David’s Haunted Library: Lost World Of Patagonia

David's Haunted Library

 

25526371Many people believe that there are creatures out there that exist where science says it’s not possible. One of those people is Cryptozoologist and university professor, Alex Klasse. Alex has learned of a place where dinosaurs still exist and he has received a grant from the Ace corporation to lead an expedition to find them. Alex will be accompanied by students from his university and a band of mercenaries who are in search of rare jewels. The team is taking two nuclear powered all-terrain vehicles into the unknown where danger lurks around every corner.

Lost World Of Patagonia by Dane Hatchell is an action adventure story complete with man-eating dinosaurs that really did exist at one point. It seemed like the author did his homework on what archaeologists and paleontologists believe dinosaurs looked like, complete with some of them having feathers. It also gets into the idea that mammals may have evolved from lizards. One of my favorite scenes in this book was when the explorers send a drone with a camera attached to explore Patagonia and we get to see the dinosaurs in their natural habitat, If you are into dinosaurs and the science behind their existence this is a good book to pick up.

While Lost World Of Patagonia maybe more science fiction than horror it does have some moments that are pretty terrifying. The book opens with two people running through the wilderness being hunted by dinosaurs. Dane does a great job building suspense as you see these two try to survive in a desperate situation. I don’t want to give anything away, but I loved how the beginning was set up with one character, surviving several cliffhangers. I had figured this character would be the hero of the story but then it goes into a different direction. From the beginning this book had a real anything goes feeling to it.

The action scenes in this book were great and I liked hearing about the dinosaurs, but a lot of the characters came across as one-dimensional. There is a love triangle going on here that had the feel of something out of a bad Syfy channel movie. The way they wrap the love story up made me want to stop reading and the ending to the book was enough to make you yell “what the hell?” I think the story should have spent less time on the characters and more time on the dinosaurs because I didn’t care about these people. Where this book really shines is with the focus on a world that time has forgotten.

Lost World Of Patagonia is a book that starts with a gruesome bang, slows down and then has a crazy ending. I love the concept here, as I was reading I kept thinking it would make a great Science fiction/horror movie. It’s like Jurassic Park but with a lot more detail on the creatures that live in this world. Patagonia is a fascinating place to explore and I’m happy to see that there is a second book available.

Book Review: Insurgent Z

23929492Botte Louisiana is just a little fly spec on the map. The weather is almost always hot and life is pretty laid back in this small town. Things are changing quickly though, the military has its eyes on Botte and they want to do some experiments on prisoners at the local prison which is referred  to as Paradis (French for Paradise). The hope was to create an army of super soldiers but not surprisingly, things don’t work out.

Sheriff Mason Guillot is used to work being easy in his town but now he is in the middle of a zombie outbreak and forced to confront his dark past. Eight years ago he was a soldier and his superior officer Jonathan Hart led him into a trap that caused two people to die. Hart is in charge of the experiments at the prison and Mason must face the man he never wanted to see again. Mason must defeat his personal demons and let go of the past in order to help the people in his town survive the zombie uprising.

Insurgent Z  by Mark C. Scioneaux and Dane Hatchell starts off as a military thriller and then turns into a horror novel. The beginning of this book led me to believe it was going to be a very different kind of novel. It starts in the middle east and gives us some background on two of the main characters before it gets into the zombie story line. The opening of this book was fantastic and I loved the dialogue between the soldiers who are being held prisoner in an enemy camp and their torturer, a man they call scarface. This book starts off with a dose of real life horror and then you see how this real life horror shaped Mason before the zombie outbreak 8 years later.

Mason is a man who has gone through hell  and you root for him because he still tries to do the right thing even after he has suffered. I liked how this book gets deep into what makes all the characters tick. Even  the supporting characters are given back stories, two people in the book, a young couple named Ryn and Deb have had a rough life. They are married and nothing turned out how they planned. Ryn became a drug dealer and Deb works with hospice patients. You see that their relationship is strained but as zombies stumble on to their property, you see them work together to survive. I loved their story and it was one of the scariest parts of the book when they have to fight to survive.

Insurgent Z is everything you would expect in a zombie book. You have interesting characters, flesh-eating monsters, science experiments gone wrong, old school zombies(read it, if you know about the history of zombies you’ll know what I mean.) and lots of action. The characters are what really makes this book worth reading though. Even people who aren’t in the story very long get a back story and the authors make you care about them. This is what makes this book horrifying, you care about the people and you want them to get a happy ending. Insurgent Z is a simple story with complex characters and is a good example of how zombie fiction never gets old.

Review: The Dark Times

23797186In the opening of The Dark Times by Dane Hatchell and P.A. Douglas there is an author’s note saying that some people think the apocalypse is a chance to start over and be part of a new utopia. The sad truth is that people don’t always change and a disaster can bring you closer to who you really are and for some that’s a scary thing. This note sold me on the book and it gives you a great idea of what to expect while reading it. People have an idea of how they would change when society collapses, but what they think they will become is not reality.

The main character in The Dark Times is an overweight cop named Rico who is down on his luck and drowning his sorrows in whiskey when the first wave of zombies arrive. Rico handles himself well, he kills some zombies and manages to save people and decides to turn his life around. He leaves his old life behind and hops on his Harley in search of a new beginning. He ends up in a small town in Texas and meets a junkie named Angie. Rico fights the urge to help her but when things go bad, Angie may be the only one that can help him.

Everyone thought that the first wave of zombies was a one time thing caused by a mysterious illness but six months later it starts again and this time its the end. Civilization collapses quickly and Rico and Angie have to work together to survive. Being a heroin addict, Angie is not the most reliable person but Rico has demons of his own and the only way they can both survive the zombies is to put their past lives in the past.

The Dark Times is a very dark book and not just because it’s the zombie apocalypse and the end of civilization as we know it. This book is dark because it takes a look at human nature and asks the question: can a person get past their personal demons in order to survive? Every character in The Dark Times has a dark side and they have to confront that dark side to survive in the zombie apocalypse. The characters are what makes this book good, they are all complex and it was interesting to see how they change during the apocalypse. What really distinguishes this book from other zombie books is the depth to the characters, I found myself rooting for even the bad guys in this story.

There were some things that I didn’t like about this book, for instance there were a few scenes with a group of soldiers that seemed random and took away from the story. There was also an African-American character named Quinn that was so stereotypical it annoyed me. All in all though this is a good book and worth your time, it was interesting how some of the characters didn’t change at all as their world collapses. The Dark Times is a good look at how people change or don’t change when faced with the end of the world. There are a lot of books out there on the zombie apocalypse but few of them have as good  of characters as this one.