December 14, 2012

The Last Safe Place by Rob W. Hart

Alright, zombie fans. If you follow this blog, by now you've maybe read my zombie-tale, and you're maybe looking for more zombies.



Well, I have something fun for you today.

Introducing (thought it's been out for a while already)...The Last Safe Place: A Zombie Novella by Rob W. Hart.

I bought this novella for my Kindle a few weeks ago because the author is a senior editor at LitReactor, an amazing writer-site on which I've been spending altogether too much time lately (because I love it). I figured, since he works for a site I love, and since he wrote a book about zombies, which I also love, it would clearly be a good fit.

And it was!!

I started reading The Last Safe Place the other night when a realistically-depressing book had me on edge, and I was looking for something fun in which to lose myself (and my holiday-stress) for a little while.  Zombies seemed like the proper place to go.

This book is something more than your standard zombie-fare, though, at least in my opinion. Stylistically, it's almost...noir-ish. Noir-zombies? Sure! It follows a hardened cop, the people he protects, and his deathly-ill wife, all dark images and long-shot descriptions of the battered Manhattan skyline.

The cop and his people live on Governor's Island in the Upper New York Bay. Cut off from the rest of the world, they're surviving on homegrown crops and whatever they can salvage from the zombie-infested world around them.

Now, you know I love a good zombie story, and you know I love New York, so this was a ton of fun for me to read. But...the writing's really good, too. Tight. I'd almost call it sparse, if only that didn't imply "not enough."There's enough going on - sights, sounds, smells that make you want to hurl - but he doesn't waste words.

It's a style I shoot for in my own writing, but haven't quite figured out how to achieve. Hart, on the other hand, does it really well.

He takes us back and forth between the present, in which a mutated zombie appears on the island's shore, and the past, when the zombie apocalypse first began.  There's action, blood, and gore...and there's enough human drama and crime to make the story pop.

You care about the nameless Sarge, trying to take care of his people. You care about June, his wife, dying from pneumonia in a really unfair twist of fates. You care about the nameless rookie cop, dragged along for the ride.

It's impossible not to. Really. I dare you to try.

My only complaint: at a novella length (shorter than a book, longer than a short story), it left me wanting more.

So definitely - buy this book for your Kindle or your Nook or your iPhone or whatever you own. Especially if you love zombies. You won't regret it.

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