Another day another book. This time, since I’m also on the roll, I chose to rave about another book by R. Lee Smith, her newest published novel, “Land of the Beautiful Dead”. Let me just start by saying this:
But it’s of the very, very good variety of the”I don’t know what I’m feeling” spectrum. I am once again officially pledging my first born in service to R. Lee Smith as well as my immortal soul in the bargain with no regrets whatsoever and a full truck of aplomb. The reading commenced and after the first 5 pages, I was already tempted to put into the bargain a few generations of my future descendants too, and perhaps to bear demon spawn for more books by this author.
The book is just that good.
So, after failing to sleep for 48 hours (for obvious reasons) and reading this superb piece of epicness three times (at least) because anything less than the minimum magical number would be a gruesome insult to the genius of this writer, I can honestly say from the bottom of my lil’ black soul:
Post apocalypse setting, beautifully done?
Beautiful and gruesome zombies?
Gruesome and very legit old school zombies/
Main characters that made you wish for said zombie apocalypse?
A heroine that was not a dimwitted imbecile ruled by her hormones and with straw instead of brain?
Oh yes. Read this book with all the confidence. You won’t find abject stupidity in any character here unless we’re talking about the mob, but sheep always tend to be rather retarded in the first place.
What I love about R. Lee Smith and I think I said this a couple of times, is that her characters actually seem real. They have the same reaction any normal individual might have in those respective situations and not some overly unreliable and weird acting that no sane person would do if the were real life. The personality, the characteristics, the emotions, the feelings, the reactions you name it. The characters are not just a random, common type that you can find in every book you start reading with the usual expected predictability. They make mistake. They admit to making those mistakes and actually seem realistic in every little thing that they do. I was mad with Lan, the heroine in this book.
Awfully so, if i analyze my feelings carefully.
She finally completely understood Azrael only at the very end and while I do understand her reasons in the book for requesting the same thing over and over again (as mule headed and naive as she had been) and trying to bargain for what she perceived as the only salvation for the rest of humanity, she never actually stopped to think about everything from his perspective. In her ultimate defense she did that, but only at the end, and by that time everything had already been set in motion with not so flowery consequences for anyone really. I’m more than sure Azrael had his faults too (he kinda did, but didn’t; i don’t know, i tend to be stupid when I’m talking about a character that I liked) but I was siding with him most of the time. Not because I have a soft spot for the aloof, wounded male characters, but because he was hot in his own way…. Yes, even with the scars and the um debatable rate of regeneration. But still, I was something like this for the entire length of the novel:
I can’t complain much. Mainly because there is no book written by R Lee Smith that I haven’t worshiped from the ground up. Hard finding a truly good read these days without stumbling through cliches and moderately tolerable books. I cried so much at the end, I really did. For a moment there I did not want to accept that this was all how it ended for Lan and Azrael. She did not struggle as she did, and did all the things that she had to do just for the book to end like that. I don’t care what sins both of them had. I wanted them to be together and to be a silver lining for them at the end.
You have to read the book to see if my wish was fulfilled or not.
P.S. I wanted to punch Serafina so badly, if I met her face to face, i would be in jail for slaughter. Or not, considering that she was already dead.
Thus, my lowly conclusion (because i wept like a newborn at the ending and at how much Azrael suffered)is the following: