REVIEW: White Flag Of The Dead by: Joseph Talluto
How would you expect the world to end? Would it be in a searing flash of light? Perhaps through the accumulated destruction of natural disasters? Or will it end with a gasp, a final surrender of life?
Millions died when the Enillo Virus swept the earth. Millions more were lost when the victims of the plague refused to stay dead, instead rising to slay and feed on those left alive.
For survivors like John Talon and his infant son Jake, they are faced with a choice: do they submit to the dead, raising the white flag of surrender? Or do they find the will to fight, to try and hang on to the last shreds or humanity??
Plot: This was a very entertaining and a joy to read. You can easily tell at the beginning that the author drew a lot of his inspiration from Max Brook’s iconic The Zombie Survival Guide. In the first part of this book, I had my doubts, because the writing tone was a little non-personable. But then as the story progressed, the author’s confidence and comfort ability with writing is reflected in the story. He had a bit of a rough start but as the wheels started turning than the story evolved into something quite enjoyable. The premise overall was original, he sticks to writing a Romero type of story. The author has a great confidence with his writing sequences, I have seen it many times where an author is technically well versed in writing but he lacks confidence in his action scenes, which reflects badly on the page. But Joseph Talluto shows a great confidence in his writing, and it steadily increases over the course of the story, and that leads to a very strong writing personality which will further aid his subsequent writing projects.
Characters: Again, I mentioned that I had my doubts about this being a good story when I started and one of the reasons to that was characters. I felt that in the first third of the book, which the author was struggling with making his secondary characters personable. (Which hurt the main character because in order to help attain a great connection between reader and character, is to show them how your characters react to one another, thus reflecting personality) At the beginning of the story, he had trouble establishing personable characters because you can see that the author didn’t quite know where he was going with the story. But he reached a certain point where he didn’t think about what to do next, and that the story was going to take him there, this is when the story has a life of its own. As the story progressed the characters in the story became very personable and very relatable, and that connection between reader and character was met with a higher standard than I’ve read with a lot of zombie novels. (This is one of the most important aspects of writing!!!) The main character’s personality is reflected well in those little scenes with him and his infant son. Now most authors would have excluded those little scenes, but its those little scenes that are integral to the character and should never be left out! I applaud Joseph Talluto for including these short scenes throughout the story, it really showed soul. Another good aspect of this story is that the author establishes and writes a good dialogue, it is a difficult task to write good dialogue that reflects each character’s personalities into it, but this author does is very well. Kudos. And I can’t wait to see how the characters give life to this story in further installments.
Writing: The writing in this book was very notable and well constructed. The standard of writing in this story is extraordinarily high, even more so considering this is the author’s first novel. The actions scenes are excellently coordinated, the plot if engaging, and the pace was so exhilarating that I couldn’t stop turning pages. But what is also admirable is that the reading was very connective in tone and he establishes a great balance of emotions throughout the story, and the manner he writes them presents itself clearly and projects well on the page.
Overall: This is a nearly flawless story. It struggled at the beginning but once the author established his mojo with writing, it quickly grew its own legs and the story was alive. Note to aspiring authors: When reading this book, take particular notice to how every element of great storytelling flourishes and evolves as the story progresses. This is a magnificent example of how an author evolves as he writes, and a lot can be learned from reading this with a keen eye. This was an excellent novel for a first time writer, he’s a great story teller, and he established a solid foundation for further installments, all of which I am very eager to read!