The Mall

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The Mall

There is a lot going on in this novel and it made for a hard read because of it. Its like everything was being thrown in to make it more interesting but what it did was keep me confused. There is science fiction with an automated Mall with robots and a central intelligence running things. Then we have a revisionist history which has figures alive and kicking who died in the original timeline, a paranormal leaning with psychic individuals and ghosts running around. With all of this I was still actually kind of bored while reading it. I never really felt anything much for any of the characters, though I did want them to survive if only because they were children. The mother was kind of unsympathetic and annoying for the most part. It felt like it was to long and could have been concluded sooner.

Lara is the mother of two children, Cora and Owen, the widow of Ben and not a great planner at all. She has been evicted from her home and finds herself homeless with her children and no backup plan. Lara is going to the one person she hoped not to have to ask for help, her mother-in-law who blames her for the death of her son. She lives in the residential section of the Mall, Lara hopes that she will allow the children to stay with her until she can make arrangements for a new place to live. But she wants to take the children and to brand Lara an unfit mother, so she leaves and decides to stay in the Mall.

Owen is ten years old and blames his mother for everything and anything. When she falls asleep in the movie he decides to sneak off and do something he wants, even though he is leaving his sister as well. Not surprisingly there is a power outage and he is cut off from his family, a killer is roaming the Mall, the robots are all offline, and Lara is panicking. There is an evil presence in the Mall and reuniting is more difficult than anyone could have expected.

When I read the blurb I was really excited about reading this book because it sounded good. I am not quite so enthusiastic about it now. It took me 8 days to read a book that should have only taken me three at the outside. This did not work for me but maybe it will for someone else. Just to much going on and not enough action or scares to keep me engaged. I finished it because I do not like to quit and find that I missed something.

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Infestation

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Infestation: Suffer the Children 1 (Suffer the Children #1)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a real slow burn as far as the story taking off considering the fact that it is a short story. While I enjoyed the story for the most part I was a bit lost as to what was going on. The characters are lackluster and do not really make me either like or dislike them so far, though I do feel they have hope of getting more interesting. I understand the plot, since it is a story about a haunting but the source is so strange that I am not understand what it is. I hope this will be clarified in future installments. The language is fine and seems fitting the characters.

Jim Miller is a truck driver with a wife and two young daughters, and like anyone he wants to give them a good life. The type of home he wants cannot be found for a price they can afford, but he finds some land that is reasonable and gives them room to grow on. They build the perfect house and have a house warming party to celebrate their good fortune. That is the last time they are truly happy and fear free in their new home. Something is making itself known to the children and adults by causing disturbances they cannot explain. Now they are faced with the prospect of leaving the home they love for reasons they cannot even explain.

This is a three part serial which I hope gets more involved and maybe lets us in on the secret soon of what is haunting a new house. Why did no one ever buy the land they built on? I will be reading the final installments because I want to know what is going on. I do like a mystery.

‘Salem’s Lot

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‘Salem’s Lot

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Stephen King at his best. This is a vampire story that does not have a happy ending or nice vampires. These are the old vampires who just want to kill and create more as they go. The characters are good and very realistic for the time and place that they occupy. It is very much a product of the time that it was written in but does still hold up well.

Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem’s Lot to exorcise the ghosts of his past. He had a terrifying experience in the local haunted house as a child and wants to write that terror away. What he could not have foreseen is that a new terror has come to take up residence in the Lot and it is something he would never believe could happen. The haunted house has been bought by some foreign gentlemen and soon things start to happen. People are missing for no reason that anyone can figure out at first, but then it becomes plain what is happening.

This may not be one of the greatest novels ever written to some but it is one of my favorites because I love a good vampire story and he told one here. This had an evil vampire who wanted to take the town and everyone in it as his own. There was more than one hero, though Ben was the main one, and they are flawed but brave in the face of certain defeat. It does kind of remind you of Bram Stokers Dracula with a modern face on it. Look at the characters and you can actually line them up from book to book. I have read both and like it. I would recommend it!

The Stand

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The Stand

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

I listened to this book this time around after having read it 3 times over the years. It is a story that you find something new in each time you read it. The characters are well written and fleshed so that you get to know them on a deep level. The story is not really scary but has elements that can make you feel uncomfortable or want to look over your shoulder for the bad. Even though it is only a story you can imagine it happening in your world. This seems to be a character study of sorts because you have so many personalities.

A deadly virus is let out into the world because our government cannot seem to keep their word about not creating things that could kill large numbers of people. Around the country people are dying from a superflu and while some are immune they start to dream of two people who they cannot be sure are real. One is an old black woman named Mother Abigail to tells them to come see her in Nebraska, the other is a dark man who scares most but is calling people to him in the west. The good and the evil are bringing together their forces to battle, or so it seems.

For me this is one of his best but I have read most of his work and love it. Try this if you have not read anything else by him.

Mayor of the Damned

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Mayor of the Damned (Sven the Zombie Slayer, Book 3)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I read the first book in this series I did not expect that I would get to the third one and feel a bit underwhelmed. I am assuming that this is the last book, though it may not be another in the works somewhere. These stories grabbed me with the first book I picked up but they have gotten a little less interesting as they have gone along. I had a very hard time getting into this book even though I liked the characters. This was not what I would have expected from the characters and it made it a very hard read. The plot was a little convoluted and could not hold my interest because I really didn’t care about them like I did before. There was no real action, though more than the last book which took place in the three locations our mains were in.

Sven makes his way out of City Hall only to be faced with more of the infected and no easy way to get home to Jane and Lori. While he is trying to make his way across the city he runs into someone he had thought dead or at least one of the infected. Milt is infected but has evolved in a different way from the others, he has decided that the world needs to be evolved and that Sven and his friends should join him.

The creator of the virus which has caused all the chaos is on the move and wants to observe how his Desi is causing trouble. He also wants to see how it has mutated and what it might do as it travels around the country.

Milt plays a little like a cartoon villain, its the way he talks and acts. He is not a likable character at all. I would have liked to have seen more of the vegan, he is a character who got a serious short look in every book but was an interesting kind of guy. Maybe in the next book if it happens. You have to read this if you have read the first two.

Walkers (Walking Dead Universe)

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My rating: 3.3 of 5 stars

W1: The characters introduced are not fully fleshed out but do make you want to find out how things turn out for them . And there are zombies, who can say no to zombies! Not a great tome but definitely interesting to a zombie enthusiast.

W2: While there is not any real character development they still have very distinct personalities which are starting to emerge. This group has grown with addition of two teenagers and a kid who has his soldier father in his head. The action is good and does not drag. The dialogue fits nicely with the characters and their situation. While there are issues with grammar , they are minor and do not detract much from the narrative. Enjoyable!

W3:  I enjoyed this a bit more than the last episode because there was more action. The characters were still not as clear as I would have liked but I still liked them enough to care if they lived or died. I expected more here though because it was the last. I was very disappointed with the ending however, there were so many other ways to go than a cliffhanger.

Zombie lovers will like it.

 

“We’ve got actual corpses walking around literally trying to turn us into Happy Meals, and you’re afraid of an itty bitty spider? Seriously, man?” “I can deal with dead bodies every day, so I can deal with any rotting corpses, even ones walking around trying to make me their lunch. But spiders, man, they are EVIL! I mean, they have eight hairy legs. What kind of shit is that?” Charlene grabbed Luther by the collar. “Come on, Braveheart. I think the kitchen’s through this door.”
G.B. Banks, Walkers

 

 

 

 

The Haunting of Hill House

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The Haunting of Hill House

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have seen both versions of this story in movie form and actually prefer the 1960’s version for its lack of overt special effects. Saying that this is the first time I have ever read the book, though I have wanted to for years. This is a character study more than a haunted house story, but the house does play a central role. There is not an emphasis on scares but a setting of mood and atmosphere that really draws you in, very much like the original movie. The characters are not flat but come to life as well-rounded and with personalities that make them very approachable.

Hill House has stood for 80 years and is considered to be haunted or at least tainted in some way. A researcher decides to try to prove that the supernatural exists by bringing in a team to stay at the house and document their experiences. The question that needs to be answered is whether there is a haunting or is it only the imagination and psychosis of those in the house that brings it to life. Eleanor and her companions find that Hill House has its own agenda and they are a part of it.

All of the characters are very different from their cinematic counterparts in subtle ways and some very big ways. Eleanor is even more of a neurotic in the book, Theo is actually a bit nicer than depicted, and Luke is not a lush. The other characters, one not even depicted in the movie are vastly different and not necessarily for the better. If you enjoyed either movie, you should read this to get a better understanding of what happened and how things progressed. And you can see that Shirley Jackson was very good for her time.