Book Review: The Power Within

Good Morning,

Following up from yesterday’s post, I’m back once again to review J.E. Nelson’s debut novel The Power Within.

Before I get into the review, I just want to say what a joy it’s been to speak with Jackie personally when we met at Crypticon just a short week ago. I’m so glad I visited her booth and got to know her better. She’s a talented writer, and I hope to see more from her.

All right, enough chit chat. Let’s get into the review!



I gave this book four zombie-fighting stars!


This riveting middle-school zombie thriller is told through the eyes of Daphne, an Autistic twelve-year-old girl. Feel what she feels, and see what she sees as this adventure keeps you on your toes. Daphne isn’t just your typical twelve-year-old girl. Her Autism helps her experience the World differently, and when undead creatures attack she discovers what the true power within herself really is. Join Daphne as she learns how to live in this strange new world with new senses while figuring out her powers and fighting for the people she loves.

The Review:

This is my first read of something by Jackie Nelson, and I really enjoyed my experience. This book is a middle-grade fiction about a young autistic girl Daphne and her family and friends’ struggles in a zombie apocalypse.

It all started at the dance studio. Daphne is done with her dance practice when she hears screams outside. There’s a sudden zombie attack outside the studio, and no one knows what to do. Daphne begins to feel strange. She feels an irresistible urge to go outside, and when she does, the most miraculous thing happens. Somehow her stims that she uses to calm herself actually awaken a power deep inside her that stops the zombie assault.

Daphne and her mom flee the scene, trying to figure things out. What happened back there? Are zombies really real? And most of all, what will happen now?

Throughout this book Daphne and her friends and family journey through a drastically changing world, finding courage, bravery, and the will to carry on.

Honestly, I really loved this book. For starters, I could really relate to Daphne. My little sister is autistic, and I think that Daphne’s character was portrayed pretty darn well. Lots of respect for Nelson’s portrayal of an autistic character.

Secondly, you would think that middle-grade fiction and zombies wouldn’t go together, being how violent the genre of zombie books can be. But actually, the author pulls it off very well. The level of gore wasn’t too much, and being that the main character is a young girl, she isn’t exposed to too much of it to where a young reader would shy away from this book.

Lastly, I think that Daphne’s supportive family and friends were a really good pro for this book. She’s obviously got a loving Mom and Dad who would do anything for her, and its evident throughout the pages. Her friends always support her however they can, and they try to understand her autism and how hard that can be to deal with.

All right, on to the cons, which aren’t much if you ask me. It’s just a couple small things.

I think that there were a lot of characters around for this book. Given the plot of the book that’s totally understandable, but at times I did tend to forget who was who outside of Daphne’s family closest friends. It definitely didn’t stop me from reading though.

Also, I would have preferred that Daphne’s abilities be explained a little bit better, pertaining to the how/why of it all, but I have a feeling that may be explored when the next book comes out.

For these two factors, I had to take a star away, but these issues were minor in the scheme of it all and I really was able to just enjoy this great, well-written story.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a great middle-grade fiction with zombies, this is definitely a read for you! Love, loss, the strength of family, plus some chills and thrills to boot. Can’t get much better than that!

That’s a Wrap!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!

Have you read this book before? What did you think? Do you have a book recommendation similar to this series? Feel free to share in the comments!

If you’d like to see other reviews of mine, feel free to check out my blog homepage or my GoodReads. There are some great binge-worthy books on there!

Have a great day everybody!


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