Death has Spoken by J.A. Kingston
Posted by brriske
“My name is Max. When I was growing up I loved zombies. I played all the zombie games, read all the zombie books, watched all the zombie shows―etc, etc… What I loved most about it was the survival aspect. When your life was constantly on the line, when there were no rules, no government, no anything to tell you what you can’t do―true freedom! You could say I was a tad obsessed. That was until the God of Death declared war on humanity and the dead started walking.”
“This bump in the road forced me to search for new obsessions. I found my new hobby in ruling because what better time to grab power than during a zombie apocalypse? No government, no religion, and no law enforcers. Just a visionary teenager with a machete, and a few loyal friends. I knew how to survive, I’ve had plans for this eventuality for years. Although I never in a million years believed I would need them. I won’t just survive this zombie apocalypse, I’ll thrive.”
Jump into this apocalypse fantasy setting where the God of Death has grown tired of the human race shitting all over nature and declares war on them by raising the dead. Follow Max and his homies as they take over their high school and navigate through this new land of chaos and anarchy. Max uses his skills and knowledge honed from years of being a zombie story lover to build a haven in a world where the dead walk, but not all is good. Certain elements from his own entourage work to undo his bootleg kingdom that he founded in the midst of the fall of society. He must overcome them and not just survive the apocalypse but thrive.
In this book by J.A. Ebonlight, we are given a saga of high schoolers surviving in the midst of a zombie apocalypse…with an unusual setup. Death has decided to test humanity to see if the race should continue by subjecting the world to 100 years of the undead after making everyone on the planet relive their best and worst memories. The story revolves around a group of high schoolers who end up using their alma mater as a base and an unusual student who becomes the leader. How will this group of young adults survive this terrible wrath of Death itself?
As zombie tales go, I will say that this is definitely a fresh idea for why the undead are coming to life. The title of the work calls this piece a saga, and it is ambitious in its scope and its handling of what can be considered an overly used horror subgenre. One of the things I truly liked was that the book focuses more on the people than the monsters, and has a fairly deep cast of characters. I also liked that besides the unusual start, the book doesn’t get completely unrealistic by throwing in magic and other creatures…it’s a focused setting and universe. (Don’t get me wrong, I like wider universes too if they are set up well…but sometimes it’s nice to stay in one area.) In its best moments the tale hits a combination of “Night of the Living Dead” and Lord of the Flies.
That does mean that the subject matter of the book often gets into disturbing matter that won’t suit all readers. At times I wondered if the work used violence between students gratuitously. The characters were a little uneven, the story could probably have been refined to certain arcs and have better flow…but my biggest issue is that it just stops. Likely the ending is what is being mostly depicted, but it left too much uncertainty in my mind. All these points stated, this is a work that shows the author’s promise and I would like to see more of his or her work as the years go by.
(I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from Romance Authors That Rock. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)