Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Blood Dawn by Jason Bovberg review

    The Blood Trilogy is one of the better zombie novel stories I've read in the past ten years. I originally picked it up when I was still with Permuted Press and said company was still primarily known for producing fiction related to the cannibalistic undead. It was a fresh take on that genre because the "zombies" in question were not just carbon copies of George Romero's creatures. They were inscrutable "red light" aliens who possessed humans and animated them for reasons unknown as only those with a specific blood type were immune.

    The third volume in the trilogy is noteworthy as it shifts perspective from the protagonist of the first two books to a lesbian college student named Felicia who provides an inside look into the horrors of becoming infected as well as, perhaps, a means of defeating the horrors afflicting the human race. I was initially rather off-put by this change but swiftly grew to like the Felicia character and appreciate how she played off of Rachel once she united with her group.

    Jason Bovberg doesn't attempt to draw out his story and at the end of Blood Dawn, we get a conclusive end to the red light aliens' story. Honestly, I felt the ending was a little too pat and happy for such a gruesome horror novel trilogy. I was fully expecting something approaching a total party kill or the human race being left as a shambled ruin of its former self. However, the story's emotional beats weren't bad and there was certainly a horrific cost to the whole ordeal.

    I'm particularly fond of Jason Bovberg's "Blood Aliens" which are both animated corpses as well as creatures from another world. They become smarter and more capable the longer they are on Earth with their threat level increasing accordingly. I also love their peculiar and bizarre weakness to certain blood types. They remain mostly inscrutable without but due to their bond with one of the heroines, we finally get some insight into their motives.

    The characterization of the protagonists is really where the books shine as they avoid the trap of characters getting too used to their circumstances. Everyone is traumatized by the horror around them, miserable, and on the verge of panic with even the best barely keeping it together. I also like how it's made clear all of these people had fairly happy lives before the events changed them irrevocably. The horror of the red light aliens and their actions as well as their hostility only grows throughout the book, keeping them a threat right to the end.

    Do I have any criticism? I think the ending might have been a little too pat after such a horrible long ordeal. Then again, if the author ever wants to do a sequel trilogy or follow up the characters then leaving some parts of the Earth intact is a good idea. Besides, if anyone deserves a bit of respite it's this group as the author has truly put them through hell.

    In conclusion, I recommend this horror novel to fans of the zombie genre who'd like something a little different. I also think fans of Stephen King will appreciate Jason Bovberg's style of focusing on the mundane before transitioning to the nightmarish.


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