#816: World War Z by Max Brooks

World War Z by Max BrooksIt began with rumours from China about another pandemic. Then the cases started to multiply and what had looked like the stirrings of a criminal underclass, even the beginnings of a revolution, soon revealed itself to be much, much worse. Faced with a future of mindless, man-eating horror, humanity was forced to accept the logic of world government and face events that tested our sanity and our sense of reality.

Based on extensive interviews with survivors and key players in the 10-year fight-back against the horde, World War Z brings the very finest traditions of American journalism to bear on what is surely the most incredible story in the history of civilisation.

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BA Features for The Week – 17.11.13-23.11.13

Welcome to BA’s Book Features showcasing a small collection of books to be released this week, or showcasing a special feature as part of a blog tour and promotion event. Contact me if you’d like to have your new-release title featured on Bookish Ardour.

Author Richelle Mead and her newest title Bloodlines #4: The Fiery Heart

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Review: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave.  Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed.

From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined?  Please.  But that’s all it took.  One heartbeat.  A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right.  The monsters are real.

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead.  To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland.  But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies.

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Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of “them.” The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked–and given the ultimate choice. Die…or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls.

There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend–a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what, and who, is worth dying for. Continue reading

Review: Codex Nekromantia by Greg X. Graves

Necromancers have filled Constantinople with zombies!

No, not that Constantinople.

Constantinople, Illinois, a nucleus of urban sprawl in the middle of midwestern soybean fields.

Codex Nekromantia is the chronicle of the survivors of the zombie catastrophe. Well, survivors makes them sound organized. Stragglers is more accurate – how can the self-raised corpse of the city’s founder count as having survived anything? Greg X. Graves tells the story of life, love, necromancy, the fragile human condition when caught between the jaws of a very robust human condition, and wholesale zombie slaughter.

Review

I’m not one to usually read zombie fiction, truth be told zombies freak me out and I have a hard enough time handling them in games and movies, even though I can’t help but love me some zombie apocalypse (try and figure that one out). I thought I’d give zombie fiction a whirl with Codex Nekromantia, a novel verging on a quick read with plenty going on and undercurrents of black humour. Continue reading

Review: Hungry For You by A.M. Harte

“There is no greater drug than relationships; there is no sweeter death than love.”

Love is horrible. It’s ruthless, messy, mind-altering, and raw. It takes no prisoners. It chews you up and spits you out and leaves you for dead. Love is, you could say, very much like a zombie.

In this haunting short story collection, anything is possible—a dying musician turns to tea for inspiration; a police sergeant struggles with a very unusual victim; a young wife is trapped in a house hiding unimaginable evil….

With Hungry For You, A.M. Harte explores the disturbing and delightful in an anthology that unearths the thin boundary between love and death.

Review

I really enjoy zombie movies and the odd zombie game, and even though I have a soft spot for horror stories and dark fiction born from my reading background, I haven’t read many zombie books or stories in general. When I first read the description for Hungry For You I was a little wary, mainly because I’ve read my fair share of paranormal romance (enough to last me a lifetime – not a major PR fan here) and I admit I was a little concerned about love mixed in with zombies, but I was willing to give it a go with an open mind. And I also thought maybe it couldn’t be too much of a stretch to like zombie stories in print so why not start with a short story collection? Continue reading

Requiem Chevalier Vampire

So I posted yesterday that I received Volume II of Requiem in the mail and I was planning to read it straight away because I had been hanging for it.

There’s one thing I really don’t like about a good graphic novel – it’s over so fast! Even when I’m taking my time and trying to savour it, I still finish it all too quickly and now I’m a tad upset because I have to wait for the next one.

Yes. I admit it. I’m sulking. I’m sulking over a graphic novel.

I actually find it hard to get into comics or graphic novels or whatever you wish to call them and tried some well known ones (Watchmen, V for Vedetta, 300) before I finally came across Heavy Metal Magazine and comics I really enjoyed because when it comes to comics and graphic novels I’m not just interested in the story. If the art isn’t up to scratch I can still enjoy it if the story is any good, but it won’t rock my world and I won’t get excited over it.

This is one of the things I love about Requiem – the art. Olivier Ledroit is a great artist and the art in Requiem is so dark and detailed, it’s the first thing that actually drew me to the story (I have a tendency to flick through the Heavy Metal magazines when I first get them and decide what story I’m going to read first based on the art I see). So you have this gorgeous, dark imagery coupled with an interesting setting and some lines that actually make me laugh.

The story is about Heinrich who was a Nazi soldier in WW2 and his love affair with a Jewish woman, Rebecca. Usually I’d be all ‘ewww love affair’ but it’s so much more then that. Heinrich ends up going to Hell except Hell isn’t what one would expect. Not everyone, but some people, get resurrected as something else. Either ghouls, werewolves, lamias, zombies, or vampires. There’s a class order though and the lower classes are all but the vampires who follow a code, a twisted dark code that suits the setting, and command respect (normally through fear).

The aging process is different too. Rather then spend all eternity in Hell, the people resurrected don’t age, but grow younger until they reach infancy and vanish (I’ll leave out where they vanish to for anyone who wants to read it).

Also what someone is resurrected as is based on what they did in life, but rather then being the worst punishment for the worst crime it’s the opposite. The worst, most heinous acts, get rewarded and the better you were on Earth the worst your punishment. So these vampires that come back are the lowest of the low in real life. The monsters of civilisation, but they don’t get off scot-free. They’re still plagued by their old lives and their crimes.

Heinrich ends up being resurrected as a Vampire Knight and being renamed Requiem. The story follows him, his love affair with Rebecca, and the changes he goes through. I might be making it sound lame though because there’s more to it then that it’s just I don’t want to give it away. There’s lots of other little stories going on and it can jump from the present in Resurrection to the past when these people were still on Earth.

I highly recommend it if you’re into a darker, more sordid style of comic with great art. I say sordid not because it’s trashy and gratuitous when it comes to sex even though there is a deep sexual under current, nudity, some sado-masochism, innuendo, and well sex, but it’s not over run by it. It does really focus on the story, the sexual nature of it is really just part of the decadence of it because the vampires really are a decadent species in this book with their masked balls, clothing, blood and drugs.

Oh and I should add, because of all it’s violence (because there is a lot of violence), sex, and just the basic darker nature of it, it’s not going to be for everyone nor for younger readers. I love this sort of sado-masochistic, twisted, dark sort of stuff so naturally I’m going to love it, but not everyone will. Even if you don’t though I still recommend at least checking out the art if you can on Ledroit’s website (the image links to his site).