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Sunset Paperback – November 12, 2008
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
About the Author
JJ Ritonya is a self published author with two titles to his name and another soon to be released. Sunset, an apocalyptic zombie tale was published in November of 2008 by Createspace. Hubbert's Peak, a novel taking place in the post Oil-War era in the desolate wastelands formerly known as the United States was published in May of 2009. JJ Ritonya is a native of Omaha, NE where he currently resides with his wife and two daughters. Visit the official website of JJ Ritonya at www.jjritonya.com
Top customer reviews
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When I first discovered the zombies, I thought, oh here we go, another nasty disgusting book about dead people eating constantly and vivid descriptions of it. I was glad this was not the case. I enjoyed that the book didn't dwell on the zombies and enjoyed the twists of the way the survivors turned into monsters. Unlike another reviewer, I also don't feel like this was unbelievable, when 99% of the world dies, people will go insane and let their darkest desires free. It felt very believable to me.
I suggest if you are looking for a good, fast page turner that won't make you sick reading it, read this book.
Inexplicably set in 1991 (though published in 2008) this tale of four survivors (three at first, another is introduced half-way through) meanders in tone and detail as well as style. For no discernible reason two of the survivors get to tell their tale in the first-person, while the other two are covered in the third. The narrative jumps between the various survivors and roughly aligns the time period but other guessing there is no way to verify that since chunks of time are often thrown off in backstory recollections. The three characters introduced at the start are a 20-year-old slacker (whose personality gets some attention through the first-person narrative at the very beginning), a nebbishy 40-year-old vacationing computer programmer and a despicable terrorist. While some reviewers seem to find this last choice interesting or bold it is quite horrendous especially given that he is the other character granted a first-person view. Later a retired New York City cop enters the switching narrative. The choice of changing the perspective of the story rarely works and fails utterly here, and usually the book reads as three separate stories that on a whim the author decided to link together rather than a cogent narrative style.
About the "Zombies": I will once again grant that there is no one type of zombie, but the dead that are afraid of the daylight yet are drawn to fire? Other reviewers toss out 99% and 98% as the percent of the world's population that has died. While there is no word of any country other than the U.S., I'd peg it at more like 99.9999% of the population dead. In an instant. And they lie around dead for a while and then "disappear". The "zombies" are more of a concern than a threat here, they are the more standard slow and awkward time, and the fact that they retreat in the day time removes most of their "bite", not that biting ever takes place here.
A note about the Kindle version: it appears the author just dumped a text file. While there is occasional new paragraph indentation mostly everything just runs together, their are odd shifts in justification, duplicated lines, section headings blended into paragraphs and other formatting errors. It doesn't make the book any more difficult to read, but it looks awful.
Page after page of boring description of surroundings and inventory made me want to file this one away before finishing but I just couldn't. There are no real action scenes or tension as most of the confrontations with the "bad guys" just come out of nowhere and the protagonists are taken off guard. The usual military bunker and search for food tropes are here, and a few intriguing concepts keep this from being a one-star for me, but I didn't care about any of the characters and other than the ridiculous everyone-drops-dead-instantly premise Sunset brings nothing new to the table and once again I was burned in my quest for zombie fiction.
If you're just out of options in a quest to read anything tangentially tied to zombie fiction I will understand your suffering through this book. But I refuse to tag it "zombies": what zombie would be afraid of the daylight hours?