Deadland Rising (Deadland Saga #3) Review

Deadland Rising (Deadland Saga #3) is a 2015 zombie apocalyptic horror novel written by Rachel Aukes and published by Surprisingly Adequate Publishing.  Serving as the third installment in the Deadland Saga, the story follows Cash, Clutch, and the Fox survivors who discover a safe haven, New Eden, but must defend their new home from new threats, both human and non-human.


Positives:

  • Deep, intelligent writing
  • A lot of action
  • Exceptional worldbuilding
  • Rich characters
  • Emotionally, compelling story

Negatives:

  • n/a

Plot: The story follows Cash, Clutch, and other survivors who’ve survived the legions of roaming zombies, bandits, and dwindling supplies and must now defend their new home, New Eden, from new threats. Though the zombies still plague the world the story introduces an offshoot of the zombie virus while keeping the zombies a credible threat. The first act feels like a race against time as the group are trying to make their way to New Eden to beat the cold weather, which is quickly gaining on them.  Like how the group are still dealing with the loss of many of their group after the bandit attack in the previous book.  The story feels more refined but is still as engaging as its predecessors.  The conclusion is just epic and does a great job of wrapping up the series.  Loved the little bit at the end where Benji gets his little story of what he saw during the events of the initial outbreak. Honestly, the story is expansive enough to have been split into two novels because there are some points that felt a little rushed.  However, the story is presented well enough to make for one story.  (5 out of 5)

Characters:   The romance between Cash and Clutch is touched upon and even flourishes but doesn’t become distracting. Justin is a pretty likable character and it is evident that he actually cares for the people of New Eden. He does show himself as a capable leader. Great camaraderie between Clutch and Griz. Jase is more prominent and even gains a love interest in the form of Hali.  She isn’t as prominent as the others but there is an emotional dynamic between the two characters that feels needed. She feels like she’s going to be apart of their inner circle. Another great character who has shine in the previous book that stands out even more is Benji. He’s just a lovely kid, and is the reminder to the group that there is hope still in this world. Marco is a great addition.  Miss my boy Tyler who unfortunately died at the end of Deadland’s Harvest.  And a lot of people die in this book.  Some of the new interesting characters as well as some more familiar. Of course, in good Deadland Saga fashion.  The zombies are the only antagonists the heroes have to deal with.  There are bandits of course, but there are the feral wildlife they have to deal with and later on power-hungry politicians namely Aline. The wild packs dogs have survived by banding together and eating the undead and as an after effect of the ingested virus, they have a lethal bite. Aline is attempting to build a new world, crafting a society that promises hope while being ruled by the interest of those who seek power.  (5 out of 5)

Writing: The writing is rich with character development, worldbuilding, and storytelling and Rachel Aukes just delivers.  New Eden was a great setting that felt as prominent as its citizens. The town of New Eden is a good setting for the story, not only because of the setting but the laws, culture, and its citizens. New Eden is this fenced in community surrounding an abandoned missile silo in Nebraska. There is even a scientific explanation surrounding the spread of the virus that actually puts a bit of weight to the infection.  Even the explanation of these odd zombies we’ve been seeing in the previous novels, the two creepy kids at Fox National Park in 100 Days in Deadland.  The ones that are kind of like zombie/human hybrids that introduce an interesting story arc. There are some powerful moments where great characters do die and that’s something I think makes this novel a bit more emotional. The cold weather is not only affecting the survivors it’s affecting the zombies too.  In the previous book the survivors had to deal with the hordes of zombies marching across the country in the hundreds of thousands and it is the cold weather that were forcing the undead to migrate.  The zombies that are still around are slower, more sluggish due to the cold weather. The story goes at a great pace, and the action just keeps coming. (4 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, Deadland Rising (Deadland Saga #3) is a wonderful conclusion and a great send off to the series.  It’s just an all around great read with great characters, a great story, intelligent writing, the worldbuilding great, a lot of action, and heart-wrenching moments.  Deadlands Rising (Deadland Saga #3) gets 5 out of 5.

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