Sunset Safari

Young Adult - Horror
324 Pages
Reviewed on 06/20/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Sunset Safari is a work of fiction in the horror sub-genre and was written by author team Roma Gray and Jason Wright. Penned for young and new adult audiences, this intense zombie horror-action novel does contain some strong language and scenes of supernatural violence. The story concerns a young couple, Jason and Kirsty, who intend to visit Turkey for some fun in the sun and an escape from the difficulties of modern life. But when Jason’s terrifying visions of a zombie uprising begin to come true, the couple finds that they must explore their chances of survival on the brink of the apocalypse.

Author duo Roma Gray and Jason Wright have crafted a novel that moves at a breakneck pace to deliver a fantastic zombie adventure from cover to cover. Fans of the genre will enjoy the youthful outlook of the piece, which is suitable to readers from teens upwards, and are sure to relate to the hapless duo of Jason and Kirsty, who really come into their own and become proper heroes as the struggle for survival continues to mold and shape them. I particularly liked the use of descriptive techniques and atmosphere building for the apocalyptic setting and the zombies themselves, which gave the whole read a very cinematic feel that fills up the imagination. The dialogue, too, was sharply written and highly effective at characterization and moving the action forward. Overall, I would certainly recommend Sunset Safari as an exciting and atmospheric horror adventure with thrills and spills aplenty.

Maureen Dangarembizi

Sunset Safari is a zombie horror story written by Roma Gray based on a story by Jason Wright. A small town in modern-day Turkey is the headquarters of an ancient order which has protected the world from the cult of Nymza for a thousand years. And for a thousand years, they have succeeded in preventing the cult from resurrecting Nymza, the god of the dead. It all starts with a vicious attack on the elders which results in the death of all but one member of the Order. The cult of Nymza has planned a grand scale sacrifice and it all revolves around the Sunset Safari tour. As the dead bodies begin to pile up and the dead rise, the fate of humanity rests on a group of tourists who have no idea what they are walking into. All seems lost and it looks like the end of the world is inevitable. As the situation turns dire, a few unlikely heroes emerge to confront the great evil about to befall the planet. The question is can they survive the Sunset Safari tour?

As zombie horrors go, Sunset Safari opens with unique mythology that explains the origin of zombies in a way that will keep horror fans on edge. Roma Gray does a great job of turning a topic that has been visited many times into something new and refreshing. The scenes are terrifying and will satisfy the goriest palate. This story is not for the faint of heart or those looking for a happily ever after. It’s gore and terror from start to finish. There is also a trigger for those who’ve experienced violence in their past. I got to live in the shoes of a survivor for a couple of pages and it was an eye-opener. For that alone, I salute Roma Gray and Jason Wright for addressing an issue that may not be politically correct but is true nevertheless. The media and consumers have a lot to answer for. I hope it inspires people to stop profiting from other people’s tragedies.

Jose Cornelio

Sunset Safari by Roma Gray and Jason Wright follows a young couple, Jason and Kirsty, as they escape from the media that will stop at nothing to speak to Kirsty. It is the 20th anniversary of the school shooting in which she almost lost her life, so they decide to go on a vacation to Turkey. But what started off as a fun escape quickly morphs into horror when they become embroiled in a cult with the mission of bringing about the apocalypse. What is the connection between this cult and Jason’s recurrent nightmares of the undead? There are hard choices to make: stop the cult from resurrecting Nymza, the Dragon God of the dead, and his army of zombies or escape. They might end up as sacrificial lambs to the gory ritual.

This is a gorgeous story for fans of horror and suspense fills the pages. References to a school shooting are the first indication that things won’t be easy for the female protagonist. The lead characters are ordinary people who are broken. While Kirsty’s past haunts her, Jason experiences recurrent nightmares, a prelude to the horrors that the future holds. The pacing is fast and the characters are skillfully developed to be emotionally appealing. I had goosebumps as I read this story. It is well-plotted and written in a way that makes it irresistible. While I am not a fan of horror, the authors created characters I can relate to and I enjoyed how the authors explore the sense of fear and the will to survive in the characters while deftly writing about the evil that lurks in the dark. A page-turner, thanks to the wonderful writing and strong storytelling elements.

Risah Salazar

A group of cultists is determined to bring Nymza, the God of the Dead, back. With the Order of the Elders gone, no one is standing in their way. One by one, they choose their sacrifices according to the eight pillars of humanity -- love, innocence, faithfulness, lust, greed, decadence, murder, and stealing. On the other side of the world, Kirsty and Jason Patterson are excited about their vacation in Turkey. Kirsty is particularly interested in the Sunset Safari excursion, while Jason is not feeling so good about it. He dismisses his weird illusions and focuses on being Kirsty's "hero". At the end of the day, the cultists, Kirsty and Jason, and the rest of the excursionists are going to be in for the wildest ride of their lives as nothing is what it seems to be.

A web of individual stories coming together, Roma Gray's Sunset Safari is an action-packed, shocking, and heavy zombie story. Definitely not for the faint of heart, this book contains a lot of graphic images -- a testament that Gray knows her craft. There is more than one main character and they are all given enough time to paint the story. To make it even better, this set of characters is also diverse and LGBT-friendly. Kirsty's character development is surprisingly good but it's a little over the edge. Her leadership is proven to be shadowed by arrogance. Jason's is better -- while he's insecure at first when his wife finds her strength, this only pushes him to discover that his love for her is greater than anything else.

Susan Sewell

A young married couple takes a vacation to get away and re-ignite their romance, only to enter Ground Zero of the Zombie Apocalypse in the blood-curdling horror novel, Sunset Safari by Roma Gray. Jason and Kirsty Patterson are dreading the anniversary of the day Kirsty was a survivor of a school shooting. While Kirsty still suffers from the trauma, Jason is always there for her. Unfortunately, the years of dealing with Kirsty's PTSD have taken its toll on Jason. Recently, when Kirsty isn't waking up from nightmares, he is having visions of zombies and decay. Jason is close to losing his job and is secretly in therapy. Not even sure if she loves him, Jason is contemplating getting a divorce. Thinking a vacation will remove Kirsty from the media frenzy and improve their relationship, Jason proposes they take a trip to Turkey. After they arrive in Marmaris, Kirsty is happy and excited, but Jason's visions of the undead increase. Just before leaving on a sunset tour, one of the guides accuses him of being a witch, which only fuels his uneasiness. When the bus takes a detour, their sunset beach trip is canceled. Instead, they are taken hostage. Are Jason's nightmares coming true? Can they come out of this vacation alive?

Sunset Safari by Roma Gray is a heart-stopping, chilling, upper YA novel. Uneasiness, horror, and drama are prime aspects of the plot. With exciting and bloody scenes, the plot moves quickly and sets up the climax beautifully. For those who love a shiver-inducing story, this is a fabulous horror novel that makes the hardiest reader's blood run cold. The personas of the characters are admirable; I appreciated how they grew. The story is complete with hanging eyeballs, maggots, partially eaten body parts, and decaying flesh, creating a work of art. Because the horror elements are shocking and grisly, it will delight zombie aficionados.