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Matt Di Spirito
on April 08, 2011 :
"Zombie Betrayal" is a short story with a mix of good and bad. Overall, I enjoyed the read and--for a .99 price tag--I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a decent short story. There are some finer points I'd like to discuss, so read on if you want more information.
Hearing the title "Zombie Betrayal, A Tale of Terror", one would expect at least half the story to feature zombies. This is not the case. Now, this fact doesn't make it a bad story, but it's worth noting. With the exception of the final page or two, this story is about a man's imploding life: his wife cheats, his kid doesn't know him, and he loses a job. Drinking and suicidial impulses follow suit. It's a depressing tale that ends on a depressing note. Once more, this doesn't ruin the story but it should be noted. The description needs to be revised to reflect the nature of the tale; the title is a little misleading without a broader description.
The characters are interesting. "Zombie Betrayal" is a short story, but you easily understand and relate to the main character, his wife and his son in a short time. That is no small feat, and I salute the author for that accomplishment. The setting and side characters are given just enough detail to be meaningful. I was impressed with how much was done in such a short space.
WRITING & STYLE...
For the most part, the author's writing and style does the job. It is neither good nor bad, but I think it's important to point out some issues for those of us who are nit-picky with style. There are minor spelling and grammar issues scattered throughout the work. In particular, the use of commas is abused; there are many places where a sentence should have ended or should have been separated with a semi-colon, colon, or emdash. There are a few spacing errors, particularly after quotation marks. In a few spots, the author changed from past tense to present tense with no indication of a dream or flashback.
Despite these issues, the story is readable and easy to digest. Only folks with an English background, or writers that spent years addressing these nagging problems, will find it distracting. These are all things that can be ironed out in a re-release.
The afterword section contains links to the author's pages for additional work, but the links are not entered as hyperlinks. Typing in "http://www.amazon.com/author/ntt=ref..." isn't going to draw any additional readership. This needs to be revised into a single word or phrase with the hyperlink added to allow a user to click and go.
I look forward to Mr. Decoteau's future work and heartily recommend this bargain tale to anyone looking for that quick-fix story. It will keep you interested until the end.
(reviewed the day of purchase)