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Brian Keene ‘The Rising: Selected Scenes from the End of the World’ Review


Written by: Matthew J. Barbour

The zombies of The Rising are not mindless automatons. They are walking corpses inhabited by demons, known as Siqqusim, and imbued with the knowledge of their hosts. They can speak, use tools, set traps …etc. Furthermore, the infection does not stop with humankind, but has spread to the surrounding wildlife. There are zombie rats, birds, and even zombie deer. The Siqqusim’s goal: the destruction of the world.

The Rising: Selected Scenes from the End of the World is the third installment in the The Rising franchise (which also includes The Rising, City of the Dead, and The Rising: Deliverance). It is a collection of thirty-four short stories, most of which border along the lines of what is considered flash fiction. The stories were inspired by fans that paid to have Keene write them into his universe. Each is accompanied by an explanation in the story notes appended to the back of the book. Stories include:

Don’s Last Mosh

Family Reunion

As Above… (Sisters, Part One)

…So Below (Sisters, Part Two)

Last Chance for La Chance

Watching the World End

The Fall of Rome

Walkabout (Part One)

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Hellhounds on my Trail

Spoilers

The Man comes around

The Summoning

Pocket Apocalypse

The Ties that Bind

The Viking Plays Patty Cake

If you can see the Mountain

You only live twice

All Hell Followed with Him

The High Point

Where the Down Boys Go

Walkabout (Part Two)

1 Corinthians 15:51

All Fall Down

Through the Glass Darkly

A Man’s Home is his Casket

Ballroom Blitz

Zombie Worm

The Night the Dead Died

The Morning After

March of the Elilum

Best Seat in the House

American Pie

Two Suns in the Sunset

Each story focuses on a survivor (or survivors) as they suffer through the end of the world. Most meet their ends at the hands of the zombie horde known as the Siqqusim. However, what sets this book apart from others in the series are the last several short stories. These tales go beyond the Siqqusim to detail the coming of the Elilum (insect and plant plague) and the Teraphim (fire demons). In doing so, Keene addresses some of the questions readers had following the conclusion of City of the Dead.

As can be expected with any collection, the stories are mixed bag. Quality varies, but also the approach to the topic. Some of the tales are incredibly dark, while others take on a more humorous tone. One of the strongest, “Spoilers” focuses on Mike Goffee and his need to share his love of books with everyone, even the demonic Siqqusim. The punchline of the tale is brilliant, as is the tie in to Brian Keene’s Dark Hollow series.

Unfortunately for the reader, all of the stories are too short. Most are between 4 and 5 pages in length. By the time the reader falls in love with the narrative, it is over. Moreover, familiarity with The Rising and City of the Dead is necessary to get many of the references made.

The Rising: Selected Scenes from the End of the World is not for beginners. It expects that you have read the other books and already love the subject matter. If you do, Selected Scenes is an amazing addition to the library. It fills in gaps and expands upon themes in the other novels. For those not familiar with the story, check out Brian Keene’s The Rising and City of the Dead first.

Order the book right here.

Rating: 3/5

rising-selectedscenes

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About The Overseer (1663 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

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