I finished Ian McKinnon’s Remains of the Dead last week and I’ve got somewhat mixed feelings about it. I certainly enjoyed reading it, but not as much as the first book – Domain of the Dead. The two books are closely related. Both books start at the same point although with slightly different perspectives. Several years into the zombie apocalypse, a group of survivors unexpectedly encounters a military helicopter on a research mission. The helicopter does not have room for both the crew and the survivors and is forced to leave some of them behind to be rescued on a return trip. It’s at this point that the novels diverge. Domain of the Dead follows the helicopter back to a military research ship and the events that follow. Remains of the Dead stays in the zombie infested city with a two soldiers, a small baby and her father and the obligatory infected survivor. Obviously these are zombie tales and they don’t stray too far from the familiar corpse riddled paths that dozens of films and now books have tread before them but that’s not a bad thing. I found Domain of the Dead a more compelling story, with a dash more originality … Read More
I finally finished Theodore Roszak’s Flicker: A Novel on Thursday night and as I posted on Twitter, it’s not quite the worst book I’ve read this year. I think what appealed to me about the book initially were the similarities between Flicker and one of my favourite books – The Book of Illusions: A Novel by Paul Auster. Both deal with reclusive characters from the movie industry who have mysteriously disappeared (or in the case of Flicker, died) and a protagonist intrigued by their story. Throw in a mysterious religious conspiracy and I should have been hooked. Unfortunately Flicker read like the unwanted love child of The Da Vinci Code and a turgid dissertation on film history. Even the ‘twist’ was a non-event and although I have yet to give up on a book, it was touch and go with this one. Not that it’s badly written or even a bad concept, I was just waiting for something to happen and it never really did. Basically, it started off slow and then tapered off from there. To give it at least some benefit of the doubt it’s a long, slow paced book and a lot of the novels I’ve read recently have … Read More
Very little writing so far this week (apart from the blog) and by that I mean no writing done so far this week (apart from the blog) but that’s about to change, at least that’s the theory. However, I did send off the contract for The Z Word – my contribution to Matt Nord’s So Long, and Thanks for All the Brains anthology. Cover for So Long, and Thanks for All the Brains I’m not a huge consumer of zombie books (although I did recently enjoy reading Ex-Patriots and Domain of the Dead) and The Z Word is the first real zombie story I’ve written. Even then it’s a lighthearted tale rather than a post-apocalyptic nightmare. I’m pleased with the story though and looking forward to seeing it in what looks like a very promising collection. You can find the official Table of Contents for the anthology on Matt Nord’s blog.