Zombies are a hot topic these days. It seems every aspiring author wants to write a zombie eBook. There are endless amounts of mediocre, bad and just plain terrible zombie ebooks floating around the internet. Thankfully, A Darkness Shattered by Bruce Clothier is none of these things.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m a little jaded when it comes to the topic of zombie books. While I’ve never taken the time to validate this assumption, my personal experience leads me to believe the number of badly written zombie eBooks probably far outweighs the number of them worthy of a spot on a zombie fan’s virtual bookshelf. I have to admit I went into reading this book without expecting much. Mr. Clothier totally proved me wrong.
From the very first chapter I was captivated by this fast moving zombie story. A Darkness Shattered is the first book of the collection to be known as The Darkmind Saga. As the reader you are immediately thrown into the world of Michael Nelson, a 16 year old boy suddenly cast into the world of the zombie apocalypse.
One minute he’s playing video games and the next the world is unraveling around him. After receiving a frantic telephone call from his father warning him NOT to leave the house, Michael learns the world as he knows it is over. He barricades himself in his home and waits for nearly a week clinging to the hope that his parents will arrive and whisk him away to safety. After coming to the realization that his parents aren’t coming for him, he knows he needs to make a move to ensure his survival. He decides to head from Kansas to Illinois to see if his Grandparents are ok on their rural farm.
Michael sets out on foot into a world of uncertainty. The moment he walks out the door of his family home for the last time he starts his rapid journey into manhood. It is this journey that is one of the most exciting parts of this zombie tale.
A Darkness Shattered is much more than a zombie story. Sure there are plenty of zombies. There’s also plenty of bloody zombie kills and disgusting gore to keep the most hardcore zombie horror fan interested. These are just the tip of the iceberg and basically icing on the zombie cake. Although the zombie content is plentiful, Mr. Clothier has mas managed to make them a part of the bigger picture rather than the dominant theme of the book. What else is there? Plenty!
A Darkness Shattered tells the tale of a young man with a sometimes dark and depressed mood that must rapidly ascend into manhood in order to survive. While he rescued his neighbor’s dog that has accompanied him on his trek, he can’t avoid human contact for long. Along his journey he meets a very special young lady. Yep there’s a love story buried within this awesome zombie eBook!
When I first discovered this I was fearing the worst. I didn’t want a sappy romance novel with my zombies. I was very happy to find this isn’t your typical love story. This is Michael’s first real experience feeling something special for the opposite sex. It’s understandable because she truly is unique. She and Michael rapidly begin to care about and protect each other with a very special bond. There’s something very special about this young lady. She’s able to perfectly balance Michael on many levels. I don’t want to reveal any major plot spoilers for you so you’ll have to read A Darkness Shattered to learn what special gift Michael’s lady, Abby, possesses.
Michael proceeds on his journey to his grandparents house with Abby at his side. Along the way they meet a man out hunting who takes them to his camp. A large group of survivors has managed to create a sort of rustic zombie-safe fortress. This tight community cares for one another in a true communal sense. You find out toward the end of the story there’s something very special about someone in this camp as well.
So far I sound like I have nothing but nice things to say about this zombie tale. There were actually very few things I disliked about this book. That being said, in the interest of a fair and honest review I should discuss some of the things I felt weren’t so great. One of the things I didn’t like about this book was the cover art. I don’t say this to offend the author or the artist responsible for the cover. It’s not that I think the cover is terrible; I just think it misses the mark. It does little to clearly tell you what the story is about and just what a great book this is.
Secondly there are a handful of typos within the text of this book. These aren’t huge errors but Mr. Clothier’s zombie tale is so well written that these minor mistakes are easily noticed and distract slightly from the story.
Neither of these complaints are anything major. They certainly aren’t a reason to miss out on this awesome zombie story.
Overall I loved this zombie eBook. I was pleasantly surprised. This is so much better than I had anticipated it would be. I’m truly impressed that first time author Bruce Clothier came to the zombie genre with such a well written story. It’s a very interested read that just happens to have zombies in it. Along the way I was able to personally identify with the main character, Michael. I could see myself in him and that made the story so much more enjoyable to read.
Bruce Clothier has a wonderfully descriptive writing style that brings this zombie story to life in your mind. He also has a knack for balancing tense action with calmer happier moments in the story. Shockingly, zombies were just one of the things I loved about this book.
While I digged reading about killing zombies, I enjoyed the underlying love story expertly woven into this tale just as much. I’m somewhat shocked and ashamed to say I found myself reminiscing to my first love, the powerful feelings involved and how special true unconditional love is even in the post-apocalyptic world. This story helped reaffirm for me every man can only be made better with a little faith and a strong and devoted woman at his side.
I highly recommend this book. I’m not a huge reader, so sometimes I get bored easily. I ripped through this book in a matter of a few nights which is highly unusual for me. I kept suffering from what I like to call OMCS (One More Chapter Syndrome). I truly had a difficult time putting down my e-reader. I’m so excited to see what happens next as The Darkmind Saga continues to unfold.
How does Michael, a young man thrust into adulthood, handle the stark realization that sometimes fellow man is a much bigger threat than the walking dead? What is the secret gift Abby possesses? Are Michael’s Grandparents safe from harm out on their rural farmland? What is the cliff hanger ending that will have you waiting for the second addition to the Darkmind Saga? You’ll have to read A Darkness Shattered to find out!
Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5
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