Rise of the Chosen: A Fresh, Inventive Take on “Zombie”

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Rise of the Chosen (Lifeblood, #1)

In Sam’s world there are two rules. Rule #1: Nobody dies. Protect the living at all costs. Rule #2: Everybody dies. At least once.

The Waking was a global event in which a force called the Lifeblood invaded all humans who died. The few strong enough to control it came back as powerful immortals. The rest let the bloodlust take over and awoke with one goal – to kill.

Newly appointed Watch Guard Samantha Shields has a legacy to uphold. Her father died a hero defending their city and now she wants to follow in his footsteps. Except for the dying part, of course. Unfortunately, fate has other plans as she discovers deep dark secrets that make her choose between her loyalties and the lives of everyone in her city. Both rules are in play as Sam is forced to make hard decisions that could cost her everything – including the person she cares about most.

Lifeblood #1
YA/Horror/Science Fiction
210 Pages
Blue Moon Publishers
Expected Publication Date: October 4th, 2016
Get a copy here!

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Quick Reasons: zombies with a twist and a few new names; great dystopian setting/world-building; a few weird/awkward character motivations/plot holes; special snowflake in our MC, Sam; unique and inventive take on the “undead”; a promising start to a new series!

Huge thanks to Anna Kopp, Blue Moon Publishers, and Netgalley for sending me a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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Going into this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m sure you know how it is with zombie lore these days: the undead are everywhere, which means the same tired cliches are revisited again and again and again. You can never be sure, when picking up a new book, if you’ll be getting something unique…or just more of the same. Imagine my surprised delight when, from the very first page, this book let me know in no uncertain terms it was breaking away from cliche and striking out on its own! It’s possible I celebrated with some awkward wing flapping and penguin-toed shuffling. I mean, do you blame me?!

Of course, the world-building isn’t completely perfect. There are some missing plot points that, while not fundamental to my grasp or enjoyment of the novel, I find myself now wishing I had answers for. For instance: why are certain of the Chosen also granted special extra abilities? Is this a random occurrence or something else? Why are some people “Chosen” and some “Woken”? (I understand a lot of this comes down to the internal struggle of the one being changed, but is that ALL it is–the choice of whether to fight or die?)

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Some of the character motivations seemed a little wishy-washy and questionable to me in the grand scheme of things. David, for instance, seems almost immediately drawn to Sam…and cares more for her quicker than makes sense realistically. Sam also has some weird emotional motivation shifts, especially in regard to her father. Overall, though, the characters are well-developed and nicely rounded out. I particularly adored the relationship between Sam and Lena–it was cute and endearing, though I’m a bit nervous how it’ll play out in the coming sequels.

I had a ton of fun exploring this world! The prose is fast-paced and action-packed, sure to keep even the most bloodthirsty readers engaged and entertained. The twist on zombies was refreshing and inventive, and the characters are vibrant and well-rounded. I recommend this to lovers of dystopians, zombie apocalypses, and creative plots. I can’t wait to see where the next book leads–I’m SUPER intrigued!

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4 thoughts on “Rise of the Chosen: A Fresh, Inventive Take on “Zombie”

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