Wednesday, March 19, 2014

CBR6 #8: Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto

Nic Pizzolatto's Galveston is not an especially plot-driven book. It's more a character study focused on one man, and how his decisions during a specific period in his life echo across the years.

Roy Cady is not a good guy. He works as a heavy for an even worse guy, and one day he gets the sense that his usefulness has come to an end. Unfortunately for everyone else involved, Roy's just been diagnosed with terminal cancer and has absolutely nothing left to lose. He manages to escape the situation, but finds himself burdened with a teenage prostitute and no plan for the future.

This book is dark, and it is also quite violent. It's also well-written, gripping, and surprisingly optimistic about the possibility for redemption and change. I liked it, but I'm not sure I'd ever want to read it again.

Friday, March 7, 2014

CBR6 #7: Rise Again by Ben Tripp

Sheriff Danny Adelman has enough problems upon waking on July 4. The Iraq vet has PTSD, a growing problem with alcohol, and a younger sister that has run off...in Danny's beloved Mustang. It seems like the worst that that will happen in the small town of Forest Peak that day is awkwardness over the mayor's terrible patriotic costume and dealing with the town drunk.

That's before the first screamer comes running out of the woods and drops dead in the town square.

Things just keep going downhill from there, and problems start piling up awfully quick when the dead start to rise off the sidewalks.

I liked this book a lot -- as far as the plot goes, it's in many ways a fairly standard zombie book. However, I really appreciated the characters, and was actively rooting for all of them. Danny is a fantastic character, with a lot of real human emotion, despite the bad-ass exterior. Stranded TV star Patrick, local veterinarian Amy, and alcoholic Vietnam veteran Wulf are also great.

The plot moved along briskly, and never did I find myself getting bored. There was action going on in several locations, which kept things interesting, and there were many reasonably well sketched out side characters to people the story. Also, I appreciated not being subjected to an ill-advised love story--the author didn't seem to feel the need to add that particular subplot, which is rare. Plus, the ending provided a surprise twist that I didn't see coming at all.

On the whole, this was a likable book in this genre, and I am looking forward to reading the sequel.