David’s Haunted Library: Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator

9866652Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator by Karina Fabian . The title alone made me want to read this book. The main character is a woman named Neeta Lyffe and she’s a zombie hunter, that right there tells you what to expect and to someone like me who wants some comedy with their horror, it screams buy me. Another thing the title of this book does is give you a hint of what to expect from the story.

In the 2040’s zombies have become a problem and the world needs zombie exterminators. One of the best zombie exterminators around is Neeta Lyffe but things aren’t going well for her. The government and special interest groups are making her follow the most environmentally friendly procedure to kill zombies. In addition to that Neeta is being sued because she set a zombie on fire that walked into a lawyer’s back yard. In desperate need of money, Neeta decides to train zombie exterminators as part of a reality TV show that’s more violent than any other show out there. As if dealing with the government and ungrateful people wasn’t enough, she now has to deal with the paparazzi, a production staff that doesn’t understand what she is trying to accomplish and a group of exterminator recruits who have no idea what they’re getting into.

Just when I thought that there were no more original zombie stories left, this one comes along. Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator is more of a satirical parody of real life then an average zombie novel. The funny thing is though while reading this book I found myself thinking that this is probably how a real zombie apocalypse will be.

In Neeta’s world no one takes zombies seriously, they might see them as a threat but it doesn’t stop people from being people. You still have people walking into graveyards and playing tag with zombies, some people let their deceased loved ones walk back into their home despite the fact that they could get eaten and even though household cleaners put a stop to zombies, the government still limits their use.   The only one who takes zombies seriously is Neeta, but getting others to see things her way isn’t easy.

One of the funniest moments in this book was getting to read the internet bulletin boards for Neeta’s reality show, complete with misspellings. I also enjoyed how the crew for Neeta’s  show acts, while Neeta is trying to educate people on the dangers of zombies, the crew is just worried about getting the highest ratings possible. This book has some serious moments that I enjoyed as well, like when Neeta points out  that she has to act strong all the time because that’s what keeps the demons at bay.

I have to admit the story in this book is a little weak, at about half way through the book I was thinking to myself that I got the joke and was wanting a little more action and suspense. That being said the story makes a great point of showing how ridiculous society can be and it does it in a hysterical way. Neeta is a great character and I liked the range of emotion that she has. Keep in mind when you read this book that it’s not your normal zombie book, its much smarter and you can probably teach a class on the deeper meanings in Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator.  If I was to describe this book in one word it would be clever.

Suicide Forest and Shadeylight

23570089It’s hard to explain the human mind. Why are we drawn to places that have a history of death and that people say is cursed. Why would anyone want to go camping in a place called Suicide Forest? Perhaps it’s for a thrill or just to see a place that most people are terrified to go to. Suicide Forest by Jeremy Bates is a psychological horror story that looks at people’s fascination with death, why people commit suicide, the hardships of life, friendship and love.

The story is fairly simple, it follows a group of five people on their way to climb Mount Fuji in Japan. Their trip gets rained out, they meet two other hikers and decide to camp in Suicide Forest instead. Suicide Forest is a real place where hundreds of Japanese citizens go each year to commit suicide. The forest has a dark history, the area is considered cursed and is associated with demons in Japanese mythology. The place contains rocky caverns, trees twisted into strange formations and is absent of wildlife. The seven campers are hoping to see a ghost or perhaps a body but they get far more than they bargained for.

The thing I admired about Suicide Forest was that this is a book that didn’t have a lot of action until the end but still managed to keep me interested. I found the characters so intriguing that I couldn’t put it down. Even the characters that aren’t in the book long have fascinating back stories. This is a psychological horror story which explores some deep subjects in a horrific setting. As dark as it is it actually has some funny moments as well, such as when the campers talk about the quickest ways to die. It’s a heavy topic but even in a hard situation I felt this scene added realism because even in a life threatening situation you would make light of it to deal with the horror all around you.

This book is light on action but big on suspense. The reader is constantly left with a feeling of unease because you’re not quite sure what’s happening until the end. The only thing you know for sure is that entering the forest was a bad idea and all the characters seem to turn on each other at one point. This book made me think of The Blair Witch Project with the exception being that this takes place in what is believed to be a real haunted setting.

There were several things I loved about this book.  I liked how it looks at Japanese culture and how the setting is described. From reading this book I felt like I had visited the Suicide Forest myself. I also liked the discussions in this book on why people commit suicide, with some saying they understand it and others saying they don’t. I also loved when one of the minor characters makes a revelation about death that’s hard to disagree with. This is also reflected well in the end of the book when you see that two of the main characters are forever changed by the experience they had with one feeling one way and the other being at the opposite end of the spectrum. If you want to know what I mean read the book and find out, you won’t be disappointed.

24549934Another book I want to talk about is Shadeylight:Vella The Virgin Vegan Vampire by J.K. Elemenopy  with a little help from Kimberly Steele. This book answers the question of what would happen if 50 Shades Of Grey and Twilight were able to mate and have a love child. Shadeylight is the answer to that question and a very good parody of both best-selling books. This is a story that’s all told from a first person viewpoint of a self obsessed college age girl who wants nothing more than to protect her no no and promote the vegan lifestyle.

Vella is a proud virgin and the subject of many men’s fantasies. She attends the local community college and wants to be a writer. Everything changes when she meets billionaire Xavier Cash who just happens to be part unicorn/part vampire. Vella is not your average girl though, she has a secret that she is not fully aware of and also has split personalities. Vella constantly has to deal with her perverted inner goddess and overbearing vegan subconscious. To make matters even more complicated she has another man who is interested in her named  Jean-Pierre La Fine.

This is the kind of book that you don’t get because the story looks good, this is the kind of book you get because you think that with a title like that it has to be entertaining. Shadeylight is a pretty funny read and this is coming from a person who would never dream of reading Twilight or 50 Shades Of Grey. Despite not knowing the source material, I’ve heard enough about both books where I got all the references and all the gags.

Nothing is off-limits in this book, it makes fun of everything including a scene where one of the characters makes fun of the author of the book. It makes fun of self obsessed writers, bad writing and it looks at how hypocritical people can be. My favorite scene was when Vella and Xavier go to a  Hotties Anonymous meeting. Who knew that people who are beautiful get discriminated against because of the chronic condition of being hot. Shadeylight also has some strange sex scenes that would make 50 Shades Of Grey look like a G rated movie.

Shadeylight is more than just a goofy parody though. This is a story that is using humor to put forth a message about going vegan while showing how silly some books that are considered popular can be. At the same time it still doesn’t take itself seriously. Who can resist a book that has Bacon trolls, sex with Cthulu and a vampire with serious mommy issues. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Shadeylight is one bizarre read that you don’t want to miss.