I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.by Brett J Talley, Harry Shannon
Also by this author: That Which Should Not Be, , , ,
Published by JournalStone on April 11, 2014
Genres: Apocalyptic, Horror
Pages: 230 pages
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This novel contains two novellas that are not connected in any way except for the fact that they both take place many years after a world changing event occurs.
First up is Harry Shannon’s Biters. Now I’m not going to lie, I had some problems with Biters. If you loved Biters you might not want to read my words. Many people are forgiving sorts but I’m afraid I’m not. So when the protagonist utters the following I find it hard to go on and/or to care about anything he does pretty much thereafter.
She was working him good now, sitting there on the seat all cute and begging. She knew how to charm a man out of his shirt, just like every other bitch he’d ever known.”
Excuse me? What’d he just say? I realize he’s living in the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse and he’s all hardened up and manly man and has scars on his soul but I don’t think that’s an excuse for having such a horrible attitude towards all female kind. Guys can be bitches too but I don’t despise them all for a horrible few. Sorry, it had to be said. I was hoping he’d have some sort of turnaround and I could get over my distaste but it really didn’t happen.
Can’t he more like this guy?
I mean, would it kill a guy to show a little kindness in his thoughts?
Perhaps it would. What do I know? I haven’t exactly suffered through a zombie apocalypse and been betrayed by bitches of any gender. What I do know is that I did not like Buck Ryan and that’s a problem seeing as he’s the lead character here. Honestly, I did not like any of the human characters. Not a one. They’re all jerks. They all deserve to have their brains eaten by zombies or to be extruded through a meat grinder to feed the poor homeless doggies wandering the landscape. Had that happened I might be a little happier.
I admit that I skimmed a little on the way to the end because I just didn’t want to spend any more time with these people. It isn’t really a zombie story and it definitely wasn’t a story meant for the likes of me. It’s more a story of betrayal that reminded me a bit of the old Tales from the Crypt comics and that’s all I have to say about it. You may love it. I see lots of people did. So don’t listen to me.
I give it 2.5 stars only because of Dog . Dog was awesome.
The other story is The Reborn by Brett J. Talley. Now this one here hooked me immediately. It opens with a shocking and brutal scene that stunned me. I didn’t think it would go there but it did. I had to keep reading and didn’t stop until I finished.
It is the late summer of 2050, seventeen years after the end of the Great War, and twenty-five years after A-Day.
The world is now very different than the one we all live in. Crime has become nearly extinct, so much so that police officers have little to do and are getting laid off. But underneath the false sense of utopia there is a dark undercurrent of betrayal, corruption and brutality that may be pure evil.
Marcus just lost his job with the police force and is approached by a man who offers him a sweet new position with a top secret organization. He’s kind of desperate and accepts without asking too many questions. What “The Shepherds” do and why they do it are revealed in bits and pieces throughout the story. I’m not going to give it away but trust me it’s harsh and horrifying and it’s awful and by the time Marcus figures it all out he’s in too deep to bow out easily.
This story is action packed. Now I’m not an action fangirl by any means but unlike the previous story I was interested to see what would happen to Marcus. Marcus had compassion and questioned the system and that’s why I kept on reading. The concept was chilling and creative and I enjoyed it immensely despite all of the action and war talk. 4.5 stars
About Brett J Talley
A native of the South, Brett Talley received a philosophy and history degree from the University of Alabama before moving to witch-haunted Massachusetts to attend Harvard Law School. When people ask, Brett tells them he writes for fortune and glory. But the truth is the stories in his head simply refuse to stay put. Brett loves every kind of fiction—from horror to literary to historical to sci-fi—as long as there are fantastic characters with a compelling purpose. There’s still magic to be found in fiction, the mysterious and the unknown still beckon there, and the light can always triumph over the darkness, no matter how black the night may be.
Brett writes when he can, though he spends most of his time working as a lawyer so that he can put food on the table. That is, until the air grows cool and crisp and fall descends. For then it is football time in the South, and Brett lives and dies with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Roll Tide.
About Harry Shannon
Like most authors, I’ve kicked around a lot. I’ve been an actor, a singer, an Emmy-nominated songwriter, a recording artist in Europe, a music publisher, a VP of Carolco Pictures and worked as a free-lance Music Supervisor on films such as ‘Basic Instinct’ and ‘Universal Soldier.’ I’m currently a counselor in private practice.
For the curious, I’ve twice been nominated for the Stoker Award by the Horror Writer’s Association, once for my collection A HOST OF SHADOWS, and for short fiction. I’ve won the Tombstone and the Black Quill once each, and my short story FIFTY MINUTES, co-written with Joe Donnelly, was recently chosen for inclusion in the prestigious anthology Best American Mysteries of 2011. I’m on the list of Major Horror Authors of the Twenty-First Century in Readers’ Advisory Guide to Horror, 2nd Edition, from the American Library Association. You can find me on Facebook or Twitter. I’d love to hear from you.
Some people hug a teddy when the world gets to be too much. Me? I settle in with a scary book.
I have reviewed 81 books so far this year.