Saturday, 16 January 2016

Book Review: The Last Town:Rise of the Dead by Stephen Knight

The dead have risen, and all across the United States, cities are becoming hunting grounds. New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles...all are falling victim to hordes of carnivorous corpses who want only one thing: to devour the living.

Single Tree, California is a small resort town in Inyo County. Between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, it's easy to overlook. And that's exactly what the citizens of Single Tree want, for the stenches and those fleeing them to ignore the town long enough for it to be transformed into a desert fortress at the foot of Mount Whitney.

But time is not on their side. Not only do they have to worry about the dead...they have to fear the living.

My Review:
When people see a two star rating they might think 'meh, she hated it'. Well in this case I think 2.5 would be a more accurate rating. I didn't dislike the book but I didn't love it either.

On the plus side, I thought the writer was obviously good at what he does. I had no issues with the way he put the story together or with the actual plot. It is very much readable and if you were reading this in omnibus form, reading it in one sitting, I think the author had a good chance of drawing the reader into the story and getting us caught up in what is going to happen in this isolated little town.

However I'm sad to say that this author has decided to join the new trend of the serial novel, which as I reader I hate. Authors are chopping up what would be a full length novel into small chunks and expecting the reader to pay a fair whack for each small part. And once you start following it, you have no idea when it will end or how much overall it is going to cost. The other minus of a serial novel is that each part ends abruptly and by the time you get the next part, you've lost any effect or tension that the author has built up over the previous segment. That's why it can be hard to get into a serial novel. At least in a full novel you can get right into the story and just keep reading!

This 48 page offering basically just introduces what I expect are going to be the main characters: the grizzly marine vet who is a rich man and town bigshot, the female soldier who lost a leg in combat, the corporate rich boy and the jaded cop who wants to retire. We don't get much chance to meet Danielle, who I thought was the most interesting. We spend most time with the cop who is the least interesting because he is in denial about what is happening. When his own cops are telling him about zombies he refuses to believe them and his sarky put downs are quite annoying. Even when the military tell him the same, he won't believe it despite investigating one of the crimes. I do find that annoying.

There isn't really anything wrong with this...I just found it too short to get into. Had this been a full novel or decent sized novella I would have read on to see what happened but as it is in serial form I'm afraid I won't be carrying on with it. It's a pity because there could have been potential for this story if it was presented in a different manner.
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png


  1. I hate short books like this, saying that I am a hypocrite as I am reading series one of Yesterday's Gone (awesome Btw) but it is an omnibus edition. 48 pages is kinda short.

    1. Serial novels and mega short stories bug me. But when you grab free books off Smashwords it doesn't give you a page count, just a word count which I can't guess the length of!