The book begins with a foreword from Michael Fuchs stating that this book almost defeated him and he almost threw in the towel. This ends up being a grim prediction in regards to the rest of the book.
Given the overall quality of the previous books in the Arisen series, this book was a colossal let down. There are so many issues with the book that I don’t even know where to begin. The characters have become incredibly flat, the story is drawn out to the point of being painful, the writing is flat out amateurish and inconsistent (I really felt like I was reading a rough draft a great deal of the time), there are plenty of completely throw away characters who mean next to nothing to the story but were included anyways, and the book leans so heavily on catastrophe for the sake of catastrophe that I felt like I was watching a Monty Python movie. If you’ve read and enjoyed the series up to the fourth book, but the fourth book didn’t quite sit right with you, I would strongly suggest you just skip this book.
The Bad :
Where to begin? I’ll keep this as brief as possible.
1. All the characters feel forced, as if all their inner conflicts have been forced upon them. When the characters aren’t busy feeling wooden, they are behaving as if they were super human. Several of them have debilitating injuries (one was a turned into a fireball, one has a badly injured back, another has a badly injured leg….you get the point) and on top of this they are all operating on almost no sleep or food for the last two or three days, but still operate as if they are well rested, well fed, and fresh.
2. The story is incredibly drawn out. I think a real time day, maybe two, in total passes over the course of this 345 page story. Several events in the story are told from three or four points of view. It ends up feeling drawn out for the sake of page count.
3. The writing of the book feels clunky and unpolished. You’ll come across roughly 31 instances of text embedded inside a set of parentheses that could have EASILY been incorporated into the sentence they interrupt, or could have been eliminated completely. On top of this, the parentheses aren’t even used in a consistent manner, sometimes they convey thoughts, sometimes they contain darker versions of the sentence preceding them.
4. There are two or three characters that have short sections of the book dedicated to developing them and elaborating upon their history. These characters are completely superfluous to the story. They may/may not play a part in specific catastrophes, but these characters are throw aways. They don’t bring anything to the story, they just draw it out further.
5. If it can go wrong, it will go wrong. There are probably two or three instances in the book where this rule does not apply, but for the rest of the book? Expect everything to go wrong. It eventually gets to the point that you’ll start feeling like you’re watching a bunch of bumbling idiots in a Monty Python movie rather than reading about trained military professionals.
6. I won’t ruin it for you, but I thought the ending was bad. Given the length of time that passes in books 4 and 5 (about 3 or 4 days if you want to be generous) the ending of 5 seems…impossible.
The Good :
1. I honestly do not have much of anything positive to say about this book.
The Meh :
Nothing Meh in this book. It’s pretty much all negative.
In this book we follow Handon, Fick, Ali, Predator, Henno, and several other characters we’ve come to know in the previous books. Over the course of this book they will fly across half the USA, fight an unimaginably large horde of hive-mind like zombies, perform superhuman feats, and in the end save the day. I’d love to give you more information than that, but really the bulk of the book details a single, although incredibly large, fight against the aforementioned zombie herd and not much else.