Archive for Zombie Fiction
My World Building Truths
I just want to say how stoked I am to be here at Smash Attack Reads! Smash Attack Ash is such an inventive nickname, I’ve told Ash this… it grabbed me, pulled me in, and I want to know her every thought on the books she reads. I’m thrilled to be doing a guest post on her blog! Yes I know, I’m weird, and I have a thing for names.
If you’ve read Taking on the Dead, you’ll know that almost immediately. My protagonist’s name is Kansas City Sunshine Moore. There’s a guest post floating around somewhere on how I decided on the name.
I’m actually glad for the opportunity to write this post. Many people go into reading Taking on the Dead thinking it’s another continuous “fight for your life” typical zombie novel. It’s not. It’s hardly about zombies at all. I did this on purpose. I wrote it for fun. The Trilogy is about a young woman who survived alone and ventures out into the post apocalyptic world… and learns what it’s like to live again, and has real life struggles thrown at her.
My world building in The Famished Trilogy is one I did with detail, and I had a blast creating it. In a post-apocalyptic world,there are many things to think about when surviving in one. Food, water, gasoline and oil, weapons, shelter, technology, and most importantly, people.
I’m almost sure what Smash wants from this post is for me to write about the community Kan eventually finds herself in. I was chatting with a friend the other day about this… We discussed the many things that I could entertain here like: I came up with the community while tripping on several different hallucinogenic drugs. One night I got really drunk and stumbled upon an underground club, and woke up with weird flashes of the cool, otherworldly things I experienced. Anyone who has read Taking on the Dead would believe that it came out of some drunken shenanigans. I mean, I could come up with some long-winded and dull post to make me sound like the intellectual type… would you read it all? Probably not.
Although I do wish I had some awesome tale to tell… I don’t.
I’m going to be honest. I don’t know how I came up with the community. It just popped out from my own imagination. I knew I wanted it to be different and unforgettable. I knew it would have to resemble people living the best they can in a world full of zombies. I didn’t want my characters to be in “survival” mode the whole time. I wanted to delve into how people would be living and how they adapted in such a situation. Therefore, “the community” was born. The survivors that make up the community all have something to contribute, even if it isn’t needed to survive, they need it to live – to help them move forward in their everyday lives. And live they do. The community is a big stepping stone for Kan relearning how to live herself.
Some of my characters also begin in a stereotypical way, but once you get to know them, they aren’t. Just like real people. Some characters speak in a dialect I made up. For the fun of it, and to make some characters more colorful. I also wanted to drive a point that when you live with someone, or are with someone for long enough, you can easily pick up their habits. I show this with the dialect to highlight the majority collective mindset of the community. There isn’t a region or place I chose the dialect from.
Romance and sex. This aspect of my book is obviously frowned upon. I don’t know why, it’s not like it’s the focus of the book. When writing TotD, I struggled with having it as a sub-plot. I really did, but I came to the conclusion that romance and sex is abig part of human nature… are people going to stop having romantic relationships just because zombies are running around, especially four years after the fact? Hardly. I’m also rooting for Kan. She’s been alone for years. She deserves some hanky panky, but it’s not all she thinks about. She sets her mind on a goal and moves toward it.
That brings me to the main plot of the trilogy. Zombies? The “whys” and “hows” are only a sub-plotting, but the over all plot isreally how the people survive and adapt. Are you going to get your questions answered? Yes. Am I going to lead you around by your nose? No. The story follows Kan and how she interprets things. There are plenty of clues along the way. Sometimes Kan takes note, but doesn’t think much about it. Sometimes she completely misses the point. What fun would it be if you knew everything up front? There’s more to come, and I’m sure you’ll get more questions than answers before it’s all said and done. =)
Anyway, there you have it. My Famished World. Even though it just popped out, I think all the best things do. I love how it turned out. I hope you have as much fun reading as I had writing it.
I am completely on board with Annie’s take on community in a post-apocalyptic world. People need people, regardless of the situation. Annie’s community is one that will leave a look like this – o.O – on your face, no doubt, but it will also warm your heart.
Be sure to stop by tomorrow for my review of Taking on the Dead!
The giveaway is being held on all blogs participating in the tour. Please only enter on one blog.
- 2 book swag packs
- 1 signed print swag pack
Meet Annie Walls
Author of dark fantasy and sub-genres of horror. Voracious Reader and Googler. Lover of dark humor. Horror Buff. Zombie Apocalypse Enthusiast. Loyal Cracked follower. Pinterest Addict. Wife of adoring husband. Mother of a five year old Bruce Wayne. Cook. Maid. Kisser of boo-boos. Ultimate Time Waster. Perfect Procrastinator. Lolly Gagger. Trubie. Cake Decorator. Tea Drinker. Sculpey Sculptor. Girl Gamer. Perfectionist in the art of Facebook stalking. And now, God help me, a blogger. Oh yeah, and a twitter, twatter, tweeter. Well yeah, I’m one crafty bitch.
Published by Decadent Publishing Company on 9/27/12
Genres: Zombie Fiction
Add to your Goodreads TBR Pile
Maxine “Max” Compton is in detention when the outbreak starts; so are several other students when Max’s best friend Brie storms in – chomping on the thigh bone of their favorite Home Ec teacher, Ms. Watkins!
Brie is a zombie, and quickly starts biting everyone in the room—even her best friend, Max!
When the class realizes what happens, it’s too late; they are all zombies—and they’re no longer alone.
Now a thin gray man in a white lab coat is testing them; making them read, and once they can no longer read, the zombies are led from the room, never to be seen again.
One by one the zombies stop reading, all but a few of them, Max included. Oh, and that cute thug she’s been crushing on for years, Cory Winthrop!
That’s when Max learns that there are good zombies, and bad zombies. And if she’s to survive, she has to pick a side.
Who knew Detention could be this hard… or last forever?
Interest in Book
It’s Rusty Fischer writing zombies! That’s always an entertaining combination. I will admit that this was not my favorite Rusty book, mainly due to lack of character connections on my part, but it was entertaining and full of his fun phrasing. His books always make me smile! Emotion = Win.
The world-building was simple yet fun. A strange bunch of kids in detention get turned into zombies. Some can think, others…not so much. They retain their personalities but are entertainingly different. Their entire school is wiped out, when a SWAT-like team shows up on the scene. Next thing you know, this group of misfit brain connoisseurs has a new teacher. Who asks them to read. Yea…what? Things just get more zany from there on out!
Rusty handed out the gore in this book, but it was gore in a fun way. Yes, there is such a thing. Why? Because I said so.
And then suddenly it’s bedlam: blood is spurting out of jugular veins left and right and splattering the walls like in one of those forensic mysteries shows Dad watches late at night on Gavel TV and suddenly everybody is biting everybody else. It’s kind of like a big pillow fight – with teeth.
See? Fun gore. Win.
The characters are where I had issues with the book. I could not connect to them and was not really invested in their outcome. They did have some redeemable qualities, however, and I enjoyed their banter back and forth with one another, too. There’s always drama when teenage zombies congregate. The Teenage Zombie Drama Queen crown goes to…
I highlighted half the book. Seriously. You should see my Kindle. There are endless amounts of quotes that I highlighted because the Rusty’s phrasing is just so fun and entertaining. THAT is why I love his stories. He is witty and funny and full of one-liners. I’ve yet to be disappointed with his creativity and zany imagination.
In a voice as detached as his purposeful footsteps, Proctor says, “Zombies don’t cry,” simply, with no further explanation.
I loved this plug at his book, Zombies Don’t Cry, which you should definitely read!
The the one who’s been chuckling looks at me and says, “It’s a shame, this one. She doesn’t seem angry like the rest we bring in here.” And oh, do I want to correct him and say, like the rest we brought in here, moron, brought in here…
I totally thought of Amanda and Isa, who I hope never become zombies, but if they do, I know they will be slinging grammar tips like the pros they are!
(Okay, okay, so maybe it’s four-hundred-percent wishful thinking, but, hey, a girl can dream, can’t she? Even if she’s waterlogged and underwater and sitting on a slimy rock that’s putting barnacle-shaped dimples in her rump?)
Shoot, she could definitely do worse. The movies I watched growing up, every zombie I ever saw looked like utter crap. But these two, they could definitely pose for the Aber-zoombie and Fitch catalog, if you know what I’m saying.
Make sure you head over to The Bookish Brunette, who is truly Rusty’s BIGGEST fan evar.
She has a really fun deleted scene to share!
Published by Candlewick on 9/25/12
Genres: YA Horror, Zombie Fiction
Add to your Goodreads TBR Pile
Seventeen-year-old Nero is stuck in the wilderness with a bunch of other juvenile delinquents on an “Inward Trek.” As if that weren’t bad enough, his counselors have turned into flesh-eating maniacs overnight and are now chowing down on his fellow miscreants. As in any classic monster flick worth its salted popcorn, plentiful carnage sends survivors rabbiting into the woods while the mindless horde of “infects” shambles, moans, and drools behind. Of course, these kids have seen zombie movies. They generate “Zombie Rules” almost as quickly as cheeky remarks, but attitude alone can’t keep the biters back.
Serving up a cast of irreverent, slightly twisted characters, an unexpected villain, and an ending you won’t see coming, here is a savvy tale that that’s a delight to read—whether you’re a rabid zombie fan or freshly bitten—and an incisive commentary on the evil that lurks within each of us.
Interest in Book
Duh. It’s a zombie book! And then I opened it and read the dedication. SO MUCH WIN. I knew immediately I would enjoy the author’s voice. It turned out to be exactly what I expected: quirky, dangerous, campy, highly entertaining and just plain fun. It’s not your typical serious zombie post-apocalyptic book, but it definitely has some gory moments as a band of teenagers try to figure out just what the tittlepop is happening in their little slice of America. Of course, underneath all the silly fun are some heavy themes, mainly corporate monsters and the food industry, which are one in the same, I suppose.
Nick, aka Nero, is a normal teenager living with his perceived deadbeat of a father, The Dude, and his younger sister, Amanda, who has Asperger Syndrome. Nick works for a major chicken production plant and after a serious(?) incident, he ends up at the “Inward Trek” camp for juvenile delinquents. I think the incident was silly, but it connects the plot later on so I guess it gets a pass. On the way to camp, Nick notices odd occurrences but writes it off strange human behavior. Once at camp, the zombie infestation lands right outside their tents, literally. From there on out, lots of chaos, death, funny one-liners and tough chicks grace the pages as Nick and gang try to save humanity.
The zombie encounters were wicked fun and a tad gory. The zombies appeared to have some sort of rational grasp on reality, as they were able to use strategy a time or two. I absolutely love the groups’ descriptions of the zombies, as camp counselors, camp mates, joggers and random people become flesh-eating hellions. The source of infection turns out to be connected in a big way to Nick, and his stance at the end of the book was unexpected.
Nick was the protagonist and as always, it’s nice to read from a male’s perspective. I really enjoyed the flashbacks where we learn more about his family. He also has a constant back and forth with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in his head that was ridiculously fun. however, Nick stood out the least. The author brought life to the supporting characters in a big way because they are all memorable. Every single one of the delinquents that Nick is unfortunately stuck with during this bizarre adventure had serious personality. When the zombie outbreak finally reached the group of misfits, I was laughing hardcore at their reactions. Idle and Billy start dropping beats, yo! And they use yo. Love!
I adored little sis Amanda. I’ve been around Asperger kids, and have a few friends whose children have been diagnosed. I think the author really captured the personality characteristics of this disorder. The author used a lot of question marks when Amanda was speaking, in between her words, to evoke emotions or maybe her constant questioning and wondering? I’m not sure. It was hella annoying at first, but then I realized it was only with Amanda and it made more sense.
I really wish I could post some quotes, as this book is highly quotable. This was my first book by the author and I really enjoyed his style, commentary and phrasing. I loved the use of Zombrules throughout the book, which were just downright hysterical. My favorite spoke of Ztockholm Syndrome. Scary shit, people. The chapter titles were also really creative, as well as the Fresh Bukket Menu and the Incident Reports. The blood splatter at the beginning of each chapter gets bigger and bigger, too. All of this supplementary material and creativity really brought the story to life. Unfortunately, the ending fell flat for me, but it really didn’t detract from my enjoyment throughout the book.
“Recommend A…” will have a new prompt every week, which Chick Loves Lit will have posted ahead of time on the Recommend A… page. All you have to do is Recommend with me on Mondays, following the prompt, and link me so I (and everyone else) can see what you’ve recommended!
This’s week’s recommendation is a…
…book you read this year
I decided to recommend a book I read at the very beginning of the year but did not review….
For those who aren’t in the know, Rusty Fischer is kinda funny. He takes the zombie genre and pokes fun at it, but keeps his stories interesting and entertaining as hell. I read Zombies Don’t Cry and was greatly amused, especially be the mean, spineless, snarky asshat Zerkers. I received Panty Raid @ Zombie High from Rusty and completely forgot to review it for him. I’m a terrible book blogger, I know, but I am now highlighting it because it is worth reading.
Toby, our geeky, awkward protagonist, is desperate to find his
love interest best friend, Molly, who has gone missing. Toby and a group of teenagers set off to find Molly, whom they believe has been turned into a zombie and is now being rehabilitated at Zombie High. Toby is anything but brave, but has put on his big boy underoos to save his gal.
Toby’s internal monologue was insecure and funny, in only the way a teen boy’s internal monologue can be. The group of misfits that tag along with him offer pure entertainment. Along with Toby and Spud, an annoying, weird little dude whose father runs the facility, are two jocks and their two
bitches girlfriends. These morons tag along for what they believe will be a night of panty-raid partying. You see, they plan to snag a pair of electric undies that the zombies wear. Think cattle prod. Or that scene from Face-Off in the prison. You remember those wacky metal shoes that kept them glued in place on the metal floors? Yea, these panties remind me of those shoes. Anywho, those 4 idiots think they are visiting Zombie High for a panty raid because Toby hasn’t been exactly honest with them. The resulting escapade through a facility that is nothing at all what they expected is full of laughs, spooks, gore and adventure.
The book is totally campy, tongue-in-cheek, silly, *insert your favorite word here.* It is quick and easy, as any panty raid should be, and will totally take your mind off life for a few. Next time you need a pick-me-up, give this one a go. How can you go wrong with a panty raid?
Quotes to prove my point
“Well, they’ve never made it that far because they never took me along,” Spud brags uncharacteristically, avoiding my penetrating glare as I give him major WTF face from ground level.
Oh God, I think. This is becoming a really bad late-night Scream Channel B-movie, complete with dancing thugs and trampy skanks in mini-mini-skirts who lick soda off their fingers while zombies prowl the halls.
I turn, inch even closer to Spud and hold my house key like a weapon. Don’t hate. Mom saw it on 20/20 or something, and I’ve never had a chance to try it out until just now.
My first fight is going to be with an eight-foot-tall living dead cage fighter with a thigh for a neck and a tree trunk for a thigh?
Published by Independent Publishing on 6/12/12
Genres: Zombie Fiction
Add to your Goodreads TBR Pile
A walled city surrounded by lush land, protected by high mountain summits, and fortified by a massive gate to secure the only pass into the valley, The Bastion remained humanity’s last hope against the fearsome undead creatures known as the Inferi Scourge. On one fateful day, the valley gate failed and the Inferi Scourge overran and destroyed the human settlements outside the walls, trapping the remaining survivors inside the city. Now, decades later, the last remaining humans are struggling to survive in a dying city of dwindling resources…and dwindling hope.
Vanguard Maria Martinez has lived her entire life within the towering walls of steel. She yearns for a life away from the overcrowded streets, rolling blackouts, and food shortages, but there is no hope for anyone as long as the Inferi Scourge howl outside the high walls. Her only refuge from the daily grind is in the arms of Dwayne Reichardt, an officer in the Bastion Constabulary. Both are highly-decorated veterans of the last disastrous push against the Inferi Scourge. Their secret affair is her only happiness.
Then one day Maria is summoned to meet with a mysterious representative from the Science Warfare Division and is offered the opportunity to finally destroy the Inferi Scourge in the valley and close the gate, reclaiming the lost lands and energizing the populace with renewed hope for the future. The rewards of success are great, but she will have to sacrifice everything, possibly even her life, to accomplish the ultimate goal of securing the future of humanity and saving it from extinction.
Smashtastic Entertainment Quickie
Hold on to your hats, ladies and gents. Humanity is rearing up for one hell of a bumpy ride!
Interest in the book
Rhiannon Frater invited me to be part of the blog tour, and being a major fangirl, I could not say no. After the cover reveal, I was even more excited to read the book. Isn’t that cover ridiculously awesome? At first, I thought it was a series, but then she corrected me. I am actually glad it’s a standalone. The ending works. It felt right.
In true Frater fashion, the prologue sets the scene and grips you tightly by the throat. Humanity is dangling by a thread because the last Bastion has been cut off from its food sources due to the Inferi Scourge breaking through a pretty impenetrable gate. The Bastion sets out on its final mission to save humanity, and as with any zombie book, they don’t make it easy on you!
Vanguard Maria Martinez is a bad. ass. mama. jama. She is fierce, protective, loyal, inquisitive and compassionate. She is also broken, physically and mentally, but is not afraid to lay her ass on the line to save the last of mankind. Maria is in love with officer Dwayne Reichardt and their secret love affair is her only form of happiness. Maria was part of the last mission to rid the valley of Inferi Scourge, a mission that ends on a serious sour note. When she is contacted to be part of a secret mission as the final attempt to rid the world of the infected, Maria jumps at the chance to save humanity, even though it may cost her everything. She is such an admirable, courageous woman! She faces fears pretty damn personal throughout the mission but she always keeps her eye on the prize.
Dwayne surprised me with his dedication to Maria. He is left back home while Maria is in the field, but with the assistance of Maria’s dear friend and tech geek, Lindsay, he is able assist Maria behind the scenes. You see, not all is what it seems in this game. Discovering the truth about everything, along with the characters, is incredible. You feel the intense feelings right along with them, and the deception and surprises will make you gasp!
Ohhh. The world-building was rich in this book. It’s set in the future, and a virus has infected most of the human population, turning them into mindless Inferi Scourge whose sole purpose is to spread the virus by biting their victims. In other words, they do not eat flesh. They merely bite your ass and welcome you to the family. These zombie-like creatures do not decompose, so their human-like appearance plays psychological havoc with the military personnel sent to destroy them.
The Last Bastion is the final safe place for humanity, and it is surrounded by millions of Inferi Scourge. The Bastion is slowly dying because the Inferi Scourge has cut them off from all renewable resources and food. The future is bleak, the current living conditions are poor, the ammunition is running low, but the government officials have something up their sleeve. The government’s super secret mission is their last hurrah before humanity dies out, and it is full of devious, treacherous, scandalous twists and turns. But as is typical with zombies and viruses, in general, they deliver a set of surprises all their own. Booyah!
The ending worked. I was expecting something different, as I am sure others will, but I’m glad Frater decided to surprise us. I finished the book with hope and a smile on my face. And trust me, there is no time for smiles with the Inferi Scourge breathing down your neck! Frater lights up the plot with conspiracies, treachery, coups and a bucket load of political fucktards to last through a nuclear explosion (since, you know, they are like roaches). She also delivers a touching love story that stands strong through a milieu of WTFckery!
Oh. Em. SQUEE! I ordered a signed copy and was UBER SURPRISED when I received it.
P.S. I LOVE those bookmarks!!!