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Wild Awake
Hilary T. Smith
Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera
Bryan Peterson
Raising Stony Mayhall - Daryl Gregory Gregory’s take on zombies in [b:Raising Stony Mayhall|9466865|Raising Stony Mayhall|Daryl Gregory|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51nkhKoj8tL._SL75_.jpg|14351915] is both unusual and ambitious, blending an alternate history, a Living Dead divided by ideology and politics, and musings of the existential variety. It is an intelligent book that has a lot to say, occasionally taking a philosophical turn as Stony wrestles with the paradox of his existence and the events his life has set in motion. The first part, detailing Stony’s early family life, is strong and richly observed. The characters are written with obvious care, particularly Stony, who is very endearing as the boy who is not a living boy. However, beyond this point, I began to feel as if I was reading another book entirely. The shifts in time and tone created distance between myself and the story that I found difficult to bridge, and I felt less involved with Stony on an emotional level. The plot is detailed, and the LD world Gregory has built is interesting and much more complex than a simple mass fever for brains type scenario. Unfortunately, I found large portions of the story quite disengaging to read, given the slowing pace and the vast amounts of information incorporated into the narrative. While I appreciate some of the deeper themes and discussion throughout the story, and I enjoyed the climactic scenes, I felt it was let down by a rather predictable ending. By this point, I’ll also admit that my investment in the story was quite low, so the impact felt a little hollow for me. If you’re looking for a different take on the living dead with some thought provoking ideas about life, family, guilt and redemption, this may be for you. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t really for me.