Anna Kopp: Rise of the Chosen

In Sam’s world there are two rules. Rule #1: Nobody dies. Protect the living at all costs. Rule #2: Everybody dies. At least once.

The Waking was a global event in which a force called the Lifeblood invaded all humans who died. The few strong enough to control it came back as powerful immortals. The rest let the bloodlust take over and awoke with one goal – to kill.

Newly appointed Watch Guard Samantha Shields has a legacy to uphold. Her father died a hero defending their city and now she wants to follow in his footsteps. Except for the dying part, of course. Unfortunately, fate has other plans as she discovers deep dark secrets that make her choose between her loyalties and the lives of everyone in her city. Both rules are in play as Sam is forced to make hard decisions that could cost her everything – including the person she cares about most.

My first thought when I started this ARC was “EW, a zombie book! I hate zombie books! They are always the same thing!”

This is nothing like that zombie book. Not even close.

First of all, the zombies–Woken–aren’t running around eating people. They are certainly monsters, and they certainly kill, but no braaaaiiiiins. Secondly, these guys don’t look like maggot ridden grave vomit. Take The Others/White Walkers from Game of Thrones and replace the blue with red, and you have a Woken.

If you take it a step further and add some Captain America Super Serum and keep the human consciousness along with the Woken immortality, you have The Chosen. Basically, Super Zombies who are used to keep the city safe. They run around with swords and sever the heads of the Woken from their hearts–the only way to end them.

I told you this isn’t your normal zombie book.

Did I mention the main character is bisexual? She is–and with the exception of one awkward “he is so hot” moment with one of her work partners–I thought her sexuality was presented really well. It’s normalized in the story. She likes guys, she likes girls, all is well in the world.

Except, ya know…the whole zombie thing.

The plot is laid out in a before and after sort of way, though. I won’t tell you how. It’s interesting to see how everything is set up and then how it plays out. I think Kopp shows all her angles really well. I didn’t think I’d like this at all, but by the end I was pretty enthusiastic. I’m totally on board to read the next installment!

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NetGalley and Blue Moon Publishers provided an ARC for my unbiased review. Releases October 4. This post does contain affiliate links.

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