Monday, 27 February 2012

'Locke & Key Welcome to Lovecraft' - Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez

Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft is a collection of the first six episodes of the comic by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. It's time for my second comic book review, and this time I was braver in choosing a comic. This will be my first encounter with Joe Hill, but Locke & Key came highly recommended by a fellow blogger. I am eternally grateful to myself for buying myself a copy of Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft to review. 

There's dark and gritty, and there's Joe Hill Dark and Gritty. Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft takes us to a cottage out in the country where a family of five are relaxing. Their blissful life comes to an end when armed intruders turn up. 

The story alternates between retelling the past and their traumatic fight for survival, and the present, where the family moves with their uncle to an old house. Welcome to Lovecraft, Massachusetts. It's a great gothic looking house called Keyhouse, and this is where their father and his brother grew up. Their uncle fondly tells them of childhood memories and the games they used to play, but was it just imagination...

It's a time of healing for the family, a time of getting their heads around what happened, and adapting to their new life. It's not an easy time for anyone except the youngest son, Bode. Maybe he is too young to understand what happened that day, maybe his age makes him more resilient. He is happily exploring the house, when he finds an old odd looking key. The door the key unlocks is a tall dark and imposing door with a skull inset above the frame. Bode unlocks the door and steps outside. Or at least he thought he would, but what happens next is equally terrifying and exciting.

Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft is one of those reads that's so compelling it has to be read in a single sitting. The suspense was almost unbearable at times, and Joe Hill's story invokes some pretty strong feelings. It's violent, but in a way that feels real, and that is what makes me uncomfortable. I don't like it when violence is trivialised, a tap to the chin and the person passes out, but then wakes up and shakes it off like nothing happened. Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez shows enough to make me squirm and hold my breath, but it’s what we don’t see that’s the worst.

Don't get me wrong, there is more to Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft than just gritty violence. Joe Hill does a really good job of making us feel the emotions of the two older kids, how they try and cope with tragedy, and what it is like to try and fit into a new school. But what really makes the story is the supernatural element. The capabilities of Keyhouse are really cool, and what lurks in the old well house is creepy. I suspect what we saw in the first six episodes is just the tip of the supernatural iceberg. 

Gabriel Rodriguez illustrations work well. The colours are muted which seems suitable for such a serious story. The only colour which is allowed to stand out is red, and it does get the opportunity to do so more than once. 

Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft weighs in at 186 pages and is published by IDW Publishing

Recommendation: must read

Thursday, 23 February 2012

'Irenicon' - Aidan Harte

Irenicon is the debut novel by Aidan Harte and is the first part in a trilogy of historical fantasy novels. It's a very suitable title for a book where family feuds and hatred are core concepts. Ever since Concordian engineers divided the city of Rasenna into two parts with an enormous wave, Rasenna was at war with itself. I'm quite excited about Irenicon, it's one of the first books from Jo Fletcher Books, a new alternative fiction imprint from Quercus. Thank you Jo Fletcher Books for providing me with a review copy of Irenicon.

There are two ruling families in Rasenna, the Bardinis in the south, and the Morellos in the north. Like the mafia, they fiercely protect their territories and expect to be paid by the lesser families for their protection. The endless fighting has left Rasenna poor, with many of the once busy factories empty, apart from the deserted machines, and the dust covering them. At least the rulers of Concord sees no reason to quarrel with the broken city, only taking a tribute each year. 

The only thing keeping the city from tearing itself apart is the last surviving heir of the old ruler, Contessa Sofia Scaglieri. The young Contessa is looked after by The Doctor, the head of the Bardini family. Until she is of age, she is a Bardini, not a Scaglieri. To prove herself she has trained hard, harder than anyone else, and she is now one of the best fighters. Rasenna is famous for its martial prowess, and their unique fighting style, using their family banners as weapons. 

One day, a young engineer from Concord arrives. He is there to build a bridge across the river, Irenicon. To him, the bridge is not just for crossing a river, it's also a way to bring an end to the feuds and unite Rasenna again. This is not quite what his masters had in mind, and they take action to prevent it from happening. 

The Contessa and the engineer now have to face the might of Concord, with its armies and strange machines. They are also up against the endless intrigues in Rasenna, can love conquer hatred?

Aidan Harte impressed me with his world building in Irenicon. It's an alternative version of Europe, so the geography is similar to what we know today, at least as far as I can tell. What has changed is the history of the world, drastically so. Technology is more advanced, and science never replaced Natural Philosophy, which now has almost magical applications. It’s well thought through and also interesting to read about. A solid foundation for the story.

Hatred plays a central role in the plot, and Aidan Harte dedicates quite a few pages to establishing just how much of it there is in Rasenna. Irenicon, I felt, is off to a slow start. A lot of time and energy is spent in Rasenna following the two families plotting. Allegiances change back and forth, and the poor Contessa doesn't know who to trust. More elements are brought into the plot, a mysterious nun, malign river spirits, and scheming merchants. You would think so many things going on at once would be interesting, but instead it feels like nothing happens. There is no escalation of conflict, only more of the same, and for a while I was worried Irenicon would be another don't read. Then, the plug was pulled out of the bath tub, and like a rubber duck, I was swept away by the rest of the story. The change of scenery felt refreshing, the danger facing the protagonist was escalated, I was seduced.  Characters, who I previously could not see what motivated them, now made sense.

In general I liked Aidan Harte's prose, but there is a lot of Italian words in the text, and their meaning was not always clear from the context. Sometimes it was difficult to follow what was going on, mostly when a character's action in one paragraph seemed unrelated to whatever they were doing in the previous one. 

It’s a ambitious project by Aidan Harte, and it’s a shame the book is such a slow starter. On the positive side, the two main characters are likable and well rounded. What’s more unusual is the strength of the supporting characters, which are all interesting and genuine. It’s almost an insult to call them supporting characters. 

There are a few things I did not like about Irenicon, but the last third of the book turned things around quite drastically,and left me with a positive feeling. At almost 600 pages Irenicon is a brick of a book, but it is fastidiously written brick. It stands out with its, somewhat surreal, world building and well rounded characters. If you want something a bit different to your traditional fantasy Irenicon might just be the book for you. 

Irenicon weighs in at 592 pages and is published by Jo Fletcher Books

Recommendation: read

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Digital Shindigs with Quercus

The good folks at Quercus decided it would be a good idea to meet their bloggers, and also introduce us to some of their new writers. I freaked out. If I was good around people I wouldn't have to hide behind a book all the time. Luckily, Bethan, who is the marketing manager at Quercus, convinced me to come, or I would have missed a smashing event.

Not only did I get a chance to meet the lovely staff at Quercus: Nicci Praca, who was my first contact at Quercus when I asked for a copy of Åsa Larsson's Until Thy Wrath be Past, Mark Thwaite, head of online, Nicola Budd, editorial assistant for Joe Fletcher Books, and many more.

There were also plenty of writers present. First, I had a chat with Eleanor Prescott, whose book Alice Brown's Lessons in the Curious Art of Dating is out in April this year. Tom Pollock, whom I met several times, was there as well. Tom's book, The City's Son, is also out this year.

There was of course quite a few bloggers there, and the first one I spoke to was Nikki from Notes of Life.

My buddy Free Bar and his sister Free Food made an appearance as well, which was great. I love seeing them, and I wish we could all meet up more often. It's not always good for me to spend too much time with them, but this time it went alright, and we parted as friends.

What was really cool though was the gift bag Quercus had prepared for each blogger. A big bag full of books. When I rifled through mine my first thought was, only chocolate could improve this, and that's when I found the bar of chocolate. Here's the rest.

Notice the Peter May book, that's a digital book! Tom Fletcher, author of The Leaping, was also at the event. I'll stop name dropping now though.

Thanks to the staff at Quercus who organised this fantastic event. Cannot wait for the next one.

Monday, 20 February 2012

'Blood of Aenarion' - William King

Blood of Aenarion is the first part in a trilogy telling the story of the twins, Tyrion and Teclis. What first caught my attention was the author, William King, who is best known for being the creator of Gortrek and Felix. I'm huge fan of the berserker dwarf and his foppish human companion, so the expectations are high for Blood of Aenarion. Tyrion and Teclis are two well known, even legendary, elves in the Warhammer universe. I don't actually know much about them at all, but I'm eager to learn. Thank you Black Library for providing me with a review copy of Blood of Aenarion

The prologue drops us into the defining moment of elven history, where Aenarion, the first Phoenix King, stands against the forces of chaos as Caledor completes the ritual that banishes the demons. Against all odds, Aenarions defeats the four arch demons sent by the gods of chaos. 

Such an epic event deserves a book on its own, and while the prologue is certainly functional and a way of delivering exposition, it left me wanting more. I wish William King had given us the background in another way. Anyway, fast forward 5-6000 years...

In an old villa, twin boys are living with their father. The father is of noble blood, but has spent his wealth on research, arcane ingredients and dusty old tomes. One brother is strong, fast, confident and already skilled with most weapons. The other brother is frail, his body ravaged by disease, but with a sharp mind and a talent for anything magical. Elves are never sick so this worries the boys and their father, for their lineage bears an ancient cursed. When Aenarion drew the Sword of Khaine he forever cursed himself and those of his blood. 

Their father's villa lies in a remote location, so it's with not a little excitement Tyrion spots a group of travelers approaching. Their aunt, a powerful mage, has come to deliver them to the court of the Phoenix King. When descendants of Aenarion come to age they also needs to be screened for the curse, and this is the real reason for their summons. 

In the nexus of the spell cast by Caledor a demon awakens. For millennia the demon has gathered power, and explored the spell, which serves as its prison. It now has enough power and knowledge to break free, and this time the world will be its own fief of torment and forbidden pleasure. First, the blood of Aenarion will pay for its imprisonment. 

What will prove the greatest danger to the twins, a demon of immense power, or the intrigues at the court of the Phoenix King?

So, who are these young men? Tyrion, the older brother, is clearly destined to be a great warrior and leader of elves. The boy has lived in such isolation he does not realise how skilled he is with weapons, or even games of strategy. He can immediately see weaknesses and strength on any battle field, be it on a game board, or scenes in book. Anything else he finds boring, and lack of interest is something he mistakes for being slow.

Teclis, is the younger brother with the frail health. He is so sick he can barely leave his bed most of the time. He is jealous of Tyrion's perfect physique, just as Tyrion is jealous of his interest in magic and academia has brought him closer to their father. Teclis is more conflicted than his brother, and it's a shame he does not feature more in this book. Then again, there will be another two books in the series for him to shine in. He is torn between envy and love of his brother, but also his taste for knowledge and ultimately power. When his aunt promises to teach him magic, which his father has kept from him, his dreams come true.

At first I found the boys flat and not very interesting, and especially Tyrion was just annoyingly perfect. There is depth however, the two brothers have a complicated relationship, and you never know if they will turn on each other. Tyrion also has a redeeming innocence of youth, and his eagerness to fight and win glory is charming. When he makes his first kill he also realises things about himself, which scares him. 

Blood of Aenarion might sound like your typical fantasy, two young men learning the ropes and losing the innocence of youth. The difference is, we know who these boys are, and what they will become, legends. I couldn't wait to see what would happen, how much awesomeness would they be capable of in the first book, would it be too easy for them? William King gives them a solid challenge, and at the same time sows the first seed for a sub plot, which looks like it can grow into something very interesting. When it comes to awesomeness, we are given a good taste of what the young men will grow into. 

Blood of Aenarion might not be the book you pick up if you are looking for a book with well rounded female characters, as they are not much more than decoration for Tyrion's arm, but certainly the right choice if you want action and a taste of legends. Just like the Gortrek and Felix books Blood of Aenarion is packed full of action, with realistic and fast flowing melee. A worthy read for any Warhammer fan. I certainly look forward to part two, Sword of Caledor. 

Blood of Aenarion weighs in at 320 pages and is published by Black Library

Recommendation: read

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Tom All Alone's - Lynn Shepherd

Tom All Alone's is Lynn Shepherd's second novel, and just like her first, Murder at Mansfield Park, this is also based on the work of another writer. Her new book is based on Bleak House by Charles Dickens, which seems like a clever choice as 2012 is the bicentennial of Charles Dickens' birth. I read her first book as an attempt to try reading something outside what I normally read. With Tom All Alone's I can't really make that claim, I do really like Victorian who dunnits. Thank you Corsair for providing me with a review copy of Tom All Alone's.

Charles Maddox is the nephew of the man with the same name we met in Murder at Mansfield Park. His uncle is still alive, but has now reached his winter years. The old man is not himself anymore, and Charles Maddox barely recognises his relative, who now only has brief moments of clarity. After being dismissed from the police, the younger Charles Maddox is trying to walk in the footsteps of his great uncle, and is working as a private detective. So far he only has one case, one which he is not even sure is solvable. His client is a father who many years ago drove his daughter out of the house for becoming pregnant, but on his wife's deathbed he promised to find their daughter and her child. Charles Maddox has already interviewed the staff at the orphanage where the young woman lived, and it looks like she died there. It's a great relief when he is tasked by one of London's greatest lawyers, Tulkinghorn, to help a client of his. The client, who wishes to remain anonymous, has received threatening letter, and wants to know who sent them. Grateful as he is, Charles Maddox cannot help feeling something is amiss, but he needs the money and the boost to his reputation. Well, first he has to find whoever sent that letter. Then, he can find out what his client is hiding from him.

There is another point of view in Tom All Alone's, one of a young girl. A young girl recalls what happened to hear from early childhood, to becoming a young woman. Her parents died, and she was sent off to live with a guardian. She was ever so grateful, and promised herself to always be good, and to love her guardian. Her story starts out sad, but then she seems so happy with her guardian and the other girls living in the big house. 

Lynn Shepherd paints such a beautiful image of an adorable, selfless, and fragile girl filled with love and life. I can't help but wishing her happiness, and that's whats so unnerving about her story. Something is wrong, horribly wrong. It's subtle, so we don't know what is. Not knowing makes me try and fill out the blanks myself and pulls me into the story in an effective manner.

One thing I like about Victorian fiction is the contrasts you encounter. Britain is an empire at this time, with interests reaching all corners of the world. There is so much wealth, yet also so much poverty and disease. I can't help it, but I find it funny how the rich still cannot escape the filthy streets. Just like in Murder at Mansfield Park Lynn Shepherd brings the setting into life with her writing. Where Murder at Mansfield Park was a bright and happy, Tom All Alone's is much darker, and frankly, horrendous at times. 

Charles Maddox the younger is a confident man, who is very proud of his abilities of perception and deduction. He quite quickly finds out the importance of experience, not everything can be taught. I'm glad he is not another Sherlock Holmes clone, even though there are certain similarities, at least Lynn Shepherds character is capable of mistakes. His quest for truth will take him from face down in filth, to a murder scene worse than any abattoir.

In Tom All Alone's Lynn Shepherd has gone the extra mile with the plot. It's cleverly layered, with sub plots and two narratives. Curiosity is a great motivator for turning the pages, and I was in the dark, but the light at the end of the tunnel was in front of me. What would Charles Maddox do next? Our detective is very much in the driving seat, always proactive instead of reactive. The author never resorts to moving the plot forward with dirty tricks, and the result is a smoothly flowing story. 

Tom All Alone's is a dark and compelling who dunnit, with a well balanced protagonist. My immediate thought after reading it was, what will Lynn Shepherd do next? Once again she delivers, and I look forward to her next book. Tom All Alone's is worthy of a place in the bookcase of a crime fiction fan, and especially a fan of historical crime novels. 

Tom All Alone's weighs in at 336 pages and is published by Corsair.

Recommendation: read

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Who Won? Empire State

Time to announce the winners. Yes, you read that right, winners. My Angry Robot overlords provided me with an extra copy of Empire State.

First lucky winner is: Olivia from London.
Second lucky winner is: Michael O'Sullivan from London.

I felt bad when two Londoners won my INTERNATIONAL giveaway, so I decided to sponsor the giveaway with a copy myself, and drew a third winner from the non-UK entrants.

Third lucky bonus winner: Tim Lewis from Oregon, US.

I hope you guys enjoy the book as much as I did. Phew. I'm exhausted.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

'Dead Harvest' - Chris F Holm

Dead Harvest is the debut novel of American writer Chris F Holm. I won a copy of the book in a competition on Twitter. I decided to read it without looking at the blurb, or researching it online, so this will be a very short introduction. Thank you Angry Robot for providing me with a review copy of Dead Harvest.

It's late evening, and you are on your way home from the office. For once the bus was not overcrowded, letting you sit down while you counted the stops until it was time to alight. The area you live in is really quite alright, sure there are a few dark alleys you would not go through, but all in all it's not a bad neighbourhood. You know this, yet you cannot help feel worried when you see a man leaning against the fence surrounding the park. Even from this distance you can see the size of him. To your relief you realise there is another man walking down the street towards you. With only a hint of shame you decide to cross the road, you would have to soon anyway, and this way you can avoid the two men, who will shortly meet. Before you pass out of sight you turn your head for a quick glance, and what you see stops your breath. The smaller man, barely reaching up to the shoulder of the other, thrusts out with his hand, as he passes the bigger man. Instead of impacting against the other man's chest, his hand sinks through without bloodshed. The face of the large man contorts from pain and fear. You decide to run as fast as you can, only this time you feel no shame. 

A friend of mine once told me every reviewer secretly wishes they were writers. Clearly she was wrong, I just happen to think this was a suitable way to introduce Dead Harvest. What our unfortunate friend just witnessed was a Collector collecting the soul of a damned. You see, when you do something bad you draw the attention of hell and its minions. Then, maybe you can be tricked, or made desperate enough, to do something even worse, and that's how they get their claws on your soul. Claiming their prize is not something the demons do, this is where the Collectors come in. They used to be mortals, but are now doomed to harvest the souls of the damned. Some of the, take pleasure in it, some just feel they just become less and less human for every soul they take. 

For his sins, Sam Thornton is a collector. He is standing in a hospital ward with his fist reaching into the chest of a young woman, who has killed her family. Sam has a tight grip of her soul, but instead of feeling the darkness of her guilt, he is instead struck by the light and purity of her innocence. This is something the has never felt before, and he immediately realises something is very wrong here. His job is to collect those whose souls are corrupt from their sins and no one else. God knows, he really does, Sam Thornton is no angel, but he won't condemn this young woman to an eternity of torment in hell. He decides to do the unthinkable and releases her soul. He must get her out of the hospital to win some time, and get to the bottom of this. Easier said than done, the hospital is full of cops, and the girl is cuffed to her bed. Sam Thornton suspects this will still be easier than whatever comes next. 

Sam Thornton is not without resources of his own. First of all, the body he is wearing is not his own, it's not even alive. One of the skills of a collector is to take possession of a body, be it dead or alive. Useful when you need to get close to someone, who otherwise would be hard to get to. Will it be enough to take on the legions of hell?

The demons and angels genre is not one I read a lot of, probably because they tend to have rather cheesy covers, mostly featuring half naked men and women. I did however read Good Omens by Sir Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, which is a great book. Another great book about demons and angels is God's Demon by Wayne Barlow. However, we are here to talk about Dead Harvest

Let's start with the bad, so we can finish with the good. I did struggle with the structure of the story. Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Dead Harvest was mostly a middle bit, where Sam Thornton and the girl were on the run from the demons. The problem is it all felt pointless as it did not lead anywhere. This long chase does not really move the plot forward at all, and it's mostly used to give us background information. First a escape scene, followed by the girl asking why Sam Thornton can't just do something a certain way, and him explaining why. Not how like my exposition to be delivered, and I felt it ruined the otherwise well written action. To top it all off the end is only brought forward as Sam Thornton suddenly makes a crucial connection. That's a little bit too easy I'm afraid. 

The setting did not leave me with much of an impression. Dead Harvest is supposedly set in the US during the depression, but I can't say it stood out in anyway. I was really hoping for something more along the lines of Empire State, where the setting itself was as alive as the characters. 

Luckily, Chris F Holm has done a lot better with Sam Thornton, who is a rather likeable character. Maybe not something you would expect for someone who has damned himself to eternal suffering. Sam Thornton is saved by his good sense of humour, and pragmatic approach to problem solving. He seems to thrive under pressure, and with the legions of hell hot on his heels, it's a good thing he does. 

Sam Thornton's memories of his life before his damnation is what I liked best about Dead Harvest. The recollections are very short and scattered throughout the book, like small nuggets of character depth.

Dead Harvest is a book I want to like, with a good concept, a strong character with both depth and conflict, but the delivery lets the writer down. The book turned out to be an exciting read, and I even missed a buss stop, but things too often ground to a halt from info dumping. Chris F Holm still showed potential, and I wouldn't be surprised if I pick up the second part.

Dead Harvest weighs in at 416 pages and is published by Angry Robot Books. It's scheduled to be released on the 1st March 2012. 

Recommendation: don't read

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Book Giveaway: Empire State

I love the cover btw!
I am behind on my reviewing right now, so to appease my loyal readers I will give away a copy of Empire State by Adam Christopher. To refresh your memory of why you want this book, take a look at my review.
This competition is international, everyone is welcome!

1) Send an email to winabook NOSPAM at iwillreadbooks dot com (but remove the NOSPAM).
2) Make the title for your email Empire State
3) Don't forget to include your address, or I wont be able to send you the book
4) Do this before Tuesday the 14th of February 2012

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

'Double Dead' - Chuck Wendig

Double Dead is the first published novel by writer and blogger Chuck Wendig. His blog terribleminds is a fun read if you are interested in writing, and can cope with Chuck Wendig's rather unique style of writing. I can see why his honeyed words might be too much for some, but when I first heard of Double Dead I thought, because of his style, he could pull it off. It's a fun idea for a book, which manages to combine two very popular genres, vampires and zombies. Vampires drink blood and zombies eat humans. Sounds like we have a conflict of interest at stake. 

Double Dead starts with a drop of blood. A single drop finding its way into the mouth of the desiccated and lifeless body of Coburn the vampire. To a vampire blood is life, and as more blood trickles into his mouth, Coburn's body is revived. He claws his way out of the rubble that was his grave to find the source of the blood. A derelict theatre is the stage for a rather gruesome scene of two men tearing into a deer with their bare teeth. To a starved vampire this does not even register, he just sinks his fangs deep into the neck of one of the men, and starts to drink. What comes next however, penetrates through the red mist. Instead of rich blood Coburn's mouth is filled with a black, rotten, and lifeless fluid. 

Poor widdle vampire has tucked into a zombie. Not the best way to start the day, It's like giving a man who is expecting  full English breakfast a plate of rotten. A vampire can't snooze for 50 years without waking up to the end of the world and a zombie apocalypse. Outrageous! I just can't help myself, but that's pretty damn funny. Never really thought of how troublesome it would be for a vampire. 

There is not much to say about the world building in Double Dead. It feels very Walking Dead like, which is not a bad thing. Only so much you can do with this genre maybe. Cities have been taken over by the mindless dead, but there are survivors out there, and obviously, rumours about a safe haven and researchers working on a cure. A suitable blend of ingredients for the job at hand, even if we have tasted them all before. 

Coburn is one of the things I really like about Double Dead, and Chuck Wendig should be very pleased with his character. Coburn is a violent, sadistic, ass of a vampire. I saw quite a few reviews where the reviewer could not take to the book because of this, and after reading Double Dead this baffles me. Coburn preys on people, takes nourishment from blood, what did they expect him to behave like? Mother Teresa? His monstrous behaviour is what makes the book so good, and it wouldn't be as interesting otherwise. 

Coburn has an addiction to blood, and when the hunger is upon him he is no longer in control. He will do what it takes to feed, and with his super speed and strength he is very dangerous. The man is a monster, but he was once a normal man. Unfortunately he cannot remember anything from his life before his transformation so he has embraced his new self. He knows the things he is capable of, and has done makes him a monster, so he behaves like one. I think he is doing it to protect himself, and his own sanity. I might not be able to sympathise with him, but I understand him, and this is what makes Coburn such a interesting and realistic anti-hero. Add to that a lot snappy dialogue with a lot of one liners, and we are in for a hell of journey with Coburn. 

The plot is a mostly a case of surviving the zombie apocalypse, which might sound straightforward. However, humans and vampire have quite different requirements for survival. This means there will be some rather drastic decisions made by the characters, not only Coburn, which is good. Drastic usually equals exciting! Apart from all the social conflict, struggle between groups of people for resources, there is also plenty of personal conflict. Coburn easily has the most conflict dealing with his urges, but it's not easy for the humans as well. Trust is a big issue in Double Dead, but I won't give away anything from the plot so let's leave it at that. There is one more thing; a very important question in the zombie genre, and rarely answered, is actually answered in Double Dead

I really like Chuck Wendig's writing voice. It might be aggressive and in your face, but the humour takes the sting out his use of offensive language. Yes, it’s in your face and sweary, but it should not be taken seriously, only the point he is trying to make. As far as I am concerned he pulls it off really well, and it is his aggressive tone which gives his writing its zing.
At first, he thought about just kicking down one of these doors and marching inside like he owned the place - feeding with the aggressive gusto of a man ripping the top of package of Cheetos and shoving his whole head inside like it was some kind of gratuitous feed-bag.
Double Dead is a stellar take on the zombie apocalypse and vampires. I did not expect such great character development, and excellent use of personal conflict. I can only apologise to the writer for underestimating him, and congratulate him on a terrific book. Don't worry, Double Dead will definitely tickle your fancy if you are an action nut as well. The pace is furious with no time for relaxing. It's a must read for any fan of the genre, or really for anyone who likes a good book.

Double Dead weighs in at 320 pages, and is published by Abaddon Books.

Recommendation: must read, or Creampuff will chew your nose off