A Review of Anthony Puyo’s The Compelled

In Anthony Puyo’s debut novel, he takes us on a rollercoaster ride of emotions through post apocalyptic mayhem. In a world that has been over taken by a disease that causes victims to go crazy with a primal rage, Craig Bainy must get back to his wife and son before they become infected. Along the way, he meets a motley crew of survivors and a very formidable foe.
Though this book is set during a worldwide catastrophic event, it is more about the emotions that people go through during tragedy and how an event woud change them in both negative and positive ways. Puyo draws you into his story by getting you to identify with the characters. Most readers have families they would be desperate to get to if something like this event really were to happen. This book brings to the forefront of your mind moral choices you would have to make given certain settings. For instance, if your loved one was a monster, would you be able to take their life or would you just let them turn into a full blown killer?
The action is very intense and fast paced and has the reader on the edge of their seat with anticipation, wondering what will happen next. Not only do the survivors have the infected to contend with, but they have gangs, looters, thugs, and a military that may or may not be corrupt. This leads to situations of heavy action and lots of gore. As more characters are introduced I found myself rooting for them and falling in love with them. The character development is phenomenal. You are painted just enough of a picture of their lives before the catastrophe that they seem real without straying to far from whats happening at the present moment. `
The author tries to put the reader dead center in the action, kind of like watching a film, and I think he is very successful with this. The back story seems like flash backs and each chapter begins with a brief summary of what is happening on a larger scale before getting back with what the characters are up to. Each chapter switches to show what different groups of characters are doing and everything is very fast paced, leaving you little time to catch your breath.
There are some very touching scenes of high emotions that made me cry. It is very easy to get attached to the characters and feel for them when something happens either to them or someone they love. The antagonists are so evil, I found myself hating them and wishing for their demise.
I would categorize this story as survival horror. Though it had many horror qualities the focus was survival in a post apocalyptic world. The description of the gore is extremely graphic and there’s a lot of it. Overall, I would give this book a 5 out of 5. It was very well written and kept my attention from the very beginning. It was hard to put it down at times. I would recommend this book to any fans of the horror genre.

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