Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Plague Town by Dana Fredsti

At California’s Redwood Grove University a violent strain of what seems to be the flu rips through the community.  Though the real problem is that once the flu becomes fatal, it does not last. 

Plague Town by Dana Fredsti is the first Ashley Parker novel with two more promised.  Fredsti’s novel balances in near perfection the familiar horror conventions people such as myself search out, while remaining fresh and never becoming clich├ęd and predictable.  This is an incredible feet to accomplish.  Ashley Parker the novel’s clear main protagonist fits well into the pantheon of tough female leads in a horror fiction.  The character succeeds because of a carefully crafted balance of emotional strength and vulnerability.  I am often hesitant to begin series based around a clear protagonist, because it removes an element of danger, Ashley is going to survive.   There was however a moment midway through the novel when I realized I was rooting for Ashley not to simply to survive by succeed against the challenges before her.  
The cast supporting Ashley is well conceived and Fredsti demonstrates an incredible ability to introduce characters thoroughly and efficiently.  This strength allows the action to move at a brisk pace, never becoming bogged down with necessary but momentum stealing moments. The action sequences are well conceived organized and executed.  The flow of movement is seamless allowing the reader to move with Ashley.      
Fredsti is clearly a fan of horror and cult films and references to these art items are scattered throughout the novel.  (An Egg She quote starts the book solidifying Fredsti’s cult film expertise)  While they worked well initially, there continued use throughout took me out of the story a few times.  That being said, for younger readers this novel could double as a survey course in horror culture as taught at California’s Redwood Grove University.       

In the End;
Dan Fredsti has created a compelling spin on zombie fiction and introduced a distinctive and new heroine.  Plague Town is a great novel for any horror fan wishing to read a briskly paced novel by one of their own.  

Click for Dana Fredsti's Interview at Cutis Anserina   

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