The Remaining by D J Molles

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The Remaining by D J Molles

Category: Horror
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: Captain Lee Harden is regularly ordered down into a bunker by the US Government whenever a potential disaster is coming. Every time he has been recalled a few days later, but it only takes one disaster to end it all. Can Captain Harden help rebuild an America devastated by a disease that turns its own citizens mad? 'The Remaining' is a fast paced and thrilling slice of apocalyptic horror.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: May 2014
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 9780356503455

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When reading ‘The Remaining’ by I had a warm feeling inside, not due to the psychological terror in the book, but because it seems that I am not the only person who is prepared for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. No more an illustrious group than the US Army itself is prepared. In each of the mainland States of America a trained soldier is moved underground whenever a potential disaster is on the horizon. Captain Lee Harden has found himself in his bunker several times, but has always climbed out again a few days later, until now.

‘The Remaining’ is survival horror at almost it’s very best. One of the secrets to getting the genre right is to make is believable and when this means dealing with zombies this is not always the easiest task, but Molles pulls it off with aplomb. Captain Harden is a very believable character in a believable situation. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that the US Government have a covert operation that deals with the aftermath of any civil collapse. The zombification is also believable, it being a disease that is treated as such.

As a rule, everyone has a book in them, but due to self-publishing online it now appears that everyone also gets it out there. Having read more than my fair share of online-only fiction the standard is not always the highest. There is a place for publishers; they read through the rough drafts so that we don’t have to. ‘The Remaining’ series started as an online experience, but Orbit saw enough in the books to want to release them in traditional paperback format. What makes ‘The Remaining’ standout that little bit more than the slew of undead fiction that is around is that Molles has a better writing style.

Molles has a great eye for detail that fleshes out a scene without rambling. The way that Captain Harden relates to his environment means that you know exactly what type of man he is without having to resort to flashback scenes of endless exposition. Molles deftly brings out the characters in the book through their actions and this is always the best thing in writing, especially in an action packed novel such as this.

Being part one of a series, ‘The Remaining’ does feel a little too episodic; it shares very similar DNA to ‘The Walking Dead’ comic and TV series. Therefore, there is no conclusion in this book, but more of a dramatic cliff-hanger that leads onto the next instalment. I am more of a fan of creating contained stories within a wider arc, which is certainly not the case here. ‘The Remaining’ is a great introduction to the world, but does not get a chance to even scratch the surface.

To balm the reader, Orbit has also included a novella called ‘An Empty Soul’ also written by Molles and set in the same universe. It is a great character study of a new person and hints at various factions that may be introduced into ‘The Remaining’ novels in the future. I would just have liked to have seen a little more closure in this book. With such an open ended style it means the series is likely to have to be read exactly in order. This is very doable for readers new to the series, but many people may pick up book 4 in a shop and want to read it. Will they be totally lost by the TV style mentality of the series?

Although the episodic nature of ‘The Remaining’ does concern me as a reader of fiction, it should not detract fully from what is a pacy, fun and thrilling novel. Molles is able to create a believability in his world that enhances the tension and brings depth to a situation that would otherwise have been written off as pulp. With a little more concentration of creating enclosed narratives within each book, Molles and Orbit are certainly onto a winner in a series that deserves to be seen by genre fans be it online or on paper.

If this book appeals then try Ex-Purgatory by Peter Clines and Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion.

Buy The Remaining by D J Molles at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Remaining by D J Molles at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Remaining by D J Molles at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Remaining by D J Molles at Amazon.com.


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