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Beyond Isaiah Paperback – December 4, 2012
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The plot was entertaining. I felt involved with the goings on of the story and everything moved at a brisk pace. Pacing is a great aspect of the story, as short as it may be. However, there was a spot in the plot where I was really disappointed, and slightly confused. Spoiler alert: Jack searches in the ruins of his old base and finds a man by the name of Shaddock. The character is grateful that somebody found him, and tells him about how he was not far from committing suicide. Shaddock goes on a spiel about how there is a safe haven in Scotland. After he delivers his info-dump, Shaddock asks for Jack to kill him, to ease his suffering. Jack does the deed, then leaves. This was a really shaky part of the plot for me. The reasoning for Shaddock's wish for death alludes me; yes, he is guilt ridden but suddenly when there is hope, that's when he decides to commit suicide. It seems like the only purpose of the character was to give the reader an info-dump about the haven, then as soon as the info-dump was over, the character was removed from the story. It was a very abrupt info-dump and could have definitely been orchestrated better. End Spoiler
Besides that plot issue, I enjoyed the story itself and found myself flipping through page after page wanting to know what happened next.
Characters: The book starts off with the perspectives of the main characters, and we see where they were and what they were doing when the world went to hell. Paul Huggins does a great job fleshing out these characters with a rich-backstory and giving the reader a realistic drawing of characters. I was also glad to see that he didn't make these characters as everyday heroes turned into zombie killing machines. Instead, the author gives us characters with questionable pasts and they are a little rough around the edges. Throughout the book, sometimes the character development felt rather dull but overall he did a good job making the connection between reader and character. The only issue I really have with the characters is that I wished the book was longer so that the author had more time to flesh them out, giving the reader more opportunities to get to know them on a personal level.
Writing: There were a few issues throughout the book when it came to grammar mistakes and errors, but the writing style was pretty good. The book had a lot more errors and typos than I was hoping to see, the book was in real need of an editor to catch a lot of these tiny errors. There were a few rare sentence structure problems that could have been corrected with a few commas and word-cutting. At times the errors effected the flow of the story and on a few occasions, I had to read a sentence twice to get exactly what they meant. There were also a couple of spots where the author referred to a "magazine" as a "clip", a minor error but it's something that still drew my eye.
The action scenes were well written. He could have spent a little bit more time with the scenes, but they were otherwise awesome.
The author's writing style has a heck of a lot of potential. There were some spots where I reread the paragraph because it was well-written and vivid. If the author had a scrupulous editor go over the book, it really would have helped the flow of the writing. I think that Paul Huggins is starting to uncover his writing talent, and with a little bit of polishing and experience, he could develop beautiful prose.
Overall: it's a book worth a read. Despite the errors and typos, the book is entertaining and keeps you flipping pages Recommended.