Affliction, by Dottie Daniels

5_15_17 Affliction

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At first, Affliction appears to be your everyday, run-of-the-mill zombie novel. Seanna wakes up and zombies are on the prowl. She goes to try and reunite with her family and–oh. She got bit. This is where the novel takes a different turn for the zombie genre.
 
I liked where it went. It was full of twists and turns, able to keep me guessing. And it ended on the perfect cliffhanger for a sequel. The story wrapped up in such a way that there’s loose ends, but they’re purposeful.
 
While the characters, for the most part, were different, some sounded the same. Affliction utilizes first person–an apt choice for the type novel. Seanna and her boyfriend, Graham, were the only two that popped. There were plenty of supporting characters. Each of them served a direct purpose to the plot. They felt a little flat, though. The interactions were fabulous.
 
The story pacing was good. Things happened in a way that made sense. It’s not an ultra-violent, hack-and-slash, survival zombie novel. There was a meaningful narrative. One that got built up very well. When it came to characters, the author was a big fan of the information dump. The story would pause for a few pages to give an entire background on one character. Not only did it jolt me out of the story, but it served to confuse me as well. I loved learning about the characters–don’t get me wrong. They had interesting backstories. The timing was off. It broke the flow and continuity.
 
Affliction does need editing. Paragraphs were long, full of exposition, internal monologues, and observations. Description wasn’t lacking. The fact that Seanna was a paramedic made for wonderful telling and plot points. While description wasn’t lacking, there was an awful lot of telling, not showing. There’s a lot of information to be had. Sentences run on for miles. There’s multiple tense changes per sentence. The writing style feels solid, but the technical writing aspect needs adjustment.
 
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I liked how it started one way, and then went in a completely opposite direction. It was suspenseful, with a solid plot and characters in the right spots. There’s plenty of areas for improvement, but the same applies to lots of novels. I’d like to see a more polished version. Regardless of any of that, the author has a knack for good storytelling, and I look forward to future novels.

Buy it here!
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