Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Book Review: End by Jason Kristopher (Dying of the Light #1)

“I didn't see Rebecca die the second time.”

The United States military hides a secret: the completely real existence of one-bite-and-you're-dead zombies. An elite Special Forces unit has known they exist for over a hundred years, and has been quietly and expertly keeping the monsters at bay… until now.

The sole survivor of the massacre at Fall Creek joins this elite unit to combat the single greatest threat our world has ever known. Even as victories over the walkers mount, true evil still lurks in the hearts of men, and at the last, only a brave few may survive. 

My Review: 
For hundreds of years the US government has been covering up small zombie outbreaks but now larger outbreaks are happening and special zombie killing military squads are being set up and put on call for when they are needed. David was the sole survivor from his town Fall Creek and he joins as a civilian consultant, able to share his experiences to help in training. But as the situation deteriorates, the teams face more danger and the possibility that they might not win this war.

Isn't that just a great book cover? As soon as I saw it I knew it was about zombies and that I wanted to read it. The book follows David as he struggles to survive a zombie outbreak in his town, losing his fiancee' Rebecca. It is only the intervention of an armed military unit that saves his life, prompting the setting up of elite zombie fighting units. With nothing left in his town, David agrees to be a consultant on the first team, helping them to adapt their fighting skills based on what he saw and experienced.

We follow the progress of the team as they get to know each other and train, which is good for character development as we soon learn to care about these people. It makes things very tense when they start being sent out on small missions that often turn out to be more complicated and deadly than first thought. Zombies of course are not predictable in real life circumstances and the group soon witness this for themselves. They also have to face in fighting on the base when a prejudiced man on one team starts to cause problems when he discovers that another man is gay. I didn't enjoy seeing Reynolds, my favourite character, being verbally abused by this scumbag but this kind of prejudice is sadly too common in society as a whole.

The romance part of the plot is probably going to divide opinion. Those of you who follow my reviews know that I don't really like seeing romance in my zombie apocalypse when we could instead be focusing more on the zombies. Personally I didn't mind the romances in this book as I liked all of the characters. I think it was to be expected that this team who train together every day on base and then fight together, are going to have very strong emotional bonds to each other that sometimes flow over into physical relationships. I get that and I accepted it in the plot only because I liked the characters. It is very much a story about people, who happen to be doing a pretty extraordinary job.

There is an element of Day of the Dead about this, with a captive zombie being kept to assist in the training and research, something that very much divides opinion. We can see a bit of mad science going on and not everyone on the base is putting the welfare of the soldiers first. Would you like to be secured in a base where an actual zombie was being held? You know that these things never end well! The reader can also tell quite quickly that certain people involved in the military program are not to be trusted and that there is more going on with this plot than meets the eye. What exactly is going on and who is involved?

The teams become aware that each mission is getting more dangerous and the commanders indicate that they are going to lose control of the overall situation. All the teams can do is try to kill as many zombies as they can while the government prepares military bunkers for the chosen few to hole up in until it is deemed safe to come back out and deal with the aftermath. And as the ordinary people realise what is happening, they are getting ready to rebel. The element of a sort of countdown clock to oblivion adds a whole new element to the plot.

This book was a bit more complex than the usual gory zombie plot and I liked that it had a bit of depth, and that we really find the time to get to know the squad before they are sent out to tackle the zombies. That said, the zombie scenes are of the standard you would expect with a nice mix of tension and horror. There was plenty to like about this book and I look forward to the rest of the series.
Read August 2015.
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg


  1. Oooo, this sounds like a book for me! I'm so glad the contents match the awesome cover :)

    1. I really liked the characters in this book and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of what appears to be a trilogy at the moment. The other books sound totally different so I'm quite excited!

  2. That sounds like my kind of book! Zombies, yay! A romance, that's not annoying and the focus of the story? Yay! Complexity? Depth? Yess! I like my Zombie survival stories, that rely mostly on action and gore, but I love it even more, if the focus is more on the characters, their development etc.

    1. Sounds like this could be a good book for you! It's free on Amazon UK right now so hopefully it's free on all Amazons and anyone out there who loves zombies can grab it!