An artifact, closely guarded by the Navajo mystics for ages is stolen by an unscrupulous psychopath, Max, who is prepared to use it to create a zombie, Earl Manning, to do his bidding, and as long as Max has the stone, and Earl’s heart right next to it, he will control the Earl. But due to some messy unforeseen circumstances, the box with heart and stone winds up in Earl’s hands. He is suddenly the master of his undead destiny, and havoc ensues.
This second book in his series of Paskagankee novels, Allan Leverone’s Revenant, is a page turner, and could almost be considered an homage to Stephen King, so closely does Leverone’s writing style mimic the master’s. The book even takes place in Maine—not Derry, though; but in a town called Paskagankee.
My favorite character was actually Earl Manning, the revenant. I found it fascinating that he was pretty much a brain-dead zombie to begin with, what with an alcohol-pickled brain at the age of 29. Becoming a zombie wasn’t much of a transition for him—this was probably why he handled it so well. You’ll want to read this book just for this character alone—he was the best developed and the most interesting. Instead of the zombies running wild and the focus narrowly placed on the humans who are either chasing them or running away from them; it evolves into the Earl’s, story. A nice switch.
Leverone handles suspense well, and though initially I was disappointed about the overused cliché of yet another zombie novel, I was pleasantly surprised about the original and deft way the concept was handled.
Though I enjoyed the book from start to finish and was sorry when it ended, there were a few weaknesses that I must mention. I felt that the protagonists, Chief Mike McMahon and Constable Sharon Dupont suffered from lack of character development, and consequently came off as a bit two-dimensional. I didn’t care as much about them as I should have, and this caused the ending to fall a tad flat for me.
I also could have done without the frequent callbacks to the first volume of this series, Paskagankee. They were slightly jarring and completely unnecessary. This book was more than able to stand alone and should have been allowed to.
That being said, you’ll want to buy this—it’s a fun ride.
buy it here.
reviewed by Carson Buckingham
Carson Buckingham is a writer living in the great American Southwest and she reviews horror/paranormal suspense novels. Stop by to view her scriblins.