About 18 years ago when the internet was a toddler and I was still amazed by everything you could find on it, I wrote a number of serial stories across a number of different sites. One of them was written from the POV of a man on the run from a nefarious organisation who would log in to various computers, update his latest encounters and how he came to be on the run, hiding his whereabouts through proxy servers (ahh, basic research!) and then dashing off again. It went down fairly well in terms of reader feedback, but the major constructive criticism I received was that the first part/post was far too short. I intended it as a teaser, and very quickly posted up the second part, but to some readers, the damage had already been done.
"Not enough content in this short piece to bring me back", "the hook wasn't deep enough" and "I had no real sense of any character" was some of feedback I received.
Blood Memory: Season One, Episode One struck me in exactly these ways.
Let's put aside that Perrin Briar's promotional team contacted me directly on some flimsy excuse to shove this book front and centre beneath my nose. At the time, I figured it would be fun to rip this a new one, so I picked it up. Except it wasn't that bad - certainly not as bad as some of the reviewers have been saying on Goodreads. Sure, his character descriptions are extremely lazy in that they read like one paragraph info-dumps; likewise, the action is not well-described, and the scenes in which characters are trying to escape a sinking boat are flat-out confusing. But the concept is decent (for an apocalyptic zombie read) and once the characters get to breathe a little, I found myself warming to a couple of them.
No, the main problem with Blood Memory: Season One, Episode One is that not enough occurs in it to warrant me returning to the series. We're told about the "lurchers" and how lethal they can be in numbers; just like we're told that the world has gone straight to hell and that's why the characters are hiding out on a boat off the coast. But we're not shown any of this. Instead we get a dead alternator, the need to raid a nearby ferry, glimpses of some lurchers and then the aforementioned escape from a sinking ship because everything ends on a massive cliffhanger.
In a word: Yawn.
110 pages should be enough to draw your reader in. When it isn't, you're doing something wrong.
Maybe the next episodes in this series are excellent? I genuinely hope they are. But Briar either needs to commit to releasing a longer book, or at least work on what he is throwing out there on the hook as a bait, because what is presented here just doesn't suffice.
2 Threats Never Experienced for Blood Memory: Season One, Episode One.