Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chris Philbrook

Dark Recollections: Adrian's Undead Diary Book One
by Chris Philbrook
266 Pages
Self-Published October 31, 2013
Genre: Horror, Zombies, Apocalyptic

Reviewed by Shay Festa a.k.a. The Bookie Monster

Beheading a zombie isn't easy in a world where you're more afraid of the living than the dead. Adrian Ring's simple life is thrown into chaos when the world is ripped apart by a plague of undead and legions of desperate survivors. Retreating to Auburn Lake Preparatory Academy, Adrian attempts to rescue friends and family on the way while dancing around his impending insanity over who and what he left behind, and evading maniac survivors. He saves his cat Otis, but shoots his mom. Pretty successful, all things considered.

Dark Recollections is the first part of Adrian's own story of how he survived after "That Day." Told through his eyes as he talks to his laptop, affectionately named 'Mr. Journal," and through short stories that entwine with his tales that bring forth dark visions of a world being eaten alive by an unimaginable evil. Adrian's Undead Diary is an eight part epic about a solitary, guilt stricken man that didn't think he deserved to live, but realizes very soon that he survived, and suffered for a reason.


Originally released as an online serial, Adrian's Undead Diary is now available as an eight book series. How this one slipped by me is baffling, as it fits perfectly with my preferences and meets all my needs in a piece of work. Chris Philbrook, the very talented author of the series, originally submitted Dark recollections for review. When it came up in my queue, I read it in one sitting. The book was so entertaining, I managed to get through all 266 pages in under three hours; there was no way I was putting it down. As soon as I got back from vacation, and within internet range, I contacted the author to submit more of the series. My whistle was suitably wetted, and I wanted more!

My review appears to have been perfectly timed to release for the holiday sale of Dark recollections. From December 24th - 31st. Regularly priced at $3.99 (and well worth it), Dark recollections will be on sale for $0.99! Snatch up your copy and treat yourself for the holidays.

Adrian Ring, dorm supervisor for a private school, finds himself jarred awake by the sound of gunshots. A woman lay in the road, her head a mass of pulp from the impact of a bullet. It is only then that he realized what he had shrugged off as a hoax was indeed the zombie apocalypse. Adrian wooed me with his self deprecating humor as he wrote entries into "Mr. Journal". I found myself laughing as he went old-school and pulled out "nincompoop", and took out his frustration on his journal, frequently telling it to F-off.

Armed with a box of food, a couple new weapons from the local gun shop, and his fat cat Otis, Adrian hunkers down and barricades himself behind the walls of the school as things go from bad to worse in his community.

Dark Recollections does not divulge the cause of the zombie outbreak, only that if you die, you turn. Philbrook's zombies are of the slow, shambling, Romero variety. As a lover of the gore, I appreciated his use of description and could easily envision the undead as they came to life on the pages (pun intended).

One of the things I found most successful about the book was Philbrook's ability to take a normally narrow writing perspective and still give readers a feel for what was happening beyond just a single person. I didn't feel as if I were reading a narrow scope of the events as told by Adrian.

So, what's the verdict? Great story line with laugh out loud humor and bloody deaths, three dimensional character development, and an exciting, fast-paced piece of work that gives even the most notable zompoc authors a run for their money.

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About the Reviewer:
Shay Festa A.K.A. The Bookie Monster reviews horror and paranormal books, with an emphasis (but not limited to) zombie fiction. With a background in Psych Nursing, Shay brings her unique perspective to the online reading community. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook. And keep an eye out for the future release of her debut novel, Time of death.

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