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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Plague Nation: Dana Fredsti KILLS IT!

Tom "The Cleaver" Sievers 

What?! It's done?! But... What about...?! No joke Dana blew my mind harder than a double-tap from a 12 gauge shotgun.

 The second book in the Ashley Parker series could be read as a stand-alone, but the first book is too good to miss! (Click the link for that review).

As a zombie outbreak worsens and threatens the entire country, Ashley and a band of misfit “Wild Cards” must face more zombie mayhem in this gory, action-packed and entertaining thrill-ride. As the situation becomes dire, the mood becomes darker and bleaker. Even Ash’s constant, witty pop-culture references have a dark tinge. As we become more attached to the characters, their mortality is brought to the forefront, and we must watch sadly as their strength and bravado deteriorates, along with the civilized world. Questions are answered but more are raised and a dramatic cliffhanger left me desperate for more of this clever and addicting horror series. Plague Town trod a thin line between humor and horror, chock full of pop culture references and glorious mayhem.

Fredsti’s heroine Ashley Parker finds herself in an unexpected war with the undead — and sometimes her fellow teammates, the “wild cards” who are just as randomly selected by surviving the virus. It would seem hard to top the huge zombie swarm that they fight off at the end of the first book, but Plague Nation manages to be even more tautly intense than the first book, while continuing its development of normal people in extraordinary situations. Ashley’s humanity and stubbornness to let go of any of what makes her human forces her to make difficult choices and leaves her — and sometimes her friends — in dangerous situations.

Not everyone makes it through book two (sob!) and the team reels from the blows. We get a little more back story on Simone and Nathan that sheds light on current events, find Gabriel’s predicament is even more precarious, while new characters get introduced deftly and with such vividness that the quick pace never slows. But it hasn’t been entirely through ‘natural’ means — if you can use that term in a zompocalypse. Conspiracy theorists will be unsurprised, but reasonable humans will find it all too plausible, too. Great fun at breakneck speed with plenty of wincing grue: and seriously, we need geeks building a wiki of all the pop culture references or a prize for the person who can get the most subtle of them. I’ve seen reviews that sniff at the use of zombie, horror and Sci-Fi riffs, but seriously — this is how we geeks or DEAD-Heads talk. What?! It's done?! But... What about...?!

I can't wait to get my greedy hands on the next installment, and finger crossed an interview!(fanboy squeak),

Until next time Zombie Fiends…. Stay away from your windows.

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