The Last Dog On Earth by Adrian J. Walker.

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Let’s get one thing straight, right off the bat.

This is not simply a book. It’s a journey, and a terrifying one at that.

When the credits had finished, and the story had truly ended, i drove in silence for 25 minutes contemplating the experience Adrian J. Walker has created.

I really needed to understand.

The Last Dog On Earth, a tale told by Reginald Hardy (Human), and Lineker (Dog) may seem like an odd concept, but it works. It works so absolutely beautifully.

It is magnificent tapestry, woven with humour, grief, and terror

Reg, the straight laced, agoraphobic, wannabe writer, hiding in his London flat, as the country collapses, is accompanied by his loyal, cockney, foul mouthed canine companion, Lineker.

Circumstances which Reg is desperate to avoid take him on a unavoidable, perilous, and hellish journey.

His transition through the book is heartbreaking, yet heroic.

The story would be classed as a dystopian nightmare, with the country controlled by an ultra right wing party, bent on eliminating undesirables.
The hint of Nazi Germany felt strong, but i saw subtle references to the potential of modern instances of culture hate.

The horrifying acts, simple people will carry out in the name of a ideal, is so frightening.

Some of the scenes made me feel very uncomfortable, and terrified at the thought that this is a scenario that has occurred before, and could again.
I’m not talking about graphic violence in the slightest, because Adrian J. Walker is far too clever to need to resort to extreme descriptions.

Immense and epic doesn’t even come close.

Adrian J. Walker is a literary genius.

The characters are mind blowing, in there complexity, and depth.
The dialogue is incredible, and Lineker’s bad language is about as colourful as a million rainbows.

But this is an author who has respect for his readers, and every fuck, and every cunt is perfected justified. Without these, the story would end up among the utter shite that those good ole Christian folk from the US, insist on shitting out.

Much credit also needs to be shown to the narrators Jonathan Aris & David John.

What a wonderful collaboration this whole project is.

 

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So Jessica Meigs and The Becoming………

 

Zombie Apocalypse is my kinda book.

I’ve read so many, that I’ve reached a point where i’m very picky about what i read.

When you’ve been thrilled by the genius of authors such as Joe McKinney, Jonathon Maberry, D. J. Molles, Dirk Patton, John O’ Brien, Timothy W. Long, James Cook, J. L. Bourne, Bobby Adair, Adam Baker, Wayne Simmons, Anthony J. Melchiorri, Keith C. Blackmore, Peter Meredith, Jake Bible, Craig DiLouie, Scott Sigler, Sean Schubert, Iain McKinnon, A. R. Wise and a few others, the expectations are massive.

Unfortunately with the ease it is to get a book published, the ZA market is drowning in the vomit from bored soccer moms, wannabe preachers, and other fans of the Hallmark brand. Shockingly bad garbage from the most clueless, and uninspiring clowns ever to learn how to use a keyboard. But it’s the reader that suffers. Incredibly well designed book covers, shrouding total crap! It’s frustrating, and prevents credible, and talented authors from getting the exposure they deserve.

So how did Jessica Meigs, The Becoming series end up in my reading list?

Jessica had to pass my simple test to determine whether a book joins my ‘to be read’ list, or tossed into the bin.

I’m currently auditing over 6000 post apocalypse books in the same way.

The test is very simple. I perform a word search within each book for one word. And that word is Fuck.

If a book describing the horror of human annihilation, whether it be from Zombies, EMP’s, Economic collapse, nuclear war or comet collision, cannot provoke any character to use what is a very common swear word, then its not worth reading.

Too many books claim to deliver the terror, fear, and desperation, that human extinction would clearly provoke, but instead offer up a tale as harrowing as an episode of Little House On The Prairie.

Characters as wooden as Pinocchios dick, with dialogue so pitifully weak, it wouldn’t be out of place in a Mills & Boon novel.

So Jessica Meigs!

She takes the ZA, and rips it a new one. I’m fairly convinced that not only is Jessica the best female ZA writer in the world, she may well be one of the best of any gender.

Characters brilliantly structured, dialogue of solid gold, and superbly original story.

What does Jessica give that many do not? Swearing! By the bucket load!

But lets get one thing crystal clear. Every single curse is justified to the situations, and the admiration i feel is immense. An author that has the courage to give a perfect, and in my opinion, accurate reflection of a horrifying world filled with flesh hungry infected, and desperate survivors.

The books really emphasized just how lacking other books are when it comes authentic characterization, and gritty dialogue.

How the hell this series isn’t topping the all time ZA charts is absolutely beyond me.

Is it because post apocalyptic writing, and readership is primarily a male orientated arena, and female authors don’t seem to be afforded the respect they deserve?

Possibly!

But if you are serious about your post apocalyptic stories, and demand quality, then you must give this series a look.

In fact i’d go as far to say, that this series should be a compulsory read to anyone seriously considering writing within this genre. If, as a writer you find the language in this series too strong, may i suggest you fuck off to the romance section, and stop polluting the apocalypse with your wishy washy horse crap.

Timothy W. Long – I bow down to your genius.

If an authors book is post apocalyptic, with the inevitable decimation of humanity, physically, and emotionally, then for the love of extinction, give me realistic characters.

Is it too much to ask that you pop your self righteous morals on a shelf while you are narrating the fall of mankind?

Swearing!! Lots of people do it.

I do it if i drop something on the floor.

I  do it if i knock my elbow.

Hell, i do it during most conversations.

So if the world is collapsing around my feet, and most people that ever lived will die horribly, you can bet your bottom dollar, i’ll be throwing fucks around like no-ones business.

Having every character in your book acting as a moral smart arse, happy to blow anyone’s head off with an automatic rifle, but too perfect to cuss, makes your book, in my opinion, a bucket full of shit.

So where does Timothy W. Long figure into this?

On the copyright page of Z-RISEN: OUTBREAK you’ll find this.

 

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Beautiful!!

 

Could The End of the World Running Club be the greatest Post Apocalyptic book ever written?

Could The End of the World Running Club be the greatest Post Apocalyptic book ever written?

I think so. And I’ve read a lot of them.
This should be the Haynes manual for all potential Apocalypse writers to consult and learn from.

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Adrian J. Walker confirms something i been noticing for a few years. British writers are simply better at Post Apocalyptic fiction than their US counterparts.

Quite a seemingly harsh and sweeping statement, but a honest assessment.

I’d like to quickly add that Jonathan Maberry, Joe McKinney, Dirk Patton, DJ Molles, Rashad Freeman, CT Phipps, JL Bourne, Peter Clines, and a few others stand high above the deluge of wet blanket, weak, and tedious garbage that the majority of US authors churn out on a daily basis.

Having a To Be Read list a mile long, i am resorting to handpicking my next read by filtering them in one specific way. Swearing!

A simple search for the word ‘Fuck’ is all i need to know about that book.

If my primary interest were children’s fables, catalogs for woolly hats, or telephone directories, then i’d be delighted not to encounter the F-Bomb in my search.

However my interest is far, far darker. It’s apocalyptic, extinction, the decimation of the human race, death, disease, starvation, zombies, death, death, murder, and death.
If an entire book doesn’t contain a single ‘Fuck” it’s thrown over into the bin i like to call Crap!

Adrian J. Walker never need worry about being consigned to the Crap! bin, because here’s a chap that understands the apocalypse. More than that, he understands people, and the human emotions that dictate their behaviors. The characters in this book are the most developed i have ever encountered. They are in no way complex, but they feel authentic.

I’ve read so many books where the characters are clones of every stereo type you could imagine with all the emotions of a Thunderbird’s puppet.

The End Of The World Running Club is about the end of the world!

Millions of people die!

The few that survive are literally fighting to survive.

The book literally overflows with the anger, terror, and the desperation that the extinction of the human race would provoke. The main characters Edgar, Bryce, Harvey, Richard, and Grimes are superbly developed. Different people, with different personalities, with a similar goal. To survive.

The story is brutal in places, and the language so colourful it makes me feel proud to be British.

You see, when i read a book about the annihilation of the human race, i want to feel what it might be like to be one of those starving, desperate survivors.
I’m not interested in the fluffy, artificial trash that other authors offer.
Morally self important Christian folk, who use the platform of writing as an excuse to drown the reader in their own sappy views.

This book, thankfully, is free from religious suffocation.

Is Adrian J. Walker a religious guy?

Who knows, and that’s the way it should be.

There is no larger than life, chest beating hero here. No Navy Seals packing enough heat to bring down a small South American Country. No Hooah’s at all! Awesome.

Just ordinary, normal people!

Normal?

Indeed. None of the group just happen to be a doctor, or a scientist, or a member of some secret government group.

None own a cache of military grade weapons. Not a bug out location in sight.

So what happens when ordinary people, with actual weaknesses, encounter a life altering event of cataclysmic proportions?
They swear. A lot! Well who’d have figured that a human could react in such a way?

This is a journey of survival from one side of the country to the other. A country that has been completely obliterated.

They encounter bad people, doing very bad things, on the way.
These villains are themselves nothing more than ordinary people, but damn if the author doesn’t make them utterly terrifying.
There are horrifying situations that in other books, would have the characters steaming in, ready to save the day. Not in this book.

The End Of The World Running Club truly is a work of absolute genius.

It’s beautiful, horrifying, and heart wrenchingly genuine to the core.

Another British author, Rich Hawkins is the only other writer I’ve read that can truly conjure up that feeling of empty, desolate, hopelessness, that i think is essential if a reader is seeking a superb apocalyptic book.

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I really am so excited for more of Adrian J. Walker material. Any writer that includes Adam & The Ants, The A-Team, and BMX bikes on the same page will always be a winner in my book. It about summed up my early 1980’s on a council estate in the south of England.

I was fortunate to listen to the audio-book version of The End Of The World Running Club. Immense doesn’t even come close.

Brilliantly narrated by the absolutely superb Jot Davies. Easily the finest British narrator i have ever listened to. His vast array of character voices was stunning.

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The audio-book can be purchased from Audible at this link

Tales Of Blood And Sulphur – J. G. Clay

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The phrase Jack of all trade, master of none, is clearly a phrase which means little to J.G Clay (Pardip S. Basra)


He literally swoops in and grabs all my favourite genres; Horror, Post Apocalypse, Zombie Apocalypse & Dystopian, and just creates monster stories.


If Colonel Sanders had the secret recipe for great tasting chicken, then Pardip possesses the 11 essential herbs and spices that spawned the mind blowing tales in his collection of stories, entitled Tales Of Blood And Sulphur.

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It’s jammed packed with stories so wildly original and sometimes horrifying, yet with a gentle trickle of his wonderful humour.


There’s no filler in this book, and the author successfully seeks to use every sentence to achieve something.


Pick a favourite? Almost impossible. My weakness is Zombie Apocalypse so ‘God Bless George A. Romero’ narrowly edges it. L.L.T.C (Lucifer Love The Clash) is just inspired. It’s clever and witty.


But there isn’t a story in this book which ranks less than spectacular.

This a collection of stories that a very talented writer has pained over, to bring a master-class of fiction so varied, you begin to wonder if maybe he’s just showing off.

Worlds and characters are created, so tangible, you could almost have stepped into another dimension. And what he offers is a glimpse into further stories from those same worlds. If you read this book, you’ll understand just how exciting a prospect that is.

 

Wade H. Garrett – The Angel Of Vengeance

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There is ‘Extreme Horror’, there’s ‘Really Extreme Horror’, and there’s probably ‘Off The Chart Extreme Horror’, but Wade H. Garrett’s ‘The Angel of Vengeance’, book 1 from his ‘A Glimpse Into Hell’ series, leaves those in the dust like pancaked roadkill.

This book isn’t an excuse to list the most grotesque ways to torture a person, like many similar books on the market. The author is damned meticulous, and frightening enthusiastic about his methods on introducing pain to a person.

One point should me made very clear at the start. This is a great story. A really good story. There is a point to it. As i mentioned, it isn’t a ‘101 ways to hurt.’

Wade has created an entertaining tale, which just happens to be bound together with some of the most imaginative, and mind blowing, sadistic horror, I’ve ever read.

Seth is the hero\anti-hero\psycho and he is out to punish the bad eggs of society, who have escaped, what he feels is sufficient punishment. Punish them he does. Severely!

Forget forgiveness, and empathy. Seth possesses none.

Wade H. Garrett is clearly a man who truly believes in justice, and this is evident from the book, and he reflects on what he obviously sees, as much injustice in the world. He uses his platform as a writer to deal out his retribution in his own brutal way, and to balance the scales.

This is vengeance at it’s most twisted, so be prepared to encounter methods of torture, you could never even conceive in your wildest nightmares.

 

Iain McKinnon – Domain Of The Dead Trilogy

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Zombie Apocalyptic fiction is a genre that these days, seems to be more saturated than Robert Maxwell’s swimming trunks. Finding exciting, well written ZA books really can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

The importance of reader reviews cannot be emphasized enough, aiding others to separate the wheat from the chaff.

It was from Amazon’s reviews, and of course the awesome covers, that i lucked upon this trilogy, and i find it no surprise that it was the first ZA books that came to my mind when deciding to blog about it. If you like your ZA books with a gory, dark, and frenzied feel, then this would be a trilogy i highly recommend. Such is the high regard i hold this trilogy in, that i have spent the last few years hounding the author to write more ZA material.

Iain McKinnon’s stunning Domain Of The Dead trilogy, not only boasts fantastic reader reviews, but has praise from multiple horror legends including David Moody, Joe McKinney, and Peter Clines.

“Believable characters trapped in a nightmare scenario—REMAINS OF THE DEAD is a breathless, high-octane zombie thriller. [McKinnon has] written another great book here…”
—David Moody, author of HATER and DOG BLOOD

“Absolutely superb.”
—Joe McKinney, author of DEAD CITY and QUARANTINED

“Sure to please fans of The Walking Dead.”
—Walter Greatshell, author of the XOMBIES series

“Iain McKinnon’s Demise of the Living is the book other zombie books aspire to be when they grow up”
—Peter Clines, author of 14 and The EX-HEROES Series

The world is dead, devoured by a plague of reanimated corpses.

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In a crumbling city Sarah, Nathan, and a band of survivors barricade themselves inside a warehouse surrounded by a sea of shambling putrefaction. Days in seclusion blur by, and their food is nearly gone. The group is faced with two possible deaths: creeping starvation, or the undead outside the warehouse.

As Sarah stands on the edge of the warehouse roof preparing to step out into oblivion she spots a glimmer of hope. In the distance a helicopter approaches the city … but is it the salvation the survivors have been waiting for? And do they dare attempt to fight their way through the mass of infected dead to reach it?

 

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Cahz and his squad of veteran soldiers are tasked with flying into abandoned cities and retrieving zombies for scientific study. Deep in infected territory, hundreds of miles from their support vessel, the ever present dangers weigh heavily on Cahz’s mind as he shepherds his team to make quick, clean extractions.

Then the unbelievable happens. After years of encountering nothing but the undead, the team discovers a handful of dishevelled survivors in a fortified warehouse with dwindling supplies.

Surrounded by hordes of ravenous corpses, Cahz is faced with the terrible responsibility of determining the five passengers who will escape in the helicopter. While those left stranded must continue to fight off the infected and starvation long enough to be rescued.

 

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The world is infected. The dead are reanimating and attacking the living. In a city being overrun with ravenous corpses people find safety where they can. A disparate group of strangers drawn together by chance seek sanctuary from the carnage outside in an empty office block.

Besieged by an army of walking dead and with little hope of rescue the group must learn to work together if they are going to survive. But for how long can the barricades hold back the ever increasing hordes of undead? How long before the food runs out? How long before those who were bitten succumb to the infection? And how long before they realise that the dead outside are the least of their fears?

About The Author

Iain McKinnon was born in Scotland in the early seventies and lived a happy well balanced childhood, with the exception of being forced to wear flares and the 1978 World Cup. Iain is a Sci-Fi geek with a macabre streak currently writing for Permuted Press. He lives and writes from his home just outside Edinburgh.

Iain’s Amazon.co.uk author page.

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