Red Hill is the first book I've read by Jamie McGuire. I've heard a lot of great things about her new adult romance series so this seems quit2.5 Stars
Red Hill is the first book I've read by Jamie McGuire. I've heard a lot of great things about her new adult romance series so this seems quite a bit of a departure from that genre. Sadly it showed. Red Hill brought nothing new to the zombie genre, and contained quite a lot of the same stuff I've read before. And I've read a lot. It also didn't really go into any depth.
Basically it's the journey of several characters that find themselves fighting a zombie outbreak. There's Scarlet, who's looking for her two daughter's; Nathan and his daughter, Zoe, who he's trying to keep safe; Miranda, her sister and their boyfriends; all are heading to one place they think is the safest: Red Hill Ranch.
There are several narrators, all from the first person view point. This didn't work for me at all. The main reason first person is used is to get inside the mind of the character, this can't be done successfully when each chapter flips between several characters. We never got inside the character's mind for long enough to really get to know them, and because of this the first person POV was wasted. I don't really understand the use of first person in this instance, and wonder why the third person POV wasn't used. In my opinion it would have read better a lot better.
Even though each chapter is titled with the character's name, I often had to go back to the beginning if I'd taken a break mid-chapter, to see who it was, as I couldn't gage who was speaking, the voices just weren't distinct enough to determine who was speaking.
None of the characters are particularly likeable, except maybe for Nathan and Scarlet. Miranda starts out likeable, but then I changed my mind after some of her terrible, selfish decisions. One being to not take an eight year old girl because they didn't have any room in the car. Really? She could of sat on someone's lap - to me, there's always room for a child. But no, Miranda was totally happy to leave her to the zombie hordes.
There were also aspects that were glossed over. Such as an elderly couple who took in Nathan and his daughter, Zoe. They became quite close even in the short space of time they had known each other, and I liked their bond. But when something happens to them, it's never mentioned; no emotions - nothing. I found this unbelievable and way too simplistic. After reading quite a lot of really awesome zombie books who's writer's understood that emotions are a huge part of zombie fiction, (namely Rhiannon Frater who wrote the As the World Dies series), Red Hill was sadly lacking in this department.
There was also quite a bit of repetitiveness in the prose; doubling up of words in a short space is one of my pet peeves when it comes to writing, as well as weird descriptions:
Skeeter smiled with his mouth and frowned with his eyes.
I ran to the door and pressed my ear against the door.
Hearing her clumsy footsteps upstairs as the sickness told her braindead body to move to find food was unbelievable.
and then a short time later:
No matter how many times I told myself it was true, seeing someone I knew to be dead moving around was unbelievable.
There were also a few inconsistencies:
Skeeter alternated between checking on his wife and checking the windows in the other room.
I wondered who the woman on the floor was to Skeeter, and what her life was like before she was bitten.
The fact that the narrator knew the woman was Skeeter's wife in one sentence, only to wonder who the woman was in the next really irritated me and threw me out of the scene.
The ending was a mishmash of silliness all packed into a few chapters. It felt as though the author was just throwing stuff in there to try and get a better climax to the story. Characters died all over the place, a huge bomb went off, ash fell from the sky, was it nuclear? Nobody knew, but hey let's continue with the birthday party inside! It didn't do anything for me. And due to the way the narration was handled I didn't get to know the characters that well, and as I didn't like many of the characters to begin anyway, I didn't care much about their outcome.
However, even with all these negative points, I did still manage to read until the end. It wasn't awful enough to stop me reading but it certainly wasn't a particularly good zombie novel.
Red Hill wasn't the best zombie novel I've read, but it also wasn't the worst. It's a 'meh' book for me. There were a few good parts, but many were quite silly, most of the characters were unlikeable, and the pacing was all over the place....more
Plague World is the third book in the Ashley Parker zombie/urban fantasy series, following her fight to save the world from the zom*Warning: Spoilers*
Plague World is the third book in the Ashley Parker zombie/urban fantasy series, following her fight to save the world from the zombie plague. This continues on from where Plague Nation ended, and Ashley and her band of merry-men are fighting their way across America to find Gabriel, who was taken by the bad guys. He could also hold the cure to the virus that is now spreading across the world.
As usual there is quite a lot of action, but I felt as though not a lot actually happens. Sadly the pacing did fluctuate, and I found myself getting a bit bored in places. For the book just to be about Ashley trying to find Gabriel, meant that it didn’t quite have the same amount of excitement as the previous two books. I feel that if Gabriel’s side of the story was interwoven with Ashley’s story, it would have given the book a better dynamic, broken the story up a bit, making it a more fast-paced read. Gabriel’s condition is an interesting one and it was a shame that we couldn’t have seen what he was going through while Ashley was trying to find him.
As mentioned, there is no appearance of Gabriel, until 30 pages before the end of the book. I will admit that this annoyed me quite a bit as the series started out with Gabriel being part of the main storyline, as well as Ashley’s love interest, which I really liked. I enjoyed having the romance aspect mixed with the darkness of the zombie apocalypse, so to not have Gabriel in for basically the entire book made me feel a little bit cheated.
Thankfully, Ashley’s snarky nature is still present. She’s funny without being annoying, and although the situation is dire, her humour breaks up the seriousness of what is going on around them. Fredsti manages to combine humour and horror very well and I really enjoy that aspect of her writing.
In this instalment, the virus has become airborne, but sometimes it didn’t really make sense. As well as the Wild Cards (those who are immune to the zombie bite), there is also TJ, who is a civilian. He goes out with the Wild Cards, but doesn’t wear a protective mask. Is the now mutated virus, which has gone airborne, only contagious from human to human when it shows itself as the flu? Once it kills the humans and they come back as a zombie is the virus not airborne anymore? How long can it survive while its airborne? Once people turn into zombies does it return to it’s previous state of only being transmitted through bites and blood? Too many questions…
The story of Ashley and the other Wild Cards is interjected with snippets of the outside world, and focuses on an individual or couple and their experiences, and we get to see what’s going on through their eyes. Some of these mini stories were good as the ending is wrapped up, but some were left hanging and all I could think was, what happened to so and so? Although generally these stories were interesting, I also found them to be slightly distracting to the overall story. In all honesty I could have done without them, and would have preferred snippets of what Gabriel was going through instead.
When we do finally meet up with Gabriel again, it is very close to the end of the book, and it is bitterly disappointing. I DID NOT like what happened to him, and felt as though it was an easy way out, rather than expanding on his condition of half human, half zombie. It was a real shame this part of the story wasn’t fully developed, as it was one of the most exciting aspects to the overall story, and to Gabriel’s character.
I did enjoy this final instalment, but not as much as the first two books, and I didn’t like the way it ended – heartbroken doesn’t cover it. The ending, however, didn’t really feel like a conclusion, as the zombie apocalypse continues, but it did give me hope that maybe one day, Fredsti will bring back Ashley Parker....more
I really tried with this one. The writing is ok, the characters are ok, and I think I could possibly have finished it if it wasn't*No rating as DNF*
I really tried with this one. The writing is ok, the characters are ok, and I think I could possibly have finished it if it wasn't just so very dull. Hardly any zombies or action and the sex scenes were devoid of any sexiness. ...more
Having read all the preceding books in this series, I was looking forward to reading the 4th and final book. After sadly being dropped by Orbit, the aHaving read all the preceding books in this series, I was looking forward to reading the 4th and final book. After sadly being dropped by Orbit, the author decided to self-publish the ending to David and Sarah's story. I have read other reviews which stated that the series didn't really need another book, but I'd have to disagree. I'm really pleased that Petersen decided to publish a final book to what was a fun series.
I will say that The Zombie Whisperer wasn't as good as I had hoped but it did wrap up a few of the questions I was left with at the end of Eat Slay Love.
We're back with Sarah and David a couple of months from where Eat Slay Love ended. They are up high in the hills, living day to day, fighting off any zombie stragglers and generally getting by. David, with his new zombie strength and immunity to zombie bites does most of the hard work, preferring to keep Sarah out of harms way. This doesn't go down particularly well with Sarah and so they have to compromise with Sarah shooting from the top of the house.
One day a large pod of zombies descend upon them, and after dispatching all of them realise they were running from something. That something soon comes into view - a helicopter containing old friends. Sarah and Dave soon find themselves back in Seattle where it all began, along with many familiar faces, trying to find a cure to zombieism, dealing with Sarah's shocking, but potentially exciting news, and coping with Dave being poked and prodded by scientists like a lab rat.
Although they know many of the people they are now working with, Sarah has some serious trust issues, issues that are proved right, albeit by the wrong people.
I did enjoy this instalment. I jumped straight back into Sarah and Dave's story with ease, as though I hadn't had the eighteen month long wait since the last book. The Zombie Whisperer was a pretty short read, which was a shame, and because of that I did feel the ending was a tad rushed. There were also certain plot elements that really didn't need to be there. But as always there was quite a bit of snarkiness from Sarah, which I've always enjoyed, and it was nice to meet past characters again. The writing wasn't as tight as in the previous books, but I still really enjoyed Petersen's voice and really like her writing style. I find it very easy to read.
The Zombie Whisperer is a fun read and wraps up Sarah and David's story nicely. It was really good to be back with these two characters and to see them getting an end to their story was satisfying, if a little bittersweet. I will miss Sarah and Dave....more
Love with a Chance of Zombies is a fun erotic romance set in a zombie-apocalyptic world. At only 74 or so pages, Dryden manages to pack a lot3.5 Stars
Love with a Chance of Zombies is a fun erotic romance set in a zombie-apocalyptic world. At only 74 or so pages, Dryden manages to pack a lot in. There's hot sex, love, zombie killing and a doc who's trying to find a cure.
The story opens up with feisty heroine, Lena Stanton, out in the field shooting zombies. She's then called to stand guard over Dr. Lucas Naye, who's seen to be a hero as in the Before life he was a prodigy and genius, sadly in the Now life he's been bitten. It takes up to six weeks for the first symptoms to show and so until then he's a allowed to continue working in his lab. Lena's job is to make sure he doesn't escape or hurt anyone, and to kill on sight when he changes. What she doesn't plan on, are days full of amazing sex, and falling in love.
The interactions between Lena and Lucas are short but sweet. Mostly sex to be honest, rather than dialogue, and how they want to give him the best send off they can, both of them not realising how difficult it will be as they begin to have feelings for each other.
The romance and sex is mixed with a little bit of zombie killing action as they work tirelessly to find a cure, and I loved this untraditional combination. The ending is a HEA of sorts, but I do so wish this was a longer work as I really enjoyed being in Lena's world, and would have loved to see how things worked out with Dryden.
A fun, steamy read with the addition of zombies. A great combination in my book, a shame is was so short....more
After reading and loving Flesh, the first book in this series, I was really looking forward to reading Skin. The reason I didn't pick it up s4.5 Stars
After reading and loving Flesh, the first book in this series, I was really looking forward to reading Skin. The reason I didn't pick it up sooner is because I was concerned about the premise. The heroine, Roslyn, is sold for food and supplies by the people she is living with. After the zombie apocalypse hit, Roslyn hid in the school where she had worked as a librarian. The guy who bought her is our hero, Nick. He wants a woman to spend his time with, and have sex with. Roslyn is not too keen on being bought and sold like a piece of meat and so takes an instance dislike, or shall I say, hatred, to Nick. After smashing Nick over the head and causing all sorts of trouble as he takes her back to his home, he decides to chain her up so she can't leave.
This was where my concern lay. How could the author take a captive situation and turn it into a romance? Fortunately, Scott manages it brilliantly and I thought this instalment was even better than the first.
Although Nick is a complete A-Hole, he's not abusive. He doesn't physically hurt her, rape her, or treat her badly in any way, other than the chain of course. We go through all of Roslyn's emotions with her: how could he do this; how dare he do this; he's a complete and utter bastard... and because I went through all of Roslyn's turmoil with her, the more realistic the romance between her and Nick became.
As with Flesh, the narration alternates between hero and heroine, so we do get to hear from both Ros and Nick. This helps a lot to understand where Nick stands in all of this, and to be honest, the author does a great job putting him in a sympathetic light. I will admit that I was wary of Nick for all of a few chapters, but by then he had won me over. I liked him, and dare I say even loved him towards the end.
Nick and Ros go through quite a lot together, and trust begins to form as their home, or prison as Ros sees it at first, burns to the ground. After nearly being eaten by zombies, and saved by Nick, this is where the trust forms for Ros. During their journey together, they bump into the nasty Pete and Justin, who we first met in Flesh, and who are disgusting, horrible men. The look they give Ros as if she's just there for their sexual gratification made me shudder. But thankfully, Nick has a plan. He wants to head back to Blackstone, a community of people in a semi-secure town, where he was cast out along with Pete and Justin, tarnished with the same brush. He thinks it's the only place Ros can be safe, whether he stays with her or not. I loved this about Nick, he always had her best interests at heart, and that endeared him to me.
The romance between Nick and Ros is so good. It's alternates between cute and hot. I was totally emotionally connected to these two characters. But what I also loved was the action scenes that complimented the romance so well. This was an irrisistable combination for me.
Compared to Flesh, the writing in Skin is tighter, the dialogue is more fluent, the sex scenes are hotter and continue to be well written. Basically, Skin is just a fantastic read. Although it's the second book in the series, it's still set in the same zombie infested world, but with a different set of characters, so in my opinion it can definitely be read as a stand alone.
This series is getting better with each book and I can't wait to read the third instalment, Bone, when it's released in 2014 (eeek! so long to wait...)
Scott is now firmly placed on my auto-buy list. Skin is a fabulous, sexy, action-packed read with great characters, an amazing hero and heroine with sizzling sexual chemistry, all set in a zombie apocalyptic world... It doesn't get much better than this....more
Flesh is an erotic romance set in a zombie-apocalyptic world. Ali is a woman in her 30s who has been hiding in an attic since the zombies started walkFlesh is an erotic romance set in a zombie-apocalyptic world. Ali is a woman in her 30s who has been hiding in an attic since the zombies started walking the Earth. After two months she decides to head out only to come face to face with Dan. Frightened senseless Ali reacts and holds a shot gun to his face. She's scared, thinking that he wants nothing from her but to rape her.
Dan on the other hand is having a whale of a time. Dan has hated being alone and to find Ali is like a dream come true. He smiles at her (which she thinks is Dan leering) and tries to calm her down. A struggle ensues when Dan snatches the gun. Ali fights hard, snapping and kicking but Dan's a big man and his hold is too strong. Eventually she calms down and after a lot of talking Ali ends up with Dan in her house where they stay together.
At first I didn't really get Dan. His motives seemed off, and he called Ali "his girl" as soon as he clapped eyes on her. His dialogue is slightly stilted and I thought this was down to the author's writing, but after a while it became evident it was just Dan's way. His elation at finding someone, a woman, is what drives him at first. He's thinking of settling down, maybe having kids, all the while Ali is thinking how to get rid of him.
After a while though, Dan works his way under Ali's skin (and mine) and they end up sharing a bed together, among other things *ahem* sex between these two is hot with a capital T. At first it's all about being close to someone, but as time goes by it turns into something more.
From Ali's POV:
"I'm sick of being afraid. Daniel..." All of a sudden the world tumbled. It happened so fast her head went woozy. Her back was against the mattress and Daniel loomed over her, his big body shaking with tension. Those blue eyes of his blazed with some internal fire. Her heart stuttered in her chest.
Maybe, just maybe, she had well and truly bitten off more than she could chew.
From Dan's POV:
A smile curved her perfect mouth. He saw stars, dots dancing through his field of vision. This woman made his knees weak. Thank God he was standing.
"Kiss me," she said.
"Whatever you want."
Dan persuades Ali to move on with him and head for greener pastures, to maybe build a house in the country, but as with many post-apocalyptic novels, with hardship comes anger, zombies aren't the only monsters to be wary of. Along the way they come across a large gang of hostile, nasty men who want nothing more than to take Ali for themselves. This led to some great tension and riveting action scenes. Ali and Dan fight as best they can but things don't go too well. This is where they meet Finn.
In his life before zombies, Finn was a policeman, so he knows his way around guns and how to take care of difficult situations. The three of them band together to try and move on away from the gang, but unfortunately find themselves being herded into a dead end...
I didn't particularly like Finn to begin with, he was almost petulant when it came to Ali, but he eventually grew on me. I was surprised at how quickly Ali took to him. After the hell she had given Daniel when they first met, she's very accommodating with Finn, which I felt was a little out of character. I understand why she's become more comfortable with Daniel, but Finn is an unknown entity. I felt her mistrust of people would still have been strong towards others but it's not evident with Finn. She accepted him pretty quickly, too quickly in my opinion.
Scott is very good at describing the world and her characters. The action scenes are terrific and there is one scene near the end of the book that had my heart racing, the tension was racked up so high. As the three of them navigate the zombie infested world, there are more harships, more surprises and a lot more action - in and out of the bedroom. There's also quite a bit of humour thrown in too. Especially from Dan.
She hustled up his white t-shirt, revealing a spectacular black bruise the size of her hand. Her throat shut tight. The mark covered the entire right side of his ribcage.
"You said you were fine. Holy shit, Daniel. This is not fine. This is a really long way from fine."
And whoa, there went her voice. She screeched at him by the end of it.
"Shh. Don't go ballistic. I can explain..." He lifted up, flinching all the while. Hands gripped her hips and rearranged her till she sat atop him, aligned with his groin. She stared down at him, careful to keep her knees back from the damage. Where was it even safe to touch him?
Daniel sighed. "Actually, you know, it's not worth explaining. But, okay, don't get mad. There were all sorts of crap in the water. I hit something when I went in. I lived to tell the tale. End of Explaining. Feel free to rub yourself against me in a show of sympathy..."
The other aspect that I enjoyed was how Scott wrote her sex scenes. Yes they are very explicit (this is an erotic romance after all) but they are written well and fit into the world that these characters now find themselves. Although in the beginning I felt that the sex was something the characters craved just to feel close to someone - anyone, by the middle of the story things begin to change, emotions are setting in and the sex becomes something more.
With the introduction of Finn I did wonder how the dynamics would work between the three of them and there are a couple of occasions when I felt uncomfortable and sorry for Dan as he watches Ali and Finn get close, even seeing them getting hot and heavy and move into another room to have sex. Some of the things he says and the looks he gives indicate at how much it pains him. And this, to be honest, is the reason I usually avoid menage stories. However, Dan is the one who encourages it. Yes, you read that right. Although Dan is a big man, he realises Finn has the skills to really protect Ali. So if sharing her is the answer to keeping her safe then he's going to take it. Ali is shocked at Dan's suggestion first, but then after a few internal struggles she accepts the idea. Likes the idea even, as her attraction to Finn grows.
From Dan's POV:
His girl rose to her feet, radiating fury. Dan was singed just being in the same room. "Not good enough. I won't be wrapped in cotton wool while you two take all the risks. Do you really believe they'll let us stay in your precious town if we're not seen to be contributing? Seriously?"
Finn's nostrils flared. "I'm trained to handle dangerous situations. You are not."
I don't care."
"No, Finn. I love you, but no."
The kid gave a good impression of a man who'd had the fight sucker punched right out of him. He stopped and stared. "You love me?"
"Yes. I love you," she said.
Finn stared at her, face rigid and hands balled tight.
"Is that really so bad?" she asked.
The kid grabbed her and held on tight. And his girl fitted herself against Finn, her face in his neck, arms wrapped around him like she couldn't let go.
Inside Dan's ribcage something hurt, just like it had earlier today when he thought he'd lost her. No amount of rubbing the heel of his hand at it helped.
My discomfort for Dan's situation diminished as Dan's pain declined. When the three of them became more than just three people but three friends, everything changed for me and I couldn't wait for them all to get together. By the time the sex arrives between Dan, Finn and Ali, it's over. The book ends. I wanted so much more. I'd come to care about these characters, understand their quirks, and although I'd been worried I wouldn't be able to handle the threesome, I realised I wanted to have more time with them all together. This isn't to say the book ends badly or abruptly as it doesn't, it's a very fitting end, it's just that personally I would have liked more time with these characters, especially as their story doesn't continue in book two, Skin.
Flesh is a really great start to a new series. I love how the author combines erotic romance and zombie killing action. It makes for a very exciting read full of tension. If you enjoy erotic romance but are put off by the fact it's set in a zombie-apocalyptic world, don't be. Flesh is a really fun read, I'm sure you won't be disappointed....more
Plague Nation is the second book in the Ashley Parker zombie series and I enjoyed it a lot. It isn't as good as book one, Plague Town, but it3.5 Stars
Plague Nation is the second book in the Ashley Parker zombie series and I enjoyed it a lot. It isn't as good as book one, Plague Town, but it is still a really fun read.
Ashley is a great heroine. I love her snark and attitude, but she's also genuine and caring. This continues to show through her actions towards her friends. Gabriel on the other hand is a strange one. In the first book I thought he was soooo sexy, but here he is a little generic. I got tired of his hard-arse attitude and wanted him to grow the hell up.
I'm also disappointed that there isn't much of a fall out from the revelation regarding Gabriel's secret. It is sort of washed over and Ashley has apparently forgiven him for lying and accepts everything, and yet Gabriel is the one with the stony-face? I really didn't like the way he treated Ashley. I know he has a lot going on with his particular condition, but he acts like a douchebag at times.
They do get back together in this instalment but it felt all wrong. Their relationship is barely touched upon and when they are together I was hoping for fireworks, but they just act as though they have been with each other for years rather than just having their first amazing sexual encounter a few days previously.
I wanted more heat, more angst... just more.
Having said that, I do love these two characters and I suppose that's why I am slightly disappointed that their relationship isn't really dealt with, considering what they went through in the previous book. I like the fact they give each other such a hard time though as it makes for a fun relationship.
To make up for the lack of relationship growth between Ashley and Gabriel, there is a lot of action and a lot of zombies, and I mean a lot. So much happens, and even one of the team dies *sniffles* But I'm not telling you who. The fall out from this is handled really well. The emotions that emulate from each of the team comes off as so real it nearly made me cry.
The ending is good, and as predicted, has me gagging for book three.
A really good addition to the series, just not as good as book one. However, there's plenty of zombie action even if there isn't any bedroom action, if you know what I mean *wink, wink*. This is definitely a series that should be on your bookshelf if you're an urban fantasy / zombie fan. Roll on 2014 and Plague World....more
Dead Tropics was a really good zombie horror, and I enjoyed the author’s writing style. It’s the typical surOriginally posted on www.bookchickcity.com
Dead Tropics was a really good zombie horror, and I enjoyed the author’s writing style. It’s the typical survival plot of a group of people helping each other to survive with one leader.
Lori Nelson is an unapologetic heroine, killing zombies from the get go without hesitation, whether adult, child or baby. Going from an ordinary woman, performing the normal day to day routines, to an extraordinary woman, wielding a parang. The transition from one to the other is quick, but so is the action. It moves fast and furious, without letting up, which to be honest is how it would be if the zombie apocalypse actually happened. You either step up or become one of the walking dead.
It’s an incredibly easy read too and the writing flows really well. Although there’s not a lot of depth or world building I still connected with the characters.
Some of Lori’s decisions are slightly stupid though, like the futile attempt at trying to save a street full of people from a large zombie horde, which could have potentially led the zombies back to her family. Other decisions are more calculated and selfish, but ultimately life-saving for herself, her friends and her family; such as leaving abandoned children to die at the hand of the walking dead. I’m not sure I would have made the same decisions, I’m not sure I could watch children die, even if I didn’t know them. They had nobody to save them as their parents were already dead. But although Lori’s decisions were out of sync with mine, she is admirable in certain situations. And with a large gaggle of zombies descending upon me, I’m sure it would be difficult to make instant decisions under such panic and duress.
At times it seemed that all the adults wanted to have a go at being the hero, and on occasion all together. This is one of those stupid decisions, being as they had numerous children to care for. My eyes rolled to the heavens. Really? Leave all those children unprotected with just one adult, Emma, who really wasn’t much use, as past history showed.
However, for the most part, Dead Tropics is a really fun, action-packed read. It was non-stop, but in a good way. Edge kept the tension and suspense wracked up high for most of the novel. Sometimes I wished it would slow down so I could catch my breath, but I loved how the action drove the novel forward.
Although the title suggests it is based in a tropical rainforest, it is actually set in urban areas for about 75% of the story. When it does move into the rainforest, it’s a nice change of scenery as it’s a fresh and original setting. I wish more of the book took place in the rainforest rather than the town and roads, as this has been done to death.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Dead Tropics. It’s a fun, adrenaline-fuelled ride with lots of zombies. I can’t wait for book two, which I’ve been told by Permuted Press, is set for release sometime in 2014....more
This is an erotic horror short story serial set in a zombie infested world. I didn’t think these two genres would mesh well, but they really do. I lovThis is an erotic horror short story serial set in a zombie infested world. I didn’t think these two genres would mesh well, but they really do. I loved it and will definitely continue the series....more