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Not only a mismatched author antho, but historically inaccurate 1st tale,
This review is from: Half Past Dead (Paperback)
I always wonder when you have an established author in an antho, if it's done to fulfil contracts because the publisher has no choice, or if it's to introduce the lesser-known author, or if it's hoped that the established author will carry the others. With this book, it kind of broke the mould, as both authors are established, and I know that Bianca D'Arc is great on her own in full-length novels, but this one disappointed, and the Zoe Archer novel, well, did she even research the year 1858 in which she set it?
Turning to the former, we meet in present day/poss near future, special ops soldier Simon, who has been hunting marines-turned-into-zombies-from-the-bites-of-creatures-they-were-dispatched-to-kill, and who inexplicably was bitten but not turned by one of the creatures. With his immunity, he's now tasked with getting rid of his former buddies, who are now preying on locals, so he's keeping watch over his best friend's sister, Mari, a doctor and his ex-lover. Despite having left her to go on a mission three years ago, whilst in the midst of (an allegedly passionate) affair, with her not knowing what happened to him, he suddenly appears in her naval camp needing stitches. You'd think that Mari would perhaps have to treat him due to the Hyppocratic Oath, but that at least she'd have the backbone to take him to task for her having been unable to move on, for the way in which he abandonned her and left her not even knowing if he lived or died (she found out on the grapevine after some months that he was still alive), but no. She accepts not only his need-to-know stance, the fact that he superheals in the space of a few hours (if so, it begs why he had to go & get treated) and that zombies exist. Yes, he's been watching over her from afar, and when the zombies target her, it gives him a chance to barricade them in her cottage for hours of sex, followed by hunting at night, then more sex and then declarations of love and a proposal. DISAPPOINTING - not enough by way of a background to even write this tale, let alone call it a novel/novella, and Mari was a total doormat. Simon's description didn't even make him worthy of her forgiveness, let alone being worthy of her love, so she disappointed too. The sex scenes were perfunctory and sensual rather than erotic, and I wonder why the author dumbed-down this way. Maybe to make herself more mainstream and therefore more easily available to the gullible public = lots more revenue for her? I'll certainly think twice about buying her in an antho, as this is the second time I've been disappointed.
As for the Zoe Archer tale - well it starts off with the author saying in her blurb that she likes men with waistcoats and high boots, so I kind of expected a historical tale, but this was so at odds with the guy on the cover (probably Simon, but where he got the sword from, no idea), who was wearings a ripped t-shirt and jeans, whilst carting both a sword and an automatic weapon of some sort. Typical tale of poor good guy in 1858 dying on a battlefield with his best buddy (the female lead, Cassie's brother who died), when along comes a baddy who turns him in order to form an army of his own to do his evil bidding. But Samuel is noble enough and strong-willed enough to break free of his creator's hold and to try to track and kill him, but despite him being proven in battle and Cassie/Cassandra being a would-be spy only, with no battle experience, they apparently have to team up to hunt down the baddy, and on the way, they have time for sex. They also use surprisingly modern language such as 'we'll' and 'don't' and similar abbreviations, which my son who is currently studying A-level English Lit, and so reading novels set in this period, confirmed was totally inaccurate, as I was already thinking. All of this further spoiled my reading of this tale by an unknown author, so I won't be tempted to read her further works. All I can say is thank goodness all I paid was a paltry reservation fee at my library to get hold of this book, and not the RRP.
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Initial post: 18 Jan 2012 11:11:46 GMT
As of today, I must say, that while this book perhaps does not meet your expectation, do not "cut off your nose to spite your face". Before swearing you will NEVER read her works again, please try The Devils Kiss... in her new Hellraiser series. I also am not one that likes inaccurate or cardboard writing. I am also not one for horror. I have changed my thoughts and feelins when reading her new book. I am so impressed by her gift of words there is not a descriptive enough word I can use to explain. Just try it. You never know, maybe you also will be hanging onto your seat waiting for the next book in the series.. Regards, Anna
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