Saturday, 7 February 2015

Book Review: Fortress Britain by Glynn James (Arisen #1)

When the Zombie Apocalypse came, one country had shut down its borders in response to a major terrorist attack. Now Fortress Britain is the last bastion of the living - with 50 million beleaguered survivors facing down a world of 7 billion animated corpses.

And when civilization fell, one international team of supremely elite special operators was being assembled for a nearly impossible mission, deployed out of the SAS barracks at Hereford. Supremely trained and armed, always the most skilled, resolved, and unstoppable amongst us, now the commandos of Alpha team are humanity's last best hope for survival. Searching through the detritus of fallen Europe, scavenging pharmaceutical labs for clues to a vaccine that might bring humanity back from the brink, now they are tasked with one last desperate operation.


My Review:

Britain is the only country who seems to have the zombie apocalypse under some kind of control, due to a terrorist scare shutting their airspace to aircraft just as the virus went global. The Channel Tunnel has been blocked off and the military have all but a few random zombies taken care of. But things are about to go wrong...

Firstly, military based in the UK have to go on missions into Europe for supplies and information about a cure. The missions get more dangerous and new mutant versions of the zombies with more speed and intelligence are appearing, putting the troops in extreme danger. Then a breach appears in the tunnel and zombies are piling out from France, turning the local population into the undead and starting a panic. Now home defence becomes a priority starting with a tunnel clearout where there are rumours of survivors.

I liked this book. The writing was very tight and the author has a good way of drawing you into the story. The missions are very tense and exciting as you wait to see if the troops or the zombies are going to get the upper hand. The action near the tunnel takes place in the dark, where you know bad things are lurking and people are being pounced on by the undead. It was quite a gripping read and it was not hard to get caught up in events as things go wrong. I'm not a military expert so I have no idea how accurate the portrayal of the soldiers and weapons are but to the untrained eye it feels realistic and authentic. This is how I imagine that a military base in a crisis would be operating, complete with the mix of characters getting on each others nerves, but uniting to get on with the job.

However, the gripes? The US military are in the UK which is the only safe place to launch operations from. So of course they decide to throw their weight around, barking out orders and causing resentment from the UK soldiers-and this British reader. This is our bloody country and foreign troops should do what they are told or they can go back to the Infected States of America. The religious bits held no interest for me and that would make my brain wander off to think about food for a while. Eventually I skimmed over this stuff to get back to the story.

Although I liked this book, I have a rule and a budget. I buy proper sized novels not books that seem to be chopped into several parts to make more money for the author. I can get a 423 page urban fantasy paperback book by a favourite author for £5 with 430 pages on Amazon. To buy books two and three in paperback of this series on Amazon, it will cost me £11.64 for 414 pages with the possibility of it not being proof-read for mistakes. This is why Indie books, however good they are, get less sales in paperback than they should. I only use my ereader to try out new authors if the books are free or under £1 as I have a tight book budget. If I like the books I try to buy the series in paperback. But not at this price I'm afraid
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