ONE TROOP RALLIES AGAINST DECIMATION AND DEFEAT
After rescuing Aliyev, One Troop is pinned down in Red Square between a surging singularity and the merciless killers of Spetsnaz Alfa Group. They're about to lose their second aircraft, they still don't have the zombie-killing MZ, and the clock is ticking down on their pinhole of escape. Only the most vicious and desperate gambit can give them a chance of saving London, not to mention themselves - but Jameson refuses to fail...
THE CREW OF THE KENNEDY BATTLES BACK
With the bridge and most critical stations held by the world's deadliest maritime commando force, and Dr. Park pinned down by a smash-mouth battle and last stand in the ship's hospital, time is running out for the shellshocked and outgunned crew of the JFK to fight back. The ultimate heroism and sacrifice of everyone from storekeepers all the way up to Commander Drake himself will be required to fight their way back from the brink...
I’ve been an avid reader for decades. While I’m not a speed-reading demon like my blog partner, I probably go through a book every few days. Reading at this pace means that I read a lot of books across a range of genres. Some of them have been utterly disappointing and forgettable and some have left me stunned by their brilliance. Arisen, Book Twelve falls in the latter category.
If you read my review of Arisen, Book Eleven, you know I’m a fan but trust me on this; Michael Stephen Fuchs has transcended his previous work with this latest addition to the Arisen series. I’ve always thought he was an exceptional writer and I’ve commented on his masterful command of a devilishly complex and intricate plot but this is different. This is a work of art. It’s a beautiful, smart, tension-filled experience that will leave you both exhausted and grateful for having gone through the literary gauntlet. In particular, the final climactic scene is filled with such astonishing richness and depth, it leaves you racing to turn the page while simultaneously dreading what will be revealed.
I won’t give away any spoilers other than to say people die. That’s probably not shocking news to long-time fans of the series but it doesn’t make it any easier to lose characters you’ve come to know, admire and respect. It’s a testament to Fuch’s skills as a writer that readers will feel a sense of loss over fictional characters. The fact that they’re based on real-life military warriors brings an additional level of realism and poignancy to their passing.
The clear overarching theme of good vs. evil is personified in the members of Alpha and their Spetsnaz counterparts they’ve been battling throughout the last several Arisen books. While the Alpha team is struggling with issues of morality, love and loyalty, the Spetsnaz members are completely merciless, cold-blooded and dispassionate in pursuit of their mission objective. It’s a classic tale that’s been played out time and time again yet this telling still feels fresh and interesting, partially because of the monumental stakes at play (not to mention the fact that it's taking place in the zombie apocalypse) but also because Fuchs does such an incredible job of making it human and therefore more personal.
Like all long running series, Arisen has had a few ups and downs. There have been books I thought were great and others that weren’t my favorites. The fact that this one comes at a point where many of the long running storylines are starting to resolve may have played a part in my awarding it a perfect 5 out of 5 stars but I like to think it’s more than that. Some books just come together in a way that draw you in, spin you around and make you hope it’ll never end. This is one of those books. I can’t possibly recommend it enough. If you haven’t read the previous books in the series, you should start immediately with the knowledge this gem is waiting for you. If you’re a long-time Arisen reader, buckle up because you’re in for the ride of your life.
Knockin' Books was provided with an advance review copy of ARISEN, Book Twelve - Carnage.
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