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Day By Day Armageddon (JL Bourne)

4 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
This is a day by day chronicle of a zombie apocalypse from the perspective of a naval pilot writing in his journal.  Overall, the effect is quite good, although much of the suspense is removed due to knowing that the protagonist will survive due to the existence of later journal entries.  If the lack of suspense doesn’t ruin a zombie apocalypse story for you, though, this is quite good.  The protagonist gets into a series of genre-consistent, believable, interesting situations and has fairly ingenious methods to escape from them.  It also abandons the tired cliche of devoting most of the novel to banal human-on-human interpersonal squabbles and has most of the emphasis on human vs zombie interactions, so if you are hoping for a discourse on the human psychology when faced with insurmountable odds you will be disappointed.  Overall, I would definitely recommend this book, even though I realize its treatment of the zombie apocalypse might turn off fans of the genre who are most attracted to the elements of horror and the fragility of human psyche.
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Night of the Living Trekkies (Kevin David Anderson): A Special Halloween Joint Review

CleverHandle’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Penguinhegemony’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
CH: I hate zombies.  HATE them.  With the exception of Shaun of the Dead, I have loathed every piece of zombie-related media I have ever encountered.  If you told me I’d be writing a five-star review of a “zombies at a Star Trek convention” book, I would have laughed (even though I’m a TNG fan).  I read it intending to provide a counterpoint to Penguinhegemony’s review.  And in a way, I was right: I didn’t like this book.  I LOVED it.  Anderson pulls you in right from the start, with likable characters and a humorous style.  The writing is excellent: Anderson does a great job of building tension, and during some of the more dramatic scenes, I could almost hear a soundtrack in my head.  The plot is fast-paced and engaging, the book is a page-turner (I read it in one sitting), and Anderson keeps you intrigued and entertained throughout.  You don’t need to be a Star Trek fan to enjoy this, but there are a lot of clever nods to the series throughout, including chapter titles borrowed from episodes of the show.  This is the best book I’ve read all year, and I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys humor, tension, and good writing — even if you hate zombies.

P: I generally like zombie apocalypse stories, but I wouldn’t consider most of them to be something I would recommend.  I picked up Night of the Living Trekkies (tag line: “They thought space was the final frontier.  They were wrong.”) thinking that it would a fun book to make fun of with a ridiculous, easily dismissible premise: zombies at a Star Trek convention.  As I read it, I had the growing realization that it was, to my horror, actually really good.  It solves most of the issues I have with the genre at large: the plot is fun and unpredictable, the characters are well developed and likeable, and the environment is interesting and believable.  Surprisingly, I have to heartily recommend Night of the Living Trekkies as a well developed, action packed read and not just yet another forgettable zombie thriller.
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