Details from Amazon:
Zombies on the Rock: Outbreak Paperback – Oct 21 2015
- Paperback: 338 pages
- Publisher: AuthorHouse (Oct. 21 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1504955897
- ISBN-13: 978-1504955898
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.2 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 358 g
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
I’ve known Paul for over 2 years (according to FB, though I’m sure it’s a lot longer than that), he’s a great guy, an excellent father and someone I’m happy to count him as a con-friend (by that I mean someone I only see at conventions). All that said I’m doing an honest review of his book, with a couple of caveats I’ll explain shortly. I’ve always liked zombies but only really came to love reading about them when I got into The Walking Dead comic book. Truthfully this is the first zombie novel I have ever read and it certainly won’t be the last. Like vampires they are a very popular villain/creature and have lots of opportunities to be done a little different by the author. I have also written a horror series set here in Newfoundland (The Newfoundland Vampire) so I appreciate the local connection. Newfoundland is a wonderful, unique place and I think a ripe place for many stories.
So the caveats, I discussed this book with Paul a few months ago. He was aware that it is too long and needed a lot more editing. Since he has since but out a new version of the book (and I read the older one) I’ll not touch on those issues anymore.
This book has some good ideas and once the apocalypse starts, it has plenty of excitement. I liked the idea of the government collapsing and corporations taking over the governments role in Newfoundland (NL). I also enjoyed how has a lot of scenes set in Corner Brook (CB). While I’m not from CB I’ve visited there many times, it’s a beautiful area and having chapters set there makes it easy for me to picture them.
I suppose going any further I should add SPOILER ALERT!
I also enjoyed how the zombies were an after effect/mistake from a super solider program. NL is full of isolated places and would be a good spot for a company to carry out secret experiments with little chance of detection. I liked how he doesn’t pull any punches when describing both how people die (mostly from zombies) and how zombies look, sound and smell. I also liked how zombies were created here, some are fast and some aren’t. The fact that the company who created them hasn’t gone away at the end was a nice surprise and how the military is also still present in CB made sense. I also liked how people banded together near their cabins outside the city, many Newfoundlander’s are hardy and used to living in wooded areas. I think NL would be better off that many large cities for a zombie invasion and I’m glad Paul recognizes that.
That said he also has many people who just couldn’t accept that civilization is gone and monsters are real, is also good. Lots of people would buckle under the stress and pressure and simply be useless (and often the first to do). Survival of the fittest would start to apply once again to the human race..
He has no problem killing characters! I won’t say how but don’t get attached, like Walking Dead people die a lot. That said he creates some interesting, likable (and hateful which is also important for the reader) and memorable characters. I also enjoyed how their are mentions of the zombies attacking all over the world, I hope in future stories we get some scenes set outside of NL to see how the rest of the world is doing. The book has some interesting twists and turns and has a nice ending which leaves you wanting more (and is something of a cliffhanger).
As an author myself I can’t resist giving advice on how Paul’s writing can be improved (and I’m sure he won’t mind). Dialogue is a hard thing to get right, I still struggle with it and I would encourage him to work on it, the dialogue here is often unrealistic and filled with curse words. While it’s the end of the world for the characters (at least for most of the book) I think they say “fuck” far too often. Swearing in a novel is meant for dramatic effect, if it’s used all the time it loses that effect (unless you’re hard core erotica of course). I could picture Corner Brook well because I’ve been there but I think a little more description of the places would be a benefit to other readers outside of NL. He often uses the word ghoul instead of zombie, while the causal reader may not know the difference for me this was annoying. Ghouls and zombies are two different things, at least that’s what D&D taught me.
Finally I would add that while I like very graphic descriptions of violence and gore, he should perhaps tone it down in future works. Many readers are more easily offended and sometimes what you imagine is more scary than what is shown to you.
I look forward to reading more from Paul and I will certainly pick up a signed copy of book two. I give this a 7 out of 10 and do recommend it to any horror/zombie fan. I would also say to pick up the newest version, you can see the one I had by the cover. Due to violence and language ages 18+, until next time.