Friday, April 12, 2013

Review: QUIVER by Jason Fischer

Quiver (Volume 1, The Tamsyn Webb Chronicles)QUIVER is a fix-up novel comprising four zombie themed novellas which detail a young woman’s fight for survival in a world long turned dead. Spanning multiple continents and exploring some unique concepts, this globetrotting tour of death places the bow and arrow wielding heroine, Tamsyn Webb, in some dire and utterly enthralling predicaments – some of which more macabre than others, yet all deadly and confronting.

Starting with GRAVESEND and finishing with BETTER RED THAN UNDEAD, QUIVER encapsulates many of the tried and true formulas common to survival horror; the building of fortifications, scavenging, zombie (or coffin-dodger) hoards and their migration, the fall of Government and the rise of independent parties, but the most important component of this zombie post apocalyptic concoction is the humans themselves who are commonly more inhumane than the walking dead. Fischer goes to great lengths to portray a dead world whose living soles are rotten and more menacing than those who threaten to end mans existence.

I enjoyed QUIVER for the most part. At times more Michael Bay than Romero, however the omnipresent sense of dread and heart pounding overriding fear experienced by the survivors remained consistent throughout. As a YA novel, QUIVER was less gritty and raw than the zombie books I’m accustomed to - that said, Fischer wrote this story well given the confines.  

A highlight for me was the place setting of each instalment. Firstly a fortified compound in Gravesend, followed by an ill-fated voyage aboard a dying ship, and subsequent visitations to a Texas gone mad and a Cuba rife with war - this helped to keep the story of decay fresh and provided a unique perspective of how the world coped with the zombie outbreak.

Overall, QUIVER is an entertaining read that starts off with a bang, morphs into more of an action book, before really hitting its straps with the fourth novella, BETTER RED THAN UNDEAD. Personally, I would’ve given this a 5 star rating had all four novellas resembled the story in the last instalment. 3.5 stars.

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