The Zombie Bible

I love my zombie stories. I have posted about this series before, but the last book was just so incredible, I had to make another post.  You can read about my past posts on this series here.

Stant Litore is an amazing writer. The way he constructs sentences and weaves them into paragraphs is a true art form. I always appreciate great writing, and these books are incredible.

Some background info: although I grew up Catholic, I know next to nothing about the Old Testement. I have no clue who these main characters in his books are, other than “oh, I might have heard that name before”. The books take the supposition that zombies have always existed. They are a fact of life from the beginning of time.

The protagonists in his books are usually some know Biblical figure. In the first one, its the prophet Jerimiah (although he uses the Hebrew spelling). In the second its Polycarp. And in the third, its Devorah (Deborah).

The characters literally leap off of the page. They are so real and so textured that you *KNOW* these characters. You understand their struggles, understand their emotions. The reader can also watch them evolve throughout the book, as they struggle against the walking dead.

I love the relationships discussed and expounded upon in the books. The relationship between Regina and Polycarp, between Devorah and Hurriya. Jerimiah and his wife. You can literally feel their emotions. Their love for each other.

I appreciate the strong female characters, what they have endured and who they are by the end of the book. How they accomplish the impossible. How they can still move on after witnessing such gore and having those close to them devoured.

And the reader is treated to a history lesson as well. The settings for these books are so real, you can almost feel the stones in the streets of Rome on your feet. You can feel the oppressive environment in which Jerimiah finds himself. You can literally feel the heft of Devorah’s sword.

And in each is a deeper meaning to hunger and the walking dead.

There are heart pounding elements of a thriller as well. Page turning passages that you cannot put down because you cannot bear the ignorance of not knowing. The passage with Regina being carried through the streets of Rome with zombies in pursuit is so well written, the reader can feel the terror that she experiences. Tachycardia inducing, hyperventilating, abject terror.

The zombies are of the variety of the common zombie. Due to some failure, they are doomed to walk the earth in search of flesh to feed their insatiable hunger. The zombie scourge sweeps through cities, villages and settlements, nearly decimating the population. It usually falls to the main characters, who occasionally have a special gift or talent, and who understands the zombie hoard, to rid the land of the walking dead.

I wholeheartedly recommend this series to any lover of novels. Even if you have a particular aversion to this genre, try these books because they are so well written, the stories so artfully told, they deserve a wide distribution.

I can credit these books with sparking an interest of ancient characters from the Bible. In the course of writing this post, I googled some of the characters. And I spent hours just reading about about the real people on whom the characters are loosely based. That spark alone is worth the extremely reasonable price of these books (right now I think the most expensive one is $3.99 for the kindle edition).

I know Stant Litore is writing more, because he occasionally posts passages from the emerging book on his facebook page (look up “The Zombie Bible”). I can’t wait to see further works in this series. However, if you are deeply religious, you may not like Biblical figures in battle with the walking dead. I think that Litore is planning on mentioning Jesus in an upcoming novel.

Give it a shot, see if you like it. I most definitely did.

Favs for 2012

As of right now, I have read 125 books this year.  All kinds of books, across all genres.  Mainly ebooks.  Due to my financial situation during the last half of the year, most of the books were free via the kindle lending library or on smashwords.  I also review books posted on bookbloggers.net.

This year I started branching out of my usual reading patterns and started reading more horror, romance and erotica.  Thanks to the phenomenon of “Fifty Shades of Grey”, apparently most women have started on the “mommy porn” craze.  You can read my ideas on “Fifty” here and here.

And zombies!! I started watching “The Walking Dead” after the first season, yet I didn’t start reading zombie books until this year.  And now I’m hooked.

Here is a list of my favs (that I read) this year, in no particular order:

Crossfire trilogy by Sylvia Day– I love this romance/erotic series much more than “Fifty”, I outlined my reasons above.  I just feel that it is more realistic, better written, and takes in to account that 1 in 4 women are sexually assaulted in some way during their lifetime.  This in mind, some of the BDSM presented in “Fifty” are huge triggers for survivors.  Can’t wait for the next book in May 2013.

Future Perfect by Tony Bayliss– My fav religous/political statement book.  Very intense and thought provoking. For another amazing read, try Past Continuous as well.

There Goes the Galaxy by Jen Thorson – Fun, hilarious, an epic journey through space.  Absolutely loved it.

Double Cross:  The True Story of the D-Day Spies by Ben Macintyre – I am a huge fan of these books.  Yes, spy books are fun, but these are TRUE spy books outlining the missions and lives of real spies who helped to save the world.

Automaton by Cheryl Davies – futuristic sci-fi with a romantic twist.

Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins – what more can be said?

Faking It by Elisa Lorello – my first foray into a different kind of chik lit.

War Brides by Helen Bryan – I love historical fiction, this book was very emotional and provided a different perspective on WWII.

And I can’t pick a favorite zombie book…I loved all of the ones I read, check through my reviews.  I love the Zombie Bible series by Stant Litore, I finally read World War Z by Max Brooks and the Zombie Orgins Series by Kristen Middleton is funny and thrilling.

Any suggestions for 2013?  Any new genres I should explore?  What are your favs for this past year?

Giving Thanks

I am extremely thankful for the printed (or electronic) word.

I have been losing myself in books since I was 7 or 8 years old.  Good novels have taken me away to far away places, taught me about other people, other cultures, other time periods.  Because of books, I kill at Trivial Pursuit.

I am thankful for good authors, those who pour their dreams into print and  share them with the world.  They produce characters that stay with readers for a lifetime.  They spin intricate tales, paint vivid settings, they use the simple word to convey emotions and report on the human condition.  Regardless of genre, it isn’t easy to sit down and start writing something from nothing, and then to make it capture the imagination of readers.  I am truly thankful that they do.

I am thankful to the good people at amazon.com for inventing the kindle.  The e-reader has revolutionized the institution of publishing and writing and has enabled authors who might not have been able to have their voice heard in a traditional setting to share their work with the world.  Through the kindle, I can store hundreds of books in a slim device, which is paramount for someone with health issues and can no longer hold up huge, lumbering tomes.  I can access a library of works, many of them for free, without leaving my bed.

I am thankful for Dr. Seuss.  He started me on this journey, and I am eternally grateful.

I am thankful to the historical authors, Stephen Ambrose, James McPherson, David McCullough, who have found away to sift through tons of musty historical records and found a way to make history interesting.  They found a way to appeal to the masses and make battles and military campaigns read like movie scripts.  Because of them, and authors like them, Americans have more respect and reverence for their veterans.  They know what was sacrificed for their freedoms.

I am thankful for the voodoo culture and to George Romero, who have brought on the current zombie craze and have provided me with hours and hours of entertainment reading about the apocalypse and impending zombie uprising.

I am thankful for sites such as bookbloggers.net that allow me to read amazing books for free in exchange for a review.  I am extremely low on funds, can barely pay for my bills, yet I can keep up my reading habit by doing something I was probably going to do anyway.

I am thankful to those of you who read this blog.  I obviously love reading, and I love being able to share it with the world.  In a perfect existence, I would get paid to do this, but I haven’t found that perfection.  Yet.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!!

 

European Zombies!!

European Zombies!!

I didn’t review this book, because there were plenty reviews already.  I recently devoured “Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End” by Manel Loureiro and translated by Pamela Carmell.  It was interesting reading a zombie book from a non-American perspective.

Apparently this book started out as a blog by the author and then eventually came out as a book.  There are two more books in the series, but they have yet to be translated into English.

What I like about this book is the format.  It is written as blog and journal entries.  Entirely from a first person point of view.

The main character, and person writing the entries, is a man who has recently been widowed at a young age.  His therapist suggests that he start writing to help with his grief, so he starts a blog.  He documents current events, as he is a lawyer, he pays attention to those things.  He mentions issues with a military incursion in Russia.  At a lab of some sort.  Something happened and the Russians are being very tight lipped.

Rapidly, the world starts falling apart.  In the blog, day by day new information is documented: troops are being sent to this area to help with the sick.  The sick are attacking people, this area is now under quarantine, no information from that area.

I like the fact that the main character is an every day person.  He is just a lawyer.  No military training, no gun training, the only special “skill” he has is one that is ordinary but helpful.  It was fascinating to see him adapt to the post-apocalyptic world around him.

The main character does have to leave his safe haven of home and make an attempt to find other survivors.  The action of the story is so detailed, the reader has the ability to create a 3D version of events in their head.  It is extremely gory as well, what zombie book isn’t?

The author also discusses the emotional/psychological aspect of the horror of a zombie apocalypse.  Not too many authors of these types of books mention that aspect.  The idea of “shell shock” is put forth.  It’s hard to survive day after day being hunted, and the author addresses this beautifully.  The idea of safety and security and its impact on the psyche.  Also the idea of companionship, be it of the animal kingdom or from humans.

The only difference I noted between American zombie stories and European zombie stories are circumstances.  In Europe, they do not have ready access to guns as we do in America.  Unless you are in the military, you do not grow up with a familiarity with guns.  This is definitely highlighted in this book.  Not much else was different.

Overall, this is a great read.  It fulfilled the need for action, horror, conspiracy (Russians), human relationships, and adventure.  And of course, it ends with the promise of more books to come.  Someone please translate them soon!!

I would recommend to anyone who likes the zombie genre.

Book Review: Memoirs of the Walking Dead

Memoirs of the Walking Dead

I reviewed a very creative and fun zombie book this past week. Memoirs of the Walking Dead: A Story from the Zombies Point of View by Jason McKinney is an incredible book. Again, I reviewed via bookbloggers.net, I am not paid for the review, although I am allowed to receive the book for free.

This book follows the life and unlife of Paul. He caught the flu while out at a club when a chick barfed on him. He woke up a few days later…dead. His cat also died…and woke up. The book goes into extreme detail about what it is like to wake up dead. The rigor setting it, how to start moving again. The odor (kind of funny how they don’t mention that on my favorite TV show about zombies) and the hunger. New abilities and senses that aren’t afforded to the living. Then the book basically chronicles his time as a zombie.

In this book, the zombies are granted speech, their previous memories, and brain function, although some difficulty with speech, word finding, etc. He actually is dictating the book to the author who is supposedly his “slave” and is “chained to a desk”, the scribes anecdotes are hilarious. The dictating zombie also has a conscience and finds it distasteful to eat people he knows or innocents.

I loved the accounts of how the U.S. government reacts to the zombies, and the zombies reaction in kind. I also found certain sequences, for example, Paul’s return to work, incredibly funny and a commentary on state government bureaucracy.

Paul finds love at a feeding. Its nice to find out that zombies can find love too, over a dead body they are in the process of consuming. Ewww. The drama of Paul and Tracy continues throughout the book. I personally think he can do better, but I guess your options are limited when you are undead.

Overall, I found the book engrossing, fun and imaginative. A must read for any zombie-phile as I don’t think many books have been completely written from this point of view and to this depth.

Books I avoid like the plague

I know I said “I read all”.  And that is mostly true.  But I have found some books that I just cannot read due to issues in my personal life.  I will occasionally violate “Da Rules” for books that have been highly recommended by friends, or after I have read a ton of reviews and can satisfy myself that the component I have issue with is minimized and absolutely crucial to the plot.

In time, maybe some of these rules will relax, and I can read some of these books, but right now this is where it stands:

  1. Avoid war books about Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.  I know people who have fought in these engagements and had horrible PTSD as a result.  I have tried reading books on these wars, and I could not get the image of these people out of my mind, and how they dealt with the horrors that they witnessed.  Especially Vietnam.  My dad, on the other hand, has more of these books in his collection than I do WWII in mine.  I do have a grandfather who fought in WWII, but he did not see any action.  My grandfather who was in Korea and Vietnam was wounded and still had nightmares until his recent death.  He was a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient.  He never spoke of his time in Vietnam, and I’m not sure if I wanted to hear it.  I never want to think of what he had to endure or witness, so I avoid it.  Maybe after more time has elapsed.  Iraq/Afghanistan– close friends of mine were in the initial invasion, at Fallujah and came back different people.  Its my generation fighting this war of dubious necessity, and it pains me to think of an entire generation dealing with PTSD and traumatic brain injury.
  2. Death of children and disappearance of children. This rule wasn’t entirely intact until after my child was born.  I have heard from others that they were the same way as well, and apparently it crosses over to movies/tv too. I guess reading or watching anything happening to children makes you think of it happening to your own.  So I try to avoid it.  See Books that haunt me.
  3. Violence against women/sexual assault.  I’m a survivor.  I try to avoid any books that have any of these elements as a central theme.  Too many issues for me.  I made an exception for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “The Lovely Bones” because I was hearing so many people talking about them.  “Fifty Shades of Grey” also bordered on this with the BDSM, but I was able to either page forward and skip the details or skim with the knowledge that the participants were two consenting adults participating of their own free will.  This does eliminate most murder mysteries and serial killer books.  But that is just how it is right now and it might change in the future.
  4. I don’t do vampires.  I have read the occasional short novel (The Vampire Club by Scott Nicholson), but I don’t like vampire movies, TV shows etc.  Something about using  looks and charm to lure someone into a trusting relationship and then sucking their blood just freaks me out.  So, no, I did not read Twilight or see the movies.  Nor do I plan on doing so.  And unless it seems really compelling or I receive an iron clad recommendation from a friend that knows me well, I don’t plan on taking this rule off of my list in the near future.

Romance novels used to be on this list, but since I read “Fifty” I have read many others.  I thought they were lacking literary value and actually kind of cheesy.  Granted, they won’t win a Pulitzer, but I enjoy reading about relationships and happy endings.  See my post on romance novels.

What’s up next?  My dad has been reading about WWI, and I would like to read some about that war.  I would like to read some more memoirs (I’ll be posting about the ones I have read shortly).  And zombies.  Lots of zombies.

I usually don’t even look at the best-sellers lists at all, because I usually don’t have a budget for books. The next two books I might actually pay for are “Mercury Rests” by Rob Kroese and “Strangers in the Land — The Zombie Bible” by Stant Litore.  I have been patiently waiting for these books, but they have been released at a time when I have absolutely zero funds in my book budget.

I have so many books stored in my Kindle for these dry spells, I know I can wait it out until I can get what I want.  I love the fact that I can do that.  Yay Kindle!!

 

Book review: Westmarket by M. Jones

Another zombie book.  I really like my zombies.  Again, I came across this book on bookbloggers.net.  Again, I am not paid to review books, I have the chance to read the book for free, then give my honest opinion on Amazon and my blog.  The author does not see my review prior to posting.  Here is my review that I posted to Amazon:

Westmarket is not your typical zombie apocalypse story. The action of the story takes place in and around a big box store that bares a striking resemblance to another store that starts with a “W”. The author rotates point of view in the third person throughout the story and by using this device, the characters are well developed by the time the major action of the story begins.

The beginning of the story in which the characters are developed can be a little slow, but as soon as the main action picks up it is a page turner. The main characters are a cross section of society and are trapped together in this store as hordes of the undead press against the store windows and doors attempting to get inside and devour those within.

As the story progresses, the usual commentary on humanity emerges: what happens to society when all walks of life, all socioeconomic classes are put in a literal pressure cooker?

I truly appreciated the sci-fi, Stephen King-esq twist on the zombies. I would have liked more of an explanation on how the zombies came to be (I won’t expand here too much, I don’t want to be a spoiler).

Overall a very interesting read and I would recommend to anyone who likes zombie and apocalypse books.

Wonderful commentary on society throughout the book.  Occasionally you can forget that there are zombies outside and just focus on the happenings inside the store.  People seek out companionship, leaders emerge, alliances form.  The ending was kind of a shocker.  Definitely not expecting it.  But much appreciated.

I really liked this take on zombies.

Book Review: Zombie Games (1-3) by Kristen Middleton

I love my zombies.  I am a huge fan of The Walking Dead, even if it is majorly gory this season.  I am also a fan of post-apocalypse books, in any way shape or form.  The whole idea of being “the last survivors on earth” intrigues me.

I came across  Zombie Gamesby Kristen Middleton via bookbloggers.net .  I am not paid for the review, but I can download the books for free in exchange for a review.  I am not encouraged in anyway to make the review favorable, and the author does not see my review before I post it on Amazon.

You can look up my formal review on Amazon, I use the same identity as this page name (eclectic bookworm).

The author intends the books to be for young adult audiences, I would stress more of the “adult” side as it does have more “adult” themes to it.  She does stress in the description that it should be read by audiences 16 and over and I wholeheartedly agree based on some elements of sexuality and violence, especially book 3.

The book resolves around a young heroine, Cassie, age 17.  The first book sets the basis of who she is, who the main players in her life are, and who she is prior to the end of the world.  She is a black belt in karate, she is a gun enthusiast (thanks to her father), she is independent and fiercely loyal to her friends and family.  She is at the age where she is starting to really notice boys and their attention to her.  I really enjoy this character.  At times she is too stubborn, but overall her heart is in the right place.

I’m not going to outline the plot of each book, but talk about the books as a whole and why I like them.

  • There is a twist on how the zombies came in to being (I’m not going to spoil it)
  • The zombies don’t follow the traditional zombie rules
  • The books are funny, some of the characters are hilarious.
  • The characters are very well developed, the reader becomes attached to them
  • Plenty of action
  • During the third book, an element of mystery and suspense is held as the point of view is switched among characters.  Very effective.
  • Elements of romance between Cassie and another character.
  • The actual “zombie games” are terrifying, yet incredibly imaginative
  • Page turner

I did appreciate the way the author handled the issue of gun safety.  She made it abundantly clear that Cassie was extremely familiar with guns, was taught how to handle them properly and kept up her training with them.  I feel that was  incredibly responsible of the author.  She also mentioned that those who did not know how to shoot used baseball bats or other bludgeons to kill zombies.

Some things that were sketchy:

  • sometimes in the action sequence, it is difficult to determine who is doing what to who — especially during the action sequence at the last “games” in book three, and immediately afterward
  • time sequence — it is not exactly clear how much time has passed throughout the books, that would be helpful

One thing I do have issue with, mainly from the first book, is the issue with vaccinations.  I am a nurse.  Of course I am pro-vaccination.  Throughout the first book there is an undercurrent of anti-vaccination.  I understand the author is entitled to her opinion, I just disagree with it.

Overall, I am addicted to this series.  I would recommend it to anyone interested in the zombie genre as it is another take on the zombie apocalypse.  Highly entertaining, engaging, fun.  The characters are memorable, the action is believable, the author really paints the picture of a post-apocalyptic zombie wasteland.

The next book is due in March 2013.

 

The last amazing book I read

The last few amazing books I read were about the undead.

I stumbled upon the entire zombie genre by accident.  My 10 year old bonus son (that is stepson, but I don’t like the whole “stepmother” or “stepson” thing) is obsessed with the horror genre.  I don’t necessarily think a child should be allowed to be obsessed with this genre, being that most of the movies and TV shows are rated R or MA, but he lives with his mom that is a completely different blog.

Either way, one of the summers he was visiting he brought the first season of  The Walking Dead DVD with him.  I was hooked.  I don’t do vampires, I have never seen Twilight, nor do I plan do.  But I like me some zombies.

Which brings me to the subject of this post.  Through Bookbloggers I found the amazing works of Stant Litore and The Zombie Bible series.  The books center around people featured in the Bible and adds in zombies as if zombies have always existed.  Litore’s main Bible characters usually are involved in attempting to stopping the undead.

I personally have never read the Bible, and growing up Catholic, wasn’t really exposed to the old testament at all.  And I don’t find it at all blasphemous to put saints in a story featuring zombies.  I was truly fascinated with the descriptions of the setting (ancient Jerusalem for “Death Has Come Up into Our Windows”  and ancient Rome for “What Our Eyes Have Witnessed”.  The writing is captivating in both novels.  It just enraptures the reader like a vine, winding its way around you and pulling you in to the story.   I devour the works from Stant Litore (devour..haha) sometimes in a day because I can’t put them down.  And there is often a deeper meaning to his works, more of a humanity perspective rather than a Christian perspective.

Having gone through his books with a new one coming out soon, but not soon enough, I saw that the book “World War Z” was a recommended book for zombie enthusiasts.   And I happened to notice that my dad had that exact book sitting around his house.

I read the entire thing in two days.  Wow.  The entire way it was written in short little snippets of information was just enough to keep a story flowing, but allowed the reader to fill in the blanks.  The way it gave you a glimpse of the zombie apocalypse, but not the entire story that you would get from a first person narrative was just ingenious.  The way it doesn’t exactly give the time frame, the author leaves this and other key elements to your imagination.  I was sad when it ended.

So now I am reading another book from Bookbloggers.  Due to my health issues, I haven’t been able to jump right in right away.  I’ll post my review on here as well as on amazon.

What Our Eyes Have WItnessed

Next Newer Entries

%d bloggers like this: