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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