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Bump In The Night – A Review- PART TWO Zombies

May 15, 2009

Vampires, Zombies and Other things that go BUMP IN THE NIGHT

Drollerie Press has made me a happy happy girl. As they are prone to do with their delightful tales of Transformation and Myth.

In case I haven’t previously made myself clear beyond the shadow of a doubt (or you’re new here, in which case, HI there!), I. LOVE. Dark Fantasy. Reading it, writing it, watching it on T-Bowe’s big ass screen.

In short: It COMPLETES me.

So when Drollerie Press held an event, either last month or the month before, giving their loyal readers a chance to download a Sneak Peek of Bump In The Night, their new Dark Fantasy/Horror release, I knew I was sealing my fate when I clicked the big red shiny button. (Ok, ok, the button was neither big, nor red, nor shiny but work with me a little.)

The three short stories included in the sneak peek had me HOOKED. I needed the rest of the supply, and soon, BookJunkie that I am. I was so dismayed that Joely’s fabled and much talked about Zombie Love Story wasn’t included in the sneak peek but I knew that I would be getting the Antho as soon as I could got my hands on some cash.

As luck and tremendous generosity would have it, I got Bump In The Night a lot quicker than I thought I would. Fortunate I am that Ms. Fisher has liked my reviews thus far. I’d like to take a moment to thank both Joely Sue Burkhart and Ms. Fisher for the opportunity to review Bump In the Night. It is my favorite Anthology thus far and I hope that Drollerie will produce more Dark fantasy Anthos in the future.

(We Can Haz Werewolves next time, maybe, pretty pwease with sugar on top?)

Ahem, on to the review.

To serve as a Blurb, I will use a snippet from the DP website announcing Bump In The Night’s Release (go here to read full post):

We have an amazing line-up of authors. Tim Mulcahy’s story, “Monday Night at the Vampire Lounge” has been joined by two other Paul Altimari stories. Connie Neil provided us with another story about her vampire nun, Heather Ingemar provided two stories, one a vampire and one zombie tale, and Joely Sue Burkhart actually pulled off a zombie romance. I didn’t believe anyone could do it when she took up the gauntlet during chat, but I should have realized–if anyone could do it, Joely most certainly could. Tim’s zombies aren’t too shabby either, with some definite zombie/vampire flirtation going on. Heather’s poor zombie, however, was unable to do more than yearn from afar.

Each section is dedicated to a particular monster, and ends with Tim’s former cop, who finds himself in a truly bizarre situation, and every time it gets a little weirder.

There are quite a bit more stories in Bump in The Night than there were in StereoOpticon. This is by no means a complaint. But, as not to make this THE POST THAT WOULD NOT DIE FOR THE STORIES OF THE UNDEAD, (for that would be far too ironic even for I) I’ve decided to do them in three part increments as they appear in Bump In The Night.

Part One for Vampires (read here), Part Two for Zombies ( current post) and Part Three for Ghosts (read here). Oh my!

Now, let us get to the New Undead Kids On the Block With An Affinity for Braaaaaaaaiiiinz…

Note: These were either written directly after I read the story of each title, or while I was reading it (because I had to either make note of something I fear I might have forgotten otherwise). I didn’t think it was possible, but I enjoyed them all. Though I admit whole heartedly that I enjoyed them to varying degrees and some a lot more than others.

However, in the interest of other readers, I’ve done my best to portray an objective opinion regarding each title here. By giving each story its due without curry-favoring. I hope that I accomplished this, but know that I am human and prone to error-and damnit not all stories are created equal. I have a hard time curbing my enthusiasm for stories that really make my heart sing. So, it’s quite possible that said enthusiasm will shine out through the reviews of my very favorites.

Also, keep in mind, I’m by no means a “professional reviewer”. I do this for fun and for the love of good stories.

Broken Angel: A Zombie Love Story by Joely Sue Burkhart

“Zombie Love Story???” You ask, possibly with a incredulous tone?

Why yes, yes it is, and one pulled off superbly at that! I’m a big fan of Joely’s work. She has such a beautiful voice and her stories are just the ones I’ve been dieing to read. As I was told, Joely wrote this as a challenge to Ms. Fisher’s request for the DP authors to pull off a Zombie Love Story (Ms. Fisher, I do so love the way you think!) and while other authors have submitted Zombie stories with a hint of romance in them, Joely’s is said to be the one that knocked the proverbial ball out of the park.

I’m not usually one for Romance, but Joely makes me believe.

Even in the first scene, Joely pulls us right into the heart of Angelina’s distress. She keeps having this horrible nightmare about a broken doll who Angelina sees too much of herself in. She obsesses over the dream, becomes sluggish and lethaargic, posessed. Worse, she finds she’s unable to feel anything at all. I’ll admit, the first scene creeped me out, but did not repell me, rather it drew me in. I needed to know what would happen to Angelina, I needed to know that she would be able to feel again. I needed to know what her story was.

I can’t talk too much about the romance without giving away some killer spoilers. BUT, if you know Joely’s work, you won’t be disapointed. If you don’t know Joely’s work, what the hell have you been waiting for? She writes romance with searing passion, and all though this was more ‘chaste’ than some of her other stories, its no less sweet or passionate. Loved reading this. Loved Angelina’s character.

Dead Woman Walking by Heather S. Ingemar

Bwaha! Heather’s Zombie is more of a “Brraaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiinnnns” and guts Zombie. Though with a mind of her own, undead as it is. Really liked the plot for this one actually.

The intro says “In ‘Dead Woman Walking’ Clara awakens to her Zombie condition and seeks knowledge, it is humanity that pushes her to revenge.” I make no qualms about it, I like revenge stories. I like it even better when the monsters have more humanity than the human characters around them. Another great read by Ms. Ingemar!

Ghoulspeak by Quinn Zukas Belhorn

This appears to be a debut story, not a half bad one either.

I tried to fact check this and could not find a website. I did find a “Quinn Zukas Belhorn” on Twitter, who is a writer and whose last twitter update was in April and announced that they would soon be a published author….there can’t be too many people with that name right? Right?

Please God let me be right and not look like total ass here. Remember when I said I wouldn’t growl at little children anymore? I’ll mean it this time if you do this one little thing for me.

*Ahem*

I found myself fascinated by the narrative. A good sign, it led somewhere and while being insightful, it was not just a whole big walloping infodump that seems a common mistake among new writers (myself included, which means Belhorn’s already ahead of the game).  A weird little tale that I found quite engaging and am having a hard time coming up with a sufficient plot summary without giving away Spoilers, which I’ll have you know are bad for your health. But I shall try.

It’s written in first person, with Lenore “Lenny” Marsh as the POV character.

Lenny is a librarian at the ominous Mythos Organization, as well as their newly appointed Liaison for Ghouls. Chaos ensues after her first meeting with a Ghoul leading to a series of rather odd and unfortunate events. She’s a fun character, I hope to read more of her in the future! Also a congrats to Ms. Belhorn on her debut.

Thursday Night at the Zombie Bordello by Tim Mulcahy

Continuing what I will now refer to as Mulcahy’s “Weekdays At Various Seedy Places” series. *g* With affection, of course. This appears to take place a while after Monday Night at the Vampire Lounge, as Paul has acquired new…ah….help. New help in the form of Reed, who is the POV character for this story, as Paul was for MNAVL. Reed’s got a problem surrounding a food source in the form of a prostitute serial killer. That’s a first one for me, so props to Mulcahy. Reed was such a smart ass, I loved being in his head.

Catherine Higgins, Paul’s first turned vampire from MNATVL has transformed into a whole new person in this story, which is a smart move, given the time lap.

Turns out the prostitute serial-killer is a Zombie by the name of Katarina. Tim Mulcahy’s women characters also make me happy, they aren’t useless and are quick with the come backs. I loved the banter between Reed and Katarina. Their flirtation was the stuff of great dialogue writing.

I also loved the mythos behind Mulcahy’s Zombies and the reasons he gave for their needing to eat specific parts. Cool stuff that. Well, as cool as cannibalism gets anyway. Yes, you all just realized what a sick individual I am just now didn’t you? And he upped his cool points just by mentioning Werewolves. Tim Mulcahy? You rock.

I noticed a slight boo-boo though. Once, before Katarina reveals her name, it comes across in Reed’s narrative, which is of course something he wouldn’t yet know.Other than that,  really fun read. I’m liking this guy’s style a hell of a lot. Oh, and Linda got even cooler. 😀

Thus concludes this portion of the review. Come back later to see Part Three: Ghosts!

If you liked and/or are intrigued by what I’ve had to say thus far, I urge you to head on over to  Drollerie Press and pick yourself up a copy. You’ll be glad you did!

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2009 1:39 pm

    Hey Soleil, thanks for another lovely review.

    I’m thinking you have the right Quinn on Twitter, though I’m not 100% sure. She is a writer from Cleveland, Ohio and this is her debut work. I’m looking forward to more great stuff from her.

  2. Soleil Noir permalink*
    May 16, 2009 1:57 pm

    Denna- Thank you kindly for coming to my rescue. *g* It is a very good debut, I hope she has future works featuring Ms. Marsh.

    • Quinn Zukas Belhorn permalink
      June 12, 2009 12:28 am

      Soleil – Many, many thanks for your kind review, which my brother in law *just* forwarded to me. I’m so happy you enjoyed the story!

      • Soleil Noir permalink*
        June 12, 2009 10:55 am

        You’re most welcome, Quinn. I’m glad you like the review. Thank you kindly for stopping by, I hope to see more of your work in future. 🙂

  3. Tim Mulcahy permalink
    May 17, 2009 9:58 am

    I would like to thank you for your review also.

  4. May 18, 2009 4:09 pm

    I’m definitely going to have to check this out! 🙂

  5. Soleil Noir permalink*
    May 18, 2009 6:54 pm

    Violet- Do! 😉 It was a great read.

Trackbacks

  1. Bump In The Night- A Review – Part Three Ghosts « Beyond the Invisible
  2. Bump In The Night- A Review – PART THREE Ghosts « Beyond the Invisible
  3. review of ‘dead woman walking’ in ‘bump in the night’ « Heather S. Ingemar Writes…

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