Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Book Review: Fatal by T.A. Brock

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Title:  Fatal

Author:  T.A. Brock

Genre:  YA Zombie Romance

Release Date:  February 14, 2013

Spoilers:  Homie Don't Play That

Note:  If  you’re  looking  for  a  gore-filled  Zombie  novel  Fatal  ain’t  it,  Buttercup.  I  do  not place  an  age  limit  on  readers,  but  there  is  very  very  very  mild  violence  in this story.  So  if  you’re  easily  offended  by  such  things,  Fatal  is  not  your  bowl  of  bran  flakes.  


Grayson became a zombie at 17.  He hates what he has become, and his only wish is to find his Save to become human again.  The problem?  The Save must die for him to live.  A life for a life.  Will he take the life of his Save in order to save himself from staying an abomination?  Or will killing her truly make Grayson the kind of monster he fears he’s becoming?

Shy introvert, Cori, is dealing with the death of her father and the emotional death of her mother.  Her mom has moved them from the Midwest to the Northwest for a new start.  What Cori finds is a mom who works all the time in order to deal with the sadness of losing her husband and a school that isn't very welcoming, especially a moody guy who stares at her like he hates that she's breathing his air.

I know what you're thinking:  Maria, a zombie romance?  Really?  What about the apocaly--whoa whoa whoa . . . Slow down there, Cupcake.  No need to grab your shovels and katanas and whatnot.  I mean, unless you read with those things.  Which would be awesome.  

Attention Please: This book is not about the Zombie Apocalypse.  We now return to our regularly scheduled book review.  Thank you.

Everything you thought you knew about zombies is wrong.  Well, almost.  Mostly.  Maybe if we just talk about what you think you know we can get through this.  No? Okay.  Moving on.

Grayson was frustrated at his situation, and at times I found him to be frustrating.  One of the notes I made was "Are there bipolar meds for zombies to chill this guy out?"  I just wanted to tell him to suck it up, drink some water and walk it off. (You will understand this reference when you read Fatal) As frustrating as his emo tendencies appeared, I understood his torment.  Grayson was torn about what he should do, say, and feel.  His secret needed to remain a secret, and not telling Cori was killing him.  Not literally.  Maybe a little literally.  Confusion is a helluva thing.  Especially for a zombie.  Or so I assume. 

As for Cori, I can see where a lot of people who are not timid would think, "What the h is wrong with her?  Why would she act like a kicked puppy?" But that's what happens sometimes with timid introverts.  Trust me, I am one.  I know these things.   We choose our battles carefully.  It doesn't mean Cori is weak.  It just means she knows when to stay out of the game and when to fold a crappy hand.  Wait.  Did I really just use a Poker metaphor for a zombie romance?  

Fatal grabbed my attention pretty early.  It's a rare occasion to find a zombie story told from the POV of a zombie.  Maybe it has to do with the whole zombies-only-moan-and-eat-you stigma, but I was pretty excited to see a zombie’s side of the story.  I also saw pretty early where the story was going, so I was a bit skeptical of what was going to happen to keep it entertaining.  Guess what?  The author delivered.  Some of the characters who were a bit suspicious turned out to be quite upstanding citizens.  Well, except for Rex.  He doesn't play a huge role, but I really dislike that kid.  On the other hand, the characters I should have kept my eye on came from out of the woods and BAM!  I’m hiding behind a tree trying not to get bitten. 

I like the author’s writing style.  The sentences are short and to the point, not overly descriptive.  The story moves.  There's no lagging with "the walls were painted the vividly dark color of wild boars digging for truffles deep in the woods of west Texas on a sunny afternoon in June" descriptions.  She gives detail when it matters.  For example, when she gives an in-depth description of the mausoleum, those details are very symbolic of the mood of the characters and overall storyline. 

There weren't a ton of cons for me.  I feel like it ended abruptly.  In the author's defense it may or may not be because I didn't want it to end.  I am hoping in the next book the author will give us more of a background on the zombie contagion (or if it is even considered a contagion).  I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Aiken, as well.  Oh you don’t know about Aiken?  Well you should pick up this book and find out.  It’s worth it.  Trust me.  I’m a pro.  At least that’s what the voices tell me.  

(I am pretty much obsessed with his voice.  No weirdo.  Okay maybe a little weird.  No shame.)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Book Review: Doomed by Tracy Deebs

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Title:  Doomed

Author:  Tracy Deebs

Genre:  YA Dystopian

Release Date:  January 8, 2013

Spoilers:  Homie Don't Play That

Note:  Doomed has a little foul language, a little violence, and a lot of grand theft auto.  If any of these things offend you, Doomed is not the book for your bookshelf.

Please Read My Book Review Disclosure 

Read the synopsis for Doomed here

There are times when I read the last page of a book, close said book, open the aforementioned book and re-read the last page of the forenamed book to see what the deuce I missed.  Then I tell myself, "Self, when life gets you down just remember there are people who make unicorn poop cookies and these people do not care about your feels.  So suck it up, Pumpkin, and get on with it."

I just . . . I don’t . . .I can't even give a summary.  I just have to go straight into my opinion.  Here goes.

I wanted to love this book.  I mean, LOVE this book.  The fact that I am one of *those* people who prep for hard times (like natural disasters and whatnot) made me up this rating from 3 stars to 3.5 stars.  Though my weirdo prepping tendencies are much to my husband's chagrin, when the SHTF he'll be glad he married this crazy pessimistic chick who hoards water and batteries.  I have no shame. Oh wait, I was reviewing Doomed.  Sorry.

 Back on track.    

The story makes makes you think about what could happen when one radical goes off the proverbial deep end and causes worldwide destruction.  It also gives the readers a sneak peek into the heart of humankind in the midst of chaos, both ugly and beautiful.  Mostly ugly.

I liked this book because the love interest was there, but not at the forefront, slapping us in the face with constant swooning and pining and petting.

I liked this book simply because it was well-written.  The concept of Doomed is unlike anything I've seen, especially in Young Adult.  

Now for the cons.

I did not love this book.  I liked it.  A lot.  Pandora, our MC, was super annoying and frustrating at times.  I just wanted to shake her and scream, “JUST FREAKING DO WORK AND KEEP IT MOVING!  WE DON’T HAVE TIME TO EXPLORE YOUR FEELINGS!”  And yes, it is very serious when I break out the CAPS lock like I just did there.  On the other side of my negativity, I should point out that Pandora's compassion in a world of chaos and lawlessness made me love her character.

Doomed was thismuch longer than it should have been.  The beginning was great (though the classroom scene was odd).  The middle was a mixture of action and pouring molasses in the winter.  The ending was . . . anti-climactic. You're expecting a boom (excuse the pun) and instead get a puff of air on your face.  I mean, some characters were introduced then ignored, others were killed off for the sake of a quick getaway.  These characters could have added twists and turns to a story that, at times, dragged along like a snail running late on its first day of class.  

Overall, Doomed is worth the read.  This is one of those books that I really believe would make an amazing movie . . . that is, if Hollywood leaves out the slooowwwww parts.  

There is something I'd like to address that I find myself addressing quite a bit in my reviews:  other reviews that I read and think, "Really?  You just had to go there?"  I am not judging these reviewers, I just want to make a point that some readers tend to forget when they are enveloped in the cocoon of a book's womb.  (Gah, that was poetic!)

Folks, keep in mind that this book is a work of fiction.  The writer made the characters as strong or as weak as she wanted them to be, as stubborn or laid back as she felt they needed to be.  You know what that's called?

We have 3 heroes doing extraordinary hero things, and because they are teens, all of that seems impossible?  They are "too smart"  "too savvy" "too sexy" "too blah blah blah".  Miss Deebs could have made our heroes have Hobbit feet with painted toenails and answer "So it has come to this" each time a question is presented and I promise you the incessant rants about the main characters will still get you nowhere.  The book is written.  The book is published.  It's dystopian.  It's fiction.  So-called "unbelievable" things are allowed.  



Saturday, June 8, 2013

Book Review: The Chronicles of Koa: Netherworld by K.N. Lee

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Title:  The Chronicles of Koa: Netherworld 

Author:  K.N. Lee

Release Date:  May 11, 2013

Genre:  Fantasy Adventure/Paranormal

Spoilers:  Absolutely not.  Get your own copy! :)

Note:  This book contains thismuch foul language and sexual errrm . . ummm . . . situations without sex.  I do not place an age limit on readers, but if these things offend you, Koa is not recommended for you.   

Please Read My Book Review Disclosure


Koa is half-vampire, half-well, you will just have to read and find out for yourself.  Along with her best friend and mentor, Halston, she hunts Netherworld creatures on Earth:  Vampires, Syths . . . if it's evil, Halston and Koa are fighting it.  When Koa discovers Halston has been keeping secrets about her past (and the years of memory loss that goes along with it), she takes it upon herself to find answers that are destined to be painful, both emotionally and physically.  An unlikely team comes together to help Koa reverse the curse on her mother and find out the truth about her past.  That truth may be just the thing to kill her.


I made a TON of notes as I was reading about Koa.  Everything from "What the deuce is happening?" to "Oh, I get it." to "Kiss him already!"  K.N. Lee has brought something amazing to a character type (i.e. vampires) that has gotten to be . . . well, boring.  She has introduced us to an array of characters that are nothing short of a melting pot in the world of Fantasy Adventure/Paranormal.  It is a bit like Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments in that sense, but nothing like it in every other sense.  Is that confusing?  Wait . . . wait.  I just confused myself.

Koa is so fascinating and descriptive that one of the notes I kept making was "What was going through her head when she wrote this?!"  The character and place descriptions are unlike anything I've seen before.  Castles made of stone and bone, giants made of metal, child-like monsters, fallen angels who kick more evil booty than a little bit . . . too many for me to mention without giving spoilers.  These descriptions are what I like most about this book and what is going to make me purchase the next installment.  I cannot wait to see where the author takes these characters next.

Now . . . for the part I hate doing the most:  The Cons.

There aren't many cons for me.   Koa's emotions go back and forth from ass kicker to girl in love with her boss to woman who has insecurities about both of those things while kicking some major booty with her Lyrinian sword.

The end is semi-depressing because we have to wait until the next book to figure out where everything and everyone fits in.  But that's always a good sign of a great story, right?

Places to find K.N. Lee:



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