Emerging is the second book in the Subdue series by Thomas S. Flowers. I reviewed the other book, Dwelling, several months back. Dwelling gave the reader interesting characters, and a good setup, but basically no action. Emerging, thankfully, drops right into the thick of things. Also, even though it had been a while since I’d read the last book, I had no problem picking up the threads of the story again.
Emerging is an easy read for the most part. I finished the first half of it in a ridiculously short amount of time. The pacing in this one is better than in the other. The dialogue is fine. There are some great lines in it. I giggled at the Pastafarian reference in particular. It was the first time I remember seeing His Noodliness mentioned in a book, and it cracked me up.
The characters are just as good in the second book as they were in the first. But Ricky is probably the most interesting character. Well, the most memorable at least. It’s hard to not to fixate on the insect-infested zombie who keeps showing up to his PTSD-affected best friend. Especially when you realize that he’s not there to haunt Johnathan. Instead, he’s trying to care for his wife from beyond the grave for as long as he can. Bobby was a close runner-up. I did find that I didn’t feel as much for Jonathan as I did in the first book. He pulled some stupid moves in this book that just made me want to slap him.
But, the repetition got to me. Emerging got off to a great start, and it held strong at first. But I got tired of reading about cicadas, and bulbous red eyes, mandibles, and the sounds that they make. The odd emphasis on the word cicadas near the end of the book. Flowers has talent, but he seems to have let himself fall into lazy writing habits for the last part of the book. It brought the quality of the book down a good bit. It could have ended on a such a strong note, but didn’t. In fact, the closer I got to the end, the angrier I got about what I was reading, because I knew he could do better.
Overall, Emerging is a decent read, but it doesn’t come close to being as good as it could have been.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author for review consideration.