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)
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
So... you're thinking, yet another zombie book. Well, yes and no. It is another zombie book and zombies are bad, and people are bad when the world falls apart - at least many of them are... but... this one is actually better written than a lot of the more recent zombie schlock out there - particularly in how well the people are written. Of course, there is the standard zombie gore and hack-n-slash, and this part is not very different or unique, but... the characters are distinct and real, and they behave in mostly normal ways. They don't suddenly become super heroes, and the women are not just there to be raped then rescued (or rescued then raped)...
Sure, the women are rescued then raped - it is still a genre novel and the author relies heavily on the stereotype behaviour of humankind (dare I say "men"?) post-apocalypse - but the women are not ONLY there for that. The main character is a strong woman (non-lesbian too, nice change to see a female lead that isn't portrayed as a pseudo-man). Sure, she is flawed and damaged, but most male protagonists are as well...
The author actually made me care what happened to the people in the story - this doesn't happen very often in zombie books; normally I just read them for the action and zombie bashing and don't really care which of the "survivors" survive until the end of the book because we aren't usually able to tell them apart. In this case, however, we want at least the main character and her original entourage to survive... because... well, we like them.
The narration is seamless (you will forget it is being narrated). There is zombie gore but it isn't particularly graphic. There is some swearing and no sex. There is a bit of a twist at the end, but it isn't truly a cliff-hanger: I bought the next book in the series at full price on Audible as soon as I finished this one.
Zombies Books in order: 1. We're Alive 2. Day By Day Armageddon 3. Roads Less Traveled Series 4. Alaskan Undead Apocalypse 5. World War Z 6. The Walking Dead 7. Rise Again 8. As the World Dies 9. Zombie Fallout
This was a *really* good book and with a listening time of 16hrs, it is well worth your credit. The story was epic with a great narrator telling a tale of zombies right from the start, even before the infection and Tripp has his own take on how the zombie infection starts and spreads.
The narration is very good and easily fell into the background so I could focus on the tale she was telling. Different voices, male, female, all handled excellently. Interesting coincidence that there is a town in the book of the same name as the narrator.
As other reviewers have noted the big weakness in this story is that the main character isn't especially likeable. You end up taking the sides of the people arguing with her. Danni is slow to catch on that she is dealing with zombies and yeah, the whole "No looting" bit. Leaves me wondering what she has been eating all this time?
She also abandons her charges and goes off on a wild goose chase for her sister which is really stupid without specific information. Her sister could be in the abandoned building next to her, how would she know?
She is also sexless. The book has a lesbian and gay in it, but although there was a line or two in there that made clear Danni is hetero, she otherwise has no romantic interests and thinks like a dude with no testosterone. Its like the author doesn't know how to portray girls.
She does redeem herself in the end but as flawed heroes go, I couldn't find much to like about her, therefore the 4 stars for story.
The end was creepy and even though I don't like that mutation direction for zombies, I'd want to buy the next book that is due summer 2013; Rise Again: Below Zero.
I liked the things about this story that were different from the typical zombie junk. Anytime an author can take a subject that has been so overdone and make me see it from a different perspective, it's a good thing. A lot of things about the story were unexpected, like the main character, Dannie. It's a lengthy listen. It starts slow, even a bit dull at first. I had to double check to make sure I was reading the right story because it took a while to get to the zombie stuff, but once things got going, I thought the story was pretty good. The ending was interesting enough that I am actually looking forward to the sequel.
I'm a voracious audiobook listener, rarely found without my iPod.
This is another book that I will revisit my rating repeatedly. As far as zombie thrillers go, this one is really original while remaining believable. The main character isn't terribly likeable and makes some really selfish mistakes in the surrogate raising of her baby sister after the death of their parents.
The narration was bland and made the main character sound bland. I just had a hard time caring about her because I was too busy judging her. I have a hard time with people/characters who realize they have a weakness and don't try to grow. In this case, she makes some decisions that are selfish. I'm probably not being fair, because she's had a hard time keeping her life together, let alone watching out for someone else's.
Because of a couple unique story twists and potential for character growth, I'll read the next book in the series when it comes out. In fact, over time, I'm finding that the post apocalyptical world Tripp has framed out is really staying with me. Without really giving anything away, I will say that these zombies are much higher functioning than usually portrayed. I really like this concept because it's believable to me and hasn't been really explored all that much.
For this reason, I am planning to read the next book and hoping that Tripp's character development makes up for some of the character flaws and poor decision making is improved.
Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!
The story is original, great narraration, the inspired story, and the characters are fleshed out quite well. If you've already gotten through the first tier of MUST READ zombie books, then this shouldbe next on your list. WWZ, Day by Day Amrmageddon (series), Walking Dead, should be considered first tier.
The story is original, but I felt that it left something to be desired. The scope could have been much larger. Also, I did like the fact that most of the protagonists are from a small town, but i felt that that "small town" feel never really left. The story seemed confined, on the brink of greatness, but never quite crossing over. I know that sounds esoteric, but it's the best way I can describe it.
Overall, if you like Zombie stories, and you need a quick fix, go for this one!
Scary, Thrilling, and unexpected
Pretty good zombie story. I like zombie stories that stick more to the George Romero version of zombies; you'll see what I'm talking about. I don't want to spoil the story for anyone.
I was getting annoyed with Danny and her need for law and order at a time when the world was becoming infested with zombies. If you are in a world plagued with man-eating zombies I don't think breaking into a store is going to get you jail time. She was the hero and I really enjoyed the cast. I didn't want to stop listening because I too was interested in whether or not she'd find Kelly.
There were some scary moments.
Great for fans of this genre (as I am). Original. Great character development (who cares if the main character is unlikeable? It informs the plot). Great narrator. I immediately downloaded the second book, and was not disappointed with that one either.
I enjoy reading fantasy, science fiction, and horror the most. To improve, I read about language, psychology, spirituality, and art. I read about computer science and business for professional reasons.
Rise Again: A Zombie Thriller is a modern novel about a zombie plague spreadig across the land.
Set mainly in California and Nevada, I appreciated the numerous descriptions of terrain, flora and fauna, urban and rural buildings, roadways, and masses of braindead uncommunicative zombies travelling about. The author seemed to have a knack for describing mundane details in way as to make the details less mundane and more part of the action of each scene. Certainly, any way to render entertaining and interesting the everyday things that are seen thousands to millions of times could make the world a more scenic place, and story settings more developed.
The characters were fairly stereotypical propaganda types from modern society, and the plotline was violent and grotesque. Although the action and scenarios the characters found themselves in were far from average. Battles for survival during economic scarcity, struggles against hungry herds of monsters, and group dynamics of betrayal and thievery made for very thoughtful character interactions. Unlike many of the happy main character stories, these characters were often wounded, shot, blown up, eaten, and otherwise mutilated.
Are you Ready?
This is the first so I have high hopes for the others
the way that you came to love the characters
She was able to convey the strong female protagonist very well
yes but unfortunately I couldn't
I am excited about the other books I have in my wish list :D
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.
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