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Monthly Archives: August 2012

My September Plans: Book Reviews and Short Story Continuation

This is just a quick post to let people know what is coming up in September on the blog.  This not a complete list by all means but things I hope to get out to the general public to enjoy.

 

 

Reviews:

  • Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds (releasing 9/3)
  • Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed (Anthology) Edited by Kate Monroe
  • Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity (Anthology) Edited by Kate Monroe
  • Born of Blood by SB Knight
  • Haywire by Justin Macumber

Short Stories:

  • Encircled in Malta: The Beginning
  • Encircled in Malta: The Trip

On a personal note for all the book reviews I list above these are being done for FREE! I do not make any  money off the reviews and wanted to share that point. All I ask is that those who want a book reviewed by me to contact me at Knightmist72@gmail.com and we can take it from there. After I clear the list of books above I will be wide open again if anyone needs a pair of eyes, and two hands, for a review.

Shawn

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2012 in Personal

 

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Days with The Undead: Book One by Julianne Snow

The United States Government made headlines when on the Center for Disease Control posted a Zombie, or Undead, Plan. Most of us saw this as a way for the CDC to get attention to their site and mission.  People would naturally go to the CDC website to investigate the plan and find other resources that may be of use to them.  However, how many people may have taken this plan serious and began making their personal plans?  Would such a plan ever be needed?  Is there a chance a Zombie outbreak could happen, and where?

As you read through the book, “Days with The Undead: Book One”, by Julianne Snow you may find reasons to listen and to plan.  The book takes you into the lives of several survivors of an Undead outbreak that stars in a very surprising location.  Unlike many stories out there, this did not start in Africa, Europe, the US or South America, but instead in Canada.

The city of Toronto becomes the epicenter of what may be the death of cities, states, and nations. It is even more important this could be the death of humanity as you read the survivors journey. The groups plan is to try and stay ahead of the oncoming tide of the Undead as they move further away from Toronto, and Canada.

The group had used the backgrounds of each of its members to plan for such an event, but who know this would happen. They end up using each group’s member’s strengths to their advantage as they travel.  The group contains two ex-Canadian Military men, two with medical degrees, and two others that are just as important. They have an Environmental Scientist who will be a great benefit in finding what is edible in the wild as they travel. Another member is a man who spent a lot of time alone and had fallen in love with Geography and has many many maps.

This group sets out from Toronto as the outbreak begins, and one member even escapes from the Hospital that sees the outset of the disaster. The outbreak begins in the Hospital as a lone comes in sick and dies, only moments later he’s back to life and attacking others.  As those who died at the hands of this “undead” man they would rise and repeat his horrible actions. The group’s doctor saw friends, colleagues, and eventually we learn of a loved one that all die as the disease and the undead spread. As others arrive at the scene of the carnage it is only inevitable that this would spread. The doctor’s story is told to us through the writing of one of the survivors. In all truth, their complete stories are captured on a blog by a member of this group.

This is what helps make “Days with The Undead: Book One” a great read.  You do not get the feeling that you are reading a book, but instead you are reading a survivors story.  You read along as Julie, shares the story of their travels. She does not skip many details in her story, and even provides hints on how the Undead work.  The one thing I found really different from other books of this genre is how humanity was not the only one impacted. There is other wild life that become infected and in turn become a new form of terror. They travel in packs and eat all in sight down to the bone much like a piranha would in a river.

The other thing that I really enjoyed about Julianne Snow’s book is how for a long period no matter how bleak the world got around her, Julie tried to give you hope. Her group has to make some tough decisions when it came to their survival and you may question their morality at times. However, in a world that has gone out of control would you do much better?

“Days with The Undead: Book One” is titled this way as there are other books in the series. This is a great perk as the story of this new world needs to be told. Julie makes every effort to do this through this book, and draws us into the lives of those she travels with.  You will find hardship and sorrow from their stories, but there is one thing you should hopefully get from this book. This one thing is to live and make the best out of what life gives you to survive no matter the circumstances.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2012 in Reviews

 

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Darkseed: Awakening by Victoria Ley

The Ouija Board is a tool, a game, or simply a device that has been used for generations.  The primary use has been to entertain but in truth has been used as spirit board. The spirit board is away for the average person to talk to the spirits that are around them at any moment. The Ouija Board has been associated with the occult and demons since its original growth in popularity.

Darkseed: Awakening, by Victoria Ley, opens in a very ominous way. You read as a wind blows through the small English countryside looking for a specific target. As the wind finds its path two boys are sitting in a bedroom at 205 Cheyne Avenue. These boys are huddled around an object on the floor, this object just happens to be an Ouija board.  It is only as this wind arrives we get to read more of the conversation the two boys are having. Their discussion gets grimmer and the word murder is used, and eventually only darkness will find these two Brethren.

Several years later when Sarah Walton moves into the house at 205 Cheyne Avenue, with her newly divorced mother, Sarah finds herself in that same room. Sarah has a great friend in a girl named Christina and after some unusual events happen the girls begin to experiment.  This experimentation leads the girl into a world that Christina had just read about and down a path to safe a ghostly spirit.

We get to read along in the story about how these two high school classmates begin experimenting with the supernatural.  The girls go as far as creating their own Ouija board and eventually do make a connection.  This connection just happens to be that of a boy who had died in the very room Sarah now calls her own.  This young man, Craig, was a member of a group of like-minded students who all had a major interest in the paranormal, and occult. It’s along their investigations that they learn the secrets of the boys group, Brethren, and how two of the boys died.

Author Victoria Ley does a great job of immersing the reader into the lives of these two young girls. They have a core group of friends at school that add to the realism of their story. Some American readers may find some struggles with the heavy use of British slang but in reality this adds to the story. It helps to pull you even more into their world as it can seem like a secret language they are speaking between each other.

Darkseed: Awakening does another thing that is a great addition to a book of this type. It builds suspense and helps you understand what is going on. Victoria Ley points out titles of books that her characters reference. She does a great job of helping you explain what the girls are going through not just in their search but in their personal life. A great example of this is how Sarah is trying to get a mobile, cell phone, from her mother and continues to be told no. So the smart young lady waits to see her father and asks him for the mobile. What young child does not use that parent dynamic in such a manner to get what they want?

The story can be categorized as a young adult story but I think it works well for adults as well. This is something that is unique in the young adult genre when the book can traverse to an adult audience as well. It’s very possible it’s the great explanation of the Ouija Board the girls use, or the occult studies of the Brethren.

Victoria Ley does a great job at building suspense in this book as the girls find out more about who Craig was in life. The girls eventually learn of the darkness that later came to surround those in the Brethren and deaths of group members. It’s as these items build that another major character is introduced adding more to the story. The additional character is a man who could be holding Craig in his current realm and stopping him from continuing his journey. The girls decide they must do all they can to help their new friend, a friend that has laughed with them and shown them a new side to death.

Darkseed: Awakening is one of those books that are hard to put down for those who are fans of the supernatural, and paranormal. The way the story is framed along the lives of these two girls is really done well. The girls being the major characters but those minor characters, such as parents, are needed and well written. The story will engage those who are fans of these type of books and those who may shy away due to the fact it’s a young adult novel will be missing a great read.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Reviews

 

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