Into the Dark
Book two in Patrick D’Orazio’s Dark trilogy, Into the Dark, gives its readers just enough time to suck in one gasp of air before plunging them back into the nightmare that started with Comes the Dark. The well-crafted foursome that D’Orazio created are scooped up by a batch of survivors that seem a shade more aggressive and organized than Jeff and his band.
There is a lot to dislike about this new bunch, however, for the most part, even if you dislike the leader of this new band, Michael, it is difficult to fault his decision making. Rather it is his manner and surrounding cronies that fuel the reader’s distrust and negativity.
Once again, D’Orazio gives a clinic on creating characters that are more than the some of their parts. Perhaps not so much with Frank—or even Cindy—but, you feel that Michael is more than a cardboard villain.
The pace of this story is even better than book one, which could get a bit jumbled at times, and keeps you turning the pages. This is a Library7 of the Living Dead Press book that deserves to carry the banner in the forefront.
There are a few things that do weigh down what must be considered a great read. There are the usual suspects in a small press release such as typos, homonym confusion (such as they’re; there; their or to; too; two errors that slip past the standard spell check) and punctuation. A walk through will clean most of these up and I suspect D’Orazio and his editor will eliminate those in time. But none of them take away from the story. The only two points I will bring up is that, unless I missed something in book one, it seemed that the timeline jumped a little too far forward. (Did book one really encompass six weeks?) My other complaint comes at the very end. I don’t divulge key parts of the story in reviews (i.e. spoilers…I mean really, who doesn’t keep reading AFTER the spoiler alert?) I will say this…it had to do with the RV maneuverability. Also…length. I hope book three is beefier.
Into the Dark is a good book. Fans of part one will be even more anxious. The Library has a winner in D’Orazio and will hopefully offer up many more stories by this talented storyteller.
Descendant: A Wolfe & Crowe Investigation
I just finished reading what SHOULD be the next SyFy original series. I’m not talking cheesy movie (Mansquito…Sharktopus et. al.), nope…I am talking series. (Think along the lines of Galatia, Sanctuary, Caprica, and my favorite…Warehouse 13.) Descendant: A Wolfe and Crowe investigation by Bob Freeman has HIT written all over it.
Now pay attention zombie lovers…this is NOT standard zombie fare. In fact, its relation to zombie fiction is tenuous at best. There is one zombie scene near the end of the book. Also, there is Martin Crowe. He died and was brought back to life in a sort of Frankensteiny way, which could satisfy the zombie criteria on a technicality. But what you need to know is that this is an extremely intelligent paranormal thriller. Go into it thinking of it as an occult version of the X-Files. Selina Wolfe and Martin Crowe are an FBI team responsible for dealing with the very real world of monsters and demons. They arrive on the scene to solve and then discredit the existence of said beasties. They know monsters exist and it is up to them to ensure that the general population does not.
Descendant would make an excellent first season. There is enough twists and turns to turn this story into a serial that would have watchers on the edge of their seats throughout. Belfire Press should put their resources behind this story. It really is that good.
A word of caution which can be taken as my critique of the work, Mister Freeman makes no attempt to dumb down his work. He uses eloquent words and obviously knows his occult material. There are times he makes your head spin with some of his references. However, this only gives his story more believability and credibility.
Descendant: A Wolfe & Crowe investigation by Bob Freeman expands the genre and is different from anything else out there for zombie lovers. I urge you to expand your horizons with what promises to be an exceptional series. If you are ready for something smart and several levels above the standard rip-and-tear zombie fiction that is flooding the market…this is the book for you
I am going to do something different on these pages as we go along – for now I am posting my reviews of The Walking Dead – Keep an eye out for lots more to come!
The Walking Dead Part 3 Nov 14, 2010
The worst part about writing these reviews for the hit AMC series, The Walking Dead, is that on the first showing I have to take notes and jot down ideas. This keeps me from actually watching the program for the sheer enjoyment factor. I have to save that for one of the replays. But…enough of my meaningless complaints.
So, we start getting a better look at some of the supporting cast in this episode. We’ve met Glen and Andria, and of course there is the very likeable (?) Shane, and Rick’s family: wife Lori and son carl. This is all about getting a taste of Dale, the adorable Amy, and the “charming” Daryl Dixon. That first group of names are people that we the people already know and have our minds made up on. And then there are the “strangers” (i.e. Daryl, T-Dog and some of the bodies running around in the background). Like former fave LOST, these look like potential cannon fodder as well as bodies to fill out the scenery.
With the rescue mission of the eldest Dixon brother being coupled with the original ‘gun run’ from the graphic novel, we get our first glimpse of hero-complex that will come to define Rick Grimes. What must be commented on and complimented on is how well all of this is being dovetailed and layered in the opening episodes.
Each of the actors and actresses being used in this story are proving to mesh wonderfully. There is a lot being done with body language and facial expressions in the scenes and in the background. Despite any of the credits that these people have piled up, the only familiar face for me was Shane (Jon Bernthal).
So now everything is in place. The normally tedious character introductions have been handled masterfully and are basically over as we hit the half way point in this six-episode season. (We can only hope that the success of this series will bring a longer season WHEN it returns.)
Of course, now is when the questions start to build for many of the fans who have read the series. They’re sitting right there on the tips of our tongues, and as we sit next to those unfamiliar to the story, we struggle to hold back and reveal nothing. It is now that we must take that leap of faith and trust that Mr Darabont and company will keep to the structure of the story while continuing to add to the depth that makes this feel almost like we’re getting bonus material in a re-release of volume one, Days Gone Bye.
As of now, I am left with one raised eyebrow over a single line spoken by Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) “You were the one that told me that he died.” And despite what we know about the future story line as originally written, I cant be the only one who truly enjoyed Shane’s beat-down of Ed. Doesn’t that earn him at least a few Redemption Points?
The Walking Dead Part 2 November 7th 2010
Episode 2 of AMC’s brand new mega-hit, The Walking Dead, had a lot of pressure riding on it. The first episode was so well received that it had water-coolers buzzing and even a Monday morning mention from Atlanta based CNN. As a zombie fan, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one fielding questions last week by those that got a first taste of our passion. (I use that word collectively, why else would you be cruising this site?)
Tonight was the first time we got to see how Frank Darabont would’ flesh out’ the story a bit. He gave us some familiar faces in strange places. Readers of the series know that Rick was rescued by Glenn and Glenn alone (also there was no tank.) Andria was introduced in Atlanta and is already displaying the badass female character we have come to love. The biggest divergence is Merle Dixon’s introduction. I liked it because it made me hate Dixon right away instead of wondering about him. Michael Rooker did a fantastic casting choice.
Rick’s rescue is much more of an event—taking up all of episode 2—and as a fan of the graphic novel, I think I’m okay with it. Getting a glimpse of some of the characters at the base camp as well as part of the group encountered in Atlanta gave me a better understanding of the characters and how they will be used in the series. Obviously, if this went exactly by the book, it would burn through the material much too fast.
One of the side effects of the series as it is currently unfolding is my increased dislike in the character of Lori. Sara Wayne Callies is fantastic at making me dislike her for no real reason. Meanwhile, Steven Yeun amps the likeability factor of Glenn exponentially with every scene.
Here my complaint. The zombie climbing the fence? Not so much. Also…are they fast or slow? I can’t tell. Granted, they don’t sprint a la 28 days later, but they do get moving in a hurry when they see something they like. I half expected the zombie from episode one that got off the bus and later saw Rick on the tank to recognize them during the escape. The series seemed to tread a fine line with its zombie continuity in episode two.
Enough can still not be said about the effects being used in this made-for-tv series. So far it’s enjoyable to watch but I will be waiting to see if Darabont blinks when he has to off the first of his cast that people are getting to know and love. Readers of the series are very familiar with the fact that Robert Kirkman has no qualms with taking out a character or two every so often. We all know some of the casualties looming on the horizon.
Overall the episode was satisfying. I did get elbowed in the ribs once or twice and asked by my friends “can you really smear yourself with zombie guts and get away?” In Kirkman’s world the answer is yes and I remember how clever it was when I read it in episode one of the graphic novel.
Tune in next week because things should get very interesting.
The Walking Dead – television premier
The zombie infection is more contagious than even the staunches fan might realize. For the past several days, and this week in particular, I’ve done my part to spread the infection. My friends, coworkers, and casual acquaintances were unable to protect themselves. My anticipation in regards to the AMC premiere of The Walking Dead has rippled through my social circles. This has almost been like a study on seeing how a zombie outbreak might overwhelm society.
Credit AMC for a brilliant promotional campaign complete with screaming crawlers and even the occasional Emergence Alert screen. The way they kept the initial commercials short, showing larger glimpses as the premiere neared, was a lesson on how to pull off an excellent teaser.
Now, I must confess that there has been a layering sense of concern. After all, I was a huge fan of the Terry Goodkind fantasy epic The Sword of Truth. The only thing the televised version of that series got right was the casting. The program itself had no resemblance to the books other than the names of the central characters. In the lead-up to the premiere of the Walking Dead I went into it almost like a jilted lover.
That notwithstanding, I have recently been likened to a kid waiting for Christmas. My non-zombie-loving friends (gasp! Does such a creature exist?) could not help but be caught up in my enthusiasm. Before long they were pulling me up and asking me questions. Truth be told I have never been so grateful that AMC has built a loyal following with Madmen and Breaking Bad. Their reputation for quality has already been established.
A few even warmed up with the IFC showing of Dead Set. That was sort of like giving steak to an infant, but the British mini-series actually converted a few and amped their anticipation for the Walking Dead.
Most of you are familiar with the story and the characters. If not, I recommend picking up the graphic novels. (feel free to peruse the reviews of The Walking Dead 1-12 posted right here at BuyZombie.com.) what I want to talk about is how this adaptation looked…felt…sounded…adhered. Should the fans who’ve waited commit to this? Should those new to this amazing graphic novel series open their eyes to what will be the newest BIG THING in horror?
The answer is most assuredly yes.
Congratulations (and a huge thank you) goes to Frank Darabont for not only giving us a faithful adaptation—so far—but added a depth to the characters that further put flesh on the bones to a great story. Not only did he do a superb job in adapting Robert Kirkman’s story, you can actually see what he reproduced some of Charlie Adlard picture panels to perfection.
Of course a lot has to be said about the cast. Andrew Lincoln sheds his European accent for a very believable Rick Grimes from Georgia. Jon Bernthal is so likeable that I feel sorry that he is cast as Shane Walsh, Rick’s friend and partner.
We can’t talk about a zombie story without mentioning the visceral factor…the blood and gore. I think that they (the SFX and production team) set the tone right away in the opening scene. All I need to say is: a little nine- or ten-year-old girl with a teddy bear. YIKES!
Kudos to Darabont and AMC. The Walking Dead is going to be a hit. It is going to bring the entire zombie genre to the next level. Set your DVR, or better yet invite your friends over on Sunday night (who cares if it is on at 10:00 pm.) and make this the event that it deserves to be.
On these pages you will find links to reviews! Check them out!
Guest post on buyzombie.com here www.buyzombie.com/…/from-film-to-page-the-journey-of-the-undead/
Undead in the head Lyle reviewed Zomblog on Feb 10, 2010
you can see the review at http://www.undeadinthehead.com/2010/02/zomblog-by-tw-brown.html
A great interview from Patrick Dorazio here patrickdorazio.com/2010/02/25/
Dollar Bin Horror reviewed Zomblog on Feb 21, 2010
you can see the review at http://dollarbinhorror.blogspot.com/search?q=zomblog
Zombiefriends has a review of Zomblog here www.zombiefriends.com/club/view/vwReview.asp?rvid=734
you can find a review from buyzombie.com here www.buyzombie.com/2010/02/04/zombie-books/zomblog
Zomblog is on Answers.yahoo.com here http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100219234701AA723ew
Rising Dead.com has Zomblog posted here http://rising-dead.com/Forums/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=981
Goodreads.com has Zomblog posted here www.goodreads.com/book/show/7674888-zomblog
FanFiction.com has Zomblog here www.fanfiction.net/s/5212541/3/Zomblog
Permuted Press has Zomblog here permutedpress.com/smf/index.php?topic=7427.msg124534