November 10, 2013

Book Review: Controlling the Dead by Annie Walls

Title: Controlling the Dead (Famished #2)
Author: Annie Walls
Genre: Horror, Zombies, Dark Fantasy


With the help of her new companions, the path Kansas follows leads to more knowledge of the ever adapting famished.

The team finds help in unlikely places, meeting more survivors, and discovers the possibility of a new beginning.

When the team experiences a devastating loss, Kansas struggles to keep her humanity from fading and distorting like that of the surviving society around her. It begins with knowing who to trust and who to leave behind. First, she must trust herself – she won't make the same mistakes twice.

As the answers to her questions are revealed, Kansas begins to understand the knowledge comes with a heavy price and great responsibility of controlling the dead.

In a trilogy plot thick with twists and turns, this adult dark fantasy is as emotional as it is horrifyingly gripping.

Controlling the Dead (The Famished Trilogy, #2)Controlling the Dead by Annie Walls

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh man, I really love this series! Book one was great, and book two just kept getting better.

I really, really want to be giving these books a 5-star rating, because the story has me so hooked I can't put them down. But, I can't quite look past the editing/writing issues that are present. I try to never mark a book down due to typos, editing mistakes, etc., especially if it's an ARC, but this book has other problems too. The writing seems awkward and clunky in spots, and the dialogue doesn't flow like it should. Sentences and ideas jump from place to place, sometimes making it hard to follow a train of thought. In some places there needs to be more explanation about what is going on, and clarification on who, what, when and where. You are dealing with a big cast of characters in these books, and a lot of location changes. You have good guys, bad guys, and guys in between. And if I'm having trouble keeping up with Kan and Rudy's plans and where they're going for what reason, then I get lost real quick. However, I want to be REALLY clear on the point that the story being told by Annie Walls in these books is SO GOOD that I can totally overlook all of the other flaws. If these books were ever gone over with a fine tooth comb and edited perfectly, and if some spots were rewritten for clarity, then these books would be amazing!

Moving on from that! Finally, finally, in this book we get to see progress made with the relationship between Kansas and Rudy. It was a long time coming, and it took both of them a lot of growing and heart ache to get there. But that only made the payoff that much sweeter. The rest of our favorite's from book one also play big roles in this book: Mac, Glenda, Reese and the gang. It's nice to see that Kansas is making her own family to replace the one she lost. But good things can't last in a zombie ridden world and there is a tragedy that strikes the merry band of rebels when they lose one of their own.

I liked the development of Kansas' new ability, thanks to Mago. It will be interesting to see how this plays into the story further down the road. I'm still a bit lost as to all of the research and discoveries that the Coalition/Government/Rebels are making with the vaccines and viruses and whatnot. I feel like I have the gist of it - the zombies were created by a group of fanatics that wanted to cull the population and restore order and civilization to a world that they thought humans were ruining - but this is one of the areas that needs to be explained more clearly. It seems like there is obviously some sort of big conspiracy and cover up going on, and that is what Kansas and the Coalition are trying to figure out. Maybe it will all come to light in book three and I'll understand finally!

Anyway, I truly do recommend this series to anyone who enjoys reading this genre. If you look past the small editing and writing snags, there is a goldmine of a story waiting to be discovered.

View all my reviews

Title: Taking on the Dead (Famished #1)
Author: Annie Walls
Genre:  Horror, Zombies, Dark Fantasy


Life for Kansas was perfect until the day the world changed.

She has been hiding out for four years in solitude. It's the only way to survive. The only way not to draw the living dead. Helping a small group of people, she learns the new world might not be what she assumes. Venturing out of her refuge and comfort zone, she meets Rudy, who helps her find a greater purpose. She realizes that the world has moved on without her. Only it's not what she expects. Her knowledge of the living dead grows and only makes her more curious as humanity continues to hang on by a thread. While on her search for answers she finds comfort in new friendships and love, but her past seems as if it will haunt her forever.

Kansas takes it upon herself to help other survivors, which would be easy if the famished were the only obstacles.

In a trilogy plot thick with twists and turns, this adult dark fantasy is emotional as much as it is horrifyingly gripping.

*Not intended for a young audience. Mature content.*

Taking on the Dead (The Famished Trilogy, #1)Taking on the Dead by Annie Walls

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thought this book was a great start to a trilogy. It did a really good job of introducing us to all of the characters, the story world, and the situation that is going on. It started off as a typical zombie apocalypse story, but about the halfway point it turned into something a little more. Not all of my questions were answered, and there were a lot of secrets that were not revealed, but hopefully book two will enlighten me a little more.

I really liked Kansas as the strong female lead character. She has been living on her own and surviving for four years. She's a little bit socially awkward, but once she's reintroduced to society, she quickly adapts. That's what's great about her. She uses her head - she's smart - and she makes the most out of whatever situation she finds herself in. The only thing I didn't like her doing was hooking up with Mac. I am rooting for her and Rudy to make a go of it, and I thought her being with Mac was just easier for her. Rudy is adorable. A big hunky brute of a guy with a heart of gold. Maybe now that he has been able to face some things from his past, he can get over it and try to win Kansas over. We'll see!

My only complaint about this book was that there were parts that the writing seemed a little clunky. To me, it was most obvious when Kansas was having her little internal dialogues. She tended to ramble and digress and kind of jumped the story off the tracks. I also had a problem with a plot development but I felt kind of silly about it. (view spoiler) I just wanted a more realistic explanation about how the zombies were being controlled. (As if anything having to do with zombies would be realistic!)

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to dive right into number two in this series.

Author Bio:
Author of dark fantasy and sub-genres of horror. Voracious Reader and Googler. Lover of dark humor. Horror Buff. Zombie Apocalypse Enthusiast. Loyal Cracked follower. Pinterest Addict. Wife of adoring husband. Mother of a seven year old Bruce Wayne. Cook. Maid. Kisser of boo-boos. Ultimate Time Waster. Perfect Procrastinator. Lolly Gagger. Trubie. Cake Decorator. Tea Drinker. Sculpey Sculptor. Girl Gamer. Perfectionist in the art of Facebook stalking. And now, God help me, a blogger. Oh yeah, and a twitter, twatter, tweeter. Well yeah, I'm one crafty bitch.

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