Sunday, January 4, 2009

Read: "The Rising" by Brian Keene

Read: The Rising by Brian Keene, 2004, 978084392018.

Horror novel that I saw plugged in the back of Library Journal or Booklist so I ordered it for the Library.

Zombies roam the earth. This time the zombies are more than zombies. Dead bodies are inhabited by escaped demons from, presumably, hell. But, here is another twist, not just human bodies rise from the dead. So does most everything else. the forests are alive with man eating squirrels, rabbits and deer. And the human demons retain memories that the demons put to use. The zombies don't just shuffle around and chew but they can drive cars, ride motorcycles, and use weapons. Not only that, but the demon souls are organized and communicate to form ambushes and attacks.

Jim has been hiding out from the zombies for the past month in his underground bunker in West Virginia. He is just about to kill himself with a shot to the head when his cell phone rings. Too shocked to answer the call in time he checks his messages and hears a message from his 12 year old son in New Jersey. Jim's battery finally goes dead before he can call his kid back. JIm gets out, teams up with a pastor, and heads out to rescue his son.

Along the way we meet 1) a prostitute junkie who kicks a heroin habit cold turkey. 2) A government scientist whose work may have opened the "portal" for the demon souls to enter. 3) a group of former National Guard soldiers in Gettysburg who force surviving men into slave labor and rape surviving women.

A good horror novel. Keene has several unsettling scenes with zombie children and even zombie infants. Civilization has almost entirely broken down with cannibals, biker gangs, skinheads, and street gangs in charge of some areas. The only government authorities are insane military leaders. Families members are lost in violent and terrible ways to both zombies and humans.

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