Anthologies scare me.  Honestly, they do.  I’m afraid to pick them up because I usually come away with several more new authors to read and I just can’t do that right now.  I buy anything else by anyone new and my family has threatened to to build me my own house with my books.

I’d let them do it too if they found a way to waterproof the damned things.

So when I pick up anthologies I make sure I know the work of at least three authors and an iron will to not pick up anything new.

Now for better or worse, thankfully enough none of the new authors I came across really inspired me but I did come across some nifty new concepts.

So the Living Dead 2, if you haven’t guessed it by now, is an anthology of zombie tales, and one of the better ones I’ve picked up over the years.  I was drawn to the title by Max Brooks (author of World War Z), Simon R. Green (author of the Nightside series), and Robert Kirkman (author and producer of the Walking Dead graphic novel and television series respectively).
There’s some pretty heavy hitters here.

We’re given the tradition take on zombies, survivor stories, and if you’re familiar with the Walking Dead then Robert Kirkman’s contribution will be of particular interest.  We’re also handed the non-traditional voodoo zombie, intelligent zombies, zombies as a metaphor, as well as my favorite: the survivor tale of an Amish man and his family that I thought was bloody brilliant.  Everything else by the other new authors fell rather flat for me.  Nothing really inspired me aside from that one story.

For fans of the walking/living/moaning/groaning dead, it’s worth a read.  But if you’re not a rabid fan of the bigger names then it’s honestly not worth picking up for your collection.  Best borrowed from your local library, else slipped off the shelf for a few hours of reading at your local bookstore.

Enjoy folks.

Vampire spree kicks off next time with American Vampire #1 by Scot Snyder

7619398From writers Scott Snyder and Stephen King, AMERICAN VAMPIRE introduces a new strain of vampire – a more vicious species – and traces the creatures’ bloodline through decades of American history.

This first hardcover volume of the critically acclaimed series collects issues #1-5 and follows two stories: one written by Snyder and one written by King, both with art by future superstar Rafael Albuquerque.

Snyder’s tale follows Pearl, a young woman living in 1920s Los Angeles, who is brutally turned into a vampire and sets out on a path of righteous revenge against the European monsters who tortured and abused her. And in King’s story set in the days of America’s Wild West, readers learn the origin of Skinner Sweet, the original American vampire – a stronger, faster creature than any vampire ever seen before.

Don’t miss out as Snyder and King set fire to the horror genre with this visionary, all-original take on one of the most popular monster stories!

This beautiful collection features a new introduction by Stephen King and bonus art including character sketches, variant covers and more!

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