Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shadow People: Quickening of the Wicked

Shadow People: Quickening of the Wicked
by Stacy Stephens & Cindy Jackson

First and foremost, it is a zombie novel. I had my eye on it for a while and by chance won it. Thanks Ladies! This does not however mean that I am going to go easy on my review.

Synopsis: The Wraith is a malignant shadow that is out to destroy as many souls as possible. It infiltrates humans all over the world who then do the same to fellow humans, creating a massive army of zombies. Aeden is a seemingly special young man out to save as many as he can in his own special way. Grace and Lily are innocents who must be saved in order to serve a higher purpose. They all have choices to make and they are all trying to find a way to survive.

So...This time around zombies are born out of pure evil and not out of some arrogant and nasty human plan to make the human race better or control it, or plain old stupidity. I honestly like the idea. Was it well executed? It could have been done better.

This is the first book of what I believe the authors plan on being a series. It was a good attempt, but there were some rookie mistakes that I have seen time and again, that are holding this novel back from being bigger. They are mistakes a good editor should have helped them clear up.

The world as we know it and the Wraith that wants to take it over and destroy it are the work of great imaginations. We are shown how the Wraith operates. We learn over time what makes Aeden special. We are introduced to the innocents Lily and Grace, and given a glimpse into their daily lives. And, we meet several other characters along the way that I hope to read about again if these authors pursue another book. Sometimes, there was just a little too much. There are few chapters where some fat could have been trimmed from the story and nothing would be lost. An example of this are a couple of characters that are introduced in one chapter, but their story is never completed or even left in a place of satisfaction. They are left hanging and incomplete. Sometimes, ideas that a writer believes will add to the story can cause distractions if they are not fully fleshed out, or trimmed properly.

This novel also contains a great deal of spirituality that relies not too heavily on one particular religion, but a conglomeration of all. No one religion is right, no one religion is wrong. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Too often when zombies are born out of evil it is Christianity alone that comes in and saves the day. That being said, for those who are not accustomed to this way of thinking broadly it might be overwhelming and disconcerting. The material involved with this idea is digestible, the reader needs to go in with an open mind. The writers may want to consider feeding it to the readers in smaller doses next time around.

Let's talk about the zombies now. I really really loved them. The concept the authors came up with to explain the existenceof these horrific creations works. They are fully developed from start to finish. They followed the general rules of zombie etiquette, but they are unique enough in their own personal design that when one appeares in the story I was engrossed in its horror. Big thumbs up and a happy dance.

But, with the sweet comes the bitter. My biggest pet peeve with this novel was the over use of hundred dollar words when a ten dollar word would have sufficed. Don't get me wrong, I love big words, but not all readers do, and this can be very distracting. There were times I felt the authors were sitting with a thesaurus looking for smarter ways to say things. Never underestimate the value of simplicity, especially in your words. It is also important that if you do choose to use complex wording use the words correctly. A room cannot be elucidated, beings within a room can be, but not the room itself.

What it boils down to:
What I liked:

1. The zombies were very well executed in every way, shape, and form. And as we know I love zombies.

2. The spirituality that is in the novel is broad and inclusive. It perpetuates the divine belief in the self and all it's possibilities.

3. The story has really good flow for the most part. There were only a few times where it slowed, but it picked back up again. The chapters always left me wanting to keep going to find out what was going to happen next.

What I disliked:

1. Overuse of big words and one time in particular, inappropriately.

2. There are some places where editing could have been better in order to tighten up the story.

3. The explanation of the ancients needed to be broken up. It felt a little forced and some readers may find it more palatable in smaller doses.

To Buy Or Not To Buy, That Is The Question: Buy if you are a fan of zombie novels.

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