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Monday, February 1, 2016

REVIEW: LOST SOULS by Seth Patrick

Sara Ross






Lost Souls, written by Seth Patrick, is the second novel in a trilogy, and is the follow up to 2013’s Reviver. Published by Thomas Dunne Books in November, 2015, it is a solid second installment of the story, but it also stands alone quite well. As it had been about 2 years since I read Reviver, I wondered if I would remember the characters and events well; it turns out I had no reason to worry. Patrick did a great job of crafting Lost Souls to provide enough background to help a reader recall the previous book (his language even allowed me to recall whole scenes in great detail).He has also doen well to create enough support that it is possible to begin with Lost Souls and understand the characters and events without having read Reviver. While not a traditional zombie novel, the aspects of forensic science, the supernatural, and traditional thriller lend appeal to a wide audience of readers.

The story picks up with the main character, Jonah Miller, about a year and a half after the previous novel ended. Jonah is a Reviver, or an individual with the special talent of bringing the recently deceased back to life for a short period of time. Only certain people are capable of the job, and their services are used forensically (to get a victim’s own testimony in a criminal case) or privately (for a chance to say one last goodbye to a loved one). He’s still working as one of the best forensic Revivers in the business, but is worn out and tired from the stress of the job and ghosts of some physical injuries. Since the first book in the trilogy, though, the Afterlifers (a group of Revival oppositionists) has gained more standing and money, making them a very viable threat to the continuation of public forensic Revival. Things quickly turn for Jonah when he is involved in the Revival of the son of a powerful Afterlifer, and he finds himself quitting his job for the better of his company and the profession as a whole.

Especially with the profession of Revival in danger and more free time on his hands, it doesn’t take long for Jonah to learn that so many of the people around him are not who they seem. While working with a few trusted friends to uncover these mysteries, Jonah is eventually forced to flee and hide, as he is being hunted. Jonah has to learn to trust people he did not before in order to survive. He also learns of another new skill he has. Without giving too much away, Jonah can see things that most other people can’t, making his talents useful in combating a new danger to society and surviving in the ensuing adventures in the novel. Jonah and his crew end up in a new research facility, touted to be the place where the science of Revival would be studied and documented, as it is a ruse for activities much more dangerous and deceptive. When the novel ends, things are in a rather messy state in the research facility, but the world is safe...until the final novel in the trilogy! The setup is there for Jonah and his friends to find themselves in even more trouble in Patrick’s final installment, where it seems Jonah’s ability to see what is usually unseen will keep him as a key to the world’s survival.

To me, Lost Souls was more about the characters and the thrill and danger as they are in hiding and on the run than Reviver. It was certainly a good novel; very suspenseful and kept me up late turning pages. I did miss that less of the novel was focused on Revival, as it is such an original concept and I really enjoyed the descriptions of the process and all of the varied cases of Revival found in Reviver. It’s worth a read, whether or not you’ve read Reviver, and will especially appeal to lovers of supernatural and thriller novels. I’m waiting for the last book--I can’t wait to see where Jonah goes next--and I’m rooting for him as I’m sure his next challenges will be even more suspenseful than those in Lost Souls!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Jane Austen, Hollywood Stars, and Zombies Oh My!

Todd Jepperson



(KEVIN WINTER/GETTY)

The undead horde grew to record breaking numbers last weekend when they invaded Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA. Bringing with them the brightest stars from the upcoming film adaptation of Jane Austen/Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, they packed the theatre to the walls and grabbed the Guinness World record for most zombies reading Jane Austen at the same time. 

The A-listers showed up in their trendy best, but the zombies were clad in the disastrous ruins of once magnificent Romanticist gowns and Dapper period suits. By all accounts, everyone had a shambling good time. The stars aligned to present attendees with photo opportunities and even prizes for best makeup and costume. 

Interestingly enough though, everyone’s got a copy of the 1813 Jane Austen book and not the 2009 Seth Grahame-Smith adaptation that the upcoming movie is actually based on. In case you have forgotten, or haven’t read the book, here’s the blurb from the back:

“So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton--and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers--and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to [see].”

To read more, hop on over to People.com. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is slated to infect theaters nation-wide on February 4th.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Original Walking Dead is Back for Season 6

Todd Jepperson


If you've been spending your Sunday nights wandering aimlessly through station after station of mindless evening television, this post is for you. The Walking Dead has shambled its way back and from what we're hearing, it's bringing more zombies with it than ever.


Although Fear the Walking Dead has been fun while we've been  waiting, the kickoff to this new season of the real deal was a 90 minute Ricktopian visit to Alexandria where peace has more-or-less settled on our favorite little band of survivors.

We're not in the business of spoiling things, so for episode recaps you'll have to ride the link over to variety.com. We just wanted to let you know that you can bring your weekends to a comfortable, plague-ridden close once more.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Undead to Hit the High Seas!

Todd Jepperson


Have you ever woken up one morning and thought to yourself, "You know what I'd really like to do? I'd love to be locked in a 13 story floating tuna can with about 1,000 hungry zombies." No, I'm not talking about a movie here, I mean, yeah, that's been done before, but did you think you could really jump on a boat and sail it straight to hell?


No?

Well, this is awkward.

Anyway, I guess there's this new thing now where all of these cruise lines are booking zombie themed cruises of the damned and it's kind of awesome. Check it out. It kinda started last year when Royal Caribbean International lost their Allure of the Seas cruise liner to the legions of hungry dead in November. The ship sailed for 7 days and spread the infection from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to Labidee, Haiti and Fallmouth, Jamaica. On-board were a bunch of notables in the zombie world ranging from groups like Zombie Squad, friends of Z&T, including author Jonathan Maberry, makeup artists Shallyn Bodnar and Kelly Smith who both graduated from the Tom Savini Special Makeup Effects school of hard knocks, and even fitness trainer Lisa Johnson so that you could get yourself in run for your life shape.


Some of us missed out on that one, so then comes the Walker Stalker cruise and we were all excited. $750 gets you on board the Norwegian Pearl with your favorite stars from AMC's production of Bob Kirkman's The Walking Dead. This one is a three-day trip from Miami to Nassau with live panels, photo ops, makeup experiences, and all of the food and drink you can stuff in your ravenous gullet. Although you haven't missed the boat yet, all reservations for this one are full already. However, you can jump in on a waitlist just in case there is someone who comes to their better senses and backs out of their spot.



Now's the good news.

We're talking zombies here. Infection. Pestilence. Spreading of pathogens.

It caught on. Now, through a company called LashCon Cruises, zombies are sailing all over the world. Their Euro Zombie Cruise can be booked all the way up until January 1st, 2016 and will be crashing places like Barcelona, Rome, Capri, Southhampton, Paris, and Bruges. Also, the Zombie Island Cruise is scheduled for a March 2016 departure out of Orlando. Details about this one are scarce, but there is a really cool chance to win a "Zombie Edition" 2016 Kia Soul.


From the website:
"Seventeen years ago, the apocalypse occurred, changing life on Earth, forever. The global zombie infestation spread rapidly, overwhelming any attempts by the Center for Disease Control. The undead now populate the earth with an undying hunger for human flesh. We must return to our origins, we must return to Zombie Island 

While mindless and concerned only with consumption, these creatures are clever and diligent in their pursuits. Your mission is to destroy all zombies and save the few remaining humans that might aid in your fight. Travel through many lands to rid the world of this new species and try to save the human race.

While on the ship the Captain told us that there might be survivors on an uncharted island, in 3 days we will send a team to check it out, we will report back to the ship of our findings."



So, grab your gear, jump on board, and sail the seven seas with all of this zombie cruise mayhem. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Step Right Up!! This Way To The Zombie Circus!

Matt Boiselle

                                                 

There's a cold wind blowing through the fairgrounds, chilling the body to the bone, and far across the midway is the sound of howling, groaning and assorted noises...could be screaming. Now for those who possess the guts to investigate, you'll be greeted at the ticket gate by an usher who'll escort you through the blackened swamps of New Orleans and into one of the most frightening circuses you could NEVER have hoped to witness. So who'll be the first to come forward and experience this macabre mix of undead clowns, magicians, and various allotments of rotted talent?

From artist and writer Barry Barnes comes "Zombie Circus" - a children's book that is meant for adults (I mean you could show your child if paying for years of therapy is your thing). The book is actually a tale about lost love, and the creation of the circus, spanning from the bayous of NOLA, to the theaters of New York City. This small hardcover copy contains numerous illustrations of the show's performers and has some frightening yarns to keep the fans of the fetid aptly satiated, and is prefaced by an introduction from William Stout.


So, if a trip to the carny's compound is in the cards for you, then feel free to glide on over to ZombieCircus.com to grab your copy - there are two versions available: the hardcover book itself, and a limited edition that comes with an assortment of deadly fun goodies (greeting cards, gift tags, a circus brochure, and tons more) - the site also sells things like decorative silk screens and wooden purses for that favorite dead chick in your life (or afterlife). So what are you waiting for? Drag your bones on over and pick up some goodies...unless you DON'T want to leave the circus?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Zombies Now Using the Living as Shields

Todd Jepperson


We've heard of the emerald cockroach wasp and other real life zombie nightmares, but according to National Geographic, there’s a new player on the Z team and they’re using live bodies as shields.
It’s terrifying, but it’s worse than you think… maybe.


First, let’s talk about ladybugs. Cute, right? Innocent, right? Harmless? Apparently, not so; these little guys are the Bengal Tigers of the insect world killing and eating thousands of smaller, more helpless bugs at a time. They first detect the invisible chemical distress signals given off by plants under attack, and then they turn on their Predatory style bio-sensors before going full homicidal and shredding everything in sight.


But wait! There’s more.

If you’re expecting the knight in shining armor to ride in and save the poor aphids in distress, you’re about to be terribly disappointed. As a horror movie inspiring defense, the cute little ladybug bathes in its own blood as a defense mechanism to drive predators away.  It’s not only intimidating, but it apparently tastes pretty bad too.



That is until this cute little ladybug becomes host to Dinocampus coccinellae, the nasty little newcomer to the zombie wasp party. These little monsters lay their eggs inside the living body of the ladybug, where the rotten little offspring feeds on the fluids that fill the ladybug’s body cavity. Eventually, they get too big for their living host’s body, and they crawl out to cocoon for metamorphosis


And this is the good part.

While cocooned, the little parasite is completely helpless. So it takes the still living body of its former host and hides beneath it for protection. The Ladybug’s mind is still not its own, so it stands motionless above the wasp pupae for about a week.  All the while engaging in its own defensive blood bath to ward off would be predators.

Eventually, the wasp has grown into an adult, where it cuts its way through the cocoon (and probably part of its former home) and flies off to infect some other adorable little bug and turn its nightmares into reality.

Can you imagine if this kind of stuff happened to humans?



Check out the full article, “Mindsuckers,” over on NationalGeographic.com. Oh, and good luck sleeping tonight.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

REVIEW: Dead Run by D. Taylor

Andy Ross



Dead Run is a new zombie thriller graphic novel by artist/writer D. Thomas. It tells the tale of three strangers thrust into a horrific end of days scenario after a dirty bomb attack in New York City turns people into infected fiends. Roger is a police officer racing to the safe zone to reunite with his wife and his journey crosses paths with Fran and Peter, whose own struggle for survival together began with a crash. People are dying, infected are running rampant, the military is on the scene, and time is running out.

The story is fast paced and bounces back and forth in time to provide a fuller picture of the action. There is a lot more going on here than your run of the mill zombie apocalypse story, and you are kept guessing what will be happening to our heroes next.

If you are looking for something different to read and like zombies (of course you do) then pick up a copy over at Amazon and settle in for an action packed adventure.