Short comics

Well, all those free comic previews and shorter issues haven‘t really pointed me in any really interesting direction. And Dynamite Comics don‘t seem to be my thing either. Here is another two…

Dead Irons #1 (Dead Irons Vol. 1)
by James Kuhoric,  Jason Alexander (Illustrator), Jae Lee (Illustrator) 

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Another freebie. After reading this, I looked at reviews of the collected first volume to understand what I had just read. Wild West setting. A werewolf, a vampire, a zombie, some flashback, a fanatic preacher, messy artwork with sometimes barely recognizable frames… whatever. Not for me.

Vampirella Issue #1
by Eric Trautmann (Writer),  Wagner Reis (Artist) 

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Don‘t like the artwork, don‘t like the lettering with the red/yellow framing.

Vampirella talks about the vampires she meets as if she doesn‘t belong to them and isn‘t a vampire herself. I have never read any Vampirella and therefore I am missing a lot of background information, that isn‘t provided here. Isn‘t she a vampire? What is the difference? There is no explanation.

Linear story, no real surprises, except fo that last frame maybe. Not interesting.

Zombies Down Under

Pandemic (Plague War #2)
by Alister Hodge (Goodreads Author) 

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I was a little concerned about „a sadistic guard begins to target women within the camp“ in the blurb. I am not squeamish, but violence against women in books sometimes makes me really uncomfortable. Which is why I waited so long to pick up this sequel. It was Ok though. It wasn‘t too graphic or creepy.

The main characters from the first book make an appearance, but I think this would work as a standalone. Although the beginning of the zombie apocalypse is always the most fun for me.

This was a solid and entertaining read. However, I failed to connect emotionally to any of the main characters. There were no real highlights and it was all pretty predictable. I might pick up the last book eventually, especially since this one here stopped more or less in the middle of the narrative. 

It was ok.

– Who let the dogs out? By Baha Men

New story arc shuffling into view

The Walking Dead, Vol. 9: Here We Remain
by Robert Kirkman,  Charlie Adlard (Illustrator), Cliff Rathburn (Illustrator) 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rick and Carl managed to get away. Rick is not doing so well, dealing with his injury…

I don‘t like Carl, the little brat. Does anybody?

Toilet paper is a precious commodity. Sounds familiar. And canned goods.

Picking up the pieces from the catastrophe at the end of the last volume… looking for a safe place, looking for potential survivors… this feels very much like an in-between volume. And eventually, towards the end, we start the journey into a new story arc…

Does Michonne look a little different in this one?

Bottomline, this is a quieter offering. Ok, yes, there is some zombie-slashing and gore spraying. The usual, you know… I actually like the quieter, less frantic setting, the conversations, the introspection… nonetheless, I think I am somewhere around 3.5 stars, rounded up. It was ok, but it lacked the frenetic drive of the previous volumes.

P.S. I could have sworn that I posted this review last night. Has WordPress ever eaten one of your posts?

This one was a corker…

Sub Zero
by Matt James

Rating: 0.5 out of 5.

Oh my goodness, the writing is ridiculously bad. 

Bad grammar, odd changes in tense, endless waffling without relevance to the action taking place, logical errors in the plotting, unrealistic characters, repetition… Where was the editor? Or a beta reader? 

I am willing to overlook a lot in my popcorn creature features, but I can‘t read this, sorry! DNF at 21%. Yikes.

P.S.: I would be happy for recommendations of some entertaining light horror, set underwater. I have an obsession with caves, diving, etc….

Wowza. Hold on to your hats!

Who is made to suffer? We are!

The Walking Dead, Vol. 8: Made to Suffer
by Robert Kirkman,  Charlie AdlardCliff Rathburn

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Waiting is over. The calm before the storm has morphed into a hurricane. 

This was me during the last third of this volume:

Pretty much speechless…

Repeatedly. Holy cow. I expected a pretty horrific battle, but the consequences of this one where more than I had bargained for. Did this many main characters die in the TV series? Wow. And that decapitation was something else… *shudders*

How can they recover from that? Who is even left to regroup? What will they do next? Crazy. Eat your heart out, GRR Martin!

Pretty yucky popcorn fiction

The Beast of Devil’s Rock
by Michael Cole

Rating: 2 out of 5.
Is that a huge spider I see on the cover?

Very popcorny. And extremely icky and yucky. And it‘s shortish, so I decided to ignore the not-so-great writing and plowed through. Done! Yuck! Really, really yucky!

PS: Don‘t expect a lot of plot, world building, background or character development. This is pure pulp fiction.

Now, where is that fly swatter? And a flame thrower…

Into the wild black yonder

To The Center Of The Earth
by Greig Beck

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I declare the earth is hollow, habitable within, and that it can be reached via deep caverns hidden about the world. I pledge my life to this truth and I am ready to prove my theory true.

Cavers go down deeper and deeper, in search of rumours, old tales and whoever inspired Jules Verne. Here there be monsters.

I was in search of something light, some underwater/caving creature feature and this looked interesting. There was one editing mistake early on, otherwise the writing was good. The characters were fleshed out sufficiently. I connected enough to care. It was suspenseful. There was humour. The critters were creepy and the world very imaginative and believable. I had fun. 

The ending was maybe a touch too fantastic, however also left the reader with two small plot bunnies, making me wonder if maybe there was a sequel? I would read it. Door 2 would mean reading Jules Verne…

The calm before the storm

The Walking Dead Vol. 7: The Calm Before
by Robert Kirkman,  Charlie Adlard (Illustrator), Cliff Rathburn (Illustrator) 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

We need to prepare for a possible attack on the prison… plenty of action, but also quieter moments than in the previous two volumes. 

Remember Allen and his leg? Yes, well…

The quiet moments are well done. Grown ups having realistic relationships, as far as that is possible during the Zombie apocalypse. It‘s the small moments…

The IKEA conundrum

Feels a little like a bridge story, waiting for that attack to come. Fitting title in that respect. Quite the cliffhanger at the end, although it was not unexpected. Interesting differences to the TV adaptation, the biggest being Carol.

It‘s the spiderpocalypse…

Zero Day (The Hatching, #3)
by Ezekiel Boone

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I skipped the middle book and went straight from book one to three. Apparently a lot of major cities were nuked in book 2 and spidergeddon is well on its way. 

…and they were on an aircraft carrier, and spiders were eating people and nukes were falling, …

There are a multitude of characters and locations, giving us a look at how they are dealing. I remembered few of them from the first book. Besides Melanie I mostly drew blanks.

The recap is done well, I did not miss the second book and found into the plot easily. I did not care about Bobby Higgs, I could have done without that part of the gazillion story threads. It was a drag.

My problem with the many, many characters and plots—by the time some of them came around again, I couldn‘t remember who they were. Maybe it would have been better to cut out some of the extraneous filler chapters and add more spidey action instead.

The climax was good, but the boss fight was entirely too easy and short. Seriously, after a build-up of three books, that was pretty lame.

Nonetheless, I had fun and was very entertained. It was creepy, when spiders did happen, and I was a little twitchy when I killed the lights last night. The epilogue made me cry (I am easy like that). 

I can recommend this trilogy to anybody looking for a fun creature feature. I would go and see the movie. And I will check out what else the author has published.

I received this free e-copy from the publisher/author via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review, thank you! Sorry that it took me so long…