Rise: A NewsFlesh Collection is the compilation of all the short stories and the novellas connected to the NewsFlesh series. This collection is intended for those who have completed the series and would spoil the ending if read earlier. Rise contains 8 stories set before, during, and after the rising and continues after the end of the third book. These stories are: “Countdown”, “Everglades”, “San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats”, “How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea”, “The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell”, “Please Do Not Taunt the Octopus”, “All the Pretty Little Horses”, and “Coming to You Live”.
Countdown is the story of the rising, how the world got to the point that we see in the first NewsFlesh book Feed. This story is told in snippets giving the date and location showing how the cure for cancer and the cure for the common cold mutated and were able to create the zombie apocalypse. The story feels very real, like something that could happen today as it’s about people doing what they think is best and having the worst possible outcome. It also introduces characters that show up later in the series. 5/5 stars.
Everglades is the shortest of all the stories in the collection. It follows one young woman who has survived the initial rising but ultimately decides that living in this new world is not what she wants. I really didn’t like this story not because of the subject matter but because of the way its written. The story weaves current events with the woman’s childhood which fells a little disjointed to me. 2/5 stars.
San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats follows the events of the Rising at San Diego Comic Con and the only survivor of the incident. The story is told in sections divided by Mahir Gowanda interviewing the survivor Lorelei Tutt. This is my favorite story of this collection because of the comic convention angle. I’ve attended several comic conventions though never San Diego Comic Con and honestly it is probably one of the worst places that a zombie apocalypse could happen. 5/5 stars.
How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea follows Mahir Gowanda traveling to Australia and learning how the country deals with zombie kangaroos and other wildlife. This one is set after the original trilogy and primarily focus on the fact to not everyone/every country would deal with zombies the same way. Australia doesn’t have all the extreme systems in place as the United States and maybe that’s a good thing. Thought the story doesn’t have much of a plot to speak of. 4/5 stars.
The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell is essentially the back story of Foxy a character from the main series. This short story focuses on how schools would function after a zombie apocalypse where everyone is infected and can become a zombie at anytime and how the precautions end up failing. I found the kids in the story while realistic kind of annoying, as everything happens because one kid refused to tell a teacher that he had cut himself which causes the infection to spread and everything to be his fault. Also I don’t really get why anyone would be willing to go to public schools in this world. 3/5 stars.
Please Do Not Taunt the Octopus follows Dr. Shannon Abbey and the difficulties of running her underground lap since the end of the series. This story real can be read without any of the others as it follows one incident that Dr. Abbey must deal with and the consequences from the end of the series. As I love Dr. Abbey anything with more of her is great. 5/5 stars.
All the Pretty Little Horses is the story of Stacy and Michael Mason in the aftermath of the rising but before they have adopted Shaun and Georgia. While it does give more back story on these character and allows the reader to have more empathy for them I still hate these characters. But at least we finally have a justification for how they act during the main books. 3/5 stars.
Coming to You Live is a direct continuation from the trilogy that follows Shaun and Georgia in the aftermath of Blackout. I absolutely love Shaun and George which is why I feel like this story wasn’t really needed. The ending of Blackout was a great place to end their story and gives the audience the knowledge that their story isn’t over but they have done more than enough. Though I say this I still loved this story. 5/5 stars
Overall, Rise is a great collection but what each reader looks for in a good story will impact the enjoyment of this collection. However, I still give the entire book 5/5 stars.