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Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite
For years I avoided Stephen King novels because I decided I didn’t like the horror genre. This decision was based on horror movies I watched with friends as a teenager. They never scared me, and they never interested me. I figured it would be the same with books, but I was wrong. Stephen King showed me that good horror has other elements in it. That is why Stage 3: Alpha by Ken Stark is such a great novel. It is full of other elements than just trying to scare you. There is a sci-fi element. There is love, heroism, suspense, and lots of action. There are several genres you could place it in and it would be a great novel, no matter what label you gave it. I enjoyed it a lot. When any form of zombie is done well, there appears to be a market for it. Ken Stark does zombies as well as anyone I’ve read or seen on TV.
I love Lucy and Sarah. Ken Stark does characters and their development very well. There are quite a few interesting characters in Stage 3: Alpha, but these two are my personal favorites. It is something of a new occurrence to see relationships like this in popular fiction and it is a refreshing change. The plot in Stage 3: Alpha is good. I like the choices Ken Stark made. The setting is good. I've been to San Francisco many times and this is it. Mr. Stark weaves character, plot, and setting together to give us a great novel. This is part of a series. I haven’t read any of the other books, but that didn’t stop me from understanding and enjoying this one. It just made me want to get caught up.