Posts Tagged ‘the walking dead’
Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
As you’ll recall from my recent post regarding Jonathan Maberry’s DUST & DECAY, I promised you a review of the most terrifying book I’ve read in years.
Well, Preciouses…here it is. :0)
Call me a wimp (remember I’m the girl hiding behind the blanket, stuffing Lucky Charms in my face while watching “The Walking Dead”), but this novel is seriously for hardcore creepfactor peeps. You know, the ones who love to sit and squirm cuz they can’t bear to watch the horror, but it’s so graphically absorbing that they can’t NOT watch. (And then they pee themselves.) It’s creepy. It’s plausible. It’s CSI and Michael Crichton challenging Stephen King to a dance-off to see who can best spin the yarns of H.P. Lovecraft. It’s pull up those granny panties you’re wearing cuz…well, it’s Guillermo del Toro.
A Boeing 777 lands at JFK airport and comes to a dead stop on the tarmac. The lights go out. The shades are drawn. The coms are silent. When no one emerges from the aircraft and no response is elicited from inside, Dr. Eph Goodweather’s CDC team is brought in to investigate the possibility of biological warfare. What they find is a plane full of dead passengers (save four), iridescent white matter splattered all over the cockpit and cabin, and a giant box of earth (which is very Draculesque).
Then the box disappears right in front of Dr. Goodweather’s eyes and, shortly after, the dead bodies from the plane begin rising in the morgues and heading back to their homes to feed on/infect their families with a vampiric plague. And it’s not the angsty, sparkly kind.
Pawnbroker, Abraham Setrakian, is old enough to remember the legend told by his grandmother of the Stroigoi, a vamp. He’s also old enough to remember lying awake at night in the WWII Holocaust death camps, listening to that same Stroigoi feed off of his dying bunkmates. While the rest of New York is trying to hush-up the horrors, Setrakian is the only man who knows what’s up: the Stroigoi has arrived. And Setrakian has been preparing for it his whole life. (Seriously. He’s got a very cool arsenal of weaponry. Well…that and a vampire heart he keeps in a jar that shoots a stinger if you get too close.) In his words, ”It will take this thing less than one week to finish off all of Manhattan, and fewer than three months to overtake the country. In six months – the world.”
Crammed with a diverse (and excellent) cast of characters, ranging from Eph and his son, to Abraham (“My sword sings of silver!”) and Vasiliy Fet (the pest exterminator / ghost buster who’s quite awesome), THE STRAIN manages to balance a fast-paced plot with many an excellent prose and a nice old-fashioned “good versus evil” theme. Oh, but toss in some swearing, intense gore, 6-foot stingers (a tad B-movie-ish IMHO), and a lot of traumatizing horror. Would I watch it as a movie? Probably not. But as a book with great writing and fabulous medical-thriller-babble, I enjoyed it. Also, I appreciated the father-son relationship between Eph and Zach, and the marriage-divorce discussion between Eph and Kelly (so well done).
Will I read it again? Er…no. Will I ever sleep again? Not likely. But will I read the next in the trilogy? Oh yes. And I’m putting together my arsenal of awesome weapons as we speak. You know…just in case.
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
For as often as I post dessert recipes on here, you’d think I have a serious obsession with sweets. CONFESSION: This is only a baby bit true. I love sweets, yes, and even more, I love to bake. However…I love them in small, perfect-moment doses–like when we have company over, or the kids and I are playing tea party (or I’m scared out of my wits watching “The Walking Dead”).
But MOST of the time? I prefer anything protein (nuts or tasty guacamole) rather than the nectar of the gods. I don’t know how it is for the rest of you, but cane sugar does *slightly* weird things to me (such as taking me from relaxed to anxiety-riddled in about ½ hour flat, if I’m not careful), so I’m pretty choosy how often I indulge. And when I can, I prefer to use Agave sweetener in teeny tiny amounts, which seems to absorb slower and, thus, doesn’t jack my emotions up like a hot air balloon in a lightning storm.
Hence, I’ve been appreciating this standby recipe for Double Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies. It happens to be both gluten free and cane sugar free (except for the dark chocolate chips *guilty smirk*), and I’ve been making them every so often over the past few months when my kids want something sweet and I want something chocolate. I’ll even be taking them on my writing retreat this weekend. ;0)
I dare you to try them. The almond flour adds an incredible nutty flavor, and the agave sweetener and grapeseed oil keep the cookies soft. Perfect for reading (or writing) away an afternoon with tea and your latest novel find.
Speaking of which, what is your latest novel find? Will I like it? Do I need it? And how’d you like Jonathan Maberry (yay Wolverine!) on the blog last week? Spiffy guy, yes?
Click here for the goodness: A Recipe for (gluten-free) Double Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oh, and did I mention I’m going on a writing retreat this weekend?!! With my Word DIVAS. Prepare yourself for photos (MWAHAHAHA!). And commentary (*who me?*)… Ahem.
Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
Shortly after being crowned one of the elite few who is *MOST* likely to survive a zombie apocalypse (remember that Facebook test I rocked a while back?), I decided that it’d be a good idea to actually read a variety of zombie literature beyond just Mr. Cronin (and, yes, his creepers are more vamps anyway, but…whatever). You know…just to make sure my mad fighting/shooting/awesome-singing skills were really up to par (and also to see if there were any authors who might benefit from my newly-identified zombie survival advice).
Especially seeing as, before discovering this zombie-fighting-intelligence gift I’ve got, I’d never had ANY interest in zombies. Partly due to the whole rotting flesh thing, and partly due to the fact that they’re just so INCESSENTLY WHINY. As if us moms don’t deal with that enough. When I have my zombie apocalypse compound, I’m totally going to have to post a sign that says the exact same thing I tell my kids: “This is not a moaning/whining space. If you want to moan/whine/try to eat my brains, go do it in your own room.” (I predict these signs will be popular and I’m copywriting them as we speak.)
Anyhoo, as you’ll recall, one of the books I’ve enjoyed on this whole zombie enlightenment path is Jonathan Maberry’s YA novel “Rot and Ruin” (which I reviewed for you a few months ago). Not overly gory, not obsessively horrific, the book is zombies and YA and character development done with brilliance. And kind of a gateway zombie drug book, if you will. After reading it, I found myself seduced into thinking—This whole zom thing isn’t so bad; they just want to be loved! And promptly followed it up with indulging in the most terrifying book of my adult life (which I will review for you one of these days because it also was brilliant). It’s even gotten to the point where I can now watch “The Walking Dead” with my husband. (Cringing behind blankets and cramming obscene amounts of sugar-drenched cereal in my face because I eat when I’m stressed still counts as “watching,” right?)
So, it seems fitting that the first zombie book I recommend this year happens to be the second in Mr. Maberry’s “Rot and Ruin” series: “Dust and Decay.” I enjoyed it (almost) as much as the first. Lilah rocks (as always), Benny and Chong are just as funny, and Tom Imura is still a total hottie.
As they head off into the Rot and Ruin in search of civilization (following the path the airplane flew), Tom, Benny, Nix, and Lilah (and accidentally Chong—poor Chong) come face to face with their deepest fears. And I’m not talking zombies (which is odd since you’d think dead people craving your flesh would be the most horrifying aspect to a person’s world). Their fears come in the form of their pasts—people, violence, memories, loss, internal demons—being carried into their futures—Gameland, death, love, and vulnerability. Combine that with just enough twists to keep me surprised and like “What the kraken?” at certain points, and sad at others as I felt the loss with this little band of tested friends. Oh, and I loved that the underlying themes developed so well in “Rot and Ruin” of love, family, friendships, and valuing human life are in there, working beneath the skin, pulling the reader into caring about the zombies, the harsh landscapes, and the broken individuals as they struggle through pain and, at times, anger in their quest for hope.
If “Rot and Ruin” was a coming-of-age novel, then “Dust and Decay” is a coming-of-relationship novel.
And it’s so good.
So, there you have it, Preciouses. Run off and read it. Or have you already? (Or any other zombie/apocalypse/scare-your-pants off books that we should know about?)
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