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review 2018-05-20 17:44
4.5 Out Of 5 "Zombie Love" STARS
White Trash Zombie Unchained - Diana Rowland

 

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

White Trash Zombie Unchained

Diana Rowland

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Angel Crawford has finally pulled herself together (literally!) after her disastrous dismemberment on Mardi Gras. She’s putting the pieces of her life back in order and is ready to tackle whatever the future holds.

 

Too bad the future is a nasty bitch. There’s a new kind of zombie in town: mindless shamblers, infectious and ravenous.

 

With the threat of a full-blown shambler pandemic looming, and a loved one stricken, Angel and the “real” zombies scramble to find a cure. Yet when Angel uncovers the true reason the plague is spreading so quickly, she adds “no-holds-barred revenge” to her to-do list. 

 

Angel is busting her ass dealing with shambling hordes, zombie gators, government jerks, and way too many mosquitos, but this white trash chick ain’t giving up.

 

Good thing, since the fate of the world is resting on her undead shoulders.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I'm thinking this could be the conclusion of the series…if it is, I'm fine with that it tidied everything and everyone up well.  I will miss it, though.  Angel has really grown on me.  I do believe she is my favorite zombie. Her and Liv (iZombie) are running neck and neck. 

 

Somebody finally listened to me griping about the covers because this one is perfect.  This book (the whole series, actually) is a guilty pleasure at it's best…overtly cheesy at times, but sometimes cheesy is okay, at least when you really come to know and love the characters in a story, it can be.

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

4.5STARS - GRADE=A-

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

 

 

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 5/5

Main Characters~ 4.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.3/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4.5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.3/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5  Cliffhanger~ Nope…

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Book Cover~ Hands down the best cover of the series.

Narration~ 4.5 -As always Allison McLemore is the voice of Angel Crawford

Series~ White Trash Zombie #6

Setting~ Louisiana

Source~ Own on Audible

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review 2018-05-03 17:23
Book Bebops All Over the Place (Good Debut)
Dread Nation - Justina Ireland

Well, I am really glad that I finally got a chance to read "Dread Nation." Not going to lie though, I was pretty bored for most of the book. Even after the action moves there just seemed to be endless indignities our main character had to deal with until she does a reveal about her past. The world building was good, but I still questioned some things and I am glad that the book didn't end on a cliffhanger. I am not a fan of cliffhangers. 

 

"Dread Nation" is about an alternate United States where the Civil War is ended when the dead start to walk among us. In order to fight and put down the dead, the United States creates a so-called Native and Negro Reeducation Act that requires all Native Americans and African Americas to be put into schools to train how to fight the dead and become Attendants. Jane McKeene who is our main character, is a teenager that is currently enrolled at Miss Preston's School of Combat for Negro Girls, hoping to graduate soon and be able to return to her family and friends at Rose Hill. When Jane starts to realize that something strange seems to be going on with her school and the nearby Mayor, her life is turned upside down. 

 

It was great to read a book starring a bi-racial young adult character. Jane is fierce, lies, and makes no bones about who she is and what she has done. I am not going to lie though, at first Jane bugged me, but she grew on me and I loved that she refused to back down and just let evil (bad guys) win. 


The book keeps pace with Jane in the present though with little vignettes showing how her life was back at Rose Hill (her family's plantation) with her Aunt Aggie and her mother. 

 

The secondary characters development is a bit thin though except for the character of Katherine. I really don't get the character of Daniel Redfern or Red Jack. The motivations of the teachers at the school Jane went to didn't really work for me. And we got like four token racist characters. They could have been combined. Katherine and Jane's growing friendship was wonderful though. I really enjoyed the frenemies becoming true friends. And I loved both of their backstories that we got in this one. 

 

I also enjoyed how Ireland uses this book to showcase racism in our past in this country, but also certain incidents in this book could be updated to modern times quite easily. 

 

That said, the book could have been split in half. There were so many characters and motivations we had to keep track of during this book it got to be a bit much towards the end.  

The writing was good, I especially liked the letters from Jane to her mother and from her mother back to her. The flow was off though. The first part of the book with Jane at her school was dry as anything. 


The world building was interesting. I still have a problem though. I do think that African Americans are considered free in this new alternate history. But, we still have them being forced to be subservient to whites. It didn't make a lot of sense to me on how this was done without African Americans or Native Americans just fleeing and or making up their own towns/communities. The characters who are white in this book don't seem to be able to do that much, so training a highly skilled community of people that you keep treating terribly seems dumb to me. I think Ireland was using Jim Crow laws as an inspiration for how something like the above could have happened (with minorities forced to still be forced to be subservient to whites) but I wish that someone had brought this up or that we heard about minority communities or those arguing for change. 

 

The ending was good and sets up the next book nicely. 

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text 2018-05-02 20:42
Reading progress update: I've read 176 out of 464 pages.
Dread Nation - Justina Ireland

Still pretty slow for me. I like the letters that Jane writes to her mother. I even like that she has finally stopped being an ass to Katherine and that Katherine seems to have warmed up to her as well. Other than that, I just need this to pick up soon. I should not have to fight to keep myself invested in this book. I don't know why, I just keep going okay so Jane did so and so, and now Jane is flashbacking to her life with her mother before she was sent off to train. Oh here is Red Jack again.

 

Someone told me it picks up once Jane leaves school, so that's good news. I think the world building is interesting and I think Ireland is doing a good job with that, the flow is just an issue for me. 

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text 2018-05-01 13:41
Short Story Round-Up January - April 2018

 

Erm... yeah. About that...

 

January

 

Peter Watts: The Things - ****/* (read by Kate Baker)

Imagine your spaceship crash-lands on a foreign planet. Everything's so strange, so utterly alien, so hostile. On meeting the natives, they try everything to destroy you. All you can do is to hide, and observe, and wait for your chance to get back at them. In other words, The Things is John Carpenters The Thing told from the Things point of view. Poor Thing.

 

February

 

Brooke Bolander: And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead - ****

Fast & dirty cyperpunk.

Sam J. Miller: Things with Beards (again read by Kate Baker) - ***

Another The Thing-fanfiction, a quasi-sequel to Carpenter's film. MacReady is back from the ice, but MacReady's not really MacReady any more. Miller uses the popular SF horror film as a starting point to deal with discrimination, homophobia, the advent of the AIDS-crisis, and the fight against authorities. Miller's prose is as awesome as usual, but somehow the story failed to grab me. Maybe it deserves a second read.


John Wyndham: The Stare - ***

A very short, very pointy story.

 

C.C. Finlay: Time Bomb Time - ****
A palindrome! Clever.

 

March

 

Peter Watts: The Colonel - ***

Short story set in the Firefall universe, between Blindsight and Echopraxia, introducing the concept of hive minds and a character who becomes more important in the second book. Works better as a prologue to Echopraxia than as a standalone story.

 

Samuel R. Delany: The Atheist in the Attic - ***

This novella, published for the first time in book format by PM Press' Outspoken Authors line, tells about a meeting between the two philosophers Leibniz and Spinoza in Amsterdam. For his atheist, deterministic views Spinoza has become a persona non grata with his fellow Jews, so Leibniz has to keep the meeting secret. I found the story a bit unfocused, but appreciated the introduction to Spinoza. The book also contains Delany's essay „Racism in Science Fiction“ and a recent interview and is alltogether a 4 star read.

 

April

 

Peter Watts: ZeroS - ****

What qualifies the perfect soldier? Unquestioning obedience. How do you earn unquestioning obedience? By turning your soldiers into zombies. Hey, it's better for them too: They won't be present in their head, won't have to make the decision to kill or not to kill, won't be bothered by such things like conscience. Instead, the will perform. You have to beta-test such soldiers, of course. Find some hapless SOB and make him an offer he can't refuse. - In ZeroS, Watts expands the concept of military zombies used in the Firefall universe. Unlike The Colonel, this short story works well as standalone. Although I think having read Blindsight and Echopraxia lends it a bit more emotional punch, e.g. because it features a cameo of a certain guy who's somehow turning into one of my favourite fictional characters – quite against my consent, actually (I really don't want to like him). It also makes one appreciate how much thought has gone into the backstory of this universe.

 

Sam J. Miller: Calved - ****

Short story is set in Qaanaaq, eponymous floating city of Miller's recent novel Blackfish City, following Dom, an ice boat worker, at his desperate attempt to mend his relationship with his estranged teenage son Thede. It's well imagined cli-fi – science fiction dealing with the consequences of climate change – as well as a gut-punching tragedy. “Crushing” is probably the most fitting expression to describe it. That I anticipated the ending quite early on just made it worse. (In case it isn't clear: That's a compliment.)

 

Samuel R. Delany: The Hermit of Houston - *****

See detailed review.

 

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review 2018-04-21 19:35
Zombie Abbey
Zombie Abbey - Lauren Baratz-Logsted

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. ]

A story with Austen undertones… and zombies. (I’ve seen it compared to ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’, but not having read that one, I honestly can’t tell.)

At Porthampton Abbey, a couple of years after World War I, the Clarke family has to contend with the problem of the entail, just like in ‘Pride and Prejudice’—meaning that if one of the daughters (preferably the elder, Kate) doesn’t marry very soon and has a male heir, their family will lose their estate after the death of Earl Clarke. Which is why the latter has invited a couple of potential suitors to stay for the weekend, including an older businessman from London, a duke, and a recently discovered cousin who’s very likely to inherit anyway, considering he’s the only male heir (but here’s to hope he’ll marry Kate, and all will be well in the world). And the story would go its posh, merry way, if not for the strange death of a villager, found half-devoured… A villager whom his widow has to kill a second time with a bullet to the head.

The beginning of this story definitely has its appeal: the Clarkes display a comical mix of common sense (Kate when it comes to hunting, for instance) and quirky, whimsical inability to grasp that other people are not only their servants, they’re, well, human beings with their own lives, too. This was a conflict in itself in the book, with the ‘Upstairs’ people having to realise that they have to pay more attention to the ‘Downstairs’ people. The build-up to the part where zombies actually make an appearance was a little slow, but in itself, it didn’t bother me, because discovering the characters (and rolling my eyes while trying to guess who’d kick the bucket) was quite fun. Granted, some of the characters weren’t very likeable; the earl felt too silly, Kate too insensitive… but on the other hand, I liked where Lizzy and Grace started and how they progressed—Lizzy as the girl whom everyone thinks stupid, yet who turns out to be level-headed when things become dangerous, and Grace being likely the most humane person in her family. The suitors, too, looked rather bland at first, however a couple of them started developing more of a (pleasant) personality. And I quite liked Fanny as well, the quiet-at-first but assertive maid who refuses to let ‘propriety’walks all over charity.

After a while, though, the style became a little repetitive. The way the various characters’ point of views were introduced at the beginning of each chapter or sub-chapter, for some reason, tended to grate on my nerves, I’m not exactly sure why; and while I don’t have issues with casts of more than 2-3 POV characters, here the focus regularly went back to some action already shown in a previous chapter, but this time from another character’s point of view, which felts redundant.

I also thought that while there -were- zombies, I’d have liked seeing a little more of them. There was tension, but I never felt the story was really scary (for me and for the characters both), and the moments when a character got hurt was usually due to their being too stupid to live and doing something that no one in their sane mind should’ve done anyway.

Finally, I’m not satisfied with the ending: I don’t know it there’ll be a sequel or not, but if it’s meant to be a standalone, then it leaves way too many things open.

Conclusion: 2.5 /3 stars. I’m curious about how the situation at Porthampton Abbey will unfold, and if there were a sequel, that’d be good, because it’d mean the characters could finish growing, too.

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