Antony J. Stanton’s ‘Once Bitten, Twice Die’ Is A Perfect Blend Of Horror Species – Book Review

January 15, 2021

Written by Capt McNeely

Georgia Division ZADF Twitter: @ZADF_ORG

Plot

This had potential to be a very confusing and unconnected book. There is a lot going on with a lot of characters and a lot of back stories. However, author Antony J. Stanton has it so well organized, so well written that it all fits perfectly together in a plausible, entertaining and fictionally-realistic way. Even the way that vampires, zombies and humans are all intertwined makes sense within Stanton’s world.

We have a bevy of apocalyptic stories, zombie stories, and vampire stories, but this one is a plot full of depth, action and exceptional gore.

Characters

There are a lot of characters in his book. Luckily, Stanton recognizes that and gives a great glossary of characters in the beginning of the novel. His section entitled The Players organizes everyone in a tangible way that really benefits the readers of his novel. Having mentioned the number of characters, it becomes even more impressive that they are all deep, full of back-stories, and relatable. I loved how the characters were grown and developed through the plot and it made me feel attached to them.

Writing

As I mentioned, there is a lot going on here. It involves three species all intermingling in a twisted, ever-moving plot that is not only developing this story, but leading into two future novels. Stanton never loses control of his world. He shows amazing skill in not only his organization of characters and plots, but in how he presents it. This novel is a slow burn, but keeps readers on the edge of their seats while burning. While perfectly building the tension, Stanton throws in just enough really, really well-written action scenes to keep excitement and action flowing. He is a gifted writer who has carefully and skillfully sculpted a world that is easy to get lost in along with the adventure.

Critique

My one critique of this book is that, I know it’s the first of a trilogy, but it was a little too much build up and setting up the future story. The setting up and build up is done very, very well, but it is clearly a build up for the next books. It does its job of building excitement and wonder for the future story, but there may be a little too much backstory and foundation-building. I’m sure that when all three books are put together it will fit together perfectly, but as a stand-alone book, it’s a little building-block-heavy.

Eulogy

This is an amazing, novel. It is one that appeals to many people for different reasons. Zombies…check. Vampires…check. Gore…check. Military strategy…check. Apocalypse…check. Character development…check. Horror…check. Not only is this book well written and exciting, it is a wonderful blend of so many sub-genres and categories. There is something (probably many things) in this book for you! Buy it here and then look forward to the continuing of the story in Stanton’s next books.

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