A week or so ago I promised I would share my thoughts on Stage 3 by Ken Stark – the first read in my new years promise to step outside of my reading habits. Then two things happened…
First I got a really, really bad cold. I kid you not – I think I had a man-flu. From a sore throat via congested sinuses to red, swollen running eyes. And after that, I had to hop on a plane and fly from my beloved Rockies back to Scandinavia.
Oh, the irony. I won’t put any spoilers here, but if you read the book, you’ll understand.
Anyways, I don’t think I’ve turned into a zombie, yet. It does admittedly feel like it in the mornings, but since that is a regular thing for me, I don’t worry overly much.
So, what did I think of the book then?
I’ll start by saying that I liked it, quite a bit more than I expected.
The plot was interesting, with a lone man finding himself in the middle of an infected world, trying to survive in an environment where people in various zombie stages try to destroy him. The battle for survival, and how that impacts us as humans, is something I always find intriguing and I think it was nicely done in this book.
I also liked our hero’s somewhat surprising companion, and how this changed the dynamic in the story. The way interaction with a helpless, but not useless, victim made the hero change, and grow, was one of the big plus points for me. And – it must be said – I found it immensely gratifying that it (sorry, tiny spoiler) wasn’t a beautiful, big breasted, helpless woman who needed the help and protection.
There were quite a lot of gory descriptions of zombies (duh?), and they made me jump every time there was one of the annoying, random, clunking sounds from our baseboard heaters. Since I read it at night, with the lights off, I had to turn my iPad around each time and use the light from it to “just check”… Yes, I scare easily, but really – just take a look at the cover. Who wouldn’t be scared, I ask you?
There were also a lot of fighting going on, and even though the kicks, punches and slamming of various objects into various zombie parts were well described – here’s my only complaint – there were a bit too many for my taste. If you’re into this genre, you’ll probably disagree with me on this, perhaps even violently – ha ha.
All in all; A good read that I’m happy I picked up, four stars out of five for me. I might even read another post-apocalyptic thriller, with or without zombies, and I’ll definitely keep my ear to the ground for another one from Ken Stark.
Now I’m on the lookout for another book that isn’t what I usually would pick up, and I have decided to go for something less scary this time – so if anyone has a recommendation for a historical autobiography, then let me know!