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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

First Contact & Brains

Today, because I'm pressed for time, I give you two quick reviews.

First up, is First Contact: Or It's Later Than You Think by Evan Mandery.  The blurb from the back:  

A satirical joyride in the tradition of Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams.  First Contact introduces us to the hyper-intelligent Rigelians, who admire Woody Allen movies and Bundt cake, and who urge the people of Earth to mend their ways to avoid destruction of their planet. But the President of the United States, a God-fearing, science-doubting fitness fanatic, is skeptical of the evidence presented to him and sets in motion a chain of events that will change the lives of his young attache, an alien scam artist, several raccoons, and a scientist who has predicted the end of the universe Parrot sketch excluded.

I think the one thing I should tell you about this book is that before I was halfway done with it, hubs asked to read it when I was done.  I can't remember him ever asking that before.  

What I liked about this book:  The President and his underwear obsession ESPECIALLY how he found the perfect pair.  Seriously, these parts made me laugh out loud, even if there were witnesses to give me the stink eye. I (discreetly) made sure they could see the front of the book...maybe they'd be curious enough to go look for the book.

This is a smart book. A relevant book.  Chock full of satirical references to things like lawyers, the PTA, and the general ineptitude of the US government.

I loved the dialogue, it was snappy and fun (especially Ralph & Jessica in the beginning).  I especially liked the ending - don't mess with the Rigelians is all I have to say.

The only negative thing I would have to say about this book is I'm not sure I understood/appreciated it as fully as I could have.  I think it is one that I'll have to read more than once to really get.

Next up:  

Brains a Zombie Memoir by Robin Becker.  The blurb:

College professor cum zombie Jack Barnes is a different breed of undead - he can think.  In fact, he can even write.  ANd the story he has to tell is a truly disturbing--yet strangely heartwarming--one.

Convinced he'll bring about a peaceful coexistence between zombies an humans if he can demonstrate his unique condition to Howard Stein, the man responsible for the zombie virus, Barnes sets off on a grueling cross-country journey to meet his maker.  Along the way he recruits a small army of "super" zombies that will stop at nothing to reach their goal.  There's Guts, the dreadlocked boy who can run like the wind; Joan, the matronly nurse adept at reattaching decaying appendages; Annie, the young girl with a fierce quick-draw; and Ros, who can actually speak.  United they embark on an epic quest to attain what all men, women--and, apparently, zombies--yearn for: equality.

Disclosure:  I've never read a zombie book before.  I've never even seen a zombie movie.  Nope, not Night of the Living Dead or any of the dozens of others out there.  I was (gasp) a total zombie virgin.

I read this on the plane to NYC, and I don't think the guy sitting next to me appreciated it.  The descriptions were rather grisly so quite a few "ewwwws" escaped.  Then, in the next paragraph I'd be laughing out loud.  There are so many puns in this book ranging from "I can't believe she went there" to "OMG that's awesome".  Some parts I had to read to my sister...there's only so many belly laughs you can emit before others get curious.

I thought I'd have trouble sympathizing with the zombies, I mean they're supposed to be the enemy, right?  I found I actually enjoyed watching them capture humans.  Grandpa and Grandma especially.  OH, and I loved it when they kidnapped their human chauffeur.  So, so funny!

If you like zombies, you'll love this book.  I'm giving my copy of Brains away in my Worst Day Ever contest. Click HERE for details.  I'd give away my copy of First Contact too--but I promised hubs he could read it so that will have to wait until he's done.

I'm currently reading Fool by Christopher Moore.  I LOVE his sense of humor! My favorite of his so far would be Lamb, but Fool is going to come in a close second.  

What are you reading today?


Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Ooh, good reviews.

I've had to shelve (pardon the pun) my reading for a while until I get my wip done. All I seem to be reading at the moment is my wip and my CP's manuscripts. Not that I'm complaining...they rock. :)

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

...and by rock I mean my CP's stuff. heehee

Dianne K. Salerni said...

These both sound like a lot of fun! Thanks for the reviews -- I've never heard of either of the. I'll check them out!

Carole Anne Carr said...

Loved both reviews, books well worth looking for. Thanks.

Lou Belcher said...

Thanks for the heads up ... I'm going to take a look at Frist Contact especially.... Love satire.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I just finished (at 11:30 last night) Nightshade City by Hilary Wagner. I loved it! It was amazing. You forgot it was a story about a city of rats living in the catacombs. It was full of great deep characters, lots of action and rats you just fell in love with. :) And of course a surprise at the end and a question... (WTG, H!)

Then I picked up Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Dog Days of Summer. (Several people on my blog said I should read it and use if for Macy's (puppies) story model.) I was a bit worried, because a few friends had said they didn't love it. But I thought it was soooo funny! I read for an hour after I finished Hilary's book...

OMGoodness, Vicki! Are you reading grown up books????

Dawn said...

Great reviews. My BF is a HUGE zombie fan and would love Brains. I'll have to pass that on to her - and encourage her to enter your contest :-)

I'm currently reading a Jennifer Rardin - and my own WIP. I pick up a Christopher Moore book every time I go to the book store - and then put it back because it SEEMS like something I'd like, but I'm hesitant. Your quick review of his writing in this post will likely push me towards actually buying one next time.

Jen Daiker said...

Great reviews!!! Definitely making it's way on my TBR list. Let's see here... what am I reading... Umm well nothing, I just put down Halo by Alexandra Adornetto and I'm now analyzing where to from here. Probably Oh.My.Gods by Tera Lynn Childs.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Those books sound like a hoot!

Talli Roland said...

Thank you for the reviews! :)

Shannon said...

Thanks for the reviews, Vicki! More to add to my list! =)

Julie Musil said...

The president obsessing over the right pair of underwear? Now THAT sounds like a good read.

I'm currently reading "The Preacher's Bride" by Jody Hedlund, fellow awesome blogger.

Anonymous said...

I've never read a Zombie book before, and am definitely interested in reading Brains. Thanks for the reviews! :)

Emy Shin (my new blog)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Dang chickie. You're a brilliant reviewer. I feel the need to check these out. These sound hilarious.

Carolyn V. said...

Those sound so fun! I'm almost through Paranormalcy. It's a good read for sure!

Clarissa Draper said...

THe first one sounds great! I want to look for it. I'm reading a McDermid and a great book by Deborah Crombie...they're mysteries.