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Reviewed by Lex Allen for Readers' Favorite
MAR Rising by Craig Brusseau kicks off with several scenes from humankind’s history. Starting with the evolution of life on planet Earth, to the years 1588 and 1867, Brusseau introduces the antagonist without identification. These vignettes are short stories in their own right and, to my mind, expertly written and plotted. I was immediately hooked into the story and clicking the next page. It was difficult to put down. Following these three chapters, the main story begins by introducing heroine and protagonist, Madison. If ever there is a character comparable to the indomitable Katniss Everdeen of Hunger Games fame, you’ll meet her in MAR Rising. The MAR are, of course, zombies, but they are fast, extremely violent and infection of the bitten spreads like wildfire and instantly produces new zombies.
All the characters are exceptional in their own right and lend themselves to the overall story well. Great characters can’t carry the load alone. Every story needs an engaging plot and subplots to make these characters truly live. Mr. Brusseau is equal to this task as he introduces a storyline or subplot before moving to the next, and later brings them all back into play to complete the puzzle. Long time authors have developed this skill, but for a first-time novelist ... I’m very impressed.
Mr. Brusseau’s writing is flawless in technique, intriguing in plot progression, and thoroughly entertaining. I believe MAR Rising to be the first book of a series although the conclusion is not a cliff-hanger for the next book. Here, a cliff-hanger is unnecessary to entice the reader to read more; there’s no way anyone will stop here and I hope the author has the next book on the starting line.