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review 2014-07-24 00:00
Taking on the Dead
Taking on the Dead - Annie Walls First thing, there is no way that this is a young adult book. I'm not sure why it is classified as so. There were quite a few "scenes" that were a little too detailed for me to believe that this is YA. So, if you are wondering if this is a clean book....I'd say that it definitely is not. There is a club called The Clap Trap and you will find some (to say the least) interesting things there.

I had a lot of mixed feelings about this book. It started out amazingly. This chick is out on her own and she is kicking some zombie butt. She later meets some strange people and the story then gets even better. There are some crazy people out in apocalyptic zombie land. I was seeing 5 stars during a large portion of the beginning of this book.

Then things changed.


It went from PG-13 to PG-WTF

This amazing zombie butt kicking novel later turned in to a sappy-love-struck-romance novel. We were then introduced to The Clap Trap. At The Clap Trap we were given lessons on how to use zombies in many obscene ways. We've got naked zombies being tied up. There are hunts being done to find zombies with massive boobage. Things just got crazy.

I wasn't just annoyed by the antics presented at The Clap Trap but I was more annoyed that I felt like I was reading a totally different book. At this point, I was severely regretting picking up Taking on the Dead. I was thinking I would end up rating this a 2 or 3 star. I mean come on, people were humping zombies instead of killing them.

Then things changed again.

I'm not going to give any hints on what happens at this point but the story takes a great turn. We are back on track. This is how a great zombie novel should read. By the time I was done, I was super excited to continue on with the next book.

It was great....then it was psychotic....then it was great again.
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review 2014-06-04 02:28
Controlling the Dead - Annie Walls


3.85 stars



  Controlling the Dead was the second book in the Famished series. I absolutely loved the first book, Taking on the Dead, and while I did thoroughly enjoy this second installment, I do feel like the will they or won't they romance between Kansas and Rudy got really old here. That is really my biggest complaint about Controlling the Dead. I just didn't get it. In the first book with the mystery behind who Julie was, and more specifically who she was to Rudy was what seemed to really hold Kan and him back. But now that the cat is out of the bag, and Rudy clearly was not interested in anything romantic involving Julie, and with the Kan/Mac romance done, what the hell was the problem. I mean nothing significant happened in that area until the very end. And as quick as Walls giveth, so does she taketh away. WHY????!!! I really don't even get the end. Did Rudy have a choice? Is he hiding more secrets?? WHAT IS HAPPENING???




  Phew. Now that that's out, let's get to the kickass stuff. The zombies were still around, being gross and causing hell. I loved the creeptastic addition of Voodoo in this book. Mago is super interesting to me.



He's one mysterious dude. I liked getting to see more of him and his unnerving way of controlling the zombies. It was crazy to see Kan deal with the new found abilities that Mago had bestowed upon her.



That whole thing added a whole new level to the story and I really dug it. The more I found out about Mago the less of a creeper I thought he was. We definitely got the distinct impression that he did not necessarily enjoy dabbling in the dark side of Voodoo, or controlling the dead, but he was doing what he could to try and make things better, especially for his own people. Although you still never seem to get a good idea if he's a good guy, or on a specific side other than his own. But that really seems to be the general theme with just about everybody.


  We get introduced to some new places, and new characters in this addition. Some of which seem inviting and nice, and others not so much. I'm pretty much with Kan at this point and TRUST NO ONE!



Some people seem to think one of the new places may be their salvation, but I remain skeptical, probably up until the bitter end. For every answer you get along the way in this story, 2 more pop up in it's place. Lots of crazy stuff went down. This is an action packed series, and one that isn't afraid to take risks. It's a wild ride and I am really excited to see where Walls takes us next. Seriously, like I really want that book....anyone have a clue when it's coming out? I hope it's soon!


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review 2014-05-29 04:20
Taking on the Dead - Annie Walls



  I was rather impressed with Taking on the Dead. It reminded me a lot of The Walking Dead. You got to not only read about some truly disgusting zombies, which thankfully this book did not worry about the squeamish, you also got to see the after affects of when society completely breaks down. It felt very realistic to what I think really would be the "new world" if something like this ever happened. To me, that aspect is especially interesting, if only because it's that much more frightening to know you live in a world where zombies outnumber the living, but they aren't always the largest threat, nor the scariest monsters. It's horrifying to think of a world inherited by the worst of the worst.


  This book did some jumping around. It mostly took place in the present, which was about 4 years past the initial outbreak, but there were a few flashbacks from the beginning of everything, and a few in between, which gave you a better understanding of Kansas and her state of mind. I think one of my favorite flashbacks was right at the beginning of the story when Kansas encountered her first zombie while at the carnival with her boyfriend.      

       "The carnival had become a scene of macabre lights, blood, and screams. People were attacked and eaten alive all around us. Kids with face paint eating their parents. The parents screaming for help." 




    GAHHHH not much scarier to me than being in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, except for being surrounded by clowns while it's going down *shudders*. I'd die of fright alone. I'm not that strong lol. But the sheer horror of it made me instantly fall in love. I also liked that there was no holding back with the nitty gritty, no woman, child, infant, or animal was safe from the beastly living dead. Sounds twisted, I know, but if your doing something like zombies, blind to everything but their need to feed on flesh, do it right I say.



  Kansas was exactly the kind of leading character I like to see in this type of situation. She's strong, smart, brave and incredibly resourceful. She had survived completely on her own for years, and still held on to a huge part of her humanity, which I'd imagine can be quite the feat considering all the circumstances. But if we're being honest here, I think that no one can hold on to all of it and survive as long as she has. Compared to the other survivors she encounters after time though, she can safely be categorized as one of the "good guys".


   Taking on the Dead managed to put it's own spin on things though, it wasn't a carbon copy of all the many zombie scenarios that we've seen before. Once Kansas ventured out of her bunker she got to see much more than she was accustomed to. She lived in an area where she, after the years, only encountered a small amount of Zombies and they were what they later called "putrids" meaning that they were in advanced stages of decomposition and pretty slower moving.



Later she started seeing a few new zombies, they looked freshly turned, and some not visibly bearing any wounds or further proof of how they became zombies in the first place. They called these the "famished" and unlike the putrid, they were just as speedy as the living. Not good news for the remaining living. It also seemed the more she found out about these famished the more brow raising questions popped up.



   There is a romance factor here, although it's more subtle. Lots of will they or won't they. It almost seemed as if it ran along in the background though. I appreciated that. I do think it will most likely become a little more predominant in the books to come though. Which if done right, I would probably be ok with....as long as the gore and horror keeps on coming that is. I also loved some of the popular culture references in this book. Pennywise from Stephen King's, IT, and Zombieland. Hell yes! All around a great Zombie story and I really look forward to seeing where the story goes from here! I already downloaded the next book in the series and plan on starting it very soon.


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review 2013-11-16 19:46
Zombies, Survival, Intelligence, Realistic = my New Addiction. I Really Loved This Story
Taking on the Dead - Annie Walls

 I am going to start off with saying I am not a zombie book reader, well I wasn't. I am a fan of the Walking Dead, TV Show I cringe after every show knowing I have to wait another week to get my fix. What to do ? Well, smart me asked some friends if they knew of any Walking Dead type reads they'd recommend. This was the book I got, by an Indie author I've not heard of before. Cool beans, I love to read 'new' authors. Honestly I didn't have much faith that it would be very interesting to me. I'm a TV zombie fan not a zombie reader. Hah, My good friend Lori, pushed this book and proved to me I can love zombie books. Thank You Lori !


Kan, short for Kanas has survived the zombie uprising. She survived her parents, her love and her neighbors. She learned most of what she knows from her survivalist father who most thought a bit crazy. Her strength is amazing, what she has to do to continue to live has been horrendous. Life is on a schedule, everything done at a certain time. Her isolation complete for over 3 years, until a group of humans comes needing her rescue and everything shifts. She must adjust, survive and learn to rebuild her trust in her fellow humans again. It's not easy when many of the humans still alive don't have all their mental faculties anymore.


Why did this book take me completely under its spell ? The heroine, she is amazing. She is young in body but so old in her heartbreaks. She has to do the unthinkable, and still keep from going mental. She is adaptive, and cautious, and shy. She is a very believable character. The world is far enough away from reality I felt taken away but similar enough I could relate to it. The supporting characters are complex, with interesting stories that made them so entrancing. It's not a pretty book with prancing unicorns. It has darkness, horrors and violent moments. They are balanced with amazing bits of sunshine that had me smiling with tears in my eyes. This is a full spectrum emotional read.  

Great News, this is a trilogy, book 2 is out ! I'm off to buy, buy, buy.


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text 2013-11-14 19:35
@ 54 % So Happy, Happy, Happy in Zombieville
Taking on the Dead - Annie Walls

Ruby, Mac and Kan, an amazing cast. A love triangle, maybe without the stupid idiotic games ? Could it be possible ? Yes, it is.


The zombies are horrible, nasty things, vividly gory. The living are ruthless, crude, smart and surviving the best way they can. It's gritty, scary, sickening, heartbreaking, heartwarming, and even a bit romantic. I think they is going to be a favorite. 


This book broke my Ho Hum Book run !


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