Friday, August 12, 2011

Review of Rise Again

Title: Rise Again

Author: Ben Tripp

Publisher: Gallery Books

Date: 2011

Pages: 371


Forest Peak, California. Fourth of July. Sheriff Danielle Adelman, a troubled war veteran, thinks she has all the problems she can handle in this all-American town after her kid sister runs away from home. But when a disease-stricken horde of panicked refugees fleeing the fall of Los Angeles swarms her small mountain community, Danny realizes her problems have only just begun—starting with what might very well be the end of the world.

Ben Tripp punches you hard in the gut on the first page of Rise Again and keeps you reeling for the next three hundred and seventy pages.

The novel focuses on Danielle Adelman, the local sheriff of a small mountain community where the biggest challenges of her life are dealing with tourists from Los Angeles who descend on the isolated town for the 4th of July celebration and facing the personal demons she brought back with her from Iraq. All that changes when authorities in nearby towns warn her that a swarm of tens of thousands of people from Los Angeles are heading in her direction, each one infected with a virus that makes them run and scream uncontrollably until they drop down dead, and who infect anyone they come in contact with. The mass of crazed civilians pass through Forest Peak, turning the panicked tourists into screaming madmen. When the dust settles, Danny and a handful of survivors are faced with picking up the pieces of their lives and figuring out a way to deal with the thousands of corpses littering the streets of Forest Peak.

The situation goes into full FUBAR mode when Danny intercepts a recorded communiqué from a weather station that broadcasts the same message repeatedly: The infected dead will rise again.

Ben Tripp’s first foray into zombie literature is a stunning success. The character studies of average people trying to survive the end of the world are flawless. The action and tension are relentless. Those that survive the initial outbreak must contend with surviving in a world without rules and law in which there are dangers far greater than the zombies, mainly the privatized army of the Hawkstone Corporation and the unknown entity that even the living dead fear.

Rise Again is zombie apocalypse fiction at its best. Ben Tripp is now on my must-read list.

This book gets five out of five rotting zombie heads.

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