Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “Zombies”

Even Stevens’s #CBR4 Review #2: The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan


This is a review I’ve been putting off writing for a little while, mostly because I’m having trouble finding something substantial to say about this book. The Dead-Tossed Waves is the second book in a trilogy. For those who haven’t read the first book, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, this trilogy takes place after a zombie infection has broken out. There are two types of zombies: the typical slow-moving, moaning, flesh-eating zombie and another kind called “breakers”; zombies that possess excessive strength and speed.

I had problems with Ryan’s first book, mostly that I found Mary to be cold and selfish and the rest of the characters to be underdeveloped. Thankfully, she has fixed some of these issues in the second book by making Mary’s daughter, Gabrielle the protagonist and giving us a new set of characters. She avoids some of the pitfalls that come with a middle book, mainly the feeling that the story is filler before the final chapter. Ryan builds stronger characters and introduces a new set of issues and also raises more questions about zombies. Do they retain souls? Can they be brought back from zombification? Is it a form of immortality? These were some questions that were explored in an interesting way and the story moved fastest when Ryan was addressing the zombie issues.

Where this story falls flat is with the character drama. Though the characters in this one have become more relatable and sympathetic, it still feels as though Ryan is manufacturing the human drama just for the sake of drama. Ryan is good at the little moments (passages where she describes a first kiss and a panicked dream come to mind), but it feels like she created a big picture story with bullet points and bends her characters to fit that mold, rather than letting the story flow naturally. She is also a big fan of the love triangle formula (present in both books, with two different sets of characters), which I find tiring.

On the whole, this book was better than the first installment and I will still check out the final installment to see how the story plays out, but if you want a really good zombie story, I suggest picking up World War Z.

leuce7’s #CBR4 Review #2: World War Z by Max Brooks

I’m just now getting around to reading it, but I finally got through World War Z and enjoyed it immensely.  I think its strength is as a human interest story, and Brooks has a great grasp on human nature that gives all the tales a sense of realism that really sell the stories.  Whether or not you’re a zombie lover, you’ll probably get something satisfying and entertaining out of at least one of the many tales spun in this book.

Here’s the review: World War Z by Max Brooks

me_tiana#CBR4Review#02 I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

I really love the reading but dread the reviewing. However I’m not going down without a fight, so here goes review no.2.

I read I am legend because of the movie, the one with Will Smith. I liked the movie and I also liked the book, but I think both lacked something from being really good. I think that something is how the ending was handled.

What I loved most about the book was how well the author describes the loneliness and despair of Robert Neville, the only survivor of a plague that turns everyone into vampires. Robert is immune to the disease; he barricades himself in his house, by day he hunts the sleeping vampires and at night he drinks himself senseless so that he can ignore the screams outside his house, the screams of those wanting his blood.

He recalls unwillingly his wife and daughter. His daughter was taken from his arms and burned in a mass grave outside the city. He couldn’t let his wife be burned also, so he buried her. She came back as a vampire in the same night and he had no choice but to kill her.

One day he sees a dog and, desperate for a connection with a living thing, he tries to tame the dog. He almost succeeds but then realizes that the dog too is infected. However he keeps it until it eventually dies. He had such a terrible yearning to love something again, and the dog was such a beautifully ugly dog – I loved this line, it’s so perfect in the context, so moving.

Robert tries finding a cure for the disease – a vaccine – since he discovered that vampirism is caused by a bacteria. And then one day, years after being alone, he encounters Ruth, a woman who is apparently uninfected. He tells her about his life, his discoveries regarding the vampires and his progress in finding a cure – and then everything plunges toward the end.

I thought the ending was much more interesting than the ending of the movie but still it seemed forced. After all those pages of carefully and movingly describing Robert’s world, his daily routine, his thoughts and feelings – his relationship with Ruth and Ruth herself seem just unconvincing sketches.

I would recommend the book for the first part (and, of course, because it is the book that inspired the zombie genre), but the handling of the ending seemed unsatisfying to me.

sunnywithahigh’s #CBR4 Review #1: Warm Bodies, Isaac Marion



Zombies are disgusting. Really. Their flesh, when they have flesh, is rotting away; they stink (I would assume) and they eat brains. They eat brains. In Marion’s world, the zombies are on the verge of destroying the last vestiges of humanity. Countries no longer exist, having been wiped out by the Dead. The Living are holed up in pockets trying to survive. In the chaos of a feeding frenzy, a zombie who calls himself R comes across a Living girl named Julie and inexplicably, falls in love. Far from a meetcute, R falls for Julie whilst going through her boyfriend’s memories – memories he gains by eating said boy’s brains. What follows are agonizingly lovely musings from R on what it means to love and be human, a feeling he’s all but forgotten. He and Julie embark on an uneasy friendship (because, again, eating of brains) and when she leaves the airplane he’s brought her to he decides to follow her. What follows may change their world.

As a reader, I bought this story completely. The narrative allows open access to R’s thoughts – ones that he cannot express vocally to others due to his limited capabilities as a Dead. He shares his thoughts on the spread of zombies, their current situation, how it feels to eat a brain (a far more complex experience than you might imagine), and his burgeoning feelings for Julie. Far from a passive Swan, Julie is an explosion; a bright streak through R’s pallid existence, and she comes with baggage. At times, the baggage is a little too obvious, but the payoff in her relationship with R is more than enough to overlook her sometimes plodding plot points (most of the stuff about her parents seems superfluous). Marion works a little dual narrative action in, using Julie’s dead boyfriend’s voice to good effect.

Warm Bodies is the cure for dark romance fatigue – a love story played out against a dystopian background that never feels overwrought or untrue. Touches of unexpected humour (Julie compliments R’s eyes, asking if they ever change colour, like when he kills people – R’s slow response is, “I think…you’re thinking…of vampires.”) and deep darkness serve to add further depth to the story. It’s a quick read but one you’ll want to revisit. Four and a half out of five brains.

Sidenote. Of course the movie versions of R and Julie look like this, because…you know, why not?

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