Author: Jason Kristopher
Publisher: Grey Gecko Press
Length: 417 pages
Last year I worked the Half Price Books booth at Comicpalooza. It was amazing and fun and I met some of the best people in the world – geeks like me who had gathered from all over the world to bask in their geeky-ness.
I’m in a little bummed out that I am not there this year, but it doesn’t mean that I won’t be back in the future. What it does mean, however, is that I am spending my weekend re-creating at home what I am missing at the G.R. Brown Convention center right now.
Last year, I was so lucky to come across Grey Gecko Press, a local publishing company who had pulled out all the stops for their authors. The booth was gorgeous, had professional banners for all the authors, hardback and paperback books on display. It didn’t look indie at all. Penguin and Tor would have been impressed, I think.
Of course, I asked them to come be a part of Half Price Books events in the Humble area. My floor space is your floor space, I basically said, and I have not regretted it one bit.
It is because of them that I have had the pleasure of reading Spindown by George Wright Padgett, a book that I thought was pretty brilliant. So brilliant, I connected him with the artist of the art company I work with, Gershom Reese Wetzel, when he said he was ready to publish his own science fiction title. We got a review copy to Padgett, and the rest is history. Padgett was the perfect person to write an editorial review for us. It’s a fascinating sub-genre they share.
Now, finally, one year later, I’m digging my teeth into Jason Kristopher’s work – The Dying of the Light series.
I don’t generally read or watch a lot of zombie material. When everyone was on that craze, I was not. But I do love a good zombie story. Usually when in the mood I go on a Resident Evil binge. One of my all time favorite movies (top twenty anyway) is 28 Days Later, the first time I saw it I was impressed by the cinematography and the choice in music made me cry it was so lovely.
I chuckled and snickered all the way through reading Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and just recently I was introduced to the movie Warm Bodies and absolutely loved it.
So even though the zombie craze isn’t entirely my thing – I’m not ignorant of the genre and I do enjoy it. I existed in the house when my husband was watching The Walking Dead, he watched too many episodes without me to follow the whole show, but now reading The Dying of the Light I feel like I got the better end of the stick.
Kristopher’s work is both an easy breezy read as well as an involved and intricate apocalypse novel. Current events are tied into the possibilities – which is always the best way to build a dystopian or apocalyptic world, in my opinion. The characters are real, the main one appropriately both strong and sappy. (Without a little bit of nostalgia and romance, what in God’s name would anyone want to save?)
Of course, that’s always the best part of an end of the world story – it’s why millions have fallen in love with Doctor Who. Any fight to the death for a whole world must involve a story of humanity and what it means to be human. Jason Kristopher pulls this off well, without overwhelming the casual reader with too much intensity.
After reading several books lately that involve a lot of plodding and lengthy prologues (from biographies to novels), Jason Kristopher’s opening sentence “I didn’t see Rebecca die the second time” was just the clincher I needed to jump into a refreshingly fast paced story.
I’m looking forward to Interval, the next book in the series.