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Expanding the boundaries of survival fiction, this captivating story opens with the end of the world—thundering storms strike across the planet, searing the earth and leaving swathes of destruction and few survivors. For residents of Temperance, Illinois, however, the nightmare is just beginning. When the sky roils in luminous colors, the people of the small town begin to die; ex-con Randall Kane takes this as his cue to leave. What he didn't expect was for the dead to come back to life or to be so confused about...
Expanding the boundaries of survival fiction, this captivating story opens with the end of the world—thundering storms strike across the planet, searing the earth and leaving swathes of destruction and few survivors. For residents of Temperance, Illinois, however, the nightmare is just beginning. When the sky roils in luminous colors, the people of the small town begin to die; ex-con Randall Kane takes this as his cue to leave. What he didn't expect was for the dead to come back to life or to be so confused about what defines human versus inhuman behavior in this new world order.
Posted December 11, 2011
A very practical approach at the Zombie situation. Snarkiness about zombies being widely overdone aside we are taken here by the author to a small town where a very unlikely protagonist takes us through the ill-begotten journey to simply survive until reason ca be found.
For once the hero isn't a shining pillar of virtue, he's an ex-con who is trying to survive through his parole. The heroine isn't the girl of everyone's dreams but a very real, appreciable human being with human flaws, and someone you could actually know whom isn't in unnecessarily distress or something to be rescued. And a host of fellow citizens with a rich sense of authenticity giving a viable environment of being people we could actually run into in this sense.
The plot is part horror, part mystery. The situations are pragmatic & viable (for those of you tired of slasher flicks that put situations in there that seem wholly unrealistic, or have a person run out into a pack of zombies because her dog got loose... yeaaaaah.) The responses and reactions are genuinely human for a nice change. It identifies where the people-turning-zombie epidemic stems from with a new and innovative explanation I found hard to argue with.
Better yet, I found the book very hard to put down because it felt 'new' and not like something I haven't seen in 3 and a half dozen zombie movies before. It leaves the journey at the end open for a possible sequel which I cannot wait to read!
Good read & great gift for zombie/horror fans!
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Posted April 11, 2011
If you didn't know already there's a game you can play with the cover of a lot of these zombie novels about nowadays. I've named it 'Guess the Celebrity Zombie' and it involves who the zombies on the cover may, or may not, be based upon. In the case of Pallid Light I see Ben Kingsley as the main male zombie and Tina Fey as the lead female. Over the shoulder of Tina as we look at the cover there's Shirley Temple and Christina Ricci to the right of her. Surprisingly Ice-Man of the X-Men makes an appearance just to the left of Ricci and Napoleon Dynamite is to the left of him. In between Kingsley and Fey we have WWE superstar Edge and to the left of Kingsley we have...okay couldn't come up with a likeness for her but feel free to name her yourself.
Getting past the cover and onto the novel itself the story takes place in a small town named Temperance where on a rainy night the dead begin rising from their graves. Always small towns. If we just cremated everyone we would never have these zombie problems so think of that option for yourself less you arise one day as one of the undead!
The story starts off quite well with the hero being an anti-hero, if that makes sense, and it had me turning the pages quicker than I had anticipated. Unfortunately the good start begins to drag by the time the first third of the book is done and from there on in it became a bit of a chore to get through. In fact the only piece of story that dragged me from my boredom occurred at the beginning of chapter 11 when I got an unintentional laugh;
"Cada tugged off Paul's slicker..."
Ha! Lucky man! Upon a re-read I figured out his slicker is actually his raincoat or poncho or something akin to one of those.
Other than the silly innuendo there was nothing else in the novel to put a smile on my face. The problem for me was that the story never really evolved and it was a case of the same, sprinkled from time to time with a few different, characters reliving the same type of situations just in different places around Temperance. Add in a plethora of spelling errors and the enjoyment level wasn't particularly high. The ending is also weak and is left open with no conclusion and no explanations for some of the mysteries presented throughout the novel (for instance, why was Jimmy rounding everyone up?). In fact, near the very end the main character Randall Clay, whose name kept reminding me of Randall Flagg from Steven King's 'The Stand' (an ode to one of the author's favorite characters perhaps), puts a gun under his chin and contemplates pulling the trigger and I couldn't help but sympathize as after trawling through this novel I felt like doing the same.
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