Monday, 26 May 2014

Book Review: The Day the Dead Lived by Ryan Pederson

The dull light of the moon was replaced by the warm glow of dawn, as the sun slowly crept over the horizon. Blade and Amie were silent as they sat in the rusty truck stalled in the middle of the old dirt road, just on the edge of the forest. For a brief moment they enjoyed the beautiful view through the windshield before them forgetting about life, love, and most of all death. It was only a minor release though, from the hell they had just endured in those forlorn woods. While at the edge of the forest a feeling of tranquility is overcoming as the survivors watched the breaking dawn through the thinning foliage before them, believing their escape had delivered them from the evil that lied within the woods....or had it.

My Review: 
A group of friends with tangled relationships meet at a secluded cabin in the woods for a reunion. But the party ends when creatures from the woods attack.

There is nothing new in the idea of the monsters attacking the isolated cabin storyline but that is ok with me. As a horror fan I don't mind stories being similar in plot and style as long as I enjoy them. This one fell a little short for me in places.

Usually I lose interest when I don't like the main characters but I can forgive that in a horror book because there is a good chance that they will die quickly in all kinds of twisted ways. I'm not a fan of main characters who are a bunch of drunken drugged up idiots because I don't relate to them and don't care about them. So when I saw the cast of utter asshats in this book, I wasn't too bothered by it, knowing that death was coming for them. Sarah in particular was a moaning faced, rude, snotty bitch that I wanted to knock ten bells out of.

I was less interested in hearing the tales of their amazing past party adventures and who once loved who and who was jealous. I found it a bit of a drag as it made the story a slow starter, but again this was more of a niggle than a major issue. My issues started when the attack began. It all started happening fast...too fast. By this I mean we were jumping from one death to another with surprising speed and not taking enough time to really describe each individual attack. The initial attack on the cabin was all a bit of a blur with a chaotic feel that was a little confusing at times. I was trying to remember who was where and what was going on.

I felt that the author had introduced a huge cast to have more people to kill, and was rushing to get everyone killed in a gorefest but not taking the time to describe each incident or build the tension. I agree that the first attack should be a little chaotic as it is a surprise attack, I'd just have liked the details to be a bit clearer. When the action switches outside, I thought that it would be good to change tactics a bit. For example when they were running through the woods, they kept getting grabbed and instantly killed. It would have been good to have it slow down a little and have it more like a hunt with someone hiding up a tree or in a bush, scared out of their wits as the creatures slowly close in. The gore that I like was there in places but it would have nice to have those tense scary moments that you see in films like Halloween that build up to the next kill.

There were quite a few spelling and punctuation mistakes in the book that I can overlook but one thing really did annoy me. The wrong spelling of the Beatles albums. I'm a Beatles fan and seeing Abby Road instead of Abbey Road got on my nerves! (No I didn't mark it down for that!)The names of the characters were not correct either. Someone that died on one page appeared to be fleeing through the woods two pages later, alive and well. The author needs to pay a bit more attention to detail and erase mistakes like this.

Overall I feel that the author has potential as a writer in this genre as his ideas are fine and his writing is decent. I just feel that this book didn't quite deliver the mix of gore and tension that makes a really great horror story.
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a stepping stone for the author. Maybe the next book with be all the better for it. :) Thank you.