Zombie Crusade Snapshots are quick glimpses of critical locations around the world as the zombie pandemic begins to unfold. While the snapshots connect to the main storyline of the Zombie Crusade novels (some in obvious ways, others in ways that will become apparent as the series continues), they may also be read as stand-alone stories.
This volume includes: "Israel" An Israeli professor brings back more than artifacts when he returns home from an archeological expedition in the Hindu Kush Mountains. "Ontario" As the bizarre zombie pandemic sweeps across North America, residents of a large island on Lake Superior prepare to isolate themselves from the rest of the world. "POTUS" General Mathew Barnes ingratiates himself with the President of the United States in the early days of the global disaster. "Maine" A community of the super-rich hire the best protection money can buy to avoid being overrun by scores of infected as well as hordes of frightened citizens in search of a safe haven in their crumbling world. "Tennessee" An organized and self-sustaining settlement has to choose between the lesser of two evils when faced with an army of evolving, flesh-eating monsters.
There are five short stories in this snapshots selection. I previously reviewed 'Ontario' so I'll review the other four here. Thank you to the authors for sending this book to me to review and I apologize for taking so long to review it. These snapshots mention events and characters in the novel series as they follow different groups of people dealing with the start of the outbreak where they live. I hope to see more of all these characters as I progress through the novels!
1) Israel: Jesse is in Tajikistan to assist jews there in moving to Israel but on a hike he is attacked and bitten by sick locals. Concealing the fatal bite, he returns to Israel and takes the zombie virus with him. Sophie and her family watch events unfold on TV and decide to flee to their other home, helping a Palestinian family escape from zombies. Now everyone in Ein Gedi prepares to defend it from the zombie hordes while working on a backup plan to flee to Masada if the defences fail.
I so much enjoyed the opportunity to be with zombie survivors in a totally different environment from the usual UK or USA locations. Sophie, her son Mick and parents Avi and Lina are ordinary people and worry about other family members in different countries. It was also good to see the Israeli, Palestinian and Bedouin characters putting aside differences and mistrust to work together against the zombies. It adds a new dimension to the traditional fight the zombie story. The link to the main series here is talk about the US soldiers attacked by the virus in Afghanistan. This starts off apocalypse prepping for the MCs in book one.
2) POTUS: The President seeks expert advice on the outbreak and Barnes is happy to oblige, arriving at the safe bunker and claiming to have a vaccine for the disease. The President is more than happy to use this on everyone in the complex.
I don't want to say much on this story in case I spoil things but it was really good! The link to the main series is Barnes who features heavily in the opening of book one and there is the full story of what happened in the village featured in book one.
3) Maine: Colonel Longstreet works now in private security for rich clients and is tasked with protecting their island hideout by stopping other refugees from crossing the bridge. However, stopping the scared civilians is going to be morally tough as the zombies get closer and things on the island are going to take a serious turn when a select group of rich men prepare to leave for a new safe haven.
There is sooo much I want to say about this one but I can't without spoilers! I loved the moral dilemma of whether to do your job or show compassion to frightened people. I enjoyed the twists which lead directly from the POTUS story so make sure you read POTUS first. The link to the novel series here is Colonel Longstreet who was the commanding officer in the village outbreak at the start of book one.
4) Tennessee: A settlement of survivors have built a fortified compound and are living in relative safety until the arrival of General Jackson, who is offering the option of a vaccine and he isn't planning to take no for an answer. Do the people put their trust in him or take their chances with the mass of zombies heading their way?
Again this one really follows on with the vaccine story from the last two stories and I can't say much about the plot. I did like seeing a group of survivors who had started a new life from the chaos and who are unsure whether to give that up when the government calls. The link to the novel series here is Charlotte, sister of one of the MCs in book one, who refused to join him in a compound, instead staying near her home.
These short stories were exciting, well written and you cared very much about the people you were introduced to. I very much enjoyed all five, along with the first novel in the series which I have also read. I would advise reading the first novel 'Zombie Crusade' then reading the snapshots as extra information. Traditional zombie fans should enjoy this series!