Fiction Friday: The Rising by Brian Keene


Zombies. If you know me, you know I love zombies! I read about them, I watch them. I find the different versions and explanations for zombies endlessly fascinating. And that is what The Rising is about.

The main protagonist is Jim, who, after The Rising happens, gets a phone call from his terrified son who lives states away with his mother and stepfather. Jim has just lost his second wife and unborn daughter to the horror and wonders if he just imagined the call. He is determined, however, to make the trek to save his son and nothing and no-one is going to stop him. Along the way we meet heroin addict Frankie, Reverend Martin, and Baker, one of the scientists who unleashed The Rising on the world.

See, Baker decided to play around with a particle accelerator and managed to open some kind of interdimensional gate or hole that has let millions of things through in order to inhabit the dead creatures of the world. Stupid fucker. And by creatures, I mean rabbits, cats, dogs, snakes, deer, anything big enough to house one of the things. They all get graphic descriptions of fur and limbs missing as they mount attacks on the living humans.

Along with the demon/creatures/entities that have inhabited the dead, those that have survived are faced with gangs, cannibals and military gone power-mad, forcing others into slavery and prostitution in order to keep themselves in control and to maintain what they perceive as order. The description of their depraved activities are quite graphic, as are the zombie attacks.

I would love to say that I loved this book, but I think I came to it ten years too late. If I had read it at the time of its release in 2003, I would (possibly) not be comparing it to 28 Days Later, which does the military gone bad better, or to The Walking Dead, which does graphic zombie attacks better, or to Feed, which does an zombie explanation better. That said, it’s a great read. Fast paced, well written and full of glorious zombieness. It won the Bram Stoker for Best New Novel in 2003, and Keene has gone on to write several more horror pieces of fiction.


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