***Spoiler alert*** I will discuss plot points that happened in the first book. I won't spoil this one, but if you haven't read the first book, you ma...more***Spoiler alert*** I will discuss plot points that happened in the first book. I won't spoil this one, but if you haven't read the first book, you may want to read my review of Feed before going any further. Scroll down for spoiler-free section.
Shaun Mason lives life like he has a death wish. It's what being an Irwin (a daring stunt blogger) is all about. However, he lost his lust for life when he had to shoot his sister, George, after she began amplifying into a zombie. Now, George is a voice in his head that constantly talks to him, and he's determined to ferret out the conspiracy that was behind her death. When a CDC researcher shows up on his team's front door, he knows things are about to get intense. He can't guess how far down the rabbit hole goes, though, and how dangerous and all-encompassing the conspiracy really is. Shaun needs to get his revenge, but he may also need to save humanity to do it.
I loved Feed. It was fast-paced, creative, intelligent, and wildly entertaining. I'm happy to report that Deadline does not disappoint as a followup! This story is told from Shaun's point of view, rather than George's. However, we still get our fair share of George and her dry sarcasm as the voice in Shaun's head. He doesn't just imagine that she's speaking to him, he literally hears her and has arguments with her as his coping mechanism. Shaun's a compelling narrator, even if he doesn't have the same Irwin gusto that he used to have. He's now completely driven--driven to the brink of insanity by his loss, and driven to seek revenge for the death of his sister.
Deadline introduced new key characters to keep the story moving. Shaun's team really fills out the story with multiple viewpoints and character motivations. We get to enjoy more of Mahir, who figured somewhat in the last book. We also get to know Maggie, the rich girl who doesn't rely on money to keep her safe, Becks, the ultra-cool female Irwin, and Alaric, who has been thrown in over his head.
There's plenty of gore, tense scenarios, and explosions to keep zombie enthusiasts happy. Technically, I'm not sure if this would truly be called a zombie book or an "infected" book in the eyes of zombie purists, but it doesn't matter to me. The dead are hungry, and they're out en mass. Even if zombies aren't your goal, the complex conspiracy plot and scientific explanation of the development of the disease can still give you plenty to chew on.
Don't even try to read Deadline before reading Feed. You will be confused and will lose the nuances of the post-apocalyptic world that Grant's created so well. Solution: read them both! This is one of my top picks for current series, horror, and zombie fiction. You'll be *dying* to read the next one (groan...)(less)
Temple has wandered America, a vast land emptied of most people by the zombie apocalypse that took place 25 years earlier–10 years before Temple was b...moreTemple has wandered America, a vast land emptied of most people by the zombie apocalypse that took place 25 years earlier–10 years before Temple was born. Still, she is able to find beauty in the world that surrounds her, and doesn’t begrudge the “meatskins” for doing what it is their nature to do. However, when Temple accidentally kills a man who attacks her, she finds herself on the run from his brother: a large man who has found his new singular purpose in life. On the way, Temple befriends a developmentally disabled mute, who she comes to need just as much as he needs her. As she runs from the man who is hunting her, she also works to discover herself and the good she believes she has lost.
The Reapers are the Angels is a strikingly beautiful, poetic novel of a young woman finding her way in a world rife with both danger and beauty. What’s remarkable about Temple is the way she views the world. She finds miracles in the nature that surrounds her, and, although she could be angry that she was born into a world full of the walking dead, she takes life as it is for what it is, without wishing for it to be otherwise. Her way of speaking is old fashioned and has a rhythm to it, like the dialog in the Coen brothers’ True Grit. This book is a pleasure to read for the writing alone.
Temple’s antagonist, Moses, is a mesmerizing character himself. He sees avenging his brother’s death as something he must do, something he is fated to do like an actor in a script. However, he’s honorable to Temple, and respects her even while wanting to kill her. I found his relationship with Temple to be surprising, and not at all like the usual vengeance-driven villain.
The Reapers are the Angels isn’t a young adult book–it’s an adult book that will most likely appeal to a wide audience including young adults. It is horror, containing violence (mostly involving the living), sexual content, and questions of good and evil. However, for all of its darkness, this is still a hopeful book that has a strangely uplifting quality to it. I highly recommend it to zombie lovers, horror aficionados, or anybody just looking for a smart, well-written story.(less)
Will Henry has always thought the Monstrumologist he serves, Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, to be devoid of human emotions, at least as far as he could tell....moreWill Henry has always thought the Monstrumologist he serves, Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, to be devoid of human emotions, at least as far as he could tell. It comes as a surprise, then, when Dr. Warthrop's former fiancee comes asking for him to rescue her husband, Warthrop's former best friend, from the wilds of Canada. John Chandler, the husband, has ventured there in search of the legendary wendigo, a creature with an insatiable appetite, for each time he feeds, he grows hungrier. Warthrop is compelled to make the treacherous journey, although he doesn't neither believes Chandler to still be alive, or in the wendigo, to discover the truth of the disappearance. Will Henry and Warthrop's journey takes them to the very heart of what it means to be human, and the point where humans become monsters.
I can't believe I waited as long as I did to read The Curse of the Wendigo. Somehow, I didn't get sufficiently hooked by The Monstrumologist, and didn't feel motivated by the promise of the wendigo. I was wrong. This book was incredible, and should serve as an exemplar for the modern horror novel, young adult audience or not. Yancey has crafted a tale that is at once literary in its language, and compelling in its storytelling and character building. Every character is fleshed out, every scene painted with exactitude, so that the reader is fully immersed in the late nineteenth century setting of the story.
Yancey writes with real skill, and his voice brings to mind the writings of H.P. Lovecraft and Bram Stoker. Younger readers may want to read with a dictionary by their side, because he does not shy away from using advanced vocabulary, which helps to capture the tone of the setting. There are also constant references to events and people of the day, which will further invoke the period for readers.
I absolutely fell in love with Warthrop's character in this book. Coming out of The Monstromologist, it's hard to like the guy because he seems utterly callous to the needs of young Will Henry. He's still the same in this book, but further layers of his character are revealed, such what he gave up to pursue science, and his loyalty to friends after long years of distance. His relationship with Will Henry grows deeper as well.
The Curse of the Wendigo is the horror genre at its best, and will both appeal to those new to the genre and older fans. I give this book my highest praise, and hope that later books in the series are held to the same level of quality.(less)
When we last left Reggie, she had been taken by the Vours to a mental institution, where they experiment on her and her ability to enter the fearscape...moreWhen we last left Reggie, she had been taken by the Vours to a mental institution, where they experiment on her and her ability to enter the fearscapes of those possessed by Vours. Reggie’s best friend, Aaron, has been searching for her, training to fight the Vours and rescue her once he finds her. Aaron must also team up with Quinn, an ex-Vour that Reggie helped to rescue. The Vours are up to something, and the three of them need to figure it out before Sorry Night, when the Vours will take advantage of human fear to inhabit more people, making the world a much scarier place.
Fearscape is the final book in the Devouring series. It wraps up the story, and ties up loose ends for the reader. It also takes advantage of the concept of the fearscape to plunge Reggie into more and more nightmares, as well as upping the ante on what’s really at stake. Reggie gets answers about the nature of the Vours, and why she alone has been able to fight them without needing to kill the victim, as well as answers about why her mom left.
Reggie’s relationships with Aaron and Quinn grow even more complicated in this book. I can’t say I’m too happy about how it ended up, but Holt leaves it a bit open ended so I wasn’t tooooo disappointed.
Of the three books, the first book, The Devouring, was definitely my favorite, since it was the first to introduce the concept of Sorry Night, the Vours, and how to swallow your fears. I felt satisfied with how Fearscape ended things, and liked the series overall. I recommend it for people who love walking through haunted mazes at Halloween, or love the Nightmare on Elm Street movies.(less)
Okay, you kind of need to be living under a rock to not have heard of Stephen King’s The Shining. And there was a super scary movie made of it by Stan...moreOkay, you kind of need to be living under a rock to not have heard of Stephen King’s The Shining. And there was a super scary movie made of it by Stanley Kubrick. Plus, who doesn’t know that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”? The Shining was originally written in 1977, so how could we not all know how it goes? Well, I had never read the book, and although I’ve seen the movie a dozen times or more, I have realized that I didn’t really know The Shining after all.
I picked up the audiobook after my mom kept insisting I read it. She absolutely loved the book, and told me over and over again that it was so scary she couldn’t sleep. I didn’t have that problem, personally, but I did start thinking I was seeing stuff out of the corner of my eye while thinking about the story. Showers were definitely more interesting, thinking I was seeing a person–maybe with a roque mallet?–outside the shower curtain.
Jack’s alcoholism is really put on display in the book. We get an insider’s look at what it’s like to be a recovering alcoholic. He’s been sober for two years since alcohol helped to ruin his life, yet Jack still yearns for a drink every single day. We learn much more of his and Wendy’s back stories, and the family histories that lead to their dysfunctions. King’s insights into the human condition are often striking, and I don’t think his critics give him enough credit where that is concerned.
As for the audiobook, Campbell Scott does a great job narrating. He doesn’t try to copy Jack Nicholson’s performance as Jack, even though that seems like it would be really easy to do. Instead, he treats each character as the person they are in the book, rather than in the movie, and does justice to King’s prose.
The bottom line is this: if you have seen the movie and liked it, but haven’t read the book, you should read the book. The book and the movie are VERY different, and you will not know how the book ends. Danny is a different character, as is Jack, and the hotel is much more of an actual character in the book. What’s better? It’s a toss up. As lame as it sounds, the book is very effective as a book, and the movie is effective as a movie, and they should be judged separately because they’re so different from each other. But really, read the book.(less)
Three manuscript notebooks describe horrors witnessed by a twelve year-old monstrumologist's assistant in late nineteen-century New England. Orphaned...moreThree manuscript notebooks describe horrors witnessed by a twelve year-old monstrumologist's assistant in late nineteen-century New England. Orphaned Will Henry works for Dr. Warthrop, a driven, half-mad scientist who studies what the rest of us would call monsters. Late one night, a frightened grave-robber brings the corpse of a nightmare he discovered during his dark work, leading to a story of the discovery of and fight against an ancient man-eater, the Anthropophagi--a creature with no head and a mouth in its chest, believed by most to be a mere myth. Horror ensues as the doctor and his assistant become both hunter and prey.
I was surprised that the story revolved around this single monster from ancient literary sources, one that most people don't even know nowadays. Yancey does not shy away from grizzly scenes and bloody violence. At times, the story dragged to me, but I think it was due to the gothic literary genre in which he is working, so I found it forgivable. This is a dark adventure that probes the depths of human evil and morality. (less)
To me, this book was a blending of several other stories: The Stand, Salem's Lot, Dracula, I Am Legend, and The Cobra Event. It wasn't very original,...moreTo me, this book was a blending of several other stories: The Stand, Salem's Lot, Dracula, I Am Legend, and The Cobra Event. It wasn't very original, but it was still entertaining. The vampires in this book are caused by a parasitic bacteria that turns its host into a physiologically new creature altogether. When CDC directors don't listen to the warnings of the hero, Ephraim, the disease quickly spreads throughout New York City. An unlikely group of heroes emerges to try to halt the inevitable apocalypse that looms on the horizon.
The book reads like a movie. If you like action/horror/adventure films, this is the book for you. If your taste is high literature, or handsome vampires who sparkle, I'd skip it.(less)