I have a deep and abiding fear of zombies. I spend more time thinking about what to do in the event of a zombie outbreak than is probably good for one...moreI have a deep and abiding fear of zombies. I spend more time thinking about what to do in the event of a zombie outbreak than is probably good for one's mental health. But then I also a good amount of time worrying about giant squid attacks as well, so perhaps my fears aren't the most rational. Regardless, some wise person whose name I have long forgotten once said that if you faced you fears you would realize how foolish they were. I tried this with sharks once and ended up far more afraid than I originally was. This is not the case with Serpent and the Rainbow.
Author Wade Davis is an ethnobotanist from Cambridge who ventures to Haiti after two cases of zombis come to the attention of medical staff on the island. Funded by a group of scientists eager to learn the secret potion used to make one appear dead and then miraculously rise again some time later, Davis begins to peel apart the layers of mystique and tradition that serve to create the soul of Haiti, and which once allowed it to be the only country to successfully free itself from slavery in the history of Western domination of the Americas. As the answer to the mystery of the zombi reveals itself, Davis gains entry into the secret voudoun societies that serve as the spiritual guides and enforcers of Haitian life.
Davis has crafted a fantastically interesting story that combines history, spirituality, and excitement in what can only be described as a real-life Indiana Jones adventure. I've been savoring this book for over a month for good cause, it's just that intriguing.(less)
Decent zombie novel. I'm not sure that I'm a fan of smart zombies, I prefer the mindless shuffling undead hordes to creatures that can plan. Zombies s...moreDecent zombie novel. I'm not sure that I'm a fan of smart zombies, I prefer the mindless shuffling undead hordes to creatures that can plan. Zombies should exist as an overwhelming mass of hunger and they lose a bit of their scariness when thought is added into the mix. Still, Wellington has a good story that offers up several fun methods of zombie eradication and a few thrills in between. (less)
I'll be the first to admit that there's been a glut of books like this on my reading list lately. Humorous takes on horror archetypes seem to be all t...moreI'll be the first to admit that there's been a glut of books like this on my reading list lately. Humorous takes on horror archetypes seem to be all the rage right now, which is more than fine by me. They're quick, light and entertaining- just the break I need in between the other books that howl at me from the shelf, trying to guilt me into reading them next.
Gil's is a buddy adventure starring Earl the Vampire (think Dwight Yoakam with fangs) and Duke the Werewolf (think Jesse Ventura with fur) who spend the years prowling the backroads of America in a beat-up truck with Earl's home/steamer trunk strapped in the bed. One night their wanderings lead them to an all night diner (fortunate when you travel with the undead) located far from any major highway and directly next door to a cemetery where the dead just won't stay dead. The diner's proprietress, a lovingly obese woman named Loretta, cajoles the duo into sticking around to assist with the zombie problem in return for some much-needed gas money (the employment opportunities for vampires and werewolves being few and far between).
What follows is a hilarious romp through a small desert town plagued with far more than their fair share of supernatural oddities from zombie cows (I'm not kidding- zombie cows) to mirthful ghouls as a result of a nubile teen's attempts to open a portal through time and space (and a few other dimensions) to call back the long-banished Old Gods of Lovecraftian lore. Helping Tammy, errr... sorry... Mistresss Lilith, is her feeble-minded henchman Chad who is more interested than what lies beneath her blouse than in any of the graves that Tammy has him robbing.
Like I said, it's a quick read. I'd be surprised if it took most longer than a day or two to consume. Yet that day would still count as one well spent as evidenced by my aching ribs once I finally stopped chortling long enough to put the book back on the shelf.(less)
A huge improvement upon the first book in the series, Monster Island. This second book is set during the initial zombie outbreak and deals with humani...moreA huge improvement upon the first book in the series, Monster Island. This second book is set during the initial zombie outbreak and deals with humanity's first attempts to combat the ravenous hordes- which far more my type of zombie tale. The reason for the rising of the dead wasn't as large a part of this book as it was before, which allowed me to just relax and enjoy the blood. Bonus points for the zombie vs. bear scene, I quite enjoyed it. (less)
A decent conclusion to the series. It says something about the pace of the story that I've torn through all three books in under a week. Wellington de...moreA decent conclusion to the series. It says something about the pace of the story that I've torn through all three books in under a week. Wellington definitely knows how to write a story that will grab you and not let you go, no matter the minor complaints that I may have about the style of zombie he uses. This one features so many liches, magic and other things necromantic that I felt like I was reading a Warcraft book rather than a zombie book.(less)
Yes. I, too, dreamed that I could stop reading fluff horror like this. I'm a binger at heart, though, and know that the best way to stop is to dive in...moreYes. I, too, dreamed that I could stop reading fluff horror like this. I'm a binger at heart, though, and know that the best way to stop is to dive in headfirst and not come up for air until I've had my fill of zombies, vampires, werewolves and other things that go bump in the night. I will say this for Wellington: he writes damned addicting books.(less)
Wow. Now, I know that post-apocalyptic zombie universes aren't as cheery as a day at Disneyland but most stories tend to allow at least a little bit o...moreWow. Now, I know that post-apocalyptic zombie universes aren't as cheery as a day at Disneyland but most stories tend to allow at least a little bit of hope to flicker through the living's eyes. Not so much in this most recent volume of the Walking Dead series. The conflict between the twisted Governor of Woodbury and the residents of the prison bursts into open warfare and things go (further) to hell rather quickly. The series has to either be coming to an end or about to take a very dramatic turn in a different direction because the authors certainly didn't pull any punches this time around. I really shouldn't have read this before going to bed last night, it's colored my whole day.(less)
I liked it. I'm not sure it was worth all of the hoopla but it's a passable zombie story. The style that it's written in, an oral history of the survi...moreI liked it. I'm not sure it was worth all of the hoopla but it's a passable zombie story. The style that it's written in, an oral history of the survivors, really deprives the story of any horror or tension but as an intellectual exercise as to what global governments could do in the event of a zombie outbreak, it's genius. As a story, though, it's a bit of a letdown. It's just more a collection of zombie vignettes than a cohesive story. (less)
Know how to beat a crippling addiction to zombie books? Find the most poorly written series available and read until your eyes bleed. I think that thi...moreKnow how to beat a crippling addiction to zombie books? Find the most poorly written series available and read until your eyes bleed. I think that this book has finally shaken the last vestiges of my zombie love from me. The scenes with actual zombies are mildly entertaining, but the endless (ENDLESS!) pages of characters shacking up with one another, thinking about shacking up with one another, or agonizing about having shacked up with someone had me wanting to pull my eyes out and flush them away so that I could not read another word.
The female duo from the first book are significantly weakened and watered down here as Jeni falls head over heels for her one-time nemesis Juan and Katie remembers that "oh yeah!" before she was married to the wife of her dreams (who had then became the zombie of her nightmares), she had liked men too! What a coincidence that there is a kind and gentle giant ruling with a velvet glove over these survivors. How perfectly convenient. It bugged me. I understand Frater's often repeated points about how society expects people to fall on one side or the other of the gender binary and how it just isn't fair to force people to limit themselves to others' definitions of secuality, but I still hated it. Katie was a strong, self sufficient, lesbian trying to cope with some crippling PTSD after being chased by her zombified wife in the first book, but here she just grated on my nerves. And the rape. Please do not get me started on the rape scene. Ever. If you are at the bottom of the zombie literature barrel and absolutely must have one more, I would still recommend passing over these books. (less)