Posts Tagged With: horror

Zombie Apocalypse! Fightback by Stephen Jones

Title: Zombie Apocalypse! Fightback
Author: Stephen Jones
ISBN: 978-1780334653
Publisher: Robinson
First Published: 4 October 2012
No .of pages: 528

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis (from Fantastic Fiction):
Set in the near-future, this sequel to the innovative “mosaic novel’ Zombie Apocalypse weaves together various “voices’ in the form of essays, reports, letters, official documents, and transcripts relating to the fightback against the New Zombie Order.

Review:
Let me start by making it clear that I have not read the first book (Zombie Apocalypse!). Let me also state that this did not impact on my enjoyment of this highly unusual novel.

The inventive use of emails, letters, articles, reports and transcripts, rather than a traditional narrative, taps into the modern multi-media age to superb effect. The reader is presented with a fate accompli in the form of eye-witness accounts during an outbreak on an apocalyptic scale the likes of which the world has never before experienced, and one is plunged right into the heart of things as events unfold. This makes for an incredibly eerie read and you find yourself peeking through the curtains at an unusual noise outside, and checking all the doors are locked… just in case!

It’s a totally immersive experience and fans of the zombie genre will lap this up. It is also sure to attract new fans as word spreads (hopefully with the same speed at which the zombie plague does!) because this truly is a fantastic read. Exciting, scary and poignant by turn, we get to see things from multiple points of view, which often changes out own opinion of events and those involved in them.

I can highly recommend picking this up. Just don’t pick up HRV (Human Reanimation Virus) when you do!

I will certainly be going back to pick up the first book as soon as possible!

Reviewed by Kell Smurthwaite

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Misery by Stephen King

Paul Sheldon is an author, most famous for his collection of stories about Misery Chastain, a heroine loved and adored by many.  But Paul is sick of Misery and wants to concentrate on other novels, so he has killed off the character.  But then he crashes his car in a snowstorm in a part of the USA that he is not familiar with.  He would have died had he not been ‘rescued’ by Annie Wilkes, who describes herself as his (and Misery’s) biggest fan.  Annie is furious that he has killed off her favourite character and demands that he write another novel, where the heroine is brought back to life.  And what Annie wants, Annie gets…It doesn’t take long before Paul realises that Annie is dangerously unstable, and now, instead of writing for a living, he is writing for his life.

I really enjoyed this book.  For most of the book there are only two characters – Paul and Annie – which gives it a claustrophobic atmosphere.  There is also real tension within the pages – I found myself holding my breath while reading on as quickly as possible in order to see what happened next.  Annie is a terrifying character, and also a rather pathetic man.  Paul is our hero of sorts – although he is clearly portrayed as a somewhat selfish man, who is forced to draw on reserves of strength he didn’t know he possessed.

Although there are just two main characters, it was plot that really kept the book rolling along at such a quick pace.  It was established very early on that Annie was deranged (although the extent of her madness does not become clear until later).  It was also clear that she was able to out-manoeuvre Paul in all imaginable situations.  The reason that this book was so hard to put down was to see just how (if at all) Paul would escape this woman.

There are excerpts of ‘Misery’s Return’ – the book which Annie forces Paul to write – included in the book.  This was perhaps un-necessary (I only wanted to know what happened to Paul, not to his most popular character), but it did not detract from the main story at all.  I always think the scariest stories are ones which you actually believe could happen – as is the case with this one.  Very highly recommended to fans of the genre.  However, due to some of the graphic violent scenes, it may not be suitable for some younger readers.

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The Shack by William P. Young

the-shack

Synopsis from Amazon:

Mackenzie Allen Philips’ youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his great sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.

Against his better judgement he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack’s world forever.

In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant THE SHACK wrestles with the timeless question, ‘Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?’ The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You’ll want everyone you know to read this book!

Well, what a brave thing to do, and a very unique way of portraying the Gospel message. This is a deep book, which I think I’m going to have to read again.

The story follows Mack, who experiences a horrendous event in his life when his daughter is abducted, presumed murdered. With sadness and guilt all around, Mack struggles through life, wondering about God and His role to play in all this. When Mack heads back to the shack he has a truely amazing experience with God, and he receives many answers from God.

Well, I loved it. I was gripped right from the start. I loved how God was portrayed and the way the Christian message is written. I thought there were a lot of unexpected answers to these seemingly impossible questions, such as “where is God in suffering”? But Young addresses these questions and gives very clear answers.

I guess the only problem was there is so much to take in, but I am looking forward to reading it again. This book has made me want to enter a deeper relationship with God.

I think people will find this book completely unrealistic and not be satisfied with God or the answers Young gives in this book, and that is a shame. I think people need to read this book with an open mind and think about what has been written before forming an opinion on the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, what a good read.

10/10

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The Secret Season – Tim Jeffreys (Audio book)

A selection of short stories, all with a menacing atmosphere and very well told by the narrators, Mia Jaye and Josh Cass.

Bones in the Meadow has a dark fairytale feel to it and is about the fate that befalls a group of young boys who are out camping.

 The Caged Sea is scarily realistic. It’s about an angry worker and his rage against society.

 The Monkey and the Munequita is slightly off the wall fantasy story and very quirky.

 Two cards on the Table is about a game of chance. It’s filled with a nightmare quality and has a dark,  brooding quality to it.

 Alice and the Scarecrow really creeped me out. Little Alice should have learnt to not be so mean before going on her picnic.

 The Secret Season finishes  this fabulous selection of dark horror tales.

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