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Book Review: Atrum Terra: Dark Lands – Author Brenton J. Cox

Atrum Terra: Dark Lands (A Potentially True Zombie Apocalypse
Author: Brenton J. Cox

Zombies seem impossible to escape these days; they have overrun the literary field and are making a renewed comeback in the film industry despite almost being snuffed out for a time. Just as they were originally intended to do, zombies have taken over the Western world (or at least its pop culture).

This being the case, roughly every other book I review seems to revolve around those loveable undead beings in some way or the other and as such, it becomes increasingly aggravating to read the same formula over and over with a new title and different character names. Thankfully, however, there are still a few fresh takes on the recent dead out there to be enjoyed by those who are tiring of the typical routine.

Such is true with Mr. Cox’s new novel Atrum Terra: Dark Lands, which attempts to explain the origins of the virus itself (which, as it turns out, is again due to human greed) and show the slow but steady mutations that occur to turn it into the uncontrollable apocalypse that it becomes.
Mr. Cox offers us this information primarily through the eyes of two characters, an average man named Jonathan Fisher and a fresh-from-training Marine called Miguel Alverez. The separate perspectives of a working-class joe and a young military man make for an interesting tale and the way each goes about handling day-to-day life is also quite fascinating.

The setup as to how the virus came about was the first thing to really pique my interest, however. It’s to be expected that somehow the government is at fault, but the answers to how and why will really send the reader for a loop.

Overall, it was a great read that doesn’t take long to finish despite being a couple hundred pages long. However, where there’s good there must also exist evil, and Atrum Terra is no exception; the single biggest issue with this book as a whole is the same issue I seem to complain about in every Ebook I review: the spelling and grammar. At times, Mr. Cox proves that he did his homework on the sciences he discusses as well as the military actions that are taken, but the lack of a decent editor really takes its toll. Mr. Cox manages to offer up paragraphs such as this:

‘“We have been able to break the virus strand down to its lowest form and manipulate the individual pieces that make up the DNA of the cold as a whole. After we were able to figure out how to map and translate the DNA of the Rhinovirus, we then learned how to amplify or decrease specific parameters of the individual symptoms.”

However, alongside this type of writing the reader also must suffer through a multitude of coma errors, simple spelling mistakes, and horrid dialogue structure. In fact, that was the absolute worst part and what almost caused me to stop reading. Perhaps in translation from manuscript to Ebook something occurred that was out of the author’s hands, but every instance of dialogue is severely marred in the fact that it is all grouped together like a normal paragraph, making it very difficult at times to tell who exactly was talking.

If Mr. Cox were to fix the dialogue and perhaps clean up the overall grammar of his book, it would be a hit in no time. I would not allow this to stop someone from reading though; even as it is now, Atrum Terra is a fantastic read and a fresh look at a very old, very dead subject.

Buy from: Amazon for $13.52 or $4 for Kindle

Book Review: Atrum Terra: Dark Lands – Author Brenton J. Cox


  1. Brenton J Cox

    I am happy to say that Atrum Terra has been picked up by Permuted Press and is currently being turned into a trilogy. It is going though the process of being professionally edited and polished up with a shiny new cover. Expect its rerelease in early 2015 and part 2 to follow shortly after.

  2. First, thanks so much for reading the first book and putting in a couple of good words on the website. I am really glad that you liked it, especially considering how much zombie literature you read these days. As you pointed out and I agree, I am no editor and this is a perfect example of what happens when you self publish without going through the proper steps. That is one of the reasons I took it off line after less than a year, I do not want people to pay for something that is flawed.

    The Permuted thing is not going to happen for reasons I won’t get in to. The good news is that I have been writing since the release and retraction of book one and am literally about two months from finishing the third book and the end of the series. Though I am always looking but have no home for the written novels, the series is going to be released as an audio drama from one of the major audiobook companies which will be using a full production cast, sound effects, and soundtrack.


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