The world is ending, but for Sloane Price, life has been over for a while. After her beloved sister left her alone with their abusive father, life was...moreThe world is ending, but for Sloane Price, life has been over for a while. After her beloved sister left her alone with their abusive father, life wasn't exactly rosy. So when the dead start walking and civilization falls apart, Sloane accepts it as she has accepted all of her problems and waits for the dead to break through the barriers to reach her and the five other students holed up in what used to be their high school. Unlike Sloane, the other students actually want to live, and the only question is how far they will go to stay breathing. Before long, things start falling apart inside the school as much as outside and Sloane is forced to re-examine her decision to give up and let the others fend for themselves.
I like zombie books and apocalyptic fiction, as you've probably noticed if you've known me for very long, and this is one of the best that I've read recently. Yes, it's sort of predictable. When you've got some kids together in one building and some zombies outside, it's no shocker when things start going a little "Lord of the Flies." Still, it feels different than other stories with similar plots, more thoughtful and literary. I like the writing style--I'm not sure how to describe it other than to say that Summers definitely knows how to create a melancholy atmosphere and it fits the story perfectly. There's plenty of action, too, to move the story along. I feel like a lot of teen authors feel like they have to have a happy (or at least somewhat happy) ending and I like that Summers didn't do that here because it wouldn't have fit. I think it has a satisfying conclusion--it's not all sunshine and rainbows, but there's closure. Definitely a must-read for those who like end-of-the-world stories.(less)
It's been fifteen years since the zombie plague broke out, killing thousands of people before the preventative vaccine was developed. Josh was just a...moreIt's been fifteen years since the zombie plague broke out, killing thousands of people before the preventative vaccine was developed. Josh was just a baby then, so he has no memory of real zombies. For him, they only exist in his video games. And Josh is really, really good at killing zombies in video games. So good, in fact, that he's recruited by an elite group of gamers who play in real life (IRL) with simulated living dead robots. He hasn't been playing for long, though, when things start to get dangerous. There's something sinister going on behind the scenes, and Josh has gotten himself mixed up in something worse than he could have imagined.
The plot of "Z" is unique but ultimately predictable. Also, there are several significant holes in the story and I wish the characters were more developed. When I let go of those things, though, I enjoyed the book. There's plenty of zombie mayhem and a good message that makes a point without being preachy or cheesy. Though it's considered young adult, it's written at a lower level than most teen books. I'll be recommending this one to my tween zombie fans. (less)
The year is 1881. The Mississippi River divides the United States from the Indian nations of the West. The only thing keeping the US from expanding is...moreThe year is 1881. The Mississippi River divides the United States from the Indian nations of the West. The only thing keeping the US from expanding is the magic of powerful Indian medicine men. The America government is desperate to expand its territory (since it's the "destiny" of the US and all), so it sends Thomas Edison out West to the town of Tombstone, Arizona, to discover a scientific answer to the Indians' magic. When he arrives, he brings some of his other inventions to the town: horseless carriages, electric streetlights, and *ahem* robotic prostitutes. Meanwhile, Wyatt Earp and his brothers are hired to protect the genius. Problem is, Edison and Earp have enemies who make the Indian threat seem tame--the Clayton gang. When they find themselves in over their heads, Earp's old friends Doc Holliday and Bat Masterson ride into help. Though you'd think they'd get some good-karma by offering their assistance, Bat is turned into--what else--a bat and Doc is stalked by a zombie gunslinger. The gang will have to do some quick thinking--and shooting--to get out of this one.
I enjoyed every bit of this fast-paced story. Usually I want some more character development than what this one has, but because it's so action-oriented I was okay with a little less info in that department. I loved all the funky steampunkness and the wacky dialogue. The book kept me guessing about what was going to happen next and made me laugh as well. Fun, fun, fun!(less)
Benny, Nix, Chong, and Lilah have healed physically, but they're still mentally recovering from the horrific events they suffered at the end of "Dust...moreBenny, Nix, Chong, and Lilah have healed physically, but they're still mentally recovering from the horrific events they suffered at the end of "Dust and Decay." They've lost loved ones and seen human beings do terrible things that forever changed the way they look at the world. Now Benny and his friends are on their own, headed east through the Rot and Ruin in search of the plane they saw flying in that direction months ago. And things get only more dangerous as they go. It appears that the zombies are changing. Some are faster and even seem smarter than any seen before. Has the plague mutated, or is a more sinister force behind this development? Before the group can figure it out, they come across a strange religious cult with a so-called holy mission of killing people to send them into the sacred Darkness. Benny and the others have gotten out of scrapes before, but this takes it to a whole other level.
I can't get enough of the Benny Imura series. It has non-stop action, but there's a lot of depth to the stories as well. You really get to know and love the characters. They grow up a lot in this installment, and I like that--it bugs me when characters stay the same throughout a book and especially a series. There are a few moments that are a bit cheesy, but for the most part the characters, their emotions, and their reactions feel incredibly real. "Flesh and Bone," like the previous titles in the series, not only entertains but also provides a lot of food for thought about standing up for what's right and having hope when all seems lost. Oh, and as a final thought, I have to mention that I LOVE the unexpected appearance of a crazy-cool character from one of Maberry's other series. I literally cheered when I figured out who he is (yes, I am that nerdy). I can hardly wait to see where the rest of this series goes.(less)
There's a ton of variety among these stories, with everything from classic terrifying zombies to humorous spoofs to social commentary. As is the case...moreThere's a ton of variety among these stories, with everything from classic terrifying zombies to humorous spoofs to social commentary. As is the case with almost every short story collection I've read (especially one with stories by different authors), I liked some stories more than others. For the most part, though, I enjoyed the collection. Zombie literature is popular right now, so authors are going to have to be creative to keep it fresh. This collection contains a lot of original ideas that indicate there are still plenty of ways for zombie stories to go before there's nothing left to write about.(less)
I thought I'd like this book more than I did. I think I was disappointed because I recently read Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel, and this is very s...moreI thought I'd like this book more than I did. I think I was disappointed because I recently read Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel, and this is very similar. Both have the following: a steampunk vibe; a missing brother and a sister on a mission to save him; a dashing, mysterious love interest; and similar conclusions. It all made this one feel predictable, which may or may not be fair but there it is. That said, I did enjoy a lot of this story. I love the fiery, feisty Eleanor and how she refuses to step aside and let the boys do all the work/have all the fun. Also, it's a fast-paced, fun read with lots of action. Although it wasn't my favorite zombie story, it was definitely worth reading and I plan to read the rest of series. (Thanks for the advance copy, Sarah!!)(less)
I thoroughly enjoyed "Ashes," the first book in the trilogy, but I was mostly disappointed with this one. I felt like it was much more random and unst...moreI thoroughly enjoyed "Ashes," the first book in the trilogy, but I was mostly disappointed with this one. I felt like it was much more random and unstructured, like the author didn’t have much of a plan and just made it up as she went along. I had trouble following all the different characters’ perspectives and all their wandering. Still, when the action picked up in the second part of the book and the two main storylines finally came together, I did enjoy it more. I’m hoping that this middle book is just a weak link and that the third book in the trilogy finishes strong. (less)
As a big fan of the Walking Dead, I was really excited about this book. It disappointed me, though. I expected to learn more about the Governor before...moreAs a big fan of the Walking Dead, I was really excited about this book. It disappointed me, though. I expected to learn more about the Governor before the undead began to walk, but there's not much of that. Although he experiences some horrifying things in the world of the undead, it seems unlikely to me that a normal person could become such a monster from this alone; I thought there'd be something from his past that would come up. There's a big twist at the end that I liked, although it too didn't really make sense. I hear that this is supposed to be the first book in a trilogy about the Governor, and I hope the rest of the series provides some more of the background and explanation that I'm looking for.(less)
The Maberry books I've read most recently are young adult titles "Rot and Ruin" and "Dust and Decay," and he has such a great teen voice that I'd forg...moreThe Maberry books I've read most recently are young adult titles "Rot and Ruin" and "Dust and Decay," and he has such a great teen voice that I'd forgotten how well he does darker adult novels as well. In my opinion, "Dead of Night" certainly lives up to the high standards of his other work. Maberry does a great job developing his characters by showing rather than telling. I liked and related to the them almost instantly, even Dez with all her flaws. I also enjoyed the action; it's written so clearly that I could almost see it, like a movie. My favorite thing, though, is that this book made me think, as do many of Maberry's novels (and some other zombie authors as well). I was left wondering who is worse: the actual zombies, or the politicians and scientists who create them and then try to deny their responsibility. We'd like to think that no government would do such a thing in real life, but history has shown that it does happen. On a more personal level, it's interesting to speculate what would happen to individuals in such a massive crisis. As other disasters have shown, desperate times bring out the best in some and the worst in others. Maberry realistically portrays characters from both camps, in a pretty darn entertaining way. I say this is a must-read for zombie lit fans. (less)
I can't get enough of this series. Just when I worry that the plot is going to start going in circles, they come up with something to keep it fresh. A...moreI can't get enough of this series. Just when I worry that the plot is going to start going in circles, they come up with something to keep it fresh. Also, I like seeing some cracks in Rick's armor in these recent issues. He's been incredibly strong up to this point, so it's nice to see that even he has a breaking point.(less)