Book Review “The Colony: Renegades” by Michaelbrent Collings

Author: Michaelbrent Collings
Series: The Colony
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date: October 6, 2013

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I have spent the last few months trying to convince my doctor that I do not have high blood pressure, but I just realized what the problem is that I just read too much of Michaelbrent Collings’ books. I literally had my heart racing and clenching my teeth as I rushed to get to the next page…the next chapter. With “The Colony: Renegades”, the sequel to “The Colony: Genesis”, Michaelbrent continues to change the zombies genre. I just kept thinking to myself zombies don’t do the things that he has them do in this book, which only made it cooler. I demand you tell us what these things are Collings! I need to know! Like with the first book, I found that I couldn’t turn to the next page quick enough. Michaelbrent’s writing has always felt very cinematic to me. I was able to visualize this post-apocalyptic world so vividly while reading and I kept thinking to myself how this book is the Michael Bay of zombie books. You the man Collings! You got another hit here!

Official Premise: BEING ALIVE means you just have more to LOSE. The zombies are changing. Growing faster. Stronger. SMARTER. Working together to destroy all of humanity. Ken Strickland has found his family. But finding something and keeping it are two very different things. The survivors are bruised. They are broken. And they are about to find out that the worst monsters are among those they count as their friends.

I have to admit and apologize to Michaelbrent, I literally read “The Colony: Genesis” in practically one sitting last year. I then immediately started this one right after and it has taken me four months to complete it. Now please do not get me wrong, life just gets in the way and I haven’t had any time to focus on a book. But what I am getting to is that literally from not picking this book up for almost four months, I am so easily able to jump right back in with no issue at all. I still know all the characters and I feel like I had them on a long pause in my head. Also after picking it back up I was able to easily knock it out in less than two days.

This is what I love most about Michaelbrent’s work, he is sharp and keeps the chapters short and fast. Personally, if I am reading a book and it takes me forever to get through one chapter, I find myself getting bored no matter how good it is. His work literally is action-packed and every chapter is a cliffhanger into the next. Speaking of cliffhangers, I thought the first book had a zinger ending in it, so watch out. Since I started this book last year, Michaelbrent aka The Writing Machine has already released the next two installments in this series and has a fifth book coming out later this year as well. So as much as I would love to continue praising this book, I hate to cut this review short but I have to get my ass in gear now and try and catch up with this amazing series.

Film Review “The Colony”

Directed by: Jeff Renfroe
Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Bill Paxton, Kevin Zegers
Studio: RLJ Entertainment
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running time: 93 minutes

Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

When I saw the poster for “The Colony”, I figured it looks like a low-budget rip-off of “The Thing”. I saw the pretty impressive cast including Laurence Fishburne (“The Matrix”) and Bill Paxton (“Aliens”), which was enough to sell me. The film started off pretty good but ended up becoming quite a mess around half way mark. The visual effects are pretty decent creating this frozen world. I found myself yawning until the final act, which for me never paid off. Might be worth a rent but nothing memorable.

Official Premise: As an endless winter engulfs Earth, humans struggle to survive in remote underground outposts. When Colony 7 receives a distress call from a nearby settlement, Sam (Kevin Zegers) and Briggs (Laurence Fishburne) race through the snow on a dangerous rescue mission. What they find at the desolate base could mean mankind’s salvation—or its total annihilation.

Laurence Fishburne is one of my favorite. He has been a great addition to the cast of TV’s “Hannibal” recently as well. But even though he is prominent on the poster, he isn’t really the main character. Same goes for Bill Paxton since he is missing from the whole second act of the film. His character also has a really weak arc and seems like it was piece together poorly. Obviously, I should have known this well marketing trick but fell for it this time. I wish they would have spent a little more time on fleshing out the background story and fine tuning the characters and this might have actually been worth watching.

Book Review “The Colony: Genesis” by Michaelbrent Collings

Author: Michaelbrent Collings
Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Release Date: August 16, 2013

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t love zombies right now? With the success of films like “World War Z” and TV shows like “The Walking Dead”, they have never been hotter. Michaelbrent Collings is bringing us his latest novel, “The Colony: Genesis”, which is a volume one of a new series. I have to admit, I have no idea how this guy releases so many books in one year, all which are extremely different than the next…and all actually good. I read his been “Darkbound” and “Strangers” earlier this year and they are so engaging and entertaining that I literally couldn’t put them down. The exact same thing happened with “The Colony”. In fact, I finished the entire book in less than 24 hours, which is a new record for me personally. I do not think that I have ever been drawn in by a book in the last few years. Michaelbrent taps into the zombie genre but really adds his own style to it that really keeps the genre fresh and exciting.

Ken Strickland is a high school teacher, who is in school on an average day…until something happens that changes everything. It starts with insects filling every inch of his windows on the outside of the building to then planes falling out of the sky to his students turning into monsters attacking everything in sight. And that is only in the first couple of pages. Ken sees the entire world crashing around him and he only has one thing on his mind, which is to find his family, who are across town. He meets up with a few other sole survivors along the way as they try to stay alive, while trying to figure out what is happening around them. But do they have what it takes to survive in a world that is crashing around them?

Normally when a book starts, it gives you time to meet the characters and get settled in before the madness starts, but that isn’t that case here. Michaelbrent literally jams on the gas and hits a 100mph before the second chapter…and doesn’t let up until the end. “The Colony: Genesis” is fast, intense and in-your-face. If you think you know everything about zombies, think again because Michaelbrent changes the rules. Shoot them in the head? Nope just pisses them off. So definitely not your typical zombie book. What I love about Michaelbrent’s writing is that it is tight and very sharp. His chapters are short and literally each one packs a punch. I am not sure how he does it but he does not allow you to put the book down after each chapter, you need to keep reading to find out what happens next.

What also thrilled me was the fact that it is the first volume in the series. Michaelbrent was very smart in splitting this book into volumes because it ends leaves himself plenty of time to slowly to develop the story and its characters without having to rush through it. There are tons of questions in the book that will leave you screaming for answers. But he sets it up so well that you will literally have your finger ready to turn the page and at the edge of your seat waiting to find out what happens. Like I said, I finished this book in practically one sitting since I couldn’t put it down. I cannot wait to see what he planned for volume II, “The Colony: Renegades”. Keep them coming man, I will be anxiously waiting.