THEM Episode 1 of Season 1 by M.D. Massey

May 21, 2015

Written by Fox Emm

Fox is a freelance writer and editor whose work can be found on several sites (bloggingonward.com, gorestruly.com, wickedhorror.com, and this one!) She's a movie, comic, book, and tech reviewer and overall horror fiend. Pet enthusiast. X-files fan. Small sentence writer. Her multi-author horror anthology is out on Amazon: https://getbook.at/badneighborhoodpaperback

Them-Season1-Episode1

THEM Episode 1 of Season 1 by M.D. Massey is a self described “paranormal post-apocalyptic thrill ride”. As with Champagne Jackson Kicks Zombie Ass, THEM immediately had some large shoes to fill by virtue of its tagline and book description.

Description:

THEM: Season 1, Episode 1

Scratch Sullivan is a professional monster hunter eking out a living after the zombie apocalypse. Z hunter, some would say… but he hunts more than just zombies. You see, there are deadlier predators roaming the badlands, where the fallout and some very nasty inhabitants have made it impossible for all but the bravest and most foolhardy to venture.

Thing is, Scratch is happy enough with the odd job killing THEM and occasionally shacking up with his on and off girlfriend, Kara. But when a powerful vampire tips him off to a potential invasion of werewolves and zombies into the safe zone he protects, he’s forced to head straight into the heart of the deadlands to find the truth about the threat his people are facing…

THEM: Episode 1 is the first installment in a series of short zombie novels, and a daring new entry among the ranks of post apocalyptic fiction best sellers on Amazon. If you enjoy zombie apocalypse novels, zombie books, werewolf horror, stories about werewolves and vampires, vampire books, post apocalyptic fiction, or post apocalyptic science fiction you’ll love reading THEM.

Read the first episode now, and find more of M.D. Massey’s zombie books in the “THEM: A Paranormal Post-Apocalyptic Thrill Ride” series right here on Amazon.com.

NOTICE: This is a novella-length SERIAL FICTION novel of around 26,500 words. Expect cliffhanger endings! If you don’t like cliffhanger endings, you should wait until the complete season releases in Summer 2015. Thanks!

Originality: 5/5
This novella manages to blend everything I like about zombie novels, vampire hunting novels, dystopian fiction at large, the CW show Supernatural, and John Wayne westerns all in one beautiful, gore-infused shot. Please keep in mind that yes, this book is a novella rather than a full fledged novel, but as of this posting it’s only $0.99 on Amazon and is available through Kindle Unlimited – not a bad deal at all. As a side note, I for one appreciate authors who offer their first work at a discount or for free through Kindle Unlimited so readers can get a taste for the writing style and the main character prior to making further investments. Especially for new authors. Especially if they don’t have many reviews. (…Just mentioning this in the off chance any indie authors are reading who might care about my opinion. ; ) ) ANYWAY, the moral of the story is that this book has a wickedly original take on the idea that the world will degrade into a dystopian wasteland filled with the paranormal in the wake of nuclear fall out and other disasters.

Entertainment: 5/5
As you may have gathered from my assessment of the originality of this book, I LOVED this novella. As the author indicated in the description, it does end with a cliffhanger so if that bothers you I’d recommend steering clear of this title and waiting for the full season download later this year. The other books in this series are $0.99 without a Kindle Unlimited subscription, so again – if you have an issue with paying for segments of a story rather than a full arc, you may not enjoy this book as much as I did. Aside from that note, I’ll mention that this book is a fast paced, gore laden adventure. The main character, Scratch Sullivan, is a rough and tumble “hunter” whose goal in life is to destroy the “nasties” that roam the land. This includes a variety of zombies (each with their own classifications and kill difficulties), vampire-like creatures, lycanthropes, and more. His manner reminds me of John Wayne’s portrayal of Rooster Cogburn in the 1969 True Grit (The “Fill your hand you son of a bitch!” scene kept popping to mind.) and every Sylvester Stallone movie from the early 90s that I can easily recall. Scratch is tough, but has a heart. …It’s just hidden deeper down than most people’s and you have to scrape the dirt off a bit before you can really tell what you’re looking at.

Character Description & Writing Style: 5/5 & 5/5
Everything from physical description to personality descriptions are sufficiently well crafted to give the reader a glimpse into what the characters being outlined are like. Although Scratch is largely no-nonsense and isn’t really the sentimental type, the fact that he is so observant makes him an excellent choice to play the role of the story’s narrator. The writing style captures Scratch’s personality exceptionally well, also. The gruff hunter discusses events going on and the people in his life in a conversational tone – the same tone he uses when he engages others in dialogue or shares a particular train of thought. Both of these elements are crucial for superb storytelling and are executed beautifully in THEM.

Overall: 5/5
This series is a must read for horror enthusiasts and zombie fans alike. This novella produces characters that the reader can grow attached to and more than enough activity to keep them on the edge of their seat. This book is a real page turner, which is only a hang up if you dislike cliffhangers or aren’t able to immediately grab the other episodes. For me, the only question is whether or not you should purchase each section individually or wait for the release of the complete season over the summer. Alas, that is largely a personal decision which will depend on the reader. I for one don’t mind cliffhanger endings, so enjoying THEM E1S1 so thoroughly made me download the second installment as soon as I finished the first.

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