A Little Bit of Background Knowledge

For those of you out there that, like me, want to know how things come about in storylines, look no further than Zombie Fallout 3.5: Dr Hugh Mann, a perfect short story installment in the Zombie Falloutseries by Mark Tufo, zombie genius extraordinaire.

This one doesn’t follow Mike Talbot, but rather gives us an incite into how the zombie virus came about. It turns out, as in any good zombie apocalypse book, that the virus was going to be used by the government to destroy a huge population of the Earth so that there are more resources in the control of said government. Only things go horribly wrong, as they so often do under the penmanship of Mr Tufo.

At first the virus is discovered by scientist Dr Hugh Mann, who soon realises that it is not a good thing, so tries to hide it, knowing that if the government get their hands on it, it would be used for their own gains. However, it seems that they did get their hands on it because it is soon being tested as a weapon in an underground military base, a weapon to win the second world war. But when the devastation it can create becomes clear this particular experiment gets shut down, possibly because it was seen as too inhumane for America’s enemies in the war. But then the virus is stolen again and finds its way into the hands of the people who want to basically take over the world.

So we are all screwed.

This is another brilliant read by Mark, and really shines a light on things. Plus it’s a perfect tale of greed…everyone’s favourite type of story :).


Still Going Strong

So I finished Zombie Fallout 3: The End a couple of days ago, and I would have posted about it then, but our internet has been a bit dodgy, so I’m sorry for the wait.

Anyway, I can say this with pure conviction: I have never read a zombie genre book, series or otherwise, that has been so down to earth and made me think so much about morals. I know I have mentioned this before in the other two blog posts regarding Mark Tufo’s work, but let’s just say that his third installment in the series does not fail to amaze in this area, or in area for that matter.

And yes you have your gore, death, loss of some main characters and a fantastic twisted plot that would put a sailor’s knot to shame. I thought that Mark Tufo couldn’t possibly get any more imaginative…and I was so wrong. He really twists the boundaries of the whole genre in this one, and without giving too much away let’s just say that the evil Eliza has humans working for her now! And the plot still thickens further with Tommy…

And then you have your comical moments, like zombies on ice, Mike’s many distracting thoughts and ventures into his past, plus we finally get to meet Mike’s side of the family. Which leaves me with little else to say about the plot without giving stuff away. Crap.

I really don’t know how an author can so easily balance love, death and humour, but it has been done. I bow before you oh great zombie genius.

I’m gushing and therefore I apologise. But in all seriousness: READ THE BOOKS! Meanwhile I’m going to go enjoy the Zombie Fallout short story, 3.5, along with a nice cup of tea because I’m British like that. Man if the world does end with the undead I sure as hell am going to miss drinking tea…

Who Says Sequels Are Rubbish?

Mark Tufo is a zombie genius. He has this way of writing that is simultaneously funny, down to earth and serious. And it works, tremendously.

The second book in his Zombie Fallout series, Zombie Fallout 2: A Plague Upon Your Family, is as amazing as the first installment. It’s full of twists, gore, jokes and mushy moments that threaten to break the ‘Man Code’ (read the book, then you will get the reference).

And you cannot forget the McDonalds scene,which was very funny. And though it is a flashback it allows you a little more insight into our loveable main character Mike Talbot.

This story carries on directly after the first one left off, with Mike and co escaping the carnage of Little Turtle and running from the nightmare that is Eliza, the female zombie who seems to want Mike’s head on a pike, and who keeps following him and his family around with a trick or two up her rotten sleeves.

As ever, the book is full of tense moments and even more so now that Mike and his family are on the run from the hordes of the ravenous dead that seem to be under the control of Eliza, who is much more than we first thought during the first book. No really, I’m not making that up or exaggerating.

Some characters end up departing us in this book too, then reappear and some old enemies also make an entrance. 

And the gore levels are amazing. All I will say on that matter is that you men out there will be wincing and cringing during one of the first few scenes of the book.

Mr Tufo is a wonderful writer and has set himself the big task of continuing to be so brilliant in the rest of the Zombie Fallout series. And I’m sure he won’t disappoint.

Laughing in the Face of Death

It seems that the Kindle is helping me to read quicker. But, simultaneously, I am missing the feel of paper in my hands.

So I have finished Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo, which is the first in the series of five, plus the short story. It was really nice to find such a well written book with a captivating plotline. I recommend, particularly to all zombie lovers out there.

The book is narrated by Mike Talbot, your average American dad and husband, whilst he battles to keep family and friends alive in a whole new world of terrors, a world where the undead rule the roost. But not everything is as it seems, even for a zombie apocalypse. Mike meets a kid called Tommy who seems to have strange powers that allow him to know what is about to happen. And if that wasn’t enough there seems to be a female zombie following Mike around, who appears way too intelligent for your average zombie.

There is a hell of a lot of gore in this book, mainly ripping off faces in some manner or other. There is even a disturbing scene involving a necrophilia incident, so it’s not for the faint hearted.

But it seems all the horror is balanced out by Mike’s sense of humour and random ramblings about the mundane that somehow link to events, even if they don’t seem to at first! Mike is a very loveable character, that any loving dad could connect well with. Hell, I connected really well with him because he’s just so human…and that is something you shouldn’t lose, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.

Did I mention that the virus was started by falty Swine Flu vaccinations? Yeah, no joke.

This book is full of tension, humour and gore. A perfect combo and well worth a read.

Fight For Your Life

It’s been a while since I played Left 4 Dead, so that’s exactly what I just did. I played as Zoey (as usual) and played on my favourite campaign from the first game: Dead Air. There is just something about the idea of a zombie apocalypse in an airport that really seems weirdly cool.

For those of you who don’t know, Left 4 Dead 1 and 2 are Xbox 360 games that see you play as one of four characters (different in both games) and the idea is to get to the end of the level alive by working as a team. Because there aren’t just your average everyday zombies, but these mutated ones that have ‘special’ powers. In the first game you have the Boomer, who throws up on you, thus attracting a horde of normal zombies, the Smoker who grabs you with his tongue and drags you away, the Hunter who pounces on you from far away, the Witch whos sits and cries until you get too close and startle her, which leads to you being violently attacked by her, and finally the Tank, who is a great big bulk of a zombie, driven by anger (much like the Hulk, but not green) who goes around using brute force to try to kill you.

So yeah, teamwork is a must in this game.

I was doing really well at first, killing the first four Hunters who showed their faces. They seem to have a thing for pouncing my character Zoey. So I showed them a thing or two. But then, as it usually does in Left 4 Dead, things went wrong. I think it was a horde that made things go wrong, then we had the first Tank and I distinctly remember running away from it like a wuss, dealing very little to that particular one. So then I threw all caution to the wind and just plowed through the zombies, but simultaneously making sure my team mates were with me (they are controled by the computer). It got a little chaotic, let me tell you. But the most important thing I remember from that chaos:

I remember particularly a zombie who try to climb a fence, only to be shot down. But it fell down bent at a 90 degree angle, whirling its dead arms around and around and landed on its ass. It was quite amusing. Then there was the Hunter who tried to jump and pounce me from the bottom of an escalator (I was at the top). I quite spectacularly shot it in the head mid-flight and its momentum carried it head-first into the escalator. Finally there was the two fail Smokers, and by fail I mean they completely missed when trying to grab any of us with their tongues. I chased after them and cut them down in their prime.

You will be pleased to know that me and my team mates did not die and got to the end of the campaign and into the rescue plane in one piece. Louis was caught by a Smoker at the last moment, but I ran out of the safety of the plane to rescue him. Aren’t I just a little hero?

And finally here is a funny picture to amuse you:

Death Goes On Holiday

I finished another book today. I think I finished it in six days, which is quite good for me. It was a really good story and I just couldn’t stop reading. It was about zombies…typically. But not them taking over the world this time, just a holiday resort island. No biggie.

For those of you who play games, no doubt you have heard of the Xbox 360 game Dead Island. Well this book I speak of is the story behind the game. And though the game has been criticised for the many glitches and lack of co-op game play, the story itself is just brilliant. It’s actually written by Mark Morris, who any budding Doctor Who fan out there, like myself, will recognise as the author of some of the Doctor Who books, two of which by him I own (for those who care they are Ghosts of India and Forever Autumn). So it is a bit weird to read something quite this gory from someone who has written much less gory pieces of work.

Anyway, the story goes that an outbreak of the zombie virus, which you find out at the end of the book is called Pathogen 7, wipes out the resort island of Banoi. We follow a growing number of people in the end. We start off with three main characters, Purna, Sam B and Logan, then Xien Mei joins them, then they find Jin, a resident of the island, and later on in the book they find Yerema, who we know from the very beginning was locked in a cave by her father, who is head of a native tribe on the island. This tribe are cannibals, for the record.

And that’s how the virus started. It was in the tribe for centuries, having been caused by the tribe eating human flesh. It was a disease that mutated, causing victims to be violent at first. But then it started to bring the dead back to life.

Turns out that there is an organization that is using the virus, and eventually the vaccine, to get money, as the virus could be used as a biological weapon.

It’s all very complicated, gory and action packed. Our main characters, in the midst of all of this, must escape the island without bringing the virus with them. That of course would result in an apocalypse, and we have had far too many of those!

However, the book ends on a cliff-hanger. Just read it and you will see what I mean!

I won’t be writing about any books I finish any time soon, due to the length of the book I have started today. Here is a pic to show you that I’m not exaggerating!

Told you. That is 849 pages of the story alone my friends, and then some.

Dead America

I have just finished watching the first series of The Walking Dead for the second time. The first time around I only saw the last four episodes of the six, plus a few bits from the second episode. Watching it again, as it was a Christmas present from my lovely dad, I was once again blown away. Scratch that. I was blown away more than ever the second time around. I was truly able to appreciate it.

I really connected better with the characters this time. Just proves that you should watch things from the beginning! And the best character? Has to be poor, little Glenn for me. Although I think Rick is a pretty decent guy too and I’m not just saying that because Andrew Lincoln who plays him is British. And I think Carl is adorable too.

You can really loose yourself in this world that has been created to the point where you actually feel you are there with the characters, that the world has actually ended in a sea of the undead. I had to actually watch the extra stuff on DVD just make it feel less real! The zombies really look gruesome, horrible, terrifying and believable. And the gore! If you are a gore fan there are a couple of scenes that you will love. For the record I’m not a huge gore fan so I felt just a bit sick at these scenes in question. But zombies were always going to be gory. It is their way.

No one would have thought that the show started out life as a comic book. Of course the comic book itself had a huge fan base so the show was naturally going to have one too. Of course parts of the show have been made up; some of the stuff is not actually from the comic. But this just keeps the fans guessing, which is pure genius in my opinion.

And yes it’s set in America, but I seem to have a real connection with that country right now. I mean a lot of the good stuff comes from there like good films, TV shows. You could say I’m having an American binge, which I have been having for about a year now.

And you could say that I’m also on an end of the world binge too. That’s why my dad bought me this series for christmas, along with many other apocalypse style films. But hey, it is 2012. For the record, I haven’t an opinion on whether the world will end or not, but I have written about it, and this series too actually (in my other blog that is now finished called ‘earthdemise’). It is, after all, a very interesting concept. It throws up all sorts of questions that can make a really good story, as is evident with The Walking Dead. Personally, I’m awaiting eagerly for the second series to come out on DVD so I can finally see it!