Just wanted to start this review by saying, I know this guy on facebook and he’s a really nice guy, who I’ve spoken to back and forth a few times over a number of months, a fellow traveller in the land of zombies and indie publishing. I picked up his books a while back and for whatever reason life got in my way when I came to read them for the purposes of reviewing them. (Yeah incase you were wondering, gonna leave this part out when I post this review to amazon haha)
But I finally got some time to myself and finished the first one and now I think I can paint an accurate picture of what I liked and didn’t like about it.
My first impression when I picked this book up was literally like ‘ten times better than the walking dead novels’ haha. I don’t know what it is with Jay Bonansinga or however his name is spelt, fuck how do you pronounce that shit, what is that polish? Anyway, I love the walking dead comics, I think Kirkman is a great writer but I can’t stand most if not all the walking dead novels, they’re just not right in my opinion. The first two were somewhat readable but they just didn’t work for me and I recently picked up the two parter fall of the governor or whatever it was called and I read like two pages and put it down. I just couldn’t take it, I hate his characters, all the relationships are boring and miserable. It’s just a depressing slog and it’s not really the case in the comics. In the comics it’s like the world is covered in shit but there are flowers of happiness blossoming out of that shit slowly but surely and that’s what I think John captures in his work a lot better than Bonansinga.
Yes the world is messed, yes people die and yes it’s sad but I think his characters despite all that, still like eachother and want to be happy or atleast believe that one day they can be happy or can steal happiness away in small bites here and there. And that’s what makes American Revenant so readable, it’s that the characters actually like eachother or failing that actually love eachother. I think it speaks to the writer himself in that he must really love his own family to portray the familial bonds in the way he does in his book. I mean it’s dripping with it, you can feel the love Gordy and the other parents have for their kids and loved ones, it’s avoidable and there are a lot of moments in the book I found myself as someone who never had a father getting quite emotional reading it.
My critcisms are it’s a little rough, I know talking to John, he told me he didn’t have it professionally edited and despite that it’s quite a good result. If I didn’t have an editor and spellcheck I would be legally retarded haha. So he’s done a good job there. I think some of the writing and some of the description is a little stick, there are some rough edges there, again; editor. Maybe there are a few too many characters who are little too undefined, I found some characters blurring together or I forgot some of their names, maybe that’s just me and I’m shit at remembering names haha.
The action is great, the start of the book is strong and emphemeral and also really gritty and realistic. The end of the book sort of brings back that tension and grit. The gun porn is pretty top notch haha.
Overall I think it has everything you want from the zombie book checklist. Likeable, believable characters, drama, some smoltz, action and gore and a few laughs, what more do you want a fucking marching band or zombie mark twain? Oh wait the last thing was in actually. So go buy a copy!
Here’s the link to do just that haha.