Thursday, April 20, 2017

Review: Flip This Zombie

Flip This Zombie Flip This Zombie by Jesse Petersen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was not totally thrilled with the first book in the series. It got a bit too "whiny" for lack of a better word. There were moments that managed to shine, but it was just not ringing for me. I had already snagged books 2 and 3, so I chose to give it another shot. I am very glad that I did. There is some nice stuff going on here. It is a couple trying to make their lives work in an apocalypse. Enter mad scientists and bratty kids and it surprised me at how well it all worked. On to book three with some really good narration by Cassandra Campbell to make my long drives just a bit more pleasant.

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Review: Eat Slay Love

Eat Slay Love Eat Slay Love by Jesse Petersen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This one had all the potential to get crazy. Only...it just never really did (for me). Now, that said, there is enough here to continue with the series for me. I just felt a bit disappointed with this one. I thought that it fell back on some of the weaknesses from the first book.

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Review: United States Of Apocalypse

United States Of Apocalypse United States Of Apocalypse by Mark Tufo
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I've read almost everything by Tufo and Rosamilia. Some I've liked, some not. It's the nature of the game. This absolutely did not work for me. It almost smacked of a money grab. The story has NO resolution. If this was going to be a series, that would be one thing, but to end like these stories did is a huge disservice to the readers that follow both of these men.

There were times when Tufo's narrative almost reminded me of Whitley Streiber's "War Day" but then it would fall back on this Talbot thing. I get it. He is the franchise name, but the writing should be enough, and most of his fans will read a menu if he wrote one, so falling back on the MT thing felt forced here. As for the BT/Talbot dialog (normally a Tufo strength) this felt like it was a cut-and-paste from all the previous interactions between the pair. Okay, so BT was a cop, next make him a sailor, then a biker, construction worker, and Native American and you get the entire Village People line-up. I found Talbot's insistence that he should be cut some slack instead of treated like a criminal when he was just trying to move forward with his life a laugh for my own personal reasons. And the callbacks to aliens and zombies were just pointless. The reader/listener gets it. You write a good zombie series and a decent syfy tale.

Rosamilia had a good story going and to end it like it did was a poor choice. I feel like I got invested in a really cool series (like Firefly) and the had the numbskulls in the network tower kill it after season one. My biggest complaint is his dialog. He said...she said...he said...she said... Give the readers more credit for being able to follow the conversation.

My last complaint is the narration. While Ms. Whelan was okay, just not memorable, I guess I went in expecting something special from Runnette after all I've read. This for me is where the Emperor's New Clothes comes into play. If so many say he is great, then he must be...right? Maybe. If he had more than one tone to his voice, could give character to a female voice in some way. I'm not saying shrill Monty Python stuff, but something...anything would be better than what I heard. And then there is the breathing. All the hitches, breaths, and gasps during the narration were beyond annoying. I can't stand by and say what a great outfit the emperor is wearing here. Sorry, the truth is that he's naked. Find a narrator that can edit that noise out during post-production.

Overall, I can't give a thumbs-up vote for this despite the impending backlash from the mob. I've never padded a review, and won't start now. Both of these writers have received good reviews from me for other works, sadly, this ain't one of them.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Review: Catalyst - A Rogue One Novel

Catalyst - A Rogue One Novel Catalyst - A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an interesting prequel to the stand alone Star Wars adventure, Rogue One. What is perhaps the best part about this little story is how it sets up an in-depth backstory of the Erso family as well as Orson Krennick. Tarkin makes his appearance as well and this is really a good story whether you are a Star Wars junkie, or even just a casual fan.

The narration is adequate, but sometimes the background sound effects can become annoying. A bit overdone at times.

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Review: Patient Zero

Patient Zero Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, I guess I came in with different expectations. Yes, this is technically horror/zombie related, but it is more of a "Jack Bauer" sort of tale. It has a lot of action and features a main character that is apparently the baddest man around because he always gets the drop on people and can kick anybody's behind he meets...oh yeah, and he gets the hot girl after the required will they/won't they period.

Honestly, when reading anything "zombie" related, it requires a degree of reality suspension, but Maberry does do a great job of melding real science into the work. Not sure how far I will travel with Joe Ledger, after all, I wasn't a fan of McGyver and this is a souped up version in a lot of ways. It leaves an open ending of sorts that I had a hard time swallowing with a key villain, but I guess that helps to propagate a series.

As for the audio version, well narrated with a voice that fir. Great pacing and no attempt to overdo it when female voices were needed.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Review: Married with Zombies

Married with Zombies Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a series that had moments where I would discard all the criticisms I'd built up. Then it would come crashing down again with ANOTHER moment that had me wondering what I'd done by ordering a few of these at one time. I am not one of those people who buys a book and then returns it to get my money/credit back. I made the commitment, and sometimes, you can bite the bullet.

So, here were the issues I had. The very first zombie encounter for Jesse and her husband happens in the marriage therapy office. They walk in to discover the therapist chowing down on the couple that had the appointment before theirs. Okay...how does that happen? Two people just sit around in a room and let the zombie get them? But I looked past it. Then, later in that battle between Jesse, David and the counselor zombie, she holds onto the therapist while David goes down, grabs her spiked-heel shoe from the zombie's foot, and kills the zombie. Do you see where I had issue?

Also, while there is some wit and appropriate snark in the series, sometimes it reads as a woman just angry with her man as she sat down to write the story. Not that I am any great knower of all things pertaining to the female mindset, but Jesse got to be a bit of a nuisance at times. I will move on to book 2 since I already bought it when I grabbed this one, and I will hope for improvement. Writers often get better as they trudge forward. So we shall see.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Review: Twisted Magic

Twisted Magic Twisted Magic by Claire C. Riley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Claire Riley proves she is not a one-trick pony with this offering. This is a paranormal romance with all the depth you expect from Claire. The tragic love story unfolds here as you meet Sarah and Peter. One is dark, the other...light.

In a short time, and using her exceptional skill at dialogue, Ms. Riley gives you a backstory and reason to care about the forbidden romance that burns between these two. If this is the prequel, I can't wait for the first full-length offering set in this world of witches, covens, romance, and magic.

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