Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Review # 245: Containment Room 7 by Bryan Hall

Description: (from Amazon)
     In a far corner of space, orbiting a massive black hole, the research ship DARC12 discovers a strange asteroid—one that seems to be … alive. After loading the rock onboard for study, the ship quickly descends into madness. 
     It begins with voices, whispers filling the shadows and the minds of the crew. A once sane man declares that their discovery is not just a rock, but a god. Then the killing begins, and a cult rises swearing allegiance to their newfound deity. 
     As the murders mount and the dead themselves begin to rise, a small group of survivors cling to the hope that they can somehow escape the hell they’ve been plunged into. But their problems escalate as they face an army of undead crewmembers, the reanimated corpses of hundreds of failed genetic experiments, the murderous cult, and—worst of all—the rapidly evolving creature in containment room 7.


     I usually love anything pertaining to zombies or the undead, but recently, the zombie genre has left me bored. All but a few zombie books I have read this year contain the same monotonous plot, "zombie apocalypse => RUN". Where the living characters seem to blur into the blood-soaked background of the brain-yearning masses. However, the premise of Containment Room 7, (a space zombie cult), somehow managed to re-spark my interest. I had never contemplated zombies in space - unless you count Jason X - so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was definitely compelled to read on after page one. The story starts abruptly, the scientists and engineers on the DARC12 research ship have found an odd meteor near a black hole and decide to bring it into the ship - where the fun begins. Each character has their own point-of-view about the strange rock, most of which are easy-to-follow, but there are a few that are more crazy than understandable. The POV and narration types vary from chapter to chapter, which can sometimes become confusing, however, I like the uncertainty it creates. I just wish that I could enjoy the characters more; I don't feel any emotion towards the living or dead, their lack of development hinders the overall plot - which happens to be the novel's "saving grace". The story-line is a refreshing take on the zombie genre, full of action, gore, skin-crawling descriptions, and well-placed scares, but the quickness of the pace does not allow readers to fully immerse themselves in the scenario. Halfway through the book I find that I only really know who two of the characters are, and I don't really care if they survive or not. I also dislike the repetition of the zombie attacks, (the descriptions mostly), because they seem so similar - how many times can a zombie "piggyback" someone? The ending is as abrupt as the beginning, but not nearly as fulfilling, leaving me with more questions about the "alien" than I would like. Twenty or so more pages may have fixed the problem. Overall, I really enjoy the author's intention, but feel that the book as a whole is too scarce in background information and character development. Still a decent addition to the zombie genre, but needs work. Recommended for fans of zombies and science fiction. Great cover art!

Rating: Bounty's Out (3/5)

*** I received this book from the author (Book Shots) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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