cover image Rise Again: Below Zero

Rise Again: Below Zero

Ben Tripp. Gallery, $16 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-4516-6832-2

Tripp brings the events set in motion in Rise Again (2010) to a spectacular conclusion in this smart zombie thriller. Former Marine Danny Adelman is still the nominal leader of the Tribe, a nomadic convoy of survivors toughing out the zombie apocalypse. Danny is also protecting her zombie-bitten sister, Kelley, a “thinker” zombie who retains enough of her humanity to set her apart from the shambling “zeroes.” This new wrinkle in zombie evolution sets up a tense situation in Happy Town, a supposed haven where it’s hard to tell the zeroes from the humans, and where Danny is played as a pawn by factions vying for power. Tripp excels at depicting a world whose center no longer holds and whose inhabitants will resort to any measure to stay alive. More than a routine zombiefest, this taut and intelligent tale succeeds as a moving meditation on a world steeped in “the loneliness of life without afterlife.” (Dec.)