Saturday, April 14, 2007

Review of: Rise and Walk by Gregory Solis (Hadrian Pub. 222 pgs.) Review by Shawn Rutledge

Yep that's right folks, another review from me of yet another zombie novel. It seems to me that these things are cropping up all over the place like the living dead hoardes that populate their pages. But I'm not complaining, cuz I loves me some zombies.

That said, I was actually kind of hesitant when this one showed up on my doorstep. I had read somewhere that this was supposed to be a young adult book, and, while there is nothing wrong with that, I'm a grown ass man with specific tastes. As such, young adult novels which don't carry the sex, violence, and overall depravity that I am accustomed to, aren't typically up to snuff for me. Combine that with one of the silliest sounding premises ever (zombies at a paintball tournament...seriously) and you can understand my pause. But, since Gregory seems like a genuinely nice guy and I had promised him a review I dove right in.

And, dear readers, I must admit... I was fucking wrong. That's right ladies and gentlemen, this book blew me away. Whoever called this a young adult book must have had a very disturbing childhood. And the paintball aspect, which looks silly from the outset, leads to some really surprising plot twists, as well as some moments that made me cringe in honest disgust.
The story, as it stands, revolves around a small mountain town and the annual paintball competition. The entire novel happens over the course of one weekend at the local campgrounds. When strange meteorites crash into the surrounding areas, the dead stop dying and come looking for the buffet.

To say much more would ruin the plot so I won't, I'll just get down to brass tacks. This man is obviously a fan of the genre (space radiation as the cause, hinted at in NOTLD, gore that would have made Fulci cream himself, and a seige scene that Romero himself could have directed) and he has the talent to back it up. The novel is populated with beleivable characters and realistic settings; this is a world you can see yourself living in... hell you do live here. Gregory strikes a visceral blow with this novel, leaving you worn, breathless, and strangely agitated when you get to the final page and realize it's over. It's one of those rides that ends too soon, leaving you begging for a sequel, so you can keep up with the character's lives.

That is not to say that the book is perfect, mind you, because it is not. Some of the dialogue is a little stilted, because although it is grammatically correct, no-one actually talks like that, outside of English teachers. it doesn't detract from the novel as a whole, but it does cause a bit of drag from time to time. Real people use slang, contractions, and everything that comes with that. But other than that one minor problem I must say, this is a damn good novel that surpassed all of my expectations and gave me an entire new set of them for the impending sequel.

In conclusion, if you don't already own a copy of Rise and Walk, shame on you. Go out and get it now. Also to the author, Greg, if you ever feel like doing an interview, or need any upcoming work reviewed, let me know. You have made one new fan this day sir, and that is the highest compliment I can give. Keep up the good work. Til next time, Shawn signing off.