Sunday, 8 May 2016

Book Review: Revenge of Zeeka (Zeeka Trilogy) by Brenda Mohammed

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Synopsis

Revenge of Zeeka is the complete trilogy of a multi-layered zombie tale, set in the year 2036 in a small exotic island called Gosh. 
The story is told in three parts, which are available as kindle short reads. 
Zeeka and the Zombies is an intriguing introduction to this zombie story, which leaves you wondering what will happen next. 
In Zeeka’s Child, the plot gets more complicated, and after many twists and turns, much is revealed. 
In the final episode, Zeeka Returns, this very exciting three part series concludes in a most surprising way. 
This book is for readers who want to follow this dramatic horror story to the very end in one reading.

Review

This is a solid collection of zombie stories from author Brenda Mohammed. I have read each of the three stories in turn, so for potential readers looking at this, I offer a capsule review of each tale, followed by a summary of the series as a whole.

I: Revenge of Zeeka

Who is Zeeka? Why is he revenge-ing? What would your government’s response be to zombies waddling around, mixing with the locals? It’s all here in the first book. I love the author’s descriptions. The dialogue can be a little weighty at times, but it’s all part of the set-up. It’s an intriguing horror that slowly pulls you in.

‘These different plot lines keep you reading, and keep you guessing. Despite its length I did not read this book in one sitting. I wanted to absorb the cleverly interlinked plotlines. In fact, there's not a lot of the mysterious Zeeka of the title in this first story, and I think that's a clever decision by the author.’

Summary: Here’s an author stepping out onto a new genre and scoring high. It’s not the best in the series, but it sets up an intriguing premise. When read back along with parts II and III, I think it is a story that gets better with successive re-reads.

"Zeeka is a series that could have run on and on…and into self-absorbed oblivion. A good author knows when to wrap a story up."

II: Zeeka's Child

Oh. It had to happen, didn’t it? It’s not enough to have adult size flesh eating zombies running amok on a small island…we have to have kiddie sized versions too? Or do we?

‘When book one ended, there was what I would call a 'soft' cliffhanger in that readers would not be annoyed that there was a cliffhanger in itself, because it was a complete tale in itself. Now with Zeeka's Child, the plot revolves around Raynor and Janet, and the serious nature of having to raise a child that is not his own.

This is an interesting concept to feature in a zombie story, which would at first appear to be nothing more than a skin bursting sideshow, and I was a little (just a little) put off by the initial chapter because it seemed more like a romantic interlude than anything else. This is actually a very clever piece of writing by the author, because it is like she is saying 'hey, you know this is a zombie tale, I know it's a zombie tale, but let's confuse the hell out of the readers by focussing on contemporary romance for a while.' This could be the first ever zom-contemp-rom, unless you know of another story like it.’

Summary: The best thing about Zeeka’s Child for me was the beefed-up story re the two cops, Wildy and Cole (hey, give these two their own spin-off series!). The author doesn’t drop the threads of book one. They are skillfully integrated into this story, and it works. It’s a much more deeper and complex story than book one, some achievement in such a short story.

III: Zeeka's Return

Oops. Zeeka is returning, and the island of Gosh is not happy about it. He is also revealed to be, as everyone knew, as Brian Cameron (of course he isn’t, I made the name up because you don’t want the reveal spoiled, do you?)

I expected mayhem in this final third and we do get it. The highlight is Miranda (oh, Miranda!) whose presence gives a lot of weight and realism to the futuristic theme and setting of 2036. The ending is unexpected but enjoyable.

'Zeeka Returns is the pleasing third installment in the Zeeka and the Zombies series. What I have observed through reading each tale in sequence is a significant level up in terns of writing style and character development. That is no easy task in a short story format, and given Zeeka Returns is the longest of the three, it should be noted that it is still a short story. One wonders how our anatagonist from book one is going to prevail - or not, as the case may be.'

Summary: Zeeka is a series that could have run on and on…and into self-absorbed oblivion. A good author knows when to wrap a story up. Zeeka is a trilogy that is done and dusted and edited well. There are few multi-layered zombie stories out there, so this is a gem readers will enjoy.