Showing posts with label zombies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label zombies. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

[Review] The Beauty, Vol.1 - Jeremy Haun: Epidemics, Beauty Obsessions, and Guns





In THE BEAUTY, VOL.1, humans are able to get more beautiful by getting infected with a sexually transmittable disease called The Beauty. When the infected start imploding all of a sudden, two detectives start investigating.

What intrigued me: Wonderful premise. I love reading about dystopian societies.




Too fast-paced

THE BEAUTY doesn't bother much with exposition, which is probably the reason why I didn't really care much for the plot until about four issues in. It's difficult to keep up with all those characters that are not introduced at all and trying to find out what their relationships are. I'm glad I even managed to catch the two names of the detectives! Therefore, because I could hardly keep up with who was who, I really wasn't as invested as I liked to be, even though the idea is really interesting and intriguing.

We're almost immediately thrown into this world, right into the storyline revolving around the two detectives Foster and Vaughn who are trying to bring The Beauty down because it's killing more and more people. The comic generally has X-Files vibe it, not only because of the protagonists looking just like Scully and Mulder, but also because it is heavy on the action and investigation side. You'll find a lot of gore-y scenes, nudity, and shootings in this.

Unflattering artwork

While the artwork is nice to look at, I don't think that it necessarily compliments the narration. There are lots of eye closeups, lots of background scenes with the characters and their families, and this is just not working very well when you don't know who all these people are and hardly any of them is actually introduced. 

Another thing that kind of bugged me is that I didn't really see the difference between the looks of the people infected with The Beauty and those who aren't. The cover artwork for the issues is way prettier than the actual artwork inside and seems to be done in a slightly different style, which is really a pity because I would have loved for this to be a little more experimental and less yet-another-detective-comic generic.



Rating:

★★½

  


Overall: Do I Recommend?

THE BEAUTY needs quite some time to kick off. With the slow start, I'm hesitant to directly say "Go read this" - I'll probably still stick around for the second volume because I just started to get interested in the story (after reading six issues). If you don't mind a slow, but fast-paced start, go ahead. I'm positive that this series will be improving in future issues.





Additional Info

Published: March 22nd 2016
Pages: 164
Publisher: Image Comics
Genre: Adult / Dystopian
ISBN: 9781632155504

Synopsis:
"Modern society is obsessed with outward beauty. What if there was a way to guarantee you could become more and more beautiful every day? What if it was a sexually transmitted disease? 

In the world of The Beauty, physical perfection is only one sexual encounter away. The vast majority of the population has taken advantage of it, but Detectives Vaughn and Foster will soon discover it comes at a terrible cost. Now, they'll have to find their way past corrupt politicians, vengeful federal agents, and a terrifying mercenary out to collect the price on their heads. "(Source: Goodreads)

Would you get purposely infected with The Beauty?

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Friday, March 4, 2016

[Review] Monsterland - Michael Phillip Cash: Jurassic Park - Now With Vampires and Zombies!





In MONSTERLAND, Wyatt is invited to the opening of a theme park showcasing vampires, werewolves, zombies, and many more terrifying creatures.


What intrigued me: Excellent blurb and premise.

Poor writing and flat characters

The premise of MONSTERLAND is pretty much an accident waiting to happen. It's very reminiscent of Jurassic Park, but ultimately the premise couldn't quite be fulfilled to the extent that I would've liked - mainly because of the writing. I found it too descriptive, from lengthy landscape descriptions to changes in point of view and flat characters. All characters are very much clichés, act predictably and are involuntarily, almost cringe-worthily funny while doing so.

My least favorite thing are the frequent changes in POV that just make it impossible to sympathize with the characters. Generally this novel would have benefited tremendously from being written from person's POV. 

Generic and not scary

While I was initially intrigued by the blurb, there isn't much more to this novel than that. It's very predictable. Following the example of the Jurassic Park movies, MONSTERLAND never quite manages to develop originality and it just isn't flattering. Even the very generic, poorly-written villain couldn't improve this. I was hoping to be scared, to have that eerie feel from the Jurassic Park movies, maybe even the occasional jump scare. Overall, I wasn't scared, I wasn't even remotely unsettled, which was what I was hoping to get from MONSTERLAND.

For me, MONSTERLAND isn't able to stand on its own, always overshadowed by the so much better movies which clearly were the inspiration for this.


Rating:

☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

MONSTERLAND has a nice idea, but absolutely fails in the execution. I would love to see this topic executed once more, but with better writing.



Additional Info

Published: 2015
Pages: 284
Publisher: Createspace
Genre: YA / Horror
ISBN: 9781517180676

Synopsis:
"Welcome to Monsterland – the scariest place on Earth. All guests can interact with real vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by an actual werewolf on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.
Wyatt Baldwin, a high school student and life-long movie buff is staring bleakly at a future of flipping burgers. Due to a fortuitous circumstance, Wyatt and his friends are invited to the star-studded opening of Monsterland. In a theme park full of real vampires, werewolves and zombies, what could possibly go wrong? "(Source: Goodreads)

What's your favorite horror novel?

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Monday, January 25, 2016

[Review]: City of Ashes (TMI #2) - Cassandra Clare



In CITY OF ASHES, the second book in the The Mortal Instruments series, über villain Valentine Morgenstern steals the second of the mortal instruments very conveniently shortly before it will be used in a trial against Jace.

I liked the first book alright, but didn't really enjoy this one at all. There is a multitude of reasons for that, mostly because it's nothing like the first. 

Not what I bargained for

CITY OF ASHES isn't told from Clary's perspective. The booksisn't even about Clary anymore. The first one set up a new world being introduced to her and gave off the vibe that it all would be about her. But really, the books are more about showcasing this insanely big world Clare has created. 

The new omniscient narrating perspective is very confusing and makes this feel more like an adult novel than a YA. In general, this is unlike any YA I've ever read. It's hardly possible to root for any characters because the perspectives are changed all the time, a new character gets introduced every twenty pages and also brings more information dump with them. 

Clare is the queen of information dump. Oddly enough, she seems to be aware of this and just decides to stop explaining 3/4 into the book. New weapons, new demons, new runes, everything thrown at you without any explanation whatsoever. I feel like you need a lexicon to read this. I had no idea what was happening to whom with what weapon and how half the time. Trying to make sense of action scenes is very short from being torture. 

Why it's not worth DNF-ing either

There's a lot wrong with this book and I didn't enjoy it half as much as I did CITY OF BONES, which didn't even receive a very good review from me either. 

However, this insane world full of new concepts and beings is just too interesting to quit. The writing is sub-par at most, full of cringe-worthy similes and annoying foreshadowing, and unlikeable characters. Still, I probably won't quit this series. I want to know what Valentine did to Clary and Jace. I want to know more about this world. And this is why these books are so popular and beloved, I think.
Even when you acknowledge and fully realize it's mediocre at most, you won't quit. You won't want to. Let's hope the third one doesn't make me want to claw my eyes out.


Rating:

★★☆☆

  

Overall: Do I Recommend?

Ugh. I'm not even going to attempt to answer this truthfully. They're a guilty pleasure. Just do whatever you want but be aware that this isn't high class literature.



Additional Info

Original Title: City of Ashes
Author: Cassandra Clare
Published: March 28th 2008
Pages: 453
Genre: YA / Fantasy / Urban
ISBN: 9781416914297

Synopsis:
"Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?"(Source: Goodreads)


 Have you read CITY OF ASHES?

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Recommendation: Breathers: A Zombie's Lament - S.G. Browne



In BREATHERS: A ZOMBIE'S LAMENT, zombies are being brought back to life. When recently deceased Andy is given a new life, he can't start where he has left off.

Zombies are social outcasts, parents and children fear them alike. Andy doesn't do anything with his life and doesn't really see a point. When his parents send him to a self-help group for zombies, he meets fellow zombie Rita. As he gets to know her, there suddenly seems to be a point in living. Together, with a help of the friends they meet in the self-help group, they try to get back to normal life.

What intrigued me: Is this really a question? Zombies being resocialized? This is awesome!

Andy and Rita are probably the weirdest couple I’ve ever read about. Zombies falling in love isn’t such a new concept, but writing about un-romanticized, decomposing zombies is another thing.
I love that the characters aren’t pretty or pleasant to read about, they’re corpses, and therefore probably not a neat sight. I loved that the novel didn’t try to make zombies cuddly and nice like in Warm Bodies. They’re vicious, if their potential is unravelled. I just love these two characters and it’s fun to read about them - until the cruel ending that left me somewhat speechless.

It’s so interesting to read from the perspective of a social outcast that is hated everywhere he goes just because he is what he is. Of course, the novel is basically social critique, but in an entertaining way and combining zombies with that is always a way to keep my attention. 

The plot advances very, very slowly. The meeting with the anonymous undead are just long-drawn-out and absolutely not interesting to read about. I feel like the novel is longer than the story demands and as a reader I just felt cheated about the ending. I’d read a second novel but I fea the story ended here for Andy and his friends. It’s just really unsatisfying to root for characters for threehundred pages and then see them go down like this, as if they accomplished nothing. Again, probably a plot device but it left a bitter aftertaste. 

The humoristic touch, the slowly unwrapping love story, it just fits. Browne writes a bit dorky, with the odd bad joke every few pages but it’s pleasant. I was entertained but still kept an eye on the page numbers, so a few points deducted there. 



Rating:

★★★★



Overall: Do I Recommend?

Yes, yes, yes. If you love zombies, you’re going to love this. If you love light fiction and urban fantasy, you’re going to love this. Of course, this is n groundbreaking work that’s going to leave you there thinking about social injustice, but it’s a fun read and I really enjoyed it.
Especially the bad jokes.


Additional Info

Published: March 3rd 2009
Pages: 310
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Genre: Adult / Paranormal
ISBN: 9780767930611

Synopsis:
"Meet Andy Warner, a recently deceased everyman and newly minted zombie. Resented by his parents, abandoned by his friends, and reviled by a society that no longer considers him human, Andy is having a bit of trouble adjusting to his new existence. But all that changes when he goes to an Undead Anonymous meeting and finds kindred souls in Rita, an impossibly sexy recent suicide with a taste for the formaldehyde in cosmetic products, and Jerry, a twenty-one-year-old car-crash victim with an exposed brain and a penchant for Renaissance pornography. When the group meets a rogue zombie who teaches them the joys of human flesh, things start to get messy, and Andy embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will take him from his casket to the SPCA to a media-driven class-action lawsuit on behalf of the rights of zombies everywhere."
(Source: Goodreads)


What's your favorite zombie novel?

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