Tuck and Roll (Morganville Vampires Vol. 1: Glass Houses & The Dead Girls’ Dance – A Book Review)

Glass Houses & The Dead Girls’ Dance (The Morganville Vampires #1-2)
Author: Rachel Caine
Published: 2009

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - Morganville Vampires: Glass Houses & The Dead Girls Dance

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated F for fangs, fighting, and a side of goth-bomb sarcasm.

 

On the day Claire joined the Glass House, somebody stole her laundry. (Glass Houses, p. 1)

 

Glass Houses

Morganville is a small town in the heart of Texas. The college is quaint. The local coffee shop holds all of your caffeine and Wi-Fi needs. The houses are old and the townspeople are skittish. The further you go off the beaten path the more you realize this town has a lot of secrets. At least that’s how it is for Claire Danvers. Accepted to college at sixteen, she quickly discovers what it’s like to get on the bad side of the resident psycho-rich girl, Monica Morrell. What she didn’t expect was to delve into the nightlife and secrets of the town after moving into the Glass House. Though her roommates don’t show any signs of life, she discovers the town’s deepest secrets and they’re out for blood, her blood.

The Dead Girls’ Dance

Claire Danvers is adjusting pretty well to Morganville, an old town, run by vampires. When Shane’s father comes to town to kill as many vampires as possible as revenge for the loss of his daughter and wife because of them. As Claire’s and her friends’ lives threaten to rip apart at the seams, she must think fast to help them before all hell breaks loose with them caught dead in the middle.

 

The Morganville Vampires series is 1 of 3 that I am rereading as a part of my New Year’s Resolution. This is 2 of 15 books.

Where the fecking hell do I begin!? Sorry, turning down the excitement…but not really. Saying that I’m in love with this series is an understatement. A major one! This isn’t some Twilight or The Vampire Diaries. These aren’t vampires that you’ll fall in love with. It’s more like a: “Oh god! Oh god! I’m going to die!” kind of vibe. Utterly sharp and witty, I couldn’t put this book down until I was done, just like the first time. Claire didn’t expect her first time out in the world to involve life-threatening situations with vampires and I didn’t expect to get so obsessed.

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The shocks and twists still get me smirking. People aren’t always as they seem and that is especially the case with the vampires of these books. Will they kill you or save you? Claire does walk that fine line. And, I admire the way she just automatically fit in at the Glass House the moment she walked in and in some cases acted more mature than her housemates. Granted, she filled to the brim with awkward, but aren’t we all? As she snaps into mature mode pretty fast, dealing with things she’s never had to in the past, like mean girls, boys, seances, and vampires, she surprises everyone with how she thrives with her boldness and bravery in the face of terror and danger.

So much originality. Claire is too smart for her own good and I love how each of the other characters from Michael, Eve, and Shane (and hold gods, I love Shane), to the vamps: Oliver, Amelie, and Sam really stand out and I can see them so clearly. And the town of Morganville is truly unlike anything I’ve ever seen. However, I can totally relate to how Claire feels about her college and how it seems rundown, just not the bit where students disappear sometimes due to being vamp-chow. It’s a town that you’d look at and not give a second thought to or think about living in. It’s unmentionable, passable, making it a perfect place for vampires. The developing relationships and bonds start strong right out of the gate. I was just immediately hooked because of the chemistry between the characters, especially Claire and Shane. I love those two together so ridiculously that I forget how necessary it is to breathe. LOL.

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Imaginative and original and witty. There’s nothing like this out there. This series is always a pleasure to read and write about. The paranormal and YA genres are my favorite. If I’m honest though, when I came across this series I was incredibly skeptical because of something crazy. Some of the character’s last names of MV are the same from a favorite movie of mine: The Covenant. It makes me laugh more than anything now. See, Claire shares her last name with the movie’s main character, Caleb, and Shane with the movie’s villain, Chase. In the end, the curious summary and these last names got me to pick up the book. I’m so glad I did.

Norse Mythology
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The more I think about it, the weirder it is, but I guess I can thank Monica for being a real bitch or else Claire would’ve never come to become a part of the Glass House and the dangerous, life-threatening adventures wouldn’t be the same. So, thanks, Monica? Ugh, I can’t say – or write – that with sincerity. She’s a real piece of work and by that, I mean a classic Mean Girls plastic of Morganville with a sprinkle of psycho. LOL.

 

That Bad Habit…

Once again, I have to gush about a book series that should be a TV series.

Am I still saying this should be a TV show? YES! This isn’t some gushy love story…well, there are moments and I still melt into a puddle at them, but this is about living with vampires and realizing that they’re not always cuddly. It’s smart and resourceful and I still crack up at the sarcasm. Do I have a cast list in mind? Yes, but don’t worry. I’ not going to list it out. I do think this could renew the dying fandom for vampires though. Make it fun and entertaining and engaging again.

 

Overall

This is my third time running through these books. I don’t often reread books, but with this series, I will always reread them and for those who love vampires, I will gush and recommend MV to them as well. Action-packed, butterfly-inducing, and fast. This isn’t your typical vampire story or town.

 

Quotables:

“Damnit, she resented being scared in a library! Books weren’t supposed to be scary. They were supposed to…help.” (Glass Houses, Claire, p. 147)

“Run first. Mourn later.” (Glass Houses, Shane, p. 162)

‘Things change. We have to adapt.” (The Dead Girls’ DanceFrank Collins, p. 248)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Ain’t It Fun by Paramore.

 

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A Game Won Is A Debt Owed (Legendary – A Book Review)

Legendary (Caraval #2)
Author: Stephanie Garber
Published: 2018

On Goodreads

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Amazon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated F for dangerous fates, both the real deals and destiny itself.

 

A heart to protect.

A debt to repay.

A game to win.

Caraval swept Scarlett and Tella away from their father. Having won the game, they should be celebrating, but while Scarlett is off with Julian, falling in love with him, Tella isn’t quite free. She has a debt to pay for saving Scarlett. She must retrieve Legend’s true name and. This time, Caraval, being held in the city of Valenda, is more magical and more dangerous than ever and could cost Tella her life, for real.

It’s not just Legend and his players that Tella must be careful of, but the Fates as well. They are returning to the world of Caraval and Scarlett is unsure of what’s real and what’s just an act. Though it appears that Legend is trying to help, Tella will discover whether or not Legend really is the villain he’s made out to be.

 

Caraval

Goodreads

Caraval Review

I was bewitched with Caraval and Legendary has captured me just the same. Utterly imaginative and magical, this book ups the stakes of Caraval. The dangers are bigger and more life-threatening and this time it’s Tella, Scarlett’s sister, that is playing. She plays not only to protect her sister but to pay off a debt and save her mother. She’ll have to win and if she does, she’ll finally meet Legend, the game master himself. However, if the bloody, heart-stopping curse on her by the dastardly Prince of Hearts, a Fate, kills first that’ll never happen.

Everybody has secrets. Tella, Scarlett, Julian, everyone. Good to see that hasn’t changed and that I’m continuously obsessed with figuring them out. Getting even deeper with the characters that I only got a taste of in Caraval, like Dante, was so cool. I love when minor characters get a spotlight or turn out to be the spotlight. It’s such a twist and I live for minor things turning out to be major. Romance twists its vines through this book too and it squeezes tight, wringing my heart a good one.

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The Fates, only briefly mentioned in the first book get a much larger part to play and that was exciting! More so, so was discovering that even though I was following Scarlett during Caraval, the main character of this trilogy is actually Tella. It’s not until this book that I actually figured that out. I can’t complain about the misdirection. It’s brilliant! The plot twists and surprises are mind-bending and breathtaking. I’m totally in love with this trilogy. The magic of the first book became real in this one. And discovering who Legend was…Holy shit! I had many guesses throughout the book, and while it was predictable, it was still incredible.

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The city of Valenda really splits down the middle of gorgeous and mystifying, and treacherous and secretive. Garber really showed many different shades of this vast city and it was enriching to explore it with Tella. The temples were the most terrifying yet beguiling for me as I imagined them in my mind. This places nooks and crannies really shed truths on Tella and the sisters’ mother.

 

Overall

So completely in love and taken by this one just like I was with Caraval. I’m desperate to see how it ends, especially after that ending! Sadly, I’m one of those weird people who really like to have their books in one format and for the Caraval trilogy, it’s paperback. So, I’m waiting a little while for Finale. That gives me time to recover my emotions though. Without a doubt, I recommend this series and though Legend doesn’t recommend getting swept away I do.

 

Quotables:

“Your future can be whatever you wish. We all have the power to choose our own destiny…” (Paloma to Tella, p. 6)

“She’s once bet her life on her sister’s love. She’d kissed the Prince of Hearts and still lived. These Fates would not kill her tonight.” (Tella, p. 273)

“Fate is only an idea, but I think by believing in it we turn it into something more. You just said you’ve avoided love because you’ve believed it wasn’t in your future, and so it hasn’t been.” (Dante to Tella, p. 352)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Black Black Heart by David Usher.

 

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A Wasteland Future (A Touch of Death – A Book Review)

A Touch of Death (The Outlands Pentalogy #1)
Author: Rebecca Crunden
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

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Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

Rated K for a kiss of death that leaves an aftertaste of dread

 

A thousand years in the future, the last of humanity live inside the walls of the totalitarian Kingdom of Cutta…

The rich live in the capital city, Anais, but wealth isn’t always a savior. For Nate Anteros, son of the King’s favourite this is the case. Thought sent to the gallows he is spared and sent to a prison camp. When he’s released he disappears altogether.

It’s two years later when Nate returns and with his return, trouble. His brother, Thomas and his brother’s complement, Catherine, will do whatever it takes to help him, after a mistake that endangers all three of them is made, even go to The Outlands where deadly mutants and rabids roam. Nate is on the run and a dark secret that changes everything he and his loved ones know.

 

A Touch of Death was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

Filled with a roller-coaster of emotions from enraging heartache to crushing despair. The journey to survive and rise up against power was incredibly bleak for Nate and Catherine. The moments of relief shined in spots but were certainly nothing compared to how dark this story got. From the discovery of how mutants came to be to admitting true feelings of the heart, I was left hurdling. It took some time to truly get into the story, but once I did, I was stacking some serious hope for Nate and Catherine. They deserved it and still do. Same for their friends by the way. Just saying.

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The setting of the wealthy city of Anais was glittering compared to the stark and desolate travels for the main characters. Granted I really liked the little place they stopped at that was seriously out of touch with the rest of the world. There was a peace and beauty to it that couldn’t be touched. The drastic differences in each place and moment during the novel really showed the care Crunden took with detail. Utterly stunning in all honestly. I even got a little needy for more in which I wish I could’ve seen more out of the places and dystopian world, if anything, to fill it out more.

Speaking of detail, the cover of the book really reached out to me. Coming across as brutal and rough, the brushstrokes were sharp and thick, giving way to desolate mountains, making me think of those Outlands. Though it seems simple, I take great appreciation for cover-artwork. Those who work on the cover work just as hard as those who wrote the novel. They work on that art so that it can give beauty and help entice the reader. The expression of the art, as well, is to be truly desired since it can help make or break a book in most cases, though readers hate to admit it. In this case, I find the cover so fitting. Left feeling the struggle and raw vulnerability and grief, the cover touches on not only the journey I feel but the tethered emotions as well. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I have an appreciation for an artistic cover such as this one.

 

Overall

While I found parts of this book needs a little more to it because I felt a little shorted, I found it curious and alluring, especially with how it ended. The title truly lives up to the story, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t mind finding out what comes next sometime in the future.

 

Quotables:

“…Morality doesn’t hold a candle to curiosity.” (Nate, p. 106)

“There’s something to fear from everyone.” (Catherine to Evander, p. 189)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Dark Rider by NINA.

 

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Going Nuclear (The X-Files: Ground Zero – A Book Review)

The X-Files: Ground Zero
Author: Kevin Anderson
Published: 1995

On Goodreads

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OverDrive

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated N for nuclear-charred corpses and never-ending quips of the wry variety.

 

Our greatest nightmares are about to unfold. (p. 158)

FBI agents, Mulder and Scully are called in after a renowned nuclear weapons researcher is found dead, charred to a radioactive cinder. This definitely falls under strange and unexplained, especially when two more victims pop up and are completely unrelated to the researcher.

The case only gets stranger as the agents delve deeper into the nuclear project that the researcher had been working on, “Black Anvil”, and discover that the past could be what’s come after these victims and Mulder and Scully will have to work fast to get to the bottom of this case before more people turn up dead or worse, the world.

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Scully visits a part of her past while Mulder believes this is the vacation of a lifetime. All in all, a typical case for the duo. With the knowledge of unexpected casualties during a past nuclear bomb test, conspiracies are tossed into the air, a ghost ship and a super-powered human being only a couple. This is a classic X-Files installment, giving me those chills and thrills only The X-Files can give.

Getting this flashback of such a phenomenal show that still remains relevant today is fantastic. Smart and enticing and curious, it was a great read. Typically, I’m not into nuclear conspiracy but this was interesting. I also can’t get enough of Mulder’s quips and puns. I can hear his dry humor just as perfectly as I can here Scully’s cynical observations. Perfectly on point.

The scenery moved around quite a bit from dry desert to the middle of a hurricane, keeping me guessing. It definitely kept the story alive, making this book come off as a true episode of the show.

The true question: Did I enjoy this? Yes…and no. Again, Nuclear conspiracy. Not my typical read. Sometimes the story felt like it was filled with too much filler. The connection points felt far and few between the moments that didn’t always keep me invested.

 

Overall

A great read for fans of the show, but there was a downside of not being able to keep me interested. I still love Mulder and Scully, but in truth, I’m not sure they transfer to the page and should just remain on my TV or laptop screen.

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Hurricane by Florence + The Machine.

 

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My Book-ish New Year’s Resolution for 2020

Hey there, bookish humans!

I don’t know about you, but I love setting a book version of a New Year’s Resolution. It really lights a fire under my reading butt. It also encourages me to read more. In the past, I’ve done one that’s introduced me to twenty-five new authors and just last year (if you’ve been keeping up) I read five new series and I’m still working on a couple that I’m in the middle of. this year I’m doing something a little different. This is the year of the re-read. That’s right. I’m going to reread some books on my shelf. To be specific, I’m rereading three series. “Only three?” You say. “That’s so little!”

Nope. Two of these series have ten+ books in their collection. The last has five. I chose these ones specifically because I haven’t reviewed them on my blog and I also unbelievably love these stories. Don’t worry, The Arcana Chronicles aren’t on the list. LOL. With how much I already gush about the series as it is and the fact that the reviews are ridiculously long, you don’t need to hear how highly I recommend them all over again. Here are the series that I’ll be tackling this year!

The Morganville Vampires
Author: Rachel Caine
Book Count: 15 + a book of short stories
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Travel Bookworm

 

The Royals
Author: Erin Watt
Book Count: 5
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Literati Literature Lovers

 

A Series of Unfortunate Events
Author: Lemony Snicket
Book Count: 13
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Adventure Kitchen

I’m very excited to revisit these books. It’s great to go back because sometimes you rediscover why you enjoyed them and some bits you didn’t catch the first time. So, be on the lookout for some reviews! And definitely consider them for your TBR list if you haven’t.

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

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Thoughts? Have you read any of these series? What did you think of them? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Top Ten Reads of the Year – 2019 Edition

Coming Soon

Hey there, book readers!

I’ve read so many books this year but not as many as I hoped. I wasn’t able to complete my New Year’s Resolution or my Goodreads goal. I’m totally okay with that since both of those really inspired me to read books I’ve been meaning to for a long time like the All Souls Trilogy, The Haunted, and even The Dark Tower. Those are only a couple, but I really enjoyed them. In fact, I enjoyed what I read so much that I made a top ten list for you. Check it out.

 

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1. Stargazing at Noon by Amanda Torroni

Such a beautiful book. I was so moved by the words and imagery. Just so much love for this one and I highly recommend it for poetry lovers.

 

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Amazon

2. Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I really loved the entire trilogy. Tantalizing and utterly addicting. Recommending it to everyone.

 

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3. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Been meaning to read this and after watching the first season of the show I’m definitely glad that I got to read it. So much depth and magic. And the romance knocked me off my feet.

 

Blood of Olympus - Goodreads

4. The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Though the last in a series, this book was jam-packed with action, teamwork, and amazing demigods kicking some serious ass. Such a phenomenal adventure.

 

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Penguin

5. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman

I love Gaiman. Every book I’ve read has been mind-blowing and fun with its humor. His way with mythology always impresses me and the series that goes with this? AMAZING. It’s not always good vs evil. Sometimes it’s good and evil.

 

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Simon & Schuster

6. The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

This was one of those books that was, “Ohhhh! Pretty cover!” and then after reading the inside jacket, “Ohhh! Magic!”. Such a great book with twists and turns, leaving even me unsure of who to trust. Keeping me on my toes, I couldn’t get enough of this book of both magic, illusion, and thievery.

 

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Goodreads

7. The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson

Real and blunt, this book was eye-opening, not just because people weren’t dying, but because it’s eye-opening with truth and relatable situations about the complexity of friendship and what friends do for each other. With several relevant themes that moved my heart, I really enjoyed this book.

 

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Amazon

8. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

A fun and dark twist on a classic tale. Dorothy is the evil one and a new hero comes to Oz. Granted, she didn’t ask for this, but she’s the only one that can save the land and possibly restore its magic. I love twisty tales and this was a fun one.

 

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Quirk Books

9. Much Ado About Mean Girls by Ian Doescher

Mean Girls and Shakespeare! One of the best Shakespeare parodies ever. So much fun to read for those who know the move by heart.

 

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Penguin Random House

10. The Haunted by Danielle Vega

Spooky ghosts? Yes, please! Danielle Vega never disappoints. Like watching a horror movie, I was holding my breath, jumping at the scary parts, and surprised by the plot twists. A teen horror that got my blood pumping.

 

There you have it. The top ten from all that I’ve read this year and you can check out my year in books from Goodreads here. I hope you all have an amazing New Year!

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

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Thoughts? Have a favorite book you read this year? Let’s chat in the comments below.

Are You Not Entertained, Zom-heads? (Zom-B: Gladiator – A Book Review)

Zom-B: Gladiator (Zom-B #6)
Author: Darren Shan
Published: 2014

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated G for a girl that can handle gore and guts in the zombie gladiator pit.

 

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, B Smith has decided to live—

and to fight for good as long as possible.

While on a search mission for people—live people—B is kidnapped by a familiar face: Barnes, the military zom-hunter that let her live after a run-in. He and his partner deliver her to a yacht of ruthless wealthy only known as The Board. They’re fascinated by her being alive, well, as alive as one can expect as a zombie. For their own amusement, they want to watch her fight brainless zombies. She knows she can’t last long but she’s unsure if anyone is coming to rescue her.

 

Zom-B in review so far…

Zom-B

Zom-B: Underground

Zom-B: City

Zom-B: Angels

Zom-B: Baby

 

B still keeps her guard up and keeps everyone at arm’s length. While she’s only protecting herself from getting hurt, it bites her in the butt. Kind of. The Board, a bunch of deranged, wealthy people looking to retake the world-one of whom happens to be a child killer named Dan-Dan-capture her and put her in their own personal fighting pit, and it’s creepy! That being said, Shan really took the horror up a notch in this installation! These new villains are disturbing and gave me some serious chills. I figured that there’d be new problems and snags in this good vs evil fight, but daaanng. This was crazy wild. I look forward to seeing how this new development feeds into the story later with the big bad, Mr. Dowling. I imagine the creepy-ass clown and Dan-Dan will get along famously.

B finally starts to let people in. This deadly circumstance she gets tangled in leads to her opening up even more. It’s understandable why B’s worried about letting her guard down. She’s got a rough personality that is an acquired taste, like bleach. The way she stops people around her from getting close in any way before she feels like she can hurt them is relatable. After revealing her past to everyone, she also doesn’t feel like she deserves any kind of friendship. I’m glad it’s turning around and she’s gaining redemption. Shan has developed such a great redemption arc with her. Not only that, but she’s so damn smart in being able to tell the trustworthy from the ones that aren’t. This whole theme is ever-present and relevant to life now.

The return of Barnes was actually welcome. He made his entrance in book 3: City and I got a feeling he was a completely shitty guy, unlike the people he traveled with. I like when old characters make recurring appearances throughout a series. The author hasn’t forgotten about them and I love that. It really adds to the story and reveals more about the character, and learning more about why Barnes is out doing shifty things he doesn’t want to be doing is revealing to the whole story and adds more emotion. He adds a living aspect to the story which hasn’t been had in a while.

I can officially say I’m hooked on this series. The fact that it took until book 5 and 6 to get me really intrigued is a bit of a bummer, I’m not totally complaining. Sometimes it takes a little while to get into a story.

 

Overall

Old acquaintances and new villains. Gore and uncomfortable shivers to the bone. This series is actually picking up. Now I really need to see this to the end. If you like zombies then give this series a shot. It can feel drawn out in places, but each book is pretty short and acts as episodes/chapters in B’s journey. A unique perspective. A zombie’s perspective in the apocalypse. Original and unique and continuously surprising.

 

Quotables:

“It’s a real pisser when you don’t know whether to thank a guy or spit in his eye, isn’t it?” (Barnes, p. 152)

“A zombie can’t be a hero. We’re monsters.” (B, p. 157)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Army of Me by Bjork.

 

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!