Friday, May 22, 2015

Book Review: Hissers by Ryan C. Thomas

Paperback, 256 pages

Published November 2011 by Permuted Press

I know at this point in the wave of zombie movies, novels comic books, video games and TV shows it is easy to dismiss another zombie tale. Even though mine was satire I still faced that promoting the Vegan Revolution...with Zombies. I know how hard it is to separate a zombie story from the crowd. Certainly reading another zombie novel is not high on my list. Something really has to scream out to me this is something special or different for me to break with my hesitation. In this case Hissers got bumped on to my TBR based on the strength of Ryan C. Thomas's debut novel "The Summer I Died."

I can't say enough about that novel. You can search for it here on my blog/ Goodreads and read the full review, and I think you'll find that you'll want to read it. One of the strengths of that novel was the strong characters throughout the story. Thomas clearly has a gift for writing young characters.

One thing that separates Hissers is how young the characters are. I don't remember a zombie story focused on middle school aged kids. RCT does bang-up job getting to the fears and hopes of kids this age and is expressed in a fantastic scene where the kids end hiding for a night in the high school they were dreading going to at the end of the summer.

The zombie aspect of the novel impacted me less, but that is not to say the RCT does not deliver. The zombie story line is suggested more than it is fully explained and several moments of suspense show off the skill the author is working with. It takes a weird-turn and lets just say without spoilers these are not typical zombies.

I enjoyed this novel, but if you are going to introduce yourself to this author start with the superior Summer I Died, then make your way here. there are few moments towards the end that were both sad and brutal a combination I see now is a part of the Ryan C. Thomas M.O.

Recommended for zombie fans and people who like character driven horror.

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