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Solstice: a novel of the Zombie Apocalypse Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"When it comes to characters, Solstice hooked me from page five, and shortly after, I'd grown so attached to them I dreaded turning the page. It's a rare book that has me desperate to know what happens next, but it's almost unheard of for a book to have me afraid to find out."-Jeff Clough, Maynedon
"11 or 12 stars would be apropos! Well-written, enticing, and captivating, this story will run chills up your spine-not the least because the situations it presents are entirely potential and plausible! The protagonists' coping with changed loved ones will tear your heart strings!"-Mallory Anne-Marie Forbes, Mallory Heart Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Tomas maneuvered the Rover slowly through the mounting snow, much more cautious since their near miss. If they skidded into a snowdrift, or worse, into a tree, those creatures could be on them in no time. As they entered the village, he noticed occasional movement along the deeper shadows of the buildings along the street. He was sure the figures were people, but in the darkness, there was no way to tell if they were... changed.

The place appeared haunted. Tomas had lived on the cusp of the village since he was a boy, and he'd never seen it so deserted. Snow mounded in front of shop entrances and, in some places, blew inside of busted street displays. The liquor store and the bakery both appeared to have been looted, as well as the small supermarket in the middle of the town.

The streamers from the Solstice festival were down, flailing on the snow-covered road like wounded snakes. As he eased the Rover closer to the intersection in front of the library and the public gymnasium, the vehicle lost traction and listed sideways, then found its course again. The headlights sprayed the road, and Tomas spotted something hanging from a darkened streetlamp.

A man, frozen and naked, danced on his tiptoes over the surface of the snow. A holiday streamer was wrapped tightly around his thick neck. His skin reflected the headlights; he was shiny, as if he'd been dipped in pale blue plastic. His bloated stomach folded over his genitals. Reflexively, Tomas slammed on the brakes, sending the vehicle into a true slide.

Leila gasped, but fortunately, not loud enough to wake Christopher.

"Oh, God," Melanie whispered.

Tomas clenched the steering wheel, cranking it savagely, but the Rover didn't respond quickly enough. The car plowed into the body of the dead man, sending him crashing into the windshield, his face pressing comically against the glass for one terrible moment before the body fell to the side, vanishing from sight.

The Rover came to a halt in the middle of the street, and Tomas sat behind the wheel a moment, his heart pounding and his hands trembling. He took a deep breath. "That was Frank Swensen."

"Who?" Leila croaked.

Christopher said, "I have to go to the bathroom, Daddy."

Tomas peered at his son through the rearview mirror. "Hang in there, buddy. I'll find a place in a few minutes. Okay?"

"'kay, Daddy."

Tomas pressed the gas, and the Rover rolled on. He winced as the body of Frank Swensen, public accountant and acquaintance for three decades, thudded against the front bumper. He glanced in the mirror once again, hoping Christopher wouldn't see. Thankfully, Melanie had taken his small hands in hers. She began singing a Mother Goose rhyme, dramatically forgetting her lines to allow Christopher to fill in. Tomas caught her eye in the mirror and winked. She smiled back, as warm as always, but there was terror in her eyes.

Tomas wondered if everyone he'd ever known outside his small, precious family was dead. Were he, Leila, Melanie, and Christopher the only people left alive? It wasn't plausible, of course. Many people were very likely the same as he and his family had been for the better part of a week--waiting in the safety of their increasingly cold and foodless homes, afraid of what was out there in the unending night.

Product Details

  • File Size: 877 KB
  • Print Length: 247 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: E-Volve Books (May 7, 2012)
  • Publication Date: May 7, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0081L57OO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #544,630 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Donna Burgess is an author of dark fiction and poetry who enjoys surfing, playing soccer, and painting. She has a deep affection for Monty Python, horror movies, Bruce Springsteen and baseball. Over the past two decades, her fiction and poetry has appeared in genre publications like Weird Tales, Horror Express, Chizine and many others.

She holds B.A.s in Journalism and English and a M.F.A. in Creative Writing. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Psychology.

Visit her on the web: donnaburgess.com
Facebook: facebook.com/NotesFromTheEndOfTheWorld
Pinterest: pinterest.com/horrorgirldonna/notes-from-the-end-of-the-world/
Twitter: @horrorgirldonna

Author's Note: Amazon has a great feature on their ebook product page that indicates the actual page count. My short stories are priced at 99¢ because that is the lowest price that Amazon allows. However, I often offer my short stories for free during special promotions because I love free books and assume everyone else does, as well. My novels and collections are indicated as such in the title description.

If you download a short story by me, or any of the hardworking authors who take the time to make their work available for you to read, and then leave a negative review because the ebook was "too short," it makes you look stupid. The page count is indicated right below the price. It is difficult to miss. As will all authors, I appreciate honest reviews, positive or negative, because you have taken the time to write and post one, but "too short" is a pointless comment regarding a short story.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Quirky Gurl on July 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First, the good: Not your typical zombie novel, Solstice imagines the undead creatures a bit different, which is a breath of fresh air. I found the writing to be quite good, the action fast-paced and the descriptions very vivid. I plowed through this book in one sitting, so anxious was I to see how it ended.

Now, the bad (which isn't all that bad, I swear!)-- This book doesn't delve into the scientific reasoning behind the sudden appearance of zombies or the constant state of darkness, which bugged me a little. I prefer at least a little science with my science fiction. My qualm was soon forgotten though as the story pulled me in deeper.

And thinking about it a bit further, I can see that not having the answers is more realistic. I mean really, when daylight suddenly disappears and grade school kids are taunting you with "I want to see how you taste," will it really matter what cataclysmic event is responsible? No. Staying alive will become the priority.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By cshellc64 on July 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well for one thing it was a free book so I didnt expect the book to be anything but so so...it has typo's, misspelled words, plus in some areas the story didnt match example: in the first part of the book it explains that there was no moon because the sun was gone and sun light is what makes the moon shine at night, but in the middle of the book "melanie notices silhouettes against the moom.." LOL. Like I said the book is ok.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K. Burton on July 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read a lot of sci-fi stories, but I couldn't stay with this one. Either the characters didn't grab me, or the pacing was just off. I didn't finish the story, and didn't realize I hadn't until I got the request for the review.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By j hutchins on May 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Most zombie fiction is either about protecting the mall or a epic road trip. This book has both and it some how makes it fresh, if not improves on the genre. It plays on every childhood fear I ever had about what lurks in the dark. A must have for any fan of horror novels not just zombies. Donna Burgess breathes fresh life into the undead that hasn't been felt in years. Buy this book now!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Books4Tomorrow on September 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
It seems lately I have an appetite for zombie-themed books. I finished "Hollowland" by Amanda Hocking and then, on the recommendation of a friend, got started on this one. I finished it in no time because once the story got its hold on me, it just wouldn't let go until I had read the last page at 02:30 in the morning.

Everyone who has been following my reviews by now knows that I'm a big fan of the horror genre. And let's be honest: zombies are much more horrifying than vampires, werewolves and demons, which have become rather stereotypical and predictable creatures in every second paranormal novel on the market today. I suppose many will say the same about zombies, but "Solstice" gives a startling new meaning to fear with its depiction of the living dead.

I have to applaud the author for not holding back in her use of shock techniques to get the reader to fully comprehend the direness of the situations faced by the various characters, and the fear they're constantly experiencing knowing their lives and those of their loved ones could end at any minute. Can you imagine living in a world where the sun no longer exists and it being impossible to discern between day and night? How about being as frightened of the living as of your zombie neighbor trying to make a meal out of you or your child? Or even worse; your child being the zombie trying to make a meal out of you! But what really had me chewing my nails and my nerves on end was the constant darkness in which the characters couldn't even see their hands in front of their faces, and the terrifying sounds of running footsteps and howls behind them made by zombies and marauders chasing them down. All this while fleeing through burning cities they once called home.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Theresa on July 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
OK, i really liked this book. The author really drew you in and made you cheer and weep with the people in the book. But let me say this...this is NOT a fairy tale, happily ever after book. Some of the people you cheer for will not make it to the end of the book, and it about breaks your heart. It's one of the few books that I have read that will actually kill off some of the important people during the story. The only thing that i would really like to know is, why. The why of the situation was never explored or even hinted at. No reason was given for why the world suddenly had zombies. I don't want to give away too much of the book. It would have also been nice to know exactly where it ended. It just kinda left you hanging. Hope this means that there will be a book 2 in the near future, please, please, please. Too many things left hanging not to have one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tashjann on August 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
Author Donna Burgess sure gives readers a entertaining, action packed and chilling read with Solstice and as we follow several small groups through this modern day apocalypse, we are given no explanation to why or what caused this zombie (or Rager's) apocalypse, other than a mysterious flash. Which I loved.

As for the book characters, I found that many were believable in both their thinking and actions. I even found myself really rooting for some of the book characters, while other book characters, I just wished they met a rager sooner, rather then later. Also at the start of the book we do have a few different POV to follow, which at times was confusing and also frustrating, because just as one group's story was hanging on a cliff-hanger the POV changed to another group. The good news is that as we get further into the book, it dwindles down to one POV.

Now about these zombies or as the author calls them 'Ragers'. They are not your typical 'I want to eat you', slow moving in both mind and body. No way, these rager's minds work just like humans, they can think and talk, only difference is that they now have a unending hunger for flesh, and things that kill humans don't kill them. ( well unless its a shot to the head.) Which makes this book more enjoyable, than I thought it would be.

I'm hoping author Donna Burgess, makes this into a series or even just writes a 2nd book. I for sure would not hesitate in buying it. So in the end, I am happily giving 'Solstice: A Novel of the Zombie Apocalypse' a 5 star review and think my reader's should check this book out as soon as they can. Its a fantastic read and well worth your time.
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