Thursday, February 25, 2010
The next article will be out tomorrow. Please check it out. Subscribe if you like it.
My next review will be soon, but definitely check out my review for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls on March 3rd. There is also a contest sponsored by Quirk publishing with all kinds of fun goodies.
See you there.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
by Steve Hockensmith
Quirk Classics has decided to take a new approach to getting the word out to readers that their new book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls is hitting the market. Bloggers from all over the world were given advanced copies of the novel, asked to review it, and add some great prize links via Quirk. It is a massive blogger storm of zombies. Woohoo!
There is an online contest going on for a chance to win one of fifty Quirk Classics Prize Packs. I want one of my readers to win so I am posting the link first http://quirkclassics.com/index.php?q=QuirkClassicsContest_DOD_Reviews . The prizes are really cool:
- An Advanced copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls.
- Audiobooks of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.
- A Dawn of the Dreadfuls poster.
- A Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Journal.
- A box set of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies postcards.
This is some really fun stuff of you are a zombie fan like me.
Let's get on with the review, which is probably not going to win me any brownie points, but it is my honest opinion. Note - there are some spoilers below.
This, I'm am sure, started off as a really great idea that everyone jumped onto, but in the end the product is not as good as the original.
Hockensmith had a very hard job going into this project. He had to learn how to write in the style of Jane Austin herself and that is no easy task. Capturing the tone and style of the iconic author was achieved in bits and pieces by him, but not with any consistencey.
Another problem was the research and/or the lack there of. If the book was researched, it was not fully comprehended as to what would have been accessable to the Bennet girl's at the time. Example, without giving too much away, country girls did not play with make-up, even those of some standing and money did not play with make-up, nor would they have had the means to buy it. Emphasis at that time in England was on natural beauty. This is but one small example, but there were enough that it was distracting. I can suspend disbelief, but if specific references are going to be used make sure that they are used in proper historical context. This should also be the case with the artwork involved, but due to oversite they are equally distracting if not more so at times.
The biggest problem of all was the addition of the character of Captain Cannon and his Limbs. It was preestablished in the first book that if you are bitten by a zombie, you are infected, and therefore must die. Now reader's are introduced to Captain Cannon and his Limbs. How did he lose his original limbs? That's right zombie bites! His limbs were subsequently cut off to save the rest of him. Why would a writer set a new precedent when in the original, and technically sequal establish that this action was of no use?! Hostile about this? You betcha. I threw the book accross the room several times over this ridiculous issue.
Was there anything I liked about this book? Actually yes, the zombies themselves. They moaned. They groaned. The walked, ran, slithered, and crawled. The age old question of do zombies poop in the woods was answered. The dramatic tention that was written when they were present was quite well written.
There are other characters that are in the novel that I liked as well and thought were quite interesting and plausible.
What does all this boil down to though:
What I liked:
- The basic concept of going back and seeing how the Bennet girl's began their training.
- The zombies themselves. Hockensmith writes a good zombie.
- The fact that Quirk is willing to take chances on outside the box ideas.
What I disliked:
- The lack and understand of reseach.
- The creation of certain characters and situations that go far beyond the ridiculous and ludicrous.
- The lack of any editorial influence. A good editor would not have left half of the errors found happen.
To Buy or Not to Buy, That is the Question: If you are zombie fan/collector then absolutely buy. If you are reading it simly because it is the sequal, go to the library and borrow it, or borrow from a friend.
Check out other titles from Quirk Classics.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Why do I feel my opinion is important?
I used to be a top selling book seller with sales well into the seven digit range. When I took over the place was running six digits in the red. That was changed in a very short amount of time. I loved my job. I knew the reading market inside and out and I knew all of my customers.
Several big publishing houses took notice and started sending me my first ARC's (advanced reader's copies) for reviews. Later, when they grew to value my opinion I received first run galleys to review. I became quite good at picking out bestsellers, in many genres, especially for first time authors. I became familiar with what publishers were looking for, and the common mistakes of first time writers. Essentially, I was used as a predictor. This is not something that every reader or bookseller can say.
I left the business foolishly, and am trying to get back into it, which is extremely hard. With the encouragement of some friends I am getting back into the reviewing side since I can easily blog about the books I read. So, if you are a writer and have read this send me your books, please. I am honest, but fair in my assessments.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
It is a fun little blog for brain candy.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
How could I have passed this series over over the years? That is what I keep asking myself. I have only read the first one and I am soooooo hooked, and I hear it only gets better. Sweet!
Premise: Fairy Tale and Fable characters living in our world after having to flee theirs years ago. Who's in charge? Who's still married? Who is still trying for a fairytale ending?
Things I like about it:
1. The storyline did not insult my intelligence. It held my interest through decent plotting and and decent use of timeline.
2. The characters are well written out with enough of their past written in to make me curious to read more.
3. Artwork - for the most part really good. The cover was really deceptive and I think that this was the main reason I passed it over since it came out.
Things I don't like:
1. Obviously, the cover. Now that I read it I understand it better, but it was a turn off and yet again... a lesson in never judging a book by it's cover.
2. Some of the artwork inside seemed a bit inconsistent. One view would have men with five o'clock shadows, the next nothing. Their placements and POV were different, but it was something that bothered me. It also happened later on with a woman's dress.
Now for my absolute favorite thing about the volume - I loved the short story at the end. I am not going to go into details about it because I don't want to give spoilers. But, it was incredibly well written, giving the whole thing even more depth. It provided a wonderful insight into the two main characters, and introduced one that I very much look forward to reading more about.
To Buy or Not To Buy: Absolutely Buy if you like graphic novels.
Special Thanks to Ian at Rebel Base Comics & Toys www.rebelbasecomics.com
Monday, February 8, 2010
I have just spent the better part of the last hour trying to figure out how to make changes to certain things. Here's something you have to know about me if you are going to follow this. What I am thinking and trying to write does not always come out right on the page. There are what appears to gaps in thoughts and flip flopped letters in words. I can read it again and again ten times over and not catch the mistake until days and weeks later. In other words, if you can't understand what I am trying to say just ask, because to me it reads just fine.