Cujo

This is my first go around with this book. In my book reading reality, I feel like I should have read this many years ago, but that’s not what happened. Actually, I’ve never even seen the movie. But it’s hard to wander along today’s world without encountering the synopsis of something Stephen King wrote. Popular media, culture, trivia, there’s always something that will carry the breeze of knowledge to you.

Thus, I already knew Cujo was about a dog that killed people.

Of course, it being Stephen King, I was under the impression that it had something to do with a supernatural cause. NO idea at all that it was just rabies. Just rabies, as if it’s such a normal every day thing.

I guess I was a little disappointed to find that out. And a portion of me was looking forward to a massively intense bloodbath caused by the dog.

But in the end, it’s a pretty good book. Four people dying isn’t anything to shake a stick at, either.

I wonder what it would have turned out like if King had written this novel in his later years instead of his earliest ones. Would the dog have been possessed? Would the slaughter have been more rampant than it is? It’s an impossible thing to have a conclusive answer for, but it’s still sort of fun to think about.

The greatest difference that I see in this book compared to others, is King trying to end the dog’s story on a positive note. Saying that it ultimately wasn’t the dogs fault that he wrought destruction and death. I don’t think he bothers with such things in his newer books, because it takes away from the horror of it all. It interrupts the reader. The happy ending for us was that the dog was killed. We didn’t really need to be told that had he survived and somehow miraculously gotten better, Cujo would have felt guilt for what he’d done. The fact that he’s a good dog is established very early on.

But I can see what he was trying to do there.

Again, it’s not a bad book. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

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Death Troopers

Star Wars + Zombies = Happiest girl EVAR

Seriously. This was really risky to go into. It’s not just taking one genre I love, but two of them, and then it’s promising to mesh them together. The idea of it is, of course, joyful and exciting. But would the reality of it match up with my hopes? Would I try to like this book just because it’s a Star Wars Zombie book, or would I be able to allow real opinions come in? Could I let myself be honest?

This book is quite honestly a big deal to me.

Happily, I did actually enjoy it. Not just for the sake of what it was. The writing was good. The story moved fluidly, and quickly. The characters were the types that you gained interest in, wanted to see what would happen to them.

I did enjoy it.

Now that I’ve said that, I just have to say to everybody out there who might have a zombie fear, you have a new thing to terrify you in your dark nights. I’m not even going to reveal anything about the zombies themselves, or how they become that, because that’s a terror all of it’s own.

No. All I’m going to say is: Zombie Wookiees.

Those two words together make me want to cackle. I mean, you’ve got this massive creature with claws and fangs, intelligence, incredible strength, and then they become of the undead. UNDEAD, FLESH EATING, WOOKIEES.

I don’t think my joy on this is going to fade any time soon.

Just think about all the things that a zombie Wookiee could do. They wouldn’t really need a whole group in order to get past barriers, they could push through on their own. Rip doors off hinges. Climb shit. Break in, pretty much however they wanted. And with their heightened sense of smell, just imagine how much easier they could track down their prey. You could try to hide all you wanted, and they’d still sniff you out. And fighting one? Fuck that. If you got anywhere near within their reach, you’re gone. Absolutely gone.

I LOVE ZOMBIE WOOKIEES.

I need a shirt.

Wit’ch Fire – Finished

Sometimes, all it takes is a good little rant to push aside the little tiny things that annoy you so that you can become entranced with a story. Luckily, that’s all I needed with Wit’ch Fire.

I’m still bothered by the apostrophes in the common words, but not as much as I was. It didn’t halt my progress as badly, and once the story really got flowing, I hardly noticed.

I actually ended up liking the story enough to put the other books on my to-buy-used reading list. Hopefully they can keep my attention as much as this one eventually did, so that I don’t have to come back here and reiterate my loathing of certain things.

And just for your information: It’s always good to read a non-fantasy between fantasy series. Otherwise your brain will try to uproot information from the other books and try to implant them in the current ones.

Or that could just be me.

Southern Vampire Mysteries.

I just finished reading all the available Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. It’s my first experience with this author, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’m always a bit nervous with the new authors. But I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised.

She’s very creative. She’s very funny. I love the way she writes. I absolutely devoured all the books. I got them for Christmas and started reading them on Jan 5th. By January 16th, I’d read through all seven books. I immediately wanted more.

I was really happy to discover that there are two more books in the series coming out this year. I can’t wait to read them. Charlaine leaves her books on the most wonderful cliffhangers. I found myself shouting “ARG! Dammit!” at the end of each one, wanting more.

I really enjoy her character of Sookie, and the trouble that she gets in. The books are angsty, but not in an unrealistic way. All the angst that comes, comes in a natural way on a path that real life angst would follow.

I also really like the fact that Sookie isn’t a giant whore. That these books aren’t all about the sex. The sex happens when it happens, and it isn’t all overly flowery, and neither is it overly graphic. It’s a natural transition for the characters AND the reader.

It’s definitely a nice change from other authors and their rabidly slutty main characters *COUGH*ANITA BLAKE*COUGH*.

Charlaine also understands the way that clothes actually work, and doesn’t seem to be stuck in the 80’s in terms of “what’s cool”. I should really stop comparing Charlaine and her books to these other books, because she’s above and beyond. I admit that I went in wondering if there would be any similarities, and glad that I found that the author I loathe to mention by name couldn’t even stand up to Charlaine.

The characters beyond Sookie are also well rounded and fleshed out. And she never leaves anything hanging that she can’t explain later. There are no holes. No spots where I have to stop and question if she really meant that because I was sure that she’d said something different earlier.

I am 100% happy with Charlaine Harris and the Southern Vampire Mysteries.

The Rising – Brian Keene

So Brian Keene is not a write I had encountered until recently. A friend of mine handed over his book, The Rising, so I could experience him. It’s a little odd that I haven’t even heard of him, considering my affinity for zombie stories.

Before I get into the meat of my review here, I have three little things that bother me about this book.

1. General writing – I don’t know if this guy’s editor was bad, or if he just really doesn’t understand punctuation, but there was a rampant misuse of the apostrophe in this book. He did a lot of ‘s for things that were not possessives. It’s a little nitpick, but as a writer myself, I believe more attention needs to be paid to these things.

2. One of the characters is called a deaf-mute. Mute means that no words or sounds come from the person. The character, Worm, forms words the best that he can. He talks. This makes him NOT a mute. I think that if this is not a general-knowledge sort of thing that some research should have been done. It’s a fairly easy thing to discover.

3. And this is a personal preference sort of thing. I’m a firm believer in the general zombie lore that animals do not become zombies. This book had them. But magically the bugs didn’t become zombies. I don’t think that animals would (or will) become zombies when the apocalypse happens. I think they’ll be left to roam the earth and take it over when all the rest of us are gone.

Now that all of that is out of the way:

Generally speaking I liked the book. It was a good, fast read. It was interesting. A lot of people died in a lot of horrible ways. There wasn’t a typical “everybody helps everybody” feel to it that you find in a lot of the more feel good zombie stories.

The character development was good, and the fact that everybody kept dying really left a lot of guessing. I like guessing. I like not knowing where things are going, and not being able to predict what’s going to happen.

The ending was like that too. Nothing was determined. I know that’s a little spoilery, but not too bad. I liked the ending. I thought at first that it pissed me off a lot, and I hated it. But then I realized that because it pissed me off so much I really liked it.