This review was originally posted over at Realms & Galaxies: Celebrating SFF on the 27th of October 2009.
I’ve had this eBook for a while, and yes, I took a long time getting this review done, I’ll admit that. But after reading Uprising, I find myself in the position of knowing that when something similar comes from Christopher Newman, I’ll be all over it! 🙂 Uprising is a hugely enjoyable read!
The story is as follows:
The world, and in particular, the US, is in the process of recovering from a zombie outbreak; a couple of years have passed, and life has, for the most part, gone back to normal. Zombies are still around –in fact, due to a certain confluence of events, they will always be around- but steps have been taken to guarantee that the non-infected are safe. These steps include legislation passed by the senate, and a new role for zombies, creating a ‘place’ for them in society.
I won’t say too much about the meat of the plot; suffice it to say that discovering this post-Outbreak world that Christopher has created is incredibly cool, especially the aspects that he focuses on, many of which have never found their way into any movies or other literature regarding zombies.
Now for a deeper delve into the novel; Christopher’s characters are well-realized, most of them being the kind of people we all know – people who are often times flawed, have different beliefs, ways of doing things that we might not agree with, as well as being misinterpreted at first glance. Christopher also likes jumping around, offering views into different sections of the society that has arisen after the initial Outbreak, and through these jumps we get a plethora of the needed points of view – without these jumps, the novel would quickly have degenerated into the kind of plot bad B-movies have, with perspectives limited to a few. Some of the characters don’t get developed at all, but it’s also not a problem at all, since one of the ways that this novel can be regarded is as a snapshot into the lives of these people and the choices they felt forced to make. Imagine for yourself surviving a zombie outbreak and I’m sure you’ll find yourself sympathetic. 🙂
Christopher also has a great head for action – the novel itself is fast-paced (so yes, you will be devouring pages at a fair rate) and when it comes to action scenes, Christopher not only ups the pace but narrows the perspectives, so that you know what it feels like to have a lurching, rotten hungry thing reaching for you as you frantically search for any kind of weapon to use against it. There is plenty of absolutely disgusting (but cool) gore, though, so prepare yourself. If you don’t have the stomach for very descriptive violence, then don’t eat before reading this! 🙂
The novel does have problems, though; you may find, as I did, that when the pace should be sustained it sometimes tapers off a bit, and the characters sometimes say things that sound utterly stereotypical. Also, too many exclamation marks – these shake up the reading experience a bit.
But the concept is so fresh, the action brutal and the zombies so cool –yes, they are looked at from a different angle, which is pretty damn scary and pulled off well- that what’s wrong with the novel doesn’t seem so bad; you will, in all probability, find yourself not minding the wobbles at all, and enjoying the journey. 🙂
I hope that Christopher has more novels planned that deal with these zombies –and the other beings that crop up in the story- because he has created a world that I sincerely enjoyed stepping into. This is definitely a novel for those who like zombie stories – not only is it old-school enough to bring to mind the lurching horrors Romero visited (and still continues to) upon us, but it also offers some very interesting and fresh perspectives on the undead. 🙂
I’m giving this a strong 7 / 10
Bring on more!