Noctuary's auditory hallucinations

mm plague. tasty.

Amped take two!

Amped - Daniel H. Wilson

First, I just realized I can blog about the audiobook and not review it per say. Because honestly I'm not really reviewing so much of the contents of the audiobook, but the experience. I mean there are hundreds of reviews on all the books I listen to. I don't really need to add another. So let's get to it!

I have to start by saying I tried to listen to this book last year. And I got through maybe 30 minutes of it. For whatever reason (and I can't remember it now) I was too emotional to get into this book. I somehow thought this was going to be a very emotionally us v them kind of deal. And it was. But man, I was dead wrong on everything else. But I'll get into that in a minute.

So the narrator of this audiobook is Robbie Daymond. At first I didn't like it. I was so sensitive to listening to his voice. Every sentence a crackle in the narration. He came off as overly sensitive and I dunno...weak. But then I found myself moved to just cheer for the character Owen at all costs. I became so emotionally invested I would listen to this audiobook at night in bed. Trying to not fall asleep to the story playing out in my head.

So the story is about mutants in a way. Man made ones. So you are disabled. Maybe mentally or physically. No problemo. Let's put this little device in your head and wham bam! You are cured. So instead of being a fetal alcohol syndrome baby and having a case of the dumbs, you get to be uber smarty farty pants. And now reggies (regular non amped people) aren't so thrilled with you. You win all the contests. You take all the jobs. So now we are gonna treat you like the enemy and go to war.

What I hated? The book just ended. And it was ok. But I wanted more. And I have a feeling that's the point. I'm sure there will be a sequel. I hope.

Every book deserves a second chance

Positive: A Novel - David Wellington

Let me start by being very up front about this audiobook. I had started to listen to it about a month or 2 before. And I had to put it down. It was so hard to get into. Issues with the narrator (just sounding so young and sorta boring), the character (just sounding too damn naive and too victimy for my liking. I could not feel anything for this guy. And also my state of mind. I had listened to an audiobook of a version of this as a short story in an anthology. And I thought it was going to be about that character. I was disappointed to find it was in the same universe but not the same character. I was bummed. I put the audiobook down and went to something else.


But then I thought I would give it a second chance. I'm glad I did! Now I won't lie. I put this audiobook down for days at a time. I could not listen any longer. I grew agitated and impatient with the naivety of the character. I grew antsy to be honest. Where were the zombies?! It seemed every turn of the figurative chapter there was another obstacle. I just couldn't take it any more. But I persevered. 


Apparently just like the character. I found myself so involved with this character that when something bad would happen I would shut the book down for a day or two. 


This story is of a world after the zombies. Now there are zombies. Straggler shamblers as I like to call them. But the real monsters are the humans. The world is the monster. Zombies are nothing next to cannibals and just mean ass nasty ass people. It'c cruel in a way that's tangible. That's real. That's...possible. And that's a fear on a level worse then zombies. The author pushes this world on to you and you cannot escape. You may look away but you won't be escaping. When you come back, the emotional nature of cruelty is there. But slowly, every so slowly...humanity comes around. Small as it is. In pockets. In little pieces of the world untouched by humans.


For those not knowing the story. It's zombies. Duh. It's infection. Check. But it's infection with a 20 year incubation period for you to zombie out and eat your kin. Imagine that. Getting bit and then having to wait around to see if you turn. And when you get in contact with a zombie, maybe just that blood drop or that little scratch?



You become Posi+tive.

It's the end of the world as we know let's write all about it

The End is Nigh - Hugh Howey, John Joseph Adams

This audiobook is like a bag of Halloween candy. Even if you aren't into one writer's style (and there was one I wasn't too fond of) you still eat the whole dang bag.


It's a great idea going on here. A triptych of books. All about the end of the world. Before, during and after. Each author writes 3 stories, one for each book. So it's like watching a Twilight Zone marathon. I'm already onto the second book as I write this. I loved listening to my old faves like Maberry, Wellington, Grant and Sigler. And now I'm introduced to quite a few more authors I must now look up.


What I like is the variety of stories. I mean, yes, they are about the end of the world. But some are realy subtle. Some are way out there. Some took the very interesting approach of going back in time to see the end of the world. I was moved at how quiet and sparce some stories were. And then others jam packed. I was able to also get a good dose of my fave medical sci fi jargon in there as well. 


Not to mention the narrators. Some of my faves doing what they do best. Bringing audio to a visual mind. I found myself finding any excuse to listen to this book. I found myself lying in bed for hours at a time going through these stories till they permeated my sleep...and dreams in some cases. Some were frightening. Some were interesting. Some...were terrifying. What I enjoyed was that all of them had than genuine emotional feeling to them. I mean you are there with the characters. Some going through the last hours of the end of the world. You hold your breath. Imagining what it would be like. To finally be at that end. It's a bit soul wrenching. Absolutely terrifying. Knowing there is no way out of....the end of the world. 

So that's a level 3 zombie, eh?

Mutated - Joe McKinney

The good, the bad and the omg it's over I'm going to go cry me a zombie river. 


The good. I loved listening to this series. And I guess this is the 'end' of that world. It started with a hurricane carrying zombie cooties. It drifted into zombie who could swim! How do we top that? Jump 8 years later. And zombies are...mutating! There seems to be a level of zombies and then there is that ONE zombie dude. You know. The reminds you of a bloody tampon? Yeah. That one. 


Also I have to give props to a great narrator here. His name is Todd McLaren. He has an amazing way with both genders and all ages...and er...zombies too. Seriously. He doesn't over do it. It's subtle. And each character has their own intimate nuances. He seriously brings to life each character. Each scene. After 4 audiobooks worth, you just feel he's in your head...only talking to you. Great work. You know a narrator can make or break a story for you. I've put down audiobooks before over a bad reading.


Anyways..the ugly? Yeah jesus zombie gore! It's not so much the zombies that had me squirming. It's the injuries done to the living. Like seriously I was feeling every single punch and break and tear. It was like how does this guy know this pain?! 


And now the bad. I dunno. I loved this audiobook. I loved the journey. But it felt like it just didn't have anywhere to really...go? It felt like the last 3 hours were leading up to an awesome build up. Come to find that it wasn't that big of a build up in the scope of things. And what you thought was the reason for the ending? Eh. They gave it up and then some more story. Just...I dunno. Left me wanting a bit more. I wanted to know more about the virus. The zombie dude, Nate, the special can't get zombie cooties dude. I really like when they delve into the medical of zombie stuff. 


But still. I'm not complaining! This audiobook was one I purposefully would lie in bed early for. Go on bike rides to listen to. Take walks around my neighborhood for. That's how I know I was in it to win it.

A strong female lead that isn't bat shit crazy

Flesh Eaters - Joe McKinney

So. What can I say about this audiobook? 

The plot: Does that matter? It's zombies. During an outbreak. There are survivors. The Dead World series is pretty much a known. The plot is to show you a series of characters and what happens to them. Their growth and or demise. The end. Pretty simple. Straightforward. But always a great listen! I never get enough. They are like Skittles!

The plot plot? Hurricane whatever leaves the waters full of zombie cooties. A woman and her family are one main character group. A man and his sons, the other. This differs from his previous books in the series. Before there were multiple characters. This there are mainly two story lines. Both amazing. Both covered in complexities of family drama. Shades of colors where on the outside merely looks black and white.


What was really great was the female protagonist. She wasn't a weak woman who turned 'Ramboesque' via her zombie shenanigans. This was a strong woman to begin with. But with flaws and insecurities. She didn't turn into Wonder Woman either. This character was done with realness. I could relate to her. Look up to her. She wasn't crazy. Or overly sexual who could take bullets without messing her lipstick. Her character reminded me of one of my favorite writers, Marge Piercy. A line of her goes something along the lines of 'a strong woman is a woman strongly afraid'. And that hits it. The strength of this character was to be brave in spite of her fears and how she dealt with it. 


What I love about zombie books isn't always about the zombies. It's about the growth of the characters. You watch them arch through their story line. You grow to regard them as family. This is especially true with listening to an audiobook. Their voices are there with you. 


I'm now on to the last book 'Mutated'. It's going to be a fun ride!

Apocalypse of the zombie of the living dead returns

Apocalypse of the Dead - Joe McKinney

You know the zombie titles I read all merge into one after a while. But in this case..there is a reason. This is the second in a series of Dear World books. Pretty much a hurricane in the gulf coast comes baring zombie cooties. They quarantine the area. But yeah. zombies do the illegal border crossing on out of there. What I liked about this story is what I also didn't like. But that's not to say I didn't love this book. It's the generic zombie survival story. And I'm well aware of that. I'm not looking for Zombie Masterpiece Theater here. I like that there are a number of storylines with a number of different people. And they all eventually converge into one final plot. What's also nice is that some bad guys end up going good and some good guys turn out to be full on creepers. And I hadn't a clue when I started reading this. You do get involved with the people. That kept me interested. What I didn't like is that these were not the people from the first book. And they are all gone in the next one. The narrator was awesome. At first I was like this guy has the Texas twang down and it's getting on my nerves if everyone speaks like this. But then suddenly we are in Vegas and Cali and I'm like is this the same guy? He really pulled off the voices. And there are quite a few. I was able to follow along with who was who just by accent and tone alone. It did wrap up the story line. But I wished I could find out more about them. Which I guess is a sign of a good story.


Also, my listening time is severely diminished since my work commute is 15 minute via bike. So I'm going slower then last year. But still trucking along religiously in listening to these audiobooks! I stopped trying to listen before bed. I was getting creepy zombie dreams. No bueno

Demon be gone! (with the help of the tv)

The Demon of Brownsville Road: A Pittsburgh Family’s Battle with Evil in Their Home - Bob Cranmer, Erica Manfred

*sigh. First let me be clear about a few things. I was raised a Catholic. I have been an atheist since 15(I'm 44). I bring both understanding and skepticism to my review.


Oh man. This was a fun demonic ride! It's like Amityville light with some new age stuff. And by new age I don't mean flowing robes and chakras. I mean the tv. I will only give one thing away about this book. At one point they put on 'The Passion of Christ' on repeat in their 'haunted' room. Because you know...demons like to binge watch that shit up. That's how this book is. It's wonderful and quick to listen to. I was doing my laundry while finishing it up. And the story is a good tale. I mean we have Indians. George Washington. Evil doctors. Poisoned rose bushes. And of course the all important classic bleeding walls.


It's a fun listen. That's all I got. But it wasn't scary. And I read Amityville Horror (the 'non fiction' one) and it scared the ever loving daylights out of me. 


This? Not so much. But entertaining none the less!

Does the butt scootch...

Symbiont - Mira Grant

Let's talk about the worms! Ok so this is the sequel to the first set of worms. And damn. They are back with a vengeance. The story picks right up where the first left off. You don't get a quick run down of the first go around. So hop on the ride, hold on, and let's do the creepy crawly dance while we listen. 


Parasites. Healthy purposeful parasites. The canine aid of the new human evolution. What could possibly go wrong? How about those worms start sniffing each other's pheromones and want to start being human? That's a problem. Some parasites just chill in your body till it smells another one and then hears the sounds of revolt! Some partly wake up and get fucked in the head. These are the sleep walkers. They just shamble about zombie like. And when I say zombie like I mean they BITE and want to eat you human! Some are super smart and integrate completely with the host and take over. Those are the scary ones. Because you can't tell who they are! 


And thus the war begins. Are humans in the right for wanting to destroy the parasites because it's their body first? Are parasites in the right because they didn't ask for this. They are just evolving. Too bad bro. Your body is now mine!


And in the middle is Sal. The one chic who naturally integrated her tapeworm with her dying brain. And she's all sorta of being pulled in the middle. The goverment wants her. Because the government also includes her father who just wants his missing dead daughter who came back to life but really isn't his daughter. Or is she?


The mad scientists want her because they want to replicate her.


The other mad scientists want her so they can find a way to destroy her kind before the whole world goes sleep walker.


The one rogue parasite/human hybrid/scientist also wants her to be a weapon in his war against the humans.


And she just wants to live.


With her boyfriend Nate.


And their two dogs Beverly and Mini (who they took because their owners went sleep walker cray cray)


Ahhh..the first review of 2015. I like this new writing style. It's wicked fun!

Did this zombie book just make me cry?

The Dead Lands - Joe McKinney

Yes. Yes it did. So first. I had listened to this author's Quarantined and fell quickly in love with the style of writing. And so I thought, zombies? Sure! Why not. As soon as I started listening to this, I lost myself in it. You know an audiobook is good when you stay up late in bed listening. Having to repeat the last half hour over and over because you are fighting sleep just to listen. You know it's good when you are making dinner and listening. When you are shopping and listening. Hell, when you are talking to the cashier at the local market...and listening. I could not put this audiobook down.


First the story was a bit off from 'normal' zombie stories. It had a very weird future not future feel to it. The story is pretty much zombie apocalypse. People surviving said zombies. But this had a unique take on things. The book takes place well after zombie invasion. And it settles in for a while on a small community of survivors. They decide to wander outside their safe zone and see what's still out there. Guess what? It's zombies! And other things. Both good and bad. The only way I can describe this without giving up the tale is to think M Night Shyamalan. Then at the end you get sucked into a few more views of the zombie timeline. It had gore. Which I love! And then it had a very interesting human story. The characters were unique. Were fleshed out well too. And the story moves along from one perilous adventure to another. 


But towards the end, I was silently weeping. Yeah. The reality of the situation felt tangible. I was there. I was so immersed into the story, I was there. A silent journeyman. This book is everything I love about zombie stories. There is the intensity and the gore. And then before you know it, there is the reality and the hopeless nature of things. The realization that the world is not the way it was before you closed your eyes. And suddenly you are the alien in this world of dead. And you must survive it. Or become it. 

We really don't need Texas, now do we?

Quarantined - Joe McKinney

Let's see. What can I say about this audiobook? I loved it! Virus. Check. Walled in city. Check. Murder mystery. Check. Human interest. Check. Welp. It's all there. This was a short listen. I think like 6 hours. And I think one of you had it on your list and it was a free audiobook! So thank you! This audiobook will be the gateway to a new author for me to explore. You know I love zombies. And this isn't zombies. But you also know I love viruses! And boy oh boy. This hit TOO close to home. N1H1 move over. Your big mean nasty sister is coming through! So basically San Antonio gets hits with a viral epidemic that starts wiping out everyone who sneezes. So what to do? What to do? Oh I know! Let's wall off the whole CITY! Yup. That will work. Let them start dying off in there. Let's fuck with their food supply. Let's kill their power. Riots and the what not all come into play. Why so scary? You remember Ebola, right? And how it hit Texas? I kept telling my friends the same thing...


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I, Zombie, you zombie, me, zombie, blue zombie

I, Zombie - Hugh Howey
I don’t know where to start with the review. So I guess I’m going to start way back in time. To when I was 11. This should be titled why I am fascinated with zombies and vampires but not ghosts. 
When I was 11 my father went to work in the morning. I remember him kissing me goodbye like he always did. It was early and the morning was still dark grey. He left. And he never returned. From then on I became obsessed with death. So much that I tried to kill myself the first time (when you say the first time, you know you got a problem!) when I was about 15. It was in the 80s and Gothic culture was underground and home made. Not like how you can go to the malls and get all your matching death outfit in one handy store. (note: I worked at that handy store for 8 years. I know the evil of which I speak!). Anyways. Let’s first talk vampires.
I became obsessed with vamps when I was 5. How do I know this? My fave Sesame street character was The Count. My father got me a subscription to Sesame Street magazine and I feel in love. But after his death, things changed. The world changed. I changed. My first true book was Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. I was immediately fascinated with all the glitter. All the gold. All the living for eternity and all that wonderful life of the undead. I liked the idea of never losing anyone I loved. That they would live forever. That they would…never leave me.
Through the years I turned that obsession into ‘non fiction’ books of vampires and all its kin. I drank up lore and myth of all cultures. I was enthralled with the live forever. Look young forever mentality. Think Lost Boys. 
Well let’s skip ahead to zombies. I have a fear of zombies. Fear in the way you have fears of real honest to goodness spiders and mice and things you can’t see but are indeed real. Are possible. When I was 14, Day of the Dead was released. Yeah, I’m an old fart. My mother took me and my best friend to see it at a movie theater. I remember the day like it was yesterday. Seriously. Trauma will do that to you. I remember sitting there with my tub of popcorn. Giggling. Talking to my friend. Whispering. And then this movie fucked my shit up for life. How? Well horror movies all take place in dark universes. Everything is dark when Freddy comes for you. It’s dark as hell with no good power source in all those Jason movies. Bad films of the 80s all took their evil into the dark corners of the world. But this movie was happening in BROAD DAYLIGHT! Who does that? What is wrong with the world?! Safety is in the day. You beat out the monster all night so you can live in the day. We all know that! Vamps can’t get you in the day. But zombies? Oh they get you in the day. They get you everywhere. They even get you in the mall while you are shopping for those cool jeans for back to school. Some sales lady takes a chunk out of your chubby arm and you are fucked. 
Zombies terrify me. Why? Because the thought of dying is not bad. It’s the thought of being stuck in there. Being one of them. Knowing what you will become. It’s hell. I always think what would I do if my father came out of the grave toward me? Would I be that bad ass woman who gives him a metal kiss between the eyes? Or that one that reaches with arms outstretched…calling…’daddy’. The dead should stay dead. The other side of the vampire myth. The truer side. The side they don’t tell you about. What it takes to be not dead. Not alive. That limbo in Dante’s Inferno. And that it’s not what if you become on of those things. It’s when. That inevitability. That train you look down knowing it’s coming. It’s coming for you. And there is no amount of right decisions that will keep you from becoming one of them. That complete loss of control. Of Identity. Of will. 
I keep arguing which is worse. To be in a world where you know one day it’s a wrong step. A too slow. A bad move. And you are being chomped on by your neighbor. To live in a world that you constantly aren’t safe in. Or being trapped inside that zombie body. Where you don’t just become one of the undead and you go to heaven. No. You are there. Inside. Stuck. Aware. And all you want is to put your arms out in that zombie pose and walk towards your next meal. But inside that’s not what you are doing. Inside you are hoping. You are praying. You are pleading that they will kill you. You are trying to reach out to their gun. You aren’t safe. Alive. Dead. Undead. I’m not safe. I haven’t felt safe since my father left me. But the though of him coming back for me makes it worse. Makes it a hell I attach myself to. All fictional writings of zombies it’s always me as the lone survivor. And him as the zombie coming towards me. 

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Have you ever....

Have you ever had to go listen to a story about the harrowing survival antics of journeymen to the Antarctic from the 1900s because you need an uplifting story to break from the zombie desperation you just read?


Yeah? Well I did. I, Zombie done effed my emotions up so badly I have to listen to talks about getting stuck in giant crevices of Antarctica where poor dogs die in a ditch and people starve just to brain bleach my feels.


I'll write a review laters. 

"Live from the Apocalypse"

Fall of Night - Jonathan Maberry

So it's zombie talk! You know how I love the zombies. Lemme break it down for you. As usual I won't talk about what this book is. If you are a fan, then you already know. If not, check out the other reviews. This is once again the FEELINGS edition of reviews. Where I tell you  how it made me feel. If the ride was worth it. And would I go on it again. HELL YES!

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The triangles have met the spore!

Contagious - Scott Sigler

Oh man. So I finished this audiobook today. The last hour on the bus ride to work. By the last 5 minutes I actually had full blown goose bumps running up and down my arm like electricity. And my face was an emotional mess of trying to hold back all the feels. ALL THE FEEL!S


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Equilateral, isosceles, scalene. It's the triangles, man! The triangles!

Infected - Scott Sigler

Wow. I can't tell you how freaked out triangles have now made me. Blue triangles to be exact. This book is a few years old, but I still won't tell you the plot! Just this. Triangles, paranoia, Colombo and Rage against the Machine are honorable mentions. I have to say I love this author. I actually got to this book via another of his books called Ancestors. That was a cheese fest sci fi bonanza! And this one didn't disappoint. This audiobook made me happy in so many ways. Let's get to it, shall we?

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No boobs! But lots of zombie goodies

Die Trying: A Zombie Apocalypse - Nicholas Ryan

Well I said I would give this author another chance. Thank Satan I did! 

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