Siege By Rhiannon Frater

When I first started looking into zombie fiction it was mainly audio and I listened to one by, I believe, a Spanish writer. It was okay, but didn’t really blow me away. The fact I can’t remember who it was and the name of the book speaks volumes. Then I come across two others, first was Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo, and then there was The First Days by Rhiannon Frater.

Siege is the third, and I believe final, book in Frater’s As The World Dies series, and is a good ending to it.

I liked how Frater wasn’t afraid to change it up in some quite big ways throughout the story. There was one huge moment were I actually rewound the audio to make sure what had happened, did in fact happen.

I will admit I’d held off listening to this as how the second book ended opened up a storyline that i wasn’t to sure I’d like, and I regret that decision. The storyline in question opened up the universe a little, and was dealt with really well and wasn’t taken where I thought it was going to go.

The endgame of this story felt very real. I could imagine it was what real people would at least attempt.

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Forest Underground by Lydian Faust

Forest Underground was very interesting and gripped my attention pretty quickly. Some books can take some time for me to really get committed to them, but this one had me within five minutes.

I liked how Lydian Faust teased a lot of the world but stopped short of really revealing what was going on. I think that may have broken the pace of this novella up too much if there’d been a lot of scene setting.

The story is really interesting and splits into telling the story of the two main characters, and you end up feeling a little for each one and the trials that life has thrown at them.

Pippa Bailey’s narration is on point and works well for the story. She brings an energy that adds to the story incredibly well.

Definitely worth a read/listen, and left me wanting to know more about this setting.

The Log House by Baylea Hart

The Log House by Baylea Hart tells the story of a young woman who is left for dead in a forest which is full of creatures that want to kill her. She needs to get back to the only home she has ever known, where her son is before she starves to death, or the forest and the monsters that lurk in it get her.

This was one of those books that hooked me pretty quickly and it was very rare where I’d read one chapter at a time. The world that Baylea Hart has here was one which really fuelled my imagination. Hart is very vague about some of the larger details of this world, focusing only on Penny’s (the protagonist) efforts to get back to her home, and I think it works well. Sometimes this vagueness can hinder a book, leaving too much left unanswered but Penny’s story here was enough to keep me turning the pages.

I liked what Hart did with the characters. Although we get the whole story from Penny’s point of view other characters are well laid out. Whether it was Penny, or her nemesis Mary, or even the forest itself I thought they provoked a strong reaction out of me that whether I liked them or not kept me engaged in the story and revealing the past that there is between Penny and Mary. That is the main mystery in the story, why there is such animosity between Penny and Mary, and I really liked how Hart drip fed that backstory throughout the novel. It comes at just the right times and doesn’t slow the story down at all. If anything they made me want to read more of the story.

One element that I was impressed with was how Hart’s description affected me at times. When it comes to horror I’m still a super newbie. I’m still learning what make me flinch, what makes my stomach turn, and what pushes me out of my comfort zone. With The Log House I found I felt like someone was standing behind me running their fingernails down a chalkboard. It was that sensation of ones skin crawling that got me with this book. Even now just writing it I want to scratch my skin. Hart does this so beautifully and in a way I haven’t yet encountered it really rammed home what Penny was going through. Hart creates such a tense atmosphere through the book which makes it uncomfortable in the way I think horror should be.

The Log House is definitely a book I’d recommend.

Sunday 18th February 2018

At the start of the year I’d set myself a goal of averaging 500 words a day. In January I wrote an average of 508 words per day. So far this month I’m averaging 451 words per day. I’m pretty happy with this, especially as I’m kind of stuck on the three stories I’ve been working on mainly this year. I’ve got into a bad habit of getting stuck on, then moving to another one, and so on. It’s a bad cycle I’ve got myself sucked into. So I’ve taken a step back and I’m going to do a read through/edit of the three stories and see where I am with them all.

One of them was meant to be a submission piece, but I’m over 6000 words in and no where near the ending of the story. It’s also still very rough in far too many places and the deadline for the anthology is just around the corner. So there is no way I’d be able to get this wrapped up in time. I think the problem I had was I didn’t brainstorm before hand. With The Final Charge for the Sparks Anthology I spent a few days brainstorming and thrashed out some ideas. I didn’t do that this time round because I thought I had a solid idea, but I didn’t. Some of the problems I’ve run into I think I could have ironed out beforehand if I’d spent a few days working out my ideas. So come the next anthology I come across asking for submissions that’s what I’m going to do.

The other two stories I’m working on are a little different. Both of them are stories I’ve had running around my head for a few years, and have a draft or two already written of them. I’m hoping I can find the solutions to the problems I’ve getting at the moment by doing this read through/edit and see what I come up with. I do still want to make sure I get some words written each day, so I’ve started the third draft of a fan fiction piece I can dive in and out of when I just need to be getting some words down.

I am having a ton of ideas at the moment, but most of them are character based ones, some setting ones. So I’ve got to work on building storylines for these. I’ve got one book idea I love, but I need to do a hell of a lot of research for it.

I do have a lot going around my head, but I just need to get focused and crack on with it all.

Flash Post 22/1/18

I just wanted to post real quickly. I’m roughly sticking to my target of 500 words a day. Some days is a little higher, some days it’s a lot lower. The average is about that 500 a day goal though. I have written everyday this year so far though. Even a couple of nights like tonight where I’ve been writing much later than I normally would.

I got stuck on the story I was working on so I’ve switched to another one and the words have been flowing easier. I was writing a short story for an anthology I was going to submit to but I’ve got seriously stuck with it. I’m planning to look that over again and see what I can do with it.

Thanks for reading. You can find my social media links on the right hand side of the page.

This is a phone post so please excuse any typos.

Beyond Skyline

Okay, if you’ve been reading my blog for a few years now you’ll have seen the odd post/rant I’ve written about the movie Skyline, directed by The Brothers Strause. Without going into another full blown post about Skyline my biggest complaint was not enough attention was on the live action sequences and too much was spent on the CGI, which granted was very beautiful. It just didn’t fulfil an amazing potential I thought.

Beyond Skyline was not Skyline, it took that potential and made a movie I enjoyed a lot. The CGI looks beautiful, the plot line kept my attention and the actors held the screen well, and more importantly I cared about what happened to them. Frank Grillo and Bojana Novakovic were both very good, and I enjoyed Iko Uwais as well. It was fun seeing Callan Mulvey playing a role which wasn’t a mercenary as well.

I liked how the story went from the events in Skyline and took it further and looked at what was going on in a lot more depth and moves across the globe a little and we see how the invasion is being looked at by another culture. We saw a lot more of the aliens and their little world as well. I really liked the final confrontation at the end of the movie. Not only is there some great CGI action, but some of the fighting the characters do on the ground level is beautiful! The Choreography is very well done.

This is the first film where I’ve seen Iko Uwais and I liked him a lot. He held the screen well and when acting opposite an actor of Frank Grillo’s calibre you need that.

The whole cast was pretty solid I thought, no one felt out of place and none of them felt ‘Meh’ for lack of a better phrase. I thought they felt genuine, we don’t know what we’ll be capable of until we’re pushed out of our comfort zones.

There was a couple of moments where I found my eyebrow raising a little but nothing drastic that took me out of the film any more than a passing second.

I was a little anxious that this was Liam O’Donnell’s directing debut, but I liked where he took the story (he wrote it as well). Some of the visuals were stunning and he got a great balance between the live action and the CGI. They complimented each other very well. Overall I liked his direction and I really hope they do more of these. I will definitely be looking out for what O’Donnell does in the future.

Overall, Beyond Skyline is a film that’s well worth watching. I’m glad I’ve brought it on Blu-Ray as I think I will be re-watching it more than a few times.

Episode 150 – I WANT TO BELIEVE — The Horror Show with Brian Keene

Brian and Mary have a close encounter. Edward Kramer goes back to court. S.T. Joshi offers a new Research Fellowship. Dave rakes in that Twitch money. And the gang countdown Brian’s picks for the best fifteen horror novels of 2017, with Stephen Kozeniewski, Grady Hendrix, Victor Lavalle, Maurice Broaddus, Rio Youers, Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason,…

via Episode 150 – I WANT TO BELIEVE — The Horror Show with Brian Keene