My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Author George Magnum approaches the Zombie infestation not from the point of view of the dead, nor of the victimized, but rather through the eyes of Commander Peterson, heading an elite military force scrambled to the cause in the interests of national security (while there is still a nation-or any society-remaining to protect, which begins quickly to seem very doubtful). Peterson is rather an unusual character for his role, in that he is much more three (or four) dimensional than we usually expect, either in this type of story premise or with a military or Special Forces individual, who is usually coloured as silent, strong, and deadly-but not emotional or fanciful. Peterson is both-although he usually overcomes it from interfering with his assigned purpose.
Generally I prefer my reader’s hook on the very first page, if possible in the first paragraph or the first sentence. Here I had to wait a few pages, although the hook was subtly telegraphed early on. Once the action starts, however, the story hits the ground running at gazelle speed, spewing out character, adventure, blood and gore, grief, tragedy, terror, and adventure. The novel is very fast-paced from here on in, and surprisingly, the gore is not overdone (surprisingly because this is after all, a zombie story, a kill-or-be-eaten venue). The settings are well done, and I especially appreciate the author’s deft hand at characterisations. As Zombie novels go (and these days there is an enormous number available), this is one of the better and more appealing ones.
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