Stage 3: A Post Apocalyptic Thriller

Stage 3: A Post Apocalyptic Thriller

by Ken Stark

Paperback

$11.95
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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781925493085
Publisher: Severed Press
Publication date: 03/18/2016
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.49(d)

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Stage 3: A Post Apocalyptic Thriller 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Lex Allen for Readers' Favorite In Stage 3 by Ken Stark, a zombie virus has hit the world with a bang and main character, Mason, a misanthrope who survives the initial pandemic by locking himself in his apartment following a horrific airplane incident, finds himself surrounded. Emerging from his hideaway, unaware of the disease that has turned ninety percent of the population into zombies, Mason immediately encounters a few of the infected. He quickly adapts, destroys them, and begins his search for other survivors. He encounters Mack, a young, blind girl mature for her age, who proves the theory that people who suffer a malady of a single sense have heightened abilities in another of the five senses—or six, in this case. Mack is searching for her Aunt Sarah and Mason agrees to help her. But, the odds are long as the aunt, if she survived, is in a far corner of the city and in between are oceans of the walking dead. There are numerous comparisons between Stage 3 and other zombie apocalypse tales, but it’s the dissimilarities of other zombie tales that put Ken Stark at the top of the zombie author charts. Stark’s monsters are different, a fact evident through explanation of the title approximately one-third into the story. Mason and Mack construct a believable pair of survivors whose interactions and depth of character display the human psyche at its best. Mason’s development, thanks to Mack’s maturity and insight, is a beautifully sculpted and integral part of the story that alone would be worth the read. There’s lots of gore, fighting, and a variety of bad guys (other than the zombies) that keep the action going, the plot thickening, and the pages turning. For me, the constant battles that comprised seventy to eighty percent of each chapter were a bit much, but for zombie fans that’s probably just the right amount. Stark is a master wordsmith. His insight into character development, realistic dialogue, and the right amount and timing of twists that keep the reader reading are second to none. I highly recommend Stage 3 to zombie and horror fans, but also those who enjoy a human story embedded in an action-packed apocalyptic tale.
HouseValerius More than 1 year ago
Having just broken up with his girlfriend, Mason is all too willing to shut himself away and ignore the world for a week. But when he does try to resume his life, the world he awakens to is one where every move is fraught with danger. And death isn’t necessarily the end. The virus responsible for the danger is never fully explained but it doesn’t need to be. It’s origins aren’t really important compared to it’s effects. The main characters sketch them out briefly and in simple terms. The first sign of infection is the blindness that effects Mackenzie. The second stage is a ferocious blood-thirst typified by what Mason calls the wilders. And stage 3 is the creepers, where even normally wounds can’t stop the attackers. The main character, Mason, is misanthropic and bitter at the beginning of the novel. He fights to survive mainly by instinct, without much forward thinking. Once he meets Mackenzie, a young girl in the early stage of infection, and takes responsibly for her, he gradually begins to open up. Mackenzie’s trust and vulnerability awakens a protectiveness in him and he agrees to help her look for her aunt, regardless of the risk involved. Given that the bulk of the story is carried by Mason, the author spends a good amount of time exploring his inner thoughts. He moves from initial reluctance to engage with anyone to growing affection for Mackenzie and a fierce (in one case homicidal) desire to keep her safe. At the same time, there is the knowledge that Mackenzie’s infection will progress and he will be forced to kill her . All of this serves to give Mason much greater depth than might otherwise be expected. Stage 3 features a limited cast. Beyond Mason and Mackenzie, after the outbreak takes hold there are only three speaking characters. The author uses each of these to illustrate how different people could respond to a potential apocalyptic event. One clings to hope and tries to support others, one is ready to give in to despair and one sees it as an excuse to indulge their darkest impulses. The way these are written makes them very believable. There’s a great deal of action and brutality in Stage 3, which is to be expected but it reads very well. If you’ll forgive the choice of words, I devoured the book, reading most of it in a single day. For fans of horror or zombie fiction, I would recommend this wholeheartedly.