Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review: Under a Graveyard Sky

Under a Graveyard Sky
Under a Graveyard Sky by John Ringo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Post-apocalyptic (zombies)
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: People who like lots of action without all that distracting character development
Trigger Warnings: killing, rape (reported)

My Thoughts: I have been a fan of John Ringo for several years, and have quite enjoyed most of the books he has written. This was, unfortunately, not one of his better books. There is a lot of action and 'splodies, which is cool, but I would have liked to have seen more character development. The Smith family is just too perfect, the girls are just too good at everything, and we hardly ever even see Stacy. Most of the focus is on Faith, but that's actually good, because she is awesome. She reminds me of a foul-mouthed Buffy.

I was surprised, since this book was put out by Baen, that the editing wasn't better. I noticed a lot of editing errors throughout the book.

Don't misunderstand, I did enjoy the book for what it was. But I know John Ringo can do better than this. Nonetheless, I'll definitely be waiting for the next book in the series, if for no other reason than to see if it is ever disclosed who released the virus. If you like high-action stories, definitely check this one out.

Series Information: Black Tide Rising
Book 1: Under a Graveyard Sky
Book 2: To Sail a Darkling Sea, expected publication 2/4/2014

Disclosure: The author gave me this book when I ran into him at Dragon*Con. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: A family of survivors who fight back against a zombie plague that has brought down civilization. Zombies are real. And we made them. Are you prepared for the zombie apocalypse? The Smith family is, with the help of a few marines.

When an airborne “zombie” plague is released, bringing civilization to a grinding halt, the Smith family—Steven, Stacey, Sophia and Faith—take to the Atlantic to avoid the chaos. The plan is to find a safe haven from the anarchy of infected humanity. What they discover, instead, is a sea composed of the tears of survivors and a passion for bringing hope.

For it is up to the Smiths and a small band of Marines to somehow create the refuge that survivors seek in a world of darkness and terror. Now with every continent a holocaust and every ship an abattoir, life is lived beneath a graveyard sky.

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  1. Generally agree. This is one of my books that does, in fact, fall into 'one dimensional characterization'. (Which, despite my various 'one star' reviewers is not generally the case.) It's also why it reads so fast (one of the frequent compliments). I think that you'll note a bit more development as time goes by. Most of it, though, outside the Smiths. (With the exception of Stacey who will be covered in an anthology story.) One of the reasons being, character development is based upon characters being unprepared for their environment. (Whether that be 'new girl in the big city' or 'stable and satisfied hobbit dragged off on adventure.') The Smiths are the only people who are PERFECTLY SUITED to the environment. They're not surprised by it, have no cognitive dissonance and simply ramble along doing their level best to fix it. The character development, therefore, takes place in the people caught in their whirl-wind and trying to catch up.

    Thus the 'character development' is on the part of people like Isham rather than the Smiths. And that holds true (with, again, the exception of Stacey) throughout the novels. Faith and Sophia and Steve don't really have anything they need to learn about a zombie apocalypse. They were prepared.

    Although, I would note that Trixie is an interesting coping device.

    1. Ah, that makes sense. My husband said as much when I told him a bit about the book. And yes, Trixie is a very interesting coping device.


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