Monday, October 10, 2016

Nock by Scott McGlasson

It's a zombie book.  It's an archery book!
It's both!
Scott McGlasson’s novella Nock does more than just build on the zombie mythos.  He creates life-like characters that reflect the real-world stresses of living in a world rife with the undead.  Even if you’re not a zombie or post-apocalypse reader, McGlasson has you covered with a father-daughter story that will actually warm your heart and make you smile.

McGlasson uses a visceral, engaging style of prose to tell the story of Stace, a young girl who has grown up in the After—after the zombie apocalypse—who wants to be a Ranger like her father.  First, she has to prove she’s capable, which means she has to hunt down one of the “ferals” which roam the valley her people have tried to make safe.  The only problem is that her father, Rob, is one of the best Rangers.  Living up to his standards isn’t easy, and if she fails, it means a lifetime of toil on the farm, rather than running free among the woods as Stace dreams.

Of course, if it was simple as nocking an arrow to a bowstring and loosing it into the wasted flesh of a zombie’s head, life would be easy.  McGlasson ensures that life is in the After is never simple or easy.  When things start to go the wrong way, they quickly escalate to the point where Stace has more than her father’s big shoes and long shadow to worry about, and maybe she’ll learn that her father isn’t some granite rock, but a flawed person just like her.
Zombie archer book?  Not quite, Rob!

McGlasson creates characters with very real insecurities balanced against a world that is both familiar and wholly alien.  Even though Stace was was born in the Before, she has almost no memories of that time, and only the stories the older generation still tells.  This lends a hard reality to both the world Stace finds herself in, and a poignant sense of loss to the reader—perfect for the feel of the story.

In Nock, McGlasson crafts a thrilling, heart-pounding adventure around two very real characters.  He subtly plays up the father-daughter relationship, up to and through the climax of the story.  As with any good novella, McGlasson tells a complete tale, but his craftsmanship is right on target, and will leave readers wanting more stories from this world.

No comments:

Post a Comment