Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 2013 Book Review: Raised


  By Sharon Stevenson

~Book Review~

WHEN AN AUTHOR starts a new series, readers may have their doubts. Will old character personalities be recycled (Cassandra Clare)? Will the plot lines become too predictable (Terry Brooks)?

Luckily neither is the case here—unless you count Sharon Stevenson’s signature snarky banter, which is always welcome. I’ve read the Gallows Series, and this new cast of characters in Raised easily stands on their own as eclectic, sympathetic, and the type you would sling back shots with on a Friday night. Kit is a heavier girl who weathers through comments about her weight with fiery retorts and proud confidence, and Pete is a rather nice guy—despite finding out that he was killed to be “raised” as an Animate, aka, a zombie slave to the magicians known as “Users” (Well, at least they don’t sugarcoat what they do). The story drops right in on Pete waking up as a dead man walking, and as he attempts to find out who raised him and why, we’re introduced to his circle of friends and a whole crew of motley, fun villains and frenemies, including vampires from outer space.

I truly appreciated the unique take on zombies, the humor, and Stevenson’s consistently strong portrayal of female protagonists. The book may feel dark to readers unaccustomed to profanity and gory fights, but it really serves a purpose and brings the characters to life.

Warning! Spoiler Alert!!!

Particularly moving is Mickey’s story, as he wrestles with his attraction for a man and what that means. I liked that he wasn’t just thrown into the story for the sake of being the token  gay characterhe has his own plot line and role to play in the action-packed string of events.

End Spoilers!!

Stevenson has a very distinctive stylistic flair and an eye for action and dialogue. However, sometimes it can be confusing as to location transition and to which character is speaking—it’s easy to lose track. Sometimes I had to read back a couple paragraphs to find, “Wait, who said that?” 

Despite these bumps, the narrative overall flows along smoothly and keeps your attention. We’re given just enough answers at the end to feel satisfied, but bigger questions about Pete’s fate definitely have me excited to find out what adventures await the group next in this alternate undead Scotland.

Recommended for fans of: Jim Butcher and Kim Harrison

October Book Review: Okay, this time the Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Shadow and Bone Duo. Pinkie swear.

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