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review 2018-06-19 18:57
Servant of the Undead by Isabelle Drake
Servant of the Undead - Isabelle Drake

I don’t think this book is going to be a book for everyone but if you like a little monster mixed in with your erotica it may just be the book for you.

 

Hayden is a young guy doing a little zombie sex-cult research for a junk rag in the library when he is approached by a gorgeous woman wearing little more than a mini-skirt and a few scraps of rags. She’s dripping (it’s storming out, you pervs), she is icy cold and she smells weird. He knows deep down that something is not quite right here but he has sex with her anyway (hey, she offered!) and now he’s in way over his head. Turns out she’s the sort of zombie that he has just been researching. What are the odds, do you think?! She lets him know that he is her newest sex pet and he must perform whenever she feels the need to “feed” which is quite often, it turns out. She feeds off of sex, by the way, instead of brains and he has no way to fend her off because she easily compels him with her eyes and her beautiful body.

 

“You don’t understand yet, do you? Let me explain. You belong to me now. Until I’m done with you, that is.”


She chains him, she drugs him and, if you ask me, it serves him right! He has a girlfriend who he has cheated on and now because of his dick and his weakness, she’s caught up in all of this weirdness. He is one of the world’s worst boyfriends and feels bad for brief moments but not bad enough to figure a way out of the situation. And nearly not bad enough for me to feel bad for him as I reveled in his debasement!

 

This book is something else. I cannot honestly say that I liked any of the characters with the exception of Rachelle, the cuckolded but good-natured girlfriend, because they’re all pretty despicable creatures who do terrible things and think terrible thoughts but I couldn’t put it down. It’s a sexy, strange read with loads of dubious consent and a few humiliating episodes but nothing overly gross or truly disturbing (says me who has read some AWFUL stuff in the past, pee & poo stuff if you must know, so your mileage may vary). Be warned though, if dubious consent or the inability to consent scares you off because that stuff is here in several scenes. None of it gets too dark or disgusting and it’s not filled with angst and emotional despair. It was all rather amusing in a dark, dubiously sexy sort of way.

 

I’d give it a 3 1/2 because the story did get a wee bit convoluted towards the last half but it still managed to keep me entertained.

 

Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for providing me with an ARC.

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review 2018-06-14 20:53
Review: Undead Girl Gang
Undead Girl Gang - Lily Anderson

Review: Undead Girl Gang

 

I received a copy from Penguin's First To Read.

 

This. Book. Was. Awesome. 

 

I absolutely loved it, from start to finish. I loved it so much I bought a finished hard back. There are some books you know from the tone of the first page if you're going to love them and the main character, and for me, this was one of those books. 

 

I felt a connection with Milla right away. I loved her don't give a fuck snarky tone. She's clearly grieving, the book opens with her best friend Riley's funeral. She has quite an interesting perspective on the funeral itself, a bunch of people from their school wailing and crying who would never have given Riley the time of day. Riley died in mysterious circumstances. The third death to happen to students from their class recently. Two of the schools most popular mean girls June and Dayton were also found deceased recently in what looked like a suicide pact. 

 

Neither Riley nor Milla fit in with the other students, they were heavily into Wicca, spending all their time at the local new-age magic shop or an abandoned house they found where they practice their spells and hang out. Riley's family own the local funeral home and Riley found herself a outcast, she and Milla connected and became best friends and have been for years. Though she'll never admit it Milla has an epic crush on Riley's hot, popular older brother Xander.

 

He's actually talking to her after the funeral. Milla is struggling with school, mandated meetings with the school shrink, and certain people (namely her chem lab partner) being a dick about her weight. She has two annoying younger sisters who don't seem to get 'personal space' and is generally miserable.

 

It's well written and believable without being over the top with the goth Wicca scene. The characters are well fleshed out as well. Milla's voice, despite her attitude problems, is easy to connect with. Her family drama, her school problems, it's not surprising she's not coping as well as she's saying she is. It's a sort of read between the lines thing. 

 

So she decides she's going to perform a spell to bring Riley back from the dead, find out what happened so she can bring the person who killed Riley to justice. It's not a simple basic spell, there are things she needs to get, certain times it can be performed. Kinda complicated. The method she received the volume of spells in which the actual spell to cast came to her is a little spooky. 

 

And of course when she heads to the magic shop with the  book, the lady who runs the shop tells her its a very old book and a dangerous one. Naturally of course, she doesn't listen to a word of warning. Hardly surprising then, when the spell works it not only brings back Riley, but June and Dayton too.

 

No one knows how it happened and it's not so much fun anymore with the two mean girls back again. They're all still dead, and discover some less than pleasant things about being a sort of zombie as they go along. No one remembers what happened before they died. The book from then on focuses on figuring out what happened to June, Dayton and Riley.

 

Some secrets come out as the novel progresses. And it has moments where it's very entertaining and quite funny as well. Though it has it's fair share of deep emotions and a few surprising twists to boost. Hints at something that could finally start to progress between Milla and Xander when they start developing a friendship of their own. 

 

One thing I did like was there wasn't really much romance involved. Hints and teasers, but it was more about the friendship with Milla and Riley and dealing with June and Dayton than about hooking up with the hot boy. 

 

A few more twists by the end when things start going wrong. Though when the truth is finally revealed, it's one of those why didn't I see this coming thing? It was quite clever. A tad over dramatic, maybe. Also, a standalone. Everything wrapped up decently and there wasn't any well what happened about so and so and no unanswered questions. 

 

I loved this book through and through and would definitely read it over and over.

 

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review 2018-06-13 03:28
Rise and Fall by Michael Whitehead
Legion Of The Undead: Rise and Fall - Michael Whitehead

Note: Even though this is Book 2 in the series, it works mostly well as a stand alone.

I have returned to the land of Roman legions and zombies! I really loved the first book in the series and this is a decent follow up. My new favorite character is Garrick, a butcher who lives in Rome. He’s basically conscripted to guard the wall but he soon earns the respect of his centurion and fellow guards.

Vitus, the archer from Book 1, is still around but he’s not the sole main focus of the story. He does a great job of being the counterpoint to Garrick. Two Roman emperors are fighting for superiority. Titus is the rightful emperor but he doesn’t hold Rome. Indeed, he’s quite a distance away and there’s all those pesky zombies in the way. Meanwhile Otho holds Rome. However, he’s got these crazy secret zombie plans that could bring him to ruin.

This tale does have a weakness and that is the lack of ladies. Book 1 had some impressive female characters getting stuff done but this book totally sidelined Lucia and Flavia. We only get glimpses of them and when we do, they are there for comfort or romance. There is one woman who gets to smash some zombies but her role is brief and part of it is spent being rescued. Another woman gets her chance at Otho, but once again, she has a small, fleeting appearance.

The zombies themselves come in a few flavors. The newer, more robust ones can leap! Yikes! There also appears to be some evil paranormal force that drives them, having some hidden motive. I hope we learn more about that in Book 3. The pacing is really good, keeping me engaged the entire time but also avoiding zombie battle fatigue. 4/5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book.

The Narration: Terry Self gave us yet another amazing performance. He had distinct voices for all the characters and his lady voices are feminine. I like his spooky voice for the evil paranormal entity. I also like his voice for Otho, who sounds like he’s talking with a mouth full of marbles. There were no technical issues with the recording. 5/5 stars.

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review 2018-05-27 02:05
I Want to Join the Undead Girl Gang
Undead Girl Gang - Lily Anderson

Mila Flores is just about as outcast as a teenage girl can get: the opposite of popular, she’s Latina, fat, a Goth, a practicing witch, and her only friend lives above a funeral parlour. So when that BFF shows up dead in a suspected suicide pact with her high school’s resident Mean Girls, Mila takes action: by summoning Riley back from the dead… and the other girls, too. By accident.

 

 

Undead Girl Gang is Heathers meets The Craft by way of a fabulous and morbid teen voice. Mila is totally awesome: not always likeable, she felt very real to me, with insecurity issues every teen girl can identify with. I felt like Anderson addressed her body issues and the microaggressions that affect her daily as deftly as she did with Mila’s Latinx heritage, including being an unconfident speaker of Spanish. Mila is fat but it’s not a source of shame for her. She owns her fatness and I love her for it. It’s everyone else who is uncomfortable with her size.

 

 

I have to admit that the mystery kept me guessing: I couldn’t quite pinpoint who the murderer was, and I even at one point thought maybe Mila had it all wrong and it really was suicide. This is due to the skill of the author who very cleverly wrote beautiful red herrings that honestly at first led me to underestimate the skill involved. I am happy to say that I was wrong! Lily Anderson is a skilful writer and I’m deadly sorry I underestimated her #punintended. It wasn’t predictable at all, although it seemed to be heading in that direction. Anderson really made reading the whole book really pay off.

 

 

I really loved how as Mila spent more time with accidental-zombies June and Dayton she actually kinda became friends with them, even though they had been incredibly self-centred in their lives. Dayton was so chirpy and positive, I adored her, and June was feisty and stood up for herself, and most importantly, didn’t hate Mila for liking Xander, whom she dated at one point. I am so sick of girls’ knee-jerk reaction to competition, even for someone they’re not interested in, and I liked seeing June actively encourage Mila to tell Xander how she felt.

 

 

It was actually Riley, Mila’s BFF, whom I had the most issues with. While June owned her awfulness, Riley was supposed to be Mila’s best friend, but she was pretty mean and ungrateful to Mila for bringing her back. She didn’t seem to really love Mila the way Mila loved her, and I even had a hard time buying that they were BFF until the very last section of the book. She seemed so angry and snappy all the time. I get it, she died and then was resurrected through powerful and frightening magic, and Mila was confirmed as a powerful witch which was more Riley’s thing, but still. I didn’t really like her and I felt like Mila was kind of blinded to her meanness. Dayton was far sweeter and nicer to Mila than Riley was, and I was supposed to buy that Dayton was a bully? It didn’t quite fit for me.

 

 

Overall this book was interesting as hell, with a thoughtful narrative that dwelled on the morbid nature of death, a feisty Latinx goth witch who wouldn’t let herself be shamed for being fat, well-developed relationships between most of the other characters, and a mystery that kept me guessing until the last possible moment. I really recommend you listen to the audiobook read by Rebecca Soler since she inflected her words beautifully when reading as other characters and nailed Mila’s voice.

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review 2018-05-23 12:38
Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson
Undead Girl Gang - Lily Anderson
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was fun! I was initially drawn to this book by its awesome cover and when I read the book's summary, I knew that I needed to have this book in my life. This book had so many elements that I love including witchcraft and undead characters. This ended up being a really quick read for me and I found myself liking the book more and more as I worked my way through the story. I found this to be a really entertaining and original novel.

This book hooked me from the very start as it opens with Mila attending her best friend's funeral. The story is told from Mila's point of view and her internal dialogue really made it easy to like her character right away. Mila believes that her best friend, Riley, was murdered but everyone else is calling it a suicide. Mila is a really low point as you would expect. She misses her friend and is angry that nobody seems to think her death is a result of murder. When a book shows up with a perfect spell, Mila decides to take action.

Mila and Riley practiced witchcraft together. Mila decides to cast a spell that will bring her friend and two other girls back for a short window of time so that they can solve their deaths. It was so much fun to watch this group of four girls try to figure out what to do with their time. I thought that all four of them showed a lot of growth during the story. The mystery at the core of the story had a few surprises and kept me guessing until the end. 

I would recommend this book to others. I found this book to an entertaining look at friendships, zombie, and learning to move on. This was the first book by Lily Anderson that I have read but I will definitely be reading more of her work in the future. 

I received a digital review copy of this book from Penguin Publishing Group - Razorbill via First to Read.

Initial Thoughts
This was fun. I liked how the girls grew over the course of the story. It was really a unique story that kept me completely entertained. I had no idea who was responsible for everything until it was revealed within the story.

 

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