Rise Again Below Zero by Ben Tripp

13547546Rise Again Below Zero by Ben Tripp
PublisherGallery Books
Length352 pages
Genera: Science Fiction
Subjects: Zombies, Dystopia, Action, Adult
How I obtained the bookLibrary; paperback

Rating: 

It began with isolated reports of mass hysteria. Screaming mobs. Sudden death. The plague spread around the world, slaughtering billions. For the survivors knee-deep in corpses, it didn’t seem things could get worse. Until the dead stumbled to their feet. Mindless, shambling, they were repulsive—but harmless. And then a warning came, too late…

Sheriff Danielle Adelman, a troubled war veteran, has pursued her runaway kid sister across the end of the world, and now Danny realizes her problems have only just begun. Danny thought she had seen humanity at its worst in war-torn Iraq, but nothing could prepare her for the remorseless struggle to survive in a dying world being overrun by the reanimated dead. Now, Danny’s epic and dangerous journey challenges her spirit—and brings her to the precipice of sanity itself.

Filled with adventurous human drama, and shocking inhuman horror, this sequel to the acclaimed novel Rise Again continues a vivid and powerful fiction debut

It look me a long time to get into the zombie hype. Zombies just felt flat to me, compared to the surplus of other, far more interesting, monsters. Why go for zombies when you can fight a kaiju or a wendigo? However thanks to a certain television show with a hot cowboy, I think its time to apologize to zombies, and all the fantastic books like Rise Again Below Zero I would have missed out on if I continued to refuse to read zombie books.

Rise Again Below Zero is my first encounter with Ben Tripp and I’m hungry for more. I haven’t read the first book of the Rise Again duology, but it was not necessary to fully enjoy this book.

Ben Tripp doesn’t fall for the same mistake that many authors do in sequels. The relationships between the characters aren’t taken for granted, but instead are reinforced and reintroduced in the second novel. Even the characters experience growth throughout the book. In fact, the relationships were extraordinarily strong and they played a large part in the book.

I’m less interested in the zombies and more interested in the human interactions. Rise Again Below Zero showcases this aspect of the subgenre incredibly well. Character driven at its core, Rise Again Below Zero keeps the reader going because of the very well conceived characters and relationships.

Tripp took an interesting turn with his monsters, as he added a sort of “class” system. Class systems are rarely utilized in zombie books, from what I’ve seen and this was an enjoyable edition to the book. It definitely helped to keep the action aspect of the book from getting stale.

While the plot and world building is well crafted, it’s obvious that Tripp’s main strength is in his character building. Danny is a beautifully flawed character who’s actions are not always commendable but understandable and relatable. She breaks the mold, as Tripp refuses to let her fall into neither the Cold Warrior trope nor Damsel in Distress trope.

While the book has a large focus on Danny and her reflections, the secondary characters are incredible in their depth. Rise Again Below Zero is full of genuinely good people, despite their flaws. Tripp was able to create the depth needed for this book and he did it perfectly. He was able to create multi-dimensional characters, instead of making black and white; good and bad archetypes. “Good” was not completely and utterly pure. “Bad” was not despicable, nor one sided and flat. Showcasing some of the most morally grey situations and characters, the characters of Rise Again Below Zero were strong, flawed, and respectable.

Despite Rise Again Below Zero being a heavily character driven book, the plot was not lacking. It could be pretty slow at times, especially during the heavily retrospective sections, but the tension and excitement was perfectly utilized. The circumstances which Danny found herself in were engaging and at times genuinely frightening. The plot twists were brilliant and kept me at the edge of my seat.

Rise Again Below Zero was a fantastic, entertaining read with characters that I felt connected with and genuinely cared for. I recommend it to anyone looking for something other than the average zombie/dystopian book.

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