortunately a very tiny, and in this case easy to forgive, detail. Enlisted military don't salute or come to attention for each other except in formations. Sergeant's are senior to Privates and Corporals but are still classified as enlisted. So, leave that out of the film version.
I have to preface this review by noting that I got all three Contamination books for 99 cents in an Audible special. With that in mind, it was well worth the price. On the up side the monsters in the story are novel, the main characters are interesting and the story follows an entertaining if predictable path. Piperbrook is good at depth and back story for his protagonists, unfortunately he tends to add this at odd moments, like right in the middle of action sequences we are taken back to review someones history. There are also several leaps of cognition by the characters that are hard to accept & frustrating since it likely would have made the story better to give them a chance to figure things out on their own. The first sequence, which is overall well done, is tarnished when the main character decides that there is an invasion of monsters based on a single encounter with what would more logically be initially identified as a deranged man in his store. Lots of examples of the "why would they do that?" variety. The main villian has some depth but ends up being more like a Dr Evil charicature. The henchmen end up being more like SciFi movie charicatures (ie although supposedly well trained militia men they can't hit any targets and get themselves killed by idiotic tactics).
That said, its not a bad listen in the zombie apocalypse vein if you are stuck in the car for a while. Troy Duran as narrator is also a plus.
Dont let the pulp like artwork fool you. This series has a very well written storyline with 3D characters, plot development & twists. It is one of the better zombie series available. There are several interesting vignettes that allow us to follow the misadventures of a few doomed characters without letting on that they are heading that way.
McFerrin does an excellent job with the narration. His voices and accents with the different characters is impressive.
One word of caution for the squeamish. Aside from the usual blood and gore you would expect from a zombie series there are several instances of sexual abuse that get a bit graphic. It is a bit disturbing but, aside from the scenes themselves, fits well into the storyline. All are used to establish the badness that humans are capable of in a chaotic post apocalyptic world.
As other reviews have noted - The first half of this book is difficult to get through. The decision to write it as if in a daily dairy is clunky and for those who are not fans of the genre probably not worth the slog. Making it more difficult the narrator reads it like a grocery list. An interesting experiment in writing/reading styles gone horribly wrong.
But wait! About half way through Bourne begins to find his pace. His writing gets better and slowly, very slowly, the story follows. In addition the narrator warms up and becomes less robotic. If you can jog your way through the first half the second is a more satisfying run through zombie apocalypse survival.
The second book continues to improve and is the better of the two but you have get through this one first.
This is an entertaining series that might be worth the pain if one can get past the author's (J Bourne? Really?) early learning curve.
I really wanted to like this book and it had lots of potential. The characters, setting and politics are perfectly outfitted. But the book is like a great set and fantastic costumes for a boring play. The main character is a brooding wizard detective who, despite his magic powers, can neither defend himself nor figure out who is behind the crimes he is investigating. In the end the bad guy literally has to tie him up and confess for him to get it. He gets beaten up over and over again and can never think of the right spell to help himself. One minute the bad guys are afraid of his powers the next they don't seem to notice. Good premise with lackluster execution.
Molles is one of the best writers in the apocalypse/zombie genre. Read this series!
Molles is one of the best writers in the apocalypse/zombie genre. Read this series.
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