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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 9 August 2011
Hands down the best Zombie novel I've read this year, easily in the top ten for overall best novel of the year. And I've read a fair few good-uns.

First and foremost, this is a beautifully written, well paced, horrific adventure novel. So much so, it feels like the work of a far more experienced writer. It is the quality of the narrative and the deft handling of the emotion of this story that gives it its brilliance. Some recent gems of the genre like Rhiannon Frater's 'As the World Dies' and Jonathan Maberry's 'Patient Zero' succeed because of the quality of the idea realised through average-to-good storytelling. 'Rise Again' is a stonkingly good, cleverly plotted, deftly handled, adrenaline soaked, quality read that happens to have zombies.

'Rise Again' is different from many other zombie novels out there due to the author's investment in ratcheting up the tenison as a small town and then society as we knows it goes to hell. Don't get me wrong, it's not a slow book at all. It fairly thrums along right from the start but it is first and foremost quality character development that drives this tale. By the time the mayhem really hits its relentless stride, you are so invested in the characters and the set up that your heart sits firmly in your mouth for the rest of the book. And there really is precious little let up of tension throughout. This is intelligent, original horror.

Danny Adelman, the main character is the town's sheriff. She has completed three tours of Iraq, suffered life altering injuries and come back home changed. Everyone notices it, but no one says it. Friends, family all find her hard work and difficult and she alienates them all, incapable of connecting with others. Hypervigilant and frighteningly capable, Danny exists in a frenzy of control and organisation by day. At night she works on a serious alcohol dependency and is ill suited to the small town life she is living. This is the reality of Danny's life when we meet her and she's slowly imploding.

The novel starts with a typical small town 4th July festival with Danny judging who made the best chilli whilst fighting not to throw up from her hangover. Slowly the day becomes nightmareish. There is a gradual disolving of normalcy that is incredibly well handled. Is Danny jumpy from too little sleep, post traumatic stress disorder and a hangover or is the creeping unease she feels real?

Where a writer of less quality would allow the accelerator to be hit too fast, crashing and burning, Tripp holds his nerve. This is echoed by Danny herself, moving the story forward at a pace that ensures you as a reader are constantly existing in a state of tension. Initially, people running and screaming, a dead body turning up, are handled in a rational, believeable, police procedural manner. Yet the weirdness keeps deepening until suddenly we are hip deep in zombies and flailing to stay upright. And here, the characteristics that make for Danny's fractured domestic existance allow for the perfect survival instinct in a world where the dead have risen and the living are often just as much a threat- through either incompetence or outright malevolent design. Suddenly, Danny is in her element, a powerful formidable, intelligent foe to the risen dead and the unscrupulous living. The personal story arc of Danny is what made this such a quality read for me.

This is a gory novel, given the subject matter that shouldn't be a surprise. There are entrails a-flying and avid descriptions of trauma and dismemberment so multisensory you will swear you can smell the blood, guts and decomposition. But it isn't dwelt on salaciously, instead presented in an exquisitely realised illumination of life under a new world order.

If the novel has a fault (apart from the fact that it ended when I wanted this to just go on and on it was so good) it is that occasionally, Tripp cuts away from one crucial part of action to another equally exciting event but then doesn't entirely pick up again from where he left off when you return. But I am being picky. I just enjoyed this so much I really didn't want to miss a thing nor hear it told after the event. Please don't let that put you off. This truly is an epic horror tale, handled by a new yet assured and exciting voice who has a cracking tale to tell us. Superb narative, fantastic style, great characters, well handled pace are all here.

And if you think you've 'been there, done that' with the Zombie genre, trust me, Mr Tripp has some excellent surprises in store for you, respectful of the genre yet electrifying and just begging for a sequel to deliver them, kicking and screaming fully into the light. I'm not gonna spoil it by telling you what they are though. Order it, read it for yourself and be prepared to immerse yourself in this one till its done. It will hold you tight and snap its teeth right in your face till you've finished!

Highly recommended. Mr Tripp, please please write some more books!
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on 19 March 2011
This is a very well written book with good editing, which is refreshing. There are strong characters and situations and things developed well. This is a zombie book of course and the outbreak and the breakdown of civilisation were interesting and original, the zombie development was interesting. The book took a trip from a small town across the country and we get to see how things are going in a big city. I felt that this book was definitely worth the money and I would also definitely buy more by this author. I find it a shame that there aren't more reviews for this book and that more people haven't read it/commented.
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on 23 November 2011
I loved this book. As other reviewers have said, it is really well written, which definitely makes a change for a zombie book. It never gets too bogged down in the back story, but you are given enough information to understand the choices that the main characters make.
There is plenty of zombie gore to keep fans interested, but it also describes situations very well and doesn't go too overboard with the escapes and survival scenarios.
It has excitement in spades and is a fairly lengthy story so you don't feel short changed either. I loved the ending - it made me want to know what happened next and at the same time not want a sequel to ruin the brilliant ending!
Read this book - you won't regret it!
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on 17 April 2012
I loved this book! As standard for the zombie thriller a strange virus/infection is afoot causing the dead to rise, however the thing that intrested me about this book was the way in which the author describes the spread of the virus- people running mad and then dropping dead...or so it would seem...I thought he manages a really clever take on this idea. I couldn't put it down.

The main character Danny is an Iraq vet turned small town Sheriff, she's hard to like at the start by by the end I was rooting for her.

I have since read an interview with Ben Tripp saying he is working on a sequel, I have to say I am very excited!
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on 20 August 2011
Great book, a must for zombie fans no doubt about it. Fast paced with a twist. Also has a great personal view of the initial infection which seems to be missing from many Zombie titles. I challenge you to put this book down once started, Iam very particular about the titles I read but no worries here, a good all rounder
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on 9 September 2011
The books starts really well building up the main characters and the plot line. Ben has invested a lot of energy with this and it does pay off as when the characters find themselves in some very tricky situations, I found it better to understand the reasoning behind their choices.

There is one scene in the book before the Z's become fully aggresive he describes the living corraling them and they follow like sheep. Well written and a great scene.

He introduces a sinister organisation that I will say nothing about but provides a very interesting sub-plot to the main event.

All the characters in the book are well thought out and the situations believable.

The only thing preventing me giving this book 5 stars as a rating is that I felt it seemed rushed at the conclusion. This is a shame, but doesn't spoil the book too much.

I will not say too much about the ending, but let's hope this promising author delivers more books abuot my favourite bad guys...

In summary, thank you for a great read and I hope to see more of your work.
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on 7 February 2012
I enjoyed this book very much, as previously already mentioned this was very well written.
All the characters were interesting and I really liked Danny, even though at times she seemed to be a bit of a superhuman... Patrick being my second favourite.
I liked how the zombies start evolving, zombies hunting in packs is something new I haven't read before.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes zombie books as this is one of the best ones I have read. The ending is just screaming for a sequel and I really hope there will be one coming soon!
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on 23 November 2011
My Review

The story starts by introducing us to Sheriff Danny (Danielle Adelman) and her sister Kelley, Kelley is writing a letter to her sister who she feels has neglected and left her behind many times and she has had enough. It is a slow start as the author is building up a picture of our main character and the town however once the contagion actually starts (just shy of 100 pages) it really takes off. During the book we have flash backs to Dannys time in Iraq and offers a window into understanding how she is the way she is.

The zombie side of it is fabulous, roughly where it starts (which quite a few zombies books pass over) and how it progresses. We follow our band of survivors and the struggles and horrors they face, not only the flesh eating kind but fellow humans at their worst.

There is a few friendships formed, some unlikely and interesting to read however it doesn't take over or away from the story. Once you get by the first quarter it is really fast paced and the ending is really good and there is plenty of gore to satisfy the horror fans.

I really enjoyed this book and would read more by this author, 4/5 for me
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on 28 September 2011
Absolutely excellent..well written and unlike a lot of the genre excellently edited!!
But the credit has to go to the author I will happily read whatever he writes next as he has written "Rise Again" so well..complete continuity throughout..a well constructed and developed plot!!The characters are consistently developed and at times you feel Danny's pain...and can smell her!!!!They are real people!!
I don't want to say too much as I do not wish to spoil the pleasure of discovering this story for the next reader other than even if you are not a fan of zombie fiction you should read this..it is excellently written and there are many post-apocalyptic authors who could learn from this novel..it is action packed and maintains an excellent pace and suspense,a lot of thought has been put into this book and the right amount of detail,it has paid off..I am keeping this to read and reread!!!
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on 4 April 2012
This is one zombie read you do not want to miss, brilliant from first page to last. Please tell me someone that there is a follow on to this, I just cannot believe the ending, it left me with mouth open in despair wanting to carry on reading. BRILLIANT so come on Ben lets have some more.
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