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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review: Hive by Griffin Hayes

Title: Hive
Series: No Man's Land Book 1
Author: Griffin Hayes
Published: January 2012, Trebor Books
Format: Ebook provided by author for review

Nearly two hundred years after the planet was ravaged by millions of undead Zees, the human race is still struggling to rebuild. The Zees may be long gone, but so too are centuries of scientific advancement. 

A group calling themselves The Keepers of Knowledge have set out to retrieve and protect what little technology survived the fall. When four of their Prospectors go missing, the Keepers turn to a no-nonsense mercenary named Azina and her eclectic crew of hardened veterans to find them. 

The search leads the group to a crumbling underground city. But what looks like just another ruin from a bygone era isn’t nearly as deserted as it appears. Soon, a simple rescue mission becomes a slippery descent into hell as Azina and her men unwittingly awaken a savage, bloodthirsty world. Who will stand and fight, and who will be lucky enough to stay dead?

It’s a new post apocalyptic world out there.  Chemicals dumped into the water to calm us had an opposite and monsterous effect, basically turning people into Zees (zombies).  The time frame for this book is a couple hundred years after the apocalypse, and Azina is a mercenary on a rescue mission to find some missing Prospectors.

In this beginning of this book it took me a few moments to catch my bearings and grasp the terminology.  Mercs, Prospectors, Keepers, The Order… it is a lot to take in, but when you get the classifications down it all makes perfect sense.   This is my second book by Griffin Hayes, and I am now positive he is fantastic in the horror genre.  This story was so different from Bird of Prey, but both were fantastic.  In Hive its all about the zombies, and of course I love that.

“Entrails and clumps of flesh ooze from the walls like some macabre painting.”

Griffin Hayes does gross and disgusting fabulously!  Sometimes I just want to read a horror story, and Hive delivers.  Azina is a wonderful character, I just really enjoyed reading everything from her point of view.  Her?  Oh yeah, her.  I am not sure why, but I am just fascinated when a male author writes a female lead character and doesn’t muck it up.  Is that sexist of me?  Possibly.  But I don’t care, I still dig it.  And in this book Azina is tough and strong, and she rocks.  You gotta love a girl whose weapons of choice are a repeater rifle and a Katana!

This book was very smartly written.  There is a twist to these zombies that most zombie stories don’t have, which lends itself to the title, Hive.  Another thing that I thought was pretty interesting was the references to the past, which to us is current time.  The views that the future civilization has of the past civilization (our current time) is not entirely favorable.  It’s an interesting commentary on our current times when the very thing that tore us apart is the additive of chemicals to our water supply.  Mr. Hayes very intelligently points out how we have no problem adding things like fluoride to our water supply, so what is next?  What else will we be ok with, under the guise of it being better for us?  One character points out how in the past we had “computing machines that do the thinking, mechanical doors that opened and closed, and all the food they (we) could eat” and that we must have weighed 850 lbs.  I really thought it was quite interesting to sort of have a magic mirror to gaze into and picture how our descendants may possibly view us.  Cause you see, Hive isn’t all blood and guts, and shock value.  There’s quite a message in there.  Well, at least, that’s how I view it.

In a story that’s roughly eighty pages long you don’t normally expect to get a lot of story.  But this author definitely gives enough detail and history to not make it feel like we are reading a scene from a larger story.  Do you know what I mean?  Sometimes novella length stories take on the feeling that we are only getting a glimpse.  Now, I’ve just looked on Goodreads and I do see that there is a Hive 2.  While I am about to go buy that for myself, I could easily see how just this story could have stood alone. I think this was a great story.  There are more than enough twists and a lot of action to keep you very interested.  The end was terrific, but now I am even more excited to see that it’s not actually over.  Halloween is coming up, so if you are in the mood for something quick and in the spirit of scariness, I think you should check this out.  Especially if you are a zombie fan.  Like I said, there is a whole different aspect to these zombies that I’ve not seen yet.  It’s a good read, and I’m a definite fan.

And one more thing, before I close this review out.  Take a moment and look at this cover.  Then go to Griffin's site or on Goodreads and check out the rest of his covers.  They are artistic, terrifying, and beautiful all at the same time.  In all honesty, I feel this is an author who is developing a great body of work, and it would be wise of you as the reader to give him a read and see what you think.
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Previously Reviewed Work by Griffin Hayes