by Dan DeWitt
Cameron Holt is fortunate enough to survive the initial outbreak that turns his New England island community into a hive of the undead. So is his son, Ethan. Now, the only thing keeping Holt going is the determination to rescue his son from the undead...or remove him permanently from their ranks. Unfortunately, zombies aren't the only thing getting in his way.
Orpheus tells the story of a zombie invasion, and focuses on several characters which make up Team Scalpel, a group who try to rescue survivors from their besieged island. While most books begin their tale at the start of the zombie invasion, taking a chronological approach to storytelling, Orpheus begins somewhere around the middle of the invasion, when the island is already besieged. Through a series of flashbacks focussing on the main characters we learn of the events at the start of the outbreak of the zombie virus, which was a refreshing way to tell the story, although there were one or two flashbacks which I had begun to feel went on a little too long.
The zombies in Orpheus are believable zombies, with it being a virus which creates them. The turning time is quicker than usual, but fits the nature of the story. The characters are also believable, and you can emphasise with their plight and see how each of them ended up taking on the role they did. There are also some interesting overlaps of characters, in which one characters actions affect another despite their not having met yet, which I quite liked.
Overall Orpheus is a well told story, and one I found hard to put down. It is easy to see that this book could one day be published in print and, with the current interest in zombies and other paranormal creatures, make a best seller list. However despite this potential it is still a little raw, lacking a bit of the polish that comes through publishing with a publishing agency and professional editors. Despite this it is a great read, and its ability to captivate the audience is all the greater given it lacks that professional sparkle. This is one you definitely want to read, so that you can be among those who can claim to have discovered Dan DeWitt before he breaks the big time, as I’m sure from his work he one day will.
Disclaimer: Not recommended for those under the age of 17 due to extreme violence.