Writer of Horror Fiction

Review of Ryan C. Thomas’s “Hissers”

Hissers starts out giving the reader a hint as to what to expect with the rest of the story when we are introduced in the prologue to a General and a scientist in a government financed lab.  They are working on ways to help soldiers in war with healing and regeneration of limbs and have come across some significant success, though there is still work to be done.  But they need to sell what they’re doing to the higher ups to get more of the financing they need.  So they plan on flying across country and demonstrating what they have so far.  Fast forward to the start the actual story and we are introduced to a quartet of soon to be high school students-Connor, Seth, Nicole, and Amanita-who are preparing for the last weekend before school starts and their lives change dramatically as they move closer to adulthood in their little town.  There is a huge party that night, and some of them plan on attending.  But any plans they have come to a screeching to a halt when a plane crashes, plowing down the very street they were headed to for the party.  Rushing to see if they can help any survivors, they quickly discover that those that were killed in the crash are getting back up and have turned into ravenous undead monsters.  And these aren’t just your typical sprinter zombies, these are ones that have gained the ability to absorb replacement limbs that they themselves might end up tearing off their victims.  Not only replacements, but additional limbs.  This new race of the undead make an eerie hissing noise as they move and attack that gives the book its name.

The rest of the tale takes place over the course of the night and next day, with our four main characters racing for their lives and coping with tons of teenage angst and drama that comes with them normally.  They get to witness the demise of loved ones and just about everyone in their town.  No one is safe from these crazed monsters or the author’s willingness to hand over victims to the cause.  Parents are struck down, but so are children and even babies.  There is plenty of gore, action, and fast paced adrenaline drenched terror to go around for all.  Hissers was a lot of fun in that regard-the action is intense and the monsters are creative and scary-they aren’t quite zombies, but still have some of the same qualities we all know with the undead-you have to hit them in the head, their bites turn others into what they are, and they can be tricked and fooled because they aren’t too bright.

For the most part, the four main characters are fairly believable, though the author stretched that believe-ability for me on occasion with some of their dialog and inner-monologues.  It seemed somewhat forced on occasion, and a little overwrought.  I get that these kids are dealing with incredibly harrowing situations, but it seemed that they were becoming a bit too profound with their analysis of not only what was going on, but life in general and their beliefs (or lack of belief) in God.  This wasn’t something that distracted too much from my overall enjoyment of the tale, but something that definitely merits being brought up in this review.

Overall, Hissers is a fast paced, adrenaline charged zombie variation with some new and intriguing twists that occasionally bogs down with a few bits of overwrought dialog from its young cast, but nothing that should take away too much of your overall enjoyment of this creative, fun horror tale.

Hissers can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Hissers-Ryan-C-Thomas/dp/193486160X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328673114&sr=1-1

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