Tuesday, September 4, 2012

REVIEW: "SOLSTICE" (A Novel of the Zombie Apocalypse) - by Donna Burgess

(A Novel of the Zombie Apocalypse)
by Donna Burgess

REVIEWED BY: Books4Tomorrow


On the eve of winter Solstice, a massive flash envelopes the Earth and then there is nothing. The sun no longer shines and civilization is plunged into unending darkness. Those exposed to the mysterious flash have changed—they have become bloodthirsty, cunning, and determined to devour anyone who is not infected. They are Ragers.

In Sweden, a group of uneasy travelers hears a broken broadcast. There is hope. Something called Sanctuary waits, but it is thousands of miles away, somewhere on the shores of the British Isles.

Meanwhile, in a London supermarket, a high school English teacher from the States finds himself stranded along with a handful of students on a senior trip. Outside, hoards of hungry Ragers await, ready to tear them limb from limb. Their only hope is to find Sanctuary.

Solstice is a tale of hope, terror, survival, and finding love at the end of the World.


It seems lately I have an appetite for zombie-themed books. I finished “Hollowland” by Amanda Hocking and then, on the recommendation of a friend, got started on this one. I finished it in no time because once the story got its hold on me, it just wouldn’t let go until I had read the last page at 02:30 in the morning.

Everyone who has been following my reviews by now knows that I’m a big fan of the horror genre. And let’s be honest: zombies are much more horrifying than vampires, werewolves and demons, which have become rather stereotypical and predictable creatures in every second paranormal novel on the market today. I suppose many will say the same about zombies, but “Solstice” gives a startling new meaning to fear with its depiction of the living dead.

I have to applaud the author for not holding back in her use of shock techniques to get the reader to fully comprehend the direness of the situations faced by the various characters, and the fear they’re constantly experiencing knowing their lives and those of their loved ones could end at any minute. Can you imagine living in a world where the sun no longer exists and it being impossible to discern between day and night? How about being as frightened of the living as of your zombie neighbor trying to make a meal out of you or your child? Or even worse; your child being the zombie trying to make a meal out of you!  But what really had me chewing my nails and my nerves on end was the constant darkness in which the characters couldn’t even see their hands in front of their faces, and the terrifying sounds of running footsteps and howls behind them made by zombies and marauders chasing them down. All this while fleeing through burning cities they once called home.

Even without these flesh-eating monsters, the whole concept of living in a post-apocalyptic world where you not only have to run for your life, but fight against the cold and starvation to stay alive, is frightening in itself. The author does a great job taking the reader into that world and making the experience as realistic as possible. A lot happens in this fast paced book and the story is told from many different points of view. Although there’s not much in the way of plot twists, it is filled with shocking scenes, heartrending moments and boatloads of action. From Sweden all the way to London, this novel takes the reader on a horror-filled journey with characters whose fears and vulnerabilities are easy to relate to, thanks to the author’s skilled writing.

I agree with other reviewers who mentioned that the book needs some editing, but any book that has me reading into the wee hours of the morning because it’s impossible to put down, receives a ten star recommendation from me.



“Solstice” by Donna Burgess has 47 reviews on GoodReads. Read it here.



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