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InspiringInsomnia

Inspiring Insomnia

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The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013
Minders
Michele Jaffe
Sekret
Lindsay Smith
All the Truth That's in Me
Julie Berry
Code Name Verity
Elizabeth Wein
Grave Mercy
Robin LaFevers

Zero

Zero - T.W. Brown,  Suzanne Robb,  Bennie Newsome,  A.A. Garrison,  Nathan Phillips,  Christopher Beck,  Chantal Boudreau "Zero" is a collection of short stories by seven different authors, all detailing the origins of unrelated zombie outbreaks. The quality is quite varied, both with the editing and the storytelling.

The first story, "The Morning Show Host" is told via a heart-breaking letter written to survivors of the zombie apocalypse. Minnie Brown documents her sad and unfortunate role in the outbreak. There is a sweetness to her story as she reminisces about her romance with her boyfriend, but it is overwhelmed by her sorrow, regret, and guilt. This was my favorite. I would love to have seen this developed into a full novel, and I'm intrigued to read more from this author.

The second story, "The Zombie Curse" features a philandering husband who gets a major comeuppance. It had a supernatural aspect and was just OK for me. There were some formatting issues that caused words to be dropped.

"Termination Papers" tells the story of government experiments on DNA to create super soldiers. As one might expect, things go horribly awry. There were grammar and punctuation issues throughout that interfered with the story, and it appears there was minimal or no editing.

I was beginning to feel a little discouraged, but things picked up with "The Scientific Method" which features a newspaper reporter who heads to Russia to investigate the recently discovered diary of a Nazi war criminal. The Nazi conducted experiments on human brains of living subjects, and the results were just as one would expect.

When I started reading "William", I wondered what in the world a household robot could have to do with zombies. William, the robot, is very helpful around the house until a freak occurrence gives him the power of thought.

It's a big pet peeve for me when an author confuses "desert" and "dessert", and this happened twice, including in the third paragraph of "Escarg-o". I set the bar low at this point, and while the plot in which a restaurant serves some supernatural snails to a celebrity is unexpectedly wacky, it didn't really seem like a zombie story.

In "Quietus", an infected bird bites a little girl. I think rabies might have been more pleasant than what this poor girl experiences.

I don't know why a table of contents was not included in the Kindle version. I've added locations below for anyone who wants to skip to a particular story, along with individual ratings.

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"The Morning Show Host" by Patrick Shand, 37 of 3548, 5 stars
"Zombie Curse" by Bennie Newsome, 485 of 3548, 2.5 stars
"Termination Papers" by Suzanne Robb, 1008 of 3548, 2 stars
"The Scientific Method" by Nathan Phillips, 1561 of 3548, 4 stars
"William" by A.A. Garrison, 1965 of 3548, 3 stars
"Escarg-o" by Chantal Boudreau, 2488 of 3548, 2 stars
"Quietus" by Christopher Beck, 2980 of 3548, 4 stars