Zahra: The Book of the Dead

My writing goal for June 2017 was 50k for my zombie fantasy story.
I’m excited to announce:

I’m taking a break this month to work on a new WIP for CampNaNoWriMo,
but look forward to diving back into revisions in August!
Thanks for all your encouragement! I couldn’t have done it without you! ♥


Stage 3 by Ken Stark

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Short Summary: Mason has lost his faith in humanity after a heart-wrenching breakup with Beck. As he returns from vacation, angry and alone, he confronts a world plagued by blindness, the first stage of zombie transformation. Forced from his home, he encounters a young girl, who gives him hope to fight on, for her sake if not his own.

My Warning: Don’t read this before bed, unless you plan on being up all night huddled under the covers in fear. 

I did just that. I don’t regret it at all, but still…I was terrified until the end.

I love zombies, and Ken Stark did a fantastic job of spinning his own horror story. He made Mason, an ultimately dis-likable character, likable. I’m so use to reading and watching zombie stories where the main pov character struggles to cope with the horror in front of them by cowering for the majority of the story before jumping into action and facing it head on. Mason did the opposite, and he’s smart. While he coped with loss and fear in his own way, he’s a strong character, who reacts realistically while also making quick decisions without hesitation. His redeeming qualities shine through as he protects a young blind girl, which makes him a sympathetic, caring character beneath his rough external personality and the internal conflicts he faces.

Spoiler ahead…

My only criticism: The overall point of the story is to show the ongoing struggle they face and the hope slowly slipping away from them, which is evident from how the book ends, but I was still disappointed that the characters didn’t succeed or fail in their main goal. Not meeting the goal is obviously part of the underlying theme of hope here, but still…I was left hanging, and I didn’t like it. It felt incomplete. Minus this disappointment, there were only a few places where the point of view switches in scene, which, for once, I didn’t mind so much. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was emotionally gripping with it’s fast pace. You won’t want to put it down. 

I read this for my own enjoyment, and highly recommend it.

I, Zombie by Hugh Howey


My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Read & reviewed in 2013
Currently listening to the audio version & will update if necessary.

Short Summary via Goodreads:

Warning: Not fit for human consumption

This book contains foul language and fouler descriptions of life as a zombie. It will offend most anyone, so proceed with caution or not at all. And be forewarned: This is not a zombie book. This is a different sort of tale. It is a story about the unfortunate, about those who did not get away. It is a human story at its rotten heart. It is the reason we can’t stop obsessing about these creatures, in whom we see all too much of ourselves.

My past review updated:

You thought The Walking Dead was gory… lol. Get ready for something much worse.

Hugh Howey never ceases to amaze me. I, Zombie was more than I expected. Back in 2012, I remember Hugh saying he wasn’t sure if he was going to write a zombie book or not, but I’m glad he did. I, Zombie is the reason I ended up falling in love with Hugh’s writing style. It hadn’t even been written yet, but the idea of it had me following Hugh intently, hoping. While I waited, I ended up falling in love with WOOL and Molly Fyde.

It’s disgusting, full of gore, and depressing, otherwise there wouldn’t be a WARNING in the summary. I can’t believe people rated it poorly because of the gore…come on, people! It’s a damn zombie book, which comes with a warning label! Really, what did you expect, a happy ending? There’s a lot of great, thought-provoking symbolism in this book, which was clearly lost on a few of Hugh’s readers.

There were times I had to stop reading this book just so I could calm my upset stomach, and I shouldn’t have read it at night, in the dark. I won’t even go into detail about the horrific zombie dreams I had, especially the ones where I was the zombie. The perspective of the zombie apocalypse from the fully aware characters, who are trapped in their own zombie bodies is what everyone was waiting for, and I’m glad Hugh was the one to finally write it because his version is perfect. There isn’t one thing I disliked. I, Zombie did what I hope every tragedy does to my heart and soul; leaves me completely devastated and steals all hope for a happy ending.

One of my all-time favorites by one of my all-time favorite authors.