I’ve been reading John Ringo’s tales for well over a decade now, and I always look forward to them… except I wasn’t sure about this series. Although I’ve written a bit about zombies, most of what I have seen or read was, well, more humorous than anything. Human physiology just doesn’t work that way.
But this is Ringo. So I tried it out, and was sold. His usual fare: fast-paced storytelling, well-developed characters, real-feeling world. As a long-time fan, I was amused by the number of people I ‘know’ in the books, other fans who were redshirted or tuckerized into the books. But above that, it reminded me of something I had been unconciously missing in my recent reading.
I’ve been reading a lot of newbie authors (and one aspiring to lit-ew-ary status), and while with them I have to work to stay in the story, reading Islands of Rage and Hope was an immersive process. I didn’t read it all in one sitting – physically impossible with my schedule – but I will go back and re-read it. Which is rare for me, these days. He does a superb job of making the reading easy. I’m still trying to analyze what it is, and why it works for me.
It might not work for everyone. If you prefer things like the literary tome I’m struggling with, you probably won’t appreciate the taut plotting of Ringo’s work. I like to have forward momentum, rather than pages droning on about the moles on a demon’s back (yes, really… no, I’m not giving the name of the other book). But if you enjoy character development, rather than navel gazing, this book (which wouldn’t stand alone, you do need to start with Under a Graveyard Sky) is an excellent example, as we have two young women finally coming of age, and to grips with their new role in a new world.
I’m looking forward to the next one already.
If you haven’t tried the series yet, start here. This is an essay on the Zombie Apocalypse that is… really scary on some levels. Not humorous at all.