Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Becoming: Revelations review


    Revelations continues the adventures of Cade, Ethan, and Brandt as they recover from the events of Ground Zero. The premise of the series is a Marine, a cop, and a Israeli Defense Force sniper are the ones caught up in a zombie apocalypse this time. As a result, the heroes have a lot better chance of surviving it than your usual cast of strangers thrown together.

    So what did I think?

    I think it's an enjoyable ending to the plots raised in Ground Zero and, honestly, feels like an ending to the series. There's books after this volume and I'm interested in where Jessica Meigs takes the books next because I'm not sure what can be done after this. There's a rather dramatic change at the end of the book which should change the entire world.

    Ethan is recovering from his injuries sustained during the finale of the past book. Having been infected, he's capable of surviving thanks to the efforts of the doctors still living in Atlanta. They're desperate to find Brandt since he can potentially "cure" the Michaluk virus.

    Ethan's hosts are desperate to find Brandt and willing to do anything to do so. Meanwhile, the group is devastated by Ethan's "death" and Cade discovers something shocking about herself. Something which will dramatically impact her relationship with Brandt.

    The plot was quickly-paced, fun, and possessed of a great villain. Alicia Day is capable, angry, intelligent, and entertaining to read about. I was glad to have a ruthless female villain as too many zombie apocalypse novels seem to default to some sort of misogynist patriarch figure or racist. The fact Alicia has mild super-powers thanks to her adaptation of the virus made her a threat our heroes weren't capable of dealing with easily.

    Unfortunately, the book suffers from what I call the "reasons plot." Which is that reasons prevent our heroes from acting in a manner which would resolve the plot quickly. There's no reason why the villains can't walk up to Brandt and ask him to help find a cure for the Michaluk virus. This is even brought up in the text and the only defense the author can give is, "Alicia is crazy, man!"

    Which is a shame because I bonded with Alicia and would have liked to have seen her as more nuanced character. I thought she had much better chemistry with Ethan than the latter's love interest of Remy. I've never liked the Ethan/Remy romance and found my enjoyment of the latter increased in direct proportion to how far away she was from the former. Cade and Brandt fans will be happy with their romance as it takes the next step here.

    The action scenes remain great with much attention to detail as well as cinematic scenes. There's some decent horror, too, like when the heroes are forced to encounter a room full of children who have turned into the undead. Jessica Meigs shows no hesitation at killing likable characters but, sadly, makes a choice at the end to opt-out on what I felt was a bold storytelling choice. Revelations would have had a 10/10 if she'd gone through with it.

    In conclusion, I don't quite like Revelations as much as previous volumes in the series but it remains one of my two "go-to" series for literary zombie mayhem. It and the Time of Death series are just plain good.

    7.5/10

Buy at Amazon.com

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