“Blood Lines” by Tanya Huff

This week is book three in the Blood Ties series. I do believe I mentioned last time (or in an Instagram post?) that my books are getting LOW, so you will be getting series relatively back-to-back. Well, wouldn’t you believe that 2 days after I started this book my Husband took me to a bookstore for my birthday (masks and social distancing, and I usually leave my house once a week for my doctors and that’s it …so that was a special thing for my birthday). So now I will have a few different titles, but sadly all parts of series I have started. Most of the books I was looking for weren’t in, and with the pandemic I don’t like being in buildings for long periods of time or touching things.

Back to the task, book?, at hand. Continuing on with Vicki’s story as she is brought in by her old police partner (and semi-romantic partner) Mike Celluci after he is forcefully removed from a strange case. The case being a sarcophagus that was found over seas. The British museums didn’t want some random “empty” sarcophagus because they were already overworked with vaults of artifacts they would never have time to analyze. So the artifact made it’s way here to the Royal Ontario Museum, more casually known as the ROM.

We went there a few years ago and sadly missed the Egyptian Exhibit, this was obviously MANY years after the book came out, but I still found it kind of funny. We also missed the Viking exhibit as well for that matter …and they had Canadian actors from the show on their final day, which my husband couldn’t get time off for us to go see. Sigh.

Inside this oddly marked and still sealed sarcophagus was a completely intact, and incredibly odd mummy.

Here is where the police come in. A janitor and the doctor that brought the mummy over were found dead, and suddenly no one remembers that there was a mummy at all. Chalking up the deaths to “heart attacks”, the police are pulled off the case. But since Celluci’s recent indoctrination into the supernatural, he isn’t willing to take the case at face value.

What would a thousands-year-old mummy want with Toronto? And why has Henry (yep, he’s in this too) been having dreams about sunrise since the mummy showed up?

Quick fun read, definitely a product of it’s time while being progressive (I was alive in the 90s, this book is progressive!). Being from the area it’s fun to hear places and streets I’m familiar with, most books in this genre take place in the states so I have nothing to go off of. This series is great if you’re looking for a supernatural mystery series with a kick ass, and disabled, female lead.

“Shadow Kiss” by Richelle Mead

I know, I don’t usually post series this close together but the book situation in my house is a little dire. So you may be getting similar books back to back for a little while.

So, yes, I’ve been reading Vampire Academy practically back to back. Book three, “Shadow Kiss” continues on the story of Rose and Lissa, and their relationships and diving further into what being “shadow-kissed” means. A bit of a spoiler if you haven’t read the reviews or the books, but when the girls were younger, Lissa’s entire family was killed in a car crash. Rose was also in that car crash, and died. But Lissa, in the midst of panic and despair, brought her back from the dead. This created a bond between the girls, more than “friends”. Rose can slip in and out of Lissa’s mind, she can sense her emotions and energy, and in this book, she learns that she can pull out the depression from Lissa that Spirit magic creates. The girls do more research in this book, about Lord Vladimir and his guardian Anna. Anna drew out Vladimir’s “insanity” after every time he used spirit, and it drove her to commit suicide. This series doesn’t shy away from depression, suicide, and therapy. I will give it credit for that.

While that is a sub-plot of the book that has so far been carried through the first three books, it is not the main story. After the last book with Moroi and Dhampir wanting to fight together against the Strigoi, that has continued through the students creating a division of power. Rose noticed that some students were showing up covered in wounds, and refusing to explain how a third degree burn came from falling down the stairs.

With this new threat from among the student body, the Guardians final test where they shadow a Moroi while senior Guardians pretend to be Strigoi and “attack” the Moroi, the trial of Lissa’s Uncle (and the “bad guy” from book 1), and lastly Rose seeing ghosts, the book is constantly moving.

While I do enjoy these books, this one hit the ick factor for me a little too hard. In the bast two books, Rose was developing a crush and somewhat of a relationship with her much older Guardian Trainer Dimitri. She’s 17 (on the verge of turning 18 – but still), and he’s about 25 or so? So in legal terms, that’s statutory rape, which was even brought up during the trial (Victor trying to throw shade just to mess with Rose and Dimitri). I understand the point of it, this idea is in every piece of media ever. The guy falling in love with her for her “maturity” and whatever, doesn’t make it less icky. In this book they finally have sex and realize they want a relationship, and he’s in love with her, blah-blah …it’s also called grooming. And still icky. I’m probably part of a minority that has an issue with this, but a little while ago in the twittersphere many people (especially artists I adore) were talking about how superiors coerced them into relationships, they talked about the manipulation and grooming that happened in all these fields, and how commonplace it is. Even some YouTubers I enjoyed were revealed to be groomers. So I have no tolerance for that kind of thing. It really soured me for the book so while I enjoyed the story, I couldn’t forgive it for that.

The series is still a great quick brainless read if like me, you can’t resist a decently written vampire story.

“Saga: Vol.1” by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

As you may notice with the picture and title, this is not a novel in the familiar sense. It is in fact, a Graphic Novel. After all the discourse lately over the legitimacy of comics as both art and reading, I decided to pad out some of the book reviews with my favorite comics.

Working at the book store, whenever there was a parent whose child refused to read, I led them to the graphic novels. Some children feel intimidated by large blocks of text, even if there is a big picture on the page beside it. So, to compensate, I got them to read graphic novels. The other thing I promoted about comics is it is a visual teacher. Books will TELL you how the character is feeling, comics have to show you. You have to read in their eyes and expression what they are feeling, you have to look to the environment to enhance the story, not be told what is there. It builds emotions, and the ability to identify emotions. And it was a gateway because a lot of graphic novels have regular novel counterparts, so when they strengthen their ability to read, they can upgrade to that or a similar genre.

I won’t get into the art aspect of it because we will be here forever. Let it just suffice to say that YES, it’s hard making comics (I have my own on the go – it’s a nightmare even WITH the computer), NO, computers don’t make it easier.

I’ve always read comics, but I’m not a superhero fan. We may have a few Spiderman and Deadpool comics kicking around, but the ones my money go to are the fantasy and sci-fi genres. One in particular is titled as “the comic for people who don’t like comics”. I saw ads for it through publishing companies I’m following and LOVED the art, so I immediately went on the hunt for Saga, volume one.

Taking place on another planet (well, several planets) in the middle of the war between wings and horns, orchestrated by the machines. Let me clarify – society is split between humanoids with wings (higher class) and humanoids with horns (low class), which may seem foolish but let’s be real, our society fights over colour. The machines, humanoids with computer heads, are the royals that control the wings.

In the middle of the war, a winged one with an obsession with romance novels and no interest in fighting in the war – Alana, meets and falls in love with a horned one named Marko. Sounds like your standard Romeo and Juliet, only they didn’t poison themselves and die …they had a baby. The comic opens up with Alana giving birth, narrated by the baby herself. This baby is part of both words, having both horns and wings, and her parents are now public enemy #1.

The comic follows their life, trying to flee to survive and protect their baby. Through worlds and people, doing everything they need to to survive. The comic is brutal, sexual, and filthy. It pushes what is means to be “human”.

There was an interesting line in the series that I have thought about for years. The opposite of love may be hate, but the opposite of war isn’t love …it’s sex. That’s basically the series.

I love this series and wait on baited breath for every issue. It is available in comic form, but I started with the graphic novels, so that is how I will continue. Even if you don’t like comics, this is the type of story that can reach out to anyone. Give it a chance, you might just like it.

“His Majesty’s Dragon” by Naomi Novik

This book has been sitting on my shelf forever, to the point I have no idea where it came from or when. But, thanks to the Pandemic, my TBR shelves are getting a little low – meaning, perfect time to read an unfamiliar author!

Facebook, in all it’s creepy glory, randomly showed me an article a few days after I started this book, about Naomi Novik and her newest series she is working on …and the lovely racism she included. Not even part of a point ON racism, just your straight up casual racism. She issued an apology and promised with the next book to do better, but now the idea was in my mind. And unfortunately, I have 0 tolerance for that kind of bullsh*t, and it immediately soured my view. Which may not be fair on my part, but sadly, it now lives rent free in my brain.

As for THIS book, it is basically European History …but with dragons. In the middle of uprisings and civil wars, some countries had secret weapons …entire fleets of them. Dragons are common place and certain countries even have their own specialty breeds. But, of course, dragons can’t be your only defense – even Daenerys had an army. And being basically world history, there was a Naval unit on top of ground and the fantastical Aerial. This is where the protagonist comes in. William Laurence, Captain of the Reliant, caught and boarded the French ship Amitie. On that ship, which the small crew fought tooth and nail for, was a dragon egg. Laurence takes the egg back to his ship, with the intention of bringing it back to his superiors. A dragon egg, unknown kind, transported quietly, without raising suspicion. Laurence knew an opportunity when he saw one.

There was only one catch. Their resident Dragon expert (AKA the one who had read the most books on the subject) predicted the egg would hatch in no more than a week …while they were still 3 weeks out from land, and proper dragon handlers.

As far as everyone was aware, all dragons need to be harnessed, an unharnessed dragon is only good for breeding, and sometimes not even that. Feral dragons are too dangerous. Not wanting to “waste” such an extraordinary dragon, Laurence set up the crew for the dragon to choose it’s new “owner”. Dragons are born hyper intelligent and curious, and as soon as the dragon hatched he took it upon himself to explore every corner of the ship. If one of the Naval officers were to be chosen by the dragon, he would have to leave everything behind and join the Aerial force. Living on their base, that left no room for much of life.

As you have probably imagined, the dragon waltzed past every person on that ship and went straight for Laurence. That small French ship changed his life completely, but possibly for the better.

Now, this was my view BEFORE reading the article, and afterwards it didn’t change. Despite all the raving reviews printed on the book, I found it VERY slow and boring, and Laurence felt very cardboard. The best part of the book was the dragon Temeraire. He is curious and child-like (getting tangled in a hammock, pointing out rocks in excitement), but also incredibly intelligent as many dragons are.

That’s not to say the book was HORRIBLE. It really wasn’t, it was decently written, it just didn’t blow me away. It is still a wonderful fantasy book with dragons, secrets, and war. I will probably not be continuing the series once this one is done, but that’s not to say someone else won’t enjoy it!

“Frost Bite” by Richelle Mead

As you can imagine, I’m running low on books, so some series might be posted closer to one another, and since an update borked my ereader I’m limited to what books I have on hand.

That, just so happened to be this series. I did review the first one not too long ago, so while this review won’t contain too many spoilers, it might be easiest to read the first review before this (unless you’ve already read the book).

The book continues on with Rose and Lissa, as Rose is preparing for her Guardian test. Her trainer Dimitri is taking her to a cabin in the woods to meet with another Guardian. But once they get there, things become a little off. Steps with no salt? Snow with no footprints? Dimitri makes Rose stay at the car while he goes to investigate, finding the front door slightly ajar. Not one to listen, Rose sneaks around the back of the house and finds the back door smashed. Within it a blood bath. An entire family had been killed by Strigoi, and it looked like they were using human help.

The Moroi panic, they are being hunted effectively, and with human help they aren’t even safe in the day light hours. The school is the safest place, until families panic and want everyone under the same roof where they can put up wards and be protected by Guardians. So naturally, rich people went to a ski resort.

I haven’t been sleeping well lately so I managed to blow through the book in three days. It’s a fun quick read as Rose antagonizes over her crush on Dimitri, and her jealousy of Lissa’s boyfriend as she spends more time with him than with Rose.

Sometimes Rose pisses me off, her pettiness, immaturity, ego, and poor decision making skills. But then I remembered, she’s 17. At 17 your hormones are still everywhere, brain chemistry is all over the place, and most people are still trying to figure themselves out, never mind figuring out the world. We were all that way once, and I think a lot of people my age and upwards forget that. That’s why there’s so many “Teenagers are stupid and here’s why-” articles. Even though the “why” is usually wrong, the fact is there. Teenagers are stupid. And this book shows that. Rose makes rash, stupid decisions that hurt people and put people in danger. Her stakes might be higher for those childish mistakes, but the truth is, she’s a teenager. She’s not an adult written as a teen to look down on other teens, she’s right in the thick of what is means to be a teenager figuring out the world. And once I figured this out for myself, her decisions weren’t stupid anymore, her reactions and pettiness, she was just being a teenager with the world piled on her shoulders.

Like I said earlier, it’s a quick fun read about an actually interesting vampire society. So naturally, my kryptonite, but this series is a lot better than I was expecting.

“The Magician King” by Lev Grossman

If you haven’t read the review of the first book, or the actual first book, you might not want to read this review if you want to avoid plot spoilers. Otherwise, please continue!

This book takes place two Fillorian years after the last book, well into the reign of High King Eliot, King Quentin, Queen Janet, and Queen Julia. They had all become complacent, fat, and happy …all except Quentin. Life was too easy, too safe, too boring, so after gathering everyone they decided to go looking for the Questing Hare. They came across the Hare that led them to a clearing with one of the clock trees common to Fillory. The only catch was the clock tree was blowing in a crazy wind …that no one else could feel and that had no effect on the surrounding area. The knight they brought with them captured the Questing Hare and seconds later dropped dead. Instead of spurning them on to learn the truth about everything, it spooked Quentin so badly he decided being a lazy King was better – he had gotten his happily ever after and was being reminded not to rock the boat.

Instead, he decided to check one of the outlying islands that were behind on their Kingdomly Dues. He holds a medieval tourney to decide who will be his Royal Guardian, and then on his way to the island, finds a crashed ship he wants to rebuild. After all these side tracks, he is finally on his way and comes across a story of Seven magical keys. Unable to turn away from a Quest so neatly packaged for him he travels to the next furthest island to find it. The golden key was literally handed to him, but it had one catch …the doorway it opened sent him on a one-way journey home …to earth.

This is where the book got a little odd. The meat of the book is literally Quentin and Julia trying to get back to Fillory. It seemed weird that after figuring out this cool Quest, they go and do something else. But, Grossman doesn’t write anything without purpose. The earth journey, on top of being a lesson to Quentin (about choosing quests, and being given the quests you need), shows us more of the history of Plover and the Chatwin children, what happened to Julia when everyone was in school, and broadens the world Grossman is developing. Dragons in a river in Italy? Magic safehouses in the states. Magical transporting board games. You bet.

One thing I started to kind of notice with Quentin’s stories and Julia’s stories, is, they’re hard to read. But that is because you are reading the point of view of a depressed suicidal and a recovering addict. Quentin’s story is truly the story of depression. It never goes away, and likes to creep up at the weirdest time. You can be the happiest you’ve ever been in your entire life and it will come back. You can medicate and go to therapy, but it is an uphill battle. Quentin getting his happily-ever-after and still not being happy shows that. Same as how getting into magic school and proving he wasn’t crazy didn’t cure his depression. Julia became addicted to proving magic was real, and in the end, more of less became addicted to magic. She even has an arc where she swears off magic, following a long path of healing, only to stumble upon a magical safehouse. She hints at horrible things she did for magic, and because of magic, and all her chapters read like an AA/NA meeting (I did a lot of volunteer work for them and have talked to a lot of people of different walks of life, which is why her chapters were so hard to read, I’d literally heard it all before from people I knew).

This one is a bit harder to get through, the “trying to get back to Fillory” part really drags on. But in the end, it is still a great book with finally non-perfect characters. Especially now with that TERF-Twat showing her true colours, this is a perfect series to scratch that magical school itch.

“Blood Trail” by Tanya Huff

This is the second book in the series, and I did review the first one. The way this series seems to be written, it’s much like other authors I have read (Jim Butcher, Laurell K Hamilton, etc) in how each book is it’s own story and you can literally pick up any book and know what’s happening, but there are small character growths and changes you may not catch.

Carrying on from the first, Henry (local vampire) calls Vicki for a favor, he has friends in need. He forgot to tell her that his friends were Werewolves. Two of their older relatives had been killed, in their fur-forms. So it was a little hard for them to go to the police for a dead Aunt that was honestly a human at one point, we swear officer! So, they called in Vicki. With her growing blindness (which is what forced her off the Toronto police department, she has no peripheral vision or night vision) she is reliant on Henry to do most of the night time leg work. They determine the wolves were shot from 500yards, at night, while moving. Not once, but twice. One hell of a shot that only an Olympian Gold could make.

This story was weird for me because Vicki isn’t in Toronto, she’s actually been employed by people who live just outside the city I live in. So she is mentioning landmarks I know personally. Hell, she mentioned a landmark that I have been going to the past few years for a Convention! While we were out driving the other day I mentioned to my husband a restaurant that was brought up, but since the book was published in ’92, everything has probably changed. It had changed, but my husbands family is from here so he recognized the name and actually showed me where it used to be. So I was literally driving the same route as these characters. Most books I read take place in the states or somewhere imaginary so I know the cities exist and how cities generally work, but it’s never been so close as to be actually walking in their metaphorical footsteps (or tire tracks in this case).

These types of books are my guilty pleasure, as you have probably seen if you follow our blog. Supernatural murder mystery, faeries, and vampires are my guilty pleasures.

So this book hits two out of the three, and it’s a local author which makes it even better!

This book has an out of time sense because Vicki makes a few comments about racism/sexism in the police and justice departments and almost 20 years later those words still fit. There were a few moments like that, where words from 20 years ago fit today, and they really shouldn’t – cause they weren’t nice words.

I loved the series, it’s exciting from the get go and is actually decently written. Huff only carries the mystery through the beginning, and in the last book and this one, the rest of the time you are split between Vicki/Henry, and the bad guy. You get to see their side of what’s happening, their plans, their thoughts, and it kind of builds the stress because you can see our heroes walking into a trap because you watched the bad guy build it. Or the frustration and stress when Vicki takes the bad guy off her suspect list because she is judging based on superficial traits.

If you love this genre, I recommend it, I even recommend the show! Early 00’s garbage, but fun garbage!

“Vampire Academy” by Richelle Mead

When I started getting into vampires it was back in the beginning of the 90s, where vampires were monsters. Literally, I wrote a story when I was 5 (I think, I was in the 4 – 6 range) about hunting vampires (you’re damn straight my mom got a phone call from worried teachers). From there, in my high school days, I got a little more into vampires outside of “standard monsters” when I started reading Anne Rice. The next trend in vampires was vampires in High School, and that’s about when I noped the f*ck out.

Unfortunately, I can never stay away from my favorite monsters turned romantic interest and will sometimes pick up a high school vampires story. One such series, is Vampire Academy. I saw it when I worked at the book store, but after reading Twilight (only half of my own free will, the other half I had nothing else to read and someone I worked with made me borrow them) and the house of Night (only the first book, I couldn’t kill enough brain cells to read the second one) I no longer wanted to dally in high school vampires.

Fast forward to today when …I’m running out of things to read and a friend made me borrow them. Yeah, there’s a trend. But, I will say this right now …this book is not half bad. I wasn’t sure what to expect since it is a super popular series, but genuinely enjoying it was not what I was prepared for.

Mead builds a world where it’s not just your typical Vampires vs Humans thing. There are different branches of Vampires (and a whole biological thing about how they breed – instead of just “vampires go wheee”); the Moroi which are your standard “Vampires”, and the Dhampir – half-vampires. Now, some hardcores like myself might go “you can’t have HALF a dead thing!” but that is where Mead changes the narrative. Moroi and Dhampir are LIVING Vampires. They are a species instead of a disease. But the third type of vampire is more like the kind we are familiar with. Known as Strigoi, they are “dead” vampires …and can be created several ways. When a Moroi kills a person and takes their blood, or if someone is bitten and turned. Moroi and Dhampir can both become Strigoi. They are faster, stronger, and have a natural drive to hunt and kill Moroi. Which is the basis for their entire society. Dhampir are important to the Moroi because they are the ones who become Guardians. They are fast and strong, and with their human genes don’t have a lot of the downfalls (like light sensitivity) of Moroi. Moroi are also willowy and small, not always great for defending against larger predators. But they have a symbiotic relationship because Dhampir are created from Moroi, and the Moroi need Dhampir to survive the Strigoi.

This leads to the ACADEMY part of it. Moroi and Dhampir children are sent to the same schools, to learn together, but Dhampir children obviously have special classes where they learn to be Guardians. The story follows Rose and Lissa, Dhampir and Moroi. In the beginning the girls are out on their own, pretending to be high school students living on campus. Up until a pack of Guardians finds them and brings them back. The girls had escaped the Academy, which was nearly impossible, and had hidden themselves away. But Rose refused to tell why she had spirited the vampire princess away.

It is slowly revealed that the girls have a special connection, one deeper than Guardian and Royal. That connection is what spurred Rose to take Lissa away – and something a little deeper. Rose can feel Lissa’s emotions, and when she concentrates, she can slip into Lissa’s head and see everything she sees. Lissa is also special in her own way – Moroi can use magic, but they are strictly elemental magic users. Except Lissa. Everyone thinks she is just a late bloomer, having not found an elemental affinity, but instead, she can heal and she can use her compulsion on other vampires.

The story revolves around Rose trying to find out what is happening between her and Lissa, since there are only a few cases of either ability in their entire history (one being St. Vladimir himself), and trying to learn her place as a Guardian.

Like I said, I actually enjoyed this book. It was still 90% high school vampire fluff but once you look past the tropes and stereotypes, it was a fun quick read!

“Way of the Wolf” by E.E. Knight

I bought this series a while ago from a yard sale. They were cheap so I said why the hell not?

Vampires in the future, why not?

Well …the book started off strong, with a group of “wolves” led by David Valentine, taking a group of people through the woods. They hide in a barn and are attacked by “Ravie’s” and “Hoods”. Even though I was confused, It was an attention-getting start. The next chapter we go back in time to when Valentine was still living with his adopted father in the village and preparing for a race to win a gun. It slowed the book to a crawl and forgot to pick it back up.

Every chapter starts with a few paragraphs about the area and the history of that area, so there is world building but it’s just written a little oddly. It also makes it read a little more like a history book than a fiction book.

I can’t pretend that I understood everything that was happening. Basically, gates, or “doors” were found that allowed different beings to come through. The doors connected worlds throughout the Milky Way, and through that came the lifeweavers. They were essentially “gods” to the humans. They created/bred a creature known as the Kurian. The Kurian’s control the Reapers, or “Hoods”. The Hoods hunt humans and eat their souls.

Valentine joined a group known as the “Wolves” There are several branches of this guard-type duty, and they all do different things to help protect against the Kurians and the Hoods. The Wolves, are gifted special senses from an old being (a lifeweaver I think?). They are faster, stronger, can see further, hear better, and smell better. Valentine is an oddity because he can sense the Hoods.

The story follows Valentine on his journey to becoming a Wolf, and through his reassignments a he climbs the ranks quickly.

I’m not super fond of this book. The writing is very slow and reads more like a history book. Even the exciting scenes feel flat. And the time jumps a bit so it feels very disjointed chapter-to-chapter. Valentine is an incredibly flat and boring character, but your typical perfect hero where mistakes aren’t horrible and he’s seen as “talented” and “creative” and what-not even though we never really see anything special.

I might read the next somewhere down the line, out of sheer curiosity and the fact I own them all.

“Autumn” by David Moody

This Author may seem familiar to those that have either done a deep dive into the blog, or have been here from the beginning. I adore Moody’s writing, and years ago I reviewed his ‘Hater’ series that I read back when I worked at the book store. Because of my constant raving about his writing, my husband wanted to try reading his work. I didn’t actually own any books of his, so we went to a local book store and looked up what they had. That is how we came across this series. It’s much larger than the Hater Trilogy and I’m super excited (even though we only own two …I need more).

My husband read it a little while ago, and absolutely LOVED it …but his review of it was really confusing. “It is an amazing book and absolutely nothing happens!”

That sounded like a challenge to me.

Though, before I start this review I will mention, this is a zombie book that started with a respiratory epidemic. A little too topical. They are suspecting that many of us will come out of this with a form of PTSD so don’t feel obliged to read this review if you are having a hard time right now. You are always welcome to swing back around and read it later.

That being said …Moody is a horror writer and writes it well. His stories are slow burn which is why think a book where nothing really happens works for him.

Unlike Hater, we are following several characters. I was expecting a little intro into someone’s life and then slowly developing into a zombie horror. Nope, every character is introduced basically by people dying all around them. The disease starts with a cough, then in seconds their passageways close off and they die. Within minutes classrooms and workplaces are wiped out, leaving one person standing alone, in shock. The first survivor found an abandoned rec centre, and in hopes of finding other survivors, started a fire in the parking lot.

Sure enough, stragglers started to show up. There is nothing uniform about the survivors; young, old, male, female, rich, poor. There is just something about them that made them immune. The survivors huddle together, raiding the kitchen of the community centre and finding camping rations.

The majority of the story revolves around the survivors trying to come to terms with the loss. Many lost family, children, friends, everything. Moody likes to get into the human nature and psychology behind these kinds of horror events. He did the same in Hater. I think that’s what keeps the story going even when 1/2 of the book is spent with a handful of people in a community centre. Scenes are always moving forward because the people are always active, either physically or mentally.

Because of the sudden onset of the disease, there are bodies everywhere, dropping where they were. The survivors caught sight of one of the bodies twitching and trying to get up. Thinking they had mistaken a survivor they go to check. Dead body. But it was trying to walk. About half of the dead bodies reanimated. But no lurching, “brainsss” grumbling, shufflers here. In typical Moody slow burn fashion, they simply walk. The survivors could even go out and touch them, grab them and turn them in another direction.

The rising dead are enough to spook the survivors and squabbles build within. It gets to the point that three break off to take their chances at finding a safer place. Michael, Carl, and Emma become the new protagonists we follow. They find an old farmhouse they can reinforce and survive in.

Survive …up until the zombies start reacting to noise. Are they evolving? Learning? Waking up? What will that lead to? Are the survivors truly safe? And how far did this virus travel?

I love me some good zombie horror …let’s be real, I like bad zombie horror too. But this book, is really good zombie horror. You feel the tension, the fear, the frustration. Sometimes the people are logical, sometimes not, and in the times of pandemic, we are already witnessing both of those sides. I love this series and if you’re a horror fan, grab his work. Any of it!