Frightful Friday is a weekly meme in which I feature a particularly scary or chilling book that I’ve read that week.
This week’s featured book is Rise Again by Ben Tripp:
- Audio CD
- Publisher: Tantor Media; Unabridged,MP3 – Unabridged CD edition (January 30, 2012)
- ISBN-10: 1452656053
- Source: Publisher
Danny is a battle scarred (mentally & physically) battle-scarred Iraq war vet who has returned to her hometown of Forest Park, a small town outside of Los Angeles, and now serves as the sheriff. It’s Independence Day and the town is celebrating by awarding Danny with a key to the town. Danny has her mind on other things, mainly her sister, Kelly, who has taken off with Danny’s prized Mustang. Danny raised Kelly on her own, admittedly not doing the best job since she returned from the war.
During the parade, however, things change. People begin running like mad, arms flailing, screaming at the tops of their lungs. Danny searches the crowd hoping to find a source but is unable to find one. Suddenly those individuals who were running fall dead, right in their tracks. The crowd of “infected” individuals grows dramatically, suddenly the town is full of hundreds of them. Danny rounds up the survivors, a small group of people who haven’t been affected by the outbreak. But before they are able to get far, the most horrific incident transpires: the dead rise.
So begins a life-threatening escape from their once quiet, peaceful small town. The outbreak isn’t isolated there, soon Danny and the survivors realize it has affected the entire area, including the city of Los Angeles. Danny attempts to put on a strong front and lead the citizens of the town to safety, but she’s unable to put all of her effort into it. In the back of her mind, she worries about Kelly, about whether or not she’s safe, if she’s alive or one of the walking dead.
Her hope and spirit is challenged as she journeys across the California desert. She has flashbacks of her experience in Iraq. It’s no shock, the world around her is just a shell of what it used to be. She arrives in San Francisco to find that the military is attempting to cover up the outbreak, attempting to continue to exist as status quo. They are reluctant to listen to Danny’s experience with the zombies (which they refer to as Zeroes). Danny knows the zombies are evolving, getting smarter. Unable to convince them, Danny returns to the motley group of survivors only to find them ambushed by a rouge team of paramilitary, known as Hawkstone. Now, it’s not only the zombies/zeroes they must protect themselves against, but also their own kind.
Danny’s character is on one hand infuriating as she risks the lives of those who rely on her for safety in order to find her sister. However,I can’t say that I’d do different, honestly. On the other hand, she’s a incredibly strong-willed, stubborn individual. She’s also completely flawed but she uses that to her advantage, in a sense.
Don’t be put off by the fact that this is yet another zombie novel. In Rise Again, Tripp provides readers/listeners with a completely unique spin on the traditional zombie novel. While their creation is similar to other zombie books/movies, the similarities end there. Tripp’s zombies evolve. First it is minute differences like their ability to go dormant until they smell a human in their presence. Then, however, they begin to progress more rapidly, forming the ability to run, to hunt, to shoot, to….speak. A completely engaging and rewarding experience, Rise Again is a must read/listen for any zombie fan.
Audio production: Rise Again is narrated by Kirsten Potter. Potter did an outstanding job in her narration, accurately portraying the devastation suffered by the survivors of the outbreak while also successfully showcasing the power behind Danny’s character. Click here to listen to a sample of the audio.