Wednesday, 19 December 2012

World War Z by Max Brooks

If you want a zombie book with a difference then World War Z is the one to go for. It's a tough book to review because it is so unconventional. There are no characters to get comfortable with and no plot line to speak off. What you have is a series of interviews detailing the zombie invasion. Sounds boring doesn't it? At page one I thought it was going to be hard book to get through. I was wrong. The brilliance of World War Z is sheer scope of the author’s research. He's looked at the idea of a zombie war from every conceivable aspect. His interviews cover social, religious, political, family, celebrity and any aspect you can imagine. There are interviews with astronauts, submarine commanders, blind Japanese warriors, soldiers, mercenaries, spooks and politicians. Brooks has covered all the bases. The accounts are well written and engaging on every level. An intelligent concept that was cleverly executed within one of the most fanciful areas of modern fiction. A great and very different read.

Genre:  Horror/Zombie
Publisher:  Gerald Duckworth
Format:  All Formats
Rating:  5/5

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

One Day In The Life of Jason Dean by Ian Ayris

As I read One Day In The Life of Jason Dean my sense of unease increased. Something was wrong with this character. By degrees the story unfolded and insights into the world of Jason Dean grew. Yes, he's a gangster’s henchman but it was more than that. I had to find out what the mystery was.

As those dark moments unfolded there lay the brilliance of the writing of Ian Ayris. I'm already a fan of his work but Jason Dean is something special. There's swearing and the odd obvious gangster reference but there's breaking down of barriers too. Gangsters coming to blows following a disagreement about Shostakovich and Nietzsche? I was marvelling at sheer surreal nature of this scene and chuckling a bit for good measure.

Strip away the violence and the swearing and you are left with a sad tale of a lost soul. A melancholy story about human nature, grief and loss more than a gangster story.  Ayris once again proving that the respect of his peers is well placed. A cracking read!

Genre:  Crime
Publisher:  Byker Books
Format:  E-Book Novella
Rating:  5/5

Sunday, 2 December 2012

City of Heretics by Heath Lowrance

Heath Lowrance's The bastard Hand is one of my favourite reads of the year. My worries that City of Heretics might not live up to it were very quickly allayed. Lowrance again chooses to use religion as a central binding theme running throughout the story. When Crowe is released from prison he has some vague plans to get even with those who have hung him out to dry. Never much of a planner he soon find that events seek him out and carry him along in their destructive and bloody wake.

As with The Bastard Hand Lowrance weaves in supernatural elements and Crowe finds his dreams haunted by a Ghost Cat. A feline harbinger of doom perhaps? An attempted hit gone wrong, and an attempt to exact revenge for his gangster boss, soon has Crowe investigating a string of ritual murders. Crowe finds himself on the trail of The Church of Christ The Fisher. The Church has a terrible secret but will Crowe be able to cope with the deadly backlash that comes his way?

Lowrance brings us a tough guy who is a man of few words in Crowe. The action is thick and fast. Lowrance's imagination carries you along with a very cleverly woven tale that takes some very unexpected twists and turns. The violence is frequent and graphic and if that isn't your thing then this book is not for you.

The author’s story telling ability is of a high standard and this is most definitely a page turner. Lowrance leaves room for more tales with the character of Crowe and I can't wait to read anything that follows this. Lowrance’s fiction seems to delight in blending genres and you never quite know what will happen. If you like dark fiction with a supernatural twist then City of Heretics will appeal. Highly recommended.

Genre:  Crime & Supernatural
Publisher:  Snubnose Press
Format:  E-book
Rating: 5/5