Monsters in the Midwest
(3 book series)

Average Joe Becomes A Vampire
This was quite original. Loving monsters and being from the Midwest, a friend of mine and I decided to read this trilogy together. We had no idea what we were getting into, but we both found much to enjoy.
What I liked was the touches of home and the great metaphors. The author has a great way with words, drawing distinct and new visuals. I found them both entertaining and refreshing.
What I didn’t like was that a lot of his Midwest references were from my home state of Minnesota (i.e. You betchas, off dah, and okay’den) and nothing a respectable Wisconsinite would say, unless they were teasing us Minnesotans (my husband is from Wisconsin) LOL I also felt there were some plot holes that left me with questions as to how certain things could happen. I overlooked them because it is a book and I was enjoying it, but I felt the plot could’ve been stronger as well as some of the details more developed.
Would I recommend this story? Yes. Not only that, I am moving onto the next book in the series. Flaws didn’t matter for this tale. The author makes it a fun read and that is what counts in the end. Good job!

My Favorite So Far
What an entertaining tale. Not only was it fun to revisit the characters, getting to know them better, but also it was a well developed story. I enjoyed book 1 and look forward to book 3, but this is my favorite so far.
Dallas wasn’t particularly likable in book 1, but he redeemed himself. I think the difference is that you get to see through his POV, which gives you better insight into who he is. The monster he becomes seems fitting.
There are still a few plot holes, but Scott Burtness spins quite a yarn. I love his metaphors, and his writing is engaging. It’s just just fun to read – definitely recommend it!!!!

I Enjoyed This Story Immensely
I’m not huge into zombies, and the premise, though fun, is not solid. Still, I enjoyed this story immensely. I felt it wrapped up the series well, too.
What I liked was getting to know Stanley better. He’s such a kind, endearing character. His physical description is not how I see him; it comes across as stick-figured and sharp-edged. Stanley seems too gentle for that.
The author did a phenomenal job lining the plot up and building the suspense. This was full of action and all the zombie gore one would expect. Though that’s not my groove, Scott Burtness made sure to add other elements to tickle my fancy. There were twists and turns I didn’t see coming… and, of course, laughs.
There wasn’t much to dislike. Some plot holes and plausibility concerns, but nothing that distracts from the book or its entertainment value. It was a hoot, and Hollywood would do good to pick this up for its next movie.
I recommend this story. I recommend the series. I’m sad the trilogy ended. It’s a good read!

Different Spin On Vampires
I ran across this book in a newsletter, and since my friend was from Wisconsin, and it sounded interesting, we decided to read it together.
What I loved about the book were the inventive, outrageous metaphors the author uses throughout the book for everything. Some writers try to be cute with them and fail. He did not. Some of them blew me away, and they really added to the story.
As for the plot? When I got to the middle of the book, I realized there wasn’t one. There’s no clear story arc, no defined villain. Oh, some readers would say it’s Dallas that’s the bad guy. No, he is not. He’s just a guy stuck on himself and who surrounds himself with inferior people to make him look even better. That’s not a villain. Sadly, that’s just being human.
Then Herb meets his Maker and it all clicked. Herb is actually the good and bad guy. It’s his mediocrity and turning into a Vamp that ends up being the antagonist. Still, I felt there was a lot of unnecessary scenes that didn’t add to the plot, or lack of one.
Did I like the story? Yes, I did. When I was reading, I couldn’t put the book down. But after I quit reading, I could go days without even thinking about the story. It didn’t consume me or pester me to pick the book back up.
Would I recommend the book? Yes, I would. It’s entertaining, and a different spin on the vampire-turning aspect, and I will be reading the 2nd one. I give it 4 stars.

My Favorite Yet
I have to say right off, this is my favorite story, so far, in the series. Though Dallas came off as a real douchebag in Wisconsin Vamp, he somewhat redeems himself in this story. In the first book, we saw Dallas through Herb’s eyes, which were tainted with his jealousy and just lack-luster personality.
Now, we get to see Dallas for who he really is. Which is still the self-centered person he was, but he’s full of guilt over killing his best friend, Herb. I always thought Dallas used Herb to make himself look better, but I see that Dallas really did have feelings, other than for himself.
I like the fact that each infection starts with Jerry, the local salesman who travels all over the country and brings the monsters back with him. If he only knew. The author is very clever in how these events happen. Not believable, but definitely unique.
There were some very humorous parts where I split a gut. Like the episode with Stanley and Bigfoot. Too funny. Talking about Stanley, he somewhat comes into his own in this book too. His obsession with documentaries and certain TV shows, makes him the perfect sidekick for Dallas. And he’s the only one that sees what happened to Dallas.
Needless to say, I really enjoyed this story. It was full of action, fast paced, some funny encounters, new romances, and nice surprises. Like Herb-in-a-can. I highly recommend the book and give it 5-stars.

Can’t We Just Get Along?
This is the last book in the Monsters in the Midwest series and I’m kinda torn. I’m not sure how I feel about this one. I like book one and loved the second one. But this one fell kinda flat. Maybe because Stanley wasn’t my favorite character and I don’t like zombies.
Still, Burtness gave zombies a different spin that I hadn’t thought about. They’re just lonely and want everyone to get along. Who cares if they have to eat you first.
I have to admit, I was confused with the first couple of chapters until I realized there was a Groundhog Day vibe going one. Then it started clicking. And, as with the other two books, there is humor interspersed with some wonderful word play. Burtness definitely has a knack for that.
However, the whole Stanley, Stanley, Stanley, etc was a little overplayed and there was a huge plot hole at that point that I just can’t get over. What about the rest of the world? We were told they were everywhere. Right?
Anyway, I think my dislike of zombies and Stanley didn’t help me with this story. But if you love the gore of zombies and looking for a new insight into them, you’ll want to read this one and absolutely the whole series. I give it 3 stars.
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