Written by: William Massa
Last summer Nicholas Ryan made a big splash with his indie zombie novel Ground Zero: A Zombie Apocalypse. Die Trying is another tale set in the zombie-infested world of the first book where the JAWS virus is running rampant but doesn’t feature any of the characters or plot strands from the first novel. Ryan doesn’t try to shoehorn a sequel (maybe he is saving it for the next book) but opts instead for a rip-roaring yarn set in a post-apocalyptic landscape populated by ravenous flesh eaters.
The tale starts off with a spectacular helicopter crash that is vividly brought to life by prose that is firing on all cylinders. Ryan doesn’t just describe scenes; he lets them detonate on the page. The images are vivid and crackle with pulp energy.
Our band of heroes find two survivors on the downed military helicopter, a man and a teenage girl, and the group seeks refuge in an abandoned house. The story revolves around the secrets that the crash survivors are keeping from their rescuers and the resulting tension that it triggers in the group. The central conflict plays out between the narrator and his brother, a muscle-bound, ex-con. These two share some deep-seated, unresolved issues from their past that come to a head as the story plays out. Like many zombie tales, humans pose as great a threat as the undead.
The story takes an original detour into Texas Chainsaw/Leatherface territory in the second half, and the writer brings this action-packed, fast-paced tale to a rousing finish with a satisfying twist.
Die Trying doesn’t add any new wrinkles to the zombie-mythos but that isn’t the intention here. Instead, it focuses on telling a bloody, adrenaline-charged story of the undead. If you’re craving a zombie fix while The Walking Dead is on mid-season hiatus, pick up this book – you won’t regret it!
Die Trying is slated to be released on Amazon January 04, 2014
Rating: 4/5 stars.
William Massa is a screenwriter, novelist and script consultant. His two books GARGOYLE KNIGHT and FEAR THE LIGHT: WHO MURDERED DRACULA? are exclusively available on Amazon. Follow William on Twitter and Facebook.