Book Review: ‘When Darkness Prevails’ by David Vissers

March 29, 2022 at 5:29 am | Posted in Books, Reviews, Sci-Fi, scifi/fantasy | Leave a comment
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When Darkness Prevails is a debut novel by David Vissers in his brand new series The Zeir Prophecy. The first edition was released in 2017.

I would like to preface my review by stating that Mr. Vissers contacted me and asked if he could send me his books in exchange for a review. What is below are my honest thoughts and impressions about the book. I am in no obligation to change my review.

This book’s premise is a zombie apocalypse. As a result, the beginning of the book unfolds largely how one would expect. An outbreak occurs, scientists and the military try to contain it, and many individuals are trying to outrun the threat. This tone is very consistent for the first half of the book, and it is very fun and exciting to read.

The second half of the book takes a hard turn into the science fiction genre. For spoilers sake, I will avoid discussing the details of this, but suffice it to say that the first and second halves of this book have distinctly different genres and tones. 

I had a blast with both parts. David Vissers has a core group of characters that the book follows that keep up character growth and demonstrate some solid writing abilities. This group includes two cops, a fiction writer and his teenage daughter, a scientist and his assistant. All of them spend the first half of the book avoiding the zombie-like creatures and trying to escape Michigan. Vissers spends a long period of time in the first part going through cities and areas of the lower peninsula of Michigan, which happens to be where I grew up. As a result, it was quite fun seeing towns and counties show up, as Mr. Vissers really made this portion of the book feel grounded and realistic. 

The character who works best in the book is definitely Kate Matthews, a police officer who investigates the outbreak and is forced to make a difficult choice. She was definitely the most fleshed out of the characters. However, I never felt like any character or storyline was particularly boring, and therefore I was interested in each and every chapter, which is very difficult to do in a multi-protagonist book.

One of the problems with the book I had was that there seemed to be too much thrown into it. It seems like the central premise was focused on in the first half and almost completely abandoned in the second half. It makes sense in the story, but I think that it would have been better had it been separated out into two books, one which was more apocalyptic in nature and the other as a more sci-fi thriller. Because all of these ideas fit into this one book, it is super fun and fast paced. It still works, I just think it would have been better as a longer, more fleshed out story. 

There are a few areas of the political discussion that didn’t seem entirely plausible to me, but I was able to overlook them largely because of the premise of the book. If a zombie apocalypse is occurring, I’m willing to suspend the way the government traditionally works.

Other than those two things, I really enjoyed this book. I had a blast flipping through each chapter, trying to find out what would happen next. I have reviewed books for people before, and often it felt like a chore. However, this felt fun and exhilarating, and almost felt like a movie. I have seen comparisons with this book to I Am Legend (which are totally understandable), but I would equate this book more to the movie 2012, which has several similarities to both parts of this book. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. This book will leave you on the edge of your seat. The action, the characters, and the plot are all compelling. What makes the book so strong is that this is Visser’s debut. If his debut is this strong, I cannot wait to read his next books. Four out of five! Well done Vissers!

Reviewed By: Jonathan Koan for Roqoo Depot.

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