by Chris Wooding
Published: September 10, 2012
Publisher: Stoke Books
The Lazarus Serum can bring you back from the dead. Only thing is, it turns you into a Pale. Jed can't imagine anything worse, but then the choice is taken out of his hands...
Pale was a really interesting concept, and it had so much potential. When people die they are given the Lazarus serum, which for certain people has the potential to bring them back. But they are physically different in that they are essentially albinos that will never age and have no heartbeats.
Jed and his friends are against bringing back the dead. They see them as garbage and actively discriminate against them, even beating them up. Although, Jed does hesitate at his best friend's plan to kill one of them. But when Jed dies someone close to him has him injected with the Lazarus Serum and he becomes one of the Pales. Suddenly he is faced with the hatred he was spewed from the people he was closest to.
I enjoyed the concept and even the writing. My problem was with the length. Pale is a novella, and this story really needed to be done as a complete novel. There were so many places where Jed's emotions and experiences could have been deepened, where we could have learned to really care about the characters, but it just wasn't there. I'm really hoping that this is just a launching point for Wooding to take the Lazarus Serum and Pales into a full length novel.