Author Adam Santo wastes no time diving head first into the darkness in the first book in his trilogy, TEMPERATURE: DEAD AND RISING. In the middle of the night, an unstoppable force literally blows the doors off the morgue of a hospital in Denver, Colorado, intent on securing the person about to rise from the dead. The reanimated woman, Sally, has no memory of her demise, much less how she ended up naked and fleeing the hospital with a mysterious and magical stranger. Before she knows it, she and the stranger, Bocnic, are on the run while she gets a crash course in the supernatural and how to survive as the undead she now is.
Sally’s dark backstory and undead education are tempered with a healthy dose of sarcasm and self-awareness. Santo asks both the reader and his protagonist to take a great deal of information on faith. Sally exhibits the healthy skepticism natural in this crazy situation as she tries to adapt and feel her way in a world where she can make no connections nor contact anyone from her past.
Meanwhile, The Cross, the militant force of the Church and biggest threat to the undead around the globe, is closing in, somehow having received word both of her Wakening and her intense and unique powers. Forces unite on both sides of the centuries-old conflict, while Sally struggles forward, oblivious to the battle forming around her until Bocnic reappears out of the blue and tries to go with her on the run. Unfortunately, his ability to save her is limited and their eventual separation is tragically ill-timed.
This introduction to Santo’s trilogy is strange and funny, allowing the reader to accept this new underworld as Sally does. The action is fast and visual. The pace and the likeable characters take the reader past the littering of grammatical and spelling errors and into the fantasy world where Big Foot is a savior and death means power. The end sets the stage as Santo throws a final and sudden wrench in the works and draws the reader in, more than eager for the next installment of the strange but engaging trilogy.
TEMPERATURE: DEAD AND RISING kicks off what is sure to be an unforgettable trilogy filled with intense characters, heart-stopping action and more than a few leaps into the unknown and undead.
Reviewed by Kat Toland for IndieReader