Friday, October 19, 2012

Gravel and Gems: Rise Again by Ben Tripp


Rise Again by Ben Tripp
* Romero-style Shamblers, at least at first
* The story begins just prior to the outbreak, where we are introduced to the main character and a few supporting characters: * Main character is Danny Adelman, a small town sheriff in Southern California who is an Iraq veteran suffering from PTSD and alcoholism. Supporting characters are Patrick Michaels, a gay interior decorator with his own TV show; Wolf, the local bum who turns out to be a Vietnam vet (also suffering from PTSD);  Amy Cutter, the local veterinarian; others introduced as the book progresses.
* The story begins with Danielle “Danny”  Adelman’s teenage sister Kelley writing a note that implies suicide but is really a runaway note. She can’t stand how her sister’s PTSD is making home life impossible, and so she takes off with her sister’s classic mustang. Sheriff Danny Can’t pursue immediately as she’s covering the July 4th events in her hometown as sheriff. A lot of tourists are in town as well, so we meet Patrick and his boyfriend Weaver in their huge RV. While events proceed with the festivities, the outbreak begins!
         The book covers between 6 months to a year of the outbreak, and has some political undertones…as usual in many zombie novels. The main non-zombie antagonists are a private security firm called Hawkstone (re: Blackwater) that is used initially by the government to try to combat the outbreak because most of the US’s military is overseas. The villains are pretty stereotypical of bad military-types, but Tripp’s writing style makes up for this. Tripp’s also not afraid to kill off a few liekable characters along with lots of redshirts.
            WARNING! There is a major cliffhanger at the very end that is supposed to continue in the second book. This book isn’t out yet, but according to Ben Tripp’s blog he turned in the manuscript in July of this year so hopefully it’ll be out by the beginning of next year. If you hate cliffhangers, you might wait to read this until the second book is out.
            I really liked the book because as I noted in my original discussion of “Gravel & Gems” I don’t like superhero style main characters in zombie novels. Danny Is competent, and has a lot of good points, but in the end she is “damaged goods” and has her share of faults and mistakes. The other characters are interesting as well, especially Patrick the interior decorator. How many zombie novels do you read about such a guy trying to survive in a zombie apocalypse? Not many I’ll warrant!

            I give Ben Tripp’s Rise Again five head shots out of five! Ok, I know I said I'd give 1-10 grades, but since I started listening to Mail Order Zombies again I'm going to steal their "Head Shots" grade of 1-5. ;)
Zombie Chow


David Cooke said...

Thanks for the review. It sounds intersting. Think I'll get it.

Zabadak said...

Good review;you have very similar thoughts on it to my own when I read this novel, although I only gave it a 4/5, it wasgood, but not great imo. I will of course be getting any sequel, now that I know there is going to be one - thanks for that.

lrqan said...

Thank you for this I'm looking for a good read at the mo. and tis looks like it. Thanks.

Zombie Chow said...

Glad it helped guys...That is what I'm trying for with the G&G reviews. Namely, what would help me if I was looking for a zombie novel to read.

Zabadak; thanks for the feedback as well. I will admit that save for the cliffhanger the second book (9 months+ after outbreak) is not as interesting to me other than finding out the reactions to said cliffhanger. But I prefer pre-outbreak to 30-60 days afterward and that's it. Just curious Zabadak, but what book would you give a 5/5? Since we seem to have similar tastes I'd like to hunt one up. ;)