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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Outbreak Day－the start of the zombie global pandemic. A few months later, Alec Mitchell and his fellow survivors at the Beeston Safe Haven, Cheshire, find out that their neighboring enclave, the Fortress, has been breached; a possible attack from a zombie horde or living raiders. However, an investigation conducted by Alec and Beeston Haven's vet, Jennifer Edwards, including a crucial secret finding by Horace Pickles－the one who manages Beeston Haven's 'plague pit'－reveals that the zombie virus is changing and adapting within its undead hosts. The Fortress was attacked by a horrifying new creature and Beeston is next. In Gehenna Rises by Julian Boote, time is ticking by ... not just for the lives of all survivors at Beeston but all of humanity, for ‘the Devil himself has come with all his children’.
Julian Boote puts a fresh spin on the zombie theme for fans of the genre and has developed the premise into a well-thought-out plot. I like how Gehenna Rises is formatted. It’s a story about a story. Coined by one of the survivors as Zebedee or Zeb for short, the walking dead gradually evolve into something more complex, alert and deadly. The desperation of the characters to survive their ordeals easily resonates through the pages and kept me engaged from start to finish. Unsurprisingly, the primal instinct of survival is rivaled by greed for power and resource, shown through Beeston’s de facto leader, Henry Jackson. The later confession of protagonist Alec Mitchell is a clever revelation of the state of war between humans and zombies, giving this apocalyptic tale a fitting ending. Simply put, a great read.