Tag Archives: zombies

TV Review – The Walking Dead Season 1

The Walking Dead is a TV series that has received a lot of praise in the past, especially its first season. I was living in Japan when it became popular, and I had access to it through Hulu. I was able to watch up until about the middle of the third season, then stopped watching for some reason. I’ve now decided to start watching it again, starting with season 1. As I have watched this before, there were no surprises.

When I watched it the first time, I enjoyed it a lot. The second time around, some of the jump scares still worked. I hadn’t remembered some of them. But I found that it’s more than just a zombie show. It’s a show about people. It’s about humanity. It’s about how humans cope with extreme situations which seem impossible to survive. People do things they would never do in normal circumstances.

Although Rick is a police officer, he shows fear and breaks down emotionally. Shane shows how much a person can change in situations like this. Glenn shows how resourceful a person can be, even if he was a pizza delivery driver. There are a lot of characters with unique personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Daryl is a popular character, and I like him more in later seasons. However, he comes across as a hotheaded man who wouldn’t hesitate to kill. I also like Dale. He seems very compassionate and cares deeply for Andrea and Amy.

I felt that episode 4 was emotionally powerful. Without giving any spoilers, something happens that I don’t know if I’d be able to get through it emotionally. Incredibly difficult. It has a strong impact, even when watching it for a second time.

Throughout the season, you feel both hope and despair. You wonder who will die and who will live. Below, you will see spoilers!

Most emotional deaths

I’d have to say that Amy’s and Jim’s deaths were the most emotional. Especially Amy’s. I can’t imagine what went through Andrea’s mind when she shot Amy as she became a walker.

Death I was happy about

Ed’s death with satisfying. The abusive asshole deserved it. And his death was particularly gruesome.

Overall Impression

I think it was a solid start to the series. I enjoyed it a lot, and was looking forward to season 2. I still am. I’d give this a very solid 4 1/2 stars out of 5.

How about you?

What did you think of The Walking Dead season 1? Let me know in the comments below.

Authors Answer 53 – Jumping on the Bandwagon

Welcome to the second year of Authors Answer! We’re back for another year, and it should be an interesting one. All the familiar faces are back for this month. This week, we’re talking about the trends. Many genres and subgenres are quite popular these days. But would we try writing in those genres just for the money or popularity?

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 53 – There have been a lot of trends in literature, such as zombies, sparkly vampires, and so on. Would you jump on the bandwagon and write a novel with a trendy subject?

H. Anthe Davis

Sort of?  I have a plan for a semi-steampunk story/world that I’m already beginning to work on with my partner-in-crime Erica, though the parts I’ve focused on so far aren’t the steampunk ones — that stuff is more of a distant backdrop to the religious and racial conflict going on.  There are also pseudo-zombies and pseudo-vampires, but I hope I’ve mixed things up enough that it feels unique.  I read very little steampunk, since I have no affection for Victoriana, and I wouldn’t say that I’m doing it to hitch onto the trend — just that the emergence of the trend gave me an idea.  As a generally oppositional person, I try to avoid treading on other people’s trails; it always gives me an uncomfortable shock to read work too similar to my own.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

I would definitely “jump on the bandwagon” and write about trendy subjects, but only if those subjects actually appealed to me. For instance, I wrote a zombie novel, “Nowhere to Hide“, but I didn’t write it just because zombies have been big for a while; I also happen to enjoy zombies and thought it would be an interesting book to read. Alternatively, I wouldn’t write about sexy, sparkly vampires no matter how trendy it is because even though I occasionally read that kind of stuff as a guilty pleasure, I have absolutely no interest in writing about monsters that aren’t the least bit frightening.

Allen Tiffany

No, I don’t think I would jump on any trends. At least not that I could think of at the moment. I just would not how to write in a different genre then what I know. I’m afraid that if I tried it would across as either poorly conceived and executed, or it would only do well because it was formulaic and derivative. I don’t want to be guilty of either.

Paul B. Spence

Maybe I should, but no, and gods no about sparkly vampires! I may write, and have, something with zombies of some sort. I may even write a story or two about vampires, but they wouldn’t be what people expected.

Eric Wood

Nope. Unless the trend was something I was already writing about, then I probably would. I tend to write about what I know best. Plus, I’m not one to jump on bandwagons in general.

Jean Davis

If an idea came to me that included a current trend, I’d run with it. However, my story ideas tend to come at random and I’ve learned it’s not a great idea to force them into a mold just because it’s popular. Forcing leads to painful pulling of words from my head and that drains my ambition to write pretty quickly.

D. T. Nova

If I had an idea I liked that was inspired by a trend, sure. I haven’t ever felt any inclination to write either of those specific trends, though.

Elizabeth Rhodes

I have considered it, and tried in the past.  The trouble is, by the time I’m ready to publish said novel the trend has already come and gone.  I missed the dystopic bandwagon with Jasper.  Short stories would probably work best for me if I wanted to keep up with trends.

S. R. Carrillo

I would never write a novel purely because it’s trendy. I only ever write what’s in my heart. It just so happens that my first novels are centered around demons and angels – but only because they’re my shit. Not because they’re trendy. Zombies, werewolves, faux-BDSM romances, etc. are not my shit. I will never be driven by trends.

Caren Rich

Not unless it was a topic that interested me. I can’t see spending that much time on something that I’m not passionate about.

Gregory S. Close

I think you can never realistically chase a trend, because usually by the time the trend is at its peak it’s too late to start running after it.  If you’ve already got something ready to go that fits the trend when the trend is still hot, then that’s more coincidence than chasing.

However, I have been toying with writing a really cheesy paranormal romance love triangle erotica book just to see if it would be lucrative.  I just wouldn’t want to waste any real words or ideas on the project, so I’ve never pulled the trigger.  Maybe a parody would scratch the itch and make me feel less mercenary.

Linda G. Hill

I would if I was inspired by a story that I thought could not only fit into the genre/theme but that would add something to it. Trends only go so far if everything that comes out is a carbon copy of what’s been written before it.

Jay Dee Archer

I wouldn’t do it unless I were actually interested in writing something in that genre. Trying to force myself to write something I don’t particularly like would lead to a story that feels forced. It wouldn’t be very good writing. I write what I like, not write what other people like. Even for the money, I wouldn’t. It would probably be such a poor job at writing that it wouldn’t sell, anyway.

How about you?

Would you write in a popular genre to get paid more, even if you don’t like that genre? Leave your answers in the comments below.

Book Review – Blood Skies

bloodskiesBlood Skies

Author: Steven Montano

Series: Blood Skies #1

Genre: Fantasy

Published 2011

Review Copy: Free eBook

Overall Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

Goodreads Description

In the time after The Black, human survivors of the Southern Claw Alliance clash with vampire legions of the Ebon Cities in a constant war for survival. Earth as we know it has been forever damaged by an arcane storm that fused our world with distant realms of madness and terror. Things that once existed only in our nightmares stalk the earth.

Now, humanity is threatened by one of its own.

Eric Cross, an enlisted warlock in the Southern Claw military, is part of an elite team of soldiers and mages in pursuit of a woman known as Red — a witch whose stolen knowledge threatens the future of the human race. The members of Viper Squad will traverse haunted forests and blighted tundra in their search for the traitor, a journey that ultimately leads them to the necropolis of Koth.

There, in that haven of renegade undead, Cross will discover the dark origins of magic, and the true meaning of sacrifice…

Experience a dark and deadly new world in the debut novel of the “Blood Skies” series from author Steven Montano.


Blood Skies, the first novel in the Blood Skies series by Steven Montano, is an interesting take on the vampire genre, combining it with witches and warlocks, zombies, and a post-apocalyptic world.  At first, I was thinking this was going to be a typical vampire story, but it surprised me.  I wasn’t expecting it to be a quest style dark fantasy story.

Cross is a relatively inexperienced warlock in the Viper Squad, but he’s with his friend and fellow soldier Graves.  Graves is quite laid back, and it seems he’s the only one who acts like that.  Cross, and later, his sister Snow, are powerful magic users with different types of magic.  They are both a bit uptight, though.  Cristena comes along, and as she is another witch, she has her own set of impressive magic.  I found her to be a bit of a mystery at first, but later on, her character showed through very strongly.  But I didn’t like her at all.  I liked Cross, Graves, and Snow, though.  On the other side of the war are the vampires, though we only really get to know one of them.  And we also have Red, the main antagonist.  Even through the entire book, I still wonder about her motivations.  I feel that not everything was revealed in this book.

The plot is a rather straightforward quest to stop Red, basically.  It involved a lot of magic, guns, and lots of death.  Incredible amounts of death.  And I mean you shouldn’t get too attached to the characters because there’s a good chance he or she will die.  I enjoy the quest type of story, so this was a nice trip for me.  We get to see different lands, different combatants, and different dangers, but the constants are Cross and Graves.  However I found some of the deaths were a bit unnecessary.  There’s one battle in particular that seems completely unnecessary for the story at first, but I could see why it was important for the advancement of the story.  The story does come to a conclusion, but there are still some open threads that are most likely continued on in the following books.

The setting itself is richly described.  It had a dark atmosphere, and I felt like it must be cold and dreary there.  The world is a post-apocalyptic Earth somewhere in North America (an American city is mentioned, actually), but it’s been merged with another world filled with vampires, zombies, and other horrors.  Montano does a great job at describing the world, but I wanted to know more.  What about outside the Southern Claw?  What’s the rest of the world like?  Maybe we’ll find out later.

The magic system is very interesting.  Men and women are different, and their magic is also controlled differently.  Each mage has his or her own spirit that they are in constant contact with, and it’s as if they are an extension of themselves.  You’d have to read it to understand.

Overall, I found this to be a very interesting idea.  I wasn’t expecting much, as I’m not a fan of vampire stories, but I enjoyed it.  It was a dark fantasy with elements of vampires, zombies, and steampunk.  With an overall rating of 3 1/2 out of 5 stars, it’s a solid recommendation from me.  It’s fun to read.

Sparkly Zombie Vampire Asteroids from Mars

There’s always some kind of fad going on in popular culture.  These days, we have Hunger Games.  I hear Katniss this, Katniss that.  I haven’t seen the movies or read the books (the books are on my to read list, though).  But is it original?  Not really.  Seems similar to Battle Royale by Koushun Takami.

It seems that the big popular books, movies, and TV series these days tend to start or continue a popular trend.  Zombies are a big thing, especially with The Walking Dead, but there have been other zombie movies (Night of the Living Dead), computer games (Resident Evil), and novels (I Am Legend by Richard Matheson).  They all seem to follow the same theme.  So why do we keep enjoying them?  They’re mostly the same story.

Vampires used to be something to be feared.  They used to be dangerous monsters.  Now, they’re sparkly thanks to Stephenie Meyers’ Twilight series.  They’ve lost their bite.

For a while, Mars was popular in the movies.  Around 2000, we had a couple high profile Mars movies, Red Planet and Mission to Mars.  Where’s the movie adaptation of Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson?  I’d love to see that!  And then there were the asteroid disaster movies, such as Armageddon and Deep Impact.  Themes seem to get hot and then fizzle after a while.

The entire fantasy genre (especially high fantasy and epic fantasy) have The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings to thank for its existence.  That’s still going on strong today, as elves, dwarfs, wizards, and evil all-powerful bad guys populate fantasy.  But it’s not original.

Is it difficult to find some sort of originality in books and movies today?  I’d say somewhat difficult, but it’s out there.  But because of the popularity of certain themes, it’s profitable for those who write about it.  Originality is risky, so why not jump on the bandwagon and take advantage of the fad?

I do have to admit that epic and high fantasy are a kind of comfort genre for me.  I love reading it.  I know that Terry Brooks is often criticised for Sword of Shannara being a copy of Lord of the Rings, but I still love reading his books.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?  Is there something you know is cliche and overused, but you still love it?  Leave a comment.