Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Killchain by Adam Baker

Killchain (Year of the Zombie Book 1)Killchain by Adam Baker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Killchain by Adam Baker is Infected books opening novella in their year of the Zombie series. Twelve authors, twelve zombie novellas and all to celebrate 15 years since the publication of Infected Books first novel, David Moody’s Autumn.

Set within the same world as Baker’s bestselling novels Outpost, Terminus and Impact, Killchain takes place at ground zero, Mogadishu in Somalia where a dead satellite crashed. The virus entered the population and quickly spread leaving the infected flesh hungry zombies.

The Russians are here desperately seeking an antidote and also here, not trusting them an inch are the Americans with rookie CIA field operative Elize Mahone. Her first live mission to assassinate the leading Russian surgical specialist using a troubled young man willing to die for their cause.

The Zombie horde are getting closer, the hit needs to be done before they can get on the last flight out but betrayal is the ruination of many a good plan and this one's no different. Elize's luck just ran out. This story doesn't concentrate so much on the battle against the Zombies but more on the political games of the superpowers in the form of four people, two on the mission, one having second thoughts about killing himself and one unfortunate enough to be caught slap bang in the middle of it.

This was my first read from Adam Baker and I enjoyed it, the story gets interesting as Elize tries to fortify the mind of her kamikaze attacker and her mission partner discovers a double cross.

A 3.5* rating.

Also posted at http://paulnelson.booklikes.com/post/...

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Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and DisturbancesTrigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'I don’t understand parents. Honestly, I don’t think anybody ever does.'

Trigger Warning is a short story and poem collection by Neil Gaiman intent on finding those little pressure points that cause the most unease and arouse reflection, maybe even disturb you a mite.

There's some little gems here but first I'll explain why I like Gaimans wondrous prose and fascinating stories. He thoughtfully exploits the story twist and role reversal better than anyone but it's the little things that stick with me, shown perfectly in The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury.

'I went to the shelf and the dictionary was gone, just a dictionary-sized hole in my shelf to show where my dictionary wasn’t.'

Now that sentence probably wouldn't appear in most people's favourite quotes and to be fair it's easily passed and forgotten, but it stayed in the forefront of my mind as I listened to the audio. So much so that I spent 30 minutes desperately trying to find it in the kindle version. This perfectly shows the way Neil Gaiman thinks and writes, exploration of a mute fancy that no-one else would even consider wasting a second on, all in a sentence and that's why I love it.

Gaiman travels far and wide in this collection, from the last of the Time Lords to Sherlock Holmes and honey bees, from the fancifully dark fairy tale to Shadow from American Gods traveling through my home region of the Peak District encountering ghosts and murder.

The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains is a haunting tale of travel and treasure, family and murder, darkness, revenge and regret, desire of the soul. A true delight and I will certainly revisit the illustrated version of this story.

‘The Misty Isle is not as other places. And the mist that surrounds it is not like other mists.’

Nothing O'Clock sees the return of the Doctor and a foe worthy of terror, what can only be described as strangeness beyond belief starts with a person wearing an animal mask buying a house for cash. It soon becomes wholesale as property everywhere is being bought for cash by people wearing animal makes and they want one thing, for you to ask them the time.

Sherlock Holmes makes an appearance in The Case of Death and Honey as Mycroft breathes his last and case of research in a far off land into honey and a particular bee. The Sleeper and the Spindle is a delightful cross of fairy tales with Sleeping Beauty and Snow White and the seven dwarfs.

There's far too many stories and favourites to mention them all but safe to say I enjoyed this immensely, Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors and an incredibly talented guy. The absolute perfect medium to pull back that thin veil between worlds and explore the darkness beyond. A simply masterful story teller.

Just as captivating is Neil Gaiman himself talking about the stories and those little triggers, things that upset us, leave our heart beating overtime, shock, not gore but mind messing at its best.

'What we read as adults should be read, I think, with no warnings or alerts beyond, perhaps: enter at your own risk.'

Also posted at http://paulnelson.booklikes.com/post/...

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Easy Death

Easy Death (Hard Case Crime #117)Easy Death by Daniel Boyd
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The week before Christmas, two men hijack an armored car and go on the run. Can they evade the cops long enough to get the money to their employer?

Easy Death is a quick, suspenseful read. This tale of cops and robbers has a lot of twists and turns, made even more serpentine by Daniel Boyd's use of shifting viewpoints. The action shifts between several groups of characters and I got turned around a couple times.

One thing I really liked was that Boyd went out of his way to show that none of the criminals were all bad. Eddie and Walter cared about each other. I also liked the interplay between Ranger Callie and Officer Drapp. Even Brother Sweetie had more to him than I originally thought.

The repeated Christmas carol thing wore on me, though, just like in real life. I also thought the transitions were a little jarring in places. Other than that, Easy Death was a fun read and a worthy addition to the Hard Case Crime Series. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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