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Publisher's Summary

Since its 2003 debut, Brian Keene's The Rising is one of the best-selling zombie novels of all-time. It has been translated into over a dozen languages, inspired the works of other authors and filmmakers, and has become a cultural touchstone for an entire generation of horror fans.

The Rising is the story of Jim Thurmond, a determined father battling his way across a post-apocalyptic zombie landscape, to find his young son. Accompanied by Martin, a preacher still holding to his faith, and Frankie, a recovering heroin addict with an indomitable will to survive, Jim travels from state to state and town to town facing an endless onslaught of undead hordes and the evils perpetrated by his fellow man.

©2003 Brian Keene (P)2017 David N. Wilson

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The Rising Part I

As everyone else has mentioned this is a different take on zombies which is quite refreshing. Even if you remove the zombies from the story, the plot, although familiar, is enjoyable. The different style zombies adds a uniqueness to the story and I am sure the second and third book will only get better as we learn more about them. There were a few aspects of the book I didn’t care for, namely getting invested in characters only to have them die.
This isn’t a standalone book and I wasn’t aware of that until the very end. Really looking forward to the next one because this book ends like the season of your favorite tv show, incomplete and forcing you to wait eagerly for the next one.
Joe Hempel as always did a fantastic job and at this point if his name is on the book I know that I will enjoy it.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Different type of zombie story

This is an unusual, action packed and somewhat disturbing story. Yes, like in the usual zombie tales, the dead do rise but they are not the shambling, mindless zombies that normally occur in this type of story. The dead, both human and animal, are just vessels for something more sinister and deadly. I must admit though, that the thought of a zombie fish did make me laugh and yet somehow it seemed to fit ok in that section of the story. No, this story wasn't perfect and it lacked detail in some places, but the multiple stories of different individuals do interweave to form a picture of desperation, strength, survival, immorality, loss and love. The narration in this newly released (07/2017) audiobook is great. The narrator lets you feel the horror and loss; the cold hatred of the risen dead, the guilt and responsibility Baker feels, the depravity of the meat wagon and the anguish as Jim desperately tries to reach his son. Overall I enjoyed this story but I did find the ending rather abrupt and somewhat frustrating

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Unique.

I always try to make my own synopsis when writing a review, but with this one I would probably spoil something, so I think the synopsis of the book says it all....... "THE RISING is the story of Jim Thurmond, a determined father battling his way across a post-apocalyptic zombie landscape, to find his young son. Accompanied by Martin, a preacher still holding to his faith, and Frankie, a recovering heroin addict with an indomitable will to survive, Jim travels from state to state and town to town, facing an endless onslaught of undead hordes, and the evils perpetrated by his fellow man."

I wasn't too sure what to expect going into this because there are some pretty negative reviews for it, but thank goodness it was better than I hoped. One thing that stands out the most is the Zombies. I loved the spin the author put on them. How they came about is definitely unique!!! Plus they are sentient, can think and plan and can shoot, drive and pretty much do everything. The Zombiness isn't just limited to humans either. Anything that can die will turn into one, so we have Zombie goldfish which is something I've never ever read before!!!

if you suspend disbelief, then the plot is good!! I liked how focused Jim is on finding his son and his journey there was filled with a lot of danger. I liked reading about the other characters and their journeys and I enjoyed seeing how they meet, but it was hard to connect with them all, as I thought they weren't fleshed out enough. I just didn't really care too much about them.

In all, this was a very different take on the Zombie books I usually read. It was a good read and the ending left me wanting to read the next book in the series. I'm hoping they bring it to audio soon!!

Joe Hempel is a narrator I find myself listening to more and more because he knows how to tell a good story. He has an array of tones and voices and always knows how to amp up the tension when needed. I hope he narrates the next one!!

I was voluntarily provided this audiobook for free from the author, narrator, or publisher. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Totally Different!

As advertised, this is a unique take on the classic zombie tale with some surprising and satisfying elements. The characters are complex, dynamic, and diverse - a really nice fresh breath of air in that regard. The epic narrative takes our protagonists through obstacle after obstacle in the hellish post-apocalyptic landscape. This story felt disturbingly possible to me; Keene's imagination has a realism quality to it. Joe Hempel, one of my very favorite narrators, does this intense adventure justice.

All of that said, I hated the ending so much it nearly ruined the book for me. Sometimes I think authors think they're clever when leaving cliff hangers but to me it reads as lazy or afraid to make a bold choice. If you want answers to questions posed throughout, then this book isn't for you.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Demonic Zombies!

Excellent post-apocalyptic book with a different spin on zombies! Demons are possessing the bodies of dead humans and animals! I love when an author can put a spin on the classic zombie and make it different than every other zombie book out there. I loved 99% of this book. I want to give the one fingered salute to the author for the ending! The whole book is Jim's story of survival on his way to rescue his son. He makes friends and enemies along the way and fights demonic zombies. It is very emotional and heart wrenching at times and very action packed! SPOILER.... Once he finally makes it to his destination, you never actually find out the results of the moment the whole book has been leading up to. You can make a good assumption, but you don't know for sure. Ultimate cliffhanger! It's a little upsetting! Amazing narration by Joe Hempel! He did an outstanding job! Despite the ending, I still would recommend this book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Dark, Occasionally Silly, Pulpy Fun

When I first read The Rising five years ago, I didn't much care for it. Here's why: early on in Brian Keene's zombie adventure, we discover that it's not just humans that can become reanimated. Animals are fair game for zombification, too, and the demonic Siquissim that possess Earth's corpses give all these zombies the ability to talk. This means that in addition to talking zombie humans, we also get talking zombie fish and talking zombie lions. My first encounter with these creatures seriously disrupted my suspension of disbelief. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, a talking fish was enough to take me right out of this zombie novel.

Over the last few years, though, as the book marinated in my psyche and I've become a regular listener of Keene's podcast and privy to the stories and behind-the-scenes discussions he's given us about his books and influences, I grew tempted to give The Rising another shot. Joe Hempel's narration of the audiobook edition sealed the deal.

Boy am I glad I did! In fact, knowing what to expect out of this book helped me enjoy it a heck of a lot more. My prior reading gave me the inside track on what's what here, and without any jarring surprises, like a talking fish, to snap me out of the reading I was able to really sink into the narrative and accept it for what it is. And what it is is a heck of a lot of dark, occasionally silly, pulpy fun.

Keene's conceit for the zombie apocalypse is a nifty one. A Large Hadron Collider-like bit of science opens up a portal between this world and The Void, allowing the evil Siquissim entry into our dimension where they take up residence in our recently dearly departed. When a person shuffles off their mortal coil and their soul escapes the confines of the flesh and blood, a Siquissim takes its place. This is a zombie apocalypse by way of demonic possession and cosmic horror, and it's an interesting, original take on the end of the world as we know it.

At the core of all this is our every-man hero, Jim, who just wants to make it to New Jersey to save his son. He's joined along the way by other survivors, but when a rogue platoon of National Guardsmen begin rounding up and enslaving folks, it's only a matter of time before everybody is set on a collision course. There's an urgency to Jim's situation, and the perils he faces on his road-trip serve to heighten the tension. Keene makes you feel his desperation as the clock ticks down, right from the opening chapter. I was surprised at just how emotionally resonant and earnest our introduction to Jim was, and Keene is sure to pull on our heartstrings every now and then, reminding us of the humanity of our small band of survivors even as he grips us in moments of true despair and shocking violence.

Joe Hempel's narration is strong throughout, and I particularly liked the affectations he gave to the zombies, particularly Ob, the malevolent leader of the Siquissim. He voices each character well, providing enough subtle distinction and occasional accents or tones that each line of dialogue is unique to each speaker. Hempel's narration is top-notch, and his reading makes for a truly compelling listen. He's a great fit to Keene's sensibilities, and I'm looking forward to listening to his reading of City of the Dead next.

While the text is the Author's Preferred Edition, I think it's safe to say the audiobook is my own preferred edition. Listening to Joe Hempel's reading of Brian Keene's Bram Stoker Award-winning debut horror novel was a terrific amount of fun, and it gave me a new appreciation for the work as a whole.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Really good ZomPoc book

What can you say about Brian Keene except that he is a really good writer. This story is emotional and has some aspects of zompoc that are unique. Anxious to see what happens in the sequel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Whole lot of crazy going on in this one!

I had read this one previously, but when I saw the audio come up, I jumped all over it and Joe was kind enough to gift me a copy to check out. It is even better the second (or third) time around and Joe's narration really added to the experience for me. His cadence and tone made the pages come alive. Very well done. Thanks, Joe!

**Minor spoiler warning ahead**

Jim is on a mission to get back home and save his son. The Rising has begun and an ancient evil has entered the dead thru the soul as an entryway. Back from the Void, they are growing in numbers and planning on taking back what they see as rightfully theirs.

This one was pretty crazy. These are definitely not your mommas’ zombies. Part terrifying and part tongue-in-cheek, there is a lot going on in this one. There are several memorable characters throughout the novel and it even has zombie squirrels! That’s right squirrels, man!! Crazy!

Hardcore zombie apocalypse "traditionalists" may not dig this one because it is not “real” enough (that’s lame anyway) but that’s what makes it good, at least in my humble opinion. Recommended for a bloody good zombie romp!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Glenn
  • Jeffersonville, IN United States
  • 10-16-17

The Rising breathes new life into the undead

I had the pleasure of meeting Brian Keene about a year ago, but I had never read the story that put him on the map. Luckily, this newly recorded version of the Author's Preferred Edition was just released and I was able to listen to it despite my busy schedule. With the proliferation of zombie-everything these days, it is hard to stand out from the crowd, but I found this story still (despite originally being released in 2003) held plenty of surprises and twists that were unique and unexpected. It's a gritty world that you really don't want to live in, and the zombies are a far worse threat that any others I have seen. Without any spoilers, I'll say that the story plays out as both sci-fi and horror, touching on characters from very different walks of life to make for an interesting, if bleak, experience. Joe Hempel did a great job of bringing the diverse characters to life... even the undead ones.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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The Rising

This is a well written,good story.I enjoyed the characters interactions.Zombie people and animals are eating the population.There is a rag tag resistance,but who is worse,humans or zombies?The gore was a bit much at times.Joe Hempel is the perfect narrator for this.I was provided this book free by the narrator,author or publisher for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful