Classic zombies, a sympathetic heroine and daring escapes in MAR RISING

by Craig Brusseau

Verdict: MAR RISING is an entertaining story and a fine representative of the zombie-movie genre in book form.

IR Rating

 
 

3.5

IR Rating

A mysterious organism turns humans into bloodthirsty zombies – but where did it come from, and can it be stopped?

MAR RISING begins with a crash-landing, a pea-sized object dropping into the ocean from space. Living things who eat it become murderous, destructive, mindless zombies, and it keeps surfacing again and again throughout various time periods until it is either destroyed or runs out of fuel. Now, it’s surfaced in our time – and only a homeless girl with an amazing guitar talent, and some unexpected allies, can hope to stop it for good.

This book is dying to be made into a classic zombie flick, complete with innocents transformed suddenly into monsters, a sympathetic heroine, daring escapes, and all the necessary coincidences, separations, and mistakes needed to keep the action going.  That’s not at all a bad thing – this is a fine piece of mind-candy for zombie fans, who will find no shortage of twists and turns to keep the pages turning. Our heroine, Madison, is a lively free spirit, a runaway from abusive foster homes, dedicated to her music and wary of giving up her independence. She finds new connections and allies to help her face the zombie menace, through a series of coincidences that stretch but don’t, hopefully, actually break the reader’s credulity. Supporting characters feel reasonably three-dimensional, and some of them are hiding surprises that don’t necessarily fit standard zombie-movie stereotypes.

The author does a better job than many of explaining just how the zombie-creating organism came to be and how it works, and the eventual resolution is at least plausible. At times, the writing style gets more bogged down than it should in detail and didactic explanation – for example, stopping in the middle of a description of frightened refugees arriving at Fort Sumter to talk briefly but unnecessarily about the building of Battery Isaac Huger. The last few plot revelations are sprung rather suddenly, though there are a few clues scattered here and there if the book is read carefully, and seem somewhat superfluous to the main core plot (though they might be useful for a sequel, if one is planned).

MAR RISING is an entertaining story and a fine representative of the zombie-movie genre in book form.

~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader