Thursday, 19 May 2016

Book Review: Left With The Dead by Stephen Knight (Gathering Dead #1.5)

New York City has fallen to the zombie horde. The greatest city on Earth, once home to millions of Americans, is now firmly in the grasp of the dead.

First Sergeant David Gartrell is cut off and alone in the city, miles away from the nearest military units which might be able to assist. With his ammunition almost depleted, the only thing that stands between him and the stenches are his Special Forces skills, his experience, and his uncompromising desire to avoid being eaten alive!

Together with a frightened woman and her young son, Gartrell sets out to accomplish his final objective: find a way to leave the city of the gathering dead, or perish at the hands--and teeth!--of the ravenous horde.

My Review:
This novella is a direct follow up to The Gathering Dead so if you haven't read it, this review might spoil things for you so read on with caution!

After drawing the zombies away from the river to give McDaniels time to get the cure details to the rescue boat, Gartrell is on his own with limited supplies and no prospect of rescue. He links up with Jolie and her autistic son Jaden, hiding out in her apartment and trying to make contact with the soldiers in the city or get air support to get them to safety. The situation becomes more urgent when the zombie that was once her husband arrives at the apartment block with keys in his pocket...

I'm so pleased that we got Gartrell's story, after the way that the last book ended. In this book, we see the more human side to him as he realises why McDaniels cannot easily turn his back on the civilians even at risk of mission failure. Gartrell becomes determined to get Jolie and Jaden to safety, whatever it takes. It is only his training that is keeping them alive in the face of zombie hordes. I liked the addition of the autistic boy, as this gives Gartrell extra problems. How do you keep Jaden calm and quiet with all the noise and terror going on around him when they need to move silently? It puts them in extra danger but Gartrell refuses to consider leaving the boy behind. It had a very human story within the zombie drama, which I liked.

It would be easy to say that Jolie could be annoying at times-screaming or freezing at the wrong moments, but to be fair, she is a frightened women who has been on her own with her son through the apocalypse. Jaden has no concept of the situation or the danger so keeping him calm is a full time job. I understand why she was reacting to things the way she was. Keeping Jaden away from the windows should have been more of a priority though, especially when you are trying to hide!

The book had the same level of drama, tension and zombie action as the first book and it was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster to say the least! It was another very well written book and I look forward to continuing with the series.
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg

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