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Book Reviews of The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1)

The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1)
The Rising - The Rising, Bk 1
Author: Brian Keene
ISBN-13: 9780843952018
ISBN-10: 0843952016
Publication Date: 1/2004
Pages: 321
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 176 ratings
Publisher: Leisure Books
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

41 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

anrkistpengwin avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 4
Brian Keene is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. His writing style is very fast-paced. He doesn't let the plot drag with drawn out descriptions and conversations (I'm looking at you Tolkien and King). This makes the story very streamlined and action-packed. The characters, for the most part, are fleshed out (bad pun, sorry) and believable. I did wish he would give a bit more background on the beginning of "The Rising" as it's referred to in the book. And you will be angry at the ending until you read the sequel, City of the Dead. Overall, one of the best zombie books I've read.

P.S. Does the Reverend Thomas Martin remind anyone else of Shepherd Book from Joss Whedon's "Firefly" TV series or the movie "Serenity"? Think about it: same ethnic background, man of the faith with a hazy background other than some time in the military?
FreakZilla avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 28 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Very interesting twist on the whole zombie idea. This book is similar and different than movies like Dawn of the Dead or Night of the Living Dead. The zombies aren't just mindless killing machines, it makes for a good read. There is a lot of gore in it as well, if that's your thing:)
reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 242 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Author Brian Keene writes better than most other writers of this genre. The book is like "Night of the Living Dead" meets "The Blob" or books of that ilk. Combination of horror and sci-fi. Follows the journey of Frank who lives in the south but is desperately trying to get to his son in New Jersey. Problem is, the country is overrun by these aliens who, though slow moving, are much smarter than your regular zombie. They can drive and even shoot a gun. Along his journey, Frank meets various other humans who are trying to survive. The pace of "The Rising" is pretty fast. It has lots of violence, has a rape scene and is quite gory throughout. Too much for me but what kept me reading it were the characters. Keene makes his characters believable; enough so that you really care about what happens to them. The ending, for me, was a dissappointment. Brian Keene is a winner of the Bram Stoker Award.
ft-ball-fn avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The first in the Rising Series (I believe),,, its hard to believe this book is over 300 pages... its such a fast read (my copy had really wide margins to the left and right--wonder what the word count is for the book) :). Very easy to follow and a straight forward vernacular writing style, I thought the book was very enjoyable.

There's no messing around with long drawn out pages of character development (not that its lacking in characters you can get attached to--you just learn them throughout the action or via a flashback vs through pages of the author telling you their background). This book jumps right into the action (undead zombie-ish action that is). An edge of your seat thriller that keeps going right up until the end. I'm hoping City of the Dead answers some of the dangling questions from this book.

I really liked that while this book followed some of the typical zombie 'laws'--but it didn't follow them exactly as The Rising are not technically 'zombies'. Adding in that humans are not the only ones effected and its a very interesting twist on the standard theme and a great read.
reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
quite possibly the best book i have read.
Bibliocrates avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 252 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
great zombie story, a bit different from the others I have read, as these zombies are demon spirits, accidently released from the void and following orders from their leader, ob. this was my first brian keene novel and i can't wait to read more. i can tell that keene is a fan of stephen king as there is a line straight out of the shining, and a lot of mention of other worlds. annoyingly poor editing aside, this was a fantastic read. the ending was extremely frustrating as it didn't really end, much like a horror film, can't wait to read the sequel, city of the dead.
Daalmonette avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 61 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I thought after reading THE CONQUEROR WORMS I was statisifed with the fact that BRIAN KEENE was a great author and I'd be happy reading him again. Once I was finished with THE RISING I knew I'd come across someone I could appreciate for producing quality work and entertainment. In a world filled with instant gradification and overindulgence reading a book, at least now, takes time. When you find someone like BRIAN KEENE with the talent to keep you interested from begining to end you are grateful for the story they weave. It's an amazing journey to go on if your not afraid of the dark.
reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Possibly one of the best books I've ever read. I read this book in a day, I was so drawn into the story. I felt that I was right there with the characters going through what they were going through. I couldn't sleep the first night after I got done reading this book. I started reading the second book the next day. So good! If you love horror I reconmend this book, you'll like it.
paigu avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 120 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Bloody, gory, zombie book with a twist- these are smart zombies that think, drive cars, and even make wisecracks and other witty remakrs. But what really got me was the zombie animals! Yes, in this book the birds,squirrels, cats, dogs, etc are ALSO zombies. Shudder. Overall an entertaining read, though feels like it was written by (no offense to the author) a middle school or high school video game addict. Wish there were more background on what caused the zombie-ness.
reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
First time I've read a Brian Keene novel and enjoyed his story and immediately order City of the Dead to continue the story. Only disappointment was the ending but City of the Dead clarified that.
Sleepy26177 avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 218 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
In the beginning The Rising reminded me a bit of Stephen King's "The Stand" and "Cell" but that changed later on.

Basically the story is about a black hole opened by Havenbrook Laboratories. The hole weakened the walls between this world and the world the others come from. The others are things living in the void. They obtain our dead bodies as soon as it dies. They are intelligent, able to speak and hungry. Of course there are a lot of them so they kill the humans by eating a bit but always leaving enough of the body so that one of their brethren can use it. The Brethren also use animals also use dogs, cats, snakes or birds for their advantage.

Jim Thurmond hides in a self built bunker since weeks. His wife and unborn child were killed and now belong to the zombies. Without hope and not knowing if his son Danny in New Jersey is still alive he sees no future and is ready to kill himself when suddenly his cell phone rings. Frozen he doesn't move and later listens to his sons desperate phone call. With new hope he decides to find a way out of his bunker to rescue his frightened son.

Rescued from the zombies by pastor Martin he finds an alley with hope and the believe in God. Martin thinks he's destined to help Jim find his way to New Jersey.

Then there is Frankie, a drug addict prostitute who tries to survive somehow. After she rescues a running soldier she is captured herself.

In a world where no government exists people built their own government the way they think is convenient for them. So it happens in the city of Gettysburg that a group of soldiers built a shelter for them and use survivors as their slaves. The camp is lead by Colonel Schow, a cruel man with a cruel mind. He uses women shiftwise for "moral" in a so called "meat wagon". Townspeople are required to enforced work or used as bait when exploring other towns.

So it happens that one day Jim, Martin and Frankie are hostages in Gettysburg when the camp is moved to the Havenbrook Laboratories. During an ambush they all make it to free themselves and decide to all drive to New Jersey to find little boy Danny.

The book ends with Jim entering his ex-wives house to find his son and Frankie and Martin hearing gunshot from inside.


The reader doesn't expect the ending comes this fast and most of all stays completely open. And I mean completely. It feels like the book misses a few pages. Those who tell us that Jim finds him son alive. This made me grab the second book 'City Of The Dead' immediately as my next read.

I liked that the main characters aren't heroes. They all have their weaknesses and they all were rescued by someone else during the book. It made the book so real and described what would happen if some day the world actually ends. What differs this book from all the other zombie novels is that there is no escape. There is no safe island. Well there might be safety from the possessed human bodies but there isn't safety from the dead animals which already played a huge role in this book. It really got me thinking when someone in the book mentioned to sail out onto the ocean just to be killed by hungry sharks or bigger animals.

There was one short talk that really got me hooked on this book because it is so simple but also tells all about what's going on and made me cringe:

'Wait a minute.'
'There is something else, Jim !'
'Just a second -- got it !' The grin on his face died when he glanced up at the pastor.
'What is it ?'
'Sniff the air for a moment.' Martin told him. 'Do you smell it ?'
Jim breathed deep and then gagged.
'Jesus, what is that ?'
'They are coming !'


The Rising is different, it's intelligent and it's reality of the possibility what might enter the world if we open a black hole (experiments regarding this actually are happening) is frightening. Keene touched a topic before a few others (f. e. Preston) tried to touch in different ways but didn't get it the way I'd liked it. Fascinating and intriguing.
COJay avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Just plain terrible. I couldn't finish it. Zombies who talk and shoot guns? Really?
reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
great horror!
reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is the first Brian Keene book I have ever read and now I am hooked. If you like this type of book ( zombies) you'll love this one. I literally could not put this down once I started to read it. Just be warned as soon as you're done with this one you will want to read the follow up book City of the Dead right away!
swampdonkey avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 22 more book reviews
Great book! Fast paced- couldn't put down. Takes zombie books to a whole new level. Can't wait to read book 2. I may have to break down and buy it!
rawdelight avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 6 more book reviews
A complete page turner. Did not realize it until the end that there was a second book. I rushed out to buy the second one and it continued right where I had left off.
LaurieS avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 504 more book reviews
The book starts out similarly to The Conqueror Worms with a male protagonist telling the story of how his world collapsed but this time around instead of a cranky old dude we get an emotionally fragile young father. The stakes have been upped and Im hooked already.

A zombie outbreak has destroyed civilization as we know it. Fortunately for Jim he prepared for Y2K and built a bunker where he has been hiding out alone ever since his second wife died of pneumonia and turned into a blood-thirsty zombie. His young son lives in another state with his ex-wife and he fears hes dead until his cell phone receives a message telling him otherwise. Coincidentally, his phone runs out of juice just as hes finished listening to the message so he cant call him back. Damn, that would be my luck. Now he must escape the angry hoards of zombies in order to locate and save his boy.

These arent your typical slow, brain-dead, zombies stumbling about with a mindless hunger for flesh. These zombies are scarier. Theyre angry, can use tools, drive, retain memories and will eat parts of you, leaving the rest available for their brethren to possess. Early on it is revealed that scientists were experimenting with other realms and somehow weakened the barrier allowing demons clear access to dead bodies both human and animal. Dont ask me to explain, I admit that I didnt understand this bit at all.

As our hero is making his journey he crosses paths with other survivors all with their own survival stories. Its mostly interesting stuff but too often the zombies/demons act inconsistently when it is convenient for prolonging the life of a key character. Supposedly the zombies are angry and evil and have overrun the world and are living on human flesh which is in short supply. So why, when they spot a living human, would they give a little chase, shrug whats left of their shoulders and basically say, Oh, well get him later. and then drive away from the human who was hoofing it? Maybe Ive seen too many zombie movies but sorry Im not buying that silliness at all.

The other key characters are a guilt ridden scientist, a deaf boy, a heroine addict in withdrawal, a pastor and a bunch of military dudes (most of whom are stereotypical power hungry brutes). None of these folks are all that likable with all their faults, with the exception of the dad, but most are compelling nonetheless.

Keene plays a fun little game of spot the horror author and names many of his brutish colonels and members of their brigade after fellow horror writers. I spotted Schow, Robert Dunbar, Partridge, Miller, and that shifty littler fucker Skip who turns out to be not quite as bad as the rest. There may have been more but those guys stood out and gave me a good laugh.

I put this book down at about the midway point because a copy of Joe Hills Horns was made available to me. After finishing Horns (which was amazing) I found myself enjoying this book a whole lot less. The character flaws, stereotypes and dumb-ass decisions made by the survivors and the zombies began to grate on my nerves. There is one scene that features a young boy and his dad that about made me put the book down for good. I absolutely could not believe what the characters had just allowed to happen. I wont spoil it but youll know what Im talking about if you make it this far in the book. The solution was so simple to me yet the author writes an entirely unnecessary ghastly scene for shock value and emotional effect. Or at least thats how it came across to me. The only emotion I felt was anger for the heavy handed manipulation. And yet I trudged on, a glutton for punishment as always . . .

In the end, I was not thrilled with myself for finishing this book. There was way too much gratuitous rape that pretty much takes over the last part of the book and the ending is a cliffhanger. But dont despair; you can always buy the continuation to learn the end. Since I have it in my tbr pile already Ill probably give it a go only because I liked The Conqueror Worms so much but if I didnt own it already I might be a wee bit annoyed.
trevor avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 38 more book reviews
I know I'm going against the grain here, but I think The Rising was terrible. I couldn't get over the zombie fish thing. I told my wife about it and she couldn't stop laughing. This is ridiculous, pulpy horror material written by an author with average ability.
reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 149 more book reviews
It's the return of the great horror novel from Brian Keene. If you're a zombie fan, you can't miss it. The story of a man trying to make his way through a zombie infested wasteland to get to his son who may or may not still be alive. Hard to put down once you start.
biohazard avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 28 more book reviews
the writing is good but the escapes of the characters from tight situations is sometimes hard to believe otherwise i liked the book but without ruining it the ending pissed me off! the auther is a coward for not being definitive about the end. i deserve to have an end to the story if i read all the way to the end. good read keeps your interest but the ending sucked.
xxxmikeyxxx avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 55 more book reviews
Killer book a real page turner ! Just make sure u have the sequel (city dead ) handy because its ends and it picks back up with city dead. People are saying the ending sucked thats wrong ,one has to read the rest of the story (city dead) picks up with the last chapter from the rising on to the rest of the story.
reecola avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
I love zombie books but this one was a bit hard for me to read. The zombies weren't the traditional zombies I'm used to. I do like the spin he took and while the writing was decent - the book didn't grab me as a whole.
reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 59 more book reviews
Fantastic. One of the best 'zombie' horror books I've read. A completely original story.
Creative, fast-paced and graphic, it starts off strong and never lets up.
Highly recommended to anyone who likes horror/action/thriller.
Acknud avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 82 more book reviews
Well written fast moving tale that puts a different spin on the zombie genre. zombies are evil so the thought of them being demon influenced is easily swallowed.
reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 228 more book reviews
Wow, what a ride! Great zombie adventure into hell! Ending will leave you in a tizzy.
reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 61 more book reviews
From the back cover "Nothing stays dead for long. The dead are returning to life, intelligent, determined...and very hungry. Escape seems impossible for Jim Thurmond, one of the few left alive in this nightmare world...."
reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 59 more book reviews
Although the whole zombies taking over the world theme is starting to get old...I liked this book. I couldn't put it down once I started reading.
reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 92 more book reviews
Outstanding zombie read...........need the sequel City of the Dead!!
rockmom66 avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 47 more book reviews
I really enjoyed this book. If you like zombies and surviving the 'end of the world' type stuff, you'll like this. Alittle graphic in some parts. Reminds me of Cell-Stephen King, in the fact a father is trying to reach his son, in the state of chaos the world is going through. I want to read all of Keene's works now.
Mahala avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 192 more book reviews
One Word..... BRUTAL!
Stacy1 avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 90 more book reviews
Another terrific Keene zombie book!!!
reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on
this book is sooooo amazing!!!! it feels like your watching a movie instead of reading a book, because of how well Brian Keene portrays his characters and his visuals. i loved it and if your into gory stuff like me youll love it too!!!! Brian Keene is one of the best authors out there and has a real talent for writing!!!
reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on
First Keene Book I have read and It was great!!!!
reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 407 more book reviews
This was a very gripping horror story with lots of graphic details. Jim and his friends face not just human zombies but animal ones too. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, City of the Dead.
wings avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
very graphic zombie novel,though i don't really care for talking zombies
reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 3073 more book reviews
Not really my kind of horror--zombies, yuk!
michelleanddavid avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on
(from back of book) Nothing stays dead for long. The dead are returning to life, intelligent, determined... and very hungry. Escape seems impossible for Jim Thurmond, one of the few left alive in this nightmare world. But Jim's young son is also alive and in grave danger hundreds of miles away. despite astronical odds, Jim vows to find him -or die trying.
reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 62 more book reviews
Great Zobbie story
rhob60 avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
Just a pretty bad book all around. I didn't really care about the characters, who were pretty thinly written and stereotypical. And the situations they were in were kind of dull and dumb. The entire idea of EVERYTHING on earth that died getting inhabited by demons from hell - killed the entire book. If there isn't any hope for any type of survival, it kills any interest in the story. There are quite a few typos in this too. I doubt I'll be reading the sequel. Also, I like my zombies traditional, slow, dumb and hungry, not using rifles, driving cars, etc.
I'd pass on this one.
freakazoidP avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 39 more book reviews
this is the scariest stuff I have ever read.No happy endings gere at all.No hope nad very disturbing.
vampirelover avatar reviewed The Rising (The Rising, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
"Nothing stays dead for long. The dead are returning to life, intelligent, determined...and very hungry. Escape seems impossible for Jim Thurmond, one of the few left alive in this nightmare world. But Jim's young son is also alive and in grave danger hundreds of miles away. Despite astronomical odds, Jim vows to find him--or die trying. Jioned by an elderly preacher, a guilt-ridden scientist and an ex-prostitute, Jim sets out on a cross-country rescue mission. Together they must battle both the living and the living dead...and the even greater evil that awaits them at the end of their journey."