The Rising – Brian Keene

So Brian Keene is not a write I had encountered until recently. A friend of mine handed over his book, The Rising, so I could experience him. It’s a little odd that I haven’t even heard of him, considering my affinity for zombie stories.

Before I get into the meat of my review here, I have three little things that bother me about this book.

1. General writing – I don’t know if this guy’s editor was bad, or if he just really doesn’t understand punctuation, but there was a rampant misuse of the apostrophe in this book. He did a lot of ‘s for things that were not possessives. It’s a little nitpick, but as a writer myself, I believe more attention needs to be paid to these things.

2. One of the characters is called a deaf-mute. Mute means that no words or sounds come from the person. The character, Worm, forms words the best that he can. He talks. This makes him NOT a mute. I think that if this is not a general-knowledge sort of thing that some research should have been done. It’s a fairly easy thing to discover.

3. And this is a personal preference sort of thing. I’m a firm believer in the general zombie lore that animals do not become zombies. This book had them. But magically the bugs didn’t become zombies. I don’t think that animals would (or will) become zombies when the apocalypse happens. I think they’ll be left to roam the earth and take it over when all the rest of us are gone.

Now that all of that is out of the way:

Generally speaking I liked the book. It was a good, fast read. It was interesting. A lot of people died in a lot of horrible ways. There wasn’t a typical “everybody helps everybody” feel to it that you find in a lot of the more feel good zombie stories.

The character development was good, and the fact that everybody kept dying really left a lot of guessing. I like guessing. I like not knowing where things are going, and not being able to predict what’s going to happen.

The ending was like that too. Nothing was determined. I know that’s a little spoilery, but not too bad. I liked the ending. I thought at first that it pissed me off a lot, and I hated it. But then I realized that because it pissed me off so much I really liked it.

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Luke

If I hadn’t had a problem with Luke Skywalker from my previous dealings with him, I would definitely have one now. As it stands, I’m starting to wonder how he’s seen as the hero of anything. How he’s the strength or power behind anything.

As I have mentioned, I’m reading Dark Force Rising (and taking so long due to so many distractions I can’t count). Within the pages of this book, I’ve seen Luke be uncertain, shakable, and at times, outright idiotic.

For example – He meets up with Joruus C’baoth for the first time, he has strange feelings about him. Doubts about him. But because C’boath is a master, Luke takes him at his word. Which is really stupid. He knows in his gut that he’s not right in some way, yet it’s all okay, because the guy’s a master (which he’s also not 100% sure about).

Then he starts to wonder if he should trust the training of Yoda and Obi-Wan or trust what C’boath is saying.

It states almost that exact string of words in the book.

I have a HUGE problem with this. WHY would anybody automatically trust some new guy who doesn’t feel right over two people who they knew well who took time to put effort into them?

It seems to me that Luke doesn’t need to be in charge of anything, and certainly nobody from the New Republic should be looking toward him for any help. On anything. Not even what they should have for lunch.