The Longest Midnight is the debut war/horror novel of J.J. Fowler, and whatever you’re expecting from the title, don’t trust any preconceived notions just yet. From the cover on it presents a very realistic military atmosphere, but this story is something completely different. With one of the most original zombie plots I’ve read in a long time, Fowler brings the reader into a very bleak future.
The story takes place in the future, where the zombie apocalypse is part of everyday life. With only a fraction of the world population still managing to stay alive, they somehow try to recover from the devastation. Among the survivors is Joshua Drake, a veteran with very little lust for life. For him staying alive has become a job, because there’s not much else to look forward to. And if the zombies don’t get them, cancer just might.
However, somebody started taking control of the zombies. Now they walk around with weapons, becoming more dangerous because they don’t need to energize, or fear death for that matter. It’s up to Drake and his platoon to neutralize this superior threat from behind enemy lines. What seems like a suicide mission gains hope when another dangerous enemy joins the fight against the zombies.
First off, I think the setting of the story is particularly interesting, mainly because it goes beyond the typical outbreak and the mass hysteria. Of course, it’s not the first time this idea has been used, but Fowler brings a few other elements to the plot as well. For example, the enemy Drake is forced to trust. Unfortunately, it would be a spoiler to reveal them, but I can say that you won’t see it coming.
Another element he brings to the table is his rather detailed execution. He doesn’t miss the softer points of guts flying everywhere and blood seeping into the sand. In terms of writing style, he shows a clear direction of where he wants to take the reader and he doesn’t disappoint. Fowler makes sure terror is hovering around every corner, which leads to some nail-biting moments.
What I really like about the book is the pacing and the dominant character focus on Drake. Fowler uses this to get straight to the point, which worked perfectly with the premise of the story. If there is one area where I wasn’t completely sold, it would be some of the dialogue at certain sections. There were tiny moments where I lost the connection with the characters, but overall I was highly entertained and couldn’t wait to see how it ended.
For a debut, I’m definitely impressed, both by Fowler’s creativity and his ability to share it with his readers. He pays attention to key points, which is how he keeps you inside the futuristic wasteland. Recommendation wise, I think this is a story for the larger horror audience. It has the gore, it has the action, and Fowler is able to pull it off. Even readers who don’t particularly like zombies could find it very entertaining. I invite all the military action junkies to take a stab at this one as they should like it as well!
Reviewed by Damnetha Jules
Damnetha is a staff writer, horror book and movie critic.
Have you ever wondered what to expect when encountering a zombie? Most of us would jump to conclusions of violence or terror, but in this instance, we’d be wrong.She slowly approaches humans, reaching out a decomposing hand, gazing longingly into her eyes. She wants to be included. She thinks she’s the same. Her beauty shows, even as a corpse. Her eyes are a window to her soul. She wants to know why you’re screaming.She pauses as some run away in terror. Others stop and stare straight back, as she stops and watches their actions intently. However, the virus is easily spread. The virus that caused her to become a monster after her death. As she touches the skin of the humans she desperately wishes to befriend, she passes on her condition. It’s only a matter of time until they experience the same, painful fate and roam the land as zombies.It’s not her fault. She doesn’t understand.
The crisp air was filled with the smell of rotting flesh as the police wondered who could have committed such a violent crime. That was when they spotted him.He could have walked straight out of a comic book or vintage movie. Stumbling around, covered in decomposed flesh and moaning rather than talking, the classic zombie had come to life. He had explored the woods, lost, not capable of thought yet desperate for one thing – flesh. This creature knew nothing but evil and roared and bared his blood stained teeth as the community officers ran towards him. Upon realising they were not dealing with a human entity, they froze with fear as the zombie overpowered every one, violently ripping the flesh from their bones and gorging on their corpses.Those brave men lost their lives that night, yet the zombie lives on, ready to feast on another unwilling victim.
Some of our flaws follow us, even in death. She had been plagued with zits and boils her whole life and had despised every last one, up until her death. Now reanimated, several yellow zits remain on her skin, standing out in contrast to the decomposed flesh. Even as a zombie, the zits are an unwelcome feature.Feeling bitter, she preys on pretty girls. The girls with clear skin and long shiny hair. No matter how much they screamed, she would not be distracted from her mission, aiming to destroy them the way she had been. Their beauty would soon be taken from them, as she feasted on their flesh. To her, it’s simply justice.Her craving for blood and beauty will never fade, putting every girl in town at risk for ever more.
She has the most beautiful set of eyes anyone has ever seen. They speak of sophistication and sex appeal, which is exactly how she gets her victims to stay in one place long enough. Hidden behind a dark veil lies her rotten zombie smile, waiting for the moment to strike.
Nobody can anticipate what they will experience upon meeting her. While they are dreaming of getting lucky and coming out alive to tell the story, they are in fact devoured slowly and deliberately. She is in no hurry when it comes to dining on the flesh of a living human, especially if they scream until they finally pass out.
Sometimes she just hangs her victims upside down and cuts open a main vein then showers under the warm blood as it spews everywhere.
by Ivan Karhoff
Hello my victim
Bokor is looking for your soul
To be captured like mine
He’ll bottle it up
As zombie astral
For others to drink like wine
You’ll lose control
Of flesh and spirit
Just a corpse for servitude
They’ll have luck,
Healing and business success,
But you’ll see no gratitude
Now succumb to me
This isn’t a movie
Or a channel to change
It’s your human end
So join the ranks
Of Zombie Phalange
© Copyright 2014 HorrorPalace.com
The New World Horror is a full-length Wisconsin-based film shooting in the summer of 2014. A stylish take on the zombie genre, with a nostalgic feel and respect towards cinematic details, it tells the story of eight strangers who find life turned upside down when a demonic virus from hell transforms those at a local Tea Party rally into zombies. It’s Night of the Living Dead-meets-Evil Dead as the survivors band together to fend off the approaching End Times.
An eerie silence lies
In a dismal and dark graveyard
There lies a grisly and scary zombie
Who feast on human fingers and hands
Acting evil was his game
Only ate fingers that were yummy
Zombie worked best during a thick fog
Searched for victims who would jog
Threw them right into an abandoned van
To cause great distress and sorrow was his plan
Skulls are split and finger devoured
The Zombie’s voice echoed
Come to me, little mortal
I will bring you to heaven’s portal
There will be no pain and no sorrow
Feelings of happiness will follow
Come to me, sweet human thing
Give me your lovely hands and I will make it sing
Forget your fears
Forget your troubles
Forget your blood curdling screams
For your fingers are finger licking good
Hold very still and do not scream
There is no use putting up a fight
I will take your yummy blood and leave you dying
Do you think I could be lying?
“Slow Burn: Zero Day, book 1” is the first book in a series of 7 popular Zombie Apocalypse books that are becoming a modern classic!
Zed Zane isn’t looking forward to asking his mom and stepfather for yet another loan to cover his rent, which will be followed by an inevitable lecture about work ethic—but that particular dread is nothing compared with what he’ll face in the coming days. When he arrives at their house to meet them for lunch, he finds his stepfather having a zombie feast—in his mom’s corpse. Horrified and confused, Zed stabs his stepfather to death, but not before being bitten himself. He wakes up two days later to find his world–and eventually the world at large–in turmoil. After a brief stint in prison and then a quarantine ward, he sees the world go mad–a virus from Africa is spreading across Austin, turning its citizens in flesh-crazed monsters.
It turns out that Zed is a “slow burn”–someone who can be infected but may or may not turn. That adds a certain level of suspense to the story—will the character you come to know and root for become a mindless monster?—though most of what keeps the pages turning is the almost non-stop action, as Zed and a small band of others who aren’t infected try to get to safety and figure out how to survive in a world they could never have imagined.
While there’s been a resurgence in zombie novels lately, “Slow Burn: Zero Day, Book 1” stands out because it’s not just a tale of a survivor–it adds those who are immune to the mix, and the author has a great way with sensory detail that makes the novel come alive. There’s the grisly gore for those who like that in their horror novels, but there’s also excellent characterization (Jerome stands out as a surprising character) and a definite realism to the “flu” and how it affects society. Recommended for those who enjoy the zombie sub-genre, and for those who are looking for an exciting, action-filled read.
Reviewed by Jezelle McLeod
Jezelle is a staff writer and horror book critic.
More Horror Book Reviews
“Season of the Dead,” written in collaboration by Lucia Adams, Paul Freeman, Gerald Johnston and Sharon Van Orman is a moving book about an infection that is spreading all over the world through zombie bites. Taking place in various cities and countries, the book recounts the progression of the infection, how citizens attempt to protect themselves from being affected or live through the zombie apocalypse and how they try to stop the furthering of the illness. It is a high energy book that is filled with suspense, gore and action. Also, the authors’ writing styles align beautifully to come together as one cohesive feeling story. “Season of the Dead” is a must read book for those who enjoy zombie stories and action or thriller novels.
The book is based on an infection that is plaguing the world and wiping out populations. With a crescent shaped bite from a zombie, a person can be infected and there is no going back. Deaths are eminent, zombies are taking over and brutally killing people and populations are either seeing their demise or spending their days hiding in the safe quarters of locked up buildings. The world is a scary place and no one can understand how this infection came about or how to fix the problem. Friends, neighbours, and family are dying from brutal zombie attacks or turning to the dark side and it seems that there is no way to escape.
First, this book is very well written in that it is descriptive and the tone evokes strong emotions in its readers. Every single scene in the novel is accompanied by a solid description that allows readers to picture in their mind how what is taking place looks. Furthermore, the tone is always suited to the events in the novel and it successfully causes the reader to personally feel and connect to the plot. For example, hearing detailed descriptions of the attacks on victims and the sorrow that the living characters feel really does bring out emotions of compassion and sadness in the reader. In contrast, when zombie chases happen or the characters are discussing constant feelings of fear and confusion, this brings about suspense and excitement for the reader. The descriptive nature of the authors’ writing styles and the well suited tone throughout the book makes for an excellent reading experience.
Also, the actual idea behind the plot is fascinating. The ideas are well developed and the book continues to revisit situations in four cities in particular around world. In those locations, we learn more and more about what is going on and begin to see a fuller picture in terms of the scale of the infection. As people, the notion that something like a zombie apocalypse or any Armageddon-like situation could ever occur seems nearly impossible. This book does an incredible job of bringing to life an event that seems far from believable and making it feel realistic. After reading this book, I am a new fan of zombie stories.
In summary, I would definitely recommend the book “Season of the Dead,” written by Lucia Adams, Paul Freeman, Gerald Johnston and Sharon Van Orman. It is an excellent story about an infection that is spreading across the globe after being brought on by zombies. The authors do an excellent job of working together to write a cohesive story that captures the emotions and attention of readers. Also, the plot is interesting from beginning to end, bringing its readers into an imaginative and unthinkable world where zombies are real and the world is in turmoil. This was a fantastic read and is a great book for any readers who enjoy zombie stories, action or thriller type novels.
Reviewed by Damnetha Jules
Damnetha is a staff writer, horror book and movie critic.
More Horror Book Reviews
IN ROBIN CAMPILLO’S DARKLY ORGINAL THE RETURNED, THE LIFE OF A FRENCH TOWN IS CHANGED FOREVER WHEN THOUSANDS OF THE RECENTLY DEAD INEXPLICABLY COME BACK TO LIFE.
The recently dead return to life and seem content merely to go back to their former lives, but their return causes a myriad of complications. Isham and Véronique have their trepidations, but they’re generally happy, at first, to see their little boy Sylvain, and the town’s elderly mayor welcomes home his wife, Martha. But Rachel, a government health official, cannot bring herself to visit her newly returned husband, Mathieu, at the ad-hoc shelter where the government houses the "zombies" like refugees. Eventually, she relents, and Mathieu returns home, but the living find that their loved ones are not exactly as they remember them. Studies soon reveal that the dead suffer from a form of aphasia. They cannot create new memories, and they cannot be trusted to perform any but the most menial tasks. Perhaps sensing the discomfort they cause the living, the dead gather together at night, and seem to be formulating some kind of secret plan.
Director: Robin Campillo
Cast: Géraldine Pailhas, Jonathan Zaccaï, Frédéric Pierrot
Price: $12.99 (Estimated)
Language: French (English subtitles)
Distributor: Arrow Films
THE RETURNED is out on DVD Monday, July 22nd, 2013, courtesy of Arrow Films. Don’t miss it!