Book Review “This Darkness Light” by Michaelbrent Collings

Author: Michaelbrent Collings
Paperback: 430 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date: August 4, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Collings does it again!! Another winner! I started reading Michaelbrent’s work by chance one day when I came across it after reviewing a film that he wrote called “Barricade” for WWE. Since then I have read probably about a dozen of his books and funny enough each one is better than the next…if that is even possible. I call this guy a machine because by the time I finally finish one of his books…BOOM, there is a another one is ready to be released. Here is the thing though, the mass of quantity never affects the quality. I have said it once before this he is definitely my favorite author right now. Move over Stephen King. We have a new king of horror!

Official Premise: A man with no past, but who holds the future of the world in his hands. A woman who has sworn to protect him, for reasons she does not understand. A killer who must destroy them, or lose all he holds dear. They are running—from each other, from the plague that is killing all around them, from the dark forces beyond their understanding. Running from shadow to shadow. From dark to dark. Hoping to find light. Hoping that this darkness is not all there is. Hoping…because hope is all they have in This Darkness Light

“This Darkness Light” is the latest and honestly greatest work that this crazy dude has released. It is a ton of fun to read. I literally found my heart racing as I zoomed through each chapter to get to the next page. The book follows it’s main characters in a mad race against time to try and stop an outbreak from occurring. Like I said, this is edge of your chair stuff. I am not sure what it is about Michaelbrent’s writing but it literally just so easy to read. Before I was introduced to his work, I was really not a big reader. As long as he keeps releasing books like this one I am sure that I am going to be kept very busy. Keep them going dude!


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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.

Book Review “Crime Seen” by Michaelbrent Collings

Author: Michaelbrent Collings
Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date: January 17, 2014

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

It was past midnight, outside it was thundering and lightning and I was curdled up in bed with the lights off. This is the best way to read and experience the work of Michaelbrent Collings. His work is so visual and easy to imagine. When I read, I immediately zone in and visualize the characters and events like a movie. With Michaelbrent’s work he makes it so interesting and each page is like a cliffhanger leading to the next. “Crime Seen” the latest book from the award-winning author of “Strangers” and “The Colony” Omnibus and no question should be added to your must read list of 2014.

I started reading “Crime Seen” about two months ago and I stopped about half-way through due to the crazy events of life. The reason why I know I loved this book is because I honestly couldn’t stop thinking about it during that time when I wasn’t reading. And the minute that I picked back up and started reading again, I was right back into the world that he created for this story. For me, if you are able to keep my interest for that long you know that you have got something special.

Official Premise: Detective Evan White is on the trail of a killer. A madman who slaughters at a whim. A murderer bent on destroying everything and everyone Evan loves. An assassin who can’t be killed… because he’s already dead. Evan is about to begin the longest day of his life. A day that will determine what is true, what is false. What crimes are reality… and what crimes are merely seen.

“Crime Seen” is a great thriller with a nice supernatural edge mixed in. I just love the tagline for this book “How do you kill a man who’s already dead?” The story is such a mind fuck with twists and turns that really keep you guessing until the very last page. When you think you have it figured out, Michaelbrent causes you to scream out loud “What the fuck, just happened?”. I have no idea how this guy comes up with the crazy shit he does but I just can’t get enough of it personally.

Growing up as a kid, I was a very avid reader but I haven’t read a book in probably 10-15 years and it was due to Michaelbrent that got me hooked again. Last year, he approached me with his novel “Darkbound”, which is another outstanding choice to check out, and it really opened by eyes to reading and really changed my life. May sound lame but it is the truth. Sometimes, I actually think that he is a robot since this guy comes out with book after book after book and I have a hard time keeping up with him… But keep them coming man! Can’t wait to see what you got planned for me next.


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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.

Book Review “Strangers” by Michaelbrent Collings

Author: Michaelbrent Collings
Paperback: 372 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date: June 5, 2013

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Move over Stephen King…Clive Barker…fuck it…even R.L. Stine, Michaelbrent Collings is taking over as the new king of the horror book genre. I am have to admit, I am not the biggest reader.  When I read a book, it really has to draw me in VERY quickly in order to keep my interest.  Well, there is something about the way Collings writes that grabs you by the neck and pulls you in immediately starting with the damn Preface.  In fact, this is the second book that I have completed from him in the last month, the last being (another great book), “Darkbound”. I am a sucker for a good horror/thriller, so maybe that is the case here but I need to highly recommend this book to everyone since I could not put this book down!

Here is the official premise of the book: You wake up in the morning to discover that you have been sealed into your home. The doors are locked, the windows are barred. THERE’S NO WAY OUT. A madman is playing a deadly game with you and your family. A game with no rules, only consequences. So what do you do? Do you run? Do you hide? OR DO YOU DIE?

The book contains over 100 chapters, but don’t freak out since they are super tight and literally each chapter makes you race to turn the page to see what happens next. Having read this on the Kindle app for my iPhone, when they would include an extra black page between chapters I thought that was very clever since it made you want it even more.  The story is slow to unwind, which is perfect to create the fantastic suspense that literally last to the very last page of the Epilogue.  There are constant twists and turns throughout.  When you think you have it figured out there is another curve thrown at you. If you haven’t of Collings work, I urge you to check it out! He is now one of my favorite authors and I can’t wait to see what he has planned next.


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Book Review “Darkbound” by Michaelbrent Collings

Author: Michaelbrent Collings
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date: January 19, 2013

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Let’s travel back to September 2012, I was asked to review a DVD for a film titled “Barricade”. Pretty damn good flick, produced by WWE Studios (yes the wrestling company). I got asked to have my review appear on WWE Raw, which was a huge honor. Due to that exposure, I was contacted by the writer of the film Michaelbrent Collings with praise for my review. Since then I have been in contact with him and asked to check out his other works of horror literature. He offered me to check out “Darkbound” and right from the first chapter, I was hooked!

Official Premise: The New York subway system has: 656 miles of track… 468 stations… 31 thousand turnstiles… and 1.64 BILLION fares yearly. For six of those fares, the trip is going to be one they will never forget. Six strangers will board a subway. But this subway is unlike the others. This subway doesn’t take you where you want or where you need. It takes you where you fear. This subway…is DARKBOUND.

Michaelbrent’s writing is super easy to read.  It is intelligent without trying to ask like it is smart.  It is also crazy-ass graphic with the gore. I just kept thinking to myself this would make a killer movie but there is no way it could be filmed with an R-rating. The book is split into six different parts focusing on the each of its passengers. So we get like 6-9 chapters per section and then it restarts the count, at first I found this aspect a little confusing but after the first few it flowed pretty smoothly. I found myself literally hanging on each chapter. There is also quite a few nice twists thrown in, just when I thought I figured it out, I was thrown a loop.  I am looking forward to checking out Michaelbrent’s latest novel, “Strangers”, which was just released June 4th, 2013. Keep me coming!

Michaelbrent Collings talks about writing WWE’s “Barricade”

Michaelbrent Collings is the writer of the latest film from WWE Studios, “Barricade”. The film was released on DVD on September 25th and I recommend it highly. Michaelbrent is also a black-belt martial artist and in his past life was an attorney. Currently, he is focusing on writing full-time not just screenplays but also novels. His latest novels are called “Apparition” and “Billy: Seeker of Powers”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Michaelbrent about his his work with WWE on “Barricade” and also what else he has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you go from black-belt martial artist to attorney to writer?
Michaelbrent Collings: Geez, there’s a question whose answer could go on FOREVER. Short answers: I’ve been involved in martial arts for much of my life, dating back to the day I realized that a teen who weighed all of one hundred pounds was going to have a full life working as a doormat for bigger kids. Also, I realized that girls did not, as a rule, dig guys that they could out-bench press. Martial arts seemed like a good way to both take better care of myself and build up some seriously lacking strength. Thus I became the towering colossus of manliness I am today. As for the attorney to writer thing, I always liked writing, but never liked the idea of being “that guy.” You know, the guy who’s 40 years old and still living in his parents’ basement while trying desperately to convince girls he’s “just waiting for his big break.” So I went to law school, the last refuge of the incompetent. And as soon I started making money as a writer, I was pretty much out of there (the law thing, that is). So now I’m no longer a lawyer, just a writer. And my wife and family both assure me I’m much happier because of it.

MG: How did you get involved writing the screenplay for WWE Studios’ “Barricade”?
MBC:It was actually an original script that I took to them. I had written this ghost script called BARRICADE, and a lot of people in Hollywood liked it. It ended up going to WWE Studios, where Richard Lowell and Sharyn Steele, two of the producers there, got their hands on it. They loved it, but it wasn’t right for the studio at the time. Sharyn (who is still a great friend of mine and a peach of a gal) ended up going her own way, but Richard stayed at WWE Studios. A couple years later there was a management change at WWE Studios. The new VP walked in and told Richard that they wanted to do a ghost movie. Richard, it turned out, had more or less kept BARRICADE on his desk for the intervening years, and handed it right to the VP (another really cool guy named Steve Barnett). Steve loved it, so Richard called me in to the production company’s offices and I met with him and Steve. I think they’d probably already decided that they wanted the script at that point, but wanted to make sure I was someone they could work with. Well I already liked Richard, and Steve and I hit it off really well, so the next day I got a call that they wanted to option the script. They did so, and then they purchased it a bit later, and voila!

MG:How does the film compare to the page?
MBC:It’s different in a lot of ways. I mean, for one thing it’s a surreal experience to go from a hundred or so printed pages to an hour and a half of film that cost millions to put together. Not only that, but everyone who works on it puts their imprint on it. So when WWE Studios purchased my original script, the first thing that happened was they hired me to do a rewrite to accommodate some of the producers’ “visions” of the piece. The ending was changed a lot, due to a belief on their part that the ending I had (which was quite dark) wouldn’t be something American audiences would like. Then they hired a director, and I understand he pushed the script more toward the psychological thriller aspect, when originally it had been a 50/50 blend of psychological thriller AND ghost story. And then there were changes to accommodate production scheduling, location issues, editing, etc. etc. etc. So in the end it was nearly as much of a surprise for me to watch the finished product as it would have been for anyone else in the world.

MG:Tell us about your next film “Darkroom”?
MBC:DARKROOM is a really cool script I did that deals with a girl getting out of prison. She’s young, went to jail on a manslaughter charge, and now she lives in a halfway house during parole. As part of her parole she has to get a job, and lands as a gofer at a real estate photography company. She shows up to work on day one (the company is shooting a gloomy mansion, of course), and is told that the model they were counting on didn’t show up so she’s got to fill in. The photo people give her a change of clothes, she changes in the bathroom… and when she comes out she’s been locked into the mansion. Turns out the photo company is owned and staffed by a group of crazy siblings who tortured and killed their own mother, and now intend to reenact the fun with her. So it’s basically one of those “feel good” movie for the whole family flicks you’ll probably see on the Disney channel at some point. Ha!

MG:You have written many novels, how does it compare to doing film?
MBC:It’s totally different. I love doing both, but the way I describe it is that they’re like two different languages. Screenwriting requires an extremely high level of precision and clarity because there are only a very few words to describe characters, location, action, and dialogue. But at the same time, books are tough because you have to keep an audience’s attention for many hours of reading, as opposed to just one or two for a script. Some stories lend themselves to one or the other. I like stories that work for both, because I love to write novels of scripts and vice-versa.

MG:Tell us about your latest and upcoming novels?
MBC: My latest novels are called APPARITION and BILLY: SEEKER OF POWERS. APPARITION is a crazy-scary book about a family where the mother tries to stabe her two kids to death. The dad saves them, and the mother then turns the knife on herself. A year later, Dad and the two kids are still putting their family back together… and he starts fantasizing about killing his children. Turns out there is an otherworldly entity at work, one that feeds on the blood and death of children, and one that possesses the kids’ own parents to do the dirty work. BILLY is the other end of the spectrum: it’s a young adult fantasy that’s the second book in my bestselling BILLY SAGA. It’s about a misfit kid who discovers that his favorite teacher is a wizard and that he (the kid) may be the key to a war between two factions of magic-users. The kid may also be a weapon that destroys the entire world, so it’s definitely a high-stakes book, but with lots of fun and humor as well. And upcoming… I have a novel called HOOKED that I’m working on and it should be out before too much longer. I can’t say too much about the plot because it’s THAT fun, but I will say I hope it will be kind of the anti-TWILIGHT: teen vampires done right. No sparkles.


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