Welcome to Undead in the Head Book Reviews
Undead in the Head is a website dedicated to all zombie literature and the authors who write it. Within these posts there are numerous zombie book reviews and interviews with authors. The number of zombie books is ever growing, so the reviews will keep coming. Undead in the Head is expanding slowly and will soon include reviews for zombie short stories and audio dramas. Any feedback is much appreciated. All members of the undead world are welcome here at UndeadintheHead.com.
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I look forward hearing from you.
For book review and interview queries please use the Contact Me page.
I look forward hearing from you.
Friday, January 29, 2010
For some reason I really wanted to read this book. It might have been the cover, I remember stumbling across it on Amazon saying “now that’s a cover.” I had to get it as soon as I could and now that I’ve read it I wasn’t that disappointed.
We follow a group of survivors holding up in a Costco like warehouse. Sarah, our main survivor, was standing on the roof of the building one morning. She started having thoughts about jumping off the roof to the undead down below, she has lost all hope to live when out in the distance she heard a faint noise. A helicopter comes into her view, excited for seeing the first other group of survivors in years she goes to wake up the rest of the survivors. The big group of survivors decide risking their lives running across the infected town to reach the helicopter in hopes they will be saved.
When only some of the survivors reach the helicopter, they are rescued and taken to a near by military base. The base is located on a military ship known as The Ishtar. When Sarah and the few survivors left land on The Ishtar they are welcomed by Commander Patterson, one of the men in charge. The survivors learn of the true purpose of The Ishtar, it is a research lab looking for any useful information on the virus. A breakthrough was thought to be found but ended up being horror for the remaining survivors. In order to find out what happens to Sarah and what this breakthrough is you’ll have to read the book.
One of the real good things about this book is the dialogue. As I was reading I could imagine myself standing next to these characters and listening in. I said this before and I’ll say it again I loved the cover. The zombie looks great, the bitten off nose was a real great touch. The zombies are the traditional zombie which is something that I enjoyed, they were slow and would creep up behind you tearing flesh out of your neck.
Domain of the Dead isn’t a bad book but it just couldn’t really catch my attention the way I thought it would. Yes the dialogue was well written but the story itself was lacking a little. (SPOILER START) This story would have been better if you would have followed Cahz and the rest of the marines when they gave up their seats to the survivors in the helicopter. I thought the book would follow them as they tried to stay alive in the city over run by the dead. That was not the case, the book follows Sarah and the other survivors. We don’t really hear anything on Cahz and the marines until the end. (SPOILER END) The characters were mostly two dimensional and I couldn’t get a good visual on them. The beginning was great but most of the book was a bit dull and lacking something.
Over all it was a good book, I would have liked it more if the story line was a little different. There’s wasn’t as much action as I would have hoped. I’ll have to give Domain of the Dead 3 Undead Heads out of 5. Domain of the Dead is available at your local book store but to make it easier you can follow the link below to Amazon.
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Art by Len Peralta
I first heard about this book on the podcast Mail Order Zombie (mailorderzombie.com) and I was instantly interested in reading it. I’ve often wondered what a zombie children’s book would be like and I have to say this one was pretty good. I went to the books website and picked up a copy. The book is $10.00 and worth it.
A normal boy, Johnny from Cameron Lane lives a pretty normal life. After school be spends his afternoons playing up in his beloved tree house. Everything was great when he played in his tree house until an unwanted guest turned his life upside down. A zombie invades his marvelous tree house and forces Johnny to find somewhere else to play. Everyone asks why he’s no longer playing in his tree house. He replies that there is a zombie in his tree house and he can’t go up there.
Johnny was known for his imagination so no one believed his zombie story. His family beings to investigate his tree house, one by one they go. What happens to Johnny’s family? Is it just in his imagination? Is there really a zombie terrorizing his tree house? In order to find out you have to read the book.
Ok I’ll be honest; I bought this book mostly for myself. I told my wife it was for our daughter. I really liked it and I’m sure I’ll have a blast reading this to her over and over again. I really enjoyed this book, the writing was awesome and the art work was great. I love the real big eyes on Johnny. This book had me smiling and laughing throughout most of it.
Overall it was a pretty fun read. It was also a very quick read, I can’t complain about that because it is a children’s book. The story is a bit repetitive, but that’s good sometimes, just ask Dr. Seuss. I didn’t really care too much for the ending. As an adult I need an ending but to a kid this might be what they need to keep them thinking about the book. I’ll go ahead and give “There’s a Zombie in my Tree House” 4 Undead Heads out of 5. This book is not available at your local book store but it should be. You can get a signed copy of the book, just follow the link below.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Illustrated by Tony Moore, later by
I really wanted to have "The Waking Dead" be my first review on my blog but I didn't want to write anything until I read trade #11. It was due out a few weeks after I started the blog so I had to postpone my review. I finally had a chance to make it to Sky High Comics (my local comic book shop) to pick up a copy. This is a comic book and it has been running since 2003. There are no plans on ending the series anytime soon so I'll be reviewing every trade hereafter.
The series starts off with a small town police officer Rick Grimes being under attack by a crazy guy with a gun. The man has really no relevance to the story but he does get a shot at Rick. A now hospitalized Rick wakes up to a world now over run by the undead. He has been in a coma for weeks and has no idea of the horrors around him. Making his way around the deserted hospital trying to understand the mayhem, he finds himself coming face to face with zombies. The only option he has is to flee back to his home to try to find his family and understand what's happening
When he makes it to his home he finds his wife, Lori and son Carl are no where to be found. As he wonders around outside he is caught off guard as a kid hits him over the head with a shovel. Rick is met by a father and his son taking refuge in a neighbor's home. The father begins to explain to Rick what has been going on. Unable to believe what his ears were hearing, he was sure his family has already died. The man gives Rick a glimpse of hope saying the government has told all survivors to make it to Atlanta where they will be taken care of.
Now the real story begins, Rick makes his way to his old police station and loads up on weapons. Saying thanks to his new friends Rick gets into his police squad car and heads for Atlanta. What happens to Rick? Does he find his family before they're turned into one of the undead? In order to find out you have to get your hands on all 11 trades.
Ok, to sum everything up in just a few words, this is the best zombie literature I have laid my eyes on. It is a wonderful well told story. It gives you the sense of what life would really be like after the dead rise. There is nothing bad I can stay about this comic. This may very well be the best zombie story out there. I enjoyed it with every turn of the page. It made me laugh, cry, stress and pretty much experience every emotion possible. It's so hard to say how much I enjoy this comic.
The illustrations are great. With the artist changing so did the characters. They did start to look somewhere different once Charlie Adlard took over. One great thing is that you can really see in the images how much these characters have changed over time. Not because the artist changed but just with all the stress the characters are under. This makes the comic more believable.
I don't want to spoil too much (don't read this paragraph if you don't want to) but I also don't want anyone to be caught off guard. This comic is a very, very . The things that happen to these people is very disturbing and it kind of makes you feel sorry for them. Even though they are fictional characters it still touches you, that's how much of a good comic this is. That being said, if you like horror and scenes of violence then you'll defiantly love this comic.
There is a television series in production about "The Walking Dead". As of now there isn't too much information on it. It is said that the series will begin this year 2010.
Overall "The Walking Dead" is a great piece of literature and I do recommend it to anyone looking for blood and gore. This is a well told story; pretty much everything about this comic is wonderful. I'll have to give "The Walking Dead" 5 Undead Heads out of 5.
"The Walking Dead" is available at any big book store. Barnes and Noble is a good place to go but if there's a comic book store in the area go there. It's best to support these small . I will not post a link to all the trades’ just trade #1. From there you can search for all 11 at Amazon.
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Friday, January 15, 2010
Dying to Live is the first book in Kim Paffenroth’s zombie trilogy. Paffenroth is a Bram Stoker Award winning author so I knew this book would be promising. I previously read History is Dead edited by Kim Paffenroth, yet I have not written a review of that book. I saw "Dying to Live" at Borders for 50% off so I quickly picked it up. That night I dove right into the mayhem.
Jonah Caine, a of the undead infestation travels from place to place trying to find somewhere he can call home. He wonders around the town that has been decimated by the undead, in search of food and shelter. Finding only the undead around every corner, until one day his luck chances. Surrounded by the undead closing in on his location Jonah finds himself being saved by a group of survivors holding up in a near by museum.
Jack the leader of the survivors welcomes Jonah to the community with open arms. Jack, a former military man alongside with Milton, a scientist, have looked after this community as they struggle for survival. Milton has a desire to learn and understand humanity's strengths and weaknesses. Both Jack and Milton strive to build a better community for the survivors, something close to the life they had before the dead rose. Milton has a strange power over the undead that makes him a sort of a messiah to the community. Jonah, Jack and a few other survivors go in search of a strange fire burning in the distance. Once they find the source of the fire they’re reminded how terrifying and monstrous humans can be.
Another group of survivors holding up in a near by prison are anything but friendly. Jonah and company are captured by these sadistic sorry excuses for people and are beaten are going to be used as sex slaves. Popcorn, one of the children survivors is also captured by the prisoners. He finds himself in a worse hell then living amongst the dead. In order to see what happens to the survivors and to understand what Milton’s gift against the undead is you’ll have to read the book.
I honestly enjoyed Dying to Live; it was well written and had a good story line. I loved all the characters especially Popcorn. I mean who wouldn’t love a little kid that kicks ass. Milton's gift was a nice touch, out of all the zombies books I’ve read this is a unique idea. There is some religious talk in the book but it’s what you would expect with the end of the world at hand. It was an awesome book with great action scenes.
Now I’ll need to get a bit critical here. This is my opinion and it might be different for others but it seemed like Kim Paffenroth over describes everything. It’s like it took him two pages to say Jonah and company ran across the street. With everything being over described there’s not much left to the imagination. That’s my only complaint about the book.
Overall "Dying to Live" was a great story and I do recommend it to others looking for a good zombie story. I give it 4 Undead Heads out of 5. "Dying to Live" is available at your local bookstore or to make it easier follow the link below to Amazon.
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Thursday, January 14, 2010
Illustrations by Avatar Press
This is the third Brooks book I've reviewed and this one has to be the biggest disappointment. "Recorded Attacks" wasn't what I was expecting. I was expecting more in depth situations and information but everything feel a little too short. Although what we got was good, I wanted more out of the stories.
It starts off in the year 60,000 BC where the first recorded attack took place. All of the stories are just speculation; there was never any real evidence to support the stories, (which is a good thing because I would hate to find someone who takes these historical events as fact). We travel all over the world from Egypt to Siberia and even to the United States . Solanum is referenced in the book like it has in his previous books.
This is a graphic novel so it's pretty cool to be able to see the zombies on print. I think the best part of this book is the illustrations, done by Avatar Press. The zombies look great and surprisingly horrifying. The illustrations match the story 100%, Avatar Press did a great job.
Over all "Recorded Attacks" was a good read even though it only takes a little over a half an hour to read and enjoy. It is ridiculously over priced at $17.00 here in the United States. It's a good book but not worth the money, even though it did have interesting parts like the practical purpose for removing someone's brain before being mummified. To know what I'm talking about you'll have to read the book. I give "Recorded Attacks" 3 Undead Heads out of 5.
"Recorded Attacks" is available at your local book store, but I don't recommend buying it for $17.00 bucks. Buy it online for a cheap price, as always you can follow the link below to Amazon.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Illustrated by Jeff Weigel
"It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Zombies" is a children's book of zombie . I know has come and gone but I found this book at Borders for 70% off along with the rest of the Christmas books. For only a few bucks I couldn’t resist a zombie book. It’s a pretty short book; I finished it in half an hour.
The book pretty much just takes regular Christmas carols and adds the zombie madness to them. All the classics are here from to Jingle Bells. Each is different from the original carol but the melody is… well almost the same. A few extra words are added which throws off the melody. It’s hard to really sing along with the each carol as the book suggests.
The great thing about this book is the illustrations. Every other page in the book is met with an illustration that compliments the carol. They are really well done, even though they are cartoons they are fun to look at.
Over all, this book was an OK read. I mean I tried to at least sing along with some of the carols but the extra words threw everything off. It is really repetitive, same words being used over and over again. Some of the carols didn’t even make sense, it seemed like he just added “zombie” words in random places. I’ll have to give "It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Zombies" 2 Undead Heads out of 5. It may not be available at your local book store because it is a seasonal book. You can follow the link below to Amazon.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
City of the Dead is the sequel to The Rising.
I reviewed The Rising a few post back and it received 4 Undead Heads out of 5. Let’s see how City of the Dead compares to The Rising.
I’ll have to say that I enjoyed City of the Dead just a little bit better then The Rising. The writing style improved dramatically, I wasn’t as lost in the commotion as I was with The Rising. The story was again well told and had me holding my book tighter and tighter as I read. That’s one of Brian Keene’s strong points, he can tell a great story.
City of the Dead begins right where its prequel ended. Jim, our main hero of the first book is still searching for his son. Not to spoil anything but within the first 10 minutes of reading you’ll find out that Jim does in fact find his son Danny. After over coming unbeatable odds it seems that Jim’s journey is over. But as quick as the last book ended the zombies come and start their assault on the newly reunited father and son. From here on out you’re filled with eye twitching action and scenes that will make you really feel for these fictional characters.
The zombies in City of the Dead seem somewhat different from The Rising. In The Rising the zombies had slower movements that if you ran you’d be so far ahead of them. But here it seems like no matter how fast you ran they were right on your ass. I started noticing this at the end of the Rising. I swallowed it at first but later in the book it just started getting to me. As much as I wanted the survivors to just out run the zombies, every time they tried they met with their demise.
The Ending was great; there are no cliff hangers so I don’t believe a third book will ever come. All lose ends were tide up and City of the Dead’s ending was exactly what you would expect.
Overall City of the Dead has a lot of the strong characteristics that The Rising had. It's also available on audio book and it runs 8 hours long. It's read by the same man who read The Rising, Peter Delloro. I'll add a link at the end of this review.
Another well told story and the writing did get better. There were some sexual scenes that were a bit over the top but in a real disaster like this people are known to go a little insane. I give City of the Dead a well deserved 4 Undead Heads out of 5. City of the Dead can be picked up at your local book store or to make it easier you can follow the link below to Amazon.
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A wonderful and very fun read.
The Zombie Survival Guide takes you into the world of the undead. Written in the style of a regular survival manual, The Zombie Survival Guide is far from regular. Brooks starts off by talking about the origins of the zombie menace. It explains what causes the dead to rise, the name of the virus and much more useful information. Brooks really tries to make you believe that this is the real cause of the zombies and this is how they function. It is all written in humor, that’s why you will find this book in the humor section but zombies are far from funny.
This is a hard book to review since there really is no plot and no characters. It is a lot of fun though. You’ll learn survival tips for surviving a zombie outbreak. The book discusses the correct weapons to defend yourself and the ones to distance yourself from. Many more interesting bits of information like how to identify the warning signs of an early zombie outbreak and what to do once you find yourself facing the undead.
The Zombie Survival Guide is also available as an unabridged audio book. It is put out my Random House Audio, and read by Marc Cashman, who does a great job. He reads the book with as much of a straight face as it was written. The audio book runs at 8 hours and 38 minutes, it is rather long but it will keep you entertained. I'll add a link to the end of this review.
Overall The Zombie Survival Guide is a great read, very smart, very funny and well thought out. is a genius when if comes to zombies in literature. I give The Zombie Survival Guide 4 Undead Heads out of 5. The Zombie Survival Guide is available at your local book store or to make it easier just follow the link below to Amazon.
While I review this book I want to make it clear that I am only giving very brief comments on the book so I don’t give out many spoilers. I’m just going to give out a very fast, easy review.
Hands down this is one of the best zombie novels out there. It has everything from action to emotion and it’s intelligent.
The title of the book pretty much sums up the book, it is an oral history of the zombie war. The main plot is about a United Nations Postwar Commission agent (Max Brooks) who is writing a report about the zombie war. The UN was only interested in facts and figures, and so it left out a lot of the individual feelings from his report. The novel is basically his whole report, written as a form of protest to not have these people's stories be silenced.
World War Z or WWZ is written in a way that makes you (the reader) believe this was an accrual war that took place a decade ago. Brooks travels around the world to find these people so they can give their side of the story. We go from country to country reading what they had to do to survive. One thing I enjoyed about the book was the style; Brooks chimes in just at the right time to ask just the right questions as the interview goes on.
Unlike most books WWZ does not start with the infected already taking over the world and we follow a group of survivors along their journey. Instead the first person interviewed was one of the doctors that first came into contact with an infected child. Although the real origin of the virus remains unknown, the first encounter was in China.
I don’t want to give out to much detail as the book its self will cover everything better than I can. Let’s move a long to some of the action the book has to offer. The battle of Yonkers is what stands out the most. The person being interviewed is Todd Wainio he tells just how unprepared the military was with their counter attack. What was to be a moral booster for the American public turned ugly real quick. The book continues and we hear about other countries counter attack attempts that end in pure horror as military personal are given orders to abandon protected citizens. In order to see what happens next and how the war is finally won by the human race you’ll have to read to book.
There is an abridged audio book of WWZ. It is a well done audio book as each interview is met by a different voice. Many voices in the audio book are familiar as we have Luke Skywalk (Mark Hamill) Jesus from the Big Lebowski (John Turturro) Norman from All in the Family (Rob Reiner) and so many other well known actors, directors. Etc. Only problem with the audio book is that it is an abridged version so there are a lot of good interviews missing. If you take anything out of my review please let it be this, do not listen to the audio book before reading the book. I made that mistake. I missed a lot of good stuff left out of the audio book. I will put a link to the audio book
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Day by Day Armageddon is a first person view of a Naval pilot (I’m guessing played by Bourne) keeping a diary while the zombie apocalypse is at hand. The book starts off normal, Bourne tells you a little about what’s happening in his life. Slowly but surely he begins to realize what the news stations are reporting and he quickly begins to brace himself for the worst.
An infection that turns the recently dead into mindless, flesh eating zombies blazes across the
. United States
As the infected quickly begin to outnumber the living Bourne does the best he can to survive. The president tries to regain control of the United States. His final order was to drop nuclear warheads on all major cities. Shortly after the dead took his life. Bourne is forced to leave his home and flee the city, he must to make it out of the blast zone. Once out of the blast radius he's safe but must continue to find shelter. He meets more survivors a long the way and he does a good job describing how they use team work to survive. To find out what crazy situations Bourne and the survivors find themselves in you must read the book.
One of the strong points about Day by Day Armageddon is that Bourne does a great job making it realistic as possible. Since Bourne has a Naval background he has good knowledge of the weapons and planes used in the book. Bourne used an idea that I’ve been waiting for someone to write about. He survived because he looked out for himself; he wasn’t trying to be a hero so he survived. Everything had great detail and the characters are well thought out and evenly expressed.
I have to get a little critical now, while I enjoyed most of the book there were some things that just got to me. There were numerous spelling errors, that is understandable for a self published book but it felt like every other page had a mistake. Once he even called a character by a different name. Maybe that’s just how the book is supposed to be. If I was keeping a diary during the apocalypse my spelling would be terrible. The book is an extremely fast read, for someone determined they can knock it out in a few hours. The book just keeps your attention so most people, including myself, want more.
There is a sequel to Day by Day Armageddon, Borders.com has it for pre-order. Beyond Exile: Day by Day Armageddon is due out
July 06, 2010, and is said to follow where the first book left off.
I just found out that a audio book of Day by Day Armageddon is now available for purchase. It is a unabridged version, meaning there are no parts cut out. It is read by Jay Snyder. The only place I've seen this is for download at Audible.com. I'll include a link at the end of this review.
Overall Day by Day Armageddon was an enjoyable read; I found it entertaining and a lot of fun. The misspellings did get to me though and also the quickness of the book. I’ll give Day by Day Armageddon 3 Undead Heads out of 5.
Day by Day Armageddon is available at your local book store or to make it easier follow the link below to Amazon.
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I have mixed feelings about this book. At first when I heard about The Rising on message boards I thought the idea to be stupid. But when I was forced to read it by my wife who bought me a copy as an early Christmas gift I quickly began to think twice.
On one hand it has the zombies that I don’t care for but on the other, the story is enjoyable and entertaining.
The book follows three different characters with different stories. At the beginning of the book we find our first character, Jim. His part in the story is typical, he gets a mysterious phone call from his son Danny saying that he’s scared and wants to be with him. Determined Jim leaves his underground sanctuary to travel a few hundred miles to reach his boy. He meets people along the way, one being Martin, a reverend who feels that God is telling him that he needs to help Jim find his boy.
Next we meet William Baker, mostly referred to as just Baker. He is a professor of nuclear physics and the lead director of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, a part of the Havenbrook National Laboratories. There’s really not much I can say about this character that won’t give too much of the story away. I will say this; the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider is said to be the reason “The Rising” began. Throughout his journey he finds out more of what the zombies are and what they want.
Finally we meet Frankie, a female hooker & street junkie who is just trying to survive. She starts off in the beginning of the book as sort of a punching bag but later becomes the strong woman figure that is determined to stay alive. Throughout the book you are reminded that she was a hooker and there are scenes of sexual acts she performs. She wants to stop living that lifestyle but with the end of the world at hand she must do what she has to for survival.
The zombies in the book are not the typical mindless, shambling zombies. These are the possessed type of zombies. This is one of the problems I had with this book. To me if they are not mindless, shambling, all I want to do is eat you zombies then they are not really zombies. They have the ability to talk, drive, shoot guns, and on a bunch of occasions they can set up ambushes.
The beginning of the book had a lot of dialogue between the humans and the zombies, which made the book more interesting. As the book went along there was less and less talk with the zombies and more action. The action scenes were well written and you get a good sense on what’s going on. The writing style is a bit rough. Almost every chapter is met with another character. He leaves you with a cliff hanger at the end of the chapter but the next chapter comes along and it’s a different character. This happens in every chapter until you reach about 3/4 of the book.
Overall The Rising was a well told story but personally this type of zombie is not my cup of tea. There is a sequel to The Rising called City of the Dead. My wife bought me City of the Dead not knowing it was a sequel to The Rising. I was totally confused reading City of the Dead; I stopped two chapters into the book. This was two years ago and I finally got around to reading The Rising. I’ll have to pay City of the Dead another visit now that it will make more sense.
The Rising is on audio book, i haven't had the time to pick it up so i don't know the quality. It runs 9 hours long so I'm guessing it is an unabridged version. It is read by Peter Delloro. Amazon had the audio book but it's way expensive. I found it as low as $10 bucks at this website. I'll add a link at the end of this review.
Now putting all the pros and cons together I’ll give The Rising 4 Undead Heads out of 5. The writing was a bit rough and not my kind of zombies but it was a well told story. The Rising is available at your local book store or to make it easier follow the link below to Amazon.
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