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Undead Reckoning

Undead Reckoning - Mike Slabon For genre fiction, this book is both difficult to pin down, and at times hard to figure out. For fans of action, you won't wait very long to get some, as you're thrust immediately into frantic action from the first pages. However, this strength can also be viewed as a weakness depending on the reader, as the action doesn't let up....as in ever. In fact, the book goes further and further afield, becoming more surreal and fantastic by the page. About midway through the book, you'll encounter a dangerous Infodump, which is a little distracting, but survivable. In short, the book is a novel of (somewhat) zombie genre, where we meet our hero, Eddie Griffin, some time after the zombie apocalypse one must have for these things. Eddie is different in that he's the Super Bowl MVP of the last football championship before the apocalypse, and was caught out visiting troops when the fateful day struck. He's accompanied by a soldier who is green. I'll leave the rest concerning that to the reader. Along their mission, they encounter just about every boogieman and daemon imaginable...and several I, at least never would have thought up.A reader fond of constant action, lots of weird demonic fantasy, and casual humor surrounding all of this will enjoy the book, a first time effort from writer Mike Slabon. It makes no claims of great literature, and doesn't pretend to be, and my rating reflects that. A book such as Colin Whitehead's Zone One which so clearly does try to elevate a genre subject and is in turn subject to the critical judgment of the scalpel honed by Joyce, Gaddis, or Woolf suffers deep cuts in comparison (which I'd imagine would attract zombies, no?) finds no place in reviewing Undead Reckoning, which seems to aim more for a rollicking action-packed ride of surreal fantasy than anything. It succeeds. Were I to seek fault, I'd have liked a little less...well...stuff. The constant addition of new and changing concepts, creatures, myths, and histories begins to weary the eye, and the prose style while solid, could use some intense editing. I'm not sure I'll personally tackle another work from this author, unless there were assurances of some very different directions taken, but I found enough spark in his writing that should he try to tackle some new peak, I would certainly give it a go. There's talent in there, but it needs some serious study and technique to come out.I think the reader will find they'll either greatly enjoy the book, or really dislike it. I think it tends to push you towards the polls of that scale of enjoyment. For me, recognizing what the author was going for and while not exactly sharing it, appreciating how close to the chosen mark he hits suggests at least 3 stars for me. It would have gotten more, but I suspect I'm not really the ideal subject for the book. I hope Mr. Slabon continues and writes outside his comfort zone, rather than resting easy upon the low laurels that many so-called genre writers do. He's probably better than that.