“ Paperback: 240 pages / Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform / Published: 24 July 2013 „
When the Zombie Apocalypse hits, a group of survivors head towards the only place they consider their sanctuary; the local Church. And it is there they become trapped as they fight for survival against seemingly insurmountable odds...
R.J.Spears debut novel takes a classic, familiar premise and injects it with new life. There is nothing particularly groundbreaking here, Spears uses the zombies from Romero's Night Of The Living Dead as his inspiration, but the point is, with Sanctuary he proves there doesn't always have to be! Instead of trying and failing to find a new angle that simply doesn't work (intelligent zombies being used by aliens was one disastrous premise I read recently), instead R.J.Spears sticks to a recognizable plot and still manages to satisfy, thrill and entertain!
Where this book really succeeds is with the characters. The majority of them are not gung-ho types, just ordinary people intent on surviving the best way they can. With this in mind, Spears manages to throw them some very difficult and troubling moral choices which only adds more depth to the story.
I really liked this and thought it very well done. Too often, writers today feel they need to mix things up a bit and try something completely different to what has been seen before. R.J.Spears here instead takes what we already may be familiar with and simply offers it from a new angle which I think works very well! I also like the way he deliberately doesn't give us any answers. There is no explanation why the dead have suddenly chosen to rise, only a handful of possibilities - none of which are ever confirmed or denied! In this way, Spears incorporates a heady sense of realism to his novel ~ in life, we don't always get all the answers after all!
If you want a good old-fashioned zombie story with no whistles and bells but done exceptionally well then this is for you. If you want something different that ends up being a bit of a mess as the author paints himself into an inescapable corner then check out one of the many zombie mash-ups currently available which are much more disappointing!
I look forward to seeing what R.J comes up with next....