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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 SPOILER ALERT! 2013-11-04 04:59
Controlling the Dead (The Famished Trilogy #2) - Annie Walls

Controlling the Dead by Annie Walls 
Series: The Famished Trilogy #2 
Genre: Dark Urban FantasyUrban Fantasy 
Published by Author on October 27, 2013 
Format: eARC 
Pages: 319 
Source: Author 
Purchase: Amazon • Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads 


My Initial Thoughts: A superb sequel that stirs up every emotion possible while reading!


Controlling the Dead wastes no time in getting to the nitty gritty of things picking up right where Taking the Dead left us, with a lot of questions to be answered. Kansas (aka Kan) is trying her best to recover after her horrific attack at the end of book one, but is finding it hard to readjust to life now that’s she back home in the community. She’s become somewhat of a loner (although I can’t blame her) but is determined to keep the ones closest to her safe by any means. The stakes are higher than ever in this post-apocalyptic world and just when you think things are going well, new revelations surface that force Kansas to make some life changing choices.


First let me start off by saying this book is so much more than just a “zombie book.” The world building and story in Controlling the Dead (and series) is phenomenal. The characters are just as unique as the plot and pull at your heartstrings with their raw emotion, it’s impossible to not feel a connection to them. Ms. Walls loves to put her characters through the ringer, but each obstacle they face makes them that much stronger. The relationships are just as complex as their world but they’ve managed to keep their humanity intact, their loyalty to each other and their cause is what keeps them going strong and what I love the most. There are no guaranteed HEAs in this world and the endgame is unpredictable.


Despite all the physical and emotional pain Kan has undergone, she remains the fiercely strong heroine I grew to love in Taking on the Dead. Seeking what she knows best, solace, she moves out on her own and tries to make sense of everything that has happened in the last couple of months and how to rebuild her relationships and her new life. There’s a new secret ability she has now that makes Kan a very special asset which was a great unforeseen twist that I’m excited about. What I love most about her character is her determination and loyalty to everyone around her, she’s not afraid to sacrifice herself for the well being of others and will stop at nothing to keep them safe. Kan can sometimes put a wall up and doesn’t let people in easily (which is totally acceptable during the zombie apocalypse), but she slowly brings that wall down and opens up to her friends as the story progresses.


I like my books with a little romantic element to them, even when you’re dealing with the undead, so I was thrilled to have a dash of romance thrown into the story. The best romances are the ones that develop through time and that’s why I’ve been a fan of Rudy and Kan’s relationship. Their chemistry is undeniable and while they’ve kept things platonic, you know they have feelings for each other. Rudy loves Kan and knows her better than she knows herself, he never treats her like a victim, knows how to give her space and supports her in all her choices. I love their friendship and how they make each other better people. I was a little worried about the “semi-love-triangle” that I saw developing in the last book between Rudy, Mac (Rudy’s friend) and Kan but she makes pretty clear who holds her heart putting my uneasiness to rest. I’ve been Team Rudy from the beginning and while he has a few secrets of his own his feelings for Kan are true. Just when I thought I’d get no smexiness from these two in this book things heat up and needless to say I wasn’t left wanting.


The supporting characters in Controlling the Dead are as well developed as the hero and heroine. Mac, Reece, Glinda and even Guido each bring a different dynamic to the story and add plenty of humor with their sarcasm and charm. It’s great to see their interactions and relationships, it brings a sense of normalcy in a world filled with famished (zombies) and chaos. My heart was broken when Mac was shot and eventually died, I wasn’t expecting that outcome and still need a little time to recover from it.


If I could give this book 5.5 stars I would, it’s that good. Since reading the first book in the series I’ve become a huge fan of the TV show The Walking Dead (not comparing) and find that it’s made me appreciate this kind of story even more. Annie Walls can easily hold the crown of zombie gore, she paints vivid scenes with her words that put you right into her world of the famished and putrid…I love her attention to detail. This story has everything that made me love Taking on the Dead and more! It’s dark and gritty with plenty of nail-biting action and heart, I said it before and I’ll say it again, dark urban fantasy at its finest. Controlling the Dead is an emotional roller coaster ride that draws you in from the first page…you won’t want to put it down and when you do you’ll be dying for the next installment (no pun intended)! Bravo Annie, you’ve done it again.


*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Author in exchange for an honest review.



Read more reviews like this at Romancing the Dark Side


Source: romancingthedarkside.com/2013/10/blog-tour-review-controlling-the-dead-by-annie-walls-giveaway.html
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review 2013-10-30 00:00
Controlling the Dead (The Famished Trilogy)
Controlling the Dead - Annie Walls I actually rated this book 4.5 stars but when leaving reviews on sites such as Amazon, Goodreads, B&N..I always round up to the next full star.

Reese and Kan have made their way to NOLA in search of some answers. And the only person who can help them is Mago. Once they do find him, the answers they seek are not what they want to hear. This world they live in is messed up and it is only getting worse. And things will only get weirder for Kan. On top of all the crap she has been through this is definitely not a good thing.

AH!!! It is so good to be back hanging out with Kan and Rudy and Mac again. Only problem is Kan is absolutely losing it. And rightly so. But this girl is cracking and needs some serious help before it puts her right over the edge. Rudy has his own problems to handle, so he may not be the best person to help her out with hers. Mac is flighty and hard to pin down, so he may not be what she needs either. All I know is someone has got to step up and help this girl out before it is too late.

If you are looking for a slow pace book lacking emotion, zombies and suspense, it is best to move on then. There is always something going on in this book you will never find a dull moment. Absolutely amazing!! And even heartbreaking. My heart hurt so bad reading this one. This is one author who isn’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers and break some hearts. So prepare yourself now.

I will say that there wasn’t a whole lot of romance though. And that was kind of a bummer for me. Sure there is lots of flirting going on, but nothing that amounted to anything really. Well not until the very end pretty much. And I do understand why there wasn’t much romance, I mean, I wouldn’t be in a romantic mood either after all that Kan was put through in the first book. I was really hoping for something more to transpire between Rudy and Kan than what did. But, Walls knows what she is doing and I am going to trust that it will all work out. And when you read the book, at the end is a special passage from Rudy’s POV. And it totally made this book!

Love slice and dice zombie reads? Of course you do!! This is the book for you. If you have read the first book, you are most definitely are going to want to read this one. The ending of the first book had to have peaked your interest, am I right? So what are you waiting for? Get on this one. Like now!! NOW!

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review 2013-10-28 00:00
Controlling the Dead (The Famished Trilogy)
Controlling the Dead - Annie Walls I shared a recipe with you in honor of this book last week on Monday and today I am sharing my review! I know we are buried in our NaNoWriMo WIP, at least many of us are (including me) but this is a great review for a nice break if you are looking for a wonderful set of stories including the latest published on October 27th. A great group of goo filled bottles of zombified awesomesauce.

Controlling the Dead is the second in the Famished Trilogy and I am thrilled to finally have gotten this in my zombie goo covered hands! Mind you I had to stalk the author some (coughing, a lot) and found out a secret minion group! (All hail the Minions of the Famished)!

Having read the last one on a whim last year. Honestly, I was attracted to the cover and the fact that it had some really compelling reviews. Notice I did not say, awesome reviews because (yes I can going to use this as a soapbox about reviews, deal with it). The author has managed to get a great balance of honest, strong reviewers and regular readers who have become fan-girls and boys! It was great! So I grabbed it, read it overnight and sat there with my mouth hanging open. Of course the reviews are also awesome!

What is so compelling about this particular zombie book? It isn’t because it is the “best” written book out there, don’t get me wrong it was more than great and I loved it! (It is really hard not to fall in love with Kansas right away). It did not have the most original story, I mean zombies right? How original can you be in with zombies, it is stretch no matter what? Granted, she did have a pretty interesting one, and her world build was very different from most because this was not right or during the outbreak after but years after the outbreak. Seriously what could this writer do to drag a person who is an avid zombie and post-apocalyptic story reader? What new hook? I am not sure there is one particular one exactly, and by this second book she is working on a few. However what she can do is use that ever so talented brain of hers to create an incredible group of characters.

In this oversaturated zombie industry you have to make the story original by creating compelling and believable characters. Author Annie Walls has them in spades and they are believable, flawed, horrible, lovable despicable, disgusting… and all of them blended together created this ride that crept along at fast, slow… sleeping, neck-breaking and nail-biting speed! With the world build so strong it was a perfect marriage of beautifully designed story elements.

The main character, Kansas, or Kan, is still the character I fell in love with during the Taken by the Dead. The people around her are true supporting “actors” in the tale. Her story could not be told without their balance. Their loss could not be had without her there to complete the circle of life, even amidst a world crawling with the undead. It was lovely and horrific, and bloody and just awesomesauce (grin)

Why should you grab this, the first in the series Taking on the Dead and the find the rest of the short stories in the series? Why read this zombie story in comparison to the others, other than I am telling you too ?. Because it truly is a grand story. It has everything you want in a story. Inner struggles, conflicts, romance, death and disappointment and even a bit of hope. There is not a real happily ever after but there is a window of opportunity, and that is what makes it a great series book. When you get to the end you are left satisfied but still yelling and wanting to next one now.

For those who read the first story, this one takes not so much in a linear forward motion but kind of SE (haha well it doers start off in New Orleans) and goes into the realm of Voodon. Oh, ya no……… this is not a zombie story where voodon is the cause of zombies, but …. Well read the title… CONTROLLING the DEAD? Oh no you can’t get away that easily! This book is much more than shambling and occasionally running zombies caused by some virus Miss Annie brings in Voodon and the added aspect of this with book two really brings this up to a new level of awesomeness!

The book is getting a 4 out of 5 and that is because it took way to long for the second book to come out. I had to re-read the first one. I started reading Controlling the Dead and had to stop about 30% through to read Taking on the Dead. I read a lot and this was over 200 books ago. With a break that long and no back story at the beginning even fans were lost. Which would have been my only suggestion if I was a beta-reader. Kind of like a preseason recap!

Make sure you check out my Vegetable Soup inspired by Kansas and her crew!

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review 2013-10-08 00:00
Controlling the Dead (The Famished Trilogy, #2) - Annie Walls I could very well give Controlling the Dead five stars. I should actually be giving it five stars. But I can't. Because of the events that took place in this book broke my heart. I can't and won't spoil it for fans who are anxiously awaiting this book.
Controlling the Dead expands, explains, and then cloaks itself back under it's veil. For all the answers that we get, a few more pop up. For all the revelations, more things come to the surface. Who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys? All I can tell you is that by the end of the book the only character I trust is Kan. So many things happen to her that I can see why she often wants to go back into her hole.
I can't wait until she lets me take a peek at book three!!!
The action and romance that you loved (or for some strange reason hated) is still here. So yeah, if you hated the romance aspect of the first book then you probably won't like this one.
I, for the record, can't stand reading books that are devoid of romance and sex. It's boring and not true to human nature.
Annie is still the queen of gross descriptions. Seriously. Ugh. It's so good, and bad that I could very vividly imagine what these things look and smelled like.
Kan spends a good time dealing with her attack at the end of book one. She also carries a huge load of guilt. It affects her and the choices she makes, but I never felt like I was wallowing in her pity party. She grows as a character, and the story grows.
Overall Controlling the Dead was everything I wanted. Kind of. But I can't speak of that. Annie knows what I am talking about. ;-)
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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