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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nick reviews Flesh & Bone

Flesh & Bone
by Jonathan Maberry
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: September 11th 2012
Edition: Hardcover 469 pages

What the inside flap says...

Reeling from the tragic events of Dust & Decay, Benny Imura and his friends plunge deep into the zombie-infested wastelands of the great Rot & Ruin. Benny, Nix, Lilah and Chong journey through a fierce wilderness that was once America, searching for the jet they saw in the skies months ago. If that jet exists then humanity itself must have survived…somewhere. Finding it is their best hope for having a future and a life worth living.

But the Ruin is far more dangerous than any of them can imagine. They are hunted by fierce animals escaped from zoos and circuses. They must raid zombie-infested towns for food and medical supplies. They discover the very real truth in the old saying: In the Rot & Ruin…everything wants to kill you.

And what is happening to the zombies? Swarms of them are coming from the east, devouring everything in their paths. These zoms are different. Faster, smarter, infinitely more dangerous. Has the zombie plague mutated, or is there something far more sinister behind this new invasion of the living dead?

In Flesh & Bone, Benny Imura, Nix Riley, Lou Chong and Lilah the Lost Girl are pitted against dangers greater than anything they've ever faced. To survive, each of them must rise to become the warriors Tom trained them to be.

   OH!! If anyone has caught on by now, I love me some Jonathan Maberry. I just love his writing and his ability to expertly tell a story. This book is no exception. It is just as great as the previous two in the series. What it makes up for in the loss of a certain favorite character of mine (I'm still sad about that) it makes up for with one of my favorite type of villains. That's right, there are multiple of them. My favorite thing about those villains is that they truly believe what they are doing is for the greater good of man-kind. No matter how evil and vile everyone else around them believes they are, they live their lives thinking they are doing the right thing. They even make it into some kind of religion. One that they believe they are doing the handywork of god and it is how god wants things to be. 
   Like I mentioned before, I'm still not happy with my favorite character being gone but Mr. Maberry makes up for it by adding Joe Ledger into the story. If you don't know of Joe Ledger, see my review of Patient Zero. He is a great character and he comes along in this book at the right time and even explains on what the heck is going on a little bit in what caused the event that made the world the "Rot & Ruin."

   You know, I really had to stop and think about this one so that I wouldn't be able to use my previous "Maberry" cop out and say that I didn't dislike a thing in this book. Didn't want to make that excuse old and used. So after much thought, I did think of some small gripes. 
   As much as I praised the villains in this story and how I loved their purpose in the story, there were times where they were pretty annoying. It seemed like as soon as things calmed down and the characters were getting somewhere, they would pop up again. At times I was like, "Holy crap! Let these kids do something besides worrying about you crazies every five minutes!" 
   My last small gripe is not really a gripe at all. It was more of me being a whiny baby and not accepting the fact that my favorite character is gone and is not coming back. Heck, even the characters in the story are having the same issue. Especially Benny. Oh Benny, I know your pain.

Who would I recommend this to:

  I would only recommend this wonderful book to the folks who have read the first two. If you haven't read the first two, don't you dare touch this yet. You will spoil such a great story. If you haven't read the first two, seriously, what the heck is wrong with you? It's a wonderful story with great characters and a wonderful different take of zombies in a very dystopian America. I have reviewed the first two and you can check them out here and here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jenny Reviews Spookygirl

Spookygirl: Paranormal InvestigatorSpookygirl: Paranormal Investigator
by Jill Bagunchinsky
Release Date: Auguest 21, 2012
Publisher: Dutton
Purchased Hardback (279 pages)

What the inside flap has to say...

Violet has always known that she inherited her late mother's ability to see ghosts and communicate with the dead. She's used to dealing with spirits- they won't leave her alone. But when Violet encounters paranormal activity in the girls' locker room, she finds herself ill-equipped for handling the school's ghostly activities. Through Violet;s own investigation and with the help of some unlikely allies, Violet discovers there is a lot she doesn't know about her special skill- and more still that can stand in the way of its power. With sharp wit and determination, Violet sets out to uncover the truth behind her school's haunting, to finish the investigation that led to her mother's sudden death, and to learn why the only ghost she has ever wanted to see is the one that has eluded her forever.

You had me at hello...

So from the moment I saw Spookygirl at the bookstore I knew I had to have it. The title alone screamed me. Ghost books are my favorite in YA and Spookygirl isn't your just typical ghost story.

For starters, this book is fun and light. It's not all dark and broody and there's no creep-factor. Ok, that last bit is a lie, but not really. There are a few moments where stuff is kind of like woah. You know, a creepy disembodied voice asking if you want to know what it feels like to drown, but totally nothing to lose sleep or waste electricity over (unless you're reading of course, I mean by all means, READ ON!) And I appreciate that. Who says all paranormal stories have to parallel The Exorcist?

And on that note, I TOTALLY want my own Buster. No, that is not a cool gadget for ghost hunting. Buster is Violet's "pet" poltergeist (DUDE!!!!!) who acts like a neurotic dog on mass amounts of caffeine. WANT! Wait, I have something similar, it's called a Dachshund... still how cool would it be to have Buster?! He's introduced in the first couple of pages and I totally squealed in the car from delight. I craved the scenes with Buster, he is just the greatest idea ever. He's basically this invisible energy that haunts Violet's family, loves his squeaky cheesburger toy, playing pranks, and eating oatmeal cookies, Oh and he's even crate trained. Let me say this again, Greatest. Idea. Ever.

Another thing I liked is there are no spells, incantations, holy water, circles of salt and pentagrams. Instead it was talking while dodging flying objects and the like. Sometimes I like the simple reasoning, 'You're dead, that sucks get over it and GTFO' instead of the complicated go to of hocus pocus and salty, holy-watered down virgin blood.

So, I don't want to say much else because really you need to read it to understand the pure enjoyment of reading this book and well a few parts are easily predictable. Anna Dressed In Blood will always be my top favorite Ghostly book, but sometimes you need that fun, light read too and that's where Spookygirl comes in. Violet even reminds me of Cas from ADIB. I definitely also recommend this book to fans of Stacey Kade The Ghost and The Goth series.

I haven't heard if there's going to be a sequel yet, but my fingers are tightly crossed.

P.S. I adore that cover AND the story takes place in Florida, my home state. Even more WIN!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nick reviews Patient Zero

Patient Zero
by Jonathan Maberry
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: March 3rd 2009
Edition: Paperback 421 pages

What the back of the book has to say...

When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there's either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills... and there's nothing wrong with Joe Ledger's skills.  And that's both a good, and a bad thing.  It's good because he's a Baltimore detective that has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new taskforce created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can't handle. This rapid response group is called the Department of Military Sciences or the DMS for short. It's bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance....

I would say that there we quite a lot of different things that made me really enjoy this book. Everything from the "full of testosterone" main character, the over-technical specifications of everyone's weapon, and especially, a peek into what might be the cause of the zombie apocalypse that takes place in "Rot & Ruin." While Joe Ledger might be the "No BS I'm a man" kind of character that some readers would think is a jerk, he is actually one of my favorite type of characters. A very thick shell that takes nothing from anyone but quite the respectful, gentle, heart of gold kind of guy in the inside. He doesn't show it much but when he does, you just have to give the guy his respect.

While I did enjoy this book, much like everything I've read from Mr. Maberry, there were things I did dislike. The beginning first part of the book was a bit of a drag. What made it worse, since this book was an adult book, there were quite a bit of words on the page. Every time I thought I was making some progress in the slow part of the book, I really only made it through 2 or 3 pages. Thankfully, once the action picked up after the first 1/3 of the book, I flew through it. I also hated reading about the "villains" of the book. They weren't interesting, their motives were stupid, and all they could do was stab each other in back over and over again.

Who would I recommend this to:
If you are a guy, you would most likely enjoy this book. Since I'm only talking to 2 or 3 of you followers out there, this won't matter all too much. Ladies, if you have read and enjoyed the "Rot & Ruin" series and would like to read more about Captain Joe, one of the survivors of First Night, then you should give this book a try. Despite it being a very manly book and a bit over-technical, it is quite a good read. Joe does make a cameo appearance in "Flesh & Bone," the 3rd book in the "Rot & Ruin" series. Jonathan Maberry, once again, does not disappoint.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Jenny Reviews Ten

by Gretchen McNeil
Publisher: Balzar & Bray
Harback Edition, 294 pages

What the inside flap has to say . . .

SHHH! Don't spread the word!
Three-day weekend. House Party.
White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it.
It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives- Three days on Henry Island at an exclusive house party. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their own reasons for wanting to be there, which involve their school's most eligible bachelor, T.J. Fletcher, and look forward to three glorious days of boys, bonding, and fun-filled luxury.    But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.    Suddenly, people are dying, and with a storm raging outside, the teems are cut off from the rest of the world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn't scheduled to return for three days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Ten teens. Three days. One Killer. = One wonderfully dark reading adventure.

   Now there really isn't much I can say about this book without giving anything away which sucks because I like talking about books I like. Makes sense right? But I will say that I REALLY enjoyed this book.
   Ten sucks you in from the beginning keeps on moving til the last page. It's the type of book you pick up and say 'I have a few more minutes until the oven timer goes off I'll just read a couple pages' and the next thing you know there's this annoying buzzing sound in the back of your mind and the faint smell of burning pizza.
  I loved the several twists throughout the story that made it difficult to guess who the killer was, but I have to admit I wasn't surprised with who it ended up being because one scene just felt off to me. I loved how everything was planned out and setup ahead of time for the character's stay on the island. I admire characters who have so much forethought into their work and pieces just fall into place, even if they are psychotic killers.
   The story was a lot like the TV show Harper's Island, where a group of friends meet up on a small island for a wedding only for people to start dropping like flies, which was just fine because I actually watched Harper's Island on Netflix because the synopsis sounded like that of Ten and I figured it would hold me over until the book's release. If that makes sense.
    I think the fans of the show should definitely look into reading this book, though the deaths in the show are a lot more gruesome. I'd also recommend it to anyone looking to read a good murder mystery.