July 1, 2011

The Vampire Hunters by Scott M. Baker Review

by Scott M. Baker
Pill Hill Press
Review by: Rob Walter
Review posted 07/01/2011

The Vampire Hunters is the first book in a trilogy by author Scott M. Baker. The other two books of the trilogy will be Vampyrnomicon and Dominion.

The story begins jumping straight into action with Drake Matthews already hunting and fighting the first of many vampires. Of course there is also a sexy young female sidekick, Alison Monroe. But this isn’t your average run of the mill vampire story. There are no twinkling vampires or fancy dance scenes or gauzy lovemaking bouts. The vampires of this story are evil nasty creatures that torture and kill as much for entertainment as for food. They have been around for centuries and are experienced in hiding.

The first thing you have to know about Drake is he is not the “by the book” kind of guy. He was a detective in Boston before learning the undead were real and responsible for a string of serial killings. As a result of his investigation and “final solution” for the perpetrator, he was booted from the police department for excessive force (Does burning down half a city block including a church count?). His partner Alison, a rookie detective during the aforementioned investigation, resigned from the department and followed Drake to Washington DC. Drake is a firm believer in the “scorched earth” method of fighting vampires and in the opening chapter manages to destroy half of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge getting himself and his partner arrested. Again.! Alison saves Drake’s behind on many occasions and is actually the more capable hunter.

The vampires discover that Drake and his merry band are hunting them and vow to take them out.

Scott M. Baker has taken a story that could have been cute vampire pulp and turned it into an action packed thriller with character driven details that draws the reader in. I will be looking forward to the two other books in this trilogy. If nothing else, I am now addicted to this story.

June 30, 2011

Ashton Memorial (Zombie Trilogy, Book 2) by Robert R. Best Review

by Robert R. Best
Library of the Living Dead Press
ISBN: 978-1453652688
Review by: Terry Morgan
Review posted 06/30/2011

Ashton Memorial, the second book in the zombie trilogy by Robert R. Best, starts with characters from the first book: Park, Angie and Angie's kids, Maylee and Dalton walking away from the now burning Lakewood Memorial hospital. They find the truck, start it and after a discussion, head toward Ashton. It is Ashton where Angie's brother Bobby lives and Park's twin girls Ella and Lori.

However, as the zombie outbreak continues, other horrendous situations are occurring. Ella and Lori's step-dad, Gregory, has bounded and gagged Lori at the zoo he runs, Ashton Memorial Zoo. Ella is in another part of the zoo not sure whether or not her sister or even her mother is alive.
The story intensifies when Angie, Parker and Angie's kids come to the zoo, along with all the walking corpses. It is now survival not just against the walking dead, but against each other and themselves.

The second in Best's zombie trilogy throws a punch. It is in this story we learn more about Parker, about Angie and what each of them will do when being pushed to their last limits. There is not as much action as in the first book, but, there is compassion, heartbreak and certainly a showing of what family really means when it comes down to the last days on Earth. With a striking form, Best does what many zombie authors fail to do, give the characters actual feelings and situations that would seem more realistic in a zombie outbreak if it occurred. And let us not forget the ending of this story is not only drastic, compelling but totally unexpected.

I look forward to the third installment in what I consider one of the best zombie series out there.

June 28, 2011

Blood War : A Novel by Dylan J. Morgan Review

by Dylan J. Morgan
Pill Hill Press
Review by:Dana Bell
Review posted 06/28/2011

Much like 'Underworld' a war brews between werewolves and vampires, escalating when hybrids, a mixture of the two species begin to appear. The conflict spans over four hundred years, ending with a battle in a village filled with the half breeds and, during the victory celebration, the betraying revelation of the powerful vampire leader.

Unlike many books about the undead and werewolves, more of their kind are not made by biting a human. Instead, there are breeding colonies and married couples who produce offspring, and raise them as well.

The imagery is vivid, drawing the reader a clear picture of the place, and early in the book, the time. However, the constant labeling of where/when the section took place became distracting as the novel progressed.

Fans of gore and the horrific werewolf transformations will love this story. The details are vivid, complete with smells. Yet the 'snapping bones' during the change got tiresome. Since that had already been established, there was no reason to continually remind the reader of the details.

One minor detail in the early section of the book is the question raised about what happened to a little girl during the Black Death. Yes, undoubtedly she died, yet the inclusion of such an image demanded some sort of finish. Instead, the reader is left dangling wondering why the scene had been included at all, unless it was an attempt to convey the feeling of real people during a horrible tragedy. And how, from the viewpoint of the character involved, would he have had such knowledge of her life? And why would he have even cared considering he was chasing his quarry?

All in all, an enjoyable book for vampire and werewolf fanatics and for those who wish to read more stories along the lines of the 'Underworld' trilogy. By the way, the name of the vampire leader is Markus - just like in the films.