Category: Book Reviews

Review – “Austin Nights” by herocious

Review – “Austin Nights” by herocious

Sometimes you find a story that’s more than a story, and other times you read a book that’s only a collection of words.  Sometimes you get a glimpse into someone else’s life and other times you take a step back and look at your own.  Sometimes you learn something profound and other times simplicity confounds you.  Sometimes you enjoy the journey and other times you only see the destination.  Sometimes you read a book like “Austin Nights” by herocious.

“Austin Nights” is a book that defies easy description, but delivers a potent impact to the self aware reader.  It tells the story of Michael and Bridget, a couple moving from Miami to Austin, TX, within the construct of a series of journal entries.  The chapters have been shuffled together in seemingly random order,  jumping back in forth in time and location, leaving you with an experience akin to tuning an old dial radio through someone’s mind;  sliding from station to station, moment to moment, memory to memory – impossible to hear an entire song, but inescapable in it’s mood and atmosphere.

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Excerpt from Stephen King’s upcoming novel “11/22/63”

Excerpt from Stephen King’s upcoming novel “11/22/63”

Stephen King’s latest novel, “11/22/62”, is set to be released on November 8th.  A time travel novel that deals with America during the late fifties and the potential for changing history.  The official synopsis describes it as:

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas,
President Kennedy died, and the world changed.

If you had the chance to change history, would you?
Would the consequences be worth it?

Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.

Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life—a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.

Schribner has released an excerpt from the book that you can read here.  I always look forward to a new Stephen King book.  This is no exception.

5 books, 5 minutes, 500 words or less: Volume 2

5 books, 5 minutes, 500 words or less: Volume 2

Once again, I find myself falling far behind on my book reviews.  I wish it wasn’t so – but 5 months of wishing hasn’t changed anything, so I’ve come to a conclusion.  It’s time for another installment of “5 books, 5 minutes, 500 words or less” (you can read the first installment here).  Let’s review the rules – I’ll review 5 books, with each review clocking in at 100 words or less, that hopefully you can read in 5 minutes or less.  (I guess that’s really kind of self evident, based on the title, huh?)  Think of it as speed dating for bok reviews.  It’s much harder than it sounds, constraining my brilliance and formidable insights to only 100 words per book, but it’s a great exercise in efficiency.  Hope you enjoy!

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“Deadline” by Mira Grant releases today

“Deadline” by Mira Grant releases today

One of my favorite books from last year was “Feed” by Mira Grant (it came in at #5 on my top 11 list for the year).  As I said about it at the time – “It’s that rare combination of a great story that also happens to be a great zombie story.  I really found myself invested in the characters and was emotionally affected by the ending in a manner that happens far too infrequently for me these days.” (You can read my full review of “Feed” here.)  I’m happy to say that today marks the release of “Deadline”, the sequel to “Feed”.  The back cover blurb reads:

Shaun Mason is a man without a mission. Not even running the news organization he built with his sister has the same urgency as it used to. Playing with dead things just doesn’t seem as fun when you’ve lost as much as he has.

But when a CDC researcher fakes her own death and appears on his doorstep with a ravenous pack of zombies in tow, Shaun has a newfound interest in life. Because she brings news-he may have put down the monster who attacked them, but the conspiracy is far from dead.

Now, Shaun hits the road to find what truth can be found at the end of a shotgun.

This is one of the books I’ve most been looking forward to this year and, as luck would have it, I just finished my latest read last night.  Thanks to the miracles of the Kindle, “Deadline” was waiting for me this morning when I woke up.  I’ll have a review posted as soon as I finish and digest the story.  In the meantime, if you’re a zombie fan, or just a fan of good stories, do yourself a favor and pick up “Deadline”.  (You can click here to order from Amazon, and support thewordzombie.com)


Review – “Entombed” by Brian Keene

Review – “Entombed” by Brian Keene

I’m a Brian Keene fan.  No getting around it.  As I remarked in a previous review – “His writing is like an ice-cold beer on a hot day – it goes down smooth and always satisfies.” He’s on my must have list – I’ll pre-order each new release on Amazon, I’ll comb the specialty stores for out of print anthologies, and I’ll shell out the dinero for each small press limited edition. (My only regret is that I missed out on the “lifetime subscriptions” he offered last year.  Oh well, you can’t win them all…).  So, when I heard his latest release “Entombed” would finally be available, but only as a limited edition from Camelot Books, I fired up ye olde Internet and placed my order (you can still snag a copy here).  I’m happy to say copy #151 now has a home on my living room bookshelf.  It was money well spent.  Well spent indeed.

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