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Pallid Light: The Waking Dead (A Zombie Novel) Paperback – January 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Elder Signs Press (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934501115
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934501115
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,839,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William Jones is the author of several novels, including The Strange Cases of Rudolph Pearson and Voodoo Virus. He is the editor of Dark Wisdom magazine and a well-known anthology editor for series such as Arkham Tales, High Seas Cthulhu, Horrors Beyond, and R'lyeh Rising. He lives in Metamora, Michigan.

More About the Author

William Jones has received Bram Stoker Award nominations, International Horror Guild Award and Origins Award nominations for his works. He is the editor of several anthologies, including The Anthology of Dark Wisdom: The Best of Dark Fiction, Frontier Cthulhu: Ancient Horrors in the New World, High Seas Cthulhu, and the Horrors Beyond Series. His book, The Strange Cases of Rudolph Pearson was selected by Editor Ellen Datlow as a "seminal" work for readers of Lovecraftian horror. He has also written a number of role-playing game supplements, and his writings have been translated into several languages. His most recent novel is Pallid Light: The Waking Dead. He lives in Michigan.

Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars
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I wasn't very impressed, and to be honest I didn't finish it.
Josh Pearson
I liked the main character but the book just kind of wandered around aimlessly for 301 pages.
Kevin Brown
The other characters in the story are just downright boring as well.
Jarrick A

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
William Jones, Pallid Light: The Walking Dead (Elder Signs Press, 2009)

My first thought upon finishing this book was "I wonder if that subtitle was put there by Jones or by Elder Signs Press". It just doesn't fit. It's grammatically awkward, and while there are zombies in the book, they are more plot device around the characters than they are main attraction (think Robert Kirkman more than, say, Greg Solis). Because of this, I wonder if some of this book's readers are going to be disappointed that there isn't more zombie action. That said, I was not one of those readers. I've had some bad runs with micropress novels recently, and Pallid Light was quite a welcome change; it throws a few interesting twists into the origins hypothesis, it gives us solid characters and realistic (within the frame of Jones' world-building) action, and it comes to a satisfying climax. Tell me again why Ben Tripp is publishing on a major label while William Jones is on a micropress who can't get books into libraries to save their lives?

Plot: Rand Clay is an ex-con who's moved to the small town of Temperance, Illinois, in search of a fresh start. The town won't let him have one, though; he'll always be "the murderer living out at the old boardinghouse." He's got one friend in town, the lovely if slightly cracked Cada, but everyone else looks at him as if he's going to start shooting up the general store at any minute. Cada lives in the next apartment over, so when the world goes insane, it's pretty easy for them to get together. And the world does go insane. A country-wide, possibly global, electrical storm, coupled with strange lights in the sky, knocks out the town's electricity, floods most of its streets, and causes the dead to get up and start walking. Oh, those silly dead folks.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jarrick A on March 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
Sometimes an author gets a great idea that he can't translate onto paper. William Jones the author of Pallid Light is without doubt a talented writer and a proven award winner. This was the first book I ever read of his and I have to say it was a major let down.

The biggest reason Pallid Light didn't work for me was the main character Rand. The story is told in the first person from his perspective. This can be a risky thing sometimes because you are making the reader see the entire story through one set of eyes. He is an ex-con with a history who tries to make a life for himself in a small town in Illinois along Lake Michigan called Temperance. Jones writes this guy in the worst possible way by constantly reminding you every two pages that he is a convicted murderer/ex-con. He makes the character sympathetic and more like a hero by explaining that it was justifiable homicide but even with that revelation, it comes off two dimensional. The character is such a cliché that you roll your eyes every time he has some story from his hard life. All the references to his harsh upbringing in Detroit are laughable. You can tell the author did not spend much time (or do any character research) on the mean streets of Detroit. It makes you wonder if he had ever been there. Also, every new character introduced in the book that lives in Temperance knows about Rand's history, so every one of them reacts to him like "ooooh he is a bad person". Let go of the convict thing already! We get it, tell the story! I don't need to see every character judging him for being criminal! One or two would be enough! To be fair, he does write Rand as a very sarcastic character, which kind of works. But what really bothered me were these constant moral dilemmas that Rand had at every point of action in the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Brown on June 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book wasn't exactly bad but it wasn't that good either. I liked the main character but the book just kind of wandered around aimlessly for 301 pages. A lot of the time the characters are doing stupid things and quite frankly I am still not sure what the shades controlling the zombies were trying to accomplish. Although the author seemed to give it a good try and some parts of the book were entertaining, I cannot, in good conscience, recommend the book.
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Format: Paperback
I wasn't very impressed, and to be honest I didn't finish it. The main character didn't really hold my interest long, and the zombies themselves were so peripheral it was hard to get invested in what was going on.

Mostly it was just arguing between some convict guy and some "John Lennon" guy, and I got bored super fast.

Save your Zombie bucks for something else.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Susanna K. Robbins Ttee on February 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
Scared me to near-death. Couldn't put it down. Riveting, fast-paced, grabs you and won't let go! This is the kind of book that should be made into a movie. It is beautifully written and you very quickly come to identify with the characters. Do not read alone - but read for sure!!!
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