Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hmmm… What to Review?

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Happy St. Patrick's Day"][/caption]

Okay, you caught me. I didn't do my homework this week. I still hadn't settled on a book to review at 2:30 P.M. yesterday. So I opened up Goodreads and tried to decide from one of the fifteen books I've read this year, while continuing to blow my nose and watch Reno 911 and Married with Children. Nothing like a little trash TV to stimulate the brain.

I finished reading Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert yesterday, so that book was freshest in my mind. At the beginning of this year, I decided to embark on reading the current Dune series before the world comes to an end in 2012. Last month I reread Dune. And, coincidentally, last weekend we watched the two SyFy mini-series they did back in the early 2000s for the first three books. We couldn't help but view critically, but it was still the perfect way to spend a weekend, sick with the flu. Reminded me of how critical people were of the 1984 version, which I'm still not ashamed to say I LOVED! We own the extended version on DVD. It'll be interesting to see if Pierre Morel can pull off another major motion picture by 2012, considering fans are thirsty for a movie as epic as the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Oops. Back to this week's topic...a book review. There are nearly 13,000 reviews of Dune Messiah on Goodreads, so I really didn't think you'd want to yawn through my version. What I will say is reading just the first two books in the series has been inspirational to a Sci Fi series I've been planning for at least five years. Refreshing, because I sometimes read too much popular fiction in the genres of horror and comedy, comparing other books to my own style and story ideas for The Courier. I don't want to say there's a lot of bad stuff out there, but... There's a dent in my son's head, where I throw books I can't get passed the first hundred pages. Now that I've got the Kindle, he's complaining of headaches less.

Speaking of popular fiction, I was pretty excited to find Mark Henry's, Amanda Feral zombie series last month. This guy's writing is funny and gross in just the way I love comedic horror. I read Happy Hour of the Damned and gave it 3 out of 5 stars, only because I didn't care for the ending. It won't stop me from picking up another book in the series though. I like Mark's style as much as I enjoy reading Christopher Moore, who can't write fast enough for us fans. Here's a little bit more about the book.

Seattle. One minute you're drinking a vanilla breve, the next, some creepy old dude is breathing on you, turning you into a zombie. And that's just for starters. Now, the recently deceased Amanda Feral is trying to make her way through Seattle's undead scene with style (mortuary-grade makeup, six-inch stilettos, Balenciaga handbag on sale) while satisfying her craving for human flesh (Don't judge. And no, not like chicken.) and decent vodkatinis.

I'd originally hesitated to pick up a book about zombies, thinking them better left to film. Then I saw a review of this book on Dakota Cassidy's blog. If I was going to take the risk of reading about zombies, Happy Hour of the Damed seemed like the perfect book in which to start. I'm glad I took the plunge because his take on zombies is creative and fun. The characters are undead, but real and likable. I can't wait to see what trouble they get into in the next book.

Promise I'll be prepared next time. I plan to to review Werewolf Smackdown by Mario Acevedo.

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I apologize for being a week late, but the winners of the free eBooks from Vamplit Publishing are Harley D. Palmer and Susan Midlock. CONGRATS! I'll be in touch with the information you'll need to collect your prize.


  1. Hey, I just had a thought. What if someone rewrote Dune like they did Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Fremen could be zombies. Then again, considering the fan base of Dune, that might be sacrilege.

  2. Apparently everyone is out already drinking green beer cause I'm the only one commenting on my own blog post today. I feel kinda pitiful, cause I can't even drink beer. Maybe I'll put some green food coloring in a glass of white wine. On second thought...NO THANKS!

  3. Well, actually we did read your blog. We didn't say anything because we were trying to be nice. Okay, just kidding. Seriously, I just got home from work so I'll start reading the blog right now.

  4. Don't beat yourself up too much, Wendy. We all have those days when nothing comes to us until right before deadline. I'll be honest in that I wrote the review for "Composition" in about 30 minutes at 12:30 in the morning, then went to bed as soon as I posted.

    As for "Dune," I think it would be sacrilege to do a zombie spin on it. Then again, that 1984 movie was as close to the living dead as you want to get.

  5. Sorry! I was out all day! I think you sold yourself short, Wendy - you did have something to say, you just made it sound like you didn't.

    BTW - Anheuser-Busch makes a good gluten-free beer called RedBridge. I've tried about 8 brands and I was SHOCKED Busch put out the best product.

    Happy St.Patty's Day!

  6. LOL! Actually, I've been feeling a little spunky and WELL for a change, so I've been trying to get a rise out of one of our readers, or someone on Facebook or Twitter on the whole Dune/zombie thing. No one is biting though. I guess everyone wants to be happy and drunk on a day like St. Patrick's Day...go figure.

  7. Awesome! I never think to look for gluten free beer when I'm out 'cause I usually get lost in the wine section, but the thought of a decent gluten free pizza and a beer sounds like heaven.

  8. The best Gf pizza crust I've found so far is by Schar (with two little dots over the "a"). I pre-bake it for five minutes or so before putting the toppings on, but it is the best one on the market. The frozen ones taste like crap and this one is in a box on a shelf -- fresher and better.

    Still not real pizza, but the closest out there!

  9. [...] posts over at the Wicked Writer’s blog were book reviews of recent reads. My post, Hmmm… What to Review? ended up discussing Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert and Happy Hour of the Damned by Mark [...]