Hell Divers

Hell Divers
(Hell Divers #1)
by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

The first star is just because it is written by Nick Smith and I have a real penchant for his work. I have pretty much liked everything he has done so far and he did not let me down here. This is something I have never seen before and I have read a lot of science fiction and apocalyptic stories over the years. Nick has a great imagination when it comes to the creation of the creatures that are going to be inhabiting his world, and because I could actually visualize them I give even more points, because they are terrifying. I was not so sure about 250 years of what sounds like nuclear winter but I will defer to the science as written. The characters were introduced and gone in the blink of an eye and so most did not have a chance to be very fleshed out, but those who remained at least have room to grow.

Xavier Rodriguez is a Hell Diver who has managed to outlive most of those who decide to do the job. He has managed to survive 96 jumps when the life expectancy is a measly 15 jumps. X, as he is known to friends, is the leader of Team Raptor which happens to have 2 other veteran divers. X lives and works on the Hive, one of two remaining airships riding the currents and storms above a blighted world not fit for human habitation. His job and that of the other Hell Divers is to drop down to that uninviting land and make sure that the Hive continues to fly so that the last of humanity can survive.

When a distress call comes from the Ares, the other airship, Captain Maria Ash has no choice but to go to their rescue. But is she putting her ship in danger for nothing?

While I really did like the story of the divers I was less thrilled with the side story of what was going on aboard the ship itself. With the divers you had action, danger, sacrifice, and heroics of all types. With the passengers you had whining and ungratefulness, though maybe that was intentional. This is about an apocalypse that has left the world dead, class wars, family ties, survival, courage, and a lot more. This made me feel something for them all as they pushed to keep going and survive one more day. Was not happy with the end, but that was personal.

Anyone who likes stories of the apocalypse will love this. Highly recommend!

My rating: 4.75 of 5 stars

“We dive so humanity survives.”

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The Maxists

the maxistsThe Maxists (What Zombies Fear #2)
by Kirk Allmond

 

This is a totally different kind of zombie book with some zombie types I am starting to see more often. While I liked it I was not really all that impressed with it. The characters are at one minute crisp and vibrant but then can fall into mediocrity within the next chapter, sometimes within the same chapter. The action is rather lackluster as far as the battles between the humans and zombies are concerned. The dialogue is good and the descriptions are good enough to make you visualize a lot of what is happening.

A man representing the military shows up at the Tookes family farm and offers help but with a price. Victor only wants to take care of his family and those survivors who have found their way to his property, about 300 people. Nobody knows the extent of Max’s powers, not even his mother or brother, and Victor wants to keep it that way. The zombies however know all about Max and have set out to get him away from his father, by any means necessary.

I am not sure whether I will even read the rest of the series since I was less than thrilled by this entry. It was way to predictable for my taste, even for a zombie tome. But I would not discourage anyone else from trying it out if you have read the first book.

 

 

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

 

Don of the Living Dead

don of the living deadDon of the Living Dead
by Robert DeCoteau

 

This was supposed to be an extension or so I thought of the Primrose Apt novellas that came before. They made one reference to the fact that he lived at those apartments and moved on quickly, I had thought they were going to play a part in this novel, not. I would have given this 5 stars but it didn’t hit all the marks for me when it comes to my zombies, but it came pretty darn close. I would have liked to have gotten more with some of the characters since they were there and gone so quickly they did not have a chance to fully register before they were zombie chow. I liked the idea behind how these zombies came into existence but it would have been nice to give a little more information since it was mentioned. Our main character was written with great detail and definitely elicited a number of reactions both good and bad.

Don is a guy who does his job well but is not going to go out of his way for it or anything or anyone else, or so he tells himself. On this day, which starts out like any other, Don has had to track down the sandwich girl and now he is going for his after lunch dump on company time when things get strange. While not the best way to get caught when the dead start to walk at least he has a door between him and them. It takes some time for Don to figure it out but he realizes he is trapped in the bathroom with zombies and has to get out in order to try and get his son and ex-wife away from the madness. What happens next is complete craziness with some heroics by a guy you would not expect it from.

I was totally ready to hate Don because he seemed like a sexist, racist, annoying, full of himself jerk. He hooks up with people who are also survivors and at first seems not to like them and in a blink he is professing to think of them as friends. Long story short Don turns out to be a good guy and even though a lot of the people he started out with do not survive he manages to keep it together even though he may not make it. Nice ride with a few laughs and some serious gross out moments. Good zombie fun!

 

 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

 

Zombie Tales

zombie tales 205Zombie Tales: Primrose Court Apt. 205
by Robert DeCoteau

This is one of three short stories set in the Primrose Court apartment complex. The story centers on a man with agoraphobia who has not left his apartment for ten year. We get his full background and the story of why he ended up there, and how he feels about his neighbors. What you do not have is any amount of zombies here really. Only on the last few pages do you get even a glimpse of zombie action.

If you want a tale of zombies running around eating people, do not read this. On the other hand if you like a narrative with limited carnage you may enjoy it.

All the books have a few chapters from the book “Don of the Living Dead” which is set in the same locale. They can be seen as a lead in to the major story. These books can be read in any order but I would say start here because it introduces you to the next characters you will meet.

 

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

 

zombie tales 305Zombie Tales: Primrose Court Apt. 305
by Robert DeCoteau

 

Ok, this time I knew what was coming. The story here centers around a couple, their marital problems and how they play out. You have the same lack of zombies until the end of the story but a nice bit of karmic justice. There is not a lot to say about this since it has no major scenes of carnage or zombie rampage.

The story is good for what it is.

 

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

 

zombie tales 502Zombie Tales: Primrose Court Apt. 502
by Robert DeCoteau

I liked this story more than the others because Tommy seemed so sympathetic. This placed you more directly into the world of the novel and gave a view of the start of the zombie onslaught from above. I say enjoy the short and go for the main event. I think it may be interesting to read the full length book.

 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

 

The Lost Journals of Private Kenji Yoshida Part 1 & 2

the lost journal of private kenji yoshidaThe Lost Journal of Private Kenji Yoshida (Secret Apocalypse #1.5)
by James Harden

 

This was a nice short read that leads you into what caused the tragedy in Australia in the first place as well as letting you get to know one of the main characters from the Secret Apocalypse series. The story flows forward giving you information enough to understand what is going on. The language works for the character and the situations that he is in. This is not an adrenaline rush type of thing but more of a gradual build with a narrative that overlays all.

Kenji Yoshida was shipped off to military school by his parents and because he was so angry he did not say goodbye to the girl he had feelings for. He runs away from the school and joins the Marines even though he is underage and becomes a marksman. Having been deployed when he returns he has trouble adjusting and the doctor suggests that he keep a journal so that he does not continue to internalize his feelings. That journal details his deployments and the final deployment to Australia to help at an immigration center. What he learns there spurs him to go and find Rebecca and warn her about what is happening.

I’m not going to say it’s riveting but it’s like being in the mind of someone while they debate with themselves. A nice addition to the series.

 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dear Rebecca. I’m sorry I left. I was an idiot. I should’ve told you. I miss you. Please forgive me. Do you want to get some pizza?

 

 

the lost journal of private kenji yoshida part two
by James Harden

 

Private Kenji Yoshida continues his adventures in Australia with Jack and Maria since he was able to get Rachel to safety outside the country. This is simply the journal entries he made after Rachel and Kim escaped but before she made her reappearance in the country. It is actually pretty nice since it fills in some of the questions that I had when reading the novels.

They are trying to evade the hoards of zombies which are running the streets of Sydney as well as the military troops who have been tasked with containing the contagion. Unfortunately that means killing everyone they see without checking to see if they are infected. The main goal of this trio is to get Maria to safety because she is special and possibly could save them all.

This is a good series and definitely takes you to places that no other has ever done. The Secret Apocalypse series has a young cast but they are very good at this survival thing.

 

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

Trudge / Soldier On

trudge

Trudge (Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse #1)

Zombie novels can easily become generic in nature. This one held my attention and made me like the main characters in a short amount of time. You have the usual carnage but also a story of family and loyalty and survival.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a good sequel to the first book. I don’t want to loose anyone else because I have become so invested in their survival. The pace was a bit slow for me but it got me to where it needed. Great writing!
My rating: 4 of 5 stars