Review: Rise and Walk – Pathogen / Author: Gregory Solis / Publisher: Hadrian Publishing / Release Date: Out now
Zombies, zombies everywhere. From WWZ to The Walking Dead, the living-impaired are truly the flavour of the month in the horror genre. They’re staggering on to the big screen in summer blockbusters, they’re shambling their way in their hordes across TV and they’re in bookstores.
Traditionally, the literary zombie tends to be the least popular as the living dead tend to work best as a visual medium with the likes of Tom Savini and Greg Nicotero pushing the boundaries of creativity, realism and taste to appease the audience’s increasing hunger to see how far they can take their make up effects. This, however is not the case with Gregory Solis, author of the action packed Rise and Walk trilogy.
Solis is now two thirds of the way through his trilogy, which began in 2011 with the publication of his debut novel, Rise and Walk. This was a fast paced novel about a zombie invasion in a remote mountain area. The infection spreads relentlessly through the unsuspecting population of vacationing Americans with most of the action taking place during a paint-balling contest. As the living population dwindles and the ranks of the zombies increase, two men and two women find their chances of survival decreasing by the hour.
Solis has now made good on his promise and has published the second part of the trilogy, Rise and Walk: Pathogen which starts at the cliffhanger ending of the first novel with the survivors making their way to the town of Whisper, in search of relatives and loved ones who might have survived the zombie apocalypse now in its second day.
Character development is a large part of Pathogen, in which we learn more about the backgrounds of our cast. Solis has an incredible talent for bringing his characters to life, to the extent that when a familiar character dies we, the readers, feel the loss. (And believe me, nobody has a pleasant death in Solis’s world – and nobody is safe.) The action is swift and relentless, as the band of survivors have to split up and look for survivors, while also establishing a secure base for their own safety. The quick cuts from one group to another are handled with a cinematic flair.
We also learn considerably more about what’s causing the dead to, well, rise and walk – and how the pathogen is spreading and changing with each new generation of infection. It’s the creeping realisation that it’s much more than two zombies becoming four, becoming eight, sixteen and so on – the zombie virus is actually changing during the forty eight hour time span of the two books. The situation is worsening and the reanimated dead will inevitably soon outnumber the living.
The zombies are not the only threat to our mixed bunch of survivalist misfits with the arrival of a vengeful rich patriarch and his team of psychotic and homicidal mercenaries. The scene is clearly set for a resounding finale with the already announced Rise and Walk: Legacy, which will conclude the series and is currently being written.
As you lounge on the beach dreaming of the fourth season of The Walking Dead due in the autumn, there’s no better way to get your zombie fix than to pick up the Rise and Walk books.