Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Patient Zero - Review

Title:  Patient Zero
Author:  Jonathan Maberry
Series:  Joe Ledger #1

Synopsis: “Monday, 1300 hours: Joe Ledger kills terrorist Javad Mustapha, AKA Patient Zero, with two point-blank shots from his Glock .45.  Wednesday, 0800 hours: Patient Zero rises from the dead…
     “When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week, there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills… and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills.  Ledger, a Baltimore detective assigned to a counterterrorism task force, is recruited by the government to lead a new ultrasecret rapid-response group called the Department of Military Science (DMS) to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bioweapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies.”

Review:  Patient Zero is a wonderfully dense read.  It’s a zombie story, and we all know how much I love zombie stuff, but it’s so much more than that.  Patient Zero is an action packed thriller in which the real bad guys aren’t zombies, but terrorists wielding a biological weapon that turns ordinary citizens into zombies.  Even after finishing this novel I was still thinking about it, and the main character Joe Ledger.  Joe’s voice is distinct and wow is he funny.  I had a crush on Joe within the first 2 pages of Patient Zero, sorry SuperSteve, and was terrified something bad was going to happen to him.  I’m glad there are more novels in the series, and I’ve added them all to my wish list.  I’ve also added Maberry’s Rot & Ruin series for young adults to my wish list.  If you like edge of your seat thrillers and zombie horror novels pick up Patient Zero, you won’t regret it.

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
ISBN:  978-0312382858

If you like this book you may want to read:

Dragon Factory (Joe Ledger #2) by Jonathan Maberry

Coldbrook by Tim Lebbon (see BookGirlR’s review here)

Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End by Manel Loureiro (see BookGirlR’s review here)

The Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant (see BookGirlR’s review of Feed here)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Scorcher - Review

Title: Scorcher
Author:  Kelly Edwards
Series:  Forces of Nature

Synopsis:   “Supervillains are people too.  They’re not always megalomaniacs with dreams of world domination.  Sometimes they’re just people doing whatever they must to get by.
     “Aidan Grey is a college student with goals for the future, a drive to succeed, and a little time for romance.  She’s also a woman with a secret.  At eleven, she was orphaned due to the accidental use of her pyrokinetic abilities.  She was taken in by the secret criminal organization known as Iris and trained to use her abilities for the organization’s profit.
     “Marty Knox is a police detective who loves his family, tried to genuinely make a difference in the world and falls hard for Aidan.  He shows up just as Aidan is starting to question her loyalties to Iris and she’s surprised to find that she can’t resist him, even if it would be dangerous to get involved with someone on the right side of the law.  What Aidan doesn’t realize is that Marty has a secret of his own, one that would endanger both their lives if discovered by Iris.”

Review:  Let’s start with the bad so we can get to the good.  I read another review that mentioned “superfluous language”, that the first few pages are overly descriptive, and that “Finally, there was no flow to it, no rhythm. I'm not looking for poetry, but some serious editing needs to occur” (see this review here on Amazon).  I’m going to tell you that all of this is true, to an extent.  When I first started reading Scorcher, 2 years ago, I stopped before reaching the end of the first chapter.  Those first few pages are, to be very frank, horrible.  It’s all telling, no showing.  Page after page of stilted exposition that needs an editor in a bad way.  Today I picked up the novel again, determined to get through it and either write my review or contact the author to explain why I had not posted the review.  I ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting and craving more.  Seriously, my butt hurts now. 
     When I began comparing the bad to the good when starting this review I began thinking about some other author’s first novels.  Exposition, telling versus showing, is something that many authors struggle with (myself included).  And the “superfluous language” that the previously mentioned reviewer commented upon is a common byproduct of exposition, trying to get the reader more involved Edwards throws in too many exciting adverbs and adjectives.  Keep reading however, after those first few pages Scorcher gets much, much better.  I love anything superhero or supervillian related!  The telling stops and the showing begins (there are a few lapses here and there, but they are few).  The main characters are developed well, as are many of the secondary characters.  I would like to learn more about many of the agents that work with Scorcher and Chill.  Maybe there could even be more novels about their individual stories?  The relationship between Marty and his “normal” family is heartwarming.  Yes, it could have used a little more editing, but the plot is strong, and the relationship between Aiden and Marty is intense and believable.  It’s like a comic book in novel form, without all the distracting pictures!  At the time of this review the Kindle copy of Scorcher is only $2.99, buy it here, you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.
     BAM!  POW!  Scorcher dragged me in kicking and screaming.  When can I get my hands on the sequel?

**I received a free copy of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest review**

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN: 978-1480214484

If you like this book you may want to read:

The Sign of the Zodiac Series by Vicki Pettersson

Those Who Walk in Darkness by John Ridley

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Feature & Follow 5.18.14

This week's Feature & Follow asks the question: Have you met a favorite author and have a picture? Share. I have not met any of my favorite authors. I honestly am not sure that I would ever want to. I feel that meeting my favorite authors may disappoint me. You see, I have what I admit are idealized fantasies of what my favorite authors are like. Were I to actually meet any of them I am sure that I would be disappointed when they were not what I had imagined them to be. I do however love to have autographed copies of my favorite novels from my favorite authors. Here's a picture of one:

Please take a minute to say HI! And follow my blog.  I will be having a giveaway when BookGirl's BookNook reaches 100 followers!

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Fevre Dream - Review

Title:  Fevre Dream
Author: George R. R. Martin

Synopsis:  “Abner Marsh, a struggling riverboat captain, suspects that something’s amiss when he is approached by a wealthy aristocrat with a lucrative offer.  The hauntingly pale, steely-eyed Joshua York doesn’t care that the icy winter of 1857 has wiped out all but one of Marsh’s dilapidated fleet; nor does he care that he won’t earn back his investment in a decade.  York’s reasons for traversing the powerful Mississippi are to be none of Marsh’s concern – no matter how bizarre, arbitrary, or capricious York’s actions may prove.  Not until the maiden voyage of Fevre Dream does Marsh realize that he has joined a mission both more sinister, and perhaps more noble, than his most fantastic nightmare—and humankind’s most impossible dream.”

Review:  I’m not a huge fan of Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.  Don’t get me wrong, they are wonderfully written novels.  The story just doesn’t do it for me.  That has always made me sad, because I admire Martin’s gift with words and the way he puts them together into sentences, which then form paragraphs.  You see where I'm going with this right?  I don’t have to be sad anymore, because I have discovered that he has written other novels and these novels are just as well written and catch my fancy better than A Game of Thrones
     Fevre Dream is a wonderful historical story of horror and vampires, and steamboats on the Mississippi River.  Since I picked it up I haven’t wanted to put it down.  When I reached the last few pages I was sad because it was almost over.  Even now, an hour later, I’m still grieving.  I feel sorry for whatever I choose to read next because I know it won’t even come close to being as good as Fevre Dream.  The mystery of who, or what, Joshua York really is grabbed me right off.  I knew the truth, and watching Abner Marsh come to the realization so slowly made me want to grab him and shake him until he figured it out.  Martin’s amazing description of the rich history of this time period flowed off of the page and into my brain so vividly that I could see the swirling muddy water of the Mississippi and smell the smoke in the air.  The ending was perfect and could not have met my expectations better even if I had written it myself.  This is not your typical vampire novel, it’s way better.  Do yourself a favor and add it to your summer reading list!

Publisher:  Bantam Books
ISBN:  978-0553577938

Looking for more novels that give a different spin to the classic vampire tale?  Try these fantastic novels:

Sunshine by Robin McKinley (Find out why this is BookGirlR's favorite book here)

Anno Dracula by Kim Newman

A Taint in the Blood by S. M. Stirling

Blood Rights by Kristen Painter