Wrayth (A Book of the Order, #3)

13480291Title: Wrayth
Author: Philippa Ballantine
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: April 2008
Length: 309 pages
Series?: A Book of the Order #3
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Supernatural, Thriller, Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Goodreads Giveaway
Challenge: n/a

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis

In the Empire of Arkaym, the Order of Deacons protects and shelters the citizens from the attacks of the unliving. All are sworn to fight the evil forces of the geists—and to keep the world safe from the power of the Otherside… 

Although she is one of the most powerful Deacons in the Order, Sorcha Faris is still unable to move or speak after her last battle. Even her partner, Merrick Chambers, cannot reach her through their shared Bond. Yet there are those who still fear Sorcha and the mystery of her hidden past. 

Meanwhile, Merrick has been asked to investigate a new member of the Emperor’s Court. But when Sorcha is abducted by men seeking Raed Rossin, the shapeshifting rival to the throne, Merrick must choose where his loyalties lie.

Review

*I received this book through Goodreads First Reads book give-aways quite a while back. I was concerned about starting the third book in a series, so Phillipa sent me the first two! Without that, I can honestly say I would not have enjoyed this book as much, and I definitely would not have understood s0me things that happened and the importance of so many things in this story.

Warning: this post may contain spoilers or necessary information found in the first and second books. To get acquainted with this series, read my reviews: Book #1 here and Book #2 here.

Again, Ballantine has produced a story that is jam packed with dedication to intricate details. The story of Sorcha and Merrick, the remarkable and ill-favored Deacons, have weathered several storms together, experienced what most Deacons don’t see in a lifetime of dedication, and have seen the corruption of their own Order (of the Eye and Fist).

Many years ago, the old Order of the Circle of Stars tried overthrowing the Empire and taking control. They fled to the underground, although all thought they had been destroyed. Sorcha and Merrick found out otherwise in the first two novels in the series, and it shook the bedrock and foundation of their ties to the new Order, which formed to protect the Empire and its citizens from geists, geistlords and other manner of unsavory things from the Otherside.

Unfortunately in their last promenade to save the Empire things did not go quite according to plans, and Sorcha was left trapped inside her own body, paralyzed. It is a terrible thing to have your mind running, hear and overhear conversations, and not be able to say or do anything at all. Despite her strong Bond with Merrick, it is not enough to bring her out of this stupor. Merrick has stopped visiting, and now the Abbey and Council want to assign him a new partner – after Sorcha has been kidnapped!

After their last run in with a geistlord, in the ruse of a goddess, Raed the Young Pretender has been on the run from Emperor Kaleva and in search of his traitorous sister and former captain, but this time he is on his own. His crew is dispersed, and his first mate is determined to find him – with Sorcha’s help.

Once again, there is trouble in Vermillin within the palace. Kaleva has taken a stranger, a minor noble by the name of del Rue, into close confidence to the disgruntlement of his sister. The more she inquires, the more he shuts her out. The identity of this man is no stranger to Merrick, who is left holding the bag when del Rue pulls a fast one on Kaleva and the princess and the future of Arkaym is in question.

This does not bode well for the Empire or the Order, especially after Sorcha makes a deal with a geistlord, the entire Order loses the power of the Strops and Gauntlets, the Abbey is destroyed, the Deacons are on the run and The Tormentor is again on the lose.

The Rossin, a geistlord who made a deal with his ancestors, has not left Raed. In fact, he is in leagues with Fensema, another geistlord who wheels and deals with the Rossin, and has innate ability to track and stalk the Rossin. The Rossin seems to operate more and more independently unawares of Raed the Young Pretender, giving readers a nice glimpse of the set-up of the fourth book. The Rossin even struck a deal with Raed in the search for his sister that the Rossin can now be subdued but still access Raed’s conscious. I found in this book that the Rossin is very much more tamed, and humane (an ironic twist, I know), than in the previous books, but I think perhaps this is just setting up the groundwork for what will occur in the next book.

Sorcha discovers the painful and terrifying truth of her own history and birth, explaining the many remarkable peculiarities about her and her strong Bond with Merrick. She uses this knowledge of her mother’s last few desperate hours to save Arkaym.

Nynnia, Merrick’s lost love, is still helping Merrick and Sorcha from the Otherside…and ultimately saving Arkaym, again. I suspect in the fourth book she will also make an impact, even though her character has since long departed.

You can continue reading the Book of the Order series with Ballantine’s fourth installment, Harbinger.

About the Author

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Born and raised in Wellington, New Zealand, Philippa is a writer and podcaster of fantasy fiction. Immersed in books from an early age, she moved onto to become a librarian. She’d been dreaming of being a writer since a teenager, but in the last ten years she’s devoted herself to it.

She’s the author of the Books of the Order series from Ace Books. Also, with Pyr books the Shifted World series, Hunter and Fox (2012) and Born and Made (2013).

Philippa is also the co-author of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series, Phoenix Rising and the Janus Affair (2012).

Philippa currently resides in Manassas, Virginia with her husband and co-writer Tee Morris, their daughter and a clowder of five cats who keep them all in line.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Book Review: The Recipe Box

The Recipe Box

The Recipe Box

Title: The Recipe Box

Author: Sandra Lee
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: July 2013
Length: 225 pages
Series?: no
Genre: Chick Lit, Cooking
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased @ Scholastic book fair
Challenge: n/a
 
First off, this book is written by a woman who hosts several different DIY type TV shows, and throughout the book she has included recipes that correspond with the foods mentioned in the book. There are 16 recipes listed in an index at the back of the book. I fully intend to try out some of the recipes.
 

This book delves into the complexities of a woman’s mind, and the relationships with her mother and daughter.

Family secrets. Pride. Fear. Self-realization. And it all starts with a small, wooden recipe box that’s traveled the Atlantic from Sweden to the American midwest…and a birth certificate found tucked in the back of it.

This small, family heirloom creates doubt, havoc and leads to nearly a lifetime of running: running from everything. Until a best friend’s sad end leads to some unique wishes, statements and sentiments sent in a variety of ways.

Grace Holm-D’Angelo is fighting her past, running from it, and making some of the same mistakes with her own daughter. With the death of her best friend, she’s not splitting time between LA and her hometown, but most definitely not making any heartfelt visits to her mother. Grace carries a lot of baggage that she’s refusing to acknowledge to anyone, and as high school friend and co-worker Ken point out, she has always had a hidden agenda.

Until all that she’s trying to hide erupts like a raging volcano. When she picks her daughter up from an LA police station, she can’t keep up the ruse. Teenage Emma is sent to live with Grace’s mother, and complete her school year in little New London, which his home to a great group of folks who are all willing to help. Indeed, Grace’s high school nemesis is now doing anything she can to help out. It’s a wake up call for Grace, as is the letter she receives from her high school bestie, Leeza, after her death.

Returning to New London, Grace keeps running into hometown handyman and fireman and high school English teacher Mike, who is helping Emma in completing her schoolwork. Where there’s one, there’s three. Grace’s ex-husband, Brian, now successful with his business, comes barging back into the picture, as well as rich chocolatier Von, Leeza’s Swiss cousin, whom Grace had a brief fling with years before. Von is a flitty guy, like a butterfly: here one second, gone the next. He does things on his terms and his time. He befriends Emma in aims of getting into Grace’s good graces, but Grace quickly shuts that down due to her past, and some fears and doubts she is not yet ready to voice.

This novel comes full circle, with not only Grace’s own self-realization and growth, but also that of many of the other characters. It really made me reflect on my relationship with my mother, and hers with her mother, and the changes over the last 15 years in those relationships, the difficulties we experienced, and perhaps set ourselves up for, and the solid ground we are on today.

It is a heartwarming read, especially for mothers, sisters, daughters and best friends.

Perhaps my favorite line from the entire novel comes at the end, by none other than Von:

Our mistakes should not go without apologies. 

Sandra Lee

Sandra Lee

About the Author

Sandra Lee, a multi-Emmy® and Gracie award-winner, is an internationally-acclaimed expert in all things kitchen and home. Sandra Lee has predicted and changed the trajectory of American lifestyle with her signature “smart and simple” philosophy. She empowers people of all walks of life to create memorable meals, hospitable homes, and creative crafts and shows them how to entertain for every occasion―with ease.

Sandra is the editor in chief of Sandra Lee Magazine and the host of four highly-rated culinary programs on Food Network and Cooking Channel: Restaurant Remakes, Sandra’s Money Saving Meals, Semi-Homemade Cooking and Taverns, Lounges & Clubs. Additionally, Sandra is the host of HGTV’s Sandra Lee Celebrates, a series of prime time entertaining specials.

Widely-respected for anticipating the needs of the modern homemaker and consumers, Sandra has launched several lines of home, garden, seasonal and craft products and produced a successful DIY home improvement series. Her newest kitchens, tabletops, housewares, seasonal decors and domestics collections are available exclusively in Kmart/Sears, entitled Sandra by Sandra Lee.

The Recipe Box is her first fiction book.

Find the author: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

-CA

Kindle Serials– The Zombie Bible

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I haven’t been too enthusiastic about the Kindle serials.  I’m of the mindset that I want to read it all, and I want it now.

But this one is teaching me the value of delayed gratification.

I have written several posts on this blog praising the writing of Stant Litore.

He is probably one of the best writers I have come across during this journey of book blogging.

His writing, on its own, is just fantastic.  He weaves lyrical prose that is truly spellbinding.  His sentence structure, word choice, metaphors, are unlike any writer I have read before:

She felt small and caught–by him, by the Law, by her bereavement.  As though it were not his hands that held her but God’s, pitiless and demanding.  God’s hands that demanded that she live a certain way, fulfill commitments that were made before her grandmother’s grandmothers were born and always without any sure promise from God beneath her feet, only shifting sand, pulled out from under her by the vanishing tide.

Add in the elements of an ancient and mysterious religion (to me at least) and then zombies?  Wow.  It just adds to the satisfying smorgasbord that Litore’s writing presents.

At first I was wary of the serial concept.  But now I’m seeing it as an adventure.  Like watching “The Walking Dead” every week.  I have to wait.  To anticipate.  To wonder to what dark recesses of humanity Litore will take me.

Here is the synopsis of the serial and the story to date:

A first-century Israeli village lies ruined after zombies devour most of the coastal community. In their grief, the villagers threw the dead into the Sea of Galilee, not suspecting that this act would poison the fish and starve the few survivors on land.

Yeshua hears their hunger. He hears the moans of the living and the dead, like screaming in his ears. Desperate to respond, he calls up the fish.

Just one thing:

The dead are called up, too.

No Lasting Burial ushers readers into a vivid and visceral re-interpretation of the Gospel of Luke and the legend of the Harrowing of Hell. The hungry dead will rise and walk, and readers may never look at these stories the same way again.

Episode List
An additional episode will be delivered every week until the book is complete. New episodes will be added to the same book on your Kindle, keeping your place and retaining your notes and highlights. You’ll be notified via email when a new episode has been delivered.

Episode 1: November 12, 2013. 40 pages. When a stranger arrives in the starving village of Kfar Nahum, his eerie cries call fish up from the bottom of an empty lake—but he calls up the dead, too. 
Episode 2: November 19, 2013. 40 pages. As his town burns in the night, Shimon and his neighbors fight to survive an onslaught of the ravenous dead.
Episode 3: November 26, 2013. 40 pages. The dead have been beaten back, but Shimon’s crippled brother, Koach, and the other survivors may face even graver threats…from the living, as the priests and warriors of the land decide who to blame for the rising of the dead.
Episode 4: December 3, 2013. 40 pages. A young woman shelters Koach from a zombie-killer who is eager to stone him, and Shimon must decide what to do with a strange visitor whose body bears the bruises of stoning but who can call up both the living and the dead.

The only criticism I have is that I have absolutely no clue what some of the Hebrew words used in the story mean.  Litore tries to convey the meaning in following sentences, and the onboard dictionary helps somewhat.  But I am utterly clueless when it comes to words such as “nagar”, “navi” “shedim”.  It would just help to have a glossary or some other form of direct confirmatons on my suspicions of a words meaning.

Like I have said before, forget that this has “zombies” and “bible” in the title.  I was skeptical myself when I first discovered the series.  But the title itself intrigued me.  How can someone combine such polarizing topics in one book and make it readable?

But Litore suceeds.  Way beyond what I expected. Beyond what I dreamed was possible to be contained in a novel in the horror genre, or any genre for that matter.

I am no longer a skeptic.  This experience has totally sold me on the Amazon serial thing.  I now eagerly await the delivery of the next installment to my Kindle each week.

Check it out.  Even if you don’t think you’ll like a zombie book.  Even if you are an ardent atheist and avoid anything with “bible” in the title.  You will not be disappointed.

Book Review: Undying by Valerie Grosjean

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Yay!!  A zombie romance!!!  I have been on a zombie kick lately, brought on by The Walking Dead and Halloween.  So I naturally gravitated to this book.  The author kindly gifted me a kindle copy, Undying.

Here is the synopsis:

This is a story of love . . . and zombies.

When eighteen-year-old college freshman Christian discovers his dormitory is crawling with the living dead, he knows he has a problem. But once he learns the whole country is overrun by the flesh-eating horde, he must race to protect what matters to him most.

Sixteen-year-old Iris, the girl he loves, is stranded eighty miles away, alone and completely unaware of the gruesome threat surrounding her.

Christian’s plan is to evade the zombies, drive the distance to rescue Iris, and get them both to his family farm–where there are guns, fuel, and everything else they’ll need to survive. His mission seems simple: Get the girl, get to the farm, and stay alive.

Things get complicated when Christian is forced to make an unthinkable choice between Iris and his family. Someone he loves must die, and he must decide.

If you have read this blog before, you know that I love zombies.  I credit my bonus child, Christian, with getting me started when he made us watch the first season of The Walking Dead a few summers ago.  I didn’t start getting into reading zombie stories until last year with the Zombie Bible series.  I have since devoured most zombie books that I can get my hands on, including the mainstream ones.

This book was a bit different.  It was a zombie story with a romantic theme.  Plenty of the zombie stories I read feature love stories as a side plot, but this book has that plotline front and center.  And I loved it.

Christian has never revealed his feeling for Iris.  He just kind of shoved them down.  He is planning on telling her when he goes home for the weekend, but then the zombie apocalypse happens.

The love story kind of mimics my own (second) marriage.  My husband and I were the same age as Christian and Iris.  We had feelings for each other, but we didn’t want to do the long distance thing.  Then life happened, and we were unable to tell each other our true feelings until we were damn near 30.  So I identify readily with the love theme.

The zombies are typical zombies.  The vector of transmission is plausible.  People “turn” very quickly, so the apocalypse happens overnight, rather than over a few days or weeks.  This definitely lends a sense of panic to the story.

The gore is typical zombie gore, but it doesn’t go overboard in the description of the mutilations.  It isn’t stomach turning.

I love the character of Christian.  He is amazing.  He is strong, capable and sensitive.  He knows what needs to be done and makes the hard decisions.  He’s a great leader.

I don’t know enough about Iris to make the same conclusions.  But if Christian loves her, she must be special.

The action is intense. It is a page turner.  There aren’t any parts that lag or don’t make sense.  The author also knows where to stop the minute by minute recall of events and let the plot flow.  Very much appreciated.

I can also tell that the author is a bit spiritual.  That is implied with Christian’s mention of heaven, his overall demeanor.  But it isn’t the focus of the story and it isn’t rammed down the reader’s throat.  In fact, it makes Christian more appealing.

I will be eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.  I truly enjoyed this read and I finished it in one night.  Valerie Grosjean is an excellent story-teller of both the zombie genre and the romance genre.

I also stopped by her blog and I was fascinated to read about her writing process.  That is also good reading if you are so inclined.

And this book is 99 cents on Amazon today.  You don’t have a valid excuse NOT to get it.

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic Press, 2007)

Genre: fiction, young adult (YA), fantasy, supernatural, mystery, suspense

Curriculum Building Ideas:

  • Language Arts: Reader’s Notebook, Literary Circles, Guided Reading Groups, Writer’s Workshop, Sequencing, Plot, Character Map/Analysis, Inferences/Predictions, Connections (Text to Self, Text to Text, Text to World), Graphic Organizers, Book vs. Movie (i.e. Venn Diagram, Persuasive Essay), Reader’s Theatre, KWL Chart
  • Social Studies: design an issue of The Daily Prophet or The Quibbler – follow the attention of the media from the book, paying attention to the audiences of both literary sources; create a propoganda poster or pamphlet; studies of various types of government and policies
  • Math: “Design a Map” – based on information provided from the book of where Harry, Hermione and Ron travel

*Author’s Note: There have been numerous reviews of Harry Potter to date, and  Rowling has racked up many awards for her books.  I’m going to try to stay away from writing things that can be easily found in other reviews from years past. Note that I am now nearly 24 years old and this is my first time reading Harry Potter, which was published when I was in elementary school. I remember my mother reading them, and then my middle brother. I was into other genres, and for some reason I had an unfounded stigma toward Harry Potter. I have seen the first four movies; I didn’t really keep up with the latter movies. But I didn’t know what was going on because I missed out on so much that was in the books! I wish that I had read Harry Potter as I was growing up, instead of waiting – I feel that I’ve lost a lot of the magic in waiting, and also in seeing the movies before reading the books.

spoiler-alert

Spoilers from Book 6 – Read at Your Own Risk!

Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 

The final book of Harry Potter has come! It is bittersweet. I started prepping this post, and then started reading the book. And then I started debating whether or not to even post a review of the book. I was afraid that I was going to give too much away, because there was SO much I wanted to share about the book…and then I finished the book and was in even more of a dilemma. It was a hard decision.

The last book gave readers quite a shock. The title referred to Severus Snape, who had been playing the double agent role for The Order of the Phoenix and Lord Voldemort. He also made an Unbreakable Vow to protect Draco Malfoy…and he killed Dumbledore with the Killing Curse. Was it because Malfoy was there? Because that was Malfoy’s task from Voldemort, and he choked? I surmise we’ll have our answer in this last book.

Where will this leave Harry and the Order? And what about Hogwarts? When I finished Book 6, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I was overwhelmed with questions and anger and fear. And I hurt for Harry, for his loss and the loss of the Wizarding world. Rowling has spun a wonderful series, creating strong, relatable characters – and she also did a miraculous job as an author creating a bond between her readers and the characters she’s created.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part IRowling set us up in the last book to know that Harry plans to leave Hogwarts. Dumbledore gave Harry hope to defeat Voldemort – and the way to do it: Harry will need to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes that Voldemort has stored his soul within. He knows that there are seven pieces of Voldemort’s soul, and that his current body houses one piece, leaving six remaining. Harry destroyed Riddle’s diary with a basilisk fang in HP and the Chamber of Secrets. Dumbledore destroyed a second Horcrux piece – the Slytherin ring, accounting for his injured and shriveled hand in the last book. But there’s so much more to that story…The third known Horcrux was the locket Dumbledore and Harry set off to destroy in the last book, and it had been stolen – replaced with a replica and a note signed by R.A.B. Who is R.A.B.? Harry needs to find the remaining four, potentially five, Horcruxes.

This book opens during the summer, with Harry grounded at the Dursleys’. A plan has been hatched to safely transport Harry and also the Dursleys, as time is running out on the charm that protects him at the Dursleys. The moment he turns 17 or no longer calls the Durlseys house his home, the charm is broken and Voldemort will come a-knocking. The plan is somehow breached, with all the members of the Order being attacked by Death Eaters throwing around Killing Curses like candy at a hometown parade. Needless to say, the Order suffers some serious loss, with one going missing. However, the Order will suffer more down the line. Get the tissues handy.

This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal. 

Readers learn that once again, the Ministry is keeping Azkaban escapes hush-hush, and other internal problems such as Death Eaters still working within the Ministry and gaining intel. The Daily Prophet is also suspiciously quiet. And a teacher (whom we’ve never heard of before, but who’s apparently been at Hogwarts for years) has strangely resigned…after leaving Hogwarts. I’ll give you three guesses as to what’s happened to her.

DH1_Albus_Dumbledore's_signature_with_Deathly_Hallows_symbolRowling has never left any of her books without action, and this one is definitely jam-packed – and mortally dangerous for Harry. The Ministry has been compromised entirely, Snape is in power at Hogwarts, Dumbledore’s name and memory are being tarnished salaciously…and Muggles are fearing for their lives like never before. The annoying Rita Skeeter has taken full advantage of the situation of the Wizarding world, and published a book The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, using The History of Magic textbook ‘s author Bathilda Bagshot as a source. It does contain some questionable content, and has Harry heavily questioning his relationship with Dumbledore. This snowballs and leads them onto some interesting discoveries about the past, all while still on the run. They also discover a symbol in the book Dumbledore left Hermione, and also found it on a grave in Godric’s Hollow. It is the same symbol Luna’s father, Xeno Lovegood, Quibbler editor, wore to Bill and Fluer’s wedding…a symbol that Krum identified as Grindelwald’s mark, a mark of very Dark Arts and other sinister sentiments.

Through their journey to find the Horcurxes, Harry, Hermione and Ron traverse the dangers of the Ministry to steal back the Slytherin locket that Voldemort used for a Horcrux. It was quite a nail biter. They take turns wearing the locket, but it holds a great power over the wearer, causing the wearer to act strangely…. and restricts the wearer in certain ways, posing a very strong danger. It’s almost as if Voldemort can see the situation and control the locket.

Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.

They learn that a group of Hogwarts students, including Ginny and Luna, tried to steal the Gryffindor sword from Snape’s new headmaster office. So it’s transported to a “safe” place….but it was a fake! The real sword, which is determined to contain basilisk venom, can destroy the Horcurxes. Like the locket, they now need to find the sword.

The trio learn of items that could make the owner the Conquerer of Death. Harry already has one, one is destroyed, and Voldemort is fiery pursuit after the final object: an old, powerful wand with a bloody past. Given that Harry and Hermione are wanted by the Ministry, and Ron would probably be taken on false charges, they go to the one person who knows the meaning of the symbol: Xeno Lovegood. He relates the long-held belief of The Deathly Hallows, and the three objects. It all stems from a fairy tale of three brothers. Through the strange connection between Harry and Voldemort, he learns that a wandmaker, Gregorovitch, had the Elder Wand, but it was stolen long ago by Grindelwald, but the most recent owner is someone dear to Harry.

Harry becomes consumed by the story of The Deathly Hallows, certain that he is the descendant of the youngest brother. He wants to throw the search for the Horcurxes to the wind, thinking of the Deathly Hallows and the prophecy. He thinks having all the Deathly Hallows will ensure that he can defeat Voldemort. Ron and Hermione quickly need to snap him out of it.

This book is gripping. It reveals so many histories and connections of the past, and true loyalties of many. In this book much weighs on Harry, least of concern to him his life. Harry exudes selflessnes, kindness and quite a bit of logic and reasoning. Dumbledore’s Army has come back full force. All is explained and comes full circle, but it may leave readers with a slight pain in your hearts.

-CA

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Who will prevail in the end?

More zombies (part three)

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In this massive post about my recent zombie books, I look at two “stand-alone” books. This means that they aren’t a part of a series.

The first is “U.G.L.Y” by H.A. Rhoades. I think I got this one at the Zombie Kindle ebook extravaganza in April. That day I picked up over 10 FREE zombie books.

Here is the synopsis:

When a pharmaceutical company dumps a contaminated batch of a new tranquilizer into the Los Angeles water supply, its people are poisoned.

The city is plunged into chaos.

And a desperate adventure is about to begin.

As violent rioting breaks out, millions are killed. Duncan Stevens narrowly escapes infection – and sets out to find his estranged family. But when he loses all trace of his children, he joins a group of Marines for a final, brutal assault on the city – that aims to destroy the mob within.

‘U.G.L.Y’ is a gritty, terrifying but also moving glimpse into a violent, broken world.

It will appeal to fans of ‘The Hunger Games’ and Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’.

I loved several things about this book. First, the method of infection is believable and realistic. With levels of antidepressants found in some municipal water supplies and the recent contamination of steroid injections used in spinal procedures, it is entirely possible for this to happen. I love how the author included references in the back of the book that illustrate where he got the idea.

This book has to be the most graphic zombie novel I have ever read. The descriptions of the zombie attacks literally had my heart pounding. I don’t usually squirm when reading horror, but I did with this book. I’m thinking specifically of the scene in which someone gets devoured.

And the zombies are different than the classical ones depicted in some books. These ones are fast. And they get stronger when they feed. Terrifying.

I was slightly confused with the difference between the first “wave” of infection and the second. Also, I had issue with the way it ended. It seems like the author was searching for a way to end it and took the easy route.

I do recommend this one to zombiephiles because it is a different and novel take on some of the aspects of zombie-lore.

More zombies (part one)!!

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I have been promising this post for awhile and now it is here!!

This is the first part of a three or four part series.

I have recently read a TON of zombie books, thanks to the Zombie Kindle ebooks page on Facebook.  The zombie writers have the formula right:   offer one of the books of a zombie series for free, and then watch how many sales result from people addicted to the genre and NEED to find out what happens next.

That is how I found the “Zomblog” series by T.W. Brown.

I saw the book  “Zomblog: Snoe” was free and downloaded it.  I realized about 10 pages in that I probably should read the three other books that came before in the series.  Lucky for me, I recently had a birthday and someone was gracious enough to gift me with an Amazon gift card (thank you Patti!)

By the way, if anyone is every hurting for gift ideas for me, I am not offended by an Amazon gift card.  It is actually preferred.

So I started the series in the proper order, with the original “Zomblog”.  Here is the synopsis from amazon:

Samuel Todd is a regular guy: …Failed husband… …Loving father… …Dutiful worker… …Aspiring rockstar. He had no idea if anyone would care, or take the time, to read his daily blog entries about his late night observations. But what started as an open monologue of his day-to-day life became a running journal of the firsthand account detailing the rising of the dead and the downfall and degradation of mankind…

It utterly captivated me.  Extremely well written, well thought out, thrilling, and terrifying.  I finished the ENTIRE series in three days.  I think that’s a new record for me.  Four books, three days.

It’s dark.  Most books in this genre are “dark”, but this one has an added twist of terror.  The zombies are very believable and deadly, but it’s the remaining humans that are more horrific.

What I absolutely love about this series?  Much like “The Zombie Bible”, there is no explanation for the zombies.  No complicated medical jargon or mass casualty event that causes people to become zombies.

As a nurse, I often find myself critiquing zombie books that get too medical or too scientific because I have a general understanding of the human body.  This series entirely omits that process and just tells the story.  I am free to read the book without comparing it to actual medical knowledge and as a result, I am less distracted from the actual story.

Mr. Brown creates amazing characters who the reader feels for throughout the entire series.  And he doesn’t spare anyone from carnage.  You like a main character?  Too bad, they die. 

Too many zombie series have the protagonist survive multiple brushes with death to survive it all.  In this series, it is incredibly more realistic that some of the main characters succumb to a zombie bite, a shooting, or something else.  This is the first zombie series I have read that does this.  And it is refreshing.

“Zomblog: Snoe” takes place nearly 20 years after the zombies began devouring humanity.  It is very intriguing to read about the way society rebuilds itself.  And it hits home that some things never change.

I would caution that there is graphic sexual abuse present throughout this series.  Yes, it is more realistic, especially in light of those three women freed from a decade of captivity in Ohio earlier this month.  But if you have PTSD and things like this are a trigger, I would consider skipping the series.  It didn’t trigger me, however.

Overall, this is an excellent zombie series.  I posted a question to the author via Facebook asking about the next book, and he said it should be coming out next month.  I. Can’t. Wait.

I would love to get into the author’s “Dead” series, but as funds are lacking, that is not happening anytime soon.  Might be a good time for someone to get me that amazon gift card…

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