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review 2016-03-31 19:31
Janus: Zombies vs. Dinosaurs
Janus: Zombies Versus Dinosaurs, Book 2 - James Livingood,Randal Schaffer,Paperbackward

Note: While this is Book 2 in the series, it works fine as a stand alone.

I really enjoyed Pale Rider so when the author offered me a review copy of the sequel, I jumped at the chance. Sad to say, I didn’t find this installment as interesting. Janus is a zombie leader and he controls his pack of zombies through instinct. He also uses this power, instinct, to control a non-zombiefied deer or elk (I forget which), which he rides upon. The zombies are definitely different than the ones we saw in Book 1, being able to group together like this and be lead by a strong ‘personality’. However, I found the whole instinct power not well flushed out and difficult to believe in. Yep, I can totally believe in zombies and genetically created dinosaur-looking beasties, but I had a hard time with this instinct. Mostly, it was because of the elk. Wild animals have their own agendas – eat, sleep, fornicate, repeat. Elk aren’t big fans of rotting meat smell either. So Janus is using his power, instinct, to keep this elk in line, by negating the elk’s own instincts to run? That’s where Janus’s power gets to squishy and ill-defined for me.

The character, Pale Rider, is a reluctant leader in his town. He settles disputes and folks seek him out for advice on difficult fencing situations. He has a young daughter and he deeply misses his wife. Janus has recognized him as the human leader and if Janus wants to ‘free’ these humans from their boring lives, giving them the gifts of instinct and freedom, he must take out Pale Rider. The story sets up early for a good Western-type showdown and I really enjoyed the building of suspense.

Then we have Heche, who is like a mad scientist. She creates new dinos to sell to the local farmers. They are used in putting up fencing, taking down trees, and farming. I really like the basics of her character – she’s a seeker of knowledge both in books and through her work. However, this is another area that isn’t really clear. Does she have a lab with petri dishes and sterile equipment? Or is more like a wizard’s barn, full of smelly potions and unidentified bits of dried animals? I would have liked a bit more on this front because it ties into other questions I have. How far has civilization fallen? There’s a reference to contact lenses and it’s unlikely someone whipped those up, even if the town has a watchmaker. Is it 6 months since the zombie calamity or 6 years? If it’s 6 months, then contact lenses are still around. If it’s 6 years, then no, not realistic.

Book 1 was pretty sparse on the ladies and Book 2 does better but there are definitely not enough females around to save humanity. Heche has the most lines, but that’s perhaps 10-20 lines, though we get some quality time in her head. Pale Rider’s young daughter also has a role. Then there are 2 female zombies (why so few?) and maybe a few human ladies tossed in here and there. As usual, I like to see more ladies in post-apocalyptic stories. How else will we rebuild?

OK. So, bad to the goodness. We do get a showdown at the end and there were some twists. The author took the story beyond what I expected. These zombies are more like feral beasts than shuffling corpses; they are not so easily beaten. Heche creates a fantastical beast that comes in handy. And then there’s that thing that happened right at the end that has me craving to know where things will go from here. It’s all very dramatic at the end and very satisfying.

I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost (from the author) in exchange for an honest review.


The Narration: Randal Schaffer’s performance was OK. When the characters were talking, he imbued them with emotion. The rest of the story he read in a monologue that made me wonder if he was bored with the book or not.

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text 2014-02-14 23:11
Reading progress update: I've read 80%.
Red Rising - Pierce Brown

Uuuuuhhhh. I have a bad feeling about this.



Darrowwww ask her who her father is ask her who her father is.


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text 2014-02-14 17:28
Reading progress update: I've read 29%.
Red Rising - Pierce Brown

I truly thought this book was about zombies.


Why the efff did I think this book was about zombies?



I really need to start reading summaries...

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quote 2013-10-31 14:32
I stopped as I thought of poor Jack on my bathroom floor, just another victim of Dr. Phil.
Married With Zombies - Jesse Petersen

Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen

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text 2013-10-05 13:15
30 Day Book Challenge: Day 4
All Mortal Flesh: A Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne Mystery - Julia Spencer-Fleming
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling
Married With Zombies - Jesse Petersen
The Informationist - Taylor Stevens
A Lot like Love - Julie James

Day 04: Favorite book of your favorite series.


Super late, mostly because the ability to edit with the iPad is inconsistent. =/


I think I actually kind of answered today's challenge in yesterday's challenge post. Oh well. I'll do one for each series I listed yesterday.


All Mortal Flesh: A Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne Mystery (Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries) - Julia Spencer-Fleming 


This is the pivotal book of the series and changes everything between Russ and Clare. This time they are smack dab in the middle of the mystery and it's an emotional roller coaster from beginning to end. I wish . . . I so, so wish I could find more books with the perfect angst this book throws at us.The cabin scene kills me freaking dead every. single. time. And, yes, I go back and read that scene for hell of it when the mood strikes.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling 


Even though I am not the biggest fan of time travel (it drives me nuts) this is the best book in the series for me. Particularly because it gave us Sirius. One of my foremost literary loves. The Shrieking Shack scene is utter perfection. Even the Lucy-yanking-away-the-football at the end helps make the story.


Married with Zombies (Living with the Dead, Book 1) - Jesse Petersen 


This is the strongest book of the series. We meet Sarah and Dave at the point their marriage is about to implode . . . until they find their marriage counselor eating her previous patients. Their fight to survive the zombie apocalypse brings them closer together. The book is funny and is told in the first person and I don't hate it!


The Informationist: A Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel (Vanessa Michael Munroe Novels) - Taylor Stevens 


We're introduced to Vanessa Michael Munroe. Through a client she's thrust back into a life she left behind and the traumas visited upon her that shaped her into who she is. Solid characters and a solid story, though rather predictable it draws you in. Again, triggery as all hell so take that under advisement.


A Lot Like Love (Berkley Sensation) - Julie James 


Great romance with an utterly lovable hero and heroine. Their sarcastic banter was the highlight of this book for me. Here's my long review of this book. Where I tell you why you should read it. A lot. Like I said I've read this book twice and can read it much more.

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