Tag Archive: horror



SmilodonSmilodon by Alan Nayes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My husband seemed really excited about a book he was reading. He even brought it into the living room with his headset while I was watching some show. He doesn’t usually read during the day. He is usually on the computer during the day. So I asked him about the book. It sounded exciting. I was able to borrow it on Kindle.

He was right it was right. It was exciting.

Anyone who reads my reviews know I am on a mission to read mostly female authors with strong female characters. After all, I spent my first sixty years like most people, reading mostly male authors and male characters. This book didn’t fit my new goal. But my husband convinced me that is was intriguing. So I couldn’t resist.

I have to admit that the first few chapters were boring. It was male heavy. And the only females were eye-candy. The main female (secondary character) was the ranger in charge but was seldom given her due of being in charge.

Beyond those complaints, the Smilodon part of the story was exciting. Imagine a creature that big that takes over a park! I don’t want to give any spoilers. It is well worth the read, but maybe not at night. It was hard to sleep after!

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The Walking Dead Vol. 3: Safety Behind BarsThe Walking Dead Vol. 3: Safety Behind Bars by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Younger me would have been appalled at the me that LOVES The Walking Dead. Do I love zombies? Heck no. But like birds and coyotes, they exist in Robert Kirkman’s TWD. Some would understand if I use the words, “puppies and kittens”. Just not so cute. What else exists? As much inclusion as it possible without it being awkward.

Where would you prefer to spend the apocalypse a farm or a prison? A farm would have a good amount of food if you can keep it fresh and healthy. When the zombies stroll all over it and threaten to kill you, then that is not so feasible. No electric fences can keep them out. They only want to eat you. Innocent from their point of view. Hard enough to keep the farm free of pests like mice and coyotes or other predators. Shooting at them will bring more, in hoards!

Seemingly a strange choice is a prison. But with bars and double sets of high fences that normally keep the bad folks in, now becomes the best place of safety. Plus all the food that is still there. Clear away the walking dead and you have a safe place to raise a family. And set up the farm!

And so it is that Rick Grimes and crew end up in the prison. If you watch the show this kind of order happened to our fearless group. They tried camping in volume 1, the farm in volume 2, and finally, in volume 3, they move into the prison. But some people are still with us, others don’t exist. It is fun to compare the writing of both comic and television show. The story remains, for the most part, in spite of the changes needed often for the length of time a show can run, whereas the written one can go on forever if we all want it. (Yes!)

Once, again, I need to say, I prefer the Kindle version to the paperback. Though I would like to collect the comics, I can’t read them without a magnifying glass. The Kindle version allows me to click on the picture and take it frame by frame. Then if a certain frame has a font that is too small I can pinch it bigger. Bravo, technology! I miss the smell and tactile enjoyment of real books, but at my age with my eyes, I’m happy I can still enjoy books and comic books! By the way, the Kindle version is cheaper and it is free with Kindle Unlimited! YAY!

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You gotta know things are bad if I choose to start binging True Blood over watching another moment of news or hang out at FaceBook.

True Blood Season 1 DVD Cover.jpg

Nope. I don’t usually like vampires.  I have to admit that between my husband and bestie have broken my anti-horror stance over the last decade. And sadly, I think I like it. Both The Walking Dead and TrueBlood have more story than horror. I like watching the characters grow through the weird world they are in. I can relate.

Thank goodness for One-liner Wednesday. I don’t think I could have done more today.


The Walking Dead, Vol. 2: Miles Behind UsThe Walking Dead, Vol. 2: Miles Behind Us by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love two-parter, year-long Christmas gifts! You see I promised my adult son one Walking Dead paperback a month and promised myself the Kindle version for me. So I got number two at the beginning of this month as he already had book one.

I didn’t even bother trying to read the paper version. The font is too light. But I love the Kindle version. I can tap on any picture and enlarge it. Every aspect of the drawing is there, all the word clear. It makes me want to do a lot of comic books this way.

This particular volume takes us to the farm and Hershel and Maggie. It wasn’t as detailed as the episodes that we binged a few years ago. Yet it is fun to see how this story continued when it was fresh from Robert Kirkman’s imagination. I love how the show has tried to stay true and yet worked with Mr. Kirkman on new storylines to make a fantastic show about people dealing with survival.

Can’t wait for next month!

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The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone ByeThe Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My son loaned me his copy of the paper book. He knew I was into The Walking Dead television show.

Zombies are dumb and they barely shuffle along. I am not into zombies or horror in the way that tries to scare you, tries to make you jump, tries to get your heart beating faster, tries to make you cling to the person next to you. (Okay, that last one can be fun, but I don’t need that kind of encouragement!)

What I am into, with all science fiction and fantasy, is how we can be better as humans, how to improve our lives in general and individually. How we could ruin our lives if we don’t listen to sci-fi/fantasy warnings as a society and as science itself.

So for me, The Walking Dead is the best example of what we all need to see. First of all the diversity of people in the books and show are realistic. There are as many men as there are women. There are all kinds of people. And though the story has a man as the main character, Kirkman makes sure that all the people are still fighting old fights as they get together or find themselves alone. One of the first scenes at the camp are women doing laundry. These issues get drawn and challenge themselves. As the women are taught to help keep the camp safe they see they can all take turns taking care of their own clothes and hygiene. Children will have to be taken care of by everyone as they are the future. Thereby those in camp teach each other what they know so all jobs are interchangeable.

In the television show, we’ve seen Maggie and Michone taking over as the heads of their communities. Of course, this is only book number one. So it is still about Rick. I think Robert Kirkman tried to make sure anyone, male or female, could relate to Rick, waking in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse.

Introduced in this first book is how hard it is to get everyone on the same page. Is it better to stay and hope help comes? Or is it better to go and find a safer place and assume help is ourselves? Robert shows us how the lowly pizza delivery guy is the one to save the life of the so-called hero. That’s putting to the world that the idea that all people have worth and all could be the hero we need. Respect in The Walking Dead is the lesson we have to learn before some survival drama comes into our lives as a whole.

As for the difference between the books and the show, I think I like the show better so far, but as I move into the next book I will want to keep revising that. Comic books are different than non-illustrated books in that the emotions can be drawn on. But these can be misinterpreted. If this were a purely written book, we might have gone into Rick’s mind to hear his thinking about his wife being with his best friend.

The comparison is like oranges and apples. The fruit is there to glean the same intentions, the textures differ. By the way, I love the artwork. And as I’m finishing my NaNoWriMo today or tomorrow, I’m wondering how fun it might be to try and make it into a comic book/graphic novel.

I hope my review may change the minds about this story. It isn’t a zombie story. It’s a people story.

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Undead Drive-ThruUndead Drive-Thru by Rebecca Besser
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was on one of those Free Kindle Book offers and since it was in the genre I’m writing about, I thought I’d give it a try.

The story was short and darkish humor. It could have been a story that occurred at the start of The Walking Dead. I could almost see it in comic book form. I finished reading it in one night. It draws on the same psychic bent that poor Maggie’s dad, Hershel, had on the show, that the zombie is just a sick version of the loved one.

It was a fun short read. You might like it.

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The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living DeadThe Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While I’m waiting for my characters to come out of hiding, yes, they are literally behind boulders during a volcano as Exploding Ebolic Zombies surround while being shot at by corrupt police… I thought I’d get some of my past due reviews written.

When I was telling my son about my upcoming (and now current) NaNoWriMo zombie novel, he dug out this book. It is an actual handbook that uses some well thought out ways to survive Zombie attacks. It is done tongue in cheek yet if you think about it, these ideas could save you during any kind of catastrophe. It is well-written. And the font easy enough for me to read during the day. But since most of my reading happens at night, before bed (yeah, zombies before sleep didn’t help much), I added the audible version so I could lean back and really think about what the author was telling us. Marc Cashman narrated this quite well. Though it is written in handbook form the narration was authentic sounding and keeps the reader/listener engaged.

I highly recommend this book for those who can take the humor with the survival facts. It will help my future writing as I rethink: how safe are my characters behind those boulders? And where is an exploding zombie when you need one to attack those cops?

Oh, just enjoy the book!

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Review: Submerged


Submerged
Submerged by Cheryl Kaye Tardif
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a ride! Submerged was like the scariest roller-coaster ride. You swear as you stand in line, that you might not even get on. You might turn around and watch everyone else ride. You read the warning signs about bad backs and weak hearts. But you like the author. You like her writing. Kind of like watching your friends get on the ride for the umpteenth time and egging you on. So you get on the ride and make sure the safety bar is down tight. You take a deep breath and hope you don’t barf, or get barfed on.

As usual, with a Cheryl Kaye Tardif novel, you know that there will be realistic situations with a cloud of mystery and macabre. There are lessons to be learned, like how to use the ResQme tool. I was fortunate to win one in a Submerged contest. I hope I never have to use it, but I feel a little safer by having it.

There are so many layers of story in this book. There is romance and terror, divorce and humor and in the middle of that there is family love and addictions. And even though it has some scary moments, I found that the author kept it from bogging down in the terrors. I doubt it will give me nightmares. But I will remember this book for a long, long time. I may even reread it someday. I highly recommend any of Ms. Tardif’s novels, but this may be her best yet.

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