Showing posts with label zombie stories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label zombie stories. Show all posts

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Book Review: Revenge of Zeeka (Zeeka Trilogy) by Brenda Mohammed



Revenge of Zeeka is the complete trilogy of a multi-layered zombie tale, set in the year 2036 in a small exotic island called Gosh. 
The story is told in three parts, which are available as kindle short reads. 
Zeeka and the Zombies is an intriguing introduction to this zombie story, which leaves you wondering what will happen next. 
In Zeeka’s Child, the plot gets more complicated, and after many twists and turns, much is revealed. 
In the final episode, Zeeka Returns, this very exciting three part series concludes in a most surprising way. 
This book is for readers who want to follow this dramatic horror story to the very end in one reading.


This is a solid collection of zombie stories from author Brenda Mohammed. I have read each of the three stories in turn, so for potential readers looking at this, I offer a capsule review of each tale, followed by a summary of the series as a whole.

I: Revenge of Zeeka

Who is Zeeka? Why is he revenge-ing? What would your government’s response be to zombies waddling around, mixing with the locals? It’s all here in the first book. I love the author’s descriptions. The dialogue can be a little weighty at times, but it’s all part of the set-up. It’s an intriguing horror that slowly pulls you in.

‘These different plot lines keep you reading, and keep you guessing. Despite its length I did not read this book in one sitting. I wanted to absorb the cleverly interlinked plotlines. In fact, there's not a lot of the mysterious Zeeka of the title in this first story, and I think that's a clever decision by the author.’

Summary: Here’s an author stepping out onto a new genre and scoring high. It’s not the best in the series, but it sets up an intriguing premise. When read back along with parts II and III, I think it is a story that gets better with successive re-reads.

"Zeeka is a series that could have run on and on…and into self-absorbed oblivion. A good author knows when to wrap a story up."

II: Zeeka's Child

Oh. It had to happen, didn’t it? It’s not enough to have adult size flesh eating zombies running amok on a small island…we have to have kiddie sized versions too? Or do we?

‘When book one ended, there was what I would call a 'soft' cliffhanger in that readers would not be annoyed that there was a cliffhanger in itself, because it was a complete tale in itself. Now with Zeeka's Child, the plot revolves around Raynor and Janet, and the serious nature of having to raise a child that is not his own.

This is an interesting concept to feature in a zombie story, which would at first appear to be nothing more than a skin bursting sideshow, and I was a little (just a little) put off by the initial chapter because it seemed more like a romantic interlude than anything else. This is actually a very clever piece of writing by the author, because it is like she is saying 'hey, you know this is a zombie tale, I know it's a zombie tale, but let's confuse the hell out of the readers by focussing on contemporary romance for a while.' This could be the first ever zom-contemp-rom, unless you know of another story like it.’

Summary: The best thing about Zeeka’s Child for me was the beefed-up story re the two cops, Wildy and Cole (hey, give these two their own spin-off series!). The author doesn’t drop the threads of book one. They are skillfully integrated into this story, and it works. It’s a much more deeper and complex story than book one, some achievement in such a short story.

III: Zeeka's Return

Oops. Zeeka is returning, and the island of Gosh is not happy about it. He is also revealed to be, as everyone knew, as Brian Cameron (of course he isn’t, I made the name up because you don’t want the reveal spoiled, do you?)

I expected mayhem in this final third and we do get it. The highlight is Miranda (oh, Miranda!) whose presence gives a lot of weight and realism to the futuristic theme and setting of 2036. The ending is unexpected but enjoyable.

'Zeeka Returns is the pleasing third installment in the Zeeka and the Zombies series. What I have observed through reading each tale in sequence is a significant level up in terns of writing style and character development. That is no easy task in a short story format, and given Zeeka Returns is the longest of the three, it should be noted that it is still a short story. One wonders how our anatagonist from book one is going to prevail - or not, as the case may be.'

Summary: Zeeka is a series that could have run on and on…and into self-absorbed oblivion. A good author knows when to wrap a story up. Zeeka is a trilogy that is done and dusted and edited well. There are few multi-layered zombie stories out there, so this is a gem readers will enjoy.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Book Review: Revenge of Zeeka - Zeeka and the Zombies by Brenda Mohammed


"This whole thing is so bizarre. I don't know what to think."

Mark, talking to Raynor, trying to make sense of what he has just witnessed.

Synopsis (from the author): Revenge of Zeeka - Zeeka and the Zombies is the first book in a mystery thriller series set in the year 2036. 
Twenty years ago in 2016 a virus epidemic raged over the scenic small island of Gosh off the coast of South America. 
Hundreds of pregnant women who were infected with the virus, produced still born babies at the end of their term. 
Twenty years later in the year 2036, at the island's national Carnival celebrations a small band parading as sailors wreaked havoc on the spectators killing and maiming several of them. Why did this happen? Who was the person or persons behind this violent act and how will this all end? 
If you love thrillers with a mix of love and romance, don't miss this action-packed read


I like weird stories. Not everything has to be set in a world you know, and perhaps my favourite author, Stephen King is my favourite because he turns the normal into abnormal effortlessly. For author Brenda Mohammed's latest work, we are pulled into the genre of zombie horror, which has seen a massive resurgence in recent years.

What I love about this first short story in the series is how, like King, the author has her characters Mark and Raynor going about their normal lives when eyes really start to play tricks on them, and the question is for us, dear readers, is positioned thus:-

Can we trust what we see with our own eyes, or is this a vision, hallucination, or some other mind trick being played on us by some evil entity?

Possibly the answer is yes to each element of that question. 

Rather than being a full blown horror, this first story serves as a tasty morsel (I really shouldn't use such lines in a review about flesh eating zombies!) to what is to come. Who is the mysterious Zeeka? Why does he want revenge? Not everything is answered here, but will be in future stories in the series. At its relatively short length, it is the perfect introduction to this author's writing, which I am seeing a great growth with each work she pens.

My favourite character is actually Detective Jack Wildy. There is so much that cold be done with this charcter, he reminds me of Jack Lord of Hawaii-5-0 (original, people!) fame:-

This is an action packed novella that has several plot lines running, but at no time did I feel lost. Each character seamlessly interacted with others, and there's an interesting man hunt happening which will stretch resources of the said Detective to breaking point. Raynor's impending marriage to long-time love Janet might not happen after all.

"It is the perfect introduction to this author's writing."

These different plot lines keep you reading, and keep you guessing. Despite its length I did not read this book in one sitting. I wanted to absorb the cleverly interlinked plotlines. In fact, there's not a lot of the mysterious Zeeka of the title in this first story, and I think that's a clever decision by the author.

Buy it before the next installment is released!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Book Review: This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

It is not a zombie book either. 

No. Not really. And that's why, having bought this back in January 2013 it has taken me nearly six months to complete it.

I didn't buy this on Kindle. I bought the paperback version. I still can't make out who it is on the front cover.

But these details aren't that important. What is important, however, is a good story, with good characters, and for the first hundred pages or so, I was waiting for something definitive to happen.

I didn't like the f-word on practically every page. It made the characters more unlikable, but I stuck with it because the premise of the children stuck in the school was good. Not original - but who cares, so long as it is told well.

This, is where Miss Summers raises the story above an average yarn. The in-fighting reminded me of Lord of the Flies - a good book which was spoiled by having it rammed down our throats at school.

I have never read that story again, and I was pretty sure I wouldn't give this book a second read, because I doubted I could complete it the first time around.

Nothing seemed to be happening, but - (see spoilers below) when it really got going, it was unputdownable. I have read the remaining 220 pages this afternoon.

This is Not a Test is not so much about zombies - though their inclusion is well written and satisfyingly executed. What it is about is surviving - day by day, down to second by second.

In some cases that reflects the struggles of many people today, who battle every single moment in order to survive.

Replace zombies with bills at the door, and you will know what I mean.

Sloane is without doubt the best written character in the book. I couldn't feel much for the others until much later. Miss Summers doesn't give you it all in the first chapter...instead she lets us peel away the layers - much like the zombies rotting skin, to reveal their true feelings, true angst, and the 'what the hell do I do now?' that they feel at every turn of the page.

I'm not a prude. I don't mind profanity - and yes, I would use it myself in this situation! Just a little less would be good.

So. It gets four stars for an amazingly gripping 220 pages. The first 100 failed to take off for me, but I still love this book.

It's got zombies in it, but what it mainly has is an emotional impact rarely experienced in YA novels. That hit me harder than any of the zombies going on the attack.

A solid, super read.

Well done Courtney Summers :)


Thank Heavens for Mr Baxter then! When he arrives, around page 120 or so, things really kick off.

The back story of Lily and Sloane is so emotional - it's brilliantly well done, and you would have to be made of stone - or just 'cold' like the zombies themselves, not to feel something for the girls and their awful father (putting it mildly).