Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ed's Mini Book Review - The Morningstar Strain: Thunder and Ashes

Continuing with my zombie-fest mood of late, I decided to read book two of The Morningstar Strain series, Thunder and Ashes.

For some background on the story, Morningstar is the name of a uber-fast spreading virus that turns you into a feral, ultra-violent, disease carrier along the lines of those infected by The Rage Virus in the 28 Days Later film. The added twist here is that after you die, you rise from the dead like your run-of-the-mill zombie from the Romero flicks.

This book picks up where the last one left off, following two groups trying to meet at a research facility in Omaha. The first group contains Dr. Ana Demillio who was studying the virus at the time of the outbreak and subsequent pandemic. The other group is a group of Army soldiers who are headed by a friend of the doctor, General Sherman. Sherman is travelling from the West Coast and Dr. Demillio is travelling from the East Coast all the while total chaos is all around them.

This book is more of a survival horror book than a zombie book. The main threats are not the undead, but the survivors of the initial pandemic and to what depths have they stooped to survive in a law-less, dangerous world. What I liked about this installment of the series is that it could have easily focused on the horrible things that people do to survive and I have read too many survival horror books that went down that road but this one didn't. It kept it classy so to speak and focused on the story and driving it forward. On the flip side, I felt that some of the character development was weak and even at points, I would struggle to remember who was who, especially with the Army group.

All-in-all, a good entry in the series and I look forward to the next book.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ed's Mini Book Review - Dearly Devoted Dexter

Dexter iPhone wallpaperImage by xploitme via Flickr

On the heels of reading and thoroughly enjoying the first Dexter book, I quickly nabbed myself a copy of the second in the series, Dearly Devoted Dexter. For those that are fans of the cable series, and I haven't seen any of the series, here is where, from what I have read, the series diverges from the books.

Dexter now finds himself the target of someones attention, a Miami PD officer who knows something is amiss with poor demented Dexter. Since the closing events of the last book Dexter is being followed so he keeps up his facade by spending time with Rita and her kids more and Dexter finds himself settling into domestic bliss, his urges from the Dark Passenger being held at bay but totally gone.

Complicating things further is his sister, eager to prove herself as a new homicide detective. Oh, and the serial killer who dices up his victims with such surgical precision as to keep them alive after he's done his work. What is poor domesticated Dexter to do? He would like to help his sister, and have a sit down with this new serial killer to compare notes. He would also like to satisfy the Dark Passenger and he has just the child killing chap in mind for this. And what about his new de-facto family, who has members that seem to have inklings just like Dexter?

This all makes for some fun reading, if dark humor and dismemberment is your bag, and another good entry in the series. Not as good as the first but a good time nonetheless.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Reading List - March

Books - bookcase top shelfImage by ~ Phil Moore via Flickr

My updated reading list though I got off track from last months' list but I think that'll be a normal thing for me.

Sleepless by Charlie Huston
Thunder and Ashes by Z. A. Recht

And just around the corner, Changes, the new book in the Dresden Files.


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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ed's Mini Book Review - Darkly Dreaming Dexter

For my second book review, I'll tackle the book that has spawned a wildly popular cable TV show, Dexter. Now, I haven't seen the TV show but anyone I ask that has, absolutely loves it so that enticed me to read the book and boy was I not disappointed.

For those that don't know the basic premise of Dexter, he is a blood splatter expert for the Miami CSI department who helps out the Miami PD, including his police officer foster-sister, as an amateur serial killer profiler. His acumen in this area comes from the fact that he himself is a serial killer, obviously unbeknown to anyone else. He knows how serial killers think as we get to see how he thinks. Of course, to make sure we root or feel for Dexter he has a code instilled in him by his foster-father, Harry, an ex-cop, who saw what Dexter was from when Dexter was a young age. Dexter only kills people who deserve it and he also must be absolutely sure of their guilt.

I am going on too much and don't want to give too much away like some reviews do, but I can't recommend Darkly Dreaming Dexter enough. It is dark comedy at its finest with fun characters and, what makes all crime books worth their salt, a good mystery to boot.


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