A plague of the undead has consumed the majority of society. Xander, a youth trained in martial arts armed only with a katana sword vows to reunite with his brother stationed at a US military base. Against all odds, will our hero conquer all adversity and the infected or will he succumb to Rise of The Horde?
Our tale is slightly reminiscent of other popular genre efforts such as The Walking Dead and Zombieland. Although there are distinct similarities, Sagliani’s efforts are unique and compelling enough to plunge readers deep into the heart of the tale. Whether you’re an avid reader or been bitten by the curiosity bug in zombielore, there’s a little something for everyone in Rise of The Horde.
Humor breaks up the tension seemingly when we need it most. The rising tension and sense of dread and foreboding action is a delicate balance without evolving to an over extravagant level. The author has a clear concept of what works and what does not in terms of luring the reader and holding their attention. Most imaginative explorers will plunge into this novella with gusto, in all likelihood devouring one page after another with increasing ravenous grandiose.
The contemporary pop culture references are a potential concern when considering the longevity of this story. Generations from now readers may not be able to relate to heavy metal band, reality television, video game and comic book references. Our author is well versed in depicting what is popular and what works among a large audience of today. He seemingly pushes the viable envelope with such passages and it works in the here and now.
Character development is effective and engaging. The excerpt where Xander and young Benji Jones bond over listening to a Metallica cassette is entertaining and strategic from a plot development point of view. One cannot help but relate to our protagonists, adapt likability for each and silently (or not so silently) cheer them on in their quest to re-establish normal societal behavior.
The author balances graphic death and gore in grisly fashion with humanistic qualities. As our lead character feels remorse over the loss of Tom and his would be adversary Joel. The use of a religious sect works well in conjuring sensations of disturbing unease. As the messiah brainwashes his cult like followers the payoff in rising tension climaxes in a twist we don’t anticipate rendering the reader awestruck and insatiable for more.
An excellent composition of prose, action, dialogue and foreshadowing is Rise of The Horde that is indicative of a well-seasoned story teller. Devan Sagliani’s endeavor is tremendous in luring readers into anticipating more and more.
Book Review: Zombie Attack – Rise of the Horde – Author Devan Sagliani