Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Reviewish: I Will Hold My Death Close

These are much more full-reviews than just... 'reviewish'. At first, the "Reviewish" title came into being because I didn't intend to do reviews of films or books or anything else. However, giving my own views on a film got this started and the name seems to work. I don't consider myself a professional reviewer or even an expert one - or any other authority-implying descriptions. I just know what I like or don't and why in each case. I like sharing.

Continuing in that vein, I was given an advanced review copy of Stant Litore's newest installation in the Zombie Bible stories, I Will Hold My Death Close (available for pre-order, releases August 26th).

In short: I loved it. It didn't get to me quite as strongly as No Lasting Burial, but that text had a lot more time to build up and grow on me. In the short time available, the narrator in I Will Hold My Death Close still grabs a reader tightly and doesn't let go. She is just as unique and powerful as the narrators in the author's Ansible stories.

I pretty well summed up my feelings in my Amazon review, reproduced here for ease of reading:
Another snapshot from the world of The Zombie Bible. Confronted by death - both figurative and literal - the heroine of the story has to learn to face it, to take her death (and her life - what remains of it) and make it her own. In a world where her destiny seems to be entirely out of her hands, her death is one thing she refuses to give into someone else's control.
"I Will Hold My Death Close" is a beautiful and heart-wrenching narrative; it grabs you by the collar and doesn't let you look away. The narrator's voice is eloquent and earnest. This is, perhaps, the most striking part of Litore's storytelling; he has yet to disappoint me in the voices he harnesses to tell his tales. Like the Ansible stories, this character is her own and creates a portrait of a unique person, in her own set of circumstances, with her own particular point of view.
Solid writing & characterization with the personality I've come to expect of the Zombie Bible stories, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to any reader who's enjoyed Litore's work before. I'd also comfortably suggest it to someone curious about the series - it's short and gives a pretty good impression of what one can expect in the rest of the series (which is in no particular order).
If I had anything to complain about, it would be the length - but not for any good reason, I just wanted more! It's a quick read, but the narrative is whole & complete; it didn't need "more" telling to bulk it out.
Not part of my review, I want to add that the ending particularly engaged me. A sort of epilogue, it was the perfect way to wrap up, inscribe, and carry on the narrative of Yeptha's daugther. If a story is a fine meal, this ending was the perfect bite on which to end it.