This review of Rage: A Story of Survival by author Dane Greene has been adapted from two previous posts. First is the spoiler free review followed by the spoiler full review and summary.
Thank you so much to author Dane Greene for providing me with a copy of his book in exchange for this honest review.
If you are also a self published author and want to know how to get your book reviewed check out my guide for indie authors.
Spoiler Free Review
Rage: A Story of Survival is mandatory reading for 2020. The pandemic has brought us closer to apocalyptic events than any of us have ever seen before and dystopian horror just hits differently now.
Rage is about a world hit with a double whammy of end times events. There is a strong electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that zaps all of the power and then a runaway weaponized bacterium that causes people to turn to zombies, or Palemen, as they are referred to here.
What makes Rage different is that it has a strong set of morals and values that can actually be applied to our real world scenario. This is not a hero’s journey that follows the only chosen one who can save us. No, this is a group effort.
The book follows a group of young adults led by Aaron. Aaron is the closest that the book gets to having a messiah but even he knows that they cannot accomplish their goals based on him alone. They all must work together and value each others’ strengths in order to not just survive but to thrive.
Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with this mentality. Many people have been barely holding their violent nature in check. Very shortly after the EMP many individuals resorted to terrorizing their own neighborhoods. Even before the threat of the Palemen became known they used the first opportunity at unrest to become violent and aggressive.
Our young protagonists attempt to save themselves but also their friends, family, and just anyone they meet along the way. They understand the strength in numbers. However, many of their cohorts who are older do not appreciate being told what to do by some youngsters.
The older adults dismiss the leadership of the young adults outright, and only because they are stubborn in their ways. Many of the older adults do not want to put themselves in any sense of danger or discomfort to help anyone else. They refuse to help rebuild society once they have the supplies they personally need. They refuse to help in even simple ways. They would rather kill their neighbors than give up any small comfort.
Does this sound familiar to anyone? If you or anyone you know complains about wearing a mask in public, they are this person. The simple act of wearing a mask could potentially save any number of lives but these selfish imbeciles would rather those people die than for themselves to be even mildly uncomfortable.
It’s incredibly prescient of author Dane Greene to understand how humans would behave in this kind of crisis. Humans are incredibly selfish and have been for generations. We absolutely need to break that cycle if we ever want to get better. Take a moment today to think about someone’s needs that aren’t your own.
Rage: A Story of Survival follows our young heroes as they attempt to start fresh. Society had to be destroyed for them to have a chance at setting it right.
By the end of the book I felt a strong attachment to the characters and really was rooting for them. The story is told through alternating perspectives that allow us inside the thoughts of the different characters. We get to see and understand their motivations, pure or not.
The only complaint I have about the book is relatively minor. There are some liberties taken in the storytelling that made me feel a lot of the events were a little too convenient. I have a hard time believing it would be so easy to find friends and family in a big world without any means of long distance communication. And this happens more than once. But by the end I felt a kinship to the characters and was happy to see them united with others so I guess I can let it slide.
Rage: A Story of Survival does what good horror does better than many other genres. It draws parallels to real life in ways that put us on edge, make us uncomfortable, make us afraid. Real life is very scary right now but Rage shows us the way out.
It’s also just an entertaining and heartfelt tale of facing challenges with your friends. It’s a road trip book with a lot of gore. Rage is many things and I can recommend them all.
4.5/5 rage filled faces 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬
Rage: A Story of Survival Summary
Rage: A Story of Survival should be mandatory reading for the year 2020. It’s an apocalypse tale for a new generation with morals to match.
The story starts with an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that zaps the power. Without communication towers it’s impossible to know how widespread this issue is but with each day that passes it’s pretty clear something big is happening.
Chaos quickly ensues as people panic and resort to violence to solve their problems. Unfortunately, many individuals have been barely suppressing their animal rage all these years and finally have an excuse to break it out.
Luckily, not everyone defaults to primitive aggression. The story is told through different perspectives and we mainly follow three young men as they journey through this new world. Aaron, Jason, and Brian are all old friends who are fortunate enough to find each other post EMP.
Aaron is a natural leader. He’s bold, smart, commanding, and charismatic. He immediately steps up to rebuild society. Unfortunately, many older adults still see him as a kid and not fit to lead.
A lot of the book deals with how different generations deal with respect of authority as well as how they perform in a crisis. I really enjoyed these themes and it lines up with a lot of my personal beliefs. Kids and teens do not get nearly enough credit for their value to a society. They’re automatically dismissed as immature and incapable when the same could easily be said of anyone from any age group.
Teens and young adults today are placed in the awful position of not being able to lead or advance because they are seen as inexperienced, but they are never given a chance to gain experience so they flounder for years. This book places them in a world where they are able to step up and really show what they’re capable of.
Shortly after the power went out on this society a new threat appears. A zombie illness breaks out, the victims are referred to as Palemen. These Palemen attack and eat humans like typical zombies but are at least easily killed.
The story moves over to a character named Sophia who worked for the CDC when the weaponized bacterium that caused this outbreak got loose. She has a natural immunity and is determined to get to someone who can help her cure this threat. However, she also must maintain a secret that her being immune also ties her to the hive mind of the Palemen, she feels a joy in murdering them that she can’t fully explain.
Aaron, Jason, and Brian have managed to get their families to safety and put together a safe house to ride out the apocalypse. Several of the parents are disrespectful, delusional, and/or extremely selfish about the situation. They don’t respect the young leadership, they deny the severity of the problem, and they don’t want to help any strangers get through it with them.
Now, does this sound familiar to anyone? 2020 and the pandemic has brought out so many of these characteristics, especially in the older generations. The whole time I was reading this book it felt like it was written with the anti-mask crowd in mind. How prescient of author Dane Greene to understand this is how people would act in this scenario!
Aaron’s mom, Stephanie, is one of the only older adults with a good head on her shoulders. She was a nurse practitioner and has a scientific mind. She wants to understand more about the threat they’re facing so she gets a Paleman to perform experiments and an autopsy on. She’s a badass scientist and I love it!
The boys find a young girl on one of their supply missions, they bring her in and Aaron automatically takes on the father role to her. I really appreciate how caring these young men are. They are driven to help people no matter the risk to themselves. They understand that a world driven by fear of others is not one worth living in.
At this point in the story we start to understand that there is something chemical triggering the behavior of the Palemen. They seem connected by a pheromone of sorts and Aaron is having dreams and emotions tapped into it as well.
Our protagonists realize that they must venture away from the safe house. Supplies will not last forever. They decide to head north and pick up another party member quickly after they set out. Dawn has been surviving on her own and is grateful to have a competent group to join.
Dawn and Brian almost immediately strike up a romance in a way that only the end times can kindle.
They all happen to run into a former acquaintance who has been living in a militant society that supplies them with a car and weapons. This book has a few instances of dramatic coincidence like this one. Everyone they meet along the way happens to be someone they knew from the before times. It’s a minor complaint, just seems easy.
It is at this society that they learn about the “generals.” Palemen who seem to have dominance over other Palemen. They can summon them by the dozens and guide their actions by a somewhat psychic connection.
The story then takes us back to the safe house with the parents. Shit hit the fan really quickly when people started hoarding food and not sharing. Conflicts broke out and then Jason’s family began to worship the Palemen in an insane small cult way.
Jason’s Grandma sacrificed the whole rest of the family to the Palemen in order to gain their strength. Aaron’s dad came to the difficult but necessary decision to kill her to save his own family. He unfortunately died in the process.
Aaron’s mother and Brian’s sister did survive the mayhem and decided to not cower in the safe house anymore. They set out to rebuild and recruit others to their own society. It is always important to note how much stronger humans are when they can cooperate for a common goal. Cowering and just surviving until you die is a worthless life.
Back with Aaron and the main group they happen to cross paths with Sophia, another convenience. She recognizes Aaron as one like herself, that has a connection to the Palemen.
They make it quite a distance on their journey before the inevitable happens. They’re attacked by a group of people who believe the Palemen are gods or the next step in our evolutionary chain. Brian is forced to mercy kill Dawn. His heartbreak is extremely tragic, I felt his pain.
Aaron and Sophia fall in love quickly but do not want to rub it in Brian’s heartbroken face so they try to keep it to themselves.
They are all going to attempt to get to an island but get cornered by a Palemen hoard along the shore. They are forced into a small shack, Aaron is unconscious and they all see no way out.
Aaron revives consciousness just as they all decide to kill themselves before they become Palemen. Always the leader, Aaron comes up with his final plan for action. He knows that his connection to the Palemen is becoming too strong and the rage and drive for violence could cause him to harm his friends soon. He knows he has to martyr himself to save them.
He understands that getting his team to safety is his number one responsibility as their leader and he’s willing to sacrifice himself to do it. His selflessness is outstanding.
He distracts the hoard to give the group an opportunity to flee to the water. He gets bitten many times and feels himself starting to turn into a Paleman. He feels the urge to go after his friends and kill them. But he’s strong, he fights it. He becomes a general and leads the hoard into the water to drown. He accepts his fate and proudly goes under with his new followers, the Palemen.
The rest of the group successfully makes it to the island where they find other survivors. They are able to begin reshaping a society and eventually the world begins to communicate again and rebuild. Stephanie and the remaining sister also are able to find the island and everyone is connected for a hopeful ending.
Rage: A Story of Survival is not a story about the future or what could happen. It’s a story about what is happening right now. We do live in horrifying times. We do have to worry about an outbreak and social unrest.
What’s important is valuing intelligent leadership and scientific input. It’s important to not give in to fear or rage or hate or selfishness. The only way through this is to work together and help others in any way we can.
Rage: A Story of Survival is a handbook for 2020 and beyond. It teaches valuable and important lessons that we could all use right now. Oh, and it’s also a highly entertaining story with good characters and as much action as heart. I highly recommend it.
4.5/5 rage filled faces 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬
For more indie horror novel zombies check out Extinction Level Event
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