Sunday, 24 January 2016

Book Review: Rain by Shaun Harbinger

The dead rise...
A doctor returning from the mountains of India unknowingly brings a deadly virus to the western world. The nightmare begins. Society crumbles... 

Alex Harley is hiking with three friends when all media channels shut down to be replaced with the Emergency Broadcast. Civilians are warned to stay in their homes. Isolated and afraid, the four friends begin a fight for survival. The end of the world is here...

The military sets up Survivor Camps to separate the infected from the uninfected. As a U.N. rescue mission is put into operation to save survivors from the clutches of the zombies, Alex and his friends must deal with the undead and power-crazed soldiers. But while they fight to survive, the authorities consider drastic measures to rid the world of monsters...

My Review:
Four friends are on a hike in the Welsh mountains when the zombie apocalypse occurs. All they can think of is to get away from the Army forces who are detaining all civilians in camps until they see who turns, and of course the deadly zombies. The plan is to get to the coast to find a boat and safely plan what they are going to do next.

It's nice to see a few more zombie books set in the UK, where guns are in short supply and zombies need to be taken out in close combat. Most UK zombie books seem to be unfunny Shaun of the Dead type plots but thankfully this was a nice, tense, zombie book with some interesting scenes and lots of zombie action. It was well written and kept me interested the whole time.

I admit that in the beginning I didn't like Mike and Elena much. Bringing their unfit friend on a hike that was obviously beyond his fitness was bad enough but then continually going faster, mocking him for not keeping up and risking him getting lost on the mountain is just nasty. I was annoyed that they didn't seem to believe anything Alex says about the madman attacking hikers, even when evidence from online seems to indicate an emergency situation. However, this part is not dragged out for ages and they quickly witness the zombies themselves so I can forgive the annoying bit! For the rest of the book, they have to work out a way to stay alive through each dangerous situation and they grew on me.

I liked Alex because he is a normal guy who is not superfit but has a brain which helps the group survive. Lucy was a nice character and at least believed what Alex told her, unlike his closest friends. The four of them can't always agree on the best way forward, which again is realistic when you have several people that all think their idea is best. It doesn't descend into chaos or a lot of bitching which is good. I also liked the fact that their plans were not perfect and they weren't always sure of their next move.

I also liked that the author introduced a slightly different zombie. In this book they do not come out in the rain as that causes their bodies to decay quicker. In theory that should help our characters, allowing them to move freely outside when it is raining without fear of attack, and it does help them a bit. However it does work against them in places as well. It was an interesting plot development which I enjoyed and I think this will make things very interesting in the rest of the series. It gives our heroes an even chance as they don't have the same access to guns compared to those in American set books. We also have the threat faced by various humans ie the Army and other survivors, leading to danger for our MCs, which I always like in my zombie books!

There was more than enough in this book for the zombie fan to enjoy and I would certainly recommend it. I am intending to read the rest of the series when I get the chance.
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

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