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29 Aug 2008

Rise and Walk

Rise and Walk written by Gregory Solis and published by Hadrian Publishing in 2007 is a horror novel at 222 pages in length with 40 chapters.

Gregory Solis is a Writer, Filmmaker, and Digital Media Artist. He is a graduate of San Francisco State University with Bachelors in Cinema. He currently resides in Northern California.

The cover art for Rise and Walk designed by Gregory Solis, depicting his own bloody decaying hand and wrist resting against what appears to be a tree in darkened woodland. The image was photographed by Christina Grill and edited in Photoshop. The title and author name stand out nicely in grey against such a dark cover, the bottom of the letters of the title are also decaying the closer they are to the hand.

Rise and Walk’s synopsis is a single paragraph which reads like the back of a DVD cover, it is clear to the point and accompanies the title perfectly.

When a meteorite crashes to earth and is collected by an eager professor and his geology class it is the start of the most terrifying summer anyone could ever imagine.

In Rise and Walk by Gregory Solis we meet a number of characters of differing backgrounds in the first few chapters. When the meteorite crashes in the camp site everyone is staying in, it isn’t long before a mysterious green mist puts everyone’s lives in danger.

Trapped in the wilderness we join two groups of people a pair of female camp site workers and two male military wannabe’s partaking in a paintball competition, who have to join forces and learn to overcome their fears if any of them are to survive. Amongst them a female med student Veronica seeks to find out and understand exactly what is causing what appears to be an infection of some kind, but even she knows she is way out of her league.

The book appears to take its time to fully kick off however what is happening is that you are being shown exact details leading to the full outbreak which draws you deeper into the book. There is a lot of blood and gore in this book once the dead Rise and Walk which is from the very first chapter. The descriptions of blood tearing are vivid and leave nothing to the imagination but a hunger for more.

Can the group figure out what is happening and warn civilisation before the walking dead reach town? Can people find it within themselves to save others? To stand and fight? Or run to the hills and hide?

The first line reads Many people are afraid of the dark, well if you weren’t before you may just be by the time you finish reading. It took me three days to finish Rise and Walk and although I could not quite grasp the amount of time spent during the paintball competition, I did thoroughly enjoy the book which brought to mind the old children’s rhyme if you go down to the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise which definitely holds sway with this book, especially since the surprise is a growing mass of bloody reanimating corpses. I can’t wait for the next instalment in the Rise and Walk series titled, Rise and Walk: Pathogen.

I give Rise and Walk by Gregory Solis 4.5 out of 5 stars

By R.N. Hadley

25 Aug 2008


Pit-Stop written by Ben Larken and published by LL-Publications is Mr Larken’s first published work. At 241 pages and with a layout probably equal to that of a 300 pager, the book appears of reasonable length.

Ben Larken was born in Fort Worth, Texas, where he now resides with his wife, children and pets. He has also lived in Arizona and New Mexico.

The cover art for Pit-Stop by Ben Larken was created by Helen E. H. Madden and stands out with its eerie quality. There is a lot of red colouring which to most will imply blood. The title and author name stand boldly against the backdrop of a red petrol pump reading Total Price $6.66 and a grinning skull above. The cover alone would spark my curiosity and has me wondering exactly what lies in wait.

Above the synopsis are the words Last Chance At Redemption For The Next Million Years...
Having read the four paragraph synopsis I am eager to read this book and I am in no doubt that the last words of the synopsis will ring true. One thing is clear: you’ll think twice before you make your next Pit-Stop.

The plot of the book reads like a bad joke, ten people find themselves in an eerie diner without any memory of how they got there or why, and no way out. All that’s known is what waitress Holly tells them, “A bus is coming”. So how can you escape from somewhere when you have no idea where you are, how long you’ve been there, how you got there and how to leave when even your own mind is telling you to stay where you are.

Mr Larken has created a range of characters so realistic you could be sat there with them in the Pit-Stop amongst them they include a junkie, a cop, and two sisters. What lies in wait for them when the bus finally arrives? And why can’t they leave the Diner until then? Is there life beyond the Pit-Stop Grill? Or is the outside just as terrifying as being stuck inside? One thing’s for certain even in death a cop’s job is never done.

Personally having had the displeasure of both being a waitress and having to wear a name tag, Mr Larken has certainly captured the frustration of the job and any job which carries a name tag, in all its glory in the first few pages alone.

When all is said and done trust at the most darkest and dangerous of times is a hard thing to find when self doubt plays it tormenting games, can the unlikely group band together and conquer the greatest of all enemies, death. Can they out run their fate, maybe change it?

The story is not as predictable as some books with some great twists, turns and u-turns which will have you itching to know what is going to happen. I didn’t want to put the book down for fear of what might happen next. On the downside there are a couple of mistakes with regard to editing but it is so few it does little to hamper the story itself. I would highly recommend this book to anyone above the age of 18 years of age, and I look forward to reading more work by Mr Larken even if it means another visit to the deadliest grill in Arizona. Pit-Stop by Ben Larken definitely gets 4.5 stars.

By R.N. Hadley