Death comes calling for us at any place, time or date. Often you do not suspect that moment as death has a way to “sneak” up on you when you least expect it. Those in hazardous jobs like fireman, policeman and mine workers live with death as part of that job. They know any moment a fire, a criminal or mine shaft collapse could end their life.
This is something that officer Brandon Morales would discover when he sadly has a traffic stop go horribly wrong. To think all he was going to do was warn the driver about a taillight being out, but instead the driver pulls a gun and shoots him point blank. What makes the sudden death even worse is he has just unwittingly become the thirty-fifth victim of a notorious serial killer.
One would think that a police officer would have lived a clean life, and would be greeted at the pearly gates by his loved ones. The problem facing Brandon, is that he is human and his life was not as pure as one would think for someone who wore the shield. Brandon will wake in a place he had never heard of and embark on a challenge to stay alive in what he finds is called, Hell City.
This is how the book Try Not to Burn by Michael David Matula opens. A book that will take the reader into a city that is already well established and challenges all those who find themselves walking it’s streets. It’s were Brandon will awaken to find himself face to face with some of its inhabitants as he awakens.
He will meet a young teenage looking girl that has a book back still named Jane, A street wise woman who just happens to have much the same clothing on as the younger girl. The main difference is this one, Sam, has a massive gun the women call a Graller. It is in those opening moments of clarity that Brandon gets a brief introduction to the city, and will learn just what he can expect to find. A city full of the dead forced to survive to stay a live unless death reaches them a second time and their souls will burn.
Matula does a great job in creating the setting of Hell City. As you read the book you will find out that not only is the setting unique but so are the rules that the residents must live by. There is that threat of kill or be killed, but there are more rules that Matula shares with the readers. Rules such as every night a warning bell will sound and all the residents have a few moments to stop what they are doing before the second bell. The second bell bringing on a forced sleep only broken when the following morning a bell awakes the residents.
There are some other great laws of this city that the reader will uncover as they flip the pages as they read. The main thing people will find in this book is not a cut and dry world as you may think as you first start reading. As the city “evolves” around Brandon, and his group, it will show itself to the reader. The voyage of discovery they embark on to stay alive is equally matched by that for the reader.
Matula does a great job in telling a story that is well developed and written. Try Not to Burn is story that will embrace the reader and have you pulling for Brandon, even after you find out what sent him to Hell City in the first place. The reader will also find out how both Sam and Jane arrived at the city and how actions in life could change your afterlife. The book is engaging and hard to put down and this is always something authors love to hear as they know they are reaching their audience. This is something that author Michael David Matula accomplished within this book.