Gathering

Sanctuary Chronicles

Fiction - Supernatural
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 11/04/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Paula García Lasa for Readers' Favorite

Greg Rode revisits the zombie apocalypse with Gathering, the third book in The Sanctuary Chronicles series. On one hand, we have Morgan, the main character's sister. She is strong-willed and resourceful, a lone wolf perfectly capable of surviving on her own. Good at reading people, this professional athlete has no problems either with zombies or with humans. On the other hand, we have Eve, who stayed behind to care for her dying father. Winter is coming, and she has no heat or company to keep her warm. Will they make it?

Greg Rode adds another book to the zombie apocalypse series. In Gathering, you get to read two fast-paced stories that merge into one. In a dynamic rhythm, Rode gives the background to two characters, explaining how they wound up together. The narrative is light and easy to read. Truly hilarious, but that does not destroy the mild terror expected from a zombie novel. As a result, the book is fast-paced and enjoyable, plus thrilling enough to maintain readers' attention. It has been a long time since I read a book so terrifying yet funny. The book incorporates beautifully described characters. The two main female characters are strong, with strengths that are different, but equally admirable. These are good role models for anyone to follow. Aside from the expected paranormal characteristics, Rode doesn't miss the opportunity to tackle important issues needing exposure, such as harassment. It is an outstanding book that I would strongly recommend.

Lex Allen

In the dark about the zombie attack that engulfed most of the country, Morgan discovers her current beau dead in his office after almost a week of silence from him. She also meets and defeats her first zombie. Morgan returns to her home and gathers weapons while discovering all of her closest neighbors have disappeared. She hasn't seen her brother in quite a while and wonders if he survived, so she sets off on a cross-country trip to New York and a family vacation home far from civilization where she thinks he might still be alive and safe. Her journey, long and fraught with danger, ends when she indeed finds her brother, but he's not alone and the zombie plague is far from over.

Although Gathering by Greg Rode is the third book in the Sanctuary Chronicles, a lengthy introduction to the heroine Morgan contains more than enough information to set the book on its own merit. Rode writes with authority, wit, and connectivity of scenes that provide for a smooth reading experience. In general, zombie stories and novels are much the same, an "if you've read one, you've read them all" kind of feel or attitude. Not so with Gathering. Here, the zombie story is secondary to that of the people involved. Rode goes to great lengths to embed the human side of the story with his readers and it works very well. Gathering easily stands alone while continuing a longer story that begs to be read.

Diana Lopez

Gathering is book three of the Sanctuary Chronicles series and continues the zombie epic. The theme was already established in earlier books but this one can be read as a stand-alone tale. While those involved cannot predict what might happen, the danger of zombies is ever-present. When the moment of horror arrives, readers will feel the terror of seeing a zombie eating a human. Greg Rode presents us with a cruel world where you have to fend for yourself. Families are separated by horrific circumstances and the abuse of power is the order of the day. Unless a cohesive group can be formed, the different protagonists have to deal with their situations alone. Whether together or apart, they must maintain the discipline needed to survive in a world where any act of carelessness could be fatal.

I liked the variety present in the personalities of the characters. They all understood that it takes determination and willpower to face obstacles. Morgan is one of the characters who demonstrates this most, which is why she was my favorite. The illustrations, though few, are magnificent. The black and white sketches give a clear impression of terror. Gathering also has realistic descriptions of the events. Greg Rode demonstrates that surviving in a horror scenario is a complex process. The characters can't afford to make obvious horror movie mistakes. They are aware of that and are pragmatic in their decision-making. The book shows that sometimes humans turn out to be much more dangerous than the zombies themselves.