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Fire (Elements of The Undead) by William…

Fire (Elements of The Undead) (edition 2011)

by William Esmont, Lynn O'Dell (Editor), Glendon Haddix (Cover Design)

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Title:Fire (Elements of The Undead)
Authors:William Esmont
Other authors:Lynn O'Dell (Editor), Glendon Haddix (Cover Design)
Info:Cross Country Publishing (2011), Paperback, 156 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, LT giveaway, reviewed

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Fire (Elements of The Undead) by William Esmont



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Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
The story was interesting, but I was left feeling that it was unfinished. The characters were relatively interesting, but I would have liked a little bit more story than where it ended. The spelling and grammar weren't very consistent (the same word was misspelled three different times in the same paragraph). ( )
  JanetArmentani | Jul 25, 2013 |
I admit it, I was skeptical. Then again, I thought that Twilight was fun, despite being badly written. Lots of things are entertaining without actually being good. So, I thought I’d give Esmont’s Elements of the Undead a shot. At least, it would be a diversion from daily life.

I underestimated it.

In all really satisfying science fiction or fantasy stories, paranormal archetypes (in this case, zombies) are symbols for bits or themes of culture or humanity about which we do not know how to discuss. The outlandishness of the apparent subject gives the audience permission to safely talk about troubling social issues. If the conversation gets too hot, someone can crack a joke about vampires or zombies or changelings or Big Brother. Everyone can save face and retreat into the social order they distrust. It is always about today, always about now, when the genre is correctly executed. If it is done badly, it is never more than an idle pastime and an object of ridicule. Done well, however, it can subvert existing power structures. It can become a cultural touchstone.

The popularity of superheros, paranormal heroes and villains, and artificial intelligence named “Hal” (or cars which park themselves and talk back to the drivers when they ask for a certain radio station) is not a fluke. It is a lightening rod for social psycho-analysis.

At the end of Fire, the narrator uses Megan’s point of view to say, “The undead were only a symptom, she had finally realized, a symptom of a broken society that would rather battle each other to the death than compromise for the greater good.” (Page 184.) Elements of the Undead is a commentary about what we have become, with our social media, hyper-violent entertainment, and bloated governments. We turn on ourselves, and devour senselessly, without meaning and without stopping.

If your taste doesn’t run towards the metaphoric, the series more than satisfies with quick pacing, lots of action, and just the right amount of detail. Esmont skillfully develops characters (even those who don’t live long) who mean something to us, and about whom we care. He weaves us around various geographical locations, introducing us to groups of survivors, and different manners of survival, some of which are as bad as the zombies themselves. Esmont does not sacrifice story for pacing, however, and while it is a violent novel, it is not unnecessarily gruesome. The real violence happens between people – and leads us to the book’s self-description: “tales of survival.”

By the end of Earth, book three, we still do not have a clear notion of what survival is or what death is, since very few things stay dead for long in this world. Elements of the Undead presents possibilities for what it might mean to be dead, or what it might mean to be alive, and thus offers a searing perspective on our treatment of each other in this, our zombie-free world.

It is a relevant tale in this age of online relationships and decreasing face time.

Lastly, the formatting and artwork of the book are beautiful. They add to the grittiness of the story, giving it the appearance of an old telegram with blood smears and crinkles. The e-version is good, but the paperback is lovely.

Also by William Esmont:

The Patriot Paradox (The Reluctant Hero, Book One)

Pressed (The Reluctant Hero, Book Two)



Red Adept Editing: http://www.redadeptpublishing.com/editing-services offers editing services to elf-published authors, in addition to being a small press.

Streetlight Graphics is ww.streetlightgraphics.com, another small business offering graphics arts services to idenpendent authors.

This review first appeared on irevuo.com, Friday Reads. ( )
  ZooeySuff | Jan 17, 2013 |
While the threat of a zombie apocalypse is one that seems surreal there is a good chance it will begin and with little warning and with no cure. Book One details the initial spread and the first few months of survival after it begins. The interesting part of this tale with the use of military and nuclear weapons in trying to limit or destroy the threat, on US soil to say the least. This twist is not one I've seen played out in any format before. I liked it, made it far more realistic than other tales.

Yet while I enjoyed the gnashing of rotting teeth against fresh flesh the story was merely bones. There was little in character development or enough of any one storyline to find a connection with a key player. Perhaps this was intentional since anyone can be killed at any time but I felt it lacked a hook. Perhaps it was simply a line up for the next tale (it is Book One after all) however it left an empty feeling at the end and a 'meh' feeling for me to seek out the second book.

Overall not a bad tale of the end of the world and the zombie apocalypse, however better character connectino is needed to make it a re-reader. ( )
  cwaldrum | Dec 31, 2012 |
My full review: http://coffeecookiesandchilipeppers.blogspot.com/2012/12/fire-by-william-esmont....

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book free from the author via a Librarything Member Giveaway, in return for an honest review.

When I saw the synopsis for this title, which seemed to be centered on Megan Pritchard, a prostitute, I was hopeful that her profession was more of an interesting character back-story than a way to force some gratuitous sex into the plot. I am pleased to say that this proved to be the case, although we begin the book with a rather distasteful description of her encounter with her last ‘John’. Megan proves to be a surprisingly engaging heroine, although one would expect that anyone who engages in prostitution would need a lot of mental toughness. She is resourceful and surprisingly lacking in the usual ‘too stupid to live’ gene that is so prevalent in heroines. Supplying me with a female lead that is not a damsel in distress will always get extra credit from me! ( )
  SueCCCP | Dec 6, 2012 |
I found Fire filled with characters that you wanted to return to and see what happened next. I found myself rooting for Megan as her life did a 180 degree shift taking her from a lowly shunned profession to a leader. On the same token, you couldn't help but feel for Jack as his world crumbled around him. Even when you knew what the next few pages would reveal for him you still wanted to hope it wouldn't really happen.

I thought this book was very well written and though sometimes I questioned if some things were really possible (like the rate the disease spread) I also knew that some creative manipulation of reality is always needed to keep the story moving. The choices some had to make were excellent and left you asking yourself what would you do in the same situation.

Overall I would definitely recommend this to others to read if they enjoy end of the world and/or zombie stories. ( )
  millerca | Sep 23, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
I admit it, I was skeptical. Then again, I thought that Twilight was fun, despite being badly written. Lots of things are entertaining without actually being good. So, I thought I'd give Esmont's Elements of the Undead a shot. At least, it would be a diversion from daily life.
I underestimated it.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0982875835, Paperback)

It begins with the end...

When Megan Pritchard clocks in for her late night shift in a Nevada brothel, she has no way of knowing it will be her last.  Around the world, the dead are rising, and mankind is on the express train to extinction. As her coworkers turn into cannibalistic zombies, Megan is forced to flee into the desert with nothing but the clothes on her back and a vague plan to reach her sister in southern Arizona.

Facing impossible odds, Megan embarks on a journey of self discovery, only to learn she may be the last, best hope for humanity.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:22 -0400)

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