November 8, 2011

Severed In The Beginning By Darren Sant and Sam Lang Review

By Darren Sant and Sam Lang
Trestle Press
Review by: Rob Walter
Review posted 11/08/2011

While we don’t normally review short stories, we did read Severed In The Beginning by Darren Sant and Sam Lang.

The story starts out in a prologue with a bird flying overhead and switches to a description of the Zombie Apocalypse. “The end of the world came not with a bang or a whimper, but with the use of diet pills.” Hell of a way to start the description of the end of the world, eh?

The story then changes to a diary format following a boy named Zac coping with the Zombie Apocalypse the best he can as he becomes a man and a leader of a small band of survivors.

This is a good story that involves the readers without driving the story home with the normal “blood and guts” gore of your normal zombie tale. It has a more deft touch using the psychological impact and the readers imagination to carry the reader along.

I recommend this short story to lovers of intelligent zombie horror.

November 6, 2011

Fleshbags by Gerald Dean Rice Review

By Gerald Dean Rice
Review by: Dana Bell
Review posted 11/06/2011

Since Zombies are all the rage, this story capitalizes on the current trend with a slight twist - a virus is causing them to rise. Their stomachs are transparent, hanging down their torso and they contaminate others by spitting a clear fluid out their mouths.

The story opens with one being found and EMT's trying to transport it to the hospital. Boom. It blows up and spreads the contagion all over the scene. Afterwards several characters are introduced and the plot line twists between characters, the horrible events leading up to many of them dying, and eventually the open end with no real explanation on how it all came about.

Chapters are done by hours reaching ten after the epidemic starts.
Included is a short story about a little girl with hints of incest and more zombies.

Lastly, an excerpt from an upcoming novel with what looks like a murder mystery, an investment scam and mysterious tiny men in black looking for a Bible of all things.

What is done well is the sense of smell through out the work. The reader can almost taste the stench or the unwashed bodies. Also, there are many clear images adding a chill and a delightful shiver for those who are fans of the genre.

What is not done well is the constant shifting between characters which would work well in a film, but not so much in a work of prose. The action is choppy and unclear giving the reader no change to actually bond or care about any of the characters. They had horrible things happen to them. Many died. So what?

The gore and sex seem to the main focus of the Flesh Bags. Not to mention the disgusting side of humanity. Is it really important that a man farts? Or uses the bathroom?

All in all, probably a good read for those of the genre. It holds all the elements one would look for in a Zombie read. However, the lack of any redeemable character makes this a dry and unfulfilling read.