The end of the world…. again…

Last Ones Left AliveLast Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After listening for an hour and the first 10 chapters, I was still waiting for something truly different or unusual to happen. The split timeline is a nice gimmick, bringing Orpen‘s past and present together eventually. The plot is fairly basic, there are no great surprises and it‘s pretty predictable. I‘m assuming the minimalism is on purpose.

The Road comes to mind. With zombies. Orpen is pushing along a wheelbarrow with an incapacitated passenger, on her way East towards Dublin. Trouble lurks ahead.

What also comes to mind: bleak, depressing, violent and cruel. Pretty hopeless. Orpen’s initial goal seems ominous. The story ends on a more positive note that I expected. I liked it, although it‘s abrupt and pretty much wide open.

The story itself didn‘t really do much for me. Zombies, fighting, screaming, infection, a city that might be salvation or hold human horrors, loss, despair, death and maybe a little hope. All bases covered of the usual zombie story.

There are plenty of plot points and characters that are not sufficiently covered or explored. So, can we assume that a sequel is in the works already?

Good audiobook narrator, with a nice Irish tilt (Anne-Marie Gaillard). She sounds very excited and frantic a lot of the time, which makes it a bit challenging emotionally and hard to understand at times.

PS: I hope you haven‘t read too much of the book synopsis yet, it gives too much away of the story. It‘s Ireland and zombies and it‘s grim, that‘s all you need to know going in.

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Zombie road trip

The Girl with All the Gifts (The Girl with All the Gifts, #1)The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So, the first 80 or 90 pages were meh. Then things went ballistic and I read a chunk of it fairly quickly. And then, although the story kept up a good pace, I slowed down again. Great take on zombies, but I felt strangely ambivalent about it.
That was pretty much me for the entirety of the book. Good story, bits were I was hooked and kept flicking pages and then stretches were I wasn‘t exactly bored, but the book didn‘t do much for me either. It was captivating enough though to keep going.

The main characters were well done, although they were a bit stereotypical.
I would have liked it if Caldwell had been explored more. A deeper dive into her psyche, her motivations and the events that shaped her.
Justineau was the one we were supposed to identify with and root for, I guess. And it worked. She turned out to be a lot more Ripley than I expected, which I liked. No damsel in distress here.
Parks turned out to be my favourite character, emotionally. He somehow underwent the farthest trek and personal development on this road trip.
Melanie had the toughest journey of personal discovery and coming to terms with what she is. Did she move a little too far into the sidelines at the end? I am not sure.

The plot developments at the ending were fascinating, very creepy, exciting and shocking. And hopeful, promising…. This elevated the book from 3 to 4 stars for me.
Compassion wins over science. I closed this paperback with a „cool, I liked that ending!“
I would read a sequel along the lines of „28 years later“.

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Hollow story

Hollow Kingdom: A romp through the apocalypse with the world's most unlikely hero . . .Hollow Kingdom: A romp through the apocalypse with the world’s most unlikely hero . . . by Kira Jane Buxton
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

“ My name is Shit Turd and I am an American crow. Are you still with me? Crows aren’t well liked, you see.“

“I owe my life to you. As an honorary MoFo, I’m here to be utterly honest and tell you what happened to your kind. The thing none of us saw coming.“

Finished chapter 9, returned it to Amazon. The beginning was funny enough, but the rest was just pretty pointless rambling for me. I was missing a red thread. There seemed to be no plot to speak off. Schoolyard humour and plenty of vulgarity alternating with overly clever waffling. The more I think about it, the more I dislike this book. Smart premise. And that was it for me. Sorry.

DNF, read 24%, about 77 pages of 320. Skimmed the last chapter. Nope.

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Conspiracy, politics and zombies

Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1)Feed by Mira Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“We’re the all-purpose opiate of the new millennium: We report the news, we make the news, and we give you a way to escape when the news becomes too much to handle.“
I thought this was epistolary fiction, with the bloggers telling the story solely via a collection of blog posts. Which is the main reason why I didn’t pick up this book sooner. Not a fan of that type of story telling. I was positively surprised that this is a more conventional novel.

The book is set after the apocalypse, in a world where we have somewhat adjusted to living with zombies and managed to carve out livable spaces. No eventual triumph over the dead in sight. Instead we take a look at how society develops with zombies as part of life, in a world that functions despite the thread.

I would have liked to read more about the effect the outbreak had on everyday life. How society coped or didn‘t, what the world looked like. More background, more details, maybe more interaction with normal people. I guess that would have been a different novel altogether. Instead this is a political conspiracy novel, with some zombie action thrown in.

A little too repetitive. I don‘t need an explanation how the body weight impacts the amplification of the virus several times. I understood it the first time.

World building was ok, I had hoped for more. Character development was ok, a little too cardboard template, but not bad. Mostly believable, as type casting goes. One surprising plot twist. The bad guy/conspiracy stuff was predictable and not terribly suspenseful.

Summed up: Good entertainment, something to read on the beach, nice amount of action.

I am pretty sure I will pick up the next book of this series. ★★★★½

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Zombies, vampires, were-terriers…

iZombie, Vol. 2: uVampireiZombie, Vol. 2: uVampire by Chris Roberson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

We start off with Scott, telling us how he met the girls at the café for the first time. He is such a nerd!

I did like to find out more about Scott. But generally I expected more vampires in this, considering the name of the volume.

A lot of build-up and many plot bunnies, but none of the storylines went anywhere conclusive in this volume. Very much a filler, that fleshes out some background.

It was ok, art and colouring are nice, but it doesn‘t inspire me to find and buy the next volume. I might like the TV adaptation just a little bit more after this.

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