The setting is the quiet, tranquil backdrop of Norway where, following an unusually intense display of the Aurora Borealis, becomes less quiet and tranquil, and more of a petri dish for the coming zombie plague. It must be said very quickly, that Northern Lights is much more than just another zombie novel, with strong elements of science-fiction and the supernatural – ultimately serving as a commentary/morality tale on humanity.

 

In doing this, author Tom Rico keeps us on our toes as we try to make assumptions on how the narrative will unfold, based on our previous experiences of the genre. Every time, Rico proves us wrong!

 

Rico’s style of writing is almost effortless in his flow and description, inviting the reader to dip into his imagination and see what he sees. The description throughout is often detailed and powerful in its suggestion. It is not only in the delivery of the details that Rico excels at. He knows how to create characters that we find ourselves to quickly care for, by the way we are introduced to their own backstories.

 

It is quite a challenge to write this review and not give away too many details for anyone wanting to read Northern Lights – which by the way, you should! – but I will say that such strong, carefully created, and realistic characters as Dante, Hannah, Freddy and Annie become integral to the bleak narrative laid out within the pages.

 

An invigorating and often startling take on familiar ground, Rico displays the art of storytelling to perfection. It is not a novel that you can pick up and read through quickly. It requires – demands your attention in order to fully absorb the details of the narrative. A definite page-turner that will leave you in suspense at certain points, make you laugh at others, and feel just about every other emotion in between.

 

Upon first contact with the author, Rico had informed me that there may be the possibility that Northern Lights be commissioned as a film, and it is quite easy to see how attractive a proposition this would be. More than just your run-of-the-mill zombie apocalypse fodder, Northern Lights takes the familiar and throws in a few refreshing curveballs to keep the reader engaged and hooked to see how humanity plays its outcome.

Review: Northern Lights

By Andreas Charalambous - 22nd May 2014

Any horror aficionado will agree that zombies and the apocalypses that come with them are rife in the horror world right now. So, it is with this thought that one would find it quite a challenge to find horror literature today that would offer something unique and gripping in this world saturated by the undead. This brings us to Northern Lights – a novel by first-time author, Tom Rico.