Archives for: February 2011
Review: FVZA: Federal Vampire Zombie Agency
Courtesy of the Graphic Novels Blog.
FVZA: Federal Vampire Zombie Agency by David Hine
May's Review: First, let's clear up any misconceptions you might have about me. Yes, I have read Meyer's Twilight as well as watched the movie in a theatre and read the graphic novel. Yes, I do read the occasional paranormal romance involving vampires. And yes, I enjoyed watching Buffy on TV. But no, I don't think Robert Pattinson is cute. Nor do I spend all of my downtime fawning over how cute vampires are, how misunderstood they are, etc. As far as I'm concerned, vampires are meant to be vicious bloodthirsty creatures of the night meant to horrify not arouse you.
With this sentiment in mind, Hine portrays his vampires in FVZA as cruel ferocious killers with little to no regard for humanity. Unlike what you see on TV, Hine's vampires are deliberately ugly. My favorite line in this book was when the head vampire points out once a vampire is turned, he or she loses his/her physical beauty--meaning that the hair falls out, the skin turns ashen, the head starts to shrivel, etc. Gross!
Aside from the scary portrayal of vampires which is aided immensely by the terrific artwork, this graphic novel is also strengthen by a well-thought out storyline. The book opens with a FVZA (Federal Vampire Zombie Agency) agent named Landra Pecos ready to shoot her grandfather who has just been turned. In a series of flashbacks, we see her upbringing, her training and subsequent entry into the field, and the tragic deaths of both her brother and her lover which have brought her to this point. Intermingled with these scenes is the return of the vampires who were nearly wiped out by the FVZA in the 60s. This new wave of vampires is now plotting to utilize a zombie plague to bring society's to its knees by unleashing the virus into a small town. Ah, nothing like a little mayhem and chaos thrown in to amp up the adrenaline.
The story is obviously well-paced with a number of terrific plot twists at the very end. I won't reveal what happens with Landra and her grandfather but suffice it to say, you will be surprised. This was an enjoyable read from start to finish. Since there doesn't appear to be a sequel, if you enjoy FVZA, you might also want to check out Scott Snyder's American Vampire and Steve Niles' 30 Days of Night for the mere fact that their vampires are equally scary, vicious and just a tad bit crazy as well. Enjoy!
Make-up jobs to remember
Blastr.com counts down the most memorable horror movie villains (and their make-up) Read full article here.
Freddy Krueger - A Nightmare on Elm Street
Pinhead - Hellraiser
Samara - The Ring
Frankenstein's monster - Frankenstein
Leatherface - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The Reaper - Jeepers Creepers
Graf Orlok - Nosferatu
Mrs. Garnush - Drag Me to Hell
Matt Cordell - Maniac Cop
Pluto - The Hills Have Eyes
Pennywise - Stephen King's IT
The Phantom - The Phantom of the Opera
Evil Ash - Army of Darkness
Dog Blood - the Hater trilogy continues
Dog Blood (Hater #2)
This is turning out to be a great series, so if you're a fan of post-apocalyptic fiction with an original twist on the zombie theme, then don't miss out.
Dog Blood is not as strong as Hater but a decent sequel that achieves the necessary plot development to move the story along to what will hopefully be a rousing finale. By now, we know what's going on so there's no mystery there (even though we still don't know why and for what purpose).
Even though Dog Blood lacks the fever-pitch level of suspense that grabs you by the throat in Hater, it is a gripping read nonetheless in the way it shows how most humans are "dealing with" the crisis. Most are refugees locked behind a perimeter that surrounds their ravaged cities, existing under martial law, depending on the military for every basic human need. All the while government soldiers and pseudo-conscripted volunteers, wage a war on the Haters in their attempt to wipe them out.
Dog Blood also raises some interesting questions about the Hate, whether it is a disease, an alien influence, or a genetic malfunction in some humans triggering an evolutionary dichotomy between man and Hater. Other than the bloodlust and insatiable need to kill the Unchanged, Haters remain recognizably human. But cannot or will not co-exist with non-Haters. So my hope for Book 3 is that we learn the true nature and purpose of the Hate and that Moody will take a closer look at the Hater goal -- if they succeed in wiping out the Unchanged and in taking over the planet, what will that "new world" look like, and how will they choose to live in it with no one ostensibly left to hate?
What I did find totally engaging here is Danny McCoyne's quest to find his five year old daughter, also a Hater. The ramifications of child Haters, and their possible role in the on-going war against humans, is chilling. What's remarkable is that McCoyne is no less sympathetic now, as a blood-thirsty full-on Hater, then he is in Book 1 as a normal Joe Blow underachiever trying to protect his family from the exploding violence. That's good writing. ::::::::::::::::::::END SPOILER:::::::::::::::::::::
Don't miss out on David Moody's Autumn series
The online zombie sensation that has been downloaded more than half a million times is finally available as a novel - including brand new material available for the first time!!!
Autumn (Book 1)
Autumn: The City
Zombie fans rejoice! One of the original zombie novels is back from the grave to remind us all why the walking dead are so scary, and what it means to have a front-row seat for the end of the world. AUTUMN is genuinely creepy, an atmospheric study of what happens when the dead come back--and what we have to do just to survive. -- David Wellington
In less than twenty-four hours a vicious and virulent disease destroys virtually all of the population. Billions are killed. Thousands die every second. There are no symptoms and no warnings. Within moments of infection each victim suffers a violent and agonizing death. Only a handful of survivors remain. By the end of the first day those survivors wish they were dead.
Then the disease strikes again, and all hell breaks loose. Read more here!
He is legend
He is Legend
An Anthology Celebrating Richard Mateheson
Richard Matheson, the New York Times bestselling author of I Am Legend, has inspired a generation of storytellers. Now an outstanding cast of top writers pays tribute to his legacy with an all-new collection of original stories set in Matheson's own fictional universes, including sequels, prequels, and companion stories to I Am Legend, Hell House, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Somewhere in Time, Duel, and Button, Button. (Product Description)
Featuring new short stories by:
Nancy A. Collins
Joe R. Lansdale
William F. Nolan
F. Paul Wilson
Richard Christian Matheson
...and collaborating together for the first time, Stephen King and his son, best-selling novelist Joe Hill.
2011 Black Quill Award Winners
Just discovered the Dark Scribe Magazine, a virtual magazine dedicated to the terrific books that keep readers up at night. Tons of great stuff but the most impressive feature is that the fact that they just announced their 4th Annual Black Quill Awards, which honors the best in dark genre (horror, suspense, and thrillers).
Here are the winners:
|BEST DARK GENRE NOVEL OF THE YEAR
EDITOR'S CHOICE: A Dark Matter by Peter Straub
Summary: The charismatic and cunning Spenser Mallon is a campus guru in the 1960s, attracting the devotion and demanding sexual favors of his young acolytes. After he invites his most fervent followers to attend a secret ritual in a local meadow, the only thing that remains is a gruesomely dismembered body—and the shattered souls of all who were present. Years later, one man attempts to understand what happened to his wife and to his friends by writing a book about this horrible night, and it’s through this process that they begin to examine the unspeakable events that have bound them in ways they cannot fathom and find themselves face-to-face with the evil triggered so many years earlier.
|BEST DARK GENRE NOVEL OF THE YEAR
READER'S CHOICE: Sparrow Rock by Nate Kenyon
Summary: Six high school students have survived nuclear war in a high-tech bomb shelter, but they-re not alone. Mutated insects are hungry and the human survivors are the only prey.
|BEST DARK GENRE ANTHOLOGY
EDITOR'S CHOICE: Haunted Legends edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas
Summary: Darkly thrilling, these twenty new ghost stories have all the chills and power of traditional ghost stories, but each tale is a unique retelling of an urban legend from the world over.
|BEST DARK GENRE FICTION COLLECTION
EDITOR'S CHOICE: Occultation by Laird Barron
Summary: Pitting ordinary men and women against a carnivorous, chaotic cosmos, Occultation's eight tales of terror (two never before published) include the Theodore Sturgeon and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated story "The Forest" and Shirley Jackson Award nominee "The Lagerstatte." Featuring an introduction by Michael Shea, Occultation brings more of the spine-chillingly sublime cosmic horror Laird Barron's fans have come to expect.
For a complete list of winners, click on this link.
Review: The Fall
The Fall by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
May's Review: In the follow-up sequel to Del Toro's and Hogan's The Strain, The Fall chronicles the aftermath of the vampiric infection as nations slowly crumble and the Master sets his nefarious plans for world domination into motion. Amid this backdrop of suspended disbelief and gradual decay, our heroes led by vampire hunter Blade tries...Whoops! Sorry, wrong hero. What I means to say is that our heroes led by vampire hunter Abraham Setrakian and his band of followers, including former CDC member Eph Goodweather and exterminator Vasiliy Fet, struggle to save mankind only to find themselves drawn into a deadly war between two deadly vampire factions.
What I like about sequels is that the reader doesn't have to wait around for the main characters to catch up. None of this, "I wonder why my supposedly dead husband is now walking around and seems to be fixated on my neck" business. Instead, the reader is plunged right into the storyline that is filled with break-neck action sequences and plenty of suspense. The interludes are probably my favorite portions of the book because they reveal more of Setrakian's character, especially his all-consuming drive to kill the Master. I particularly liked Vasiliy's character in this book, especially when he reveals his hidden heritage and why he is helping Setrakian.
Overall this is a good vampire book with some moderate scare scenes. Enough to make me want to read the third and final book in the series which should be coming out this month.