Author: Stefan Petrucha
Series: Hessius Mann #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 10/04/11
Reviewed by: Sara
But the Book:
After Hessius Mann was convicted of his wife's murder, suppressed evidence came to light and the verdict was overturned -- too bad he was already executed. But thanks to the miracles of modern science Hessius was brought back to life. Sort of.
Now that he's joined the ranks of Fort Hammer's pulse-challenged population, Hessius attempts to make a "living" as a private investigator. But when a missing persons case leads to a few zombies cut to pieces, Hessius starts thinking that someone's giving him the run-around -- and it's not like he's in any condition to make a quick getaway...
Plot: 4 Stars
I loved the premise to this novel. I definitely enjoy higher functioning zombies as compared to the ones that just run around craving brains. There was a lot of details about the hows and the whys of the zombies that I really enjoyed. It felt as if these zombies were very thought out, and the author definitely made them his own. I loved all of the details about how the zombies reacted to different elements and the precautions they had to take, even when they were a bit gory. There was also the aspect of the zombies going feral, or losing their higher functions that was always at the back of their minds. Besides the awesome zombies, the plot also had a number of twists and turns that I wasn't expecting that led to a very adventurous ride.
Pace: 3 Stars
Although the great take on zombies and a couple quick plot twists pulled me right into this novel, there were some bumps along the way. About three second times in the middle of the novel, it seemed to slow down. There were some scenes between the action in which Hessius spent a bit too much time thinking things through or sinking a little close to feral territory, which brought the pace of the novel down. In these instances, it left me wondering where the novel was going and if I should put it down for a little bit, but then something unexpected would draw me right back in. And once the story reached the showdown near the end, not only was I surprised by some of the events, I also could no longer put the novel down.
Characters: 3.5 Stars
Hessius was a very interesting character and zombie. Although the transition from dead to zombie causes memory loss, he never let it get him down too much. Instead, he bought a digital recorder to make sure he remembered important information. It was very interesting to see how he had adjusted to his new life, and to see hints of the detective he used to be come through. Other than Hessius, the rest of the characters played pretty small parts. I would've like for some of these characters to have slightly larger supporting roles, and I hope we get to see more of them in future books.
Cover: 3.5 Stars
The color palette of this cover really screams zombies to me. The brownish color mixed with the texture that's overlayed over the image gives the cover a bit of a grungy feel that fits a zombie book. The yellow eye on the cover model really stands out and catches your attention, although I don't remember the zombies specifically having yellow eyes. I did like how the title matched the eye color. It made the title fit in with the rest of the image instead of stand out. The red band across the bottom was a great way to bring attention to the series name without taking away too much attention from the rest of the cover. The one part of the cover I wasn't that big of a fan of was how the cover model's face wrapped around to the back cover. Although I could tell it was another image of the same face, the break in the image caused by the spine cut the image in a weird way.
Overall: 3.5 Stars
Disclosure: I received a copy of this novel for review from Ace/Roc.