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Often, my writer friends will worry themselves that their first lines are not good enough and I will often point out to them, that I do not think first lines matter. However, I want to renege on that stance, or at least the general sentiment. After reading the first line of Araminta Star Matthew’s book Blind Hunger, I was a convert to the important first lines club. The very first line of the story is, “Patricia pressed her head into the plastic cocoon-hood of her Hazmat suit before sealing it shut around her collar bone.” I wanted to know what the author had planned for next.

The story is a great teen centered zombie apocalypse. Now, I know you cringe when I say teen centered, you think of pale-yet-sparkly teen vampires and listless teen girls but this story is far from that. It actually celebrates the unique viewpoints of youth. Kind of, like how John Hughes did not pander to us fans of 80’s coming of age films, this story reads true to the character.

What I also like is that the book is clearly written by a fan of the eventual zombie apocalypse, there is a back story to the whole thing that is as far from the cliché as they come. It is in fact how I imagine the start of the eventual zombie apocalypse, in a way, I had not thought of it as happening exactly the way Araminta wrote it. In fact, Ms. Matthews is a self-described zombie enthusiast, her inspiration for the story came from her and her partner “develop[ing] zombie apocalypse survival plans.” She said, “one day while we were examining the efficacy of taking shelter in a window-less Mason’s Lodge, I began to wonder how the very young and the very old would survive against zombies.” Like all good writers she thought on it more and then as she states, “it occurred to me that many probably wouldn’t, and then I started to imagine how it would work if all the adults became zombies and children had to survive against it.”

It being the holiday season, this book is perfect for a teen that refuses to read or the Zombie fan in your life (regardless of how old they might be). Here is a little blurb that Ms. Matthew wrote up:

Blind Hunger follows a gang of youth as they battle against an onslaught of zombie adults in this zombie apocalypse tale. Featuring a nine-year-old genius, sarcastic Goth tweenager, a rebellious young teen, and a picture-perfect jock young adult, this book has been described as “Breakfast Club with zombies” by reviewers. It’s the classic hero’s quest, this time with dead things trying to eat children. Fun for the whole family!

It is a definite must buy for gifts and for yourself. I gave this book 4 out of 5 because I thought the book was awesome and would definitely recommend it to my friends and family, and even buy a couple for gifts this year.

You can like the book on Facebook here, and check out the authors website www.aramintastar.com. In addition, you can purchase the book for Kindle or print on Amazon.com. It’s also available for purchase on Smashwords and Barnes and Noble.

There’s also a game called Survive (pictured below) based on Blind Hunger. You can find that also on Araminta’s website.


I will admit that this is not the type of book I would normally pick up in the store. I have a tendency of judging books by their covers, which is in direct opposition to the old adage admonishing against such behaviour. It isn’t even that the cover of the book is bad, It’s a great cover, in fact, I’d probably thumb through it a little before I ended up buying something else, all the while wishing I had purchased this book. I have a habit of staying in the wonderfully expansive and quite perfectly adequate albeit stagnant pool of classic literature. I do it because there is no way I’ll ever be able to read every single book that ever came out by all the authors I’d wish to read, so I stay there not growing into the realm of new and interesting and wonderful new books.

This book stopped me from doing that. I picked up this book and read the entire thing in one sitting. I hadn’t done that since I read Nathan Englander’s the 27th Man. The book is a collection of short stories written by Teresa Milbrodt an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and English at Western State College of Colorado. The book centers around people who would have been relegated to freak shows in days past but now live their lives in an ordinary world with extraordinary bodies. The First story of the book centers around a woman who is trying to conceive a child; however, she also has a parasitic twin. You can check out the sample of the First Chapter on Amazon.com.

The stories are amazing. Each one is an everyday story about a problem that almost any of us can face, trying to conceive, debt, abusive partners and more all the while telling the stories of freaks, or characters from myths. The writing is concise, straight the point, and doesn’t put on any airs. Often, a problem of writers who have gone through Creative Writing Masters of Fine Arts programs have a problem writing real timeless stories. Milbrodt avoids most of those pitfalls and just writes a good story. I wasn’t particularly fond of all the stories and a few characters seemed not to act in accordance to their written personality but we all have faults. I give this story a 4 out of 5.

The book is for sale at ChiZine Publications as well as Amazon.com
for both paperback and ebook copies.

Disclosure: I received a promotional copy of this book from NetGalley.com. This has in no way influenced my review and my assessment is my fair and honest opinion. Additionally, some links may contain affiliate marketing links, however as stated previously, I am in no way unfairly biased by these claims and only endorse products (books, movies, and more) that I believe in.


Ten Plagues is a new book from Mary Nealy the suspense pen name of Mary Connealy, a Christian Western Romance author. The book revolves around a series of murders by a serial killer that is working off the ten plagues that the bible features in Exodus. You may remember them from such films as The Reaping with Hilary Swank and The Prince of Egypt with Val Kilmer.

I had received this book for review and I was hopeful for it. Although, as is seen from my affiliations in my sidebar, I am a Non-Believer (read: atheist) I actually enjoy Christian books and movies. My favorite type of Christian fiction is this type of Christian story.

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