Rise is an outbreak/zombie novel by Teace Snyder that will have readers grinding their teeth in anticipation for what might happen next. It’s written with more than just an urge to develop fear towards a possible undead epidemic as Snyder creates a solid basis for his characters and the challenges they face. With very intelligent phrasing and a keen eye for subtle detail, Rise definitely rose to the occasion.
The story follows two brothers, Sebastian and Matthew, along with Sebastian’s best friend Derek. Even though they are alienated from each other as adults, their bond as children was very strong. Derek has always been paranoid about a zombie epidemic and has taken the necessary precaution throughout his life. As for Sebastian, he followed the typical route of getting married and having kids. Matthew on the other hand is constantly on the run after a terrible scenario between him and his brother. They have lost contact with each other and the outbreak only makes this gap bigger.
The reader will also be introduced to the creator of the epidemic, Ellex Vussel. His is a story of revenge and also the development of a situation where only the strong can survive. He spreads the infection through London’s water system while he hides on his island. As the world around the three main characters crumble Vussel’s insanity increases.
This is definitely not a typical zombie apocalypse book for several reasons. Firstly, the author actually appoints a “villain” and gives him a big part of the narrative. In most cases the reader is left to guess where it started and it usually points to some large government conspiracy in the end. Secondly, the first section of the book reads more like a drama than a horror novel. The author really puts in the time to build the characters, which can be positive or negative depending on the taste of the reader.
From an objective point of view the novel is written with great intelligence. The occupations of the characters are conveyed with clean-cut detail and authority, while their characteristics make them believable. Snyder’s choice of words is very impressive at times, although there are some moments that feel stretched out. In essence the reader won’t question the ability of the author or the quality of the book, because it’s all very professional.
From a purely personal standpoint, I thought Snyder drowned a little between all the first person narrations. The only reason I say this is because I found it difficult to differentiate between three specific characters, namely Derek, Matthew and Ellex. I also found it difficult to understand the relevance between all the childhood memories and current events. However, I loved the intense situations the characters found themselves in, especially Sebastian, along with Snyder’s intellectual style.
When it comes to horror novels one of the most difficult tasks is to find the right pace and with Rise it can go either way. If you like books with a rather slow progression and great rewards then Rise is the novel for you. For those who enjoy faster paced books this might not be the best choice. It has to be said that Snyder provided a quality piece of work, which is worthy of attention. It should also be noted that Snyder plans on releasing a sequel entitled Risen, so don’t expect a conclusive ending for Rise…
Reviewed by Damnetha Jules
Damnetha is a staff writer, horror book and movie critic.
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