Review of Blood Rage By Anthony Giangregorio
Pay close attention to the first word in the title of this book. The author Anthony Giangregorio makes his intention’s clear. He pledges to deliver blood and that he does. By the time you are a third of the way through this book, you’ll feel like you’ve been swimming in it yourself. If you are squeamish or for instance dislike crazy freaks dismembering random people and bathing in their blood, then you might want to just give this one to that wild nephew you have. But if you like a lot of action, which revolves around trying to stay alive in a sea of insanity, this book could be for you.
Giangregorio’s apocalyptic vision could be considered a additional take on the zombie plague archetype. Blood Rage is the prequel to what has become Giangregio’s flagship series. Giangregorio himself is a very prolific writer having several books under his belt. He also heads The Living Dead Press, which is responsible for releasing dozens of horror books and anthologies. He is a great boon to the current Horror scene and works tirelessly to bring book after book and previously unknown authors into print.
In Blood Rage there are a few survivors, everyone else wants you dead, and they are tireless in the pursuit of that objective. Yet, unlike Romero’s zombies, Giangregorio’s villains are sprinting knife wielding maniacs that have been swallowed by rage. Shoot them through the heart and they’ll be as dead as you, but just like the walking dead they ignore their own wounds and safety in their unending attempts to butcher everyone that hasn’t become Crazed.
Chad and Stacy are two people that, for whatever reason, have escaped the effects of the Rage. They must now move through the gore drenched streets as gangs of blood covered freaks try to kill them on sight.
Giangregorio appears to enjoy describing the destruction of the survivors mangled bodies at the hands of the Crazed. After seeing such horror, both Chad and Stacy realize that the only way to survive would be for them to join in the carnage and fight for their lives. Now, bathed in blood themselves, they must somehow stay one step ahead of the hordes or perish under a sea of scarlet knives.
Neither Chad or Stacy are particularly heroic, or at least not at first. Both of them are just average folks, without any special talents or abilities other than having a knack for staying alive where so many others have failed to do so. Chad starts out in the conflict with a stressful altercation with his ex wife, but quickly realized he did not know what stress really was. Stacy was just taking dictation from her boss, until he tried to tear her head off. These, would be, heroes are as confused as everyone else and in a world gone mad have only one goal which is to stay alive.
Later in the book, a few survivors join to attempt to defend a restaurant, but they all know it is only a matter of time before the enraged ones find a way in. And as the Crazed control the streets, they wonder if there any safe place to escape to.
Some similarity could be drawn between Blood Rage and the movie 28 Days Later. However, in this case, the survivors know even less about why this could be happening. Also, unlike other more zombie style books and movies the ‘infection’ doesn’t seem to be transferable. So even if the protagonists have no clue to what is going on and they do not why they were spared the insanity, they appeared to be spared of the possibility of contracting the Crazed illness.
This book keeps your interest and is a page turner, but unless you enjoy a total gore ride, you might want to cower under the bed instead of grabbing this one. Giangregorio doesn’t pull any punches when describing the viscera showering down on friend and foe alike. The protagonists quickly begin to kill, along with everyone else. Zombie and Apocalypse fans will enjoy this one, but you might not want to buy it for your quiet nephew unless he is into Left 4 Dead.
Review By Michael D. Griffiths