Several years ago I was scouting for a new horror author to check out and I just so happened to stumble across the name Brian Keene in a Rue-Morgue magazine. It had been years since I actually sat down and read a novel from cover to cover, so I was out of the loop as to who trust for a great read. For some reason I had the urge to get back into reading and start using my imagination a little more. This may be attributed to the lack of quality horror movies at that time. Sure there were a few good ones here and there, but maybe I just have high expectations anymore. It might have something to do with a combination of old age and Hollywood remakes that have run amok and soured my taste time and time again. Rue-Morgue had plenty of great things to say about Mr. Keene so I was determined to give The Rising a whirl. Man, am I glad I did!
The Rising is an epic zombie novel about a determined father, Jim, who is hell bent on finding his son and saving him from an onslaught of gut munching zombies. Jim’s son lives hundreds of miles away with his mother in New Jersey. Jim must set out into the world of the walking dead and do what he can to survive and find his way north to his son. On his way Jim encounters a couple of different characters that helps him on his journey, but not all living humans are willing to help and some will even stand in Jim’s way.
I don’t want to go into great detail about the story and give away too much information, but the way Brian Keene incorporates a modern scientific twist on how the zombie apocalypse gets kick started is by far one of the most ingenious scenarios to date. In most zombie books or movies the reader/watcher is left hanging wondering just how this situation came about. Usually the living dead are brought back to life by a chemical or worse, something unexplained, but Brian goes outside of the box and presents us with a new twist on how the dead return to Earth. The zombies themselves in the story are unique and stand out from any other zombie novel or movie. What is worse than a running zombie? How about one that can think!?!
The Rising is one outstanding read! This book truly got me back into reading and craving for more. So over the last 5 years I have spent numerous amounts of time reading outstanding horror novels from such great authors such as Keene, Smith and Wellington. Brian Keene has quite a back catalog of great books. After reading The Rising you must set your sights on City of the Dead. City of the Dead is the sequel to The Rising and it picks up right where The Rising leaves off. As for other great books from Brian Keene I highly recommend The Conqueror Worms, Ghoul, Dead Sea and Darkness on the Edge of Town. That is just to name a few of Brian Keene’s long list of amazing books. If you lust for the perverse and horrific tales of zombies and monsters then Brian Keene is definitely for you.