Friday, October 28, 2016

#FridayReads - David Wellington, Duke of Horror

If you're looking for a free horror read for the Halloween weekend you can't go wrong biting into a David Wellington blog novel. All of the following are complete novels available for free online (or you can support a talented author and buy a Kindle or paperback book - see the links below).

If horror is not your thing, Wellington also writes Fantasy as David Chandler, and Science Fiction as D. Nolan Clark.

Monster Island

Monster Island is a well-plotted horror story, with memorable characters, excellent villains, and many juicy twists.

Following an epidemic that has turned most humans into zombie-like walking dead, a UN weapons inspector is forced to return to New York to steal antiretroviral drugs - to trade for citizenship for himself and his daughter into the only semi-safe country remaining in the world: Somalia. Meanwhile a medical student decides to join the undead rather than be eaten - but he first takes steps to preserve his brain while he dies. Being intelligent and dead has its advantages, as he is about to discover. Except that he's rather hungry. And a delightfully interesting group of Somalian child soldiers have arrived in New York to keep him company.

And just to add to the fun - over at the Natural History Museum in Manhattan, the Egyptian mummies on display have woken too, along with an ancient Celtic druid who thinks he knows exactly what's going on.

The idea of intelligent zombies had me hooked on this one, and the story proved very satisfying.

Amazon link | Book Depository link

Monster Nation

Monster Nation is the prequel to Monster Island, and explains how the undead epidemic began. Monster Nation tracks the story of Nilla, a Californian yoga instructor who takes refuge in an oxygen bar after she is bitten by a madman. With no memory of who she was, and the police after her, Nilla hitches a ride across America with a teenage couple to find the one person who seems to know everything about her: someone who claims to be an ancient Celtic druid, an old friend from Monster Island.

Amazon link | Book Depository link

Monster Planet

Monster Planet closes the trilogy twelve years later, and picks up the story of Sarah, the daughter of the UN weapons inspector who first joined forces with the Somalian girl-warriors to obtain the precious antiretrovirals.

Without her father, Sarah was raised as a warrior in Somalia and Egypt. When her mentor is kidnapped by a group of zombies with strange superpowers, Sarah must track her down, with the help of the recently-awakened ancient Egyptian mummy, Ptolemy. She's about to discover just exactly what happened to the people trapped on Monster Island... and her father.

Amazon link | Book Depository link

Also by David Wellington:

The Laura Caxton Vampire Series:

- 13 Bullets (Free blog novel)

- 99 Coffins (Amazon)

- Vampire Zero (Amazon)

- 23 Hours (Amazon)

- 32 Fangs (Amazon)

The Werewolf Series:

- Frostbite (Free blog novel) (Published in the UK as Cursed))

- Overwinter at Amazon (UK title Ravaged)

Reviewed by Elle Carter Neal


  1. Thanks for pointing these out for The Walking Dead crowd, Elle. I must admit, I've never read a vampire book, but they certainly are having their day.

    1. Dave has a very different twist on all the traditional monsters. Well-worth reading a chapter to two to see if it grabs you.

  2. Avoiding horror in any of its manifestations has been a way of life for me, and that's not likely to change. Still, I applaud creative approaches to story and good writing in all genres. The ability to craft vivid word pictures in the minds of readers and pull them into a story through the deft use of the written page is a skill all writer do well to cultivate.

    1. Strangely enough, me too, Linda - except for pushing myself to just try something I wouldn't usually. So I read Stephen King and Dean Koontz, once or twice, wondering what the fuss was all about (I'm still wondering). I can't remember how I ended up on David Wellington's blog, but I read the opening two chapters of Monster Island, and I was utterly hooked on the characters. Somehow I can stomach the gore-level that Dave writes, and, at the time, it really helped that there was a fantastic commenting community attached to the blog (gone now, unfortunately), which helped to depressurize after each chapter - probably laughing too much at the squicky bits. Dave breathes such life into his characters; I still remember many of them fondly ten years later :-)

  3. I'm always up for a new scare for the "month" of Halloween. :)

  4. I'm not a big fan of horror stories, either, but I have read a few. I do like some of Stephen King, but have never cared for Koontz. I have enjoyed some of the horror written by Joe Landsdale, especially, The Bottoms, which is softer on the gore than Dave's books. I like the subtle horror and suspense more than in-your-face blood and guts. LOL


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