Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Trip by Tim Morgan

Synopsis
Meghan, Dave and Chris have planned the trip of a lifetime: they’re going to spend the summer after their senior year of high school on a bicycle trip across America. As they plan their trip, a previously unidentified flu virus is detected in Mumbai, India and begins a relentless march across the globe. 

As the three teens set out on their journey, details begin to emerge about the virus, which is not a simple flu virus… this virus turns its victims into flesh-eating zombies. And it’s arrived on our doorstep. 

The three make a desperate bid to get home by riding through infected territory. Can they survive THE TRIP?


Publisher: Self Published
Print Length: 232 pages

Review
This review can also be found on The Bookie Monster. For more great book reviews, visit their site!
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on TBM and Amazon.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinion of this book or the content of this review. 
I don't think of this as a zombie story. I think of this as a story about growing up set against the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse. --Tim Morgan, Author of  The Trip
As the author states above, this wasn't written to be a zombie story. If it were meant to be just a zombie story, I would have given it three stars instead of four. In terms of zombie action, The Trip was decent. I won't spend time discussing the zombie aspect of the story, however, since-- once again-- it's not really about the zombies.

So, now that I've clarified that this is not a zombie story, I will explain why this book gets four stars. Mainly, I enjoyed the background story of the three main characters in The Trip. The story hops back and forth from the present (during the zombie apocalypse) to a few months prior. These flashbacks are what really make the story good. I found myself looking forward to the flashback chapters because I became very interested in what had been going on prior to the onset of the apocalypse.

Even though I've been out of high school for more years than I care to mention, I could relate to the typical high school issues the three main characters have to deal with.  Tim Morgan presents the process of  becoming independent adults, the consequences of choices, and of looking forward to the future and weaves it all into a great story of friendship, courage, and survival. The author handles the coming-of-age issues in The Trip realistically and with thoughtfulness. Meghan, Dave, and Chris could be anyone's friends, sister, brothers, or children.

I recommend this book to anyone who doesn't normally read zombie fiction since it has a lot to offer outside of the zombie experience. For fans of zombie fiction, I recommend reading this if you are looking for something just a little different from most books in the genre.

I hope to see more from this author!

Purchase The Trip

About the Author
A self-professed geek with an artistic streak, Tim Morgan lives in southern New Hampshire with his wife and two daughters. By day he's a mild-mannered web developer. By night (and on weekends) he's a writer/filmmaker.

Tim Morgan's Website
Follow Tim Morgan on Facebook and Twitter
Blog: Musings of a Lonely Mind

Sunday, July 27, 2014

And After (Until the End of the World, Book 2)


Synopsis
Cassie Forrest could almost believe life at Kingdom Come Farm is perfect, with Adrian and her friends at her side and spring on the way. The spring thaw also means millions of defrosting zombies, however, and if the past year has taught her anything, it’s that life in this new world is highly imperfect. 

When Safe Zones throughout the country begin to disappear and the zombies at the fences grow in number, Cassie clings to the hope that if she has the people she loves most, it will be all right. But the highly imperfect world makes only one guarantee—zombies never die, never stop and are never satiated. 


Publisher: Self Published
Print Length: 353
Until the End of the World Series #2

Review
This review can also be found on The Bookie Monster. For more great book reviews, visit their site!
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on TBM and Amazon.

Sarah Lyons Fleming continues to impress me with this fantastic series! There is no question that she has what it takes to captivate an audience with her story-telling abilities. I read this book in a day. It's not that I'm a fast reader or that the book is short; it's just so good, I didn't want to put it down.

And After picks up a few months from where Until the End of the World leaves off. Things seem to be going pretty smoothly for Cassie, Adrian, Nelly, and the rest. The Lexers are still a problem, but the winter months slowed them down quite a bit, allowing the survivors living in the Kingdom Come Safety Zone a small reprieve from the months of terror they had to face when the undead started to take over the world.

The relative sense of safety is short-lived, however, as the winter turns to spring and the zombies thaw.  Cassie and the rest of the survivors are snapped out of their comfort zone in an instant as the story takes a surprising turn about a quarter of the way through. I do not want to give away what happens, but I will say there were two times when I cried reading And After and this was one of those times.

At times, the story becomes a little bogged down with dialogue and introspection, but just before those moments start to become too much, they are counterbalanced with horrifying zombie action. Fleming has the unique ability to describe scenes in such a way that I feel like I'm part of the story-- and there are some very intense moments!

Although the events that happen at the end of the book seem to be inevitable, I was still taken by surprise. I'm not going to explain what I mean by that. You'll just have to find out for yourself.  What I will say is And After is a roller coaster ride of highs and lows and twists and turns when it comes to exciting moments and emotions.

I am happy that Sarah Lyons Fleming is working on the next book in the series. I will definitely be picking it up as soon as it's available.

Purchase And After

Related Reviews
Until the End of the World
So Long, Lollipops


 About the Author (in her own words)


I'm a Laura Ingalls devotee, wannabe prepper and lover of anything pre-apocalyptic, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic--or anything in between. Add in lots of humor and some romance, and I'm in heaven.

Besides an unhealthy obsession with home-canned food and Bug Out Bag equipment, I love books and making artsy stuff. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, I now live in Oregon with my family and, in my opinion, not nearly enough supplies for the zombie apocalypse. But I'm working on it.


Sarah Lyons Fleming's website
Connect with the author on Facebook and Twitter

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wolf Running by Toni Boughton

Synopsis

She is born as the world is dying. 

A woman with no memory wakes to a nightmare. A strange new virus is sweeping the planet, killing millions. 

And a vast majority of those that die come back as mindless creatures intent on devouring their prey - humans. 

In this desolate new reality there is only one person she can trust; a fellow captive of the ravenous hordes. And when they get separated she will fight both the living and the dead to get back to her friend. 

On her journey from the untamed mountains of Wyoming to a ruined city in Colorado, she must also fight with an unexpected foe: the wild wolf with which she shares her body and mind. 

First of a planned trilogy.

Publisher: Toni L.H. Boughton; 1st edition (May 13, 2014)
Print Length: 161 pages

Review
I gave Wolf Running 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads
This book was obtained through Kindle Unlimited (30-day trial)

Toni Boughton approached me via email to ask if I would read and review her book. I had never heard of her before, so I took a look at Wolf Running on Amazon. I do this with all the books I review, since, like most people, I don't like to read books that don't appeal to me.  I thought the synopsis looked very interesting, so I agreed.  I'm happy to say, my pre-assessment that the story would be interesting was correct!

While the story takes place during the onset and aftermath of the zombie apocalypse, it is more than a zombie versus survivor story. The main character is... hmm... I wouldn't really call her a werewolf, at least not in the way I think of werewolves. She's also not really a shapeshifter. Whatever she is, it's pretty darn cool! The not-really-a-werewolf aspect complements the story nicely and doesn't overshadow the zombie apocalypse. The zombie purist in me appreciates that. 

There is plenty of action and enough gore to keep fans of zombie fiction satisfied. If you're looking for a story filled with guns, shooting, military operations, or survival tips for future apocalypses, you're not going to find it here.  What you will find is a story of how one woman, with a unique ability and seemingly no past, manages to survive in a world overrun by the dead. The reader gets to travel along with the main character, Nowen, as she learns to control and eventually work cooperatively with the wolf inside her.

In addition to Wolf Runner being a great story, Toni Boughton can write!  I was impressed with her style of writing immediately. Her imagery flows smoothly, painting the scenes of the story very clearly.  At the same time, she does not go overboard on the details.  It's surprising to me that this is her first novel because she writes like a veteran author.

There are a few proofreading/editing errors in the book, but not enough to be a distraction.

I'm looking forward to reading more from this author and will definitely be reading the sequel to Wolf Running when it is available.


If you found my review of this book helpful and decide to purchase it, I'd appreciate it if you would use the link above. Amazon throws a few pennies my way when purchased through my blog. Thank you! 

About the Author

Toni L.H.Boughton has been reading since she was four years old. She grew up in libraries and bookstores; in fact, her one and only rebellious act during her teenage years was to run away from home - to the library! Other than a one year stint in a craft store, Toni has worked around books all her life, and for many years longed to be a writer. Finally she decided to stop making up excuses not to write and just write.
Reading The Stand at an early age inculcated a love of apocalyptic fiction in Toni. Reading  The Shining at an even earlier age set in stone a love of horror novels. Some of her favorite authors include Stephen King, Jeff Long, Justin Cronin, Robin McKinley, and Ben Tripp. She never misses an episode of The Walking Dead and is addicted to MST3K.
Toni Boughton lives in Wyoming with too many cats. She is currently working on the sequel to Wolf Running.

Toni's Blog
Follow Toni on Facebook and Twitter

Friday, July 25, 2014

Dead Earth: Sanctuary by Mark Justice & David T. Wilbanks


Synopsis
Jubal Slate has stopped a madman controlling an undead army and survived the destruction of the aliens responsible for the plague that decimated humanity. Now he leads a small band of survivors across the shattered landscape of America, fighting off the forces of the living and the dead. The group races north pursuing a legend, a post-apocalyptic fairy tale: a town protected from the walking dead. 

Tired of the war and his nomadic life, Slate follows the path to Sanctuary, even while doubting its existence. Along a journey filled with hordes of zombies, Slate and his companions face new enemies and find themselves pursued by the final weapon of the vanquished necros. Is sanctuary even possible on a dead Earth? And if so, is the cost more than Jubal Slate is willing to pay? 

Even after alien invasion and zombie armies, Slate will discover that the worst horrors are home grown. 


Publisher: Permuted Press, March 17, 2013
Print Length: 252 pages
Series: Dead Earth (Book 3)

Review
This review can also be found on The Bookie Monster. For more great book reviews visit their site!
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on TBM and Amazon.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinion of this book or the content of this review. 

Dead Earth: Sanctuary is the third book in the Dead Earth series. It is also, without a doubt, my favorite. From the first page to the last, the story is packed with spine-tingling action and suspense.  When it comes to overall creepiness, the authors nailed it!

The central characters in the series remain the same, but this book introduces us to some new ones. Some are good, some are bad, and some are really bad. As if the walking dead and cruel space aliens weren't scary enough, Sanctuary delves into a very real evil-- that which that can be found lurking in the hearts of the living.

Don't get me wrong; there are plenty of monsters in this installment of the Dead Earth series. The undead are still a major threat to Jubal and the other survivors, as is to be expected. There is a new threat, however, in the form of a mysterious predator who won't be satisfied until he has annihilated Jubal.

Much of Dead Earth: Sanctuary reminds me of Dean Koontz's earlier novels, which I consider to be a good thing. Mark Justice and David T. Wilbanks do a fine job balancing action with insight into human nature. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good, scary story. It is well-written and definitely does not disappoint.

There is nothing I didn't like about Dead Earth: Sanctuary.  It is just that good.



Related posts: Reviews of Dead Earth: The Green Dawn &  Dead Earth: Vengeance Road


About the Authors

 David T. Wilbanks is a writer, editor and publisher. His short stories have appeared in Horror Drive-In, Postscripts and other publications. He and Mark Justice write the DEAD EARTH series, the latest and third book being SANCTUARY (2013). With Craig Clarke, he edited and published LIVING AFTER MIDNIGHT, a dark fiction anthology from their own Acid Grave Press. David lives in Minnesota with his wife. 



Mark Justice is the author of Looking at the World with Broken Glass in My Eye, and co-author of Dead Earth: The Green Dawn and Dead Earth: The Vengeance Road, both with David T. Wilbanks. His short fiction has appeared in Damned Nation, In Laymon’s Terms, Legends of the Mountain State 1,2, 3 & 4. The Horror Library Vol. 2 & 3, The Avenger Chronicles, The Green Hornet Chronicles, Dark Discoveries and many other anthologies and magazines. He co-edited the holiday horror anthology Appalachian Winter Hauntings. The Dead Sheriff, a supernatural western prose and comics series, will debut from Evil Eye Books in 2011. 
Justice also produces and hosts the popular genre podcast Pod of Horror. He lives in Kentucky with his wife and cats.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Volume One by W.J. Lundy


Synopsis
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is an introduction into the apocalyptic world of Staff Sergeant Brad Thompson. 

The radio goes quiet while on convoy in Afghanistan, a lost patrol alone in the desert. With his unit and his home base destroyed, Staff Sergeant Brad Thompson suddenly finds himself isolated and in command of a small group of men trying to survive in the Afghan wasteland. The local population has been afflicted with an illness that turns them into rabid animals. They pursue him and his men at every corner and stop. Struggling to hold his team together and unite survivors, he must fight and evade his way to safety. 


Publisher: Phalanx Press (May 29, 2014)
79 pages
Editor: Monique Happy

Review
I gave Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Volume One 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads.
The book was purchased as a Kindle Edition.

Words can't describe how happy I am to have found a new series to really get excited about! There are good books in this genre, and then there are the ones that stand out from the rest-- the ones that make me want to purchase all the books in the series in one shot and keep reading. 

W.J. Lundy's Whiskey Tango Foxtrot falls into the latter category. From page one, I was captivated and the story just gets better as it goes. There has only been one other series that has sparked this kind of enthusiasm right from the start. It's great to find another!

Lundy's characters are soldiers who find themselves stranded in Afghanistan when the zombie outbreak hits. With no way to communicate and absolutely no knowledge of what is happening, they must find a way to survive the first few days of the outbreak. There are some victories, but there are also great losses. Once they are somewhat settled into a safe location, the soldiers' focus turns to helping the small number of survivors they find in the city. 

I am impressed with Lundy's ability to build his main characters without going into a large amount of detail about them. There is so much action in the book, there isn't much room for an in-depth look into each character. I felt I got to know the main character, Brad, and a few of his fellow soldiers quite well through their actions and their interactions with each other. 

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is very much a military story. Sometimes, these can become overly technical and may not appeal to the general population. This isn't the case here. As someone who does not have a military background, I never once felt lost in Lundy's use of military-related terminology.

What happens to these stranded American soldiers? Are they going to be able to return to the United States? If so, will they be returning to a nation that has been utterly destroyed as a result of the zombie outbreak? All these questions, and more, were bouncing around in this head of mine as I finished Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Volume One. That left me with only one option: I had to have the next book in the series, Tales of the Forgotten. I can't wait to see what happens next!

If you found my review of this book helpful and decide to purchase it, I'd appreciate it if you would use the link above. Amazon throws a few pennies my way when purchased through my blog. Thank you! 


About the Author


W. J. Lundy is a still serving Veteran of the U.S. Military with service in Afghanistan. He has over 12 years of combined service with the Army and Navy in Europe, the Balkans and Southwest Asia. W.J. is an avid athlete, writer, backpacker and shooting enthusiast. He currently resides with his wife and daughter in Central Michigan.
I developed the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot series from notes and ideas I had put together while deployed to Afghanistan. I had been jokingly asked how we would defend against a zombie attack.
I wanted to tell a story that portrays the military that I know, that displays our actual capabilities. These are my thoughts, I hope you enjoy them, and thank you for reading.
Follow W.J. Lundy on Facebook and Twitter


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Guardian (The Guardian Interviews Book #1) by Michael Clary

The Guardian
(The Guardian Interviews Book #1)
by Michael Clary


Synopsis
It was a warm summer morning when the dead began to rise up and feast upon the living. The city was overrun in a matter of hours.

The military acted immediately. They closed all the exits leading out of the area in order to contain the outbreak. They shot anyone trying to escape.

Their methods were successful. The outbreak was contained, but all hope for the people trapped behind the gates . . . had been lost.

The EPUA website was the only form of communication still available to the survivors. It was there that the legend of the General began to take root. He was a hero that fought back against the zombies . . . a hero that saved lives. The survivors once again found something to believe in, but the rest of the world wondered if the man truly existed.

They were about to find out.

The fifteen minutes of footage was leaked onto the internet only minutes after it was filmed. It showed a single man standing between a horde of zombies and a group of frightened survivors. What happened next was amazing . . . and it made the world believe. Because within those fifteen minutes of footage, the man known only as the General stepped out of legend and entered reality.

This is his story.

Publisher: Permuted Press, May 31st, 2014
321 pages

Review
I gave The Guadian 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads.
I purchased this book on Amazon for my Kindle Fire

Zombie books are abundant these days and it's becoming difficult to put a new spin on the genre. I give Michael Clary major kudos for making his story unique in its presentation. Instead of being just a narrative or a first-person account of a character's experiences surviving the zombie apocalypse, it is presented in an interview format. Each character "interviewed" presents his or her own perspective of-- and role in-- the zombie infestation. What also makes this story unique is that the zombie outbreak is pretty much isolated to one city. Whether that will continue to be the case in the next books in the series, I don't know. I just appreciate that it is different than the other zombie books I've read.
The story is packed with action and fun. I would have liked more depth to the major characters, but maybe that will come with the next books in the series. For a fun book with a different take on the zombie apocalypse, give this one read!

The Guardian is a great start a popular series. I like the unique approach taken by the author. This is a fun read and I look forward to seeing what happens next in the story.


If you found my review of this book helpful and decide to purchase it, I'd appreciate it if you would use the link above. Amazon throws a few pennies my way when purchased through my blog. Thank you! 



About the Author

Mike Clary is an avid collector of guns, swords and just about any other weapon you can think of. He has been writing and directing films for many, many years. One of these films is available on youtube, just search for "A Kiss For A Rose." Mike Clary is also a gigantic fan of monsters, zombies and other things that go bump in the night. Due to the success of EPUA, the 2nd and 3rd books of The Guardian Interviews are now available through Amazon.

Follow Michael Clary on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Terrors of Mardi Gras by Derrick LaCombe

The Terrors of Mardi Gras 
by Derrick LaCombe

Synopsis
A southern twist to a classic horror story. Enter the heart of the Louisiana swamp and explore the mind of a genius and maniac, where Cajun culture meets cutting edge technology. Forget about what you've heard, for fear is only the beginning as you run for your life down world famous Bourbon Street. Don't be late for the biggest free show on Earth. Laissez lês tetes roulent!

Publisher: Independent, June 16, 2014
Length: 55 pages

Review
I gave The Terrors of Mardi Gras 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads
Acquired for the Kindle using Kindle Unlimited (30-day trial)

This story is so much fun! This is the first book by Derrick LaCombe I've read, and I will definitely be reading more of his work. What I most appreciate about this story is LaCombe's ability to create rich scenes with colorful characters. 

The book is quite humorous, but this does not make it any less macabre than it is intended to be. There are a couple loose ends that do not detract from the story, but that seems to be common with short stories. I'm hoping the loose ends mean there will be a sequel to The Terrors of Mardis Gras!

Purchase The Terrors of Mardi Gras

About the Author

Derrick LaCombe was born and raised in New Orleans,La. Growing up in "The Big Easy," he was exposed to a unique culture, culinary treats, the arts, and of course Mardi Gras! All of these ingredients and a heaping more shaped his creativity and zest for life. He puts this passion into the things he writes about; whether it's holiday fantasies, zombies or Twilight Zone style enigmas, and creates an awesome literary gumbo. Join him on the many adventures YOU'LL both take as he explores the rest of his imaginative mind.

Follow Derrick LaCombe on Facebook and Twitter.


So Long, Lollipops by Sarah Lyons Fleming

So Long, Lollipops 
(An Until the End of the World Novella) 
by Sarah Lyons Fleming

Synopsis
**WARNING** 
This novella contains major spoilers from the novel Until the End of the World.  You can read the review I wrote for Until the End of the World here.


It’s suggested you read the novel before you read SO LONG, LOLLIPOPS. Unless you’re someone who likes to read the last page of a book first—in that case, enjoy! 

SO LONG, LOLLIPOPS description below:


****************************************
 
Peter watched his new family drive away, certain it was the last time he’d ever see them. But sometimes plans go awry in the best way. 

Now, the plan is to get back to them. But sometimes plans go awry in the worst way. 

Sometimes the only plan is to believe it will be all right, even when it’s almost impossible to believe. 


Review
I gave So Long, Lollipops 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads.
This review is also posted on The Bookie Monster website.

Warning: This review contains spoilers for those who haven't read the first book in the series, Until the End of the World.

As the warning in the synopsis states, this novella will be a spoiler if you haven't read the first book in the series. If you're reading this review and you haven't read Until the End of the World, stop reading this review right now. Go and get it. Well, what are you waiting for? Go-- you won't be sorry!

If you have read Sarah Lyons Fleming's first book in the series and are wondering why you should buy this short little book that falls between Until the End of the World and And After, stick around. Wow! I'm bossy today!

                                  ****************************************

Remember Peter? If you're like me, you got misty-eyed when he insisted on staying on that dumpster surrounded by a horde of hungry zombies. You probably also rejoiced when he showed up at Kingdom Come and was reunited with his friends. Did you wonder what happened to Peter between the time he got separated and the time he showed up at the farm? Me too! That's why you should read this novella.

This is Peter's story. We learn how Peter escaped certain death at the hands teeth of zombies and what happened after that. New characters are introduced in So Long, Lollipops and they are a great addition to the story. It's fun to watch Peter's friendship with the new characters develop. His story is filled with scary, uncertain moments. We watch him struggle and ultimately succeed in his quest to reach those he considers his family. The book may be short, but it is not lacking in excitement.

I thoroughly enjoyed this addition to the series. Sarah Lyons Fleming's fun-- yet gripping-- writing style shines in this novella, just as it does in the first book.

Purchase So Long, Lollipops.

About the Author (In her own words)
     I'm a Laura Ingalls devotee, wannabe prepper and lover of anything pre-apocalyptic, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic--or anything in between. Add in lots of humor and some romance, and I'm in heaven.
     Besides an unhealthy obsession with home-canned food and Bug Out Bag equipment, I love books and making artsy stuff. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, I now live in Oregon with my family and, in my opinion, not nearly enough supplies for the zombie apocalypse. But I'm working on it.
Sarah Lyons Fleming's website
Connect with the author on Facebook and Twitter

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Until the End of the World by Sarah Lyons Fleming

Until the End of the World 
(Book #1 in the Until the End of the World Series)
By Sarah Lyons Fleming

Synopsis
Cassie Forrest isn't surprised to learn that the day she’s decided to get her life together is also the day the world ends. After all, she’s been on a self-imposed losing streak since her survivalist parents died: she’s stopped painting, broken off her engagement to Adrian and dated a real jerk. Rectifying her mistakes has to wait, however, because Cassie and her friends have just enough time to escape Brooklyn for her parents’ cabin before Bornavirus LX turns them into zombies, too. 

This is difficult enough, but Cassie’s tag along ex-boyfriend and her friend’s bratty sister have a knack for making everything, even the apocalypse, more unpleasant. When the two attract a threat as deadly as the undead to their safe haven, Cassie’s forced to see how far she’ll go to protect those she loves. And it’s a lot farther than she’d anticipated. This, coupled with Adrian’s distant voice on Safe Zone Radio and, of course, the living dead, threaten to put Cassie right back into the funk she just dragged herself out of. 

Survival’s great and all, especially when you have leather armor, good friends and home-brewed beer, but there’s something Cassie must do besides survive: tell Adrian she still loves him. And to do that, Cassie has to find faith that she’s stronger than she thinks, she’s still a crack shot and true love never dies. 

Review
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads.
This review was originally posted on The Bookie Monster.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.

I have a confession: this is the first zombie apocalypse book I have read that was written by a female. Yes, I am hanging my head in shame. In my defense, this genre has a lot more male authors than female authors. With that said, it seems more female authors are joining in on the zombie fun. If Sarah Lyons Fleming's Until the End of the World  is an example of what a female perspective can bring to this genre, I hope to see more women authors' names on zombie apocalypse book covers.

Until the End of the World gets a five star rating from me. Why? Let me start with the characters. Fleming does an amazing job creating characters that are believable and fun. The main character, Cassie Forrest, is downright likable. She's a little nerdy, clumsy, and insecure. At the same time, she is tough, resourceful, and fiercely loyal. I connected with this character almost immediately. The other main characters are also enjoyable, especially Nelly who is one of Cassie's best friends. The way they banter back and forth is endearing and made me laugh out loud at times.

Then there is the story itself. Obviously, I like zombie fiction, so that aspect is a given. There is more to the story than flesh-eating undead people and all the problems that come with them. It is also about friendship, relationships, grief, and forgiveness. I was a little worried the story would be too sweet and sappy for me since there are some "love connections" being made during this particular zombie apocalypse. Turns out I didn't need to worry about the story becoming a romance novel as there is not too much emphasis on romance. There is enough tension and action in the story to balance out the relational side.

As I was reading, I wondered if I would enjoy the book as much as I did if I were a man. Since I am not one, I can't answer that on a personal level. I have to assume it would appeal to some men and not to others, just like any book appeals to some-- regardless of gender-- and not others.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes zombie fiction, post-apocalypse stories, "bug out" scenarios, and/or wants a fun story to get lost in for a while.

Purchase Until the End of the World.

About the Author (In her own words)

I'm a Laura Ingalls devotee, wannabe prepper and lover of anything pre-apocalyptic, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic--or anything in between. Add in lots of humor and some romance, and I'm in heaven.
Besides an unhealthy obsession with home-canned food and Bug Out Bag equipment, I love books and making artsy stuff. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, I now live in Oregon with my family and, in my opinion, not nearly enough supplies for the zombie apocalypse. But I'm working on it.

Sarah Lyons Fleming's website
Connect with the author on Facebook and Twitter

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dead Hunger: The Flex Sheridan Chronicle by Eric A. Shelman

Dead Hunger: The Flex Sheridan Chronicle
by Eric Shelman

Synopsis

Something happened to the earth. Inexplicable. Not a product of man, but of nature. 

Now Flex Sheridan and Gem Cardoza must do all they can to protect Flex's six-year-old niece Trina and find ways to survive a massive outbreak that has caused most of humankind to metamorphose into the walking dead. 

Enter Hemphill "Hemp" Chatsworth. He is a scientist who has expertise in epidemics, as well as a mechanical engineering degree. He's doing all the important work, setting up a mobile lab in which to experiment on the zombies and learn what drives them. But he must also learn what will defeat them. 

Charlene "Charlie" Sanders is a punk rock-loving, crossbow-wielding firecracker who rivals only Gem Cardoza in her sharp wit and fighting capability. She'll join with Hemp in his lab to help him learn what they all need to know in order to stay safe. 


Review
I purchased this book on Amazon (Kindle) and gave it 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads.
Purchase Dead Hunger: The Flex Sheridan Chronicle on Amazon.

There are a lot of zombie books on the market right now. I've come across some great ones and I've come across some that were just "good". This one falls in the "great" category. I originally purchased this book because Eric Shelman has a friendly, fun Facebook presence. I figured I would show my support and buy one of his books. I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did.

First of all, the characters are fun and refreshing. Flex, the main character, is just an ordinary man whose main interest is staying alive in the changed world while keeping his loved ones safe. He has a huge heart and is not afraid to show it. At the same time, he is realistic and doesn't back down from making difficult decisions when he has to. Shelman does an excellent job balancing these two characteristics, creating an unforgettable, albeit imperfect hero.  The other characters introduced in the book are just as likable, but this is Flex's story so the main focus is on him in this book. 

The second reason Dead Hunger: The Flex Sheridan Chronicle gets 5 stars is because there are some unique twists when it comes to the zombies in this story. I appreciate Eric Shelman making the characteristics and actions of his zombies just a little different than most.  I'm not going to explain what I mean by that. That would spoil it for new readers. 

Shelman weaves just the right amount of humor into the many intense scenes that take place in the book. This doesn't create a distraction, however. What it does, is make the book more realistic to me. We are often the cause of our own comedy and Flex Sheridan is no exception. As I stated above, he is imperfect and I love that there is humor in that.

A couple times, the story gets a little bogged down with details when it comes to weapons and vehicles, but this was only a minor issue for me. The rest of the story more than makes up for those moments.

The advantage to finding a series later, rather than sooner, is I don't have to wait for the next book to be written. I will definitely be reading the next several installments of this series as soon as I can!

Purchase Dead Hunger: The Flex Sheridan Chronicles

About the Author (in his own words)
Wow. Damned zombies. Who ever thought I'd go from my first book, a story of an abused child in 1870's New York being rescued by the ASPCA to zombies? Yes, the first book is true - all the rest, except for my second book on Mary Ellen Wilson - the little abused girl - are fiction. Serial killers, witches, and of course, my most popular books to date, the Dead Hunger series.
I sing. I write. I paint. I collect microphones, but only new awesome ones. My quirkiest thing is that I have over 200 videos on YouTube. Yes, they are of ME singing. It's cuckoo, I know. Another weird tidbit? My Van Morrison Brown Eyed Girl cover has over 3,500,000 hits. Yes, over 3.5 million.
So check out my writing. Download a sample for Kindle if you like. I think you'll like my style, because I write how people talk. I don't write how geniuses try to tell you to write. So conversational is my style, and I like to keep the shit real.
Thanks for reading! Visit my web page at www.ericshelman.com. I'll keep you updated on my new releases! You can also email me if you want to order shirts or autographed books. ALSO, look me up on Facebook - it's AuthorShelman there, too.
Thanks!
~ Eric

Connect with Eric Shelman on Facebook and Twitter.
Visit Eric Shelman's website here.