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)
It was odd listening to a female read some fairly horrific gory details, but since the hero of the book is a female, it grows on you quickly and "fits". I would not go out of my way to listen to her on other books like I do with Ray Porter, but she still did a good job of keeping character voices straight and is not monotone at all.
Definitely laughed a few times, and the girlfriend got a little queasy at a few parts with the graphic detail of the gore.
Good book. Fit into the major stereotypes of the genre but made it unique enough to stand on its own. The makeup of the group was interesting too, a lot different than the usual story. An alcoholic combat vet with severe PTSD, a bum, a vetrenarian, and a couple of interior designers with an alternative sexual orientation. Makes for a pretty funny combination.
Different twist on Zombies with a strong, flawed hero
Excitement and action with unexpected developments
Some scenes were smoking!
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 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.
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.
The ending. It was the only point that I found myself curious about what happens next.
The narration was a little annoying. The main character did not act (with what I would consider) reasonable in the given situation. If zombies were running loose, I don't think the average person would leave the group, to search for someone when they have NO CLUE where the person was going.
Eh maybe, but I would enjoy it if the main character were more likable.
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!
This book has a little slow start, but it's like dark clouds gathering before a perfect storm.
It's a very meticulous prose with rich detail and structure. It reads like great old Russian classic novels, but it's also laden with wit, poignant sarcasm, hilarious social and political commentary. It is all expressed through believable characters, even those most outrageous ones.
It's a gore action and suspense read, but also with a deep and tender side to it.
I praise the author specifically for giving the well deserved forefront roles to female characters. It is so refreshing.
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