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.
©2011 Ben Tripp (P)2012 Tantor
"Danny's journey through a land of death to find [her sister] Kelley makes for a remarkable character-driven story, and the final sentence takes it to another level." (Library Journal)
Different twist on Zombies with a strong, flawed hero
Excitement and action with unexpected developments
Some scenes were smoking!
I'm a fan of zombie fiction, but Rise Again is not particularly well written. The first half is an absolute slog, with a meandering narrative full of non-events and plodding character busywork. I only kept listening out of obligation to the credit I spent.
The main character, for example, spends a lot of time ruminating about her sister or her opinions about things, but her thoughts are generally repetitive and dull. In fact, here's something I noticed while listening: Main character Danielle often "loses interest" in the topic at hand or the person she's talking to, right in the middle of the conversation. Once you notice it, you'll realize that Danielle loses interest in things over and over again throughout the entire book. The author seems to think that Danielle's lack of interest empowers her, but all it tells me is that if she's not interested in what's going on, then it's a fair bet that we aren't interested either.
Which brings me to my main gripe with the book. The author's writing style - and the story itself - lacks imagination. The story is serviceable, but I was never riveted. I never found myself hanging on the narrator's every word. The characters and locations and situations are not particularly creative or nuanced as written. The writing style gets the job done - and if you like zombies then there are plenty of zombies here - but that's about all Rise Again has going for it. Utilitarian writing and … zombies.
As for the main character, she doesn't have to be likable, but she should be at least be interesting. Danielle is rather dull. And she makes some ridiculous decisions in the story (at one point, with absolutely no proof, she tries to forcefully arrest a guy for murder in the middle of a zombie apocalypse). The author slants the narrative because he wants us to side with Danielle in these situations, but her actions are sometimes so silly that it's impossible. The result is an uneven main character that we never care much about.
The book comes in two downloadable parts. If you're going to listen, I would actually recommend skipping the first part entirely. You're not going to miss much, and though doing ths is not enough to save the story, the book only starts to realize its potential during the second half.
No, I would suggest just buying the print. Kristen Potter is possibly the worst narrator that I've ever heard. She reads the entire book as if she's about to fall asleep. Even during parts of the story that could be extreme, and intensely satisfying...she drones it down to a pure bore and makes it a struggle to stay awake. Ms. Potter should stop narrating audio books, and go teach a high school English Lit. class....she has the voice for that, her students would get a good nap in before their next class.
I didn't really like any of the characters that much. But I believe this was because the narrator failed to give them any character. They all sounded the same, droll, monotone and boring..........Well, maybe Amy. She was ok.
Everything. She was pretty terrible.
No, The story was pretty good, but for me there were no moving moments, but I rarely experience that in any book anyway...so no fault of the author there.
The most disappointing part of this adaptation other than the poor narration, was the main character Danny. The author tries to pass her off as a combat vet, and at the time women were not allowed in combat roles in the military. Fault one with her story. She gets into one little scrap in the desert and it destroys her life. That is a slap in the face to real life soldiers who struggle with the rigors of military deployment, and the horrors of combat...yet many of them still come home and have the strength to carry on a normal civilian life without having to turn to alcohol or drugs to cope. Danny is over all a horrible, and unlikable character, who spends more time whining and crying about her horrible life and her self medication with alcohol, than actually playing a lead heroic role.
I just didn't care for this one too terrible much. I love a good flawed, strong lead character aka hero/heroine BUT Danni is is not only unlikable but over the top. I didn't find her to be a tough badass but a boozing tyrant. I mean come on. The world has ended, no government to speak of, Danni is the only "law" in the land. As her convoy looks for a safe place to hole up (though Danni is merely looking for her sister) she threatens to arrest them for breaking into an abandoned gas station/convenience store to find supplies. That is the dumbest thing I think I've ever read. Then there's the sheriff herself. Danni. A wounded war hero battling post traumatic stress syndrome and her need to wash her dreams away with liquor. I don't think she's an alcoholic as much as self medicating - which makes it worse. If she truly was a hero, smart leader she'd keep a clear head. Nope get drunk and bully everyone. Couldn't get into the story because I just simply didn't like the main character! Tone her down some Tripp will you!
A lover of contemporary, character driven sci-fi.
Zombie novels are a magnet for mediocre writers. There, I said it. If you don't agree, then this review probably doesn't have a lot to offer you. Still, I love the genre's potential, and this book comes the closest I've seen in a long while to realizing that potential. Rise Again spends a good while really developing Danny's character to the point that, despite the fact that she's a walking stereotype (although dark, drunk veterans with PTSD aren't usually played by women-- her only stand-out quality), I feel that I really understand and relate to her, so Tripp managed to not use her stereotype as a crutch. Good character development is insanely rare in this genre, so it was really refreshing and a very strong start to the book.
That being said, pretty much every other face you see in the book is as flat as a cutout from a magazine. Danny keeps it real and keeps you caring, but it seems like Tripp was lazy in designing his other characters so the rest have no depth. A few are sympathetic, but they're all just slightly more developed than cardboard cutouts (case in point: gay interior designer, empathetic and soft-hearted female veterinarian, a-hole lawyer).
The description, however, is magnificent throughout. Excellent prose, believable action and the avoidance of too many predictable plot developments (at least predictable by me) kept me interested to the point where I looked for housework to do just as an excuse to listen. There's a lot of gore, but it's not just a splatterhouse. Also, as a horror, it only really had one scary point for me, at the very beginning. The rest was sort of hum-drum zombie head-smashing.
So there's bad and there's good in it, but it's worth reading. I should make mention that another very refreshing thing about this book is that it's not just another thought experiment about how awesome and scary the idea of the zombie apocalypse is. The story is as it should be-- the zombies are the environment, not the main character.
The plot wasn't really that moving for me, however; Danny's character arc is decent but not earth-shattering, some people get saved from being eaten, world's still destroyed but they can start over. It's all a little canned. Rise Again does attempt to make a few statements about the nature of occupation forces like those we have in the middle east, but they're too heavy handed and that's not really what the book is about. The book is about Danny, someone who's gotten herself into a downward spiral that would probably end in death (we see the ghost of her future in Wolf, also a bit heavy handed), and the catastrophe gives her an opportunity to find the spark of purpose that might bring her some fulfillment and save her. In a word, the book is about redemption, but it's not strong enough to make you want to cry.
All in all, it was a great read. It wasn't The Road or World War Z (I know the two are in completely different leagues from one another, but I loved them both), but it was better than the rest that I've read. And I've read a LOT.
I have a long drive to work and audible makes it so much more bearable
I enjoyed this book very much. I like the fact that the hero of the book is a woman. It is a nice departure. I also enjoyed the combat veteran angle for the sheriff and how it shaped her actions and reactions to the dead rising.
I liked the book overall, I thought the performance was good, and the story had a lot of new angles different from the standard zombie story. The characters are interesting, though sometimes annoying. The lead character did get on my nerves at times, she's a bit nasty to people.
Overall I thought it was a very well told story. I got the second of the series and I think the second is even better than the first.
First, well written. That's getting to be important in the Zombie genre. The narration is a bit dead-pan, but I liked it. Characters develop nicely and the final resolution of one main story line is understated and moving. I understand why some reviewers didn't like the main character, but I thought she was interesting, conflicted and ultimately satisfying. The San Fran element is familiar plot, but I enjoyed the characterization of the 'top-cat' politician.
I really had a hard time making it through this book. Using the private security firm as the boogeyman was boring and unbelievable, and the main character I just wanted dead from the first few moments of the book.
The writing was decent, but without characters to like or a plot that was decent, this proved to be a tedious work.
The story itself was pretty good.
Really did not like the main characters personality. This was not a love/ hate type either. The character was asexual, hardass, illogical and annoying all in one. I also found the paramilitary contractors to be old and over used. For some reason, hollywood, writers, authors , TV feels the need to make them out be mindless, steroid filled idiots. This is FAR from the truth and only hurts the storyline.
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