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March 7, 2012

Bewitching Book Tours: A Zombie Story and Dead Relatives by MM Shelley – Review, Guest Post, & Giveaway

Thanks for stopping by the blog for my Tour Stop for
The Zombie Story and Dead Relatives by MM Shelley
Make sure to enter to win a KINDLE TOUCH at the end of the post!

Unfolding on the streets of Los Angeles is a new breed of monster…

Orlando, fresh from the mid west, arrives at his new high school on his Harley Davidson. All he wants is to make it through the day, and begin his training as a Zombie Hunter.But someone has different plans for him.

The Zombie Story is the first novella in a young adult series.

 

Review:
I didn’t really know what to expect from The Zombie Story. I knew it was the first novella in a series, that it was about zombies (obviously), but other than those two things I was taking a shot in the dark. As I began reading the novel I was wondering one thing: What sets The Zombie Story apart from other zombie stories. Since as most of you should know, there are a lot of them.  Well there is a long list of reasons why this novella sets the bar far from other zombie based stories: The world is still normal and not dystopian. Not everybody knows about the existence of zombies. And did I forget to mention the part where everybody is tested to see just how powerful their magick is?
Yes, I just said that: Magick. With a capital (well actually lower case) K.  In the wonderful world of The Chronicles of Orlando everybody on planet Earth has magical powers but to some extent and our MC Orlando is yet to be tested.
When I began reading the novel I found it well written and interesting. Poor Orlando being forced to move to L.A. and then seeing a zombie get killed on his first day in town. Sure it doesn’t sound like a great way to start the day, but it was a great way to start a novel (la).  As the story progressed I did notice the way the building of characters and the way that the Zombie Hunter’s worked, but like any story you need a bad guy! And in The Zombie Story our bad guy is Maxwell who came off as unpredictable and like a mad-scientist. Not to mention that the other main bad guys in the story were the zombies themselves, who (contrary to popular belief) are still semi-intelligent?  
While I did hope that maybe we would get to see some romance (because come on who doesn’t like a little bit of romance?) I did think that when Orlando was around our main female character Elodie that their friendship could definitely change into something more and what the note that The Zombie Story ends on, I wouldn’t ignore the idea.
As for the ending, it totally left you waiting for the sequel with their being so many lose ends and so many more people left to die…

After discovering what was hidden in Mexico and having to sneak back across the border Orlando returns to Los Angeles, but is unable to return to his home.

Instead of hunting Zombies he is now hunted.

Betrayed by those he thought he could trust, Orlando must keep the truth of what he knows to himself.

That is until dead relatives return with dire warnings.

Review:

Yay!!! The sequel to The Zombie Story! I will say firsthand that it delivered a lot more than I expected. I felt like it really filled in the shoes that The Zombie Story left behind.  Dead Relatives gave me everything I was hoping it would give me after the key that The Zombie Story came to a close with.           
I will admit that I wasn’t expecting much, maybe a few zombies getting slayed and then watching Orlando deal with some crucial and world risking place. But no, instead I get a full out action novel where Orlando and his Zombie Hunter buddies, Elodie, Michael and Rubin (sorry if I forgot the rest of the gang). For most of the novel, we get to watch out main character and his dynamic crew-o search for the fifth (did you see what I did there?).  While the group does come across the fifth who is a creepy dude named Mr. Jefferies, they end up with the sudden realization that there is something a whole lot deeper, darker and edgier going on.
By that, I mean that everything we knew from The Zombie Story gets bumped up a notch. The bad guys are proven to be a whole lot more powerful. The zombies are bigger, faster and stronger and the supernatural ability portion of the novel is even more clearly expressed. Did I forget to mention the part where zombie bulls come in? Well I did now: Zombie. Bulls.  You can do the math about why that’s a really bad combination right? While I did say that the zombies are a lot badder, so are the bad guys. Can you imagine that? Badder Bad Guys. It’s a nightmare! And so, our group of favorite and trusted main characters go on a quest to stop the mysterious corporation known as Lexicon as well as figure out just what Warehouse One was used for and what really went on inside of it…
Oh and our lovely MC Orlando is beginning to become a lot more than just a Wizard, he’s also starting to see ghosts and not just Fernie. He’s starting to see departed family members and not just his own kin, but his friends as well.  Orlando seeing “dead relatives”… Coincidence? I think not.

From the Author – M.M. Shelley:
Hi Everyone! I’m M.M. Shelley and I’d like to give a BIG thanks to Maryann and Gabrielle, for having me on their blog today so that I can share my books:
The Zombie Story & Dead Relatives
Its about Magick and Zombies, it’s a little different take on the Zombie genre and follows Orlando as he arrives in a new city.
Zombie Story
It was the oddest looking school he had ever seen. Orlando knew Los Angeles was going to be a strange place. He had just not figured it would be strange in so many ways.
Orlando rode up on his Harley Davidson Sportster. It had only needed a few minor repairs. He added oil, replaced a few parts and managed to get it running. His grandfather had warned him of the dangers of the motorcycle; emphasizing that the guy at the junk yard had told him about the motorcycle’s very dark history. He did not go into detail, but in a very serious tone had stated that Orlando’s mother would not approve.
His grandfather had been correct, his mother did not approve. His father on the other hand, thought it was an amazing ride and had helped him with the repairs.
His school was divided into parts along a jagged hill. The parking lot was located at the bottom of that hill. The hike up was not too bad. It gave him a chance to look things over. Get the lay of the land.
 He could not help but notice the peculiar looks that he got as he made his way up the hill. He thought it might be the odd looking object he had wrapped into a black binding that was creating the interest. He had rigged his sword to his backpack. It was awkward but he didn’t feel good without it around. Not after the attack he had experienced. He figured that if anyone asked him about it, he would just say it was for his fencing lessons after school.
He heard the other students comment about him as he made his way up the hill. None of them seemed to care if he heard them or not.  Orlando didn’t care either. They could think whatever they wanted.
He walked into the main office; an older woman was seated at the front desk. She was typing on the computer and speaking on an earpiece as he approached her. The back wall was lined with empty chairs.
The woman looked up as Orlando approached. She had black hair with silver streaks and she wore colored contacts that made her eyes look like a cat’s.
She held out a hand to Orlando, motioning for him to wait while she finished. Her nails had been manicured into pointed tips and were painted gray.
Pressing a button on her earpiece, she ended her phone conversation. “You are?” she asked, not looking at him. Her attention focused on the computer in front of her.
“Orlando Drake,” he said. He noticed that the others in the office were trying to make themselves look busy while they surreptitiously watched him.  They weren’t any good at it. They were all dressed oddly– like characters from an emo musical. Also, he couldn’t help but notice that even the guys wore makeup. He returned his gaze to the lady at the desk.
“Drake, Orlando, hmm, where are you in the computer?” she asked, as she typed in his name again. “Let me have your I.D. card or drivers license.”
The moment he handed over his license she jumped from her chair and ran into a backroom.
When she disappeared, one of the emo kids cautiously walked over to him. He tried not to look at her. He tried to keep his focus on the door through which the woman from the front desk had disappeared. He was not successful for long.
“Hi,” she said with a crack in her voice. “I’m Issa.” She cleared her throat and waited for him to respond.
Orlando was a head taller than her; he looked at her for a moment before answering, “Hi.”
Issa waited for him to say something more.
Orlando turned back towards the door waiting.
Issa did not give up she asked, “We were wondering,” she gestured with her head to where her friends stood waiting for her. “We were wondering about you. Are you new?”
“Just got into town,” he replied.
“Oh, because we noticed what you have attached to your backpack …” she paused as if waiting for him to finish her sentence. Orlando noticed the look of exasperation that she gave to her friends. “Do you fence?”
Orlando tried to cover the startled expression that he knew had crossed his face, “What?” he asked not sure he had heard her correctly.
“We have a fencing club. We meet on Fridays.”
Orlando recovered quickly, “I’m not looking to join any clubs.”
“If you do, we meet on Fridays.” She gave him a friendly smile before joining her friends.
The woman from the front desk returned. She said, “You have not been tested for your levels yet?” She looked at him with disdain.
She was referring to the test regarding the level of his magick skills. Each student was tested when they entered high school in order to assess the level of their abilities. Orlando simply explained to her that he had just moved from Oklahoma and had not yet had time to be tested.
She gave him a brush with her claw like hand and said, “Not a problem, we will take care of that for you.” She handed him a printed copy of his schedule and directed him up yet another hill, to his first class.
      Dead Relatives
            It was chaos in the streets. Orlando and Ruben had begun their patrol of the streets of Los Angeles. Every night there seemed to be more freshly made zombies that they had to deal with. They had come upon a zombie attacking a homeless man, pulling him out of his make shift bed. The old man was screaming in fright.
            Ruben went in first. Orlando held back to scan the area. A flash of light caught his eye. Ruben’s cry of pain drew Orlando back into focus. The zombie was no longer alone, Orlando didn’t know where they had come from, but Ruben had been pinned to the ground as one of the zombies was tearing at his arm.
            Orlando ran, jumping on top of the zombie grabbed it around the neck in a choke hold and pulled it off of Ruben.
            Ruben reached for his sword, which had been knocked out of his hand when the first zombie attacked, and embedded it into the stomach of the remaining zombie, dragging the blade up to its throat and cutting its head off.
            Orlando returned to Ruben, helping him up to his feet.
            “What happened to you?” Ruben demanded as he tore at what remained of his shirt to wrap around his arm.
            “I saw a light.” Orlando answered quickly, knowing that was not a good enough reason.
            “You were unfocused.” Ruben walked back to his motorcycle and started the engine. “You’re not ready to be out here on your own.”
            Orlando chose not to say anything. Ruben had been right. He had been unfocused. But he couldn’t help it. It was not the first time he had seen the white light. The last time he had been in battle it had appeared right next to him. He had thought it was a zombie or something else and swung at it with the sword. It sliced right through it and disappeared.
           It had returned. He would have to ask Elodie about it. She was the only other classified Wizard that he knew.
            Orlando’s cell phone began to ring. “Yeah?” he said, answering. It was Michael. Michael was a good friend of his and he had come to rely on him for his help in difficult situations, such as the time they had spent in Mexico. They had lost a few good friends in Mexico, one of them being Fernie, his mentor.
“I’m in the Silicon Valley,” Michael said. “I have a lead on number five.” There was a lot of static on the line.
            “Silicon Valley? Who did you take with you?” It was never a good idea to go alone when doing recon and dealing with monsters.
            Michael didn’t bother to answer the question. “Get Ruben and get out here,” he said before disconnecting the call.
            Orlando thought about it. He knew that Ruben had been badly hurt by the zombies. Besides, Orlando thought, if Michael wanted Ruben to know about where he was and what he was doing then he would have called Ruben instead.
            Convincing himself that he was doing the right thing, he started up his Sportster and drove out to Silicon Valley. The ride was a few hours. It was in Northern California near San Francisco.
Thanks again to Maryann and Gabrielle, for hosting this stop on my tour! You can find me over at my blog; mmshelley.blogspot.com or on twitter @MM_Shelley.

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51 Comments

  1. Tiffany Mahaffy
    3/7/2012

    Never heard of these books before but with a budding love for zombie books I will have to try them out! Thank you for the great reaview!

    [Reply]

  2. New series for me too. Loved the excerpt!

    [Reply]

  3. books first love
    3/7/2012

    The first time when I hear about this books, I would love to read them because sounds good.
    thanks

    [Reply]

  4. Megan
    3/7/2012

    These books sound awesome!

    [Reply]

  5. kimba88
    3/7/2012

    these sound so awesome..going to ck B&N for them now :)

    [Reply]

  6. ::Holly::
    3/7/2012

    I LOVE me some zombies, and these books sound awesome. Thanks for the great giveaway.

    [Reply]

  7. Vivien
    3/7/2012

    So bloody brilliant!!!! Zombies are the heater.

    [Reply]

  8. Jacquelynne
    3/7/2012

    Wow I always learn about so many awesome books from your blog!! EEP! I think this sounds awesome, and I have never liked a Zombie novel before I need to hop on this bad wagon eventually, lol!

    [Reply]

  9. Christy D
    3/7/2012

    I must read these!! Not even joking, these sound awesome!

    [Reply]

  10. Teressa Oliver
    3/8/2012

    Saw this giveaway on twitter tonight, one word grabbed my attention…Zombies. Great review, have not heard of the book or author going on my TBR

    [Reply]

  11. Darlene
    3/8/2012

    Love zombies! I want to read more about Orlando :)

    [Reply]

  12. Maegan Morin
    3/8/2012

    I have never read a zombie book like this… I think that it would be interesting. I'll have to put this on my TBR list!

    [Reply]

  13. mil
    3/8/2012

    awesome giveaway

    [Reply]

  14. This is my first time hearing about this series, but it sounds really good. I have a new found obsession with zombies so these are perfect. I am putting them on my tbr list right now!!

    [Reply]

  15. bas1chs
    3/8/2012

    These books are new to me. Thanks for reviewing them and sharing!

    [Reply]

  16. Lauren Mackesy
    3/8/2012

    I had never read anything about zombies before I started reading the Anita Blake books by Laurell K. Hamilton. I'm starting to think they're really cool.
    Lauren

    [Reply]

  17. Puie
    3/8/2012

    I've just finished Dearly, Departed and would love to read another zombie type book :D

    [Reply]

  18. Judy
    3/8/2012

    This looks like a very different Zombie book, will have to check it out. Thanks for your giveaway.

    [Reply]

  19. Julie W
    3/8/2012

    I am a huge zombie fan and I can't believe I haven't heard of these books before! Now that I have, though, I must read them! lol Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy:)

    [Reply]

  20. Zombies are the best :) these books sound really good.Want to read them sometime!

    [Reply]

  21. Reviewing Shelf
    3/9/2012

    Thank YOU!!

    [Reply]

  22. Cean
    3/9/2012

    Thanks for this giveaway :D I've never read zombie type books before but would try it some time :D

    [Reply]

  23. Kimberly R.
    3/9/2012

    Great giveaway – would love to read these books!
    Thanks :)
    kimberlybreid at hotmail dot com

    [Reply]

  24. Lee Black
    3/9/2012

    Never heard of these books, but they look good! I will put them on my to-read list!

    [Reply]

  25. starkey53
    3/10/2012

    Awesome! Thanks for the reviews and giveaway!

    [Reply]

  26. xxsquigglesxx
    3/10/2012

    The books look great! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

    ~Stacey B.

    [Reply]

  27. amymccarty1985
    3/10/2012

    Thank you so much for this giveaway by the way!! This book looks great :) I am tryign to get back into reading like I used to. Its been hard after having my daughter. She is so BUSY! LOL
    amymccarty at hotmail.com

    [Reply]

  28. chi101
    3/11/2012

    Awesome givaway

    [Reply]

  29. Kris Mathewson
    3/11/2012

    I would love to read these. I have never heard of them but they sound great! Thank you for the Giveaway!

    [Reply]

  30. Helen
    3/12/2012

    sounds great zombie books really scare me :)

    [Reply]

  31. Becca H
    3/13/2012

    I am a suuuuucker for anything zombie. Looks like a great series. (Entered the giveaway as Rebecca btw)

    [Reply]

  32. fourheadjen
    3/15/2012

    Thank yoooooooooooou :)

    [Reply]

  33. avry15
    3/17/2012

    Is this international.?..thanks for the giveaway..

    [Reply]

  34. Brittany C.
    3/18/2012

    Thank you for taking the time to do this giveaway :)

    [Reply]

  35. jbon
    3/18/2012

    Books look amazing, cannot wait to read them!!

    [Reply]

  36. Merisha28
    3/21/2012

    Orlando sounds very intriguing and the story line is way different than those of most zombie books! I would love to read these. I'm putting them on my TBR list!

    [Reply]

  37. sweety
    3/21/2012

    Thanks for this awesome giveaway!!

    [Reply]

  38. Denise Z
    3/26/2012

    I can just see Orlando walking down the streets of LA, it is dark and the street lights are yellow making the mist rising from the street glow . . . thank you so much for sharing with us today.

    [Reply]

  39. Kimberly R.
    3/26/2012

    Amazing giveaway – would love to read the books!
    Thanks :)
    kimberlybreid at hotmail dot com

    [Reply]

  40. Daph
    3/27/2012

    A Kindle would be so wonderful! Thank you:)

    [Reply]

  41. This is my first time hearing of this title. I can't wait to check it out!

    [Reply]

  42. Christina
    3/28/2012

    Zombie bulls – this makes me think about the fact that there is pretty much no animal you cannot put the word zombie in front of to make it sound hilarious. Seriously, think about it!

    [Reply]

  43. Lila Shedd
    3/29/2012

    Wow, sounds great!!

    [Reply]

  44. Mare/TommyGirl
    3/31/2012

    I hadn't heard of these books before and now I must check them out. I love zombies! Thank you for the giveaway!

    [Reply]

  45. FireStarBooks
    4/1/2012

    AH! I LOOOOVEEEE zombie books!! Thank you soooooo very much for this! <333

    [Reply]

  46. manda-rae
    4/1/2012

    I think I have a new fascination with zombie books. They really can't ever end happily unless they cure the zombies. Thanks for the giveaway!

    [Reply]

  47. Kalex
    4/1/2012

    Sounds interesting.

    [Reply]

  48. nicolesender
    4/3/2012

    I enjoyed your in-depth review. I would love tho read this book!
    nicolesender(at)yahoo(dot)com

    [Reply]

  49. rachchan2006
    4/5/2012

    I've never really been a fan of zombie-books (I'm more the sexy vampyre, angel or even were type), but I absolutely loved the excerpt you posted! Thanks for the giveaway! Just wondering, is it International? If it isn't, you may have to remove my entries… (sorry)…

    [Reply]

  50. Kaitlyn Weaver
    4/6/2012

    I've been wanting to try something different, and Zombies sound perfect! Could really use a kindle touch though! :)Looks like a great series

    [Reply]

  51. Andrei
    4/6/2012

    Thanks for this!

    [Reply]

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