Category Archives: 1✰

Review: Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen

A heartwarming tale of terror in the middle of the zombie apocalypse.
Meet Sarah and David.

Once upon a time they met and fell in love. But now they’re on the verge of divorce and going to couples’ counseling. On a routine trip to their counselor, they notice a few odd things – the lack of cars on the highway, the missing security guard, and the fact that their counselor, Dr. Kelly, is ripping out her previous client’s throat.

Meet the Zombies.

Now, Sarah and David are fighting for survival in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. But, just because there are zombies, doesn’t mean your other problems go away. If the zombies don’t eat their brains, they might just kill each other.

Married with Zombies (Living with the Dead #1) by Jesse Petersen

Release Date: 1 September 2010
Read Date: 2 December 2011
Rating:

Dear god, what have I read?! Horrific. Superficial Too Stupid To Live characters I don’t care about, stumbling around blindly asking to be eaten.

Comedy

Having loved the show Married with Children I impulsively decided I would love this too. However, I’m wondering now whether “zombies” and “comedy” can ever be a good mix in the post-Carry On world. And perhaps with this book by marketing it as a comedy excuses the wafer-thin characters, the TSTL behaviour (e.g. checking out a potentially zombie-infested casino for the hell of it) and inappropriately timed arguments (while zombies are bearing down on you) about nothing in particular.

Romance

Um, where exactly was the romance? We meet Sarah and David on the brink of divorce as they attend their regularly scheduled marriage counseling appointment. David’s demise from having a promising future to being an unemployed deadbeat husband and all-round slacker and Sarah’s exhausted from having to work 6 days a week leads her to constantly criticise him and picking fights at every given opportunity, leaving them both deeply unhappy and wanting out of their marriage. Counselling wasn’t helping until…they killed their therapist. After that they work together to kill (directly and indirectly) almost every human they come into contact with regardless of whether they happen to be infected. In doing this they come to see each other’s positive attributes i.e. bravely killing everything in sight, appearing as heroes in each other’s eyes. So again, where was the romance? One off-stage sex scene and…I can’t remember if they ever kissed. Not good.

Zombies

Were pretty cool actually. From bite to brain-eating, the incubation period is 10-25 minutes. Red eyes, strangely happy facial expressions, faster than the average human and the ability to continue simple repetitive actions, describe these zombies. Although there is the requisite gory imagery e.g. a legless undead dragging itself along the ground carrying a baby in it’s mouth, it never truly hits home, the gut-wrenching horror of it all.

I hold Rhiannon Frater‘s As the World Dies trilogy up as the epitome of all things zombie and while reading it I laughed, I cried and I added guns to my wishlist. That was terrifying but there was humour, too. A good balance. MWZ focuses too much on the humour and whilst funny, sometimes it was grossly overused and forced, at the detriment of the characters’ intelligence and the graveness of the situation. It’s the same with the swearing, I’m not opposed to the well-timed f-word when the world is going to hell and you could die at any moment but it shouldn’t be repetitive.

After ogling this book for a while I’m disappointed it didn’t live up to my expectations. I could’ve DNF’d at any point, my lack of affection for the couple left me uninterested in whether they lived or died but obviously they were never in any danger considering it’s part of a series.

If you have some time to waste…

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Review: Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler

Living in small town Rockabill, Maine, Jane True always knew she didn’t quite fit in with so-called normal society. During her nightly, clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean, a grisly find leads Jane to startling revelations about her heritage: she is only half-human.

Now, Jane must enter a world filled with supernatural creatures alternatively terrifying, beautiful, and deadly- all of which perfectly describe her new “friend,” Ryu, a gorgeous and powerful vampire.

It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: a dog can heal with a lick; spirits bag your groceries; and whatever you do, never-ever rub the genie’s lamp.

If you love Sookie Stackhouse, then you’ll want to dive into Nicole Peeler’s enchanting debut novel.

Tempest Rising (Jane True #1) by Nicole Peeler

Release Date: 27 October 2009
Read Date: 18 August 2011
Rating: [Did Not Finish]

Pages read: 110/359.
Conclusion: Life is too damn short.

I knew early on that I was never going to finish this book. The death knell went off every few pages.

It failed to suck me in. It was not funny even though it tried to be. There was a stereotypical lesbian couple (the butch one and the pretty one). Odd behaviour concerning a corpse -not necrophilia, though that would’ve been 1000x more interesting. The strange supernatural reveal and Jane’s reaction to her mother’s secret. I didn’t feel anything for Jane. And the list goes on and on.

Ryu, the vampire love interest. I’m not sure what it was about him but he was a complete turn-off, which is probably to be expected since this has been compared to Sookie Stackhouse, meaning Ryu = Bill. This comparison is also an insult to the Sookie series which was actually entertaining.

Anyon – He caught my eye. I know he’s a shifter even though we haven’t been told but I expected him to be Jane’s love interest. And for some reason, I sense a love triangle forming at some point. I detest love triangles.

Although my overall perception of this book was negative there were a few things I liked: the beautiful cover art to lure unsuspecting readers, the name of the bookstore “Read It and Weep”, and Jane as her father’s carer feeling trapped in a town that hates her.

Reading Tempest Rising was a struggle which I’m not prepared to continue. I know they say “no pain, no gain” but I think I’ll gain little from finishing this so I’m not prepared to even try.

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Review: Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

Hounded (Iron Druid Chronicles #1) by Kevin Hearne

Release Date: 3 May 2011
Read Date: 18 October 2011
Rating: [Did Not Finish]

I jinxed myself. I read the first 5 pages and thought I might actually like it after procrastinating over the decision of: to read, or not to read? I blame myself for attempting to as many have compared it to Jim Butcher’s writing. Me and that dude do not get on. We are chalk and cheese.

The humour is unfunny, it’s forced. The info-dump is off-putting, too much too fast. Dialogue-overload. Not enough description.

Atticus claims to be 2,100 or just 21 to humans. He lies to everyone but the humans. He ain’t two thousand years old. There’s no way. He brags about the famous historical events he’s witnessed, the powerful and dangerous gods he knows and thinks his physical prowess is that of a ninja. He sounds like an immature boy. Show me you’ve lived longer than most, don’t just tell me. He also feels too modern and “down with the kids”.

These gods care enough to warn Atticus of an impending threat on his life but he doesn’t take them seriously. Even after he is attacked. I don’t understand why they care if he never listens to them.

One of said gods, has promised not to let Atticus die. So if he’s in terrible agony from multiple wounds, he won’t die. That’s awful. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy, and this woman is supposed to be an ally. Some ally. No thanks.

I wasn’t impressed with the gods we met in the beginning. Not much intelligence or wisdom to be found in them. They were only concerned with petty grievances and vengeance.

I hear Oberon is a hoot and an adorable sidekick. Well, I met him but he doesn’t seem terribly dog-like.

I’ve never given up after so few pages read before but I can’t force myself to read any more.

Not for me.

36/292 pages read.

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Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) by Laini Taylor

Featuring necklaces made of wishes; an underground shop dealing in teeth; magical tattoos; a wishbone on a cord, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE is a thrilling story about Karou and her secret life as an apprentice to a wishmonger. Karou manages to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she is a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to an inhuman creature who deals in wishes and is the closest thing she has to family. Her life is surrounded by mysteries she is desperate to unveil.

Release Date: 27 September 2011
Read Date: 4 November 2011
Rating:

Not at all what I was expecting after the numerous 5 star reviews from the most discerning critics.

LEFT: My UK cover | RIGHT: The US cover


Pretty unremarkable, right? | Striking, wouldn't you say?


The US cover plus the 5 star ratings and general popularity spurred me on to grab this from the library. I’m very pleased I didn’t pay for it. The UK cover advertised it perfectly i.e. not worth your time and cold hard cash, especially at hardcover prices.

Those loving reviews whispered in my ear to keep going, to not put it down because there’s precious awesomeness to be had, until they were over-ridden by the knowledge that if my hands lowered at any moment I’d never raise them with this book open again.

The slow dry start, the excessively wordy prose, the change from kickass, bohemian, independent heroine raised by “monsters” to typical teenage starcrossed insta-love, and characters I couldn’t connect with -made this difficult to read, let alone love.

I was confused by the change in Karou. I liked her better when she was artsy but jaded by her failed naive romance, running errands collecting the mysterious teeth for her Chimera family who raised her from a baby. How could she fall in love with someone who tried to kill her and not be wary of his beauty when the last beautiful man to enter her life broke her heart?

And then the twist. The memories were a flood of information filling in all of the gaps and answering questions one after another but by this point I was skimming to freedom, occasionally slowing to look for the golden nuggets others had obviously found in spades. This part was interesting, I’ll admit, but it was like the book contained different stories that didn’t quite come together as one tale.

We have:

— Karou’s double life as the art student and the teeth trader who knows how to wield a knife.

— The inexplicable insta-love for the angel who tried to kill Karou.

— The recovery of memory.

— The repercussions of today’s events in light of that memory.

It’s a mixed jumble that left me frustrated and confused. There are some good ideas but they didn’t really get to shine. Much of the story is in the last hundred pages and then the book ends abruptly.

I don’t understand the hype surrounding this one. Unremarkable.

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Review: “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving

The Legend of Sleepy HollowThe Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

The 1820 Washington Irving classic, now in ebook form!

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a chilling tale of romantic rivalry and supernatural terror. The story begins with Ichabod Crane becoming the new schoolmaster of Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod comes to the idea of marrying the wealthy Katrina Van Tassel.


Details:
Kindle Edition, 73 pages
Published October 1st 1992 by Public Domain Books
ASIN#: B000JQUJHO


My rating:

Read: 06 July 2011

Having seen the movie, one I’ve seen over and over again, I wanted to read the story it was based upon. I’m quite disappointed in it.

Apart from being excessively wordy, I was surprised it was more about Ichabod’s and Brom’s courtship of the flirtatious, thoughtless airhead that was Katrina Van Tassel. Ichabod’s pursuit of her appeared purely shallow, admiring her beauty and salivating at the prospect of inheriting her father’s money.



The competition between the two men led to the creation of the legend of the Hessian Headless Horseman by Brom and the pumpkin scene which appears in both book and movie which successfully scares off Ichabod, the local schoolteacher, who disappears and later resurfaces as a lawyer in another part of the country. Brom wins Katrina and smiles whenever Ichabod’s name is mentioned. The End.

I disliked these characters and the only part of the writing I enjoyed was the gothic description of Sleepy Hollow itself and it’s influence on the minds of its inhabitants. I’ll be sticking with Tim Burton’s movie. It truly took the best parts of story and made it dark and creepy, as well as making Ichabod funny and loveable, Katrina innocent and virtuous and Brom less of an asshole.

Left to right: Ichabod, Brom and Katrina

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Movie Review ~ “Dylan Dog: Dead of Night”

Isn’t it a bummer when you look forward to a movie and then it doesn’t live up to your expectations?

Especially when those expectations were formed based on a trailer? It feels like a lie. Movie makers make their films and then these amazing trailers come out to promote them. I’m not saying the trailer for Dylan Dog: Dead of Night was amazing, far from it. But, it did lead me to believe it would be funny and, at the very least, entertaining. While there were some SOL (snicker out loud) moments there were no LOL (laugh out loud) moments to be had. And, instead of being entertaining, it was disappointing.

Unfortunately, while I’m able to stop reading a book that just isn’t my cuppa, I’ve never quite been able to stop watching a movie I am not really enjoying. I don’t know why that is, maybe it’s because I keep thinking it’s bound to get better, so I keep watching. Or, maybe because I know it’ll be over in an hour or two and must know how it ends. Sadly, this movie did not get any better, in fact, it got worse, IMO. And, neither reason led me to continue watching, pure laziness did. It was late, hubby had fallen asleep about 30 minutes into the movie and I didn’t want to get up to turn it off.

There were two things I liked about this movie. The first was Marcus, played by Sam Huntington. The second was Taye Diggs, who played Vargus, head vampire. I enjoyed Sam’s character, Marcus who is Dylan’s plucky side-kick. He provides the only witty lines in the movie. I enjoyed Taye, the actor, not the character he played. Do you have to ask why? Dude is serious eye candy. And, were those really gold caps on his fangs?? Seriously? Come on.


Head Vamp, Vargus ~ Played by Taye Diggs


Disclaimer: I’ve never read any of the Dylan Dog comics. So, if this movie was an accurate portrayal and well-done comic to film, I wouldn’t know it.



Dylan is lazily moving through life working on random PI cases, mostly cheating spouses, when we first meet Marcus. Marcus is his Girl Friday basically. He’s looking to expand the cases they take on and wants to become a true partner. When Dylan receives a call from a damsel in distress he’s surprised and Marcus is thrilled – a real case in the rich part of town. They arrive at the home of the dead guy’s distraught (uh-huh) daughter, Elizabeth, played by Anita Briem. The police have been no help and a priest gave her a business card with Dylan’s number on one side and “No Pulse. No Problem.” on the other. As soon as Dylan sees the business card, he bolts, won’t tell Marcus why and that’s that.


Hunter, Elizabeth ~ Played by Anita Briem


Back at his office, we learn that Dylan’s fiance was killed because of his past dealings with the supernatural and he’s retired now. He’s devastated by her loss (uh-huh) and doesn’t want to get involved. But, where would be the story in that? So, he does. He returns to Elizabeth’s house in his “I’m Dylan Dog, bad ass human liaison between the supernatural and the humans suit (red shirt, black jacket)” and his old timer’s doctor bag ready to work the case.


Dylan ~ Played by Brandon Routh


From there things just go from bad to worse. As I mentioned, Marcus provides the comic relief and a reason to keep suffering through this disappointing film. He’s attacked and subsequently rises as a zombie. His adjustment to his new undead self is a riot. He even goes so far as to join a zombie support group.


Zombie, Marcus ~ Played by Sam Huntington


The beasties in this flick left much to be desired. It was obvious that the money for any grand special effects was saved for the biggest baddie at the end, which turned out to be semi-decent. The wolves were a mix between a well-done wolf-man and a bad Halloween costume.

There were times throughout the movie where I was yelling at Dylan’s ignorance. This dude, who has spent how ever many years dealing with the supernatural, missed a dozen clues along the way which pretty much provided a big “LOOK HERE, STUPID” sign with the answers he was seeking. There was no suspense. The romance (hardy-har-har) was awful; it felt like the two were strangers who were told, “When I say ‘action’, kiss. ACTION!”

When I watch the trailer, it makes me think of Constantine, but more lighthearted. Sadly, it wasn’t even close. Brandon Routh has never been one of my favorite actors, but this was just bad. I couldn’t tell if it was just bad directing or bad acting. Maybe he should stick to Superman in the future. I do hope to see more of Sam Huntington, who plays the were in the US version of Being Human, in films.


My Rating:


What’d you think of it? Good flick or “where can I get a refund”?


Related RM Posts: ZAM: Wishing Well Wednesday | Dylan Dog: Dead of Night


Review: “Iron Hunt” by Marjorie M. Liu

The Iron Hunt (Hunter Kiss #1) by Marjorie M. Liu

Silver smoke winds around my torso, peeling away from my ribs and back, stealing the dark mist covering my hands and lower extremities . . . tattoos dissolving into demon flesh, coalescing into small dark bodies. My boys. The only friends I have in this world. Demons.

I am a demon hunter. I am a demon. I am Hunter Kiss.

By day, her tattoos are her armor. By night, they unwind from her body to take on forms of their own. Demons of the flesh, turned into flesh. This is the only family demon hunter Maxine Kiss has ever known. The only way to live-and the very way she’ll die. For one day, her demons will abandon her for her daughter to assure their own survival-leaving Maxine helpless against her enemies.

But such is the way of Earth’s last protector-the only one standing between humanity and the demons breaking out from behind the prison veils. It is a life lacking in love, reveling in death, until one moment-and one man-changes everything . . .


Details:
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by Ace
ISBN#: 9780441016068


My rating:

Read: 12 June 2011


I HATE this book! Everything about it is terrible. I feel cheated of my time and robbed of my money.

The plot is a simple one. In fact this would’ve served better as a novella because 300 pages was too many for what little was in them.

For a supposedly lethal hunter and fierce protector of the world against monsters and demons imprisoned behind a veil, she was a pansy-assed pussy. I’m sorry for my crass language but I’m so Mad. She asked everyone questions and whether they be friend or foe she never received a straight answer. Meaningless riddles are not an answer. She threatened but never followed through. (“You try anything, you even think about standing up, and I will have you shitting out of your dick so fast you’ll beg me to rip it off.” ~ Best threat) She just accepted these non-answers and moved on. To my frustrated consternation this happened repeatedly all the way through the book:

Maxine encountered someone, they talk some shit and do a lot of inferring, she’d question them, they’d deflect the question or give some vague and incomprehensible response. Kick some ass, woman! Where’s this fierce warrior that’s supposed to “save the world”? Because frankly if you’re our saviour, then kill me now. Pathetic.

And what the hell was she doing with someone like Grant? They live by such fundamentally different philosophies. Maxine kills the things that go bump in the night and Grant “saves” them. Slightly naive of him, if you ask me. Also, I’m not discriminating against the disabled here but if Maxine was going to settle down with anyone shouldn’t it be with someone who has the ability to run for his life? Otherwise, they’re just cannon fodder. There’s no way for him to keep up with her or effectively fight by her side. His flute would be no match for angry demon hordes.

I found none of the characters likeable, unless you count homeless teen Byron who was turned into a pitiable creature. Maxine was unkillable. It was absurdly cartoon-ish the way she was run over by a bus and got right back up again, completely unharmed. I wonder if she’s hardy against poison and disease. Please, someone try it.

For someone slapped with a violently pro-active personna she did absolutely fuck all. All growl and no bite. The original premise was a good one but unfortunately it was poorly executed. By the end I still didn’t fully understand what had changed from the beginning. It’s taken me four excrutingly long months to finish this and that’s with skimming.

On the 12th April I said:

“Iron Hunt sucks! I will congratulate anyone who managed to finish it. Those who gave this book 5 stars is not my friend. I’ve just offended 181 people but I don’t care. I hate every character so far except maybe this homeless teenager who’s probably just a flash in the pan. It’s frustratingly slow and sparse on the background details. Good bits are few and far between. It’s a challenge read so I have to finish. Stupid challenges.”

I stick by this statement but to any future friends who may have rated this 5 stars, I’m sorry but we may just have to go our separate ways.

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