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Book Review: The Seven Habits by William Todd Rose

A masterful demonstration of tension by a talented author, The Seven Habits is a showcase of originality that is both relevant and entertaining. Instead of a fan-fiction misadventure with swords and bullets, Rose isn’t afraid to paint vivid pictures of a surreal apocalypse that resonates with humanity and tragedy.

Rose has a habit of featuring “average joe” characters who are challenged by a horrific conflict that alters both the reader and the unfortunate individuals who haunt the pages of Rose’s stories; his characters change and grow over the course of The Seven Habits. Bosley Coughlin is cursed by his ability to travel through time—he’s unlucky enough to know how the world ends. Think The Terminator meets the Big Lebowski; Bosley is likable and talks with the casual tongue of a man who never wanted to take the world seriously.William Todd Rose The Seven HabitsThe third-person narrative from the other character, Ocean, is downright horrifying.

We know that zombies eat people. So what? How about a little girl who has survived in a world where morality has been discarded for a can of precious food? Ocean is a little girl who inherited the zombie apocalypse, so her version of morality, and her understanding of how the world works, is completely warped by her struggle with fear and survival.

This novel switches character perspectives, which actually forces the writer to use two completely distinct styles. The fluid, stream-of-consciousness writing is very heavily characterized. It is often humorous and unbelievable, but it is the character’s voice which lends the novel a sense of authenticity. Like a good Tarantino film, the characters don’t need to talk about plot with every single line…

Some readers will find the rambling to be off-putting, but those readers will miss the novel’s strength: since the end of the world is inevitable, it’s all about the ride. There will be zombies. How did we get there? Who are the unlikely heroes? Bosley is Aldous Huxley gone wild, and it is the human element that drives this story’s narrative.

Rose is talented enough to meet the ambitious challenge of providing two completely different characters and melding their stories into a coherent narrative.

If you want a shotgun-adventure with exploding heads and ravenous cannibals on every third page, this book isn’t for you. If you believe that horror and survival in a zombie-infested world could be a tragic and terrifying experience, buy this book.

The experience will be quite memorable.