Monday, 1 February 2016

Review: All Roads Lead to Terror

You know what? Sometimes books make you want to wave your fist.

The horrors of the past meet the brutality of the present. 

Four boys strengthen the bonds of their friendship, while taking their first hesitant steps into adulthood as they face the brutality of an old, new, world. They will be tested at every step in their journey, as they travel through a blasted land where the only hope was for a swift death followed by an endless sleep. 

In Richmond they will be confronted by a savage cult of children who worship a creature of the night. A frightening being that feeds upon the fear of its victims, delving into their nightmares, revealing half forgotten secrets that lay like a rotting carcass at the heart of their souls. 

These creatures, once considered nightmare imaginings, are now awake in a world where the population that once served as their food source has been severely reduced. 

Awake and very, very, hungry.

Do you know how much I wanted to give this book five stars? Do you?

Richard Schiver is not an author I had read before. But I will again. All Roads is frankly Stephen King's Stand By Me, with zombies. But not too many. To call this a zombie novel would be  a misnomer. First and foremost this is a coming-of-age drama, written by a man with a deft hand for characterization, set within a dystopian backdrop.

And it's good. Like, really good.

I don't generally read books that have little gore, scares, and general horror (but I am expanding my horizons) however, I couldn't put the book down.

The way Schiver emotes the characters, the fact that they are all well defined, different, people, even though still young, was refreshing. I believed in them. I wanted them to live. I wanted them to fight. And when it came down to it, I rooted for them. Their motives. I wanted the group to resolve their internal conflicts.

And when the big bads did turn up? It was scary. Because they weren't around every corner. Hell, the other people are scary in this.

When I'm using terms like deft, well defined, internal conflict, and motive, you know it's a good book. When I liken it to King. Damn it's good.

So why not five stars?

The editing, I'm afraid. It's badly edited, and for me to say that, it must be noticeable.  Writing this, I don't have the book with me so I glanced down the preview on Amazon to pull out an example: the end of the line of speech the quotes don't close. It's just niggling little things like that, and there are too many of them.

Which is a shame, because as I said: Really good

You can purchase Richard Schiver's excellent All Roads Lead to Terror here:

And meet Richard Schiver here:

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I'm blushing here, to have my work compared to the master. To have phrases such as "a deft hand for characterization," used to describe my work blows me away. As for the editing, the blame falls squarely on my shoulders, I will not point fingers. But I will rectify the problem. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Mark, and for your honesty.