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The Oasis of Filth - Part 1 (Volume 1) Paperback – July 4, 2013
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Pre-order today
About the Author
By day, Keith Soares runs an interactive game, web, and app development agency. But by night, his imagination runs wild. A fan of classic authors such as Stephen King, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, and newer writers like Justin Cronin, Hugh Howey, and Andy Weir, Keith writes stories of science fiction, the apocalypse, fantasy, revenge, and horror. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife and two daughters, who are all avid readers.
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Character definition and development is really at a minimum in this book, though since the past has very little bearing on their situation now, it does not greatly detract from the story. The emotional level of the book is not deep; think of it almost as a "Planet of the Apes" type story, where the surface action is the point, and depth is not a factor.
However, the author does take some major liberties with everyday chemistry and physics. He has the couple use an RV for travel, though any kind of combustion-driven vehicles have been abandoned for over a decade. Gasoline is still good, engines still function instead of being seized up by rust and a lack of lubrication. Lots of food is still good, though that is less of a stretch with modern packaging. Tires on vehicles have not rotted, and roads are still reasonably passable.
The zombies are not really zombies; they are people who have contracted the apocalyptic plague, which is a combination of leprosy and rabies. The infected do not eat people (or any organs thereof), but they are extremely aggressive and attack without provocation. Any bite or cut lets the germs in the uninfected person, who is now infected. I like this turn on the normal zombie storyline (of which I am not a fan), because no paranormal belief comes into play. However, credibility is stretched somewhat because, though a normal infected person only lasts a few weeks to months at best, there still seem to be a lot of infected out in the wild. In addition, the infection still does strike the cities, but with a much lower frequency.
Without giving away the ultimate tragedy and culmination of the plot, let us just say that human greed and selfishness appear, and many of humanity's worst qualities are on display. If you want a happy ending, look somewhere else. While this is part of a series, this book stands very well on its own as a complete story.
The plot-line does jump around a bit, mostly a result of the design of the story being largely action-based rather than emotionally-based. Scenes jump from one thing to another, and sometimes the reader is left to wonder what happened in the meantime.
For the shortcomings in functional chemistry and physics, along with the very surface quality of most of the story (though the ending is a change from that style), I knock off one star. I still recommend The Oasis of Filth as a worthy book to spend an evening or two reading. The ending alone makes it worth that.
I'll be concentrating on reviewing Halloween themed book thru the month of October for the second year running so feel free to "see all my reviews" most recently if you're of a like mind and am looking for some spooky stuff this time of year.
While still somewhat far-fetched (again, zombies -- what isn't?), this is one of the most believable explanations for zombies that I've read. More importantly, however, is the rather realistic (if a bit too black-and-white) responses to the outbreak. The sense of fear and dread in the people, capitalized on by the predatory government feels right, especially in light of the War of Terror that we've seen unfold as a war on civil liberties and common sense. The discoveries at the Oasis strike the right chord, and it's ultimate fate also seems in-line with the way people act in groups during periods of stress and fear.
Of course, any work that can poke both at the anti-vaccer crowd and our society's infatuation with overly clean and antiseptic conditions is okay in my book.
While the work was short, I like where Soares let this one end. It feels like a complete story and allows the reader to both digest the work and decide for himself whether or not to pick up the next book. I, for one, am opting to do so and will be purchasing book 2 as soon as I finish writing this review.
Most recent customer reviews
This is one book I've read again and again if you like...Read more