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BOOK REVIEWS

The Rising (2003)

By Brian Keene

- Preview the 1st Chapter of 'The Rising' in PDF Format -

The Rising by Brian Keene
HARDCOVER EDITION
PAPERBACK EDITION
WHERE TO FIND
Hardback (OOP):
Amazon.com

Leatherbound Ed:
SOLD OUT

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Reviewed By Dead Kev

Ever wonder what it would be like to be one of the last survivors in a world overrun by the undead? If so, now imagine what it would be like for those undead to be intelligent, capable of speech...using weapons...and driving cars. Not a good situation to say the least, but that's what you'd be up against if you were living in the world of Brian Keene's...The Rising.

The first chapter thrusts you into the hellish aftermath of the rising. That's where you we meet Jim Thurmond, one of the unlucky survivors. He's watched helplessly while the dead return to life and fill the Earth with intelligent zombies with an appetite for human flesh. Left with no hope, a message from his son Danny finally pulls Jim from the brink of insanity. His son is alive, but for how long? To rescue him, Jim must travel hundreds of miles and face overwhelming odds. Luckily for Jim, he's not the only survivor of this undead usurpation. An elderly preacher, a strong-willed ex-prostitute, and a guilt-ridden scientist, among others, eventually join him. They must battle both the living and the dead as they journey to save Jim's son, as well as themselves.

Far from your average undead romp, Keene has spun quite a unique and captivating tale that will keep you turning the pages! It's this type of originality that will keep the zombie sub genre fresh and inviting to new fans. We're not dealing with slow, mindless creatures wandering aimlessly until they sense the presence of warm flesh and brains. These zombies do things that I've never seen them do before. Given their creative cause for existence, it makes perfect sense. Without giving too much away, corpses are simply shells that have become inhabited, with their only limitation being the fragility of the particular body. And not just human bodies are being affected. Very few movies and books have tackled the issue of reanimated animals, so this was a welcome addition. It wasn't added just for the sake of mentioning it either, nature plays a pretty large role as the story unfolds and presents more than a few challenges to the characters.

While I may have desired a little more explanation on the science of how and why the rising occurred, and maybe a little more background on the evil behind it, I know that wasn't Keene's focus, or his intent. It's clearly a very character-driven plot and a lot is purposely left to the imagination. Keene's successful in driving the plot by making the reader care about his characters, then putting all of them through the wringers, and then put through again. It amazed me how in just a single chapter I could get hooked on a character, even if that character was never seen again. And the reader quickly learns that everybody is expendable.

If you're like me, you bore easily. It's not the easiest of tasks to keep my attention focused and to keep me interested. No worries with that with The Rising, as every chapter held me in its grasp and had me anxious for more. The violence is graphic and Keene pulls no punches, while the atmosphere is masterfully set to give readers that feeling of true isolation and hopelessness, while still giving us just enough to stay optimistic. I must say that the ending was a bit more abrupt than I had expected and leaves the reader hanging, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It still works and works well. Personally, however, I was slightly frustrated with the end until I learned of the sequel. That frustration has since turned to joy, and eagerness while I wait for...More Than Infinity.


RATING

(Out of 5)
WEBSITES
www.briankeene.com
www.deliriumbooks.com
REVIEW POSTED
May 24 2003


DEAD KEV'S ADVICE
A novel every horror fan will love and a must-read for fans of the living impaired! Fresh, innovative, and full of suspense!
ZOMBIE LESSONS LEARNED
1. When hunting for food, make doubly sure that what you shoot at is alive.
2. Those privy to the most weapons are in control, even if they aren't exactly sane.
FAVORITE QUOTES
- "We are your masters. Demons, your kind called us. Djinn. Monsters. We are the source of your legends - the reason you still fear the dark."
- "The color of death isn't black. It's red."
- "Can I have a hug?"
- "This is our world now. Surrounded on all sides by the dead."
INTERESTING TIDBITS
The Rising earned Brian a second Bram Stoker Award (horror fiction's highest honor) for Best First Novel. Brian also won a Stoker in 2001 for Jobs In Hell. Brian optioned The Rising to a Hollywood production company in a six-figure deal.


HARDCOVER DETAILS
Delirium Books
March 1, 2003
Limited Edition - 300 copies (signed & numbered)
Deluxe Leatherbound Limited Ed. - 26 copies (signed & numbered)
Ultra Leather Ed. w/Leather Hinged Box - 6 copies (signed & numbered)
324 Pages
Dimensions (inches): 1.25 x 8.50 x 5.75
ISBN: 1929653417
PAPERBACK DETAILS
Leisure Books
January 6, 2004
321 Pages
Dimensions (inches): 0.95 x 6.78 x 4.24
ISBN: 0843952016

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RELEASE DATES

February
-Deathbringer - Bryan Smith
-Fell Cargo - Dan Abnett

March
-Monster Island - David Wellington
-The Ultimate Undead - J G Betancourt

April
-Zombie Bukkake - Joe Knetter

June
-Dead Ends - Nathan Piekos
-Dead Letters 2.2 - Various

Fall 2006
-Reign OTD: Outbreak - Len Barnhart

TBA
-Autumn: Disintegration - David Moody
-The Undead 2 - Various
-Mondo Zombie - John Skipp


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