Saturday, August 29, 2015
Book Review: Life After: The Arising by Bryan Way
There are two covers available to this one, so I will review the Amazon cover rather than the one provided in my PDF copy as that is more artistic. This is a zombie novel, so the cover is a tad on the nose, but I do like the color coordination.
Before I begin the review, I just want to make a note about my review policy: I review both self-published and traditionally published books alike. I do not judge self-published books to be 'not real', especially since some self-published books can be more financially successful than the traditional ones. That being said, however, they will be judged the same either way. A little while ago an editor asked me how many grammar errors it would take to ruin the enjoyment of the book. A few here and there won't necessarily do that for me-hell, grammar errors can be found in traditional books as well. But unfortunately, in Life After: The Arising, there are some glaring problems which need to be addressed.
The biggest one for me is the dialogue. For some odd reason, the author decided to do it incorrectly in two different ways-either having multiple people clumped together in one paragraph, or having them discuss things in different paragraphs which is the correct way to do it, but also with incorrect spacing and no distinguishing way to identify who is talking. As a result the reader will lose track of this fast. To add to it there is way...too...many...ellipses which are begging to be removed. I believe there is a sequel in the works, and an editor or beta reader this will significantly improve things.
As with most zombie novels, the strength of the story is not with the zombies themselves but with the humans and how they react. There is some strong characterization in the book, particularly in the second half of the book when some characters become a bit more likable (I'm looking at you Melody). Jeff is a likable and realistic protagonist, and the author does create some good suspense and descriptive language besides the occasional stilted language. The novel also ends on a satisfactory note, although it might have benefited by losing a new character or two that was introduced in the last bit of the story and focusing on the main ones instead.
FINAL GRADE: 2.5 out of 5. Unfortunately the technical issues of this book need to be fixed in order for me to fully enjoy it, but there is a lot of potential here as well for there to be something good.
Life After: The Arising is available to buy as a paperback or pdf here.