Home > Writing > Almost a Year and a Half Later, And I Still…

Almost a Year and a Half Later, And I Still…

…get all giddy when I get reviews like this one on The Gathering Dead:

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read with more to come,June 14, 2012
By 
 
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This review is from: The Gathering Dead (Paperback)

I finally write this review after reading this book and then the two & half others that follow (the half being a novella coming directly after this first book.)

I’ve been following zombie genre based books for the past ten years. Up until the last three or four years, the selections have been limited. Nowadays, it seems that everybody and their brother are producing books in this genre. What was then my scrounging for something new to read in my favorite genre (often with long waits) has now been swamped with countless books (literally hundreds). So many authors are now in the fray

You would think it would be great as a reader with so many options. Well, not really. There have been many disappointments in the long list of authors I’ve tired out… some self-published and others just jumping into the game after this genre found general popularity (too many who really don’t get what this genre is really about… just looking to cash in on the “next thing”.) While I have enjoyed many of the “new comers” in terms of authors, there have been a larger number that just fell flat. It has felt that I’ve sifted through many that have jumped on the bandwagon.

I guess where I’m getting at is that there’s now just a huge influx of books in this genre, literally too many to pick from. I happened across Stephen Knight’s book, “The Gathering Dead,” last fall and gave it a chance. From the first pages, I realized that this book was different, it was good!

The action was fast, the writing was crisp and polished, the plot was riveting and the characters intriguing. This book was the real deal. So I immediately got the next book in line which was a novella that focused on one interesting character in particular… God, how that even went back to make my memory of this first book more enjoyable (as well as making the next two in line that much more enjoyable… this was a kick-ass character on so many levels) These are characters that I as a reader thought about even after finishing a book. And that’s a mark of a good book… you as a reader winds up thinking about the characters as real people and then reflect upon them as someone you actually knew. Their being lingers long after you have read the last page.

More than that, these characters are soldiers. In my experience, having read literally hundreds of books in this genre, I have found that so few authors have been able to write military types beyond the cliched. Hell, most authors seem cartoonish in how they portray the military. Not Knight, either in this book or the others to follow. His military characters are well crafted and throrougly believable. They are real people.

Now, I haven’t told you much about the story in this review. That is on purpose. I don’t want to give away any spoilers. I will just say that this is an excellent read and you WILL find yourself getting the rest of the books in the series. This will be as close as you will get to an addiction if you don’t have one already.

Hell, I liked this series enough that after I was done I wound up seeking Knight’s other works in different genres of which I don’t usually follow… Had gotten his “City of the Damned” which is about vampires… a subject I’m not too enthusiastic about. But, hell that was a good read too (not to mention I hope for a sequel on that score too). So this says that Knight is a good writer. He knows how to tell a story. He has a style that draws you in.

If you decide to try “The Gathering Dead” go ahead and preorder the rest in the series. Have them waiting on hand. You won’t want to wait to find out what happens next.

Now, this series starting with “The Gathering Dead” is a complete story. But there is an opening for a sequel.

God, I hope Knight has plans for one. If not, start something else. But make it quick. I can’t wait!

As we all know, the zombie subgenre is generally overlooked by the vast majority of readers and filmgoers, and it wasn’t until The Walking Dead came to life on AMC that people have begun to take greater notice of the subgenre’s flexibility. While being surrounded by thousands of carnivorous corpses is very likely going to ruin your day, as things progress they become less of an adversary and more of an obstacle. The real conflict comes from the relationships between the survivors, be it between the rather grisly menage a trois illustrated by The Walking Dead‘s Rick, Lori, and Shane, or that between McDaniels and Gartrell in The Gathering Dead.

At any rate, it’s really a kick in the pants for me to see The Gathering Dead and the rest of the books continuing to receive such good marks. Surprising, actually. I always knew I had the ability to string words together, but not with enough… ah, mastery?… to spur folks to write reviews like this one.

Thanks for everything, folks. I’m glad you like the stuff, and there is more to come…

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