My Top 5 Recommended Books

These are books that I have recommended more than any others over the past year. I will try to make this an annual thing, and I don't know how many of you enjoy watching me stubble over my words... but here you go. If you have trouble viewing this video, the original can be seen at http://youtu.be/doV-99AdJGE. Subscribe to my You Tube channel to see all of my incoherent ramblings. 

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Book Review: Monster Island by David Wellington

It's one month after a global disaster. The most "developed" nations of the world have fallen to the shambling zombie masses. Only a few pockets of humanity survive — in places rife with high-powered weaponry, such as Somalia.

In New York City, the dead walk the streets, driven by an insatiable hunger for all things living. One amongst them is different; though he shares their appetites he has retained his human intelligence. Alone among the mindless zombies, Gary Fleck is an eyewitness to the end of the world — and perhaps the evil genius behind it all.

From the other side of the planet, a small but heavily-armed group of schoolgirls-turned-soldiers has come in search of desperately needed medicine. Dekalb, a former United Nations weapons inspector, leads them as their local guide. Ayaan, a crackshot at the age of sixteen, will stop at nothing to complete her mission. They think they are prepared for anything. On Monster Island they will find that there is something worse even than undeath, as Gary learns the true price of survival.

REVIEW:

Dekalb is a weapons inspector for the UN. He and his young daughter have been captured by a Somalian warlord. He’s been offered refuge for his family and a possible new life for his daughter under certain circumstances.

His mission is to sail to America to find drugs to treat AIDS, since this is what the warlord is infected with, while most of the world has been infected with the zombie virus. It sounds impossible…it sounds like a suicide mission. Who else is going to be able to take care of him and his daughter when firearms are what you need to survive in this new and devastating world?

Gary used to be a doctor. Now he’s the smartest dead guy in the world. Or at least that is what he’ll tell you when you talk to him. He knew there were two options when New York was swallowed alive by the zombie plague: be eaten or join them.

Using his medical theory – that the dead stop breathing, depleting oxygen to the brain, and causing them to be mindless when they reanimate – he hooked himself to the right medical equipment, and then took his own life. He woke up dead.

When the dead are able to think, a zombie infested world will become more terrifying. Gary and Dekalb aren’t as different as you might think at first glance; the both have the same goal – survival.

I first ran into David Wellington’s books in a used book store. I picked up his 13 Bullets series, which is about vampires. He does extremely well with the darker side of monsters, and I fell in love with his writing style. A fifth book of his vampire series is coming out soon, and I felt that I need to explore the rest of his work. Monster Island is the first of a zombie trilogy, and I must say, the first book had me captivated again. I look forward to reading the rest of this series, the continuation of his vampire series, and recently, he has started a werewolf series.

If you are ready to step away from the cuddly monsters that have been creeping up on us, and get back to the basics of horror, read some of David Wellington’s books.

Book Review: Haunt by Amber Delaine

Haunt by Amber Delaine

Artist Megan Nelson has never lived anywhere but the tiny Texas town in which she grew up. There is one bus, one corner store and everybody knows everybody. So when a stranger shows up, Megan is more than curious. 

Adam is more than he seems: beautiful and strange. Megan soon finds herself falling in love with him as she learns who he is and where he comes from. 

But being with Adam comes with a price. The closer Megan gets to Adam, the more she begins to realize that he holds a dark secret which threatens to tear apart everything she has ever known. 

On top of it, Megan is plagued with guilt over her best friend, Tony. As her new love life puts a strain on their old friendship, Megan learns how love can help her overcome her terrifying circumstances and change the rest of her life.




REVIEW:

Megan is only days away from graduating high school. She is cramming for finals, and desperately trying to get her head out of the clouds so that she can pass her senior year. She longs to be an artist, but being an only child of professional parents, her future plans are still up for discussion. Spending her spare time getting lost in her paintings, or hanging with her best friend Tony, she’s just your average teen girl, as she describes herself:

I had never been very pretty. I was plain for a girl, I thought, with mousy brown hair and plain brown eyes. They weren’t even a golden brown or an exotic almost-black. Just motor oil brown. My skin was too pale because I rarely ever went outside. Texas was always either too hot or too cold for my taste. Pale blue veins showed through at my temples. I had one slightly crooked tooth. Everyone said they couldn’t tell, but it was always the first thing I noticed in photos of myself or when I looked into a mirror.

After a stress filled day, Megan makes her way to the park after sunset. In the dark, she vents her frustrations, only to find out that she isn’t alone. A beautiful stranger has been watching her from the shadows, and she nervously makes her way home.

Megan can’t seem to shake the image of the stranger and desperately tries to recreate his image on canvas. Unable to paint his likeness, she sets out to look for her muse the next day, only to find out that her average life is about to get turn upside down.

Haunt started out reading like a paranormal romance, but it slowly twists into horror story of sorts, and then back to paranormal. Personally, I love both genres, and I would recommend this to anyone in the same boat. I only found the end slightly anticlimactic, but it fit into the story well, and Amber left the reader anticipating a sequel.

The author has a wonderful way of writing. She gives you little hints to keep you captivated and wanting more. Written in first person, the author will draw back, and drop in the character’s commentary, as if Megan was sitting beside you telling you the story.

I hope to see more from Amber Delaine.


Book Review: The Deadz by Michael Esser

The Deadz by Michael Esser


ABOUT:
The first installment of the new zombie trilogy by Michael E. Esser.

An international race for a cure-all fails causing patients to mutate into different variations of the same undead creature.

All but one creates "deadz", the US.

Those involved decide the US is hiding the solution and decide to ship their "deadz", nicknamed the "runners", "crawlers", and "talkers", to the US in retaliation. 



FROM THE BOOK:
Depending on which part of the world you’ve been trapped in you have probably encountered either the talkers, the runners, or the bastard crawlers. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you’re one of the lucky ones.

REVIEW:
The first paragraph that I included form the book, The Deadz by Michael Esser, does a pretty good job of describing the zombies to come within its pages.

The story is centered on an international race to create a cure-all vaccine. Imagine the capability of a vaccination that could cure every illness known to man. Cancer… AIDS… they would all become a horrible blemish in our history books.

But inevitably, in a race to be the first country to create this wonder drug, things go very wrong. The cure-all reanimates the dead. And each nation - with their own special formulas – has created their own brand of revenant.  There is a wide variety, from runners to stumblers, and yes, even talkers. The talkers are more than capable of commanding all of the dead.

The beginning of the story and the transitions between scenes were a bit jumpy. With so much action packed into the pages, we never really get too attached to the characters. Some readers may be looking for that emotional connection with the story centering on a father, his two young daughters, his sister, and brother-in-law. This story reads more like a movie script than a novel, and this is what the author was shooting for. Mr. Esser accomplished this by keeping full blown action on every page, but wrote very light on the details.

Movie goers and people sitting in waiting rooms will love this. You can read this book in the amount of time that it would take to watch the move. But for those that are looking for an in depth and complicated story line, you may be disappointed. Zombies are zombies, and the heart of every zombie story is chaos and destruction. With zombies finally starting to get their own spot light, authors are trying to find a way to reinvent them. The eternal question is asked: What makes yours different than every other one like it? Michael was able to create a colorful range of zombies for every enthusiasts out there.

Coming in at under 15000 words, the story is a quick read. Don’t be disappointed if you want more, this is only the first installment.


Have pleasant vampire, werewolf, and zombie dreams. www.authorcvhunt.com