Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Book Review: Down the Road by Bowie V Ibarra

A bizarre plague of the walking dead. A nation desperate for survival. It could be the end of the world. Around the globe, the dead are rising to devour the living. Hospitals are overrun, and martial law has been declared. The streets are in chaos. Society is disintegrating. George Zaragosa is a young school teacher living in the shadow of his fiancée's unsolved murder. Now he just wants to go home to his family. He's made the journey before, traveling from Austin to San Uvalde. It's usually a short drive. But he knows this time it's going to be different. Along the way, George must negotiate military roadblocks, FEMA camps, and street thugs, not to mention hordes of the living dead. He is determined to make it home, but only one thing is certain: his trip down the road will be a journey like no other.

My Review:
A lot of reviews slam this book because the author has written a somewhat anti government book and paints FEMA as something akin to the devil. I can't comment much on the government agencies in a country I don't live in but this distrust is a widely held view and so when I see it in books about the apocalypse, to be honest, it doesn't bother me greatly. It's the opinion of a character whose story we follow so I just got on with reading.

The apocalypse is in full swing and George is wishing he had left earlier as government controls on survivors are getting tight. FEMA has just announced that all survivors must report to mandatory FEMA camps. Those who hide at home or try to flee are to be arrested. George plans to get away from the city and find a safe place. I can't say much more about the overall plot as I did not finish the book for two reasons-the characters and the plot. When you don't like either, it is not going to be a happy book experience!

Lets start with George. George is determined to flee even if it means killing cops at roadblocks. He feels bad about running him down for about 5 seconds and then forgets about it. OK in an emergency survival situation perhaps you would do things you don't imagine doing so I guess I'll let that one slide. But George was just the world's biggest muppet when it came to planning! As others fled, he stayed in his home and had DAYS to plan what he was going to do. He waits until the FEMA camp orders, then decides to go as time is now critical. Yeah and finds roadblocks set up. Big surprise. He barely gets out his door before almost getting eaten in an attempt to be George the Zombie Slayer.

It gets worse. George suddenly decides he must detour to the school he teaches at because he has left the necklace of his dead girlfriend there and won't go without it. Are you serious??? Time is critical, FEMA camps are looking and you've just killed a cop so you decide to go and break into a dark school that could be heaving with the undead? WHY? If the necklace is so precious, why did you leave it there in the first place? He of course has no plan (surprise), forgot the keys to the school, )duh) manages to leave his gun in the car (double duh), almost gets eaten trying countless times to get on the roof to break in through the skylight, and when he finally gets up there, he realises he can't drop down into the classroom because his classroom door is locked and he'd be trapped. So he climbs back down. Jeez.

Now he has to go to the rescue of the dumbass female teacher who went into the school during the zombie apocalypse to grade papers for her class? Seriously WTF? She is too stupid to live. Of course she and George then decide to have sex in the room where filled with vomit and the decaying bloodied zombie corpses in it. Hygiene issues anyone? George being in a rush to escape from bad FEMA goes out the window with a night full of sex instead. Oh please! Despite the dark hallways, each encounter takes place somewhere different with no thought for other zombies in the building! This is all just stupid.

Add in the dumb and confusing story about the murder of George's girlfriend who may have been working in some badly explained way for a mafia or drug dealer and was killed being mistaken for a cop. These scenes were pointless, badly written, confusing as hell and had nothing to do with the zombie apocalypse as it all happened before. I just didn't get any of it and was bored by it.

A few chapters of this book were enough of a struggle for me. This book had come highly recommended to be and it was a huge letdown in writing, plot, characters and cohesion. I won't be looking at anything else by the author.
star rating photo: 1 star orange-1star.jpg


  1. Oh wow. I've not heard of this book. But sounds like I should just keep passing on it. Thank you.

    1. Yeah there are much better zombie books out there to try!

  2. I don't think I could have made it past the scene with the necklace. Dumb. I will stay away from this one. I hope you next read is much better!

    Carole @ Carole's Random Life