Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Zombie Survival Guide

To me, Max Brooks' The Zombie Survival Guide will always be the definitive book on zombies. I know it's not the first book about zombies, not by a long shot, but it is close to my heart because it's the one my friends and I based all our apocalyptic survival plans off of.

The Zombie Survival Guide is exactly what is said on the cover: a survival guide, in a completely serious and informational tone, for surviving the zombie apocalypse. It details zombie strengths and weaknesses, the best ways to fight them, and other tips and tricks for adapting to the zombie apocalypse.

As for the Brooks Zombies, they are slow, stupid, and uncoordinated. Their only advantage is that they can defy many laws of biology, like the need for oxygen, nutrients, a functioning body, or higher thought. Brooks used his zombies in his other book, World War Z, which I also recommend and will probably talk about later.

If you enjoy losing yourself in another world (perhaps with friends), you should get this book immediately. If you don't, then maybe you can get this book anyways and it can convince you. There is no story arc and no characters, so while reading it you inevitably start imagining yourself in these situations, and even start planning a little. Unless you're a nerd, in which case you plan a lot.

In conclusion: zombies. how to survive them. Thank you for your time.

Friday, May 15, 2015


Life is going kinda meh for Seth Somethingorother right now. Nothing ever seems to happen in the town of Loughborough (which has far too many "ugh"s in it, in Seth's opinion). That is, until is best friend, Luke, disappears.

All of the adults think that Luke has run away. Spoilers: he most definitely has not. Tall Jake has taken him to the world of Malice, where kids and teenagers struggle to escape, most things are deadly, and everything is serialized in comics that are given to the outside world. Naturally, Seth and his friend Kady have to figure everything out.

As for the book Malice, the story is told in a mixture of text, comic panels, and Chris Wooding trying to simulate teenagers Instant Messaging. Don't expect too much comic, though; almost all of the book is just text.

The parts of the book that are comic, however, are really well done (not that the rest of it is bad). I like the art style, and I like how the comic actually fits in with the narrative. This is a nice adventure story in which more questions are raised than answered. Some might be answered in book two, Havoc, which I haven't read yet.

I don't think I'm gonna be able to say anything smart right now, so: if you like monsters, alternate worlds, and vague questions about human nature, read this book.