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review 2015-12-20 16:25
Slaughterhouse: The Retreat 2 review
The Retreat #2: Slaughterhouse - Stephen Knight,Craig DiLouie,Joe McKinney

The follow-up to Pandemic sees Stephen Knight take the major reigns from Craig DiLouie and have to guide the reader through the often difficult second-book in a series.

Straight off, the best part of Slaughterhouse is how authentic it feels. Not the infected people who laugh like hyenas while they're trying to pull your larynx out through your ass, but rather the way in which the military characters in this book speak and behave screams believable. Not that I've ever been in the army, so I cannot accurately say, but compared to other books of this apocalyptic type, this one seems to be aiming to get it right.

Of course, that also works against Slaughterhouse insofar as making it a chore to read through the repetitive, technical nature of much of what is being described. But worse than that, is the way in which none of the characters - other than the single female POV character, Rawlings - seem to have any real depth to them. Instead they just felt like variations on military cliche. And as such, I cared barely at all when some of them died.

It's a shame, but this one just did not do it for me. I'm clearly in the minority looking at the other glowing reviews of Slaughterhouse online; which is a good thing because the third in the series is about to drop and I wish the authors every success with it.

I just won't be a part of it, because, sad to say, I'm going AWOL from this series.

2 Homicidal Maniacs Flying an Assault Helicopter for Slaughterhouse.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1422400710
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review 2015-10-12 17:08
The Retreat #1: Pandemic review
The Retreat #1: Pandemic - Craig DiLouie,Joe McKinney,Stephen Knight

Recently there was a series of graphic novels that totally emphasised the "graphic" part of that term entitled Crossed, Vol. 1. It was originally conceived and written by Garth Ennis and drawn by Jacen Borrows. In it, an infection did the rounds turning people into maniacs who killed and slaughtered indiscriminately, and who even seemed to enjoy being tortured, mutilated and killed themselves. The infected all had a wound which opened on their faces in the shape of a cross running both ways over their noses.

The Retreat #1: Pandemic by Craig DiLouie with assistance from Stephen Knight and Joe McKinney could have been set in the same world if the magically appearing face wounds had also been included. Because, otherwise, the people who have been turned in The Retreat, dubbed "Klowns" behave in exactly the same way as Ennis' Crossed maniacs.

So as well-written, engaging and tension-filled as DiLouie et al's first book in this series is, I could not help but feel I'd been there and done it all before. Sure, writing the book from the POV of various personal in the army who are fighting to keep the infected from overwhelming Boston was different. But not sufficiently so as to allow me to forget that every scene featuring the Klowns felt exactly like a scene lifted from Crossed.

With that major gripe out of the way, I thoroughly recommend picking up The Retreat #1: Pandemic. DiLouie keeps things moving at a breakneck pace, utilises short chapters to assist with this, and is not afraid to bump any number of major characters - all massive positives for me. Some may balk at the level of technical detail on display, but unlike say, his earlier work Tooth and Nail, The Retreat never gets bogged down in this, and the reader is simply able to accept the fact the author clearly knows his stuff, either having served himself or done a ludicrous amount of research into what soldiers experience in and around combat situations.

Entertaining, fast-paced and ruthless, DiLouie's introduction to The Retreat series is a must for fans of military horror and those who enjoy watching an apocalypse unfold. Just don't expect something entirely fresh and original.

3.5 Maniacs Laughing Manically for The Retreat #1: Pandemic.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/789750316
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review 2015-03-11 16:57
Tooth and Nail - Review
Tooth and Nail - Craig DiLouie



"But it is not enough to stay alive. A man must also have something for which he wants to live as well."


The Lyssa virus is rapidly spreading out of control and soldiers are pulled from the Middle East to help keep order back home in the United States. They are charged with protecting a hospital in New York City and keeping the desperate crowds under control. The last stage of Lyssa causes the patients to lose their minds and become aggressive. The soldiers are calling people suffering from this stage Mad Dogs. At one point, the Mad Dogs begin attacking and biting healthy people and spreading the disease even more rapidly. The soldiers are unprepared for this and don't want to fire on their fellow American citizens. As the Mad Dogs multiply, how will the soldiers, the army and everyone else in Manhattan survive?


This is one of the few books I've read that approaches the zombie apocalypse from where it started. And it shows how difficult it was for the soldiers both physically and mentally. They are sworn to protect the American people and now they have to kill some of them and leave others behind to fend for themselves. I enjoyed this book. It was in turn, heartbreaking, gory, thrilling and scary.


A scary & heartbreaking look at soldiers fighting against the beginning of the zombie apocalypse.



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review 2015-01-12 18:33
Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie
Suffer the Children - Craig DiLouie

I had to write a review of this while it was fresh in my mind. I just finished listening to Craig DiLouie's Suffer the Children, and I think the best word to describe how I feel right now is horrified. I'm certain that was the intent of this dark story. Every parent out there knows that they'd do anything for their children. That protecting them is all that matters. But, what happens when the concept of "doing anything" for your children drastically changes? When the world turns upside down and suddenly your moral compass no longer points East? That, my friends, is what this book is about. This isn't a feel good story. It's dark. It's violent. It's disturbing on so very many levels.


Starting with what I liked, let's start with the concept of Herod's in the first place. I was impressed at how well Craig DiLouie laid out the deadly plague and explained why it was so sinister. The children, if that's what you want to call them, became real in my eyes. As their parents fought for their survival, for their own survival, I was actually invested in these characters. All I could keep doing while listening to this was wondering what I would do. What lengths I would go to. I felt so many emotions during this book. It took every little piece of empathy I had inside me, and wrung me out. Don't read this if you have an issue with the death of children, or with graphic violence. Trust me on this one.


For the most part, I also liked the pacing of Suffer the Children. I thought I knew what was coming around the bend, as the synopsis isn't exactly hiding anything, and still I managed to be surprised over and over again. Little things were revealed in perfect places. The general downfall of society, and the depravity that was taking its place, expertly laid out for the reader. Our main characters, the people who I started out feeling awful for, suddenly became something I was afraid of. It was sudden, and impressive. The one thing I had an issue with was that the ending felt oddly rushed. After the slow build up, the ending felt a little jarring. Expected, maybe. But jarring nonetheless.


So why the three star rating? There were points that dragged a bit, some awkward dialogue, and points where things didnt' quite match up. For me though, personally, this read was so tough. If you've followed me for any length of time, you'll know that I have a hard time reading about children in peril. This book ate at me. I found myself thinking about it even while I wasn't listening. I can't even really say I enjoyed the listen, so much as it was well done. Would I ever read this again? I think not. That being said, I still highly recommend others give this a shot. Just take into account what I mentioned above.




Pardon me while I go listen to something fluffy and saccharine in nature.

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text 2015-01-08 16:08
Reading progress update: I've read 50%.
Suffer the Children - Craig DiLouie

I so didn't read the synopsis to this before I picked it. I actually just picked it because of the cover, lol.


This just took a turn into some weird territory. If your child that had been dead for three days came back to life, and wanted human blood, what would you do? Oh, and it's not just your child that's come back. It's ALL OF THEM. Every child in the world. This whole thing just makes me feel all shivery. Argh.


I just don't know.



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