I was on a zombie apocalypse binge a while back and picked up a few zombie books. Some of them were young adult books that were scary but fun to read; then there were adult books that were dark, dangerous and downright terrifying. The following two are apart of the latter.
Rise Again by Ben Tripp
Title: Rise Again: A Zombie Novel
Series: Rise Again
Author: Ben Tripp
Genre: Zombie, Apocayptic, Survival, Paranormal
[Goodreads | Book Depository]
A MYSTERIOUS CONTAGION. MASS HYSTERIA. SUDDEN DEATH.
And a warning that would come all too late . . .
Forest Peak, California. Fourth of July. Sheriff Danielle Adelman, a troubled war veteran, thinks she has all the problems she can handle in this all-American town after her kid sister runs away from home. But when a disease-stricken horde of panicked refugees fleeing the fall of Los Angeles swarms her small mountain community, Danny realizes her problems have only just begun—starting with what might very well be the end of the world. Danny thought she had seen humanity at its worst in war-torn Iraq, but nothing could prepare her for the remorseless struggle to survive in a dying world being overrun by the reanimated dead and men turned monster. Obsessed with finding her missing sister against all odds, Danny’s epic and dangerous journey across the California desert will challenge her spirit . . . and bring her to the precipice of sanity itself. . . .
Filled with adventurous human drama—and shocking inhuman horror—Rise Again marks a vivid and powerful fiction debut.
I wasn’t exactly sure what I expected when I picked up Rise Again, all I knew was that it looked like a good zombie apocalypse book.
The beginning was very interesting, life is normal and Danny is at work handling things. She’s the sheriff in the small town that is packed with visitors due to the Fourth of July parade. Her sister Kelly has taken off with Danny’s mustang which means serious business since Kelly knows that Danny would hunt her down if the mustang was damaged in any way, so Danny realizes that maybe Kelly doesn’t intend to come back. Kelly left her sister a note but Danny hasn’t had time to look at it and is avoiding reading it. Funny things start happening, a dead body is found in the forest at the beginning of the town and no one can figure out how the person died. Suddenly another one is found. And then people are running around screaming and falling down dead for no reason, the whole town gets chaotic and that’s not the worst of it all. A bunch of people are seen to be running up the mountain towards the town while the road is packed with people in cars trying to get through. Soon, everyone realizes it’s thousands upon thousands of people that are running up the mountain, some of them are dying just like some people in town; Danny comes to the conclusion that it’s a wave and once that wave hits it will affect nearly everyone around and they too will start running around and dying. Danny can in no way control it, yet she’s going to try anyway.
Once the dead start to rise I found the book to lose some of its intensity and interest. For some reason I love to read about the fall of humanity more than the actual zombie part, I find it more interesting to see how people try and survive the beginning stages more so than hiding and surviving the middle stage. In Rise Again Danny takes control of the small group of people that weren’t affected, there’s a lot of action, blood and gore in this book except I found that sometimes the action slowed the pace of the story down rather than speeding it up. Plus my favourite character was killed off in the beginning and I found that disconcerting because it felt like he had been set up as a main character yet he had already died. From that point I realized that I wasn’t sure if I liked the tone of the book.
I couldn’t really connect with Danny, maybe it was because she was an older woman? Maybe it was because she had been in a war and from that she was changed and I could hardly relate to something of that size? Maybe it was because she was cold and couldn’t understand other people’s emotions? I just couldn’t connect to her nor like her as much as I wanted to. I felt detached from Danny because of this, I simply could not care what happened to her or if she found her sister.
The story was interesting though, the zombie’s and their evolution was different to what I’ve read before, which I liked. I just felt like Danny’s story wasn’t one that I wanted to read in this world.
Overall, I thought this was one of the better zombie apocalypse books. Even though I didn’t love it I still found it hard to put down, the story dragged me in and I wanted to see how humanity would survive it and if they could.
I recommend this book to people looking for a good gory zombie apocalypse book that aren’t too bothered by no character relationships or developments.
Autumn by David Moody
Author: David Moody
Genre: Apocalyptic, Survival, Zombies
[Goodreads | Book Depository]
A bastard hybrid of War of the Worlds and Night of the Living Dead, Autumn chronicles the struggle of a small group of survivors forced to contend with a world torn apart by a deadly disease. After 99% of the population of the planet is killed in less than 24 hours, for the very few who have managed to stay alive, things are about to get much worse. Animated by “phase two” of some unknown contagion, the dead begin to rise. At first slow, blind, dumb and lumbering, quickly the bodies regain their most basic senses and abilities… sight, hearing, locomotion… As well as the instinct toward aggression and violence. Held back only by the restraints of their rapidly decomposing flesh, the dead seem to have only one single goal – to lumber forth and destroy the sole remaining attraction in the silent, lifeless world: those who have survived the plague, who now find themselves outnumbered 1,000,000 to 1…
Without ever using the ‘Z’ word, Autumn offers a new perspective on the traditional zombie story. There’s no flesh eating, no fast-moving corpses, no gore for gore’s sake. Combining the atmosphere and tone of George Romero’s classic living dead films with the attitude and awareness of 28 Days (and Weeks) later, this horrifying and suspenseful novel is filled with relentless cold, dark fear.
When I picked up Autumn I was looking for a good zombie apocalypse novel, I wanted something scary as well as interesting. That’s exactly what I got. In the beginning.
I really enjoyed the beginning of this novel, the way everyone died was intensely interesting and scary. I enjoyed reading how the characters that lived dealt with everything at first. Then the dead rose and it just got more intense and more exciting, except that the living characters just got weird and different. They panicked and picked sides, the lay blame and started going crazy, they tossed common sense out of the window and it was incredibly frustrating.
The main problem I had with this book was that the characters all sounded the same, they sounded like one person. When I would be reading any of them they would change drastically, they weren’t consistent and I suddenly found I was thinking of them as one person that had mood swings. I also found that each character became unlikable and annoying, I suddenly hated them all; I couldn’t relate and I couldn’t connect with any of them. They became very unlikable and it ruined the story.
I really enjoyed how the zombies evolved and changed, that was the most exciting part and I found myself thinking of the zombies as a character in their own right. They were way more interesting and I liked them a lot more than I liked the other characters. At least the zombies were consistent throughout the story!
Overall the beginning of this book was intense and exciting, however the end was crazy and weird, and the characters were just stupid, non-relateable, crazy and were just all over the place. I didn’t really like this book as a whole. I will not be reading the next in the series.
I recommend this book to people who are looking for a terrifying zombie read and can excuse character inconsistencies. The world is worth it, the characters and their story however are not.