Book Reviews

Finally – We have a Good Narrative

Arisen - Finally a series with good narrativeFinally, a series of books with some meat to it.

That’s right I am really enjoying the series Arisen. The authors have done enough research to know what they are writing about and have taken the time to show it. Yes, I said show it, not tell it. Let me explain.

One of the growing issues with self-published books is the prevalence of authors not using descriptions, but telling you everything as if it’s a known. Jim was angry, Jill was horny, and so on. With these three books the descriptions tell us what we need to know and it works well. Yes, there are some issues in the series like gas still being good after two years, but you can overlook them for a while. Maybe they’ll fix that soon as well.

In this series, the authors are taking a few liberties with the whole zombie approach. They use a lot of military jargon, but you get used to it fast when they take the time to give you a little info. Through the books you get to learn the phonetic alphabet (they got it right) and how the forces tend to short cut everything (but make it long in the process). We have zombies who move slow, fast, and at light speed. The explanation is a good one and they carry it through these three books.

At 231 pages a book, the print is big. They have less than 350 words a page, thus bringing the work to about 63,000 words. A good size for one author, but could have been more with two. Each author played off their strengths and have created a wonderful world to focus on.

The first three books really do set up the world well. The series starts two yeas into the Zulu Alpha (Zombie Apocalypse) and is action packed with very little time to breath.

Fortress Britain

Book one introduces us into a world gone wrong. The ZA is in full swing and Britain is basically the only surviving nation. There are flash backs from characters to build up their past, but not so much that you’re overwhelmed. It sets the stage well and we get to know what is happening.

As the world becomes an apparent toilet full, each of the main characters takes on a role of their own. Supporting roles are well thought out and make sense to someone with a little military knowledge, and for those with a lot, they will find themselves laughing at some of the little jokes throughout. Someone with no military experience or knowledge may find themselves lost at a few points or confused at why each character reacted the way they did.

In this chapter, the big plan comes into play. We find out a lot, and I’m not going to spoil it for you.

Mogadishu of the Dead

Book two takes us on a wild ride as several things unfold. A SEAL group heads into a US city, deployed from a still operational aircraft carrier (nuclear fuel – nice way around one issue). Action is well laid out and constant. Crap is happening, and the nut jobs are at it even aboard the ship. Other things happen that put mankind at risk, but let’s not get too much into the story or it’ll become a spoiler, and I don’t want to do that this time.

We run into crap that happens, good and bad, to stall the survival. It pokes fun at “The Walking Dead” and even mentions a lot of references to other Zombie memorabilia. The characters run the gambit and pitfalls of the whole genre.

Three Parts Dead

The last book of the Omnibus tells us the authors have done some research (see nit-picking below). They have made a world more believable than most, and the pit falls facing survival are there for everyone to see. New characters are introduced and some are killed (or risen). The plot carried out through the three books is followed and a big thing happens at the end (no, I won’t tell you).

Wrapping Up

Finally, we come to the part most people what to know, the end of the review. We have read all the little stuff, but that leaves the big thing, is it worth reading?

Yes!

I have read a lot of apocalypse work, and this one is up there with a smile. Something you can read and enjoy (most, that is). There are little things but not much to worry about. All in all I say, so far that is, this series is worth the read. I’m going to do the 3.5 they put out, something of a supplement side story, just to get a feel.

Nit Picking

Things that need fixing, like always. Though the authors did research, they missed things that people who have snow mobiles, boats, and other recreational vehicles know. Gas does not last! If we ever had a Zulu Alpha event, vehicles like cars and boats which run of regular gasoline (not diesel) would not be able to run for the fuel breaks down. After about a year, the gas would be unusable, or really bad at best. After two years, unless treated with a stabilizer every six months, the gas would break down.

Zombies and water don’t mix. Fish love to eat. If a zombie was in the water for any length of time, the aquatic life would eat it. Yes, fish don’t care. Think of a lake as an ecosystem of life. If there’s food, something will eat it. Fish pick at meat, no matter what it is, and gorge themselves. If zombies were in water, they’d bloat and be a all you can eat buffet to everything in the water. Take it from a fisherman, it would last only a few weeks at best. Up north, I came across a small lake filled with pike, and a carcass of a deer in it. Not much left on the carcass after a week but bones. So take it from me, don’t make the same mistake.

Ammo runs out. Yes, there will be more of it around, but how much NATO 556 do you have stored up? People would be scrambling after a year. But that’s a personal thought behind weapons.

If you love ZA novels, this would be one to read.

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