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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Review: Perseverance by James Lacey

Title: Perseverance, A Zombie Tale
Series: No, but it totally should be
Author: James Lacey
Published: September 13, 2012 by 23 House
Tour: Yes, Bewitching Book Tours
Format: Ebook provided for review

I am a teacher. At least I was before it all happened, before I was forced to survive. I taught social studies at the high school. I was also the coach of the school's successful debate team. It was a cold Saturday in January when I heard the first rumor of trouble ....

You know, pop culture had defined the zombie apocalypse time and time again, all coming from the minds of horror writers, film producers, and video game designers. Who knew when it really happened, it wouldn't be anything like they all predicted. Oh sure, the dead reanimated, and they were certainly hungry for living flesh ... but what were the myserious red eyes, zombies that moved faster than their stumbling counterparts and seemed to not only communicate, but to exert some kind of control over the others.

More than that, though, strange things were beginning to happen to me. My body was changing, and I hadn't been infected - at least, one of those creatures hadn't bitten or scratched me.

A high school social studies teacher might be the least likely survivor of the end of the world, but it was becoming increasingly apparent that if I was going to save my girlfriend and myself, I was going to have a fight on my hands. It seemed that at the end of civilization, the living could be just as dangerous as the dead... defines Perseverance as: 
steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state,etc., 
especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

First, right away I notice the authors writing style in this book.  Perseveranceis written in first person, and that person is only referred to as a couple things.  Coach and love are two of them.  I’ll call him Coach for this review.  I even double checked this fact with the author himself, and Coach is indeed unnamed through the entire story.  Just a cool little trivia fact for you. Second, the flow of this book runs really well.  I feel like I am sitting around a campfire and Coach is telling me about what happened when the world changed.  I didn’t want to put the book down, I was definitely in it for the long haul.

Coach is such a terrific character.  He starts out as a school teacher in love.  As the story goes on he evolves (and sometimes he wonders if he is devolving) into this whole other person who only loosely resembles who he was prior to the outbreak.  The book jumps into action right away, and Coach is analytical about the situation.  I totally loved this.  Take this, not that. Grab this. Don’t forget that.  Rescue Ashley.  He makes some hard choices, some are much harder than others.  And ultimately they all change him, whether he realized it or not.  At what point is survival really surviving?

I have read a ton of zombie books lately, and all of them are different.  This is my first one with a man as the lead.  It was a great change up, and I found myself hoping this book could be turned into a series. 

The thing about the zombie apoc is that you will see it time and time again.  You stay in one place.  You get comfortable.  Yourelax.  Zombies come.  You’re dead.  Just as there’s no crying in baseball, there’s no relaxing in the Zombie Apoc!  You will lose the people you come to know as friends, as family.  It will be horrifying.  And you will be thankful its not you.

Perseverance also introduces us to a new theory of how the zombies came to be.  This theory also brings about different types of zombies.  This addition really added a thrilling side to the story.  Like it wasn’t dangerous enough with the walking dead trying to bite you.  On top of it all you have to deal with this whole new brand of fear.  And you are hunted by it.  James Lacey’s theory on it all is superb in its possibility.  Its frightening.  The whole story is crazy in the best way.  The action was non stop, there was never any point where I felt I could put the book down and forget it.  Even when it ended I wanted it to go on.

There are happy moments, and a lot of scary gruesome moments.  The depravity of some will shock you, while the heart of others will warm you til the end.  There’s definitely heartbreaking moments.  Hell, if you think about it, every zombie is someone’s heartbreak.  They are someone’s mom, dad, brother, sister, friend, roommate… But now you have to kill them before they kill you.  And just like the book says, its scary how the real thing is so close to the way media portrays it. 

I guess I don’t need to spell it out that I loved this story.  It’s not that its just because it’s a zombie book.  It is so well written that this is one of those books I will be buying in print so I can read it over when the real apocalypse comes and my Kindle won’t recharge.

And if this hasn’t sold you, then check out this awesome parody video directed by Mr Lacey, himself.  I didn’t see it until just before I wrote this review, but if I had seen it earlier it would have sold me on the book all by itself.  Well done, James! J


Buy Perseverance

About the Author:
James Lacey lives in the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania.  When not writing, he works with disabled adults and children as a paraprofessional and Special Olympics coach.  James also enjoys hiking, camping and watching football.