Monthly Archives: August 2012

Bump, Books and Beyond….

So with my first baby due in a little over five weeks I’m starting to wonder whether my six months maternity leave will mean extra reading time or will my new arrival mean less and less reading time, possibly for the next eighteen years? Maybe it just means more reading of children’s books and a little less of my own. I could handle that I think. People are scaring me saying read as much as you can now cos you sure as hell won’t have time when the baby arrives but surely they’re just exaggerating right? I’m expecting my reading to pace to slow, yes, but disappear? I don’t think so.

However if this page becomes suddenly silent for a few weeks then you will all know what happened and you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

At the moment I’m just waiting patiently to finish up work so I can finally catch up on some sleep and reading time that little bump and all the appointments and shenanigans that come with it have cut into  during the last few weeks. Baby is due early October and we can’t wait to meet our lil dude/dudette. So what I have been managing to do over the past few days is begin the first Harry Potter book. I’m reading it out loud to my bump.

Is this crazy? Has anyone else done this? And yes, I have been putting on the appropriate accents for the multitude of characters we all know exist in the HP books. In my opinion its never too early to become a Harry fan and you might as well learn about the wizarding world in the right manner. And it gives me an excuse to read the Harry Potter books again…

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Posted by on August 30, 2012 in Life in General


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San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the Californian Browncoats by Mira Grant(Newsflesh Novella)

This is a really, really great little Novella. As you can see from any of my previous reviews of Novellas I have a love/hate relationship with most of them. Sometimes I love them and sometimes I see them as nothing but a waste of space and good reading time. Also, authors should not be allowed to charge their trusting fans money for a book that is under a hundred pages long. Surely that’s a law just waiting to be written.

However this particular Novella gets the thumbs up from me. The Last Stand of the Californian Browncoats is long enough that I didn’t mind paying for it and good enough that I didn’t mind reading it. As anyone who’s read any of Grant’s Newsflesh series will know, she has set her post-apocalyptic world in 2044, thirty years after the Zombie Rising. This novella, however, is set right smack in the middle of the Rising in 2014.

It was great to read a story from Grant that dealt with the immediate effects of a zombie apocalypse in the making. I knew she wouldn’t let us down in the excitement stakes and boy was I right. The story is told by Mahir who is the only character we meet in this book that we know from the Newsflesh Series. He is basically writing an article on the Rising and the immediate effects on people who lived at that time. He has pieced together an account of the events within the San Diego Comic Convention center during the Rising from various sources.

It was really great to see how people reacted to the initial zombie attacks and the chaos and fear that spread throughout the center. Basically hundreds, if not thousands, of people died within the convention center as the US Government, not knowing what they were dealing with decided the best route was to seal everyone inside and leave them to their fate.

This is where we meet the Californian Browncoats, amongst others, who are part of the surviving, uninfected people trapped within the center. As they slowly begin to realise what is happening and come to the realisation that they are probably never getting out we see who becomes heroes and who crumbles under the extreme circumstances.

The only flaw within this story, in my opinion, was how quickly everyone seemed to accept that what they were witnessing was truly happening. I mean I do realise that Comic Con is probably one of the few places on earth that most people there would be at least slightly excited if not overjoyed at the prospect of a zombie apocalypse but still… Although I suppose some crazy, wild-eyed man chewing on your friend’s arm would be enough to convince almost anyone.


Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Book Review


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The Killing Dance by Laurell K Hamilton (Anita Blake Series #6)

This was slightly different to previous Anita Blake books, I thought. It seems to center more around Anita’s complicated love life than an actual external plot. It begins as most Blake books do, in her office where she is deciding on whether to accept a job a new client is proposing. What also seems to be becoming somewhat of a trend is that aforementioned job turns out to be a whole hell of a lot more complicated than is originally thought to be.

However what’s different in this book is that the ‘job’ gets forgotten about pretty quickly in light of Anita acquiring a contract hit being taken out on her and therefore having to look to the two men/monsters in her life for protection.

First of all, I am a vampire fan. I will always choose the vampire over the werewolf. Every time. I never understood the whole Team Jacob/Team Edward debate going on with the Twilight Saga. In fact I didn’t even realise they were in competition until the film came out and every teeny bopper girl became fascinated with Taylor Lautner. I never gave Jacob a chance. I’d like to say that my opinion has changed. I’d like to say that I’ve grown and matured enough not to always want the undead, gorgeous vampire. But I haven’t. I don’t like Richard. He’s just in the way in my opinion. I don’t understand how Anita seems to have stronger feelings for him than Jean-Claude. I just don’t understand.

Richard is too safe, too  goody-goody to ever suit someone like Anita and as soon as she realised that the book got better. Jean-Claude on the other hand never hides who he is. Yes, he’s slightly evil and has definitely got a weird perverse streak in him but at least he’s honest about it. Richard is all ‘Ooooh but I don’t want to be a monster…’ Well newsflash, wolf-man, you are and you might as well accept it.

The best thing about this book was…. you guessed it. The sex, of course! Yay finally I got to read an infamous Anita Blake sex scene. However, as great as it was (and it was), I have a feeling it’s tame compared to what we’ll see in future books. I can’t believe that this was what people gave up reading Anita Blake books because of so I can only presume it gets much more intense in future installments. I can’t wait…

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Posted by on August 25, 2012 in Book Review


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Allison Hewitt is Trapped by Madeleine Roux (Zombie #1)

And so continues my zombie loving phase. I tried to cut back, I really did. I picked up an Anita Blake book to read but then this caught my eye and that was that until I made my way through this. Allison Hewitt is Trapped is based in a world immediately post-zombie-apocalypse. We don’t get to see much of how zombies came about or why as to the main characters this is not important. They just want to stay alive.

The book begins in the break room of a book shop with a small number of staff and customers being trapped within. They hope in the beginning for rescue but as time passes they realise this is not going to happen and eventually decide on a plan to move on. The book is written in a blog style, as if Allison our main character is actually writing entries on a blog and updating whenever she can find wireless internet which as you can imagine becomes harder and harder as more time passes. I loved this style as I thought it quite ingenious to keep the reader more interested as it is quite fresh and realistic. However it had its flaws as every time you began a new entry you knew that Allison had to have survived what ever scenario she was describing in order for her to have been able to upload that entry in her blog so it sometimes took from the suspense a little. What I really enjoyed were the comments at the end of every blog entry from other survivors around the world and how they were all finding different ways to cope.

Allison’s friends change as the book progresses and she becomes closer to some and loses some more. Each character brought something to the table though and each one also had an effect on Allison, be it good or bad. I thought it was really interesting to read how so many different type of so-called ordinary people coped in such a frightening time.

Anyway I’m going to try to avoid zombie horror for at least two or three books just so I don’t make myself start to hate it a little. Surely at some point it will all start to seem the same. Although how long have I been saying that about the vampire genre and it hasn’t happened yet…

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Posted by on August 14, 2012 in Book Review


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Fed by Mira Grant (Newsflesh Novella)

This is basically an alternate ending to the novel Feed. I’ve only just finished Feed so it was still fresh enough in my mind that I could really imagine an alternate scenario.

However, the question remains that did Feed really need an alternate ending? In my opinion the answer is no it did not. The ending to Feed was brilliant and unexpected and everything you could ask for in a good ending. Fed is mostly the same but just switching around what happens to the different characters.

It was interesting only from a fan point of view as you got to see what could have happened if things panned out differently but literally I think the way Feed was originally written was ultimately the best way to end the book and I’m glad Mira went with the version she did.

I’m still looking forward to Deadline and I think even more so because of the ending in Feed. I’m not sure where I would stand on the successive novel if this alternate ending had been used in Feed. I definitely wouldn’t be as excited that’s for sure. Still for the hard-core fans out there this will mildly entertain you until you can get your hands on Deadline. Oh and DO NOT READ this if you haven’t read Feed as it will completely spoil the whole storyline for you.

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Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Book Review


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Feed by Mira Grant (Newsflesh Trilogy #1)

Continuing with my phase of loving all things dead but still moving around I settled down to read Feed. I read Countdown first just as an introduction into the world and although it’s not essential it sure was a great way to wean yourself into this post-apocalyptic world that Grant has created. Because, by God, if she hasn’t created one hell of a detailed world I’m kinda worried she may have some time machine transporting her back and forth. Its like watching 2012, I’ll feel so much better when 2014 has past and the dead haven’t risen to feast on our flesh. She makes it that believable.

There aren’t just simply zombies, there is a virus. A very well-explained, dangerous sounding (but believable) virus that turns you into a zombie. For the most part the world has been reclaimed by the uninfected and has been classed into different hazard zones with varying levels of danger. There are some exceptions, with the likes of Alaska and other areas declared as lost to the infected. It makes for a wholly interesting read I can tell you. It’s basically telling the story that would come after all normal zombie movies end. I loved it!

The plot centers mainly on two characters, a brother and sister, Shaun and Georgia Mason. They are journalists. However since the Rising in 2014 the news is distributed in a much different way to before. Blogging has taken over as the mainstream way to find out what the hell is happening around you. Print and television media have all but disappeared after becoming so unreliable during the years immediately following the Rising that viewers and readers lost all faith in them. So they turned to bloggers and other internet forums as a much more reliable and speedy way of finding out when and where an outbreak was happening and what the hell to do if an uninfected wanders into your garden.

We follow Georgia and Shaun as they follow Senator Ryman in his presidential campaign. What follows is a story of deceit, thrills, politics and more than a few zombies thrown in for good measure. It’s a hell of a ride and I didn’t want to get off!


Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Book Review


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