- Paperback: 248 pages
- Publisher: Deadite Press (December 1, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 162105215X
- ISBN-13: 978-1621052159
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #460,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Reincarnage Paperback – December 1, 2015
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Top customer reviews
But behind the utter carnage, lies a phenomenal concept. A killer (Agent Orange) who simply won't die. Been done? Sure. But in this tale, everyone is aware of his existence. In fact, they have walled off an entire town just to keep him in - because nothing can stop him coming back to life. People dare each other to enter this walled arena. There is global media coverage, "Chicken Exits," and even Agent Orange merch.
All well and good - until a group of people wake up to find themselves on the wrong side of the walled killing ground and they must try - and they try so hard, bless them - to survive. Some of them are not the most likable folks, and sometimes you want to slap a couple - but that just adds to the fun when they die.
Creative deaths aplenty in here. A very enjoyable slasher flick in a book.
Thankfully, Reincarnage isn’t one of them.
On the surface it has a fairly straight forward plot, a variation on the classic ‘lock ten guys in a warehouse and chop ‘em up one by one.’ When a disparate group of people wake up in a mysterious place with no memory of how they got there, they soon realize they’re trapped in an infamous compound with a predatory maniac on the loose. The group initially bands together but inevitably breaks up and splinters off as the carnage ensues. Things become more complex as the story progresses however, and Harding and Taverner bring so much energy and invention to it that it never feels trite. Quite the opposite. The story is like the ultimate '80s slasher movie that you always wanted to see but never did because of the limits imposed on what can be shown on screen. There are no such limits here. The authors push the boundaries with each kill scene, some of which are the most graphic and intense I’ve read in recent years. Not only will you not find this level of violence in slasher movies, but you’d be unlikely to find it in mainstream publishing either. Having said that, Reincarnage has a glorious cinematic quality to it that is just aching to be filmed if anyone out there is brave enough to try.
One of the (many) drawbacks of political correctness is that it can feel even more stifling and inauthentic when applied to fiction. Harding and Taverner have the skill to avoid this trap. The diverse group of characters in Reincarnage are thrown together by circumstances beyond their control and it never feels as though the authors are pandering to an imagined audience or some diversity committee with a checklist. This strong characterisation as opposed to stereotypes elevates the story to a different level than one might expect for this kind of thing. Other reviewers have criticised the book for having too many characters and an excessive amount of dialogue. While it’s true that the story is somewhat dialogue heavy at times, it’s also an integral part of the set-up, especially right at the start when the characters and the dynamics between them are being established. Yes there’s a lot of characters to juggle but it never feels as though this aspect isn’t in safe hands. Harding and Taverner know what they’re doing. Without the set-up, we the readers aren’t going to care about the characters or feel anything when they start getting picked off. The pace never drags though. Reincarnage is a full tilt ultra-violent gorefest of wildly inventive carnage and mayhem, but it never indulges in mindless violence for the sake of it. This is a compelling horror story where everything happens for a reason.
The ending hints at a sequel, so with any luck there’ll soon be more mayhem on the way.
You might think that, after all this time, there’s nothing new under that particular sun. That there’s only so many ways teenagers or hapless vacationers can get dismembered by garden tools and other creative around-the-house DIY mutilation.
But, in Reincarnage, Ryan Harding and Jason Taverner find a way. What if, they ask, it happened for REAL? What if there WAS a killer who couldn’t be killed, not for keeps? Who DID keep coming back, somehow, even after being seemingly put down again and again?
People would DO something, wouldn’t they? The government would have to DO something, right? National security and all that. Like if there were real, live supervillains, or aliens, right? Stick ‘em in a mega-uber prison or lab or something.
Or something. Welcome to the Kill Zone, home and stomping grounds of the maniac known as Agent Orange. Walled off and secure, monitored, it’s like a wildlife preserve without the tourists … not counting the occasional death-defying thrillseekers and daredevils … at least, that’s what most of the world thinks.
To the random group of strangers who wake up and find themselves there, well, the truth’s a rude surprise. What follows is a frantic struggle for survival as well as unraveling the mysterious conspiracy of how they ended up there.
What also follows is a grim and grisly spectacular body count. The up-close-and-personal POV style does a great job of making this anything but your usual cheer-the-mayhem slasher flick; even when it’s the obnoxious characters you thought you couldn’t wait to see get picked off in horrific, gruesome ways.
As a bonus, the entire book is laden with wonderful zingers, descriptive bits, groanworthy jokes, and fantastic turns of phrase. But it is, don’t forget, very, VERY gory!