My LibriVox recordings & my reading journal (solo Litblog).

1st To Die notes; Chapters 5 to 7

cover for 1st To Die

Chapter 5

Detective Inspector Lindsay Boxer is called to the scene of the homicide, protocol is followed even though she is still reeling from her doctor’s appointment.

I kept hearing the doctor’s words sounding over and over in my head. In severe cases, Negli’s can be fatal.

The reader is then following her as she approaches the Mandarin Suite and the final resting place of David and Melanie Brandt. Continue reading

The Gates notes; chapters 6 to 8

The Gates

Chapter 6; In Which We Encounter Stephanie, Who Is Not a Demon but Is Still Not Terribly Nice
Stephanie is Samuel’s babysitter, and she isn’t very good at it. In fact, she sounds like the kind of person who shouldn’t be left in charge of any children, at any time, especially as she has no temper for little boys at all. She has lots of time for older boys as she gets her boyfriend to threaten little Samuel whenever the boy displeases her. Sure Samuel plays pranks but every young boy does that and she should either accept that fact or move on to other employment. Like a milk round. Still if she was any good at babysitting she wouldn’t be suitable for this book and the author does a rather splendid job of making me dislike her and her bully of a boyfriend (named as Garth). Continue reading

Once Bitten Twice Shy notes; chapter 6

Once Bitten, Twice Shy
Chapter 6
Jaz is clearly dreaming, hence the cricket. I’ve had dreams like that too, where reality peeks into the dream state. You can wake up with a serious sense of disorientation mind. Can’t see Vayl trilling like a cricket, but dreams have a habit of not making much sense sometimes. In any case, she answers the blasted trilling phone (who has a ring tone that sounds like a chirruping cricket?!)
She is partnered with a vampire and has probably saved the world once or thrice herself, hotshot CIA agent that she is, and yet Jaz still has a pregnant sister with a stable life & family, a brother who is in an equally butt-kicking world saving vocation AND has as ass of a Dad who is apparently a highly decorated, retired, marine. Continue reading

World War Z notes; Goodbyes chapters 4, 5, 6 & 7

World War Z

Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.

Part 8, Goodbyes; Chapter 4, Jesika Hendricks.

This young woman has lost her family, and yet tries not to think bitter thoughts. I’d like to think that makes her a good person, or at the very least, a compassionate person.
No, maybe being compassionate is the better deal.
Being a good person relies too heavily on what other people think of you as a person, defined by society’s rules.
Compassion may be what allows her to continue to help clearing Canada’s lands of dismembered body parts, regardless of her own personal tragedy.

Part 8, Goodbyes; Chapter 5, Mary Jo Miller.

Considering pre-war, Mary was just another typical mother/worker, she’s shown herself to be a smart lassie.
Yeah, she helped build & manage Troy but her views; she accepts her share of the blame, for the mismanagement of those early days. She and her family were one of those that bought into Phalanx, she believed in the fallacy of a cure.
She knows different now and it shows in her final comments.

At least we’re cleaning up our own mess, and maybe that’s the best epitaph to hope for. “Generation Z, they cleaned up their own mess.”

Continue reading this post

World War Z notes; Total War chapter 6

World War Z

Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.

Part 7, Total War; Chapter 6, Andre Renard.

It sounds like the ex-French national had a fun time trying to survive in Paris. Those catacombs are ancient, dark and dangerous even without the zombie plague making things more difficult. I don’t think the tunnels underneath Paris have been mapped out properly and the conditions of the tunnels are uneven, atrocious and libel to collapse or cave in. Although the macabre section decorated in bones is probably safe, but that’s just a small percentage of tunnels.

Fighting zombies in these cramped tunnels sounds like a bloody nightmare of epic proportions. There wouldn’t be much room to swing a cat about, let alone try hand-to-hand combat with a few zombies. I know the French Resistance used those tunnels during World War II but I think they were used as a primary base, and to allude the Nazi’s, but I don’t recall many battles fought down there. At least not deep inside the underground network, maybe they had a few skirmishes around the perimeter but I reckon (or hope) that the Resistance knew the tunnels well enough to elude the German soldiers.
Zombies on the other hand, as they can only be destroyed in only one way, are not so easy to evade. It’s hardly surprising that new weapons, designed for close and cramped combat, were eventually being created. Necessity again. As with the “marsh covers” that somehow made it direct from America.
He describes battle situations in high water, how the new marsh covers were particularly useful against being bitten while wading through those waters. The stink, the gas masks and the inherent problems associated with them.
The whole idea of Cousteaus, the scuba divers who would fight against any deep water threat were probably the most unlucky of all those in the tunnels. When it comes to ratios of life or death, the Cousteaus had a 1 in 20 chance. Pretty piss poor odds, makes me wonder why.
Andre knows though, and the answer is chilling.
These poor people were sent to fight in that vast underground maze purely to fight and die so that France could have new heroes.
He points out how England cleaned out the zombies slowly and carefully. Continue reading this post

World War Z notes; Around The World And Above chapter 6

World War Z

Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.

Part 6, Around The World & Above; Chapter 6, Seryosha Garcia Alvarez.

I had a little difficulty with this chapter. Señor Alvarez, although likeable, is a little foreign for me. I don’t know very much about Cuba and it’s history. Not being an American, I don’t think it was very important for me to learn about the circumstances surrounding the “Bay of Pigs” or Fidel Castro. Although, Castro is enough of an icon, for whatever reason, for me to at least know who he is. That is why I’m not certain about the political circumstances to which Señor Alvarez relates.

Politics aside, which is my worst subject as anyone could guess from what I’ve written so far, this is an interesting chapter. Señor Alvarez comes across as quietly passionate and dedicated to the new regime in his homeland.
He mentions the pre-war U.S. blockade, the oppression, the military & medical presence on his island home.
How all of these factors managed to keep the number of infected to a minimum.

…our leader knew the true nature of the infection weeks after the first outbreak was reported. By the time of the Great Panic, when the world finally woke up to the nightmare breaking down their doors, Cuba had already prepared itself for war.

Cuba seems to have dealt with the initial outbreaks in a manner similar to Iran, it had the edge by having borders that were already policed and closed off. Being an island also keeps the amount of refugees down compared to those merely crossing over a border on land. An island could be considered a natural defence.

Seryosha points out that those islanders in the Lesser Antilles also Continue reading this post

World War Z notes; The Great Panic chapter 6

World War Z

Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.

Part 3, The Great Panic; Chapter 6, Ahmed Farahnakian.

I feel sorry for Ahmed & his fellow Iranians. To be so close to controlling Iran’s borders, only for political nonsense to interfere and endanger everyone.
I never really looked too closely at the maps of Iran. I know where it is & it’s neighbouring countries but I hadn’t really thought too much about the terrain.
Mountains, valley passes and very few roads into or out of Iran, all make the borders reasonably defensible.
Living with a nuclear threat, unfortunately makes such defences irrelevant but as Ahmed no-one thought they would ever be used. They were merely a military & political statement of power & might. Neighbouring countries had them so why not Ahmed’s country.
Personally I’ve never really understood this approach, all it takes to wreck the entire idea is a bored or paranoid nutter sitting next to the button.
However, in this case, we not only get a general type (a paranoid nutter) but one who refuses to communicate with anyone. Including his superiors. No wonder it all went to hell, in a hand basket.
Now that entire block of countries had to deal with masses of infected, dead armies of chomping teeth and now nuclear fallout.
Does a radiated zombie pose an even greater threat? Once you’re dead probably not, but will the radiation cause the virus to mutate further, perhaps spreading the virus to other non-human species…hmmmm.