RISE & WALK is a re-release of author Gregory Solis’ debut novel originally released in 2007. I never read the original release and even if I did I would never write a review comparing an author’s re-release to his original. I think it is safe to assume that Solis cleaned up, re-edited, and maybe even did some re-writing for the re-release, which also contains a forward by author Remy Porter (the author of DEAD BEAT). When the prospect of publishing one’s first novel is dangled in your face, most prospective writers get overly excited and cut corners on the final edit in order to get the novel out there. This is a forgivable sin in my book.
The cover of RISE & WALK caught my eye and after reading the back cover, decided to give it a shot. The story, in a nutshell, is that zombies descend on a sleepy little town in the mountains during a very competitive paintball competition. Nikki and Veronica live and work in the town while Jack and Tony are two of the paintball competitors who take their hobby very seriously. RISE & WALK is fast-paced, has well-defined characters, and provides some nice, gory descriptions of zombie mayhem. Whereas we get some good background on the four main characters, there isn’t much by way of character development, with the exception of Veronica. Solis spent the most time on both her backstory and how her past shaped her into the woman she is today.
As mentioned above, RISE & WALK is fast-paced, and we get some good zombie mayhem right from the first page. The cause of the zombie outbreak was interesting if not a little common (the cause was due to a meteor shower). The ending felt a little rushed and even felt as though it ended rather abruptly, but it was pretty obvious that Solis intended this novel to be open-ended. In 2013 he published a sequel, RISE & WALK: PATHOGEN.
I read this one while sitting out in the sun by the pool and it is the perfect summer book. Fun, interesting characters, fast-paced action, and lots of violence and gore. RISE & WALK is a great first effort and I look forward to reading more from Gregory Solis.
Author: Gregory Solis
Plot: 3 out of 4 stars
Gore: 8 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 4 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Scott Shoyer