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WELCOME TO THE SILENT ZONE

A creatively accomplished, atmospheric, and gripping adrenaline rush for monster fans.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2023

A man and a teenage girl defend themselves against packs of bloodthirsty mutants in Csák’s zombie thriller.

The author’s epic debut captures the terror and the desperation of an apocalyptic America. It follows two standout protagonists who must battle their way across lands infested with mutant beasts. It’s been seven years since the great “Breakdown” occurred, in which a mysterious pandemic caused humans to mutate into bloodthirsty, animalistic monsters who roam the countryside and are eager to kill. Jake Armstrong, nicknamed Cassius by his “long dead friends,” bands together with teenage Abigail to contend with the looming threats of the wastelands they traverse. Cassius unofficially adopted Abigail when her mother and a group of small children were bitten by ravenous creatures and transformed into vicious, zombielike creatures. After training her to use automatic weaponry, the fierce duo strategize, shoot, and slash their way through deadly regions, searching for the rumored safe colony sanctuary they hope to call their home. Csák wastes no time setting up the premise and placing his engrossing characters immediately on the defensive against hordes of “ferals” who “could smell uninfected blood from a distance and wouldn’t give up the taste of flesh.” The narrative twists and turns its way to a breathtaking finale—in tense, cinematic action scenes, natural elements conspire with the threat of inhuman beasts to create sequence after sequence of stark survival and bloodshed. The novel is a sharp character study as well: Cassius and Abigail often lock horns over what’s most important to them and their differing methods to secure their futures in an ultraviolent, uncertain world full of malignant monsters. Regular watchers of the television series Z Nation and The Last of Us will find much to savor in this pulse-raising thriller.  

A creatively accomplished, atmospheric, and gripping adrenaline rush for monster fans.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 9786150174457

Page Count: 402

Publisher: Writing Systems Kft.

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2023

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ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK

A grim theme with a compelling and complex plot.

A one-eyed boy becomes a monster’s prey in this chilling tale of missing children.

Thirteen-year-old Missouri boy Joseph “Patch” Macauley was born with one eye, so he wears an eye patch and imagines himself a pirate. In 1975, he sees a masked man assaulting a girl in the woods. He attacks the man and saves her, but the predator kidnaps him instead. Patch eventually wakes in total darkness in a cellar where a different girl secretly visits him, heard but always unseen. He learns that her name is Grace and that there have been other girls down there before. Grace paints vivid word pictures of the places she’s seen and of stories by authors like Steinbeck. “Pray and stay alive,” she whispers to Patch. Eventually he escapes, but she is nowhere to be found. Searching for Grace is the underlying thread in a complicated quest that takes unexpected turns over the years and might well bring heartbreak. Meanwhile, the bodies of three girls turn up locally, and their parents grieve. Is the town doctor responsible for their deaths? A local school photographer? Both? Patch paints an image of Grace based only on what he’d heard from her in the cellar; then come more paintings and displays in an art gallery—an implausible achievement for an untrained artist. Meanwhile, Grace may be anywhere, and he must find her whether alive or dead. By now an adult, he “pinball[s]” from state to state, meeting with “a dozen families looking for a dozen lost girls.” To sustain himself he robs banks with an unloaded flintlock, and he shares his loot with organizations that are looking for missing children. He has “reasoned the truest proof of life [is] pain,” and he vows that he will die before he quits his search. This is much more than a whodunit, though it fills that bill well. It is also a richly layered tale of love, loss, and hope.

A grim theme with a compelling and complex plot.

Pub Date: June 25, 2024

ISBN: 9780593798874

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2024

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THE HOUSE ACROSS THE LAKE

A weird, wild ride.

Celebrity scandal and a haunted lake drive the narrative in this bestselling author’s latest serving of subtly ironic suspense.

Sager’s debut, Final Girls (2017), was fun and beautifully crafted. His most recent novels—Home Before Dark (2020) and Survive the Night (2021) —have been fun and a bit rickety. His new novel fits that mold. Narrator Casey Fletcher grew up watching her mother dazzle audiences, and then she became an actor herself. While she never achieves the “America’s sweetheart” status her mother enjoyed, Casey makes a career out of bit parts in movies and on TV and meatier parts onstage. Then the death of her husband sends her into an alcoholic spiral that ends with her getting fired from a Broadway play. When paparazzi document her substance abuse, her mother exiles her to the family retreat in Vermont. Casey has a dry, droll perspective that persists until circumstances overwhelm her, and if you’re getting a Carrie Fisher vibe from Casey Fletcher, that is almost certainly not an accident. Once in Vermont, she passes the time drinking bourbon and watching the former supermodel and the tech mogul who live across the lake through a pair of binoculars. Casey befriends Katherine Royce after rescuing her when she almost drowns and soon concludes that all is not well in Katherine and Tom’s marriage. Then Katherine disappears….It would be unfair to say too much about what happens next, but creepy coincidences start piling up, and eventually, Casey has to face the possibility that maybe some of the eerie legends about Lake Greene might have some truth to them. Sager certainly delivers a lot of twists, and he ventures into what is, for him, new territory. Are there some things that don’t quite add up at the end? Maybe, but asking that question does nothing but spoil a highly entertaining read.

A weird, wild ride.

Pub Date: June 21, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-18319-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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