Posts Tagged ‘Chuck Wendig’

The Complete Double Dead

March 10, 2016 - 3:00 pm No Comments

Author: Chuck Wendig
Publisher: Abaddon Books
Page Count: 384pp
Release date: 9th Feb 2016
Release Date: Reviewer Theresa Derwin

I will start with these words; Chuck Wendig is a God – a god of literature that is. From his informative blog terribleminds.com to his writerly advice in Kick-Ass Writer, the astounding Miriam Black series and now, The Complete Double Dead, Chuck is a master of the art of storytelling.
I first came across his work in 2012 with the Tomes of the Dead, Double Dead, and now, re-reading it, it blew me away just as it did four years ago.
Colborn is a bit of an arsehole and a vampire.  He doesn’t like people and people don’t 
like him. Five years ago he went to sleep buried under a movie theatre, now he wakes up to the smell and taste of blood, and the stench of rot. The world has gone to hell. It’s a godamned zombie apocalypse. The ‘double dead’ roam and rule. Doesn’t leave much hope for Coborn’s continuing survival with no humans to snack on. Well, Coborn isn’t timid, so he leaves the theatre, and far in the distance he smells blood; human blood.
For Carl, the apocalypse is working out quite well; doesn’t like cats, doesn’t like dogs (apart from as dinner) doesn’t like people. Interrupting Carl’s dinner, Coborn has his own dinner at Carl’s expense, then ‘rescues’ the little dog in a cage, which he promptly names Creampuff; his delicious snack for later. Or so he tells himself, as he travels the dusty roads looking for humans to feed upon. At last he finds an occupied RV, but Coborn’s known world is about to go tits up when he meets a young girl – a frail, pretty bird-like girl, who will bring meaning to his new existence. Layla could be the very answer humanity is looking for; a walking, talking cure.
Coborn is sardonic, sarcastic and downright mean to the ‘sheeples’ he has agreed to protect, but he’s damn funny with it. Wendig has a way with words, and a way of building tension without losing his sense of humour. The bit with ‘the Queen’ is particularly amusing though I won’t spoil it for you.
This is pure apocalypse gold – imagine The Road with attitude, ‘directed’ by Tarantino. 
Coborn and his weird entourage travel the dusty, desolate roads of America, like Mad Max with fangs and guns. And on a level of crazy, it’s up there with the best – Jeff Strand, Shane McKenzie and Adam Millard.
Part bizarro, part batshit crazy (think Z Nation) part journey through life, the Complete Double Dead has it all. And there is no shortage of monsters, from the rather inept Thuglow to the ‘Bitch Beast’ who is an amalgam of all sorts of creatures.  This puts the fear and the blood back into cutie-fief genres. It is simply Awe-Zom.

Mockingbird

September 17, 2012 - 2:05 pm No Comments

Mockingbird
Author: Chuck Wendig
Publisher: Angry Robot books:
Release date: 6 Sept 2012
Page Count: 335pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

This second outing for Miriam Black (last seen in Blackbird) finds Miriam working in a New Jersey seaside resort supermarket, fed up with her job and the constraints of life with Louis in a trailer park, when she ‘sees’ the death of her boss and a number of customers at the hands of a serial killer. Because Miriam Black touches a person’s skin and sees the exact moment and method of their death in full flashback colour. Pardon the pun, but she can make a killing from her ‘gift’ if she sees the death of a person with money, follows them to their point of death and runs off with their cash and credit cards.

But Miriam is trying to go straight, which is why she is there at the supermarket, having just been sacked, three minutes before all hell breaks loose. Trying to help her, Louise arranges a reading with a teacher, Katey, who thinks she is dying. It is at the school for delinquents where Katey works, that Miriam accidentally touches young Lauren, who is doomed to die at the age of eighteen at the hands of a brutal killer. Only Lauren isn’t the only future victim, and Miriam becomes intent on saving them all and finding the killer.

Bursting with black comedy, and social commentary, Mockingbird is a tour-de-force of horror fantasy. Miriam, as always, is a strong and compelling lead character and through Katey’s voice, Wendig pursues interesting debates about women’s place in society. This is an excellent book, with plenty of character interaction, brutal murders and laughs aplenty despite the grim material. Wendig never fails to deliver. He is a name to be watched.

Bad Blood

August 27, 2012 - 11:03 am No Comments

Bad Blood: A Double Dead Novella
Author: Chuck Wendig
Publisher: Abaddon Books
Page count/Size: 107pp
Release date: 3rd May 2012
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

This novella is a sequel to the novel Double Dead released from Abaddon last year featuring vampire Coburn who wakes up after a five year ‘nap’ very hungry, to find the apocalypse has happened and zombies roam the earth. At the end of Double Dead, Coburn discovered that his blood brought about the birth of zombies, and carrying around the blood of miracle child Kayla, who sacrificed herself to save Coburn, he may have the cure for the virus in his blood. With Gil, Kayla’s father and a small terrier called Creampuff, Coburn sets out on a trip through America to find a lab where he hopes they can manufacture a cure. After all, a vampire needs a steady supply of food.

As part of the powers Coburn inherited when ingesting Kayla’s blood, he can walk out in the sun and hear Kayla’s voice in his head. Their trail now takes them to San Francisco and Coburn is kidnapped by a female vampire doctor intent on using his blood for nefarious purposes. Only Gil and a tribe of human orphan children can save him.

Blending darkness, blood, gore and Wendig’s typically wry sense of humour, Bad Blood is a marvellous gap filler to keep you going until Wendig’s next book comes out, which shouldn’t be too long as he is a prolific writer. This is a great outing for Coburn and Gil and at times I found myself laughing out loud. Wendig does black comedy like no other writer and this novella entertains the reader thoroughly. Brilliant stuff. I want more Wendig!

Review – Double Dead is dead good

November 10, 2011 - 12:47 am No Comments

Double Dead
Author: Chuck Wendig
Publisher: Abaddon Books
Page count: 311pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

Coburn, a vampire, wakes up below a NY City Theatre in a rather bad state with little memory as to how he got there. The only thing he knows, is that he needs blood, and lots of it. So, he attacks two men in the theatre who appear to be eating a deer, gagging on the black fluid that passes for their blood. For the world has changed while he slept, and these men are dead – double dead – rotting corpses who have somehow returned back from the dead.

Finding food in the shape of a few remaining humans, Coburn thinks he’s hit the jackpot until one of the survivors, cancer riddled teen Kayla, strikes a deal. If Coburn helps her group survive a journey to LA where Kayla hopes her special blood can help create a vaccine, the group will ensure he is well fed on the blood of the bad people scattered around the streets. So this ragtag group become Coburn’s ‘sheeple’; his herd of people he must protect. He even includes a little white terrier called ‘Creampuff’ in his protection clause, and it isn’t guilt that stops him snacking on the little ball of fluff – honestly.

If you have read any of Wendig’s stuff, particularly his blog, then you know what you’re in for. Wendig is a naturally funny writer and the novel is filled with witty one liners sharp observations and robust characters who complement Wendig’s narrative voice. Gross and hilarious, this is a must for zombie fans and fans of quality pulp!

If you like the look of this check it out at Double Dead (Tomes of the Dead).