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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and claustrophobic, 16 Oct 2013
Mark West (Kettering, Northants United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Necromancer: Necropolis Rising II (Kindle Edition)
Opening with a bang, as two people succumb to `something' in wonderfully gory ways, this picks up some time after the events of the first book (the excellent `Necropolis Rising') that left Birmingham a walled city, following the experiments of Dr James Whittington whose Lazarus Initiative aimed to create and control zombies. He died in the blast that wiped the city but his experiment, a young man named Thom, survived and he's now a Necromancer, capable of communicating with the dead. He and two ex-soldiers, Suze & Gaz, are holed up in Wyoming, trying to stay under the radar of Phoenix Industries, who funded Whittington originally. They now have his daughter, Dr Barbara Cope, working for them, in a well funded zombie laboratory on a huge oil tanker called the Ulysses. I was a big fan of the original, which mixed brisk writing with good pulpy horror and thrills and it's a delight to return to the universe and find the writer producing stronger work. Whilst this does still have those 70s-throwback rock-`em/shock-`em sequences, there's more at stake here with the richly written characters suffering at every conceivable step of the way. The Thom story-line is gripping from the off, as the claustrophobia sinks in before moving through the wide open spaces of Wyoming to Miss Molly's diner. There, in a tautly written and prolonged sequence, they and the diner patrons have a deadly encounter with a Phoenix Industries funded five-person SWAT-type force, all armed to the teeth. The action is brutal, the characterisation just right and the atmosphere is detailed and concise - you can see the diner and its furniture and feel the dust on your face as the characters walk around. The parallel storyline, as Cope conducts her experiments, revels in the claustrophobia of the ship location, in the middle of the ocean, with a zombie army gathering in the hold. It's this section which features some of the best writing, as two characters - manager Harding and security chief Boyce - are forced to hide their love for one another, whilst the observance of such leads to the spectacular climax. Moving at a cracking pace and never once letting up, this is filled with characters you quickly care about and it's safe to say that nobody comes out of the chaos unscathed in one way or another. The zombie action is minimal but it works better for that, the sequences where they're on the rampage being brutal and brisk, whilst The Risen's ability to retain information is well explored. Beyond all this, Jeffery knows how to write action and his major set pieces are all superbly staged, dragging the reader along in a tumble of incidents. A must for fans of zombie fiction, definitely, but also for those who like their horror to be well-written good fun. Featuring a suitably bleak ending, I really enjoyed this and would highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First-Class Zombie Horror, 8 Oct 2013
This review is from: Necromancer: Necropolis Rising II (Kindle Edition)
This book was provided to the Ministry of Zombies for review. To be honest, I'm not impartial - I read the first book - the supreme Necropolis Rising although you can read this current work as a standalone. ( You could also go back after reading this no problemo)

Firstly, a word on the cover. It's a striking one. I had the e-book but I can see folks ordering it just to have the art work plus it's always nice to have a dead-tree version.

It feels like there's a bit of a gap between the last book & this. All you need to know is that zombies pretty much rule the show but there is hope for the desperate survivors, including two grizzled ex-soldiers. This comes in the bizarre, almost supernatural shape of Thom - who can communicate with the dead...

I won't give too much away but the action is well-written, fast paced & sometimes pretty strong. The characterisation is good & this volume shares many of the strong points from the first.

Perhaps one of the best things about both books is the universe that the author creates. He is thorough as writers like David Wellington are thorough - he sketches out the world but leaves plenty of opportunities & spin off stories.

A great read which I hope will become a trilogy. If you liked the David Wellington Monster series, I think you'll love this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Its got zombies but don't be fooled its more than a mere gross out., 11 Nov 2013
The Zombie genre was never one that I've really enjoyed. It always seemed to spend too much time grossing out the reader or viewer rather than telling a story. But if that's what you like then that's what you like. More recently though a number of writers, directors and producers, only too aware of the pitfalls and limitations of the genre, have started to play with it a little. Its therefore gratifying to see Dave Jeffrey's second outing in print.
This book, in what is now turning into a cracking little trilogy, takes up the action a short while after the end of the first. We find Thom, Gaz and Suzie hiding out in the middle of nowhere trying to stay anonymous and off the Phoenix Industries radar. This however is not the way things are going to go and, lets face it, its not the way we want things to go. We soon find, as do the protagonists, that things have a way of going bad very quickly.
The book is well paced throughout and maintains the tone and feel that I enjoyed so much from the first. The story fairly rips by and is entertaining throughout. Having said this though there are times when I found myself wishing he didn't cut away from one set piece element of the story to another in an attempt to keep the time line continuous (I can cope with a little discontinuous storytelling.
My one real quibble though is Dave's need to try to flesh out (if you'll excuse the pun) all of his characters in an attempt to lose that one dimensionality of the genre. The problem with this though is that some of the characters don't need fleshing out. They are the zombie literature equivalent of the Star Trek red shirt. They are going to die, we all know they're going to die we only need to wait to find out where and how.
That said though I for one will be looking forward to the next instalment.
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