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. 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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