What a fun book. As a fan of the camp horror of Marvel Zombies, the idea of superheroes and zombies is quite appealing to me. There's nothing campy abWhat a fun book. As a fan of the camp horror of Marvel Zombies, the idea of superheroes and zombies is quite appealing to me. There's nothing campy about this story, though. Set in a modern era, not much explanation is given on how superheroes got their powers, but focuses mainly on how heroes met and came to fight the zombie hoard together, while gathering survivors into the protected oasis of a Hollywood film lot.
The action scenes are top-notch in this book. Energetic and vividly descriptive, it felt much like reading a comic book to me. The survivor mentality prevails in this book, as pockets of civilization compete for scant resources and protection. Inevitably, rival groups collide in a superpowered confrontation that adds a unique twist on the typical zombie story.
There are some really cool ideas of superpowered zombies in this book; unlike Marvel Zombies, the ex-heroes retain their abilities but without the surface knowledge on how to use them. This makes for some interesting, tense situations. There's even a great explanation for how the zombies started, along with an appropriate penance. This book has done a great job providing superheroes in a context that is well-suited for them, without the cliches and ostentatious costuming (ok, well...mostly). Though well-concluded, I was pleased to discover there is a book 2 that will soon be flying to my e-reader....more
Wow, what a ride. This book starts out hitting the ground at full speed, introducing us to a completely new type of future spectator sport. The familiWow, what a ride. This book starts out hitting the ground at full speed, introducing us to a completely new type of future spectator sport. The familiar cast is back, ready to take on their second season of Tier 1 football and make it all the way to the Galaxy Bowl.
Along the way, their leader, Quarterback Quentin Barnes, encounters obstacle after obstacle. Some are beyond his control; some are things he tries to take control of. His co-horts' loyalties come into question, and divisions begin to be formed. And all along the way, Quentin has to face his own weaknesses and learn about sacrificing for the greater good.
Moreso than the previous two books in the great GFL series (The Rookie, The Starter), this book ends with less of a feeling of completion. Sigler sets the stage for book four, The MVP, which his fans, known as Junkies, will be clamoring for until it finally comes out next year.
This Young Adult novel series is a great read for teens and tweens, with many life lessons taught to the protagonist that many young adults may connect with. Politics, crime, sex and religion are all addressed with maturity and some viewpoints that may surprise some young readers. I found them to be refreshing and very modern, showing a healthy respect for young men and women who are constantly bombarded with pressures and ideals that are difficult to live up to.
Oh yeah, and there's football. The Galactic Football league is the backdrop for the entire story, and Sigler's love of the game shows in every detail. The print version of the books in this series have some gorgeous full-color inserts; The All-Pro has a beautifully done playbook showing offensive and defensive sets, and a few images of some of the intergalactic football stadiums from the story.
If you haven't already been reading this series, start with The Rookie, and work your way through them. You'll love them all, and soon join the ranks of the Rabid Junkies who are all desperately waiting for their next fix....more
Wow. Did NOT see that coming. You'll understand when you read it. This book was very enjoyable. Considering what is revealed in the first couple of paWow. Did NOT see that coming. You'll understand when you read it. This book was very enjoyable. Considering what is revealed in the first couple of pages, it's a remarkable testament to the author's ability that he can keep the reader engaged throughout the rest of the story. Even though we know how it's going to end, the path to get there is fresh and exciting, and justifiably nerve-wracking.
This was a pleasant surprise for me: a novella bought on a whim and thoroughly enjoyed....more
First off, this is one messed up book. Secondly, this messed up book is really, really good. This story of a sociopath and the people in his life pullFirst off, this is one messed up book. Secondly, this messed up book is really, really good. This story of a sociopath and the people in his life pulls no punches. The author does a fantastic job of switching narrative perspectives, and in so doing, giving a refreshing and revealing bit of "he said, she said" among the characters.
This is a violently disturbing book, with some behavioral aspects of its main character that may leave you squirming with discomfort. But if you can see past the Red, you'll be rewarded with a story that provides a unique perspective on the mind of a very disturbed individual. ...more
Lt. Commander Mollie Sanders is a female version of the typical military badass that seems to dominate the genre. Unfortunately, other than her genedeLt. Commander Mollie Sanders is a female version of the typical military badass that seems to dominate the genre. Unfortunately, other than her geneder, she is just like the archetype. Maybe this was the point - why can't more of these roles feature badass women, rather than just men? After all, attractive badasses attract the right viewership - just ask Lara Croft.
No, that wasn't a typo - I said "viewership" because this particular book is two screenplays slapped together under a single cover. Clearly, this was intended to be a film franchise, but for whatever reasons, the author decided to put them together and release it as a single novel. Normally, that wouldn't be too bad of an idea, but the book feels pretty slipshod.
The stories are discrete, and not really connected. This makes for a very awkward transition between the two. The two plots are so entirely different, it seems obvious to release these as two novellas rather than a single novel. The book(s) could use a good editor, as well. There are numerous careless errors, and the book could do with grammar and spell check. The style in which the story is written reads like a comic book, giving a juvenile slant towards what is ostensibly a mature-subject book. It's not dripping with sex or violence, but it's not a kid's book. I guess I'm not a big fan of objective narration using exclamation points.
The stories themselves are decent. The main protagonist is a little hard-nosed - but then again, she's a woman in a man's world. Her suffering sexual harrassment and gender discrimination is an intriguing thread throughout, but her character seems a little one-dimensional. There's very little development of any of the characters, and it's all the more difficult to keep track of the characters when they are referenced by their first name, last name, rank or callsign, switching back-and-forth at such a rate as to be dizzying.
I would say this is a good first draft, but it needs a lot of work to feel more like a cohesive story with characters we care about and want to empathize with. The plots are clever, though time-management feels forced (flying all over the world from page-to-page)....more
I've been sitting on this book for a while, and it finally bubbled up to the top of my reading queue. I had bought it on recommendation a few years agI've been sitting on this book for a while, and it finally bubbled up to the top of my reading queue. I had bought it on recommendation a few years ago, and it sounded pretty good to me. I finished this fairly quickly; it had a good pace and an engaging story, with a slightly convoluted plot that takes the main character all over the world (did he ever sleep?) on his investigations. There are apparently additional books in this series, which I'm interested in checking out now as well, since I enjoyed this book.
My only complaint was that the climax was unfortunately a little anti-climactic. It was an appropriate ending, but somehow left me wanting just a little bit more. Looking forward to more in the series....more
Wow. This book came highly, highly recommended, and it did not disappoint. I won't say that this is a new twist on the Zombie genre, because pretty muWow. This book came highly, highly recommended, and it did not disappoint. I won't say that this is a new twist on the Zombie genre, because pretty much everyone who writes a zombie story seems to say that. I will, however, say that this seems to be one of the smartest, backing up the horror with some credible science that makes me just a wee bit nervous.
What a grand tale. Looking forward to more of the books in the series....more
I got this book for free a few years ago. As such, I still want my money back. This is yet another example of a pretty decent story ruined by amateuriI got this book for free a few years ago. As such, I still want my money back. This is yet another example of a pretty decent story ruined by amateurish storytelling and lack of editing. I almost gave up on this book entirely, but was curious enough to see how the story ended. There are at least three more books in this series that I will be sure to avoid.
The author switches between past and present tense, indiscriminately and abruptly. There are endless confused homophones throughout the book (aisle/isle, serial/cereal, sight/site, heel/heal). Characters switch names and some names are inconsistently spelled. The book is overflowing with awkward and distracting sentence structure. And it's not a stylistic choice, like a noir-sounding staccato pulp narration; it's fragments, run-on sentences and misuse of punctuation.
The story itself is pretty good. It's hard to put a unique spin on the zombie genre, and there are definitely some very clever and interesting concepts in here. Unfortunately, I couldn't immerse myself in the story, and kept being jolted out of the narrative by the distracting lack of editing. This book reads like a bad first draft....more
If you're looking for a polished, edited memoir of a flight attendant's career, look elsewhere. This book is essentially a flight attendant's blog, puIf you're looking for a polished, edited memoir of a flight attendant's career, look elsewhere. This book is essentially a flight attendant's blog, put together as a book without ever being in the same zip code as a professional editor. As such, it is rife with spelling and grammatical errors, and the layout of the book is at times confusing. Each new chapter in my kindle version was started with a big letter "Q" and there were blog comments peppered throughout that might have worked if they were applied consistently, but come across as something they couldn't figure out how to remove.
So that aside, what is actually communicated in the book is actually kinda fun. There's no shortage of anecdotes, which are somewhat categorized and grouped into chapters. For instance, Chapter Q is about training to become a flight attendant; Chapter Q is about specific anecdotes regarding elderly passengers; while Chapter Q is about mean-spirited passengers.
It's easy reading, once you can get past the lack of style and editing, and I can't complain too much since it was offered as a free book from Amazon. Early on when I was reading it, I kept thinking, "It's free, so I can't get my money back. Maybe I can get my wasted time back?" At the end, though, I still read the entire thing. I could have put it down and given up, but it was so short, it was easy enough to breeze through.
Caveat emptor. If you can get it for free, it's worth every penny....more
This book was an unexpected pleasant surprise. I got it for free when Amazon was promoting it, along with a hundred other books that I'll be sure to tThis book was an unexpected pleasant surprise. I got it for free when Amazon was promoting it, along with a hundred other books that I'll be sure to take me with when I fall down a deep well with an outlet and my Kindle.
The premise is silly: A woman takes a job as a phone-sex operator, and ends up meeting one of her clients (sorta accidentally) the night he is murdered. Emily puts her Nancy Drew hat on and tries to solve the case, hoping to write a story that will get her a job at the local newspaper (I'm paraphrasing).
The book is very well written; there are a few minor typographical errors, but I'm not going to quibble about those (this time). The book trailer is cheesy, but silly. This book tries not to take itself too seriously, and I think it succeeds quite well. It's comedic and intriguing.
Wrapped up in it all is another story about how Emily is dealing with body image issues. Despite having lost weight and making a commendable effort to get and stay healthy, she is constantly plagued with her perception of her old self. It's not too hard to see how much that perception shapes a young woman nowadays.
There's something quite fascinating about a well-written book that uses characters from another author's universe. When done properly, the result is aThere's something quite fascinating about a well-written book that uses characters from another author's universe. When done properly, the result is a completed puzzle that enhances the original story, yet seamlessly extends everything you already knew in a way that you didn't know you were missing. At the same time, the story is spoken in a voice that is different from the original author's, which runs the risk of distracting the reader from the story at hand. I recently had the pleasure to read Dust and Shadows, a pastiche of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes that was beautifully done.
THE DETECTIVE, a collaborative effort of Matt Wallace and Scott Sigler, is another shining example of how to do it. Focusing on Frederico Esteban Giuseppe Gonzaga, the titular private detective from Sigler's Galactic Football League universe, THE DETECTIVE fills in the blanks of how Fred locates Quentin's sister, Jeanine. Along the way, we find out more about Fred's past as we follow him across the universe, watching the seamless integration with the parts of THE ALL-PRO around which the story is written.
For fans of Sigler's GFL series, this is a must-read....more
I really enjoyed this book. It combines the theological afterlives of so many different and differing religions, yet is woven together into a single cI really enjoyed this book. It combines the theological afterlives of so many different and differing religions, yet is woven together into a single cohesive story. It reminds me a lot of Marvel's Crossroads at the Nexus of Realities. The different gods and goddesses from various different pantheons are drawn together into unexpected interactions that are cleverly written and well-researched. This is the first book in the Afterlife series, and I am looking forward to the next one, Hell....more
This was a short story continuing the adventures of Jack Palms as he gets involved in an illegal Kumite competition run in San Francisco's Chinatown.This was a short story continuing the adventures of Jack Palms as he gets involved in an illegal Kumite competition run in San Francisco's Chinatown. The idea seems like a pretty good one, but the excecution of this book felt very forced. The reasons for Jack and his FBI girlfriend to be involved seemed pretty thin, and all-in-all, the story was pretty meh. Nothing spectacular, but not terrible.
The other Jack Palms books, Jack Wakes Up and This Is Life/Czechmate should not be judged based on this short story. The other two were very good works. Triad Death Match seems more like a diversion than anything else, but don't let it divert you from the key franchise books....more
The Zombie Wilson Diaries are, first and foremost, fun. A very tongue-in-cheek parody of Cast Away, The Zombie Wilson Diaries tell the tale of a bookkThe Zombie Wilson Diaries are, first and foremost, fun. A very tongue-in-cheek parody of Cast Away, The Zombie Wilson Diaries tell the tale of a bookkeeper who is in a plane crash and ends up the sole living survivor, who gets washed up onto a deserted island. At the onset, he struggles with the typical kind of things you might expect - shelter, food, water. But not too far into his exile, he discovers that another passenger "survived" the plane crash only to run afoul of some local berries on the same island - berries that kill her and turn her into a zombie.
The rest of the book is an amusing tale of how the main character has to deal with living with a single companion. He knows she is dangerous, yet he cannot bring himself to dispatch of her, since she is his only companion. Each night he vows to get rid of her; each morning he finds another reason not to.
This is not a deep, thought-provoking book, but as a spoof and parody of the film and the zombie genre, it's golden. Though I personally didn't care for the ending (I feel like the author didn't quite know hot to bring the fun premise to a conclusion), I recommend this book as a light-hearted take on the Zombie genre....more
This is a very amusing short story that was previously published in one of Gaiman's short story collections. It was released along with a teaser of hiThis is a very amusing short story that was previously published in one of Gaiman's short story collections. It was released along with a teaser of his new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. The short story, How to Talk to Girls at Parties is a very clever and darkly comical take on teen anxiety in social situations. Paired with his good-looking, smooth-talking buddy Vic, Enn is dragged along to a party where he will - gasp - probably have to talk to girls. Despite Vic's insistence that it's not as hard as it seems, Enn struggles with the communication aspect of talking - and if he would just listen as well as talk, he'd have a better handle on what was going on....more
In Broad Daylight is a gritty murder mystery investigated by FBI agent Jess Harding. A killer is up to their old tricks after taking a 5-year hiatus,In Broad Daylight is a gritty murder mystery investigated by FBI agent Jess Harding. A killer is up to their old tricks after taking a 5-year hiatus, and Agent Harding is called back to work the only unsolved blemish on her record. She hits the ground running, as the Daylight Killer leads her all across Alaska leaving bodies behind for Jess.
In Broad Daylight is fast-paced and engaging. As with many well-written books of the genre, the story has characters that hold your attention and keep you interested. Far too many times I found myself gritting my teeth, stressed at the latest developments and obstacles thrown across the path. I was very drawn into this book, and enjoyed both the dastardly criminalistic points, as well as the investigative process that Agent Harding follows.
Perhaps the most impressive piece of the book is the wonderful descriptions of Alaska. You would think Seth Harwood had spent the majority of his life there; his narration of the scenery and people are painted from something very personal. Similarly, the parts set in San Francisco evoke the same sense of familiar - all the more impressive since I believe Harwood has spent way more time in SF than in Alaska.
At any rate, this story is a top-notch murder mystery and investigation story....more