Serial murders in the corn. Monstrous crime scenes. Sounds good enough. Gore was quite high, but not gross. Body count - satisfactory. Even Pendergast...moreSerial murders in the corn. Monstrous crime scenes. Sounds good enough. Gore was quite high, but not gross. Body count - satisfactory. Even Pendergast reigned in his superhuman capabilities; there was even one thing that could be counted as his personal failure of sorts.
I liked this book, despite several laughable scenes and cliche plot devices. It wasn't as creepy as Relic, but at least included a nice chase sequence. I was mildly uneasy, but not spooked out - the best combination for coward me.
The ending was the weakest part, facepalm-worthy, unfortunately. There were also some poor bits, barely believable. Of course, this is a book where the reader is supposed not to think and just enjoy themselves, but still several things were hardly realistic.
People get killed in gruesome manner is small town in the mountains.
And that's about everything I can tell without going into spoilers. Not that anyth...morePeople get killed in gruesome manner is small town in the mountains.
And that's about everything I can tell without going into spoilers. Not that anything is impressive in this book. The identity of the attacker is revealed too early, and once we know what causes the deaths, the book becomes a chronicle of all the more bloody incidents. There's nothing scary in it. Everything is written plainly and without much suspense. The novel had me finally wondering 50 or 70 pages before the end, but knowing the page count, I was certain it wouldn't be anything that great. And it wasn't. The threat was alleviated using something as sophisticated as a random flower pot. It was surely a very anti-climatic ending, and the book was a total letdown.(less)
36 skeletons discovered on construction site, dated XIX century. New bodies popping up, murdered in the same exact fashion. Agent Pendergast, thinking...more36 skeletons discovered on construction site, dated XIX century. New bodies popping up, murdered in the same exact fashion. Agent Pendergast, thinking the murderer the same in both cases.
And that's it. Half of the surprise stuff was revealed in the blurb and no, there isn't much more behind it. Basically the entire plot boils down to tracking the culprit and Final Confrontation with Miracle Out of the Blue ending. The ending was botched totally and completely; I couldn't believe it could end via an almost unrelated factor.
What really killed the novel for me was Pendergast himself, though. As if the dude wasn't amazing and better than everyone else already; the authors just had to give him an additional special something so that he could be even more OMG Awesome. Pendergast looks like he was taken out of another book, he's so different from other characters - and not in a good sense. I didn't care at all about him and his backstory. As expected, he just became even more special and I grew even more bored.
There are no horror elements in this book, just some chill and suspense (two scenes). I guess you could call it a mystery, but there wasn't much left to guess in the first place. All in all, I'm sorely disappointed.(less)
Reliquary is a parasite living off the main idea of first volume, Relic. Horrendous research has led to development of mutated monsters that crawl out...moreReliquary is a parasite living off the main idea of first volume, Relic. Horrendous research has led to development of mutated monsters that crawl out of underground tunnels of New York City at night and kill people. The main cast from Relic must face them once again.
Now, I didn't expect innovative, complex plot twists, multi-dimensional characters using their brains in full capacity or non-standard not yay-we-saved-the-world ending. Relic was amazingly fun because it had horror mixed with mystery in just right proportions, without being overly gory and gross. I wasn't fond of Reliquary's blurb, but decided to give it a try.
On one side it was better than I expected. The whole mutants thing didn't turn out to be a horrible plague, there was a surprise with the mastermind behind all this - but on the other hand, this book wasn't nearly as scary as Relic. I'd classify is as simply action, since it doesn't have enough horror elements and there's no mystery at all. The plot flows like a movie, complete with idiot bureaucrats, insanely stupid police, and facepalm-worthy political maneuvers. I could accept this if the fun factor was high enough. Unfortunately, not much happens, and when it happens - the ending is a complete disaster. To me, it was like a slap or cold bucket of water, it was so stupid and anti-climatic, cheesy as hell and looking as if it was taken out of some lame Z-rated movie.
This book deserves something between 2 or 3 stars. (less)
This book is an anthology of 30 stories by M.R. James, who is considered one of top ghost story writers ever. The omnibus covers majority of James's p...moreThis book is an anthology of 30 stories by M.R. James, who is considered one of top ghost story writers ever. The omnibus covers majority of James's published stories; there are only several that have been omitted. The stories look short (about 15 pages per each), but horrid typesetting (that could as well stem from the very character of the stories themselves) makes them feel as if they were at least twice longer. The pages contain basically wall of text - the longest paragraph I've encountered spanned two whole pages. All the stories are told from main wrapping POV - that's the reason for these awful blocks of text. They contain everything from descriptions to whole dialogues quoted by the main narrator. Combine it with various weird dialects in such dialogues (i.e. country dialect, which gave me a lot of trouble - it's okay to decipher what old people are saying if it's a couple of sentences, but not about one quarter of the book) and you'll get something that is very hard to read and understand without getting lost in massive black column that covers entire page.
Normally I don't pay much attention to such things, but in this case the way the text was organized killed half the joy for me. The stories themselves aren't very scary - they can give off uneasy feeling, but in my opinion they were a bit too repetitive. They took too long to fire off and they were ending right after the climax, not developing enough to truly scare anyone (me). It's probably best to read them in right setting - for example, an open living-room at night, when the curtains are not yet drawn and all the doors are open, and by the light of a candle. There's just not much of an atmosphere when one is locked in their brightly lit bedroom. That said, much of these stories' appeal is in the style of writing, not content-related spookiness.(less)
Survival guide covers: - basics of zombie origins and characteristics - weaponry suitable for fighting zombie menace - overview of suggested tactics for...moreSurvival guide covers: - basics of zombie origins and characteristics - weaponry suitable for fighting zombie menace - overview of suggested tactics for defense and attack - selected sightings of zombies in history. All in all, a solid and concise all-in-one book about zombies. It lacks as survival guide in several chapters, mainly weaponry - the author clearly favors rifles and neglects to mention benefits of other weapons, as if sniping was the only way to shoot a gun. Moreover, there's not a word about non-US citizens, who might have trouble obtaining firearms. A table with comparison of most common rounds would be also helpful. Tactics sections were rather simplistic. Fortunately author is aware that this text is intended for dummies and underlines the importance of using common sense. He does make a couple of good points though. Historical appendix at the end of the book is a very nice touch and a good read in itself.
Regarding reading experience - it has a bit too much humor to be considered a real zombie survival guide but is a bit too serious to be read as horror/comedy mix. I thought the way Brooks seems to care about so many details is absolutely great, but it can be easily read as ravings of a madman. Either that, or make you believe there are indeed zombies out there. I liked it a lot.(less)