Amazon Reviews: Omega Protocol Series

First allow me to say that I am sick unto death of the “virus-created zombie” plot device.

Fortunately for author JG Hicks, Jr., these are not that.

Omega Protocol: The Beginning
I actually started the sequel first and realized I needed to back up to get a full grasp of the plot. I enjoy survival stories and this is a great appetizer, so to speak, for the further development in the sequel. The idea of a virus being tailored for military purposes isn’t a new one, but the author takes it in a totally unexpected direction. Good stuff–if you’re into zombies (though this isn’t a zombie tale!) or plagues and pathogens, you should give this a read.

Omega Protocol: Mayhem
The trek begun by Jim Matthews and his family in the first installment continues here. Along the way they pick up compatriots, deal with multiple sorts of enemy, and do lots and lots of shooting 🙂 We’re also given quite a bit of backstory on the raging SCAR virus, which could command a book all its own.

This installment builds tremendously on the first and is action-packed from the beginning. My only quibbles are that the proofreading slips quite a bit toward the end (hi! I proofread!), and that the ending is (understandably but frustratingly!) a cliffhanger. Can’t wait to see how this continues.

Things I’d like to see *less* of in horror writing…

1. Authors who think “Lovecraftian” means “vomit a thesaurus over it.” You’re doing it wrong.

2. Serial killers with mommy issues and odd sexual fetishes/religious hangups.

3. Vampires in general, but especially vampires who are perfect and sparkly and sexy and angsty. Show me vampires who go to church and go to Walmart. Show me vampires with illnesses or disabilities. Show me vampires whose undead-ness doesn’t change the people they used to be.

4. Zombies. Especially, especially zombies created by Super Seekrit viruses or weird government experiments. And zombies that rot–why is it that the virus/magic/whatever that reanimates the corpse can’t preserve it? Show me zombies that have some scrap of humanity left and aren’t entirely mindless.

5. Post-apocalyptic/dystopian protagonists who are assholes to everyone. I know, I know, we’re all trying to survive out here and not drink the glowing water, but you know what Al Capone said about a kind word and a gun. (And while I’m at it, let’s have more post-apocalyptic/dystopian worlds that aren’t the product of a weird virus or a nuclear disaster. It’s not 1980.)

Frustrated reader is frustrated.

Amazon Review: Dearest Cassandra

When I started reading this book, I was a bit put off by the style. I’m not accustomed to reading serial-killer stories from the viewpoint of the killer anyway, and the sentence construction made me think the killer was simple-minded.

I could not have been more wrong.

When Jake decides it’s time to add to his ‘doll collection,’ and his attention fixes on his new coworker Cassandra, he shows just how competent he is. He ingratiates himself into her life by degrees, both through personal contact and anonymous methods–texts, emails, pornographic videos, even murder. Jake doesn’t just stalk Cassandra, he utterly breaks her. Then the police get involved, and Jake gets more than he could have hoped for…

As a former librarian I’m a wee bit nitpicky about the grammar in spots, but that aside, this is a fascinatingly complex and creepy story. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down till I’d finished. I see this is first in a series, and I’m looking forward to the next installment–I’d love to get more of the “inside the mind of the killer” perspective!

Dearest Cassandra by Royal Henry Bleu is available here.