Meankitty “Bad Libs” Review: Alien Promise by Missy Lyons

Recently I had the heated sensation of reading ALIEN PROMISE by Missy Lyons. I do like me some heated things. In particular, I like waiting for the humans to finally fall asleep and then lounging upon their heated stomachs, pinning them in the bed so they wake up stiff and sore. I also like the heat vent, but I believe I already discussed that in my last review.

I read a lot of expository nonfiction, because I’m badass like that, so this SF Romance was a yellow change of pace. Know what else is yellow? Pee. And bananas. I don’t like bananas but peeing, especially on the clean laundry when the human has been bad, is a very, very handy control tactic to knock humans back in line. In some ways this book reminded me of the extremely freaky Hans My Hedgehog (http://www.amazon.com/Hans-My-Hedgehog-Brothers-Grimm-ebook/dp/B007NM46A8/)  except with adult characters faced with politely bewildered situations. Personally, Hans the Hedgehog rudely bewilders me. It’s some dude named Hans who’s half hedgehog, half person. Can you imagine? Freaky, right? Why would anyone want to be half hedgehog when they could be half, or all, cat?

But that’s not the book I’m reviewing today. ALIEN PROMISE starts off with Ryder and Saber Rhoma faced with a tattered challenge. This challenge has been tossed, again and again, at many people, and it’s tattered and worn when Ryder and Saber get their turn to attack it. It’s not unlike the corner of the couch where I like to sharpen my claws. Right now the humans have a slipcover hiding the mangled part of the couch, but they don’t realize I know how to get UNDER the slipcover, which was hardly a “challenge” for me!

Both characters I just mentioned behave eagerly about this tattered challenge. I guess they think something tattered will be easy and they want to show off. When Lily Madison is introduced, in a scene involving hopping, the plot really starts to get insidious. Insidious like bunnies. I know those damn bunnies in my yard are up to something. First there’s one. Then there’s another. Then there’s a bunch more, all hopping around and staring at me through the glass of the back door. Hopping? Is not a good sign.

Lily is slowly no Lady Gaga. It takes Lily a while to figure out what to wear on her insidious, hopping adventure, and she doesn’t pick the meat suit, like that Gaga chick, which is a disappoiontment to me, because meat! The author missed a huge opportunity there to reference pop culture, which I hear readers like, and please me as a feline.

And don’t even get me started about Girvan Lee, the villain of the piece. The involvement of Girvan in the narrative will leave readers infected. I’m sorry to say, but by the time you get to Girvan, it will be too late for you. If you’re human. As a cat I was able to resist. The story carelessly continues, infecting readers right and left, until it seems all zombie cats are lost, but not the zombie humans, who are the readers–which explains the type of infection we’re dealing with here. The ending of the story will hunt you, like Darryl Dixon with a big axe and a gun, because you’re a zombie now.

I do want to say a word about the pace of the book. It was like riding in a Jeep Wrangler soft top with a driver who is honest on a road that winds through a sinkhole. The driver is all like, “HEY, watch out, this huge sinkhole ahead is really going to bust your ass!” and you’re all like, “DUDE, don’t drive in a sinkhole, it will break the axle as well as my ass,” but the driver is so honest, he feels compelled to do it anyway, and soon you’re minus one Jeep and you have a busted tailbone. Not that I would ride in a Jeep, but you might, and that’s what the pace of this story is like. Honestly ass busting zombie infecting fun.

If you are looking for a way to spend four hours, this book is definitely an option. The characters and plot are so grumpy compared to other books on the market today. I don’t think the characters appreciate it when the zombie cats start getting killed left and right, because even zombie cats are better than dogs, so their quest ramps up at that point. Granted, the feline content in the book was hardly infinity–and they WERE zombies–but no author is completely cheap. In fact, I’d say the author spent a lot on this book since it does have the power of zombie infection. Hopefully you’ll get to the end before your eyeballs rot out. Otherwise there’s that whole hunting thing.

All in all, ALIEN PROMISE is a rebellious tale about being pleased as punch, shooting at stuff (probably zombies) and contagions. You will not be enraged if you pick this one up! Unless you’re that rage type of zombie, instead of the slow, shambling type.

Rating: Infinite balls of yarn (sounds like my human’s attic) and an American lasagna (which isn’t as good as Italian lasagna, I hear)

Sincerely,

Meankitty + the Zombie Typing Human, oops, sorry about that…perhaps there needs to be a sequel with the cure, Ms. Lyons?
www.meankitty.com  * www.jodywallace.com

Snippet Saturday: Author’s Choice, and I Choose Zombies

Snippet Saturday is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors selects thematic excerpts from their work and shares them on Saturday mornings. This week the theme is author’s choice, and as my schtick at the blog this week has been amigurumi zombies…zombiegurumis…I thought I’d share a contest judging workshop sample I foisted upon my unsuspecting chaptermates when I was running the Melody of Love contest in 2010 or thereabouts. I am usually put in charge of this venture, and I usually create a LOVELY writing sample for my judges to test their skills on. In 2010, one of our members, who loves zombies and wrote a master’s thesis about them, had just gotten married. Her name is Gretchen (http://www.gretchenstull.com/). Please note that any so-called errors in the following sample were intended to challenge my judges. Read on…

***

Gretchen’s Dream Wedding By Candee Romero

“Gretchen, Gretchen, I love you!” Nick screamed, as his beloved, ebon-haired bride was dragged off the alter by the brain starved hungry zombies. “Noooooooo!”

“This can’t be happening, zombies are not real!”

But they were.

“Nick, save me!” Gretchen cried out but it was too late. A Zombie sank its teeth into her beautifully bared shoulder in the spring green off the shoulder gown she’d found in a designer clearing house for only thirty-five dollars though it retailed for over two hundred.

Now her gown was ruined … and so was her life.

No one, not in the least the eighteen wedding guests had expected the sweet, yet informal, New Orleans, Louisiana ceremony to erupt into a gore filled Day of the Dead. It was in the daytime, which is why it was Day of the Dead instead of Dawn of the Dead or Night of the Living Dead, even though Dawn of the Dead or Night of the Living Dead are considered Romero’s stronger works. Gretchen wretchedly dwelled on why it couldn’t be Shawn of the Dead so at least it would be funny as she felt the zombie germ begin to transform her. The question was, would the zombies eat her brains before she turned into a zombie herself or would she be eating brains before that happened?

Gretchen and Nick had been together for years and had decided to formalize their
relationship which was spawned and begun over a shared love of hot dogs vendors, who curse, Zombie movies and each other.

Their love was true but it could not survive the Wedding of the Living Dead.

“Nick oh, Nick!” Gretchen heard his sainted old mother cry out. A zombie who used to be the minister or priest, she forgot which because a small chunck of her brain was missing was rapaciously grasping for the old woman. The wedding guests tried to save her but the zombie had bit down already, there was no saving her.

She began to quiver and shake, the sure sign of the transformation plus a little sweat as her skin took on that distinctive green hue. Many feel the green hue is decomposition but really it is part of the incurable zombie virus. Incurable as far as we know. Sort of like with Fifth disease you get red cheeks and they call it Slap Face or the Old Wives do.

The poor old wife began to moan and her eyes hollowed out into brain craving, she rose to her feet shakily and held out her arms to her beloved delicious son.

“Niiiiiiiiicholas, come and give your mother a bite!” Zombies normally cannot talk but they might a little at first before the total transformation which varies from person to person and how dead and corpselike they are to start with, which Nick’s mother was not. So it was possible she would keep talking and saying such creepy shit for a good long time.

Gretchen hoped not. She wondered if she would have to shoot Nick’s mother in order to save the other wedding guests. At least she could go down in a blaze of glory.

The wedding was out of doors at the Columns Hotel which was now in flames, and the sun was hot. The stench of putrid zombie flesh should have warned them of the apocalypse upon them but they just thought it was a normal New Orleans thing. Much of New Orleans was now in chaos as the zombie herds roared, through the grand old city. It wasn’t like hurricane Katrina, it was more devastating. Zombies didn’t like water and wouldn’t go anywhere near the levees, as they heard those dam things are unsafe.

The wedding guests raced into the nearest safe building which was a Starbucks. There were other human survivors in there who didn’t want to let them in, but one look at poor Gretchen in her bloody dress who had the worst wedding day ever changed their minds and they let them in. They did not yet know Gretchen was infected and Gretchen hadn’t told anyone after she’d kicked the zombie’s head in and gotten away. She could still be of use fighting off zombies long enough for her family and husband of two minutes could escape on a houseboat. She would sacrifice herself happily since she was dommed anyway.

“Nick I still love you!” she screamed as she barred the door against the reaching zombie hands and gaping maws. There were a lot of glass windows in here. “We have to put more chairs in front of the windows and door!” she yelled to rally the troops who were huddled behind the barista counter. “Nick stop drinking that double espresso, this is not the time!”

Nick leapt over the counter and picked up a bench in a rush of adrenalin to help bar the door with his courageous wife. Never had he loved her so much! She knew so much about zombies, he thought, that she was unafraid while everyone else cowered behind the barista counter, even though it was safer there or in the storage room in back which didn’t have glass windows. He hoped the zombies wouldn’t throw stones but they were pretty dumb.

Except his mother. How it had torn him up inside to see his mother turn into a ravening zombie! She would as soon eat his brains as congratulate him for being married or even pester him about grandchildren. With the apocalypse upon them the world would never be the same.

Somebody behind the barista counter started calling everyone they knew to find out how far the apocalypse had spread and dial 911. There was no answer, just static crackle. But how could the zombies be intelligent enough to take down cell towers? Unless they were the fabled…smart ones. Luckily the fast ones were only a myth, but the smart ones…now those were dangerous. From the glint in his mother’s eye he feared she would be the smart one and lead the zombies into the Starbucks for their dinner….on her own family.

Proving him right about his mother, she was the first to cast a stone at the glass where the zombies had all just been pressing grotesquely against it. Licking and clawing.

“Nick, your mama!” Gretchen screamed seeing the danger.

The rock flew threw the glass and hit a barista in the head who went down like a rock.

The zombies started pounding on the glass and Nick’s mother kept throwing rocks. “We must make a stand in the store room and then seek out a mode of transportation! The water is the only thing that can save us now!” Gretchen rallied the troops behind the barista counter so everyone started running for the storeroom as the final glass windows shattered like a thousand points of blood spattered out of a gunshot wound to the neck.

“Nicky,” his mother said, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it!”

“No Mother, Gretchen is my life now, those apron strings no longer work!” Gretchen and Nick, holding hands which made Nick’s mother growl ran for the store room, Gretchen was limping but told Nick it was glass that had cut her from the bursted windows not about the bite.

They made it to the store room alive with the hoard of monsters on their heels moaning slowly, proving there were no fast ones or else they may not have made it to the store room.

“We need to find a cure,” Gretchen panted as they held the door. “Or the zombies will overrun the world. Do we know any biochemists?”

“I am studying for my final exam in biochemistry!” Shouted one of the baristas. “I was working here to pay off my tuition.”

“Good, then we have to keep you alive. You and the children. Everyone else is expendable.” Gretchen explained the plan to everyone of how they’d escape to a remote island on a life raft or houseboat using short wave radios to tell other survivors to do the same.

“Not you, my darling,” Nick gave Gretchen a long soul-stirring kiss since the zombies had interrupted that part of the ceremony. “I do I do I do.”

“I do too this last time,” Gretchen had to break off the kiss before too much of her saliva got into his mouth. She was infectious. “But I have to tell you…”

She was too late. She fell to her knees and shuddered. Perspired. Her skin began to take on a ghastly green hue that was absolutely nothing like her beautiful green dress.

“My love!” Nick cried out. “Not you too!”

Nick’s mother banged on the door. “I hear you in there. Come out of there right now young man, and let me have some braiiiiiins!”

“I….love you,” Gretchen managed to say one final time before going into the final coma.

“I can’t live without you…so I won’t.” Nick held his strong wrist to Gretchen’s slightly drooling mouth, ripping open his vein with her teeth and sharing their bodily essence. “I promised you in sickness and in health until death do us part, but that isn’t long enough for me. Now we can be together in undeath!”

As Nick began to feel the convulsions begin to take him, he held the door and his slavering zombie bride, allowing the last best hope of humanity to escape out of the back of Starbucks with his last gasp of humanity. But when he rose, holding out his mottled hand for his bride, he and Gretchen were at last together…forever.

The End….or is it?

***

You can find more of my horrible romance parodies here: http://www.jodywallace.com/samples.htm
If you want to see all the zombiegurumi and their stories, click here:  http://blog.jodywallace.com/search/label/zombies

Jody W.
www.jodywallace.com  * www.meankitty.com

What will the other Saturday Snippet authors choose to share?

Megan Hart:Read in bed!
Leah Braemel
Eliza Gayle
Mandy M Roth
Lissa Matthews
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
Shiloh Walker
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Lauren Dane
Shelli Stevens

Zombie Ted, Farmer

Farmer Ted was out tending the chickens on his organic farm when the zombies caught him. Because he’d never used pesticides, herbicides or hormones in his farm or his life, there were almost no barriers to the zombie virus that flooded his bloodstream.

That’s right–Farmer Ted became a dreaded “fast one”. He quickly realized bird brains weren’t nutritious enough to satisfy his new craving for organ meat and set out for the house.

On the minus side, his family had no warning and didn’t have time to escape. On the plus side–for human survivors–while the lack of preservatives allowed him to zip around like a hummingbird at first, he’ll deteriorate faster than other zombies.

Jody W & Meankitty
www.jodywallace.com  * www.meankitty.com

Zombie Manuel

(Zombie Manuel, not to be confused with zombie manual, which is more of a how-to book for the undead.)

It took Manuel, a wealthy, successful banker, a couple weeks to realize he was a zombie, turned a month after the onset of the Zombie Apocalypse. Not only did he think the apocalypse was a hoax, but he didn’t find it that unusual when one of his customers leapt across the desk and bit him when he rejected her for a loan.

Now that he understands his undead destiny, he thinks you should make a deposit…in his bank for BRAINS.

Jody W & Meankitty
www.jodywallace.com  * www.meankitty.com

Zombie Grandma

Grandma loves you, you little whippersnapper, and she is not happy that you haven’t been to visit her in six months. When you finally trek across country, dodging gangs and hordes and snipers, to rescue her after the Zombie Apocalypse hits, you may be in for a surprise.

Come closer to where she sits in her rocking chair. What big, buggy eyes you have, Grandma. What…moldy green hair you have, Grandma. What is that in your mouth, Grandma? GRANDMA!

Jody W & Meankitty
www.jodywallace.com  * www.meankitty.com  

Zombie Teresa

Poor Teresa. She’d always been a bridesmaid, never a bride. Which was fine by her until she met Max and realized they were meant to be. The wedding would have been glorious, too, if it weren’t for the fact it was located at ground zero of the Zombie Apocalypse. For better or for worse, in sickness and in health…and in death they parted. Mostly because Teresa ate Max’s brain.

Jody W. & Meankitty
www.jodywallace.com * www.meankitty.com

Zombie Darrell

The front line of defense against the Zombie Apocalypse, the United States military was only able to stem the horde for a week before it broke through. And now, zombies like former army sniper Darrell have the training, the skill, and the commitment to shamble their way across all fifty states, proving once and for all that undead enlisted men eat more brains before nine AM than most zombies eat all day.

I requested that anyone who scores one of the zombies keep us informed of their further post-mortem adventures, whether photographically or otherwise. Sure hope some of the winners do 🙂

Jody W. & Meankitty
www.jodywallace.com * www.meankitty.com

Because one Darrell just isn’t enough, here he is being sneaky:

Zombies Will Eat Your Yarny Brains

At the upcoming Authors After Dark convention (http://www.authorsafterdark.org/) in August 2012, fellow author and zombie apocalypse expert TJ Michaels (http://www.tjmichaels.com/) is giving away some amazing gift baskets full of literary, zombierary, and other assorted loot. In the spirit of how awesome this conference is, I have contributed several zombie amigurumis to the baskets that participants can possibly win, if they’re very, very lucky.

Here’s a couple group shots:

How terrified would YOU be if you saw this horde coming to eat your brains??

Here they were waiting patiently, with only a few protesting moans due to hunger, to be tucked into the box I mailed to TJ.

Thought you might want to get a better picture of their ravenous faces, so we did a little non-aquatic water ballet and snapped this shot.

Stay tuned this week as we feature each of these evil amigurumi (which are based on the patterns in this book: http://www.amazon.com/Creepy-Cute-Crochet-Christen-Haden/dp/1594742324 with necessary modification). Zombies aren’t just faceless, moaning monsters. Every zombie has a story.

Jody W. & Meankitty
www.jodywallace.com * www.meankitty.com