Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for LZR-1143: Perspectives by Bryan James

In a world overrun by the living dead, every victim has a story. These are some of those stories. This collection of six short stories from a world ravaged by the LZR-1143 virus tell the tale of six different people, all of whom fell victim, in different ways, to the deadly plague. 

From the pilot of a commercial aircraft, overwhelmed in midair, to the lonely soldier stranded high above a world of the undead, the six characters each face their own fears and mortality in different ways. 

This 20,000 word short-story collection features a unique selection of characters from the original zombie novel by Bryan James, LZR-1143: Infection, and from the recently released sequel, LZR-1143: Evolution. Each character appears only fleetingly in the longer novels, but each has their own unique thread in the LZR-1143 storyline, all of which are exposed in these short excerpts from their final hours alive. 

The collection includes The Pilot, The Boy, The Inmate, The Fry Cook, The Subway Passenger, and The Sniper. In The Pilot, a commercial aviator sees his last flight end in a way he never could have imagined. In The Boy, a family trip is cut short, and a lonely homecoming is not at all as he anticipated. We see the surprising genesis and true identity of a traveling companion in The Inmate, while The Fry Cook reveals the final moments of a teenage fast food worker. In The Subway Passenger, we learn that in the case of zombie apocalypse, you’d probably rather be aboveground. And in The Sniper, the surprising truth that there are some fates that cannot be fought, even with a fifty caliber rifle.

My Review:
So I have to start by saying I haven't read either Infection or Evolution.  So going into Perspectives I really didn't know what to expect, I mean besides zombies!!!! lol. Now, I have a new zombie series to stalk, in fact I have Within, a novella set in the LZR world, and I'm picking up Infection and Evolution as soon as I get a chance.

The book itself isn't that long. It is only six separate stories, but man, those stories really pack a punch. It wasn't just the graphicness of the stories either. Don't get me wrong, there was tons of gore, TONS! But some of them really pulled you in and got you caring for that character.  Not something easily done in such a short format.  There were parts that actually had me close to tears. (Not sayin' why, don't want to spoil nothin'.) 
It wasn't all doom and gloom and eating people though, there were some parts that I literally laughed out loud. Mostly one liners, and dark humor, but still funny.  
I'm not going to go into detail on every story, but I really had to say I think James hit the nail on the head with Doreen in The Fry Cook.  I almost pissed myself at her description of her drive-thru customers. (If you've never worked fast food, it probably won't be that funny. But if you have, it's soooo true!) I'm not gonna say anymore though, again, don't want to spoil anything.

Yes, Perspectives is gory, yes people die, it's a zombie novel, hello?!?  But there is more than just gore and death.  Through these tiny windows the reader really gets a look at how these people handle the world being eaten around them. Wish I could review more of his books for this challenge, just so I could have an excuse to put them on the top of my reading pile. The good thing for you guys is that Perspectives is still currently free on Amazon, so go check it out. 

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