Shotgun Finish

Book 1 of the Sanctuary Chronicles (1)

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
230 Pages
Reviewed on 05/27/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

Shotgun Finish is the first installment in the Sanctuary Chronicles by Greg Rode, a pulsating fantasy for fans of the zombie apocalypse. Here is a man who has gotten tired of being lonely and all he wants is to unwind, spending a few hours at the golf course. But then he quickly finds out that the entire place is infested with zombies. While he is deft with his rifle and a knife and can kick ass, the zombies are relentless. Time is running out and he has to figure out a way of killing the horde of zombies and saving everyone’s life. He is a lonely man in a lonely world, holed up with three beautiful girls but he has problems to deal with. Then Jack joins the group. Follow these characters as they survive in a post-apocalyptic world infested by zombies, cruising towards an explosive ending. But who will survive when the last shot is fired?

This is a very descriptive story written in the first-person narrative voice. From the descriptions of the golf holes to the zombies, to the experience with the three girls and Jack, the author grabs the undivided attention of the reader, thanks to the captivating narrative voice. It is filled with humor, and it is also interesting that, in a world filled with danger, the characters can laugh and have fun while fighting against the worst. One of the things I liked and that had me laughing is the ritual when welcoming someone new. Before letting in any newcomer, the characters ask the person to strip so the others can verify if they have been bitten by a zombie or not. The writing is exquisitely good and atmospheric. Shotgun Finish has a vivid setting in a world overrun by zombies. The characters are richly written and the entire narrative is filled with action. Greg Rode has created a mesmerizing story about surviving in a dangerous world, and the quirkiness in the narrative and the memorable characters got me racing through the pages. It is a highly recommended read for fans of horror.

Pikasho Deka

Shotgun Finish is the first entry in Greg Rode's zombie apocalyptic survival series titled The Sanctuary Chronicles. Written in a first-person perspective, the narrative follows an unnamed protagonist in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, as he plays a round of golf while simultaneously dealing with flesh-devouring zombies. As the protagonist spends his solitary days fending off zombie attacks, he notices that the zombies seemed to be evolving. One day, seemingly out of nowhere, a horde of zombies attack his home and leave a live woman on his doorstep. Upon him questioning her motive, the queen zombie implies that the protagonist should procreate with the woman and provide babies for the zombie queen to feed on. As more people seek shelter at the protagonist's home, he makes the contentious decision to leave with the group and seek greener pastures.

Action-packed and dripping in dark humor, Shotgun Finish is a wild zombie adventure survival story that provides similar fun-filled, pulpy entertainment as movies such as Zombieland. One of the main reasons that I enjoyed Shotgun Finish so much is that it never seemed to take itself too seriously. I found the way Greg Rode's narrative pokes fun at a murderous horde of zombies simply hilarious. Most of the characters are likable and do enough to make you root for them. Part 1 introduces the reader to the world as the protagonist plays golf, but the plot shifts gears as the narration enters Part 2. Overall, I had an absolute blast with Shotgun Finish, and I think fans of zombie-related stories will feel the same.

Tammy Ruggles

Shotgun Finish: Book 1 of the Sanctuary Chronicles by Greg Rode is a clever zombie novel with a sense of humor. Told in the first-person POV, which pulls you into the story instantly and personalizes the plot and characters, this short but dynamic book has way more going for it than the average zombie saga. The protagonist has only a few weeks to destroy a horde of zombies and keep his sanity too. Rode is careful to avoid cliches. The characters are as unique as the settings and stage dressing--North Carolina golf course and suburb--and are a welcome change. The author builds suspense well and tosses in a little romance along the way. The conflict between some of the characters works perfectly too.

You may be thinking, "If you've read one zombie novel, you've read them all", but this would not be true. Some are very similar, but this one is distinctive. You'll feel as invested as you would be if watching it on film, thanks to Rode's vivid descriptions and great dialogue. The fact that it starts with golf is a hint that the author made a conscious decision to move the reader from a familiar world into an unreal one. And it works. This book has a lot of personality, energy, suspense, and humor--definitely the stuff graphic novels and cult films are made of, and there are a few illustrations. I also like that the character development is not neglected. Shotgun Finish: Book 1 of the Sanctuary Chronicles by Greg Rode is a must-read to satisfy your zombie hunger. Bring on the sequel.