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review 2019-03-01 04:20
Patient Zero (audiobook) by Jonathan Maberry, narrated by Ray Porter
Patient Zero - Ray Porter,Jonathan Maberry

Joe Ledger is a badass cop who's about to become a badass FBI agent. He has some issues due to some terrible stuff in his past - if I remember right, something about him, when he was a teen, being forced to watch his girlfriend get gang raped, after which they both entered therapy and she eventually committed suicide. But he's found a way to turn his issues into assets. He's in perfect control of himself, and nothing and no one can take him in a fight.

But then he kills a terrorist, after which he's brought to a shadowy guy named Mr. Church. Mr. Church has him take part in a test that involves restraining a man...who turns out to be the same terrorist Joe thought he killed, only now the terrorist is a biter and stinks like rotting flesh. Joe is asked to join Mr. Church's shadowy government organization, which is trying to stop a terrorist group bent on making the United States ground zero for a zombie pandemic.

The good: As usual, I enjoyed Ray Porter's narration. This book made me wonder just how many accents he has under his belt - he got to use a lot this time around and my only real complaint was that it occasionally took him a while to get a proper handle on how some of the characters sounded (the one I'm most thinking of here is Joe's friend and psychiatrist, Rudy). The battles were usually pretty good - my favorite was probably the part at the crab processing plant. Maberry's science-based explanation for the zombies was intriguing (prions + genius mad scientist), and the new zombies introduced near the end of the book were interesting. And I was mildly amused by Mr. Church's ever-present plates of Oreos and vanilla wafers.

The bad: For a military thriller featuring zombies, this was surprisingly boring. So boring that I came very close to not finishing it in time and was forced to speed the narration up, even though I really like Ray Porter's regular narration speed. It took at least half the book for most of the action to get started.

The characters were either giant cliches or forgettable. Or both. I got tired of hearing how amazing a fighter (oh sorry, "warrior") Joe was. As much as he'd claim to not be perfect, or not be as experienced or knowledgeable as other men Mr. Church could have brought in, all evidence indicated that he was this world's number one combat machine. Grace was his enormously obvious future love interest - the one thing that surprised me was that Maberry didn't include cringe-worthy on-page "confirming we're alive" sex between Grace and Joe, just a quick mention that they'd ended up in bed together (meanwhile, I was thinking about Joe's fridged girlfriend). The book does have cringe-worthy sex between two of the villains, though.

The villains were awful. The bulk of them were stereotypical Islamic terrorists. There was also a sexy female scientist who could apparently turn men's brains to jelly with a look, and an idiot who was bankrolling the terrorists and couldn't see the flaws in his plans to get rich via religious fanatic-created zombies. The one villain who marginally interested me was Toys (no idea if I'm spelling his name right), the idiot's employee and the closest thing he had to a friend.

Also, one thing I wish Maberry had done was mention the First Lady's name sooner. Or the vice president, or president. I don't remember what the First Lady's name was, but I do remember that it confirmed that neither she nor the president were real-life people. I suspect that the entire Liberty Bell ceremony scene would have gone over a bit better with me if I had read it when this book was originally published. The thought of Mr. Church's group answering directly to the current president made me shiver with horror.

I'm glad I finished this, so there isn't even the tiniest of nagging voices in my head, wondering how things turned out. But I have zero plans to read the next book.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2019-02-22 03:46
The Boy on the Bridge - audiobook
The Boy on the Bridge - M.R. Carey

Audience: Adult

Format: Audiobook/Owned


The bucks have all been passed and the arguments thrashed out until they don't even bleed anymore.

- first sentence


This book is a prequel set in the same world as The Girl With all the Gifts. A group of soldiers and scientists are traveling in the Rosalind Franklin (an armored motor home set up as a mobile research station); their mission is to find data that might lead to a cure for the Hungry plague. In addition to the soldiers and scientists, there's a teenage boy genius, Stephen who seems to be on the autistic spectrum. He developed the e-blocker that keeps the hungries from smelling humans in both this book and GWATG.


If you haven't read Girl With all the Gifts, you should definitely read it first. This book isn't quite as good but I still enjoyed it. The scope of this book is much smaller than GWATG, and we already know some of the information that this team is gradually discovering. But it was interesting to see what happened to leave the Rosalind FrankIin where the team in GWATG will eventually find it. I loved listening to the audio because of the narrator's British (?) accent which fits in perfectly with the story.


The epilogue was a bit jarring. I don't want to give anything away, I just didn't get why Carey would go there with the ending.

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review 2019-02-12 00:31
A Great Character Driven Zombie Read
Rot and Ruin - Jonathan Maberry

Zombie fun and games, but the games aren't fun. Excellent zombie tale of truths, lies, mistakes, abuse, control and revenge. There are some men that are just evil, and they aren't zombies.
The dead have control of the world. The living are living in fear, hidden behind walls, willing to just exist to be safe. The past has forever scared them. The new generation, the ones they didn't live through the first night of the zombie rising are itching to know what's out there, or at least the truth of what happened. When a town bully turns deadly, events drive the, out beyond and what they find there will bring on many more questions.
I really enjoyed this zombie tale. It wasn't as gore centered as a few of my other zombie reads are. I don't really notice the characters were so well developed.- Now waiting on book 2

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review 2019-02-03 07:16
Hell on Earth;; Tony Urban


When civilization ends - When hundreds of millions of the dead return to eat the living - How will the remaining humans survive? One week ago there were over 300 million people living in America. Today there are less than 5000. After a man-made plague destroys the population cities burn, and the government crumbles when the dead come back to life as flesh-hungry zombies.


Wim, a 30-year-old farmer, purposely kept himself cut off from other people, but when the undead arrive at his farm, intent on eating him, he's forced to venture out into the land around him and fight to save a world on which he long ago turned his back. Survivors from all walks of life - criminals and fry cooks, teenagers and soldiers - battle to survive zombies and each other as mankind races toward extinction. Book 1 in the epic "Life of Dead" zombie apocalypse saga.


What could've been a brilliantly done zombie novel by an author who is clearly talented at writing, instead seemed like a hodge-podge of short stories thrown together, lacking any real plot or character depth.


I feel really bad being rather harsh on this novel, especially because the author was very good with descriptions and character creation, however the way he went about putting it all together left the book lacking. There were characters who maybe occupied an entire 10 pages of the entire book that could have been main characters in and of themselves, but were surrounded by so many others that they were drowned, forgotten, and completely hard to keep up with. Out of all the seemingly infinite characters, only two of them ever meet throughout the entire story, making all of the events completely stand-alone, and their only linking point their attempt of survival amidst the zombies.


The author has a talent for making you fall in love with the characters, even if they appear for only a short time, which was honestly what kept me going throughout the book. However when I felt like I needed to stop and re-read earlier chapters just to understand who was who and why I should care, that's when I knew it was just too much. Also the pretty much clear lack of zombies for the first 30% or so of the book, possibly more, with only hints at what was going to come, also made for a dull beginning after the chapter with Wim starting out.


That being said, after about the 50% mark the book was packed with action and did have tons and tons of zombies, which was a relief. Really the only thing that saved the book were these scenes and some of the characters that were expounded upon more throughout the book.


Overall, pretty disappointed.

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text 2019-01-01 09:00
Review of "Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues" (White Trash Zombie, #2) by Diana Rowland
Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues - Diana Rowland

This one was mixed for me.


I could have done with more of Angeil being Angel and just learning to deal with being a zombie while trying to get her life and relationships together. With a huge dose of zaniness and humor.


Instead, for too much of it, I got weighty conspiracy, political and mobster. Including bad guys abducting then somewhat graphically torturing her physically and emotionally.

Which *poof* now over and right back to regular life.


Hopefully rest of series lets up on murky conspiracies and factions. I have little patience for that (probably why I dislike thrillers and most mysteries).


I still like Angel and still enjoy the writing. And I do want to know what happens to Angel next. I was expecting a much funnier book.

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