Saturday, 15 February 2014

Book Review: A Dead Horse Named Caleb by LR Currell

In book two of the tasty trio series, the three survivors are again on the run. This time not just from zombies but also from the cannibalistic redneck psycho named Hank. They barely escaped from the farm with all their body parts and things went pear shaped when they departed.

Hank is on a revenge mission bringing the wrath of hell with him as he rides atop his zombie horse. His father's old glue nag, now bitten, provides the perfect vehicle to facilitate his murderous plot. The horse never gets tired and while it smells bad, doesn't pose a threat as long as the electrical tape around it's snout holds.

Buck, his wife and his sister continue their journey south to Mexico. There's no time for regrets they realize as they haul ass towards the place they have heard is a safe haven for those still living. Hank is coming for them and knows where they are heading. With his devious mind at work, Hank delivers unexpected tactics which coupled with unrivaled determination drive his quest to make the three suffer.


My Review:
*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Buck, Tammy and Denny have managed to escape from Hank but he is determined to track them down and make them pay. Armed with weapons, a zombie horse, and a series of evil plans, Hank will stop at nothing to get his revenge. And there are still the zombies to worry about...

Lets start with the good things in the book. I liked the whole idea of the zombie horse and how it was encouraged to move forward. Caleb was interesting and unexpected though I expected him to feature more and maybe bite a few people with the title of the book being about him! Hank is a good character, like a pantomime villan so it was good to see him getting a decent amount of coverage, along with his twisted plans. The zombie attacks as always are satisfying and well written with tension and gore, and of course the zombies manage to mess up everyone's plans, as would happen in real life. I also liked the twist when the gang decided to hunt down and kill Hank. You had a feeling that it was going to happen with the groundwork that the author was laying but it was nicely done and sets up a good cliffhanger.

Erica was a pretty annoying addition as her judgement was sorely lacking throughout. Despite Hank's less than enthusiastic welcome, she is suddenly debating a relationship with him almost minutes later, then changing her mind about him every 5 seconds. She reminds me of the typical dumb female in a horror film! This was just a minor niggle and didn't effect my thoughts on the book though.

But I did have an issue with the book that caused me to mark it down. I had read and liked the first book in this series and the author warned me that it would come to a sudden stop because it was 'to be continued' and that was ok with me. So I expected this book to pick up where the last one left off in the middle of the gang's escape from Hank and his mad brother. But when I started reading it, it had jumped ahead in the plot to Hank and his horse chasing the gang. It was a bit of a let down to me that we didn't get to see the rest of the escape as I had been enjoying that section the most in book one. Yeah we get a paragraph later on explaining how the gang escaped and what happened to Hank's brother but it wasn't a satisfying resolution to what had been an exciting escape. I know that the author has chosen to do the book this way for his own creative reasons but it kinda feels like being handed a zombie novel with pages or chapters missing at the most inappropriate times. As a reader it just didn't work for me.

Judging by the cliffhanger at the end, I feel that the same device may be used for book 3 which is putting me off a bit. I like a story that flows nicely and shares all the action with the reader either in real time or in fully developed flashbacks. The author is a good storyteller with some excellent ideas but he does have a tendency to cut away from the scenes that you want to see all of, in favour of something else that slows the book down a bit. That can be a little frustrating for me.

Overall this is still a decent read and if you don't mind the plot gaps and like your zombies, you'll probably enjoy it.
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

4 comments:

  1. I am wondering how I can get you to review a book or two of mine? twitter: @Nessness67 or vaanney37@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks for your interest but I only review certain genres-horror, urban fantasy, dystopian and paranormal. Sorry!

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  2. I am not a fan of plot gaps but I have to admit, this seems interesting.

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    1. Book one is called Confessions of a red neck zombie killing psycho, if you wanted to check the series out.

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