Tuesday, July 8, 2014

'Haven' (Book Review)

Haven is the second installment of the Breadwinner Trilogy of zombie novels by author Stevie Kopas. I was given a review copy to follow up on our review of the first book and I'm glad to report that it's a strong contender in all the ways a sequel should be.

Haven picks up right where The Breadwinner left off. Samson, Veronica, Andrew and the party are sea bound and moving toward the relative safety of the former beach paradise "Haven". They meet up with Gary, a lone survivor who is trying to reclaim the resort from the starving undead. Later, the story shifts focus onto another group of survivors. We're introduced to Michelle, Lulu, and Lulu's cousin Zack. Their story will find them trying to escape Haven as their world comes crashing down at the beginning of the zombie apocalypse.

Where this sequel finds strength is interplay of its story arcs. While the set pieces of a shopping mall might be reminiscent of Dawn of The Dead, Kopas puts her own spin on things and doesn't fall into many of the tropes we normally expect in the genre. Plenty of twists and turns emerge as the two groups paths begin to intertwine. There is also a stronger focus on character development without slowing down the pace in its short 169 pages. Certain players become more fleshed out, while others simply have their flesh ripped out. In a nod to The Walking Dead, it's a good idea for readers not to get too attached to any one person in this series.

Finally, like any sequel worth its salt, Haven introduces us to the series' core villain. While there have been others with questionable motives up to this point, we finally meet a true antagonist who has premeditated goals and designs. This ups the ante and creates a much needed second focal point of conflict besides the hordes of hungry "Eaters".

Like the first book, Haven is a very fast read that horror fans can finish in a long afternoon. It's action packed, filled with detailed descriptions of gore, and provides a strong foundation for the upcoming third book. I am personally looking forward to seeing where the author takes her trilogy in its finale. I strongly recommend it, especially to anyone with an Amazon Prime account to grab it on their Kindle.

Grade: A-
Reviewed (copy provided) on Kindle. 169 pages.

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