Review: World War Z

World War Z by Max Brooks

Genre: Science Fiction
Maturity Level: 5
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”


It’s been years since I read this book, so while I remembered that it was brilliant, I admit that I had forgotten how brilliant it is and why. Guys, this book is SO WELL CRAFTED. It’s not at all what you would expect, and the things that make it good aren’t the things you might typically look for in a zombie book. In fact, I’ll come right out and say that I actually don’t like zombies. At all. I don’t think they’re scary or interesting. But this book is gripping and fascinating anyway.

Continue reading “Review: World War Z”

Review: Illuminae

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

23395680Series: The Illuminae Files
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Maturity Level: 5
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆


This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.


Nobody told me that this was a zombie apocolypse-esque book. Truly, y’all, it was horrifying. I couldn’t sleep. It was disgusting and disturbing in every way. I was expecting YA Sci-Fi, and instead I got horror. At least, it was horror to me. My suggestion: if you don’t like zombies, stay far, FAR away from this book. But if you’re into that, you’ll probably love Illuminae!  Continue reading “Review: Illuminae”

Review: Dread Nation

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

30223025Series: Dread Nation
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Maturity Level: 3
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆


Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.


Dread Nation was okay. It was fun enough, but for a book billed as a zombie-slaying social commentary I wish there had been a little more action and a little more modern-relevant social commentary. Continue reading “Review: Dread Nation”

Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

zombie-apocalypse-book-tag

Thanks to the Orangutan Librarian for tagging me in this one! I’m really intrigued by this tag for a couple of reasons. First of all, the zombie apocalypse, obviously. Second, it’s different than the usual book tag. It kind of resembles all those stupid things my friends paste on facebook. (Pick the first 5 friends on your list to find out how your bank heist would go! No cheating!) On facebook I find them stupid, but since book characters are involved here I’m ready to have some fun.

The Rules:

  • Choose 5 books!
  • Randomly set up your books in order.
  • Flip to a random page in the book and write the first two names you see.
  • Put the names in the categories listed below in the order you saw them!
  • Cry at how screwed you are…

Okay, I’m just using the goodreads random feature to choose five books, and an online random number generator to pick the pages. Because I like ACTUAL randomness, haha.

Continue reading “Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag”

Review: Boneshaker

1137215Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

Series: The Clockwork Century
Genres: Steampunk, Fantasy/Science Fiction, Fiction
Maturity Level: 3+
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


In the early days of the Civil War, rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Anxious to compete, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a great machine that could mine through Alaska’s ice. Thus was Dr. Blue’s Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine born.

But on its first test run the Boneshaker went terribly awry, destroying several blocks of downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas that turned anyone who breathed it into the living dead.

Now it is sixteen years later, and a wall has been built to enclose the devastated and toxic city. Just beyond it lives Blue’s widow, Briar Wilkes. Life is hard with a ruined reputation and a teenaged boy to support, but she and Ezekiel are managing. Until Ezekiel undertakes a secret crusade to rewrite history.

His quest will take him under the wall and into a city teeming with ravenous undead, air pirates, criminal overlords, and heavily armed refugees. And only Briar can bring him out alive.


Boneshaker is probably the best reviewed and most popular Steampunk Novel out right now, so possibly my expectations were a little too high. Truthfully, I was slightly disappointed. While it was a lot of fun, very interesting, and extremely well-written, it wasn’t quite as suspenseful as I was anticipating. While I loved Briar and reading from her point-of-view, Zeke annoyed me and I did not look forward to reading his perspective. The friends Briar made along the way were appropriately crazy and eclectic, but the main antagonist, Minnericht, was not particularly frightening.

I really enjoyed reading this book, but I probably wouldn’t read it again. Still searching for that just-can’t-put-it-down Steam-punk Novel.