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Archive for October 31st, 2017

Return to Woodbury

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Return to Woodbury (The Walking Dead – 8)

by Jay Bonansinga & Robert Kirkman

She has weathered over four years of the apocalypse. She has done things that she would not have dreamt of doing in her darkest nightmares. But she has survived. And now, she has staked a claim in the plague-ravaged city of Atlanta. It is a safe haven for her people, rising high above the walker-ridden streets.

But for Lilly Caul, something is missing . . .

She still dreams of her former home, the little village known as Woodbury – a place of heartache as well as hope. For Lilly, Woodbury has become a symbol of the future, of family, of a return to normal life amidst this hell on earth. The call is so powerful that Lilly decides to risk everything in order to go back . . .

Against all odds, Lilly leads a ragtag group of survivors across the impossible landscape of walker swarms, flooded rivers, bands of murderers and untold dangers. Along the way, she discovers a disturbing truth about herself. She is determined to return to Woodbury. No matter what the cost.”

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 Jay Bonansinga

Author’s Bio – Jay Bonansinga

The national best-selling author of ten acclaimed books – both fiction and non-fiction — Jay Bonansinga has been called “one of the most imaginative writers of thrillers” by the Chicago Tribune.

Jay is the holder of a master’s degree in film from Columbia College Chicago, and currently resides in Evanston, Illinois, with his wife and two sons. He is also a visiting professor at Northwestern University in their Creative Writing for the Media program.

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Robert Kirkman

Author’s Bio – Robert Kirkman

Robert Kirkman is an American comic book writer best known for his work on The Walking Dead, Invincible for Image Comics, as well as Ultimate X-Men and Marvel Zombies for Marvel Comics. He has also collaborated with Image Comics co-founder Todd McFarlane on the series Haunt. He is one of the five partners of Image Comics, and the only one of the five who was not one of the original co-founders of that publisher.

Robert Kirkman’s first comic books were self-published under his own Funk-o-Tron label. Along with childhood friend Tony Moore, Kirkman created Battle Pope which was published in late 2001. Battle Pope ran for over 2 years along with other Funk-o-Tron published books such as InkPunks and Double Take.

In July of 2002, Robert’s first work for another company began, with a 4-part SuperPatriot series for Image, along with Battle Pope backup story artist Cory Walker. Robert’s creator-owned projects followed shortly thereafter, including Tech Jacket, Invincible and Walking Dead.

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My Review

5 stars

It is four years into the zombie apocalypse and Lilly Caul has a group of survivors staying at an Ikea in Atlanta. Although this seems like the perfect place to be, Lilly is restless and dreams of Woodbury. Using the argument that the Ikea is a giant target for those wanting to stay, Lilly is pushing to return to Woodbury. Not wanting to split up, most everyone decides to pack up and head out. The problem is there are in the middle of one heck of a monsoon and will have to fight rains and rising waters.

But this is not the only problem. Ash, who has gone missing a while ago, is still alive along with several others. They are the victims of a crazy man that wants to create the perfect family. You also have another man that is intend on finding his missing wife. He finds a new friend from a prison in Cuba but they both have a lot of trouble ahead of them.

This is a great story that started out with a bang and a prisoner in Cuba making a dash for a helicopter to try and get to America just as a hurricane is hitting land. From there you hit the ground running as Lilly is nipping at the bit to get to Woodbury. You also have Ash who is about to escape a crazy man that is trying to make a perfect family and is willing to kill Ash to save her kids.

I have not read a lot of the books in the Walking Dead book series although I love the television series. I live how we are getting a glimpse of the world outside of what we see in the television series. I admit that Lilly left a perfect location with the Ikea store. If you have everything I would think you would want to build up your fortress then run off to a town that might not even be there.

Overall I really like this story. Fred Berman does a great job narrating this story. I had no trouble keeping up and figuring out which character was speaking. I love how clear his narration was, I didn’t have to turn up the volume really high just to understand what was being said. This is one to check out.

I received Return to Woodbury from MacMillan Audio for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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There Be Demons

Fantasy / Paranormal
Date Published: September 26, 2017
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Heroes come in all shapes.
The war for Andor has lasted a century. Humans and their allies, the Angeli, fight demons from another plane who need a warmer planet to hatch and raise their young.
Trebridge becomes Ground zero when Abraxas, a minion of the demon Prince Vetis, opens a secret portal into the city. The demons’ goal is to build an army to subjugate the city before the humans realize they are under attack.
Standing in the demons’ way are two disparate groups: the humans of Andor and their Angeli allies who command gargoyle warriors.
Leading the four gargoyles guarding Trebridge is Gillen, a proven war hero who uses Grace to fight demons. But Gillen is an outcast, mocked for his tuft of hair that normal gargoyles lack. It’s up to him to prove once and for all that he’s worthy of his command, in spite of dissention in his ranks. When Gillen asks the Angeli Commanders for reinforcements to fight the growing demon menace in Trebridge, headquarters send four human teens from the projects.
The leader of the humans is Britt, a 14-year-old half-Hispanic girl who is one of the four magic-possessing Chosen. But Britt was never trained in the art of Grace, and like most girls her age, spends her days preoccupied with school and romance. Like Gillen, she must rise above her station in life–if she is to save the ones she loves.
But Gillen and Britt are facing formidable demon foes, Abraxas: a chicken-headed demon who possesses several humans as part of his plan to build the demons’ base in Trebridge and power-hungry Prince Vetis who is his commander. Neither will let the deaths of expendable humans get in their way of the conquest.
At the same time as she is suppose to learn how to fight demons, Britt has to juggle the mundane problems of school and parental custody battles. She doesn’t realize her danger until she confront the demon Prince Vetis in a battle for her soul as a human being.
About the Author

Who am I? Bottom line: I’m an old lady who amuses herself writing. But, since writing stories is twined up with reading, my journey has been a long one.
My adventures in reading/writing started with comic books. You can blame them for my fascination with the fantastic. I fondly remember spending hours reading and trading them.
But I was weird, too. My favorites were the Classic Comic series. I didn’t trade them. All those pre-Silver Age Supermans, Batmans, and Tales from the Crypt etc. disappeared into the mists. My favorite character? Scrooge McDuck. Swimming in a pile of money intrigued me. But never could figure out the diving thing.
The Oz books by L. Frank Baum introduced me to fantasy proper. My first impression when I saw my first Oz book in fifth grade? I couldn’t imagine reading such a thick book…even though the pictures looked interesting. I didn’t actually read the Wizard of Oz until the city children’s librarian recommended it in seventh grade. I thought Dorothy was a pretty neat character; she had gumption.
I was hooked on fantasy after I discovered A. Merritt’s Ship of Ishtar at the used hardware store. I still have my 25c A. Merritt and Andre Norton paperbacks and read them, even though the paper smells.
The realization that real people could write stories came in the sixth grade. Duh.
The teacher assigned writing a short story to the class. Everyone wrote 2-4 pages. I wrote an unfinished 25-page Nancy Drew clone, The Clue of the Clay Cats. The effort got me a “C” because it was unfinished, but I finished it the next summer on my mother’s typewriter. The children’s librarian said it was pretty good. I’ve been a chronic, if haphazard, writer ever since.
My current “writing career” started after I had heart surgery. I got bored sitting around. While dozing, I had this vision of this girl standing on bluff overlooking the ocean, her long red hair streaming behind her in a gale. She was incredibly lonely, and I wondered why. Discovered she was 400 years old and…
While I dithered around with my Half-Elves, I tried improving my fiction craft skills writing short stories. They ended up with a theme: humans fighting demons. My world of Andor was born [from the country Andorra, if you’re a stamp collector]. One of the stories, Night for the Gargoyles, made me wonder about how Gillen got rid of the demons. Four untrained teens from the projects didn’t seem like effective back up to me.
Writing moves in mysterious ways. Another story, Noticing Jamilla, launched On the Run, though the original main character disappeared. There Be Demons and On the Run did get written. If I get my act together, there should be a third book where Britt and Pillar meet and take care of the demon army Grylerrque gathers to conquer Andor. I keep wondering what will happen when fiery Britt meets cool Pillar.
So, here I sit with a computer full of unedited stories–including novels set in our world–still amusing myself writing. Jotting down notes and bits of dialog and transferring them to my computer.
Oh. Yeah. I’m married, have three adult kids who live away from home, and indulge two cats who sleep a lot. I can be found via my website and on Facebook.
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My Review
4 stars

Demons have invaded Trebridge and it is up to Gillen and the Gargoyle Guardians to protect the city. But they cannot do this alone, Gillen is going to need back up. What he gets is Britt Kelly, a 14 year old girl with magical abilities that she would rather not have. Britt just wants to be a normal teenager and adjust to her new school. But Britt and three other teens are going to have to learn how to use their abilities to fight the demons and imps.

You don’t have that many books that have gargoyles in them but I have to say that I think they are one of my favorite mythical creatures. Gillen is a great leader and I love how he works with the kids training them. Britt is a great, strong character for being 14 years old. I understand how she just wants to be “normal” but I enjoyed watching her grown into her role.

There is a lot of action and a bunch of mistakes as the kids learn their limitations the hard way. This is a great story that is easy to get into and hard to put down. This is my first book of MK Theodoratus but it will not be my last. I do hope this becomes a series because I would love to follow more of Britt and Gillen’s adventures.

I received There be Demons from Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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