Recollections: Reviews by a Book Lover

Zombies, Oh My! Soulless Review

Soulless by Christopher Golden (2008 – MTV Books)

This post is in honor of Halloween  J

The YA librarian where I’m temping gave me this book to read (thank you for the great recommendation!).

What’s it about:  Zombies!  (haha are you surprised?)  The morning TV show in Times Square New York is having a mass séance live on the air.  The idea is to open a window for spirits to contact their loved ones.  Only the mediums didn’t realize just what they would be releasing.  Now the dead are rising from their graves, and they are empty and hungry inside.  The mediums are catatonic and the effects of the séance are spreading from New York all the way up and down the east coast.

The dead that are coming back are seeking their loved ones.  However, there is nothing good left of the person they once were.  Instead they are cruel and hungry.

What I like:  These are not mindless zombies.  They start out that way but they soon get smart.  They plan attacks, they talk, and they are cruel.  Traditional zombies are creepy enough but add smarts and the ability to speak….creepy.

Now to the main characters…there are a few main characters in this book.  The awesome part…they are diverse.  There are girls, guys, black, white, Asian, lesbian, different classes and social standings, etc.  This fact isn’t something that affects the story.  It is just realistic, a group of teens from all over the east coast converging on Times Square would be diverse!  It is a great blend of teens.  None of these teens are willing to sit by and hope the dead stop rising, they want to do something about it.  Their decisions will not be easy, and people they love will die along the way.  What would you be willing to do in order to survive? How far would you go to stop the dead?

This was a fast pace page turner.  It gave me the creeps!  It was a great read for October to get in the Halloween spirit.



Zombies, Oh My! The First Days a Review

The First Days (As the World Dies Trilogy) by Rhiannon Frater

Edited with PicMonkey

Yes, another zombie apocalypse book J Although this book is geared towards adults and is not YA, teens looking for more zombie options may enjoy this.

Here’s what it’s about:  Katie and Jenni meet when Katie is fleeing from the zombies through Jenni’s neighborhood.  Katie saves Jenni from her zombified family and they flee across Texas.  The pair goes in search of Jenni’s son, who is camping for a school field trip, and along the way they make friends and find safety in a fortified town.

What I thought: I love that the protagonists are female.  They are also strong and resourceful.  They do what needs to be done, which includes shooting and mowing over zombies with their car.  This leads me to say: have no fear there is plenty of blood in this zombie novel.  What is also interesting is the fact that Katie is a gay and Jenni is a battered wife.  Since Katie is gay, anti-gay sentiments come in to play when they are in the town.  Some of the reactions to one of her actions (I don’t want to give anything away) make you wonder if it’s because she is a lesbian.  Would they have been as mad if she was straight or if she was a man? The fact Jenni is a battered wife gives her character interesting layers.  Jenni quickly becomes attached to Katie and many of her actions stem from how her former life molded her.  With all that said I have to admit, after a while Jenni’s character started getting to me, she could be very annoying at times.

Like many dystopian novels, First Days touches on what it means to be human and how people may start acting during an end of the world situation.  You love the people who choose to band together and fight to protect one another, but you’re reminded there are those who will only care for themselves.  It also touches on whether or not you can save everyone, or if it is better not to help those who will potentially put you in danger later.

As for the other characters in the story I did find I became attached to certain characters.  One thing to note though is that Frater is not afraid to kill people off, so beware!

What I found really interesting about this book was that it was originally self-published.  Frater would publish mini chapters online.  Her online installments were so popular with her readers she decided to self-publish.  Later she received offers from publishers, and hence the copy I own from Tor.  I found this information fascinating because it answered a question I had while reading the book.  I found that at times I felt as though the book was written in short installments because you would be reminded of things you had not read long enough ago to have forgotten.  However since her original readers were getting short installments (with who knows what kind of timeline it was posted online) this made perfect sense.  Just beware it feels a little choppy because of this fact.

I plan on reading book two, Fighting to Survive, soon.