Title: Rise of the Chosen
Author: Anna Kopp
Publisher: Blue Moon Publishers
Source: NetGalley Ebook
A dystopian tale where a mysterious force known as the Lifeblood causes the dead to Wake soon after death. The vast majority become Woken – crazed shells of humans, desperate only to kill. A small minority, however, become Chosen. The Chosen have all the extra strength of the Woken but with the ability to control it. Sam is a human, a member of the Watch – an organisation which monitor the Woken, and her entire world is about to come crashing down around her.
From the prologue, I was hooked onto this book, devouring it as I read. It’s an interesting twist on the zombie concept, and one which actually works for the better. It allows for different kinds of the zombie-type and also adds a level of suspense whenever death occurs as the dead can come back either as an uncontrollable monster or a super-human being with the mind of their past self.
There are a number of twists in this book which I did not see coming and which added to the story. The largest one occurs about half-way through and the whole story is thrown on a tangent, one which picks up the plot’s pace and builds to a climactic final section. There is a really good balance between action and character-development so there is no point where you feel especially over-whelmed by all that is occurring.
Sam is a brilliant lead in this book and every aspect of her personality makes her a female protagonist to enjoy. She is also bisexual (and not in an awful, stereotypical way) which was a delight to discover as bisexuality erasure is, unfortunately, very common in all kinds of media. Her determination and stubborn-ness keeps her going as she finds herself in situations which are increasingly out of her depth but is not afraid to show vulnerability or make mistakes.
The other characters were not quite as well formulated. Aside from David and Lena, I often got the others mixed up or I forgot about them until they returned later on. This was not too much of a problem, however, as the three I’ve mentioned are the only ones which are present throughout the novel and are the three which are the most important to the series (at least that’s what I got from reading Rise of the Chosen.
The setting of this novel feels incredibly well thought out. There are a number of various organisations, although the Watch is the one we see the most of. Its structure feels like something that would have been developed following a zombie apocalypse of this kind and it made sense. I also especially liked how it explained why the novel takes place in America with very little mention of the rest of the world. While this explanation is no more than a few lines long it made the book a lot more realistic and makes what happened feel a lot more catastrophic which, given what the Watch created, might not have felt as devastating otherwise.
I thoroughly enjoyed Rise of the Chosen, more than I thought I would. While the writing could have been slightly better, the rest of the novel more than made up for it. It was easy to read and easy to understand and, rather annoyingly, the ending left me desperate for the next book in the series. I am very much looking forward to where the story is headed from here.
Rise of the Chosen will be released on 4th October 2016.