Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Book Review: 100 Days in Deadland by Rachel Aukes (Deadland #1)

The world ended on a Thursday.

In one day, the world succumbed to a pestilence that decimated the living. In its place rose a new species: vicious, gruesome, wandering monsters with an insatiable hunger for the living. There is no government, no shelter.

Still in her twenties, Cash has watched her friends die, only to walk again. An office worker with few survival skills, she joins up with Clutch, a grizzled Army veteran with PTSD. Together, they flee the city and struggle through the nine circles of hell, with nothing but Clutch’s military experience and Cash’s determination to live. As they fight to survive in the zombie inferno, they quickly discover that nowhere is safe from the undead… or the living.

This is the beginning after the end.

(100 Days in Deadland is a modern remake of Dante's Inferno, the classic tale on the horrors of hell... zombie apocalypse style!)

My Review: 
Closing the border to Mexico has failed to stop the zombies from entering the United States and Cash has to flee from her workplace as her world goes to hell around her. Reluctantly rescued by truck driver Clutch, Cash has to prove that she can pull her weight and help this prepper or be turned out on the street to fend for herself in a world of zombies, rapists and armed militia, all ready to take what you have fought so hard to find. As Clutch makes local enemies, the zombies become the least of their worries.

I had worries about the female MC in this book. She begins as Mia, who persuades a passing lorry driver to give her a lift away from town as zombies appear on the streets. She has a moment of wondering if this guy is a potential rapist but figures escaping the zombies is a more pressing issue. She then gets instantly annoyed when Clutch seems to have no physical interest in her. That really bugs me with female MCs. She fears he's a rapist and then gets offended when he doesn't want to attack her??? How messed up is that???!!! Thankfully, Mia decides to rename herself Cash and concentrates on learning new skills and taking care of herself in the hope that she will be allowed to stay at her refuge. I started to warm to her which was a relief.

Clutch is a prepper and a loner who can take care of himself and doesn't really want to have someone else staying with him and using his supplies. He does gradually start to see the bright side of having an extra pair of hands around the place and someone to assist him on dangerous supply runs into town. I liked him because he was straightforward, capable and not much of a people person which I can certainly relate to! He has been ready to look after himself in any scenario and I liked the way he had his farm set up. I always find the preppers in these books fascinating and enjoy reading about what they do to protect their property.

Trouble really begins when the army nearby sets up local militias to protect their own areas and stockpile anything they find of use for future distribution. Clutch has had dealings with some of these locals before and refuses to accept that these people have the right to take everything in town for themselves. Doyle, their leader is issuing demands for survivors like Clutch to hand over their own supplies or be attacked. When it is clear that even the army men cannot control Doyle, Clutch and Cash have to find ways to defend themselves and start thinking of a way to stop Doyle from taking everything.

This is what I term a typical zombie novel and I mean that in a good way. It has the zombie action, the tense supply runs, psycho armed men, the daily struggle to survive...all of the elements I love in a zombie book. It also has a different storyline for a zombie prepper book in that the army are trying to help the civilians, moving them into well equipped and safe army camps instead of the horrific FEMA camps you read about in other books in the genre! The army men are decent, law abiding and want to work with people like Clutch. They set up militias as added defence and so that these people could keep the camps supplied. Doyle of course is keeping most of the good stuff for himself and is now viewing the army as a threat to his empire. So there are several interesting plotlines woven together, meaning lots of action.

The book blurb indicates that it is based on Dante's Inferno but not having read the book, I can't tell you if this is an accurate description or not. For me, I can only say it was a good zombie novel. I thought the book was well written and I've already bought the rest of the series to read in paperback. It will be fun to see what happens next! 
Read February 2015.
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

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