Flip This Zombie by Jesse Petersen – Book Review

Flip This Zombie by Jesse Petersen
Published by Orbit Books, an imprint of Hachette

This is the second book in the Living With the Dead series. My review of Married With Zombies.

Sarah and David are back, and still more or less surviving the zombie apocalypse. With the skills they honed in the early days of the end times, they have actually set up quite a nice little business for themselves, ZombieBusters. There may not be very much cash to be made in the zombie apocalypse, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing at all to be gained.

“We ended up with quite a haul as pre-payment for the bionic zombie job. Two large first aid kits with actual antibiotics ointment (quite the coup because infection took down as many survivors as zombies did by this point) and a three-pack of Ramen. Doesn’t sound like much to you? Well, sit there in your non-zombie paradise and judge then.” -p. 16 (Nook edition)

Things begin to get a little tense, though, when Sarah and David are called out to the outskirts of town by a mysterious note, their services retained by a man who is clearly a mad scientist. David is convinced that his request for ambulatory zombies is related to the rise of so-called super zombies and proof of evil mad scientist status, but Sarah feels their potential reward is greater than the risk, so off they go, hunting for the living undead.

In the same way that Married with Zombies mimicked the style of relationship books, Flip This Zombie ventured into the motivation/job-related self-help realm, with chapter headings like:

“The seven habits of highly effective zombies. Hint: Most of them involve eating your brain.” -p. 132 (Nook edition) – Chapter 14 heading

This worked very well, although it was not quite as entertaining as the marriage advice chapter headings in Married with Zombies, but overall Flip This Zombie was equally as strong as Married with Zombies. I’m very much looking forward to Eat Slay Love, coming out at the end of June. Recommended.

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Source: Personal copy.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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Deadline by Mira Grant – Book Review

Deadline by Mira Grant
Published by Orbit Books, an imprint of Hachette

This is the second book in the Newsflesh series. This review will contain spoilers for the first book in the series, Feed.

Since the death of his sister George (Georgia), blogger Shaun Mason doesn’t have much to live for anymore. At this point, the only thing that his keeping him alive at all – and even then, only marginally – is the prospect of revenge, exposing whomever it was who ordered George’s death. The man who was her most immediate cause of death is no more, but Shaun knows there is a conspiracy that set everything up, certainly Tate could not have done everything on its own. This conspiracy seems to reach into the highest echelons of national and international power, and likely even into the CDC – the organization tasked with protecting Americans from the zombie-forming Kellis-Amberly virus, among other things.

Left nearly a metaphorical zombie himself after George’s death – a very dangerous condition, mind you, in the midst of literal zombies – Shaun gets a a jumpstart on life again when a CDC researcher who helped him and George in the past shows up on the doorstep of the After the End Times blog headquarters. Of course, this reanimation almost ends when a massive outbreak of zombies follows close on her heels. With the help of this researcher, herself fearing for her life due to her Kellis-Amberly research, Shaun realizes he might finally have enough information to figure out what happened to George and avenge her death.

It would not be inaccurate to say that Deadline is, more than anything else, a bridge between the first book in the Newsflesh series, Feed, and the third book, Blackout, which will be out in 2012. There are a great number of revelations both about Shaun and Georgia’s early life and their close relationship, and about the nature of Kellis-Amberly and the reality of the epidemic. Certainly things happen – the After the End Times news team does a great deal of traveling and hunting down leads to confirm the truth that is beginning to be unveiled. In addition, there is continued character development, mostly of Shaun, who becomes a much more strongly drawn character than he was in Feed. But primarily, Deadline is setting the scene for Blackout, complete with the traditional mid-series OMG moments.

What is really impressive about Deadline, is that it never feels like filler while you are reading it. All of the hard work that Grant did with world building in Feed helps Deadline feel fully realized. Interestingly, there were not nearly as many run-ins with zombies in Deadline, but this choice made sense for the story that is being told. As in Feed, the zombies are not the point, but more a part of the setting, telling a story of news, blogs, politics, and the culture of fear. It is this that makes the Newsflesh series so successful for me. Grant is using her zombie setting to tell us all a story about ourselves.

Highly Recommended. (Also: I can’t believe I have to wait an entire year to read the third book. This is worse than after I read Catching Fire.)

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Powells | Indiebound*

Source: personal copy.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen – Book Review

Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen
Published by Orbit, an imprint of Hachette
Series: Living with the Dead, book 1

Sarah is about ready to kill her husband David. There is basically nothing he does anymore that doesn’t completely annoy her and, it seems, the reverse is true for David of Sarah. They are in couples’ counseling, but it doesn’t really seem to be taking and, in all honesty, they are about one bad cd away from divorce. Until their counseling appointment on August 10th, that is. The first thing that seems off is the traffic, or lack thereof. It is 4:30 in the afternoon in Seattle, after all. Even that, though, it not as strange as walking into your marriage counselor’s office and seeing her eating the couple with the appointment before yours.

It isn’t until they’ve had to kill their therapist and a few other people that Sarah and David start to realize what is going on. As Seattle quickly becomes overrun, they decide it is time to strike out for a place that is less infested with the undead – assuming they can make it out alive.

Funniest. Zombie book. Ever.

Petersen, through her character Sarah, has a fantastic acerbic wit, that made want to just keep turning the pages. Really, what fun is the end of the world if you can’t be sarcastic about it? Well, you know, other than the other obvious benefits:

I should have known that having “end of the world” sex wouldn’t solve our problems. Though, it was pretty great and I highly recommend it. It’s one of the big benefits of an apocalypse that no one tells you about. It just makes everything…better, because you know it might be the last time every time. -p. 64

Perhaps the best part of Married with Zombies, is that Petersen was completely went with the fact that her characters needed major help in the relationship department. Each chapter would begin with a piece of advice straight out of a typical relationship self-help book. Well, straight out with a bit of a zombie apocalypse spin:

Find creative ways to have fun together. Looting is really underrated. -p. 142

This was an incredibly fun and well-done book. If you like to laugh out loud at your zombie apocalypses, this is definitely for you. I’m already planning to read the sequel, and I can’t wait for the third book in the series to come out. Recommended.

Buy this book from:
PowellsIndiebound.

Source: personal copy.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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Feed by Mira Grant – Audiobook Review

Feed by Mira Grant, narrated by Paula Christensen and Jesse Bernstein

Synopsis:

Please don’t stop reading this review when I tell you there are zombies.

Georgia and Shaun Mason live in the same world we do, just about 30 years in the future. Twenty-five years after science goes amuck, curing the common cold, but inadvertantly infecting every human being on the planet with a virus that turns them into zombies when they die. At least nobody gets colds anymore. Brother and sister, Georgia and Shaun are licensed bloggers, looking to jump to their own site. Georgia is a newsie, and Shaun is an irwin – the term for the highly adventerous who like to poke zombies with sticks (I can only assume it is a reference to the late Steve Irwin). When Georgia and Shaun learn that they have landed the gig of official bloggers for the presidential campaign of Senator Ryman – a smart, affable man – they figure they have arrived, everything seems to be going right by any standards. Until everything on the campaign starts going wrong, starting with a zombie attack on the Senator’s compound that can only be sabatogue.

Thoughts on the story:

I know, the whole cure colds and create zombies thing sounds a little bizarre when I type it here, but Grant made it seem ever-so-reasonable. Really, A+ for world building. In a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel (I think this definitely leans more towards post-apocalyptic), I have this intense need to understand how exactly the world got the way it has become, I think it has to do with having been a history major. Grant totally came through for me on that. Georgia imparted to me everything I needed or wanted to know about the zombie-filled United States of 30 years from now, but it was done in a way that avoided simply being an information dump. Everything told was relevant to something happening in the story, or would have legitimately been written on her blog.

I completely loved Georgia. She was a really strong female protagonist who managed to seemlessly meld a no-nonsense business attitude with a deep love for her brother and friends and a deep passion for the truth. She also kept the story interesting with her dry humor and her quick (but not too quick) ability to work out what was going on.

Thoughts on the audio production:

Paula Christensen was the perfect choice to narrate Georgia, she absolutely became the character for me. “Feed” was well-suited for audio to begin with, since the entire story is told in first person, but Christensen totally nailed it. I did initially think it odd to have Jesse Bernstein around for what seemed like only narrating his blog posts at the beginning of chapters, but I understand now why that was done and am okay with it, even if it was slightly disconcerting while I was listening.

Overall:

Honestly, “Feed” was everything I had hoped that “The Passage” would be but it wasn’t.

I seriously loved both this story and the audio production. There was just so much energy to it, and the story was so interesting. The zombies were really more of a device to fuel the story about politics and new v. old media and, perhaps partially because I’m already very interested in those things, it totally worked for me. Loved it, can’t wait fo the second book in the trilogy, recommend it highly.

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Audible: Audio download
Powells: Print*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound: Print*
Amazon: Print*

This review was done with a audio download sent to me for review.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan – Book Review

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

“The Dead-Tossed Waves” is the follow-up to “The Forest of Hands and Teeth,” which I reviewed in September of 2009.

Gabry has spent her life with her mother, Mary, at the lighthouse in Vista where they are in charge of disposing of the Mudo – the things that Mary calls the Unconsecrated – that wash up on the beach. Despite the fact that her world is filled with Mudo (zombies) that want to infect all of humanity, Gabry has a pretty good life; she has family, friends, and perhaps the affection of the boy she likes. Until she agrees to cross the Barrier with a group of friends, and everything changes. Now Gabry must figure out who she really is and what she really wants.

Yay! “The Dead-Tossed Waves” made me so happy! I liked “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” okay. I mean, I appreciated the writing and the basics of the world that Ryan created, but I really wasn’t a huge fan of Mary – I thought she was sort of distant and didn’t ever really get a good feel for her – and I thought that far too many questions about the world went unanswered. Part of that was the design of the storyline, but, honestly, it really bugged me. I like knowing what the rules and history of a world are, even if I don’t find out until the end of the book, not ever finding out is not really an acceptable thing in a book for me. And yet, the not knowing is what drew to me pick up “The Dead-Tossed Waves” even though I wasn’t crazy about “The Forest of Hands and Teeth,” because I had to hope that perhaps some of the questions from the first book were answered.

And they were! Yay! There is a little more that I hope she explores in the next book, but even if this is all that I get I am content. I also have to say, that I found Gabry a much more interesting and likeable character than Mary, perhaps because she was so much more vulnerable. She also developed more as a character than Mary did in “The Forest of Hands and Teeth.” Ryan’s writing is, as ever, quite good, and I was ever so pleased to see more of this post-apocalyptic world she has created. Bring on book three!

Recommended/high recommended.

Buy this book from:
Powells.*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound.*
Amazon.*

This review was done with a book received from the library.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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