The 19th floor of a Birmingham City Center high-rise explodes thanks to the bumbling stupidity of two ecoterrorists, raining down all manner of debris on unsuspecting citizens below, but it isn’t the debris anyone should be worried about but something far, far deadlier.
I always knew eco-nuts would be responsible for the end of the world. Well, I guess technically you could say we zombies were responsible for the end of the world, but that’s just picking straws, or is it splitting hairs, I always forget. Mind you I’m not really complaining, any help my kind can get in riding the planet of most of you meatsacks is a good thing, so here’s to you ecoterrorist, your misguided attempts to stop mankind’s cruelty toward nature can only help me out in the end. Though, if any eco-nuts are still around after the end of the world and they happen to meet up with us, they’re going to have to give up the vegetarian lifestyle for the dead side, but hey, at least zombies pretty much leave Mother Nature alone (she tastes terrible).
Our story beings with two environmentalists hell-bent on punishing a doctor experimenting with animals for his scientific research, but unknown to them the doctor’s research turns out to be a virus capable of reanimating the dead, and his virus has escaped. The pair are taken by surprise upon reaching the 19th floor laboratory when their hated enemy turns out to have already succumbed to his own disease and attacks them both. This attack causes explosives, brought by the two for their terror tactics, to prematurely detonate (much like Gene Simmons) destroying the lab and releasing the deadly plague into the general population. This couldn’t have come at a worse time for Kevin O’Connell and his team of highly trained “entrepreneurs” who are preparing to pull off a job that will net them millions. Unfortunately the military reacts fairly quick (for once) and blocks off the city, meaning O’Connell and his men are going to have to think fast to pull off this one. Meanwhile, in the waters off of Birmingham, Major Edward Shipman is preparing a team of his own for a very special reason, a possible vaccine. It seems that the doctor who created the virus tested it on a man named Thom Everett and found him to be immune, meaning his blood could potentially save humanity. There’s only one problem though. Thom happens to be in the very same building that’s now missing its 19th floor and it’s this building that Kevin O’Connell and his team have been ordered to infiltrate.
Author Dave Jeffery does quite a few things right for Necropolis Rising but there are two things he absolutely excels at, descriptive prowess and an amazing ability to pack one hell of a punch into very little. The story is only 134 pages long, plus a 14 page short story that takes us back a few decades to the virus’ first test, but still manages to contain a complex zombie tale that brings three storylines together and puts those involved through the ringer. Let’s discuss his powers of description since it blends seamlessly into how much Jeffery is able to put into his story.
He has a knack for being very descriptive with very few words, a necessity with a shorter novel. He seems to know which words to use for full impact, giving him the ability to describe in haunting detail the ruined streets of Birmingham and the desolation of a once great city center, or the shadowy fear team members feel as they stalk the streets looking for their quarry, or my favorites, 2 chapters in the beginning that describe the deaths of a love struck professor and a zombie game junkie respectively, and both chapters could easily be stories unto themselves. There is one area that he seems to have a little bit more fun with though and that’s the zombies. He really goes to town with the undead, putting the reader right there with the shambling dead overrunning Birmingham. I have to hand it to the author for his skill; it took some talent to put so much into such a short book.
If you’re looking for a zombie novel that’s a little different from the pack than Necropolis Rising is for you. The story will be continued in Necromancer: Necropolis Rising 2 (don’t worry, you know this zombie’s OCD won’t let me go without reviewing part 2) but part one is wrapped up nicely and easily one of the better pieces of zombie literature this reviewer has read.
The Undead Review
Published By: Severed Press
Written By: Dave Jeffery
Order At: Necropolis Rising by Dave Jeffery