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Z-Virus – Powers

By Books & Authors, CreativityNo Comments

You asked in a poll I ran for a Zombie Story and I will deliver. Here are details of my new book:

The Z-Virus mutates people’s DNA. The majority of infected people become zombies, but a minority seem immune but the virus causes them to develop powers. 

At first these powers like invisibility, telepathy and telekinesis aided survival. But as the Z-Virus continues to mutate, the powers become more and more destructive.

Forced with no other choice, one group goes in search of a cure. But will they survive the roaming zombie hordes long enough to make an epic journey across the country to find the cure?

Join Alexis, Vis, Chan, Luke, Natalie, Grace, Chloe, Kyle, David and Goliath on this journey in Z-Virus Powers, the first installment of this three part story.

Due for release: End of 2024.

This is my first foray into fiction. I’m really enjoying writing the first draft – it’s so much fun.

Write soon,

Antony

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My Recent Media Absorption

By Amazon, Books & Authors, Games, Music & RadioNo Comments

They say that sharing is caring. So today I wanted to share with you my recent media absorption, which includes a book, three albums, two TV programmes and a game.

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View on Amazon.co.uk
The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins
The Last Days of Magic mixes mythology, magic and fantasy wonderfully. Ireland is the last stronghold of magical beings. But it is under threat. From King Richard in England and the Vatican.

The Vatican is determined to wipe out all creatures and men with magic. All creatures and men with magic came from fallen angels mating with humans. The Vatican believes that this is against God’s will.

There’s a wide range of compelling characters, a gripping plot and it is an easy and enjoyable read. It is the perfect example of a great fantasy novel.

Percentage Complete: 95% I will write a review of this book when I’ve finished reading it.

jake-shears-jake-shears-album
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Jake Shears by Jake Shears
The flamboyantly fabulous and drop-dead-gorgeous Jake Shears is back! Doing what he does best (apart from that ahem) – singing.

His self-titled album Jake Shears is packed with original and brilliant songs. I love Shears’ eccentricity and his unique view of life which he expresses in his music.

On Jake Shears there’s catchy tunes that stick in your head such as Good Friends and Sad Song Backwards to songs about sex such as S.O.B (sex on the brain) and Clothes Off. An album that I would highly recommend.

I have found my funeral song on Jake Shears. The exceptional ballet track Palace in the Sky. It gets you right here points to chest.

Percentage Complete: 100% I still have Jake Shears’ autobiography Boys Keep Swinging – A Memoir to read.

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DH00280-the-1975-album-cover DH00280 by The 1975
I love the upbeat, quirky and sometimes melodramatic music of The 1975.

Matt Healy’s (the lead singer) voice is hypnotic and high. DH00280 is a twenty-four track album of the band playing live at The 02 in London at the end of 2016.

I would love to see this band live. But in the meantime, at least I can play this album on repeat whenever I want.

I’m lucky that it’s a digital version and not a tape, otherwise I’d have probably wore it out by now.

Percentage Complete: 100% (Repeatedly.)

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M/F by Matt Fishel
Fishel’s music reflects the gay community and the Singer Songwriters’ experience of it.

All gay men will be able to identify with the lyrics. The music is pop-rock and Fishel’s voice is memorising. My favourite songs on this album include His ‘n’ His, Bored of Straight Boys, and The Gorgeous Ones.

I first heard about Fishel when he released his debut album Not Thinking Straight. This album was addictive and played constantly on repeat. Songs that have stayed with me from that album are: Radio-Friendly Pop Song, Behind Closed Doors, Alastair and the Football Song.

However I was less impressed with his second album Cover Boy. The only track I enjoyed on this album was a barely passable cover of Finally. Cover Boy was thankfully a shorter album than Not Thinking Straight.

M / F demonstrates Fishel’s return to the music of his that I yearn for and most relate to. A fantastic album and one that I would recommend.

Percentage Complete: 100% (On Repeat.)

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The Pyramid Code

The Pyramid Code is a five part documentary examining how advanced the Ancient Egyptians were. Interviewing experts, using visual diagrams and models, along with analysis of available evidence to present the case that the Ancient Egyptians were probably more advanced scientifically, architecturally and spiritually than we are today.

A truly fascinating and informative documentary. It’ll make you question what you’ve previously been told and accepted as fact about the ancient Egyptians.

Percentage Complete: 75%

In-The-Flesh
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In The Flesh
I recently discovered In The Flesh on the BBC iPlayer. It’s set after a zombie uprising in Britain. The authorities have found a treatment that reverts zombies back to fully cognitive functioning people. They refer to them as individuals affected by Partially Deceased Syndrome (PDS).

The story is set around the Walker family. Kieren Walker is a young man who is released from a Detention Centre back to the care of his family and in his zombie-hating community. He has his parents and Jem, his younger sister who is a member of the Human Volunteer Force (HVF). The HVF rose up to eliminate the zombies after the outbreak. This unique angle is very interesting for a zombie genre TV series.

I’m only a few episodes in. But I’ll say this: it’s a very deep and dark drama series.

Kieren has side effects to the medication including flashbacks to things he did as a zombie – including the killing and eating of people. Plus Kieren wasn’t alive at the time of the outbreak. He rose from his grave. So why did Kieren with seemingly all of his life ahead of him end up dead and buried so young?

Although it’s brilliant series, I will admit that I have had to take some breaks during watching due to the level of darkness. I’ve actually found it a bit traumatic to watch at times. I guess it’s good that it makes me feel something, even if it’s something that makes me feel uncomfortable.

Percentage Complete: 33%

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theme-hospital-game-cover Theme Hospital
I bought the original Theme Hospital for under a fiver, for something to play why I wait for the release of the reinvented Theme Hospital called Two Point Hospital.

I’m enjoying it and managed to complete half of the game with only getting the game over screen a few times.

Percentage Complete: 50%

Looking ahead there’s loads of media to look forward to. First I’ve got a shelf of books waiting to be read. In addition to that I’ve got:

  • A big update for The Universim towards the end of August
  • The release of Two Point Hospital towards the end of August.
  • A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships album by The 1975 in October.
  • Dr Who returns to the TV in the Autumn.
  • A possible album from former McFly band member Danny Jones. A couple of weeks ago Danny Jones released an awesome single called Is This Still Love,

What media are you absorbing and enjoying? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Blog soon,

Antony

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Book Review: Cell by Stephen King

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
cell-stephen-king-book-cover
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Cell by the remarkable Stephen King is an addictive read, which is a must read to anyone who likes disaster stories or zombie stories.

In Cell at 3:03pm on the 1st of October a Pulse is emitted that is transmitted to everyone with a mobile phone. They become zombie-like and start attacking those who didn’t have a mobile phone and therefore weren’t affected.

Clay is a young artist who has just made his big break. He is away from home and just out of an important meeting when the pulse strikes. Minutes after The Pulse, Clay meets Tom, a gay man. They join together to survive chaos and attacks.

Clay is adamant that he must get home to find out what has happened to his wife and son.

Clay’s son has a mobile phone, but it’s usually under his bed. He has to hope that this was the case when The Pulse struck and that somehow his wife survived the proceeding chaos and attacks. Tom joins him.

Clay and Tom are first joined by Alice, a 15 year old girl and later by Jordan, a scholarship student from a private school.

Clay and crew start to see changes in the zombie-like people’s behaviour. First they start to flock, all drawn together and moving in certain patterns. The zombie-like people come out during the day, but disappear at night.

Clay and crew destroy a flock resting at night. They later learn that the flocks have a shared intelligence and communicate through telepathy. The flocks know who Clay and his comrades are and what they did.

Can Clay reach home? And if so, what will be the fate of his wife and son?

The characters were likeable, had depth and the reader comes to care about them. The description was clear and concise, enabling the reader to imagine scenes perfectly – adding suspense. The thrilling plot was utterly riveting from the first word until the last.

I read this book in just a few days, despite being exceptionally busy. I just couldn’t put it down. It is without a doubt a King classic.

My only criticism of Cell was that it was too short. Cell is a total of 473 pages, meaning it is about the average size of a novel. But having read the mammoth-sized novels The Stand and Under The Dome both by King, I would have loved Cell to be of that length.

Cell is an absolutely excellent read. You can buy Cell on Amazon and at all good bookshops.

Review soon,

Antony

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Book Review: The End by Charlie Higson

By Amazon, Books & Authors10 Comments
the-end-charlie-higson-book-cover The Enemy Series is a series of books by Charlie Higson about all adults becoming diseased sicko’s that like to eat children. The stories are about the kids survival (or not).

The End is the final instalment in the series. The first book in the series was The Enemy, which I reviewed here. The second book was The Dead, which I reviewed here. The third book was The Fear, which I reviewed here. The fourth book was The Sacrifice, which I reviewed here. The fifth book was The Fallen, which I reviewed here. The sixth book was The Hunted, which I have reviewed here.

This review will be like the ones I’ve done for the other books in the series – it will give an overview of the storyline. So please be aware that this review contains spoilers.

Wow. Just Wow. The End is the pinnacle of The Enemy Series. Showcasing Higson’s fast-paced plot, excellent description and an ability to capture the reader’s attention throughout. A superb finale to the The Enemy Series.

At the beginning of the book is a double-page map of Kensington Gardens, where the great battle between the diseased zombie grown-ups and kids will take place. This map is useful visual aid and well worth glancing at when reading the final chapters of the book.

The book starts with a statement: The events in The End run parallel to the events in The Hunted, until the closing chapters when all seven books come together.

The End starts with Achielleous, Paddy, Ryan, his hunters and their dogs are heading towards Hyde Park looking for some grown-ups that have been spotted. At first the streets are eerily quiet, but then they spot a single sentinel father. Paddy manages cut down the father with some difficulty. The father offers no resistance. This shows just how much of a small kid Paddy is. He wants to be a hero and this will be his undoing. Paddy gets to keep a Labrador dog that gets named Bright Eyes.

Shadowman (Dylan Peake) is angry at Jester for leaving him behind when they were attacked at King’s Cross station in a previous book. Shadowman takes Jester by force to see the enemy they face – the sicko army, led by St George.

In the Natural History Museum, Small Sam is still hoping that Ed will bring Ella, his sister back.

At the Palace, David discovers that Paul Channing (the kid who was bit on the neck and then went mad at the Natural History Museum in The Fear) can communicate and control grown-ups.

Wormwood & Fish-Face (father & daughter) reveal that Small Sam’s blood might hold a cure for the disease effecting the adults. Einstein, other kids and Wormwood work on a cure in the museum labs using samples of Sam’s blood. Wormwood is to be the test subject for these experimental vaccines. Over time as the storyline proceeds the vaccines begin to have some good effects on Wormwood.

Lettis spends her days with Ollie, in the library with Chris Marker or with the other little kids. She is practically mute since a group of grown-ups had cornered her in a church and Ollie saved her in a previous book.

Jester can’t believe the size of the sicko army, it looks like a big black mass of bodies. Shadowman knows a huge battle is coming and that all the kids need to come together and fight together. He has an idea of how to cause some damage to the enemy and where more fighting kids are. IKEA. So that’s where Shadowman and Jester go.

Shadowman and Jester tell all the groups of kids about the army of grown-ups. The kids begin preparing for battle, the fighters training with their weapons and the archers gathering projectiles. Shadowman and Jester invite Maxie, Blue, Whitney, Jackson, Achilleus (all from the museum), Nicola (from The Houses of Parliament), David (from the Palace), Ryan (from the Hunters) and Will and Finn (from the Tower) to a meeting, held at The Houses of Parliament. They agree that Jordan Hordern (Leader at The Tower of London) will be their General as he knows the most about battles, military tactics and is somebody that everyone respects. David doesn’t like this idea and feels that he should be in charge but is outvoted.

Jordan Hordern has a secret – he is going blind. Only his two assistance’s, Jim and Hugo, know just how bad it is. But despite this, Jordan gathered and commanded his army to save Mad Matt, Archie Bishop and Matt’s disciples when they were under siege at St. Pauls. He has created a safe area from the Tower down to St Paul’s cathedral using barricades and having regular guard patrols. Matt and his green-robed followers now live in safety, all thanks to Jordan.

Meanwhile David plays the political game. He tries to influence Nicola to side with him and join him. Nicola is well aware that David fancies her, in fact he is in love with her. But she can’t convince David to accept Jordan Hordern as a General over him. David is also in talks with Just John, from the squatters camp whom he has an uneasy truce with.

Jordan Hordern chooses Hyde Park, more specifically Kensington Gardens as the battlefield for the great battle with the sicko army. Jordan sets up a camp using anything that kids can find for barricades. St. George (aka Greg) is the leader of the sicko army.

Jordan takes Blue-Tak Bill to count numbers on the battle field, both of the enemy’s adult army and of his kids. Jordan takes Bright Eyes, Paddy’s dog, as it was trained to be a guide dog for the blind and Jordan need’s the dog’s sight. But Jordan who is still keeping his blindness a secret, doesn’t tell Paddy the reason. Paddy is upset about his dog and Achilleus refuses to fight. About half of the fighter kids from the museum follow Achilleus’ lead and also refuse to fight.

The rest of The Twisted Kids leave the warehouse, including: TV Boy, The Warehouse Queen and Monstar. They head to the centre of London to help out in the great battle. They will use their skills, along with Fish-Face, Skinner and Wormwood to interfere with St. George’s signal. So that St George can’t communicate and control his army.

Minor character Yo-Yo dies when with Shadowman, Ryan and his hunters are travelling from Westminster Abbey to the Museums and come across a second army of St George’s. Shadowman blames himself for Yo-Yo’s death, as he’d promised to take her safely back to the Museums, but there was really nothing he could have done. When the leaders of the other kids meet again, to discuss this second army, they are understandably panicked. But they decide to stick with the original plan, despite David’s efforts to make them reconsider and make him their leader. David refuses to take orders from Jordan Hordern.

Paddy decides that he and the smaller kids, whom he has earlier trained and named ‘Young Bloods’ will go to join the battle. Small Sam and The Kid try to convince him that they’re only little, but Paddy wants to be a hero and won’t take no for an answer. Whitney has been charged to look after the small kids at the Museum. Whitney is telling Paddy that he and his group are not going out to fight, when she is called away because of an accident.

Paddy spots his opportunity and leads the small kids out. What follows is that a small group of grown-ups sent by St George to try and get Small Sam attack the young kids, resulting in the deaths of Paddy, Froggie, Zohra and Whitney. I liked Whitney’s character and it was one that I felt was underdeveloped. Still I was gutted that she died, especially because she died because of Paddy’s stupidity.

The sicko army move forward towards Jordan Hordern and the others camp. Jordan orders Ollie and the missile kids to launch their projectiles. David and Just John have set up their own camp, safe from the grown-ups having used Paul Channing to communicate with St George and broker a peace.

Achilleus is still refusing to fight. He finds out about Paddy’s death and is devastated. It is revealed that Achilleus is gay and fancies Will from the Tower. This is a disappointment to Jackson who fancies Achilleus, but they remain good friends.

Once the missile kids have launched everything they’ve got and the sicko army are pushing against the camps barricades, it’s the job of the fighters to strike down as many of the grown-ups as they can. Jordan instructs small openings to be made in the barricades at key times to act as a funnel, allowing a small number of grown-ups through to be cut down by fighters behind the barricades. Ollie and the missile kids job is then to pile up the dead grown-up bodies along a particular section of the barricades so that they can be set alight a further defence against the sicko army if required. It’s a long hard slog and by the end of the first day of the battle many kids are exhausted.

Jordan goes to speak to Achilleus and convinces him to fight. Jordan explains why he took Bright Eyes, revealing his secret to Achilleus. He picks up his spear and so do the other fighting kids at the Museum who follow him. Achilleus and Jackson make a great fighting duo.

David, frustrated that the kids are doing so well instructs Paul to tell the grown-ups to attack the weak point in Jordan and the others camp barricades. St George instructs the diseased adults to attack this point, but then The Twisted Kids and Wormwood interfere with his signals.

That night, Nicola goes to speak to David. She tells him that he’s on the wrong side. That he shouldn’t be with the grown-up’s but against them. She implores him to see reason and to join forces with Jordan. But David is more interested in speaking about their relationship. Nicola is brutally honest, goes to walk away and is shot in the back by David. She dies.

The next day Ben and Bernie set off car bombs made using cars provided by IKEA group and explosives from nearby stadiums that authorities had put there to dispose of the bodies, prior to the collapse of society.

Saif, the leader of the IKEA group, arrives with his fighters in cars at this vital point in the great battle. At the same time in David’s camp, Jester tells Paul to stop helping St George. Paul refuses and Jester kills him. But without Paul, the grown-up’s close to David’s camp soon target the camp. David’s barricades are no where near as good as Jordan’s and soon David’s camp is in chaos.

Just John along with his squatters seizes this opportunity to invade the Palace and successfully take it. They begin to casually destroy the Palace. Franny, a kid that had been a grower of food at the Palace looses her temper when the squatters start pulling up the crops. She kills John in a rage and the other squatters just laugh and continue their destruction.

Meanwhile David’s camp is overrun by adults and David and Jester both die. Their deaths are not stated but implied and they probably die by being torn apart by grown-ups.

Then Ed arrives with his army that he won in The Hunted. This changes the course of the battle and for the first time the kids realise that they are winning and can win. Ed kills St George. The remaining grown-ups are cut down by the army of the kids.

The last two chapters of the book are emotionally touching. In one Lettis is in the library with Chris Marker finally starts writing in her notebook, signalling that she is finally getting over her trauma and wants to contribute to the new recorded history. In the very final chapter, Small Sam is finally reunited with Ella, his sister.

At the end of the book is a timeline of events. The timeline clears up the order in which things happen and in which books they happen in, which is important as the books in the series were not written in chronological order and do jump along the timeline.

There’s an awful lot of characters in the series. All of the characters are well thought out. Just the sheer number of them means that some of the characters lacked growth.

Overall The Enemy Series is a brilliant series. Anyone into zombies will love the series. I will no doubt read the series from start to finish again.

Review soon,

Antony

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I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:


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