Since I consider this one of my "Best Of 2012" I finally finished my review. It scared the pants off me at least five times so it deserves at the very...moreSince I consider this one of my "Best Of 2012" I finally finished my review. It scared the pants off me at least five times so it deserves at the very least five stars!
Everyone who enjoys post-apocalyptic fiction should read this book. This is not so much a "zombie fiction" at least in the traditional idea of what we think of when we see zombie in the genre setting. Sure, it has a shuffling, running, cannibalistic, primal, carnivorous flesh-eating horde hungering after any and all humans left in it. Sure there is a group of survivors. But it is so much more. It stirs in a pandemic, a bit of social questioning of "what if", the breakdown of civilization and THEN there are the shuffling, running, cannibalistic, primal, carnivorous flesh-eating horde. It follows the rules and conventions of PA Fiction by dealing with the aftermath and leading us into what is now a series with The Killing Floor (a novel of The Infection) as the second read.
The breakdown of civilization occurs when about 20% of the world fall down screaming and then collapse into a coma, only to wake up three days later hungry, really really hungry and with a hive-like drive to spread the infection! Unlike most zombie novels, or pandemics, there is no patient-zero. It started at the same time, all over the world. If you watch Torchwood you will remember the mini-series 3.5, Children of Earth when all the children in the world would stop and speak "We are coming" in unison? Well... it was a lot like that story, but with everyone not just the children and no warning on who and what was coming. It does make you question where the "infection" is coming from though? Or is that just my geek radar (*wink* uh-ah-ah...spoilers, Sweetie)!
Post apocalyptic stories are at the top of my list of genre reads. I love the fictional "Fisher Price" Sociological and Psychological exploration of what happens to the survivors, their culture and society and watching as they try to come up with and explore the question of how to rebuild their society. How do they do all the little things we take for granted on a daily basis, such as their morning cup of coffee, or showers, or not dying of a scratch they received while running away from the horde! The Infection explores all of this in such a manner it grabs you and does not let you get away til it is done.. and then? Well then the author throws in surrealism of the aspect of "The Other" in the form of this unknown virus that has caused the collapse of society.
Viruses mutate, we hear about all the time in the news. Each year the flu virus has to adjust it self to the variance of flu cropping up. They are not a tangible threat to us, they have no face, they are but a wee bug trapped in a petri-dish. But this virus and it's mutations? Somehow I do not think most of these will fit, especially the Towering Things. What Craig DiLouie makes these mutations tangible, in the forms of moving, horrific, surreal monsters, "The Other". For those not familiar with this concept, in the sense of literature, the other, or otherness, is an exploration or labeling of difference. Mary Shelley did it with Frankenstein, the monster was "the other" being the physical representation of the monster within himself, still it is the same concept. Another good example in horror writing is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the other is inside and with this story it comes out in a tangle form as Mr. Hyde, (author) even plays on words with calling "the other" Hyde. DiLouise takes the mutations out of the petri-dish and adds them to the cannibalistic infected and what comes next.
It takes a lot to frighten me now days. Just like everyone else I am desynthesized for a variety of reasons, including the fact we are inundated with horror on a daily basis and we have Hollywood one upping itself with the "SAW" syndrome. I suffer from PTSD and I mention this only because it is not stories or my reading subjects that usually trigger these things, but moments, events and incidents that happen around me here in the real world. To affect me to the point of having a PTSD attack it usually has to be something like I mentioned earlier this summer with (book from NP). This book was terrifying! And as I mentioned above, zombie or horror book like this should not have any such effect..except this one did.
I was still suffering from pneumonia at the end of winter during my immersion in this tail. I was not feverish, just sleeping a lot. Which means I would fall asleep when reading a book, a lot! I call it dream reading because I just keep the story going straight into a lucid dream. Not good when the group I was reading about was on the verge of becoming lunch for some mutation. I ended up having three solid PTSD attacks, and guess what? I cannot WAIT till I have time to read the second one. If a horror read can do that? Well bring it on. No I am not masochistic.. ok not when it comes to my mental health that is. But I will be prepared and no reading before bed!
Seriously could not put this book down, and if I had not kept falling asleep only to be dragged into nightmares of pure terror and delight, I would have read it in one afternoon. It was heart stopping, sweat popping scary as shit and an incredible intelligent and tasty horror read! Grab it and The Killing Floor (a novel of The Infection) (the 2nd in the series) especially if you love having pants scared off of you and enjoy it! Seriously, why should you read it? It is one of the best stories you'll ever read examining not only the collapse of society but gifting you with a cross-genre pièce de résistance that sinks it's claws, teeth and stingers into you and not letting you go! It's a zombie horror. It's a possible alien nightmare*wink*. It's an in your face blatant examination of humanity under way to much pressure.(less)
"As he's walking away I know he's still thinking about trains, wondering what a really big train crash would look like, the first car striking something twisted on the tracks and dragging the following cars off the rails, tumbling over on their sides with a world-stopping screech." location 2227
Everybody loves a good train wreck, though personally I vote for the roller coaster because I can get my fill of other people's misfortunes, the Schadenfreude, bright bloody and visceral. But wait, is this what the collection is about? No but there are a few train wrecks in it, a few boundaries pushed. This is not a light festive read, the Sandcastle? Well I am betting there is a foot print smack dab in the middle of it.
I read a couple of the stories out loud to my fiance, one of which had him so excited we ended up getting into a two hour discussion on this particular form of story telling. After finishing Mother of Twins, he immediately said, "Read the next one, I am really enjoying this, it reminds me of Flannery O'Connor's writing!" This is the third story in the collection and starts off with a creepy Stepford Wives feel. As with all the other stories in this book, the door is opened a bit more as it progresses, the jaws of life prying apart the wrecked side of the last car and contents revealed. In the end the grotesqueness of the human spirit is revealed in a the form that is also a desperate beauty, a justifiable need. Her weakness exposed like a pile of intestines, we cannot turn away and yet we want too, we can't. Again, train wreck!
But train wrecks are not always ugly, bloody and a mess. Sometimes you are riding a train when it happens, the cars ahead start to brake before smashing into a wall and jostle you a bit. Instead of having your leg ripped of you fall into the lap of the man or woman in the bench in front of you. You know the one, the sunlight hitting their glasses, preventing you seeing their eyes? The beauty seems real and you are like, wow how lucky I am, then the blinds are dropped and as beautiful as they are ... there is something different and disturbing. Beauty you cannot look away from, as dangerous as it maybe, drawing you into its clutches. The story Poseidon Eyes is a little like this. Just look beyond the fins and see what I mean when you read it.
If I were to pick a favorite, I would be hard pressed. I can't. Each one is its own train wreck, in fact there are a few roller coaster accidents, which as I said are my favorite. When the Ship Sinks probably is the one that gave me the most pause and qualifies as a roller coaster accident. The parallels and hidden metaphors are so lovely, disturbing and addictive I just did not want it to end, but FEMA was able to clear the tracks and I had to move along.
Sandcastle and Other Stories pushes the boundaries making you think. It is not cotton candy, a BLT or even a steak. It is complex Seafood Paella with muscles, spicy chirizo, clams, chicken, shrimp, sofrito, short ribs and more. Blended perfectly and placed over rice you dig in, experiencing joy, sweat breaking out from the spice as you gulp water and shovel more into your mouth unable to stop because of an evocation of pleasure and pain you received knowing the next time you get a chance to eat it, you will with even more splendor and abandonment!
(NOTE - I gave this collection to one of the professors at the University and he recently wrote me saying this book will probably be used as part of his lecture series on the world of self publishing he is doing to help dispel the stigma attached.)(less)
Full revise coming. truly 4.5 stars loved it! but it was to short! I did not have 324 pages and if I did than that's how good it was. so frustrated an...moreFull revise coming. truly 4.5 stars loved it! but it was to short! I did not have 324 pages and if I did than that's how good it was. so frustrated and need more. it should have been the end of part one. More in depth revise coming soon!(less)
Short Stories are an under-appreciated genre but with the advent of ebooks it is allowing for authors to share single stories instead of being dependent on acceptance to anthologies. It is also a great way to get a taste of the flavor of an author. This definitely happened to me today and boy was I in for a surprise!
The only difference between a Comic-Con and a siege is whether or not they're actually trying to kill you. And sometimes these ones try to kill you anyway, just to keep things interesting."
The author, Mira Grant had me first at Comic-Con and second at Browncoats**. The fact it as a zombie story had me clicking buy before you could moan "braaaaaaaaainnnnsss". I cannot think of a more perfect setting for the zombie outbreak. Just who are the real risen and who are in makeup? I giggled purely with the thought of how I would deal with that "little" problem. It is one of those book discoveries you end up doing "facepalm" after recovering from your "OMG" face and then asking yourself how in the world you missed it! The perfect Weekly Shorts entry at $2.99, sitting at 120 pages an, what I believe to be the perfect length for a novella (approx 30K).
A viral-based zombie story (Kellis-Amberlee), is told in the form of flash-backs and memories being compiled by Journalist Mahir Gowda 30 years after the "Rising". She has the task of obtaining an interview with a the only known survivor of the 2014 Comic-Con "event", from a very reluctant CPT Lorelei Tutt USCG. Due to the wi-fi being turned back on the people who ended up trapped inside the San Diego Convention Center, the stories of the hero's, the fallen and the general chaos were uploaded and preserved in digital format. This novella reads as a window to the past, or at least the column of blood and hunger.. despair and sacrifice making up this tale. It tells the stories of the first hero's of the zombie apocalypse.
Ms. Grant introduced and developed definitive characters we immediately fall in love with. The challenge with the novella is to do this in a very focused presentation. It is a challenge that many film writers have when trying to take a novel and make it into a 2 hour film. What will need to be cut, or at least in this instance, what details can be left out or glossed over but still have a new reader to the series, like me, "get" the story and be sucked in. There were references and "whispers" to the news that was all over the wire and blogosphere about a zombie outbreak, and that was all I needed to know this was part of a bigger plot.
Referencing so many sci-fi pop-culture tales, as well as one made up one (which honestly I wish would be made into a real TV Show) it made the fan-girl in me giggle and smile, even though I knew having Browncoats in the title, it was bound to be tragic in the end, especially when we know that Lorelei was the only known survivor. I cannot shout loud enough about this novella. It was out of this world fantastic, festive and phenomenally fun!
I would recommend this for not only those fans of zombie reads, but of anyone who likes a tragic adventure to boot! Grab a hold of a cricket bat, 2x4 or weapon of choice and dive in! I am giving this a bio-hazard rating of ☣ ☣ ☣ ☣ ☣ - FULL CONTAINMENT of excitement needed!
Fantastic family read. perfect for the pre-teen and his parents or hers. Heck when my kids were in 4th grade and 5th they would have loved it. -- full...moreFantastic family read. perfect for the pre-teen and his parents or hers. Heck when my kids were in 4th grade and 5th they would have loved it. -- full review coming 17th at cabingoddess.com(less)