Monday, May 19, 2014

✯Blog tour w/review✯ "The Beautiful Dead" by Daryl Banner

Title: The Beautiful Dead
Author: Daryl Banner
Genre: Post- Apocalyptic
Publication Date: August 2013

She’s dead.

In fact, the whole world’s dead. Every single person, apparently. Unburied and reimagined into a beautiful living-dead woman called Winter, she is doomed to spend the rest of eternity in a quaint, peaceful city with no hunger, no sickness and no bills to pay. Her Second Life is perfect in every way possible.

So why is she so bent on destroying it all?

After angering the mayor, befriending rebel headless teenagers and igniting romance with a dark and brooding neighbor, she finds herself wrestling madly with a First Life she cannot remember and this Second Life she cannot accept. Not to mention the maniacal army of rotting corpses who want her dead. Again.

But none of that matters in comparison to an even worse problem. There’s a guest in her house. A rude, good-looking man on the run ... a man with a heartbeat.

5 stars!!!
Wow! This was an incredible book. The story was so unique and unlike anything I have read before… A completely different take on the whole Zombie/undead/post apocalyptic concept which was really a cool idea! It was definitely very different from what I was expecting, but in this case, that is an EXTREMELY good thing. It was so refreshing to have such a unique story to read, and I really do not have one single negative thing to say about it. The first thing I did when I finished reading was message the author, Daryl, begging him to tell me there is going to be a book 2 (which, good news…there IS going to be more!), and also begged him for any insight on what was going to happen next. Sadly, he would not give away anything (MEANIE! lol) so I am stuck here trying to figure things out on my own until book 2 comes out. This is going to be a super long wait for me too! 

This is the story of a woman named Winter. She is not alive, or dead, but rather undead. Before you picture a world of brainless foaming at the mouth zombies, let me just tell you this world Winter is in is not like that at all. Each and every one of the undead thinks before acting. They don't aimlessly wander around waiting for their next taste of fresh blood. They live in a community. No pain, no sickness, no death. If they get injured, they get repaired…. actually, that is a requirement. No undead person is allowed to roam around looking like death has chewed them up and spit them out. They look like living, breathing human beings (minus the actual need to breathe). Oh, and they don't eat humans. Winter is led to believe humans are extinct, and she believes what she is taught… until one ends up pushing his way into her world, and home, and despite his obnoxious attitude towards her it's almost as if he gives her one thing she lacked…Hope. 

Winter struggles with the fact that she cannot remember her former life… who she was, what she did… what her real name was. Day to day (or at least what she believes to be a day since she cannot see the sun) she struggles internally with living a "life" of lies while trying to fit into this new world she is in. She does manage to make a few friends however, and has gotten herself a boyfriend who quite literarily saved her undead life. Just when things begin to settle down a little bit for her, her world is turned completely upside down. Not only did she learn humans do still live in this world, but also that life isn't as safe and pleasant outside the walls of her town. There are a large group of undead who are after her, and they are not kindhearted like the ones she lives with. They are out for blood… human blood… and will stop at nothing to get what they want… and one of those things is Winter. 

This story is brilliant. And no amount of words could describe or do this book justice unless you yourself have read it. There is so much I could say regarding the story itself and the events which unfold, but then I would be giving away too much and you will miss out on the shock value of it all. Things happen which you completely do NOT expect and the whole concept takes a turn in a different direction from how it starts off. And do NOT be fooled by the whole mellow undead idea. This is not your calm, and gore free book. Oh no, there is still plenty of that, just with a different twist to it which may just knock your socks off in the end. Even if you are not a fan of the whole Zombie or paranormal craze, you are certain to love the uniqueness of this amazing story. It stands out from all the other books in this genre and the story will surely stay with you for a long time. 

I love love LOVED every second of this book, and I am sure that all you other readers will as well. Definitely one to add to your MUST READ NOW list! 

Daryl Banner is a writer and composer who graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Theatre and Psychology.

He does not write in any single genre, as his stories tend to span several. He is most inspired by the smart and unlikely hero, but urges you (the reader) not to fall in love with them; they may deceive you with their innocence. He is thrilled by putting his characters in terrible situations where they must face choices and challenges that seem impossible to overcome.

Daryl Banner writes contemporary fiction, sci-fi/fantasy (both in medieval and futuristic senses), unique takes on the apocalypse and paranormal romance genre, as well as magic realism. He cannot wait to hear what you think about his stories and welcomes (and responds to!) all feedback.

1. I was born and raised on video games, from Nintendo classics to Final Fantasy. I even have a scar on my right eyebrow from a fight I had with my brother over a game when I was four years old.

2. I'm miserably single and enjoying every miserable minute of it. Anyone who says they're happily single, y'er a liar! Just kidding, everything's amazing.

3. I have an unhealthy obsession with Lego, ever since I was a kid. I even still have five Lego castles that I've rebuilt from my childhood (ah, what calming therapy that was) that my nephew destroys every weekend.

4. When I'm having a particularly stressful night and cannot calm myself to sleep, I watch an episode of Bob Ross's The Joy Of Painting. Really feeds the soul, too. (Look at all that burnt umber and magic white in the sky!)

5. I have spent hundreds (maybe thousands) more hours than I will admit on such time-draining life-consuming games like World Of Warcraft, Final Fantasy, and RollerCoaster Tycoon. I maybe still do.

6. For my acting resumes, I round up and say I'm 5'5 because I count the thick-soled shoes I'm wearing and no, I don't have a shortie complex. What, you think I'm short? You calling me short? You better not be calling me short.

7. I double-majored in Theater and Psychology at the University of Houston, and at my time of graduation, I was exactly one hour short of being able to proudly say that I earned a "double degree" ... Whatever that is.

8. I was the first person in Katy High School history to be invited onto the Yearbook staff without having taken the prerequisite Journalism class.

9. I have not spent a single dollar on movie tickets or popcorn in the last nine years, as I've been (and currently am) a senior manager at a movie theater since 2005.

10. My brother is kinda named after the hulk by accident. Don't piss him off.

11. Though I was born and raised in the south (Texas) both my parents are from the north (Canada & New York)

12. I've been a suburban cat my whole life, born and raised in the burbs, dangerously close to the farms and countryside of my small-yet-growing hometown of Katy (which rests just outside the smoggy clutches of Houston)

13. While initially writing "The Beautiful Dead", I typed with black background and glowing green letters in my word processor to "set the mood" of the story.

14. My fanboy letter written to Chuck Palahniuk resulted in him sending me back a box full of glitter, toys, and a homemade necklace, as well as a letter of encouragement. He says sometimes even he gets sick of words, but felt it necessary to write me. I couldn't stop smiling for weeks.

15. I taught myself to play piano when I was still a little Nintendo-playing kid, learning all my favorite video game tunes by ear. There are two full-size upright pianos in my house that I sometimes refer to as my two goddesses. Seriously. They were both passed on to me, one from a dear friend, the other from my mom's ex-husband's ex-friend's ex.

16. I tour in a trilogy of comedy musicals with two opera divas in which I act, play piano and keyboards, and beatbox. We will be touring the Houston area this summer!

17. I had a black cat named Stormy ever since I was five. She developed diabetes and sadly passed away six years ago. I sometimes see her in the shadows of my house.

18. My late-night cravings are Chinese food, crispy tacos, and freeze-n-squeeze margarita pouches.

19. For fun, I do digital covers of popular songs and TV show themes (and a lot of 80's-and-90's-born radio hits) in an old-school Nintendo 8-bit music style. Because I bend some of the strict four-track-only rules of 8-bit (and sometimes include real drums instead of the obligatory noise track), I call my remixes "Hyper 8-bit" and release them on my YouTube page. ""

20. Though I primarily write novels now, my main focus throughout highschool and college was playwrighting. At 16, my first play "Seeing Slowly" won a contest, earning it a production at a regional theater in Houston (Alley Theater, HYPE 2001) and at 18, I directed my second play "Fake Love" at my high-school as one of two senior-directed shows. In college, my play "Permanent Daylight" was selected from hundreds to be produced as part of the Edward Albee Playwrighting Workshop, mentored by the great (and late) Lanford Wilson, who taught me more about writing and people than I could ever express in mere words. I owe him so, so much, and sometimes when I'm writing, I hear his voice in my head telling me "No!" and "Ugh!" and "!??" and then "There you go, Daryl ... That's better."


Twitter: @darylbanner

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