My eclectic collection and ramblings. Follow, if you're mad.
I read fantasy, post-apocalyptic and horror fiction. I particularly follow indie authors; being one myself, I am biased to the cause.
KDP PRICE PROMO - WORLDWIDE
Because the author is quite frankly bonkers, from tonight through to Sunday the full-length novel Great Bitten: Outbreak will be available on Amazon for 99p / $1.49
There's not a lot of 4* and 5* zombie entertainment you can get for that price, so spread the word and grab yourself a bargain
Zombie High: First in Class is a short story primarily told from the viewpoint of the main protagonist, Brand. Brand has recently moved against his will. 2 weeks in to his new life, a zombie outbreak hits his school. The action lands within the first page and it is a decent page-turner from that point onwards.
This is a decent read. It's got an original enough premise, and though whilst some of the plot points are a little hard to swallow we are talking about a zombie outbreak here, so I'm more than willing to cut the author slack in terms of artistic license.
I really liked how the author gave you flashbacks to the lives and histories of the secondary characters. It lent more depth to the overall body of fiction. There is a formulaic range of high school characters (new boy, loner, fat geek, jock, overly-happy twins) but I say again, this is a zombie book. Let's not get too carried away with characterisation :)
I liked Anthony's tone - it suited the narration style of the story. I also thought he did well enough with his back story; I would like to see this built in to more of a novel than a short, though. And there's something else I would like to see, which explains my giving this 3 stars instead of 4. I really don't think this book has been proofread. If it has, he should get a second opinion. I will happily increase my star rating if the dozens upon dozens of typographical and grammatical errors are cleaned up. There are also one or two elements of the plot that had me grimacing in action movie cliche. Whilst I can see one as a homage to a certain scene in Resident Evil: Apocalypse, I feel compelled to point out to the author that fencing swords are not sharp and are designed to bend to as not cause people injury. The likelihood of someone being able to decapitate with one is low. Almost as low as "taking someone's head off" with a basketball.
These gripes aside, it's a good space-filler for the commute, and I'll happily check out more of Anthony's work in the future.
It may be because I'm bonkers. It may be because I've only just turned thirty and am having a third-life crisis. But I've decided to give away 5 of my newly-released zombie horror ebooks to five lucky winners as a New Year gift.
Just enter the Giveaway. You don't need instructions on that ;)
Last year I downloaded a free short called Great Bitten (review here) and just lapped it up. Loved it so much. I read a lot of zombie books but I especially love the one's set in the UK, as this one is. Makes it all seem more real, somehow. Well, as real as zombie's taking over the world can get. The Great Bitten short has been added to Outbreak to form the first part of the story so if you haven't already read the short you won't be missing anything by starting straight into this one.
Anyway, I waited impatiently for the full story and finally it was published (with a Halloween release date) and I snapped it up and dove in. Was it worth waiting for? Yep.
Now, I'm not a zombie fan, per say...I'm more of an End-Of-The-World fan. Doesn't really matter how it ends, just that it DOES end. Zombie's pretty much guarantee that it's game over for the world so I'm really partial to a zombie book now and then.
Warren (the narrator) is a journalist and a bit full of himself but I like him. He manages to get a little head start on everyone else when he figures out early that a zombie plague is upon them and the first half of the story is taken up with his journey to reach his sister's house. In true zombie survivalist tradition Warren and his little band gather a few more survivors into the group before finally reaching what they hope will be a stronghold...
Mostly I like reading about how the survivors...well, survive. I like to know how they get by, day to day. It's the 'how' more than the 'why' that interests me. I like reading about the zombies too but they either have to be really, really scary and I'm terrified witless for the survivors, or the zombies need to be there but in the background mostly so that the story focuses more on the survivors and how they deal with a hostile world and fight for survival.
Great Britten fell a little between these lines for me. The zombies were a bit scary (especially the fast ones) and the survivors' stories were more about group dynamics but there was enough of what I like to keep me flipping pages to see where it was all going. Add in a twist or two and it makes for a good story.
I really liked the explanation for the different types of zombie. The reason's for Fast v's Slow had me thinking "yeah, that sounds likely" and both kinds were dangerous for different reasons.
Towards the end there were quite a few characters to try and keep straight in my head but the one's that mattered were fleshed out and the ending left enough open that maybe we'll find out more about those other characters in later books. I think there are to be side stories too that deal with some of the lesser characters in the book and will tell their stories and I'm REALLY looking forward to those. Those one's sound exactly the sort of thing that I lap up.
One thing bugged me though. It might not hinder anyone else but if there's one thing that's guaranteed to pull me out of a story, it's this - I hate any mention of what I think of as 'my world realities'. I really don't like to read about characters in a book who have watched actual films I've watched, or know which song's are popular in my world, or describe someone in terms of someone famous' appearance that I may or may not have seen/know. Pulls me right out of the story because then I'm thinking about the movie mentioned or the song or the person...just personal preference but I really don't like my fictional zombie story characters having anything to do with my reality. Apart from anything else, sometimes I have no clue what the reference is as I haven't heard it, seen it, tasted it, used it, etc, so it's lost on me and I get nothing from it. There was quite a lot of it here.
All in all though it was a great story and for a first book in a series there are so many directions it can go. I'm looking forward to seeing where Warren ends up next and with the twist at the end it of this one it'll be somewhere dangerous, no doubt!