Rise of the Chosen: In Sam’s world there are two rules. Rule #1: Nobody dies. Protect the living at all costs. Rule #2: Everybody dies. At least once.
The Waking was a global event in which a force called the Lifeblood invaded all humans who died. The few strong enough to control it came back as powerful immortals. The rest let the bloodlust take over and awoke with one goal – to kill.
Newly appointed Watch Guard Samantha Shields has a legacy to uphold. Her father died a hero defending their city and now she wants to follow in his footsteps. Except for the dying part, of course. Unfortunately, fate has other plans as she discovers deep dark secrets that make her choose between her loyalties and the lives of everyone in her city. Both rules are in play as Sam is forced to make hard decisions that could cost her everything – including the person she cares about most. – Goodreads
Rise of the Chosen Review
Rise of the Chosen was a nice take on the zombie story. In Sam’s world, the dead don’t resurrect and just try to eat everyone. They’re either Chosen or Woken. Chosen means they fought to keep their humanity, that they conquer the disease instead of the disease conquering them. They’re kind of like super-soldiers if they’re Chosen. Never need to sleep or eat. Never get tired, never get emotional. They just do their job. If they’re Woken, though, they come back with a desire for violence. It seems simple and clear-cut. Humanity enacts rules and regulations to protect itself. Woken are put down, and Chosen serve to help keep things under control. They do the best they can without being able to tell who is going to be Chosen or Woken.
Except, as it is with everything else in this world, not everything is as it appears. No sooner does everything seem like it might start going right for Sam before everything starts going horribly wrong. Soon she’s in a situation where there doesn’t seem to be an easy answer, confronting someone from her past, and trying to save the woman she loves.
In a lot of ways, Rise of the Chosen breaks away from many of the traditional tropes that go along with this particular sub-genre. It also does a good job of throwing you one serious red herring too. I admit I was a bit shocked when one particular person died. Totally didn’t see it coming. However, it’s not awesome. The writing isn’t as strong as it could be. I found it hard to sympathize with one of the characters I was obviously supposed to feel something for. When Sam meets the ‘bad guys’, I had trouble believing that things worked out the way they did, as quickly as they did.
Still, overall it was an enjoyable read. One that will stand out in my mind for a while because of the uniqueness of the zombie apocalypse, and for the bisexual main character. It seems like everyone’s willing to go straight or gay, but bisexual is a true rarity. Anna Kopp broke the mold just enough that I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on her in the future. Not a great read, but a very good one.