Title: The Complex
Author: Brian Keene
Publisher: Deadite Press
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Pages: 232
Book Source: Paperback

“There was no warning. No chance to escape. They came suddenly. Naked. Bloodthirsty. Sadistic. They descended upon the Pine Village Apartment Complex, relentlessly torturing and killing anyone they could find.
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Fearing for their lives, the residents of the complex must band together. A young trans woman, a suicidal middle-aged writer, a lonely Vietnam vet, a newlywed couple, an elderly widow, a single mother and her son, two on-the-run criminals and the serial killer known as The Exit. Eleven strangers. The only thing they have in common is the unstoppable horde that wants to kill them. If they are to make it through the night, they must fight back.
From World Horror Grandmaster Award winning author, Brian Keene, comes an ultra-violent and action-packed horror thriller.” – Amazon

Scott’s Review

What a crazy little story! Good God! This book opens with Terri and her young son, Caleb, moving into a new apartment for a fresh start. The day has gotten away from them, the sun is setting and while unloading the moving van, there’s a large man completely naked holding a machete dripping blood approaching them. All hell breaks loose almost immediately and it does not let up for one second. Not one.

The heading of each chapter introduces the characters involved in the story in addition to the apartment number where they reside in the Pine Village Apartment complex. Terri and Caleb make their way into the complex to take shelter from the machete wielding naked maniac. They meet their neighbors next to their new apartment in addition to the neighbors above them and a few others in apartments in the adjacent hallways. By this time, several dozen more naked people are walking out of the woods behind the complex and making their way to the apartment building. Screams are heard in the distance, telephone lines are down, naked people are running around carrying an array of everyday items used as weapons and blood is being shed. Terri and Caleb form a band of renegade bad asses with their new neighbors and open a can of whoop ass on the naked people surrounding the apartment complex.

Are they zombies? Do they want brains? Where did these people come from? Why aren’t they speaking? Why are they all naked? Is their condition caused by a virus? What happens to Terri, Caleb and the others at the complex? Get this book now to find out more!

I absolutely loved, loved, loved THE COMPLEX!! This was the first novel I’ve read by Brian Keene and I can say with absolute certainty, it will not be my last. The story is gripping and extremely fast-paced. The chapters are short, manageable and even though it sounds like there was a whole gang of people at the apartment complex, it wasn’t as though I had to take notes. I immediately thought this was going to be your run-of-the-mill zombie story, but that was not the case at all. It was so much MORE than that, yet it remained incredibly simple and brilliant all at the same time.

The characters were people that were easy to understand, easy to empathize with and I genuinely felt connected to each of them and their lives. These people are in the fight for their lives against something they know nothing about and they’re simply trying to band together and overcome. They don’t have a plan, but they’re making do. The storytelling made me want to keep turning the pages and getting out of work made me excited to come home to this book. That’s what makes a solid 5-star read for me. Not only is the story captivating, but it’s one I can’t stop thinking about in my spare time. It’s a story that I cannot wait to dive back into. That is what THE COMPLEX did for me.

I have absolutely no gripes with this book at all except Mr. Keene, if you’re reading this. I beg of you. Write a prequel. Write a sequel. I want to know more. I want to know so much more!!

This brings me to my next point and that is to address the few negative reviews I saw on Amazon and Goodreads. Some readers seemed to be butthurt there wasn’t any backstory as to what is happening and why all of this is occurring. You’re right. There isn’t. We’re chucked into what feels like the middle of a story with naked people walking out of the woods carrying pitchforks, cinder blocks, chainsaws, guns and baseball bats. They don’t speak. They simply kill. We also don’t have much backstory on any of the characters in the story. Read the story, be entertained and take it all for what it is. An awesome fictional story. We don’t need to know who the crazy naked people are (I mean, I’d love to know more) but this is what Brian Keene has given us. You don’t need to know any more about the complex or how much weed Shaggy smokes everyday or the kind of grades Caleb gets in school. You don’t NEEEEEEED all this backstory. Why would you rate a book as awesome as this so poorly just because the author chose not to make it a 1,000 page book? Why can’t you just read it and enjoy it and appreciate it and be happy? You can’t do that, can you? This is why we can’t have nice things. You ungrateful little reader, you. Look, I want to know more about everything just as much as the next guy, but I’m not going to dump on THE COMPLEX because of it.

I’d love to see a prequel and a sequel. In the meantime, this is a great little book that kept me so entertained!! Lots of blood, gore and a horrifically awesome scenes painted for us by Brian Keene. It was terrifying if you managed to put yourself in their shoes smack dab in the thick of the action they were experiencing. I am most definitely going to pick up a few more titles from him. His writing style is one I thoroughly enjoyed and this story is one I intend to read again (probably sooner than later). My only regret is not starting this one sooner. Superly duperly awesome book that I am honored to give an amazzzzzzzzin 5-star rating to. If you’re a horror fan, this one is worthy of a place on your shelf!

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