4.0 out of 5 stars
Civilians and Soldiers and Zombies, Oh My!, 13 July 2010
Weston Ochse is a friend of mine which is, really, why I first read his books. I'm not into horror, really, and never have been, but I like Wes, and so I started checking out his writing a number of years ago, when he was published in "Scary Rednecks and Other Inbred Horrors," and I had met him at conventions once or twice.
I've been reading them since, and no longer just because he's a cool guy and a good friend. I still read them because he's a good writer, who LOVES writing and reading. I mean, if you ever get to meet him, try to get him to tell you about something from one of his books; the sheer JOY he exhibits as he describes things is like watching a kid talk about the Saturday matinee show... and I think that joy is why his books are so great.
EMPIRE OF SALT is no different. Several reviews have already broken down the plot for you, so I won't go into details. I will say only that we finally--as the genre grows stale--have something NEW in zombies; I've always wondered why does no one ever offers a good reason for creating zombies? Well, Wes does. These are ZOMBIES OF SCIENCE, and they exist for a sound--if somewhat psychotic--reason.
The characters are believable and developed, and I could picture not only how they did things, but WHY they did them. I LIKED those characters. This being horror, of course, getting to like characters is asking for heartbreak. Nothing ever comes out well in horror, so if you're a romantic like me, well, just think of the characters you like as having an expiration date built-in, and you'll be better off, trust me.
A great, fun book, and it's sort of asking for a sequel, though I've no idea if Wes plans on one. I strongly recommend it to anyone who likes their zombies hungry and their government conspiracies, uh... conspiratorial? Yeah, that works.