Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Book Review: Barren Fields by Robert Brown (Last Blade of Grass #2)


Eight months after the destruction the Zeus Plague unleashed on humanity, the infected started to die allowing the survivors to venture into the world again. This false sense of safety was met with deadly consequence. The vestiges of humanity must now struggle to survive not only encounters with each other, but an infected threat that is fast, can strategize, and maneuver around defenses.
 

In this emotional conclusion to the best-selling; The LAST BLADE of GRASS, the story continues with the ranch survivors trapped in southern Oregon by a possible new foe and introduces the struggles of Eddie's father as he attempts a harrowing journey from New Orleans in a bid to discover if his son has survived.
 

Will the last of mankind band together and stop this new zombie threat or will old animosities allow the human race to be plucked out of existence like the last blade of grass, leaving only barren fields? 

My Review:
This book follows two groups of survivors through the zombie apocalypse. The first are Eddie and his group of survivors at the ranch and the second group features Eddie's father Keith and their friends in New Orleans.

George is out fishing and oblivious to the apocalypse until he gets a call from Maggie, the dying wife of his friend Keith, asking for help in getting out of the city which is falling apart around them. George arrives just as things are getting out of control and gets them to safety on an oil rig out in the Gulf where they meet up with employees Frank and Jack. It might be safe from zombies and raiders but they are worried about what to do if New Orlean's nuclear reactor goes into meltdown. As they are planning to head to George's prepped house in Mexico, the radiation sirens start to go off and panic starts...

Eddie has his problems too when Isaac and Jeremiah arrive at the store to rescue the hostages. He has had dealings with them when the brothers once trained at his ranch and did not like finding out that it was being run by an atheist. It takes hours to convince Isaac that Eddie is immune, that the zombies are infected by an illness and not demon possession and that Eddie has rescued the Stick People. Jeremiah is not convinced by rational discussions and Eddie does not like the idea of Isaac's group being anywhere near his ranch when they ask for sanctuary. Eddie's people are unhappy at the mass of new people being taken to the ranch but Eddie feels that he is being given no choice and that without help, they will all die.

The zombies are changing too, to their alarm. Runners are becoming more frequent and more dangerous, travelling in mass groups and learning how to work together to solve problems like opening car doors to get at the food inside. They are hunting down animals to stay alive with human victims dwindling and it is getting dangerous to travel with them on the roads between the store and the ranch. But with extra people to look after it is becoming necessary to scavenge for more supplies, putting their people in danger on a daily basis. These newer zombies are pretty scary and harder to kill because of their speed and cunning so there are exciting encounters through the book.

We have a good mixture of characters in this book. I can't tell you how much I enjoy seeing a mature, capable and level headed twelve year old girl in Hannah, instead of the dumb pouting teen drooling after every teenage boy in sight. Yes Hannah has an unofficial boyfriend but there is no focus on teen angst, only the two working together for mutual survival. I liked that the younger characters were not involved in tons of pointless teen angst. This is a proper survival story not a zombie version of Twilight. The women like Simone are strong and she is the guiding light that keeps Eddie on the right path and I liked her a lot. I liked following Keith and their friends on the journey to find safety too. It was nice to see the Mexican people in the book being portayed in a positive light as well.

Again there is a lot of tension in this book as the situation with Jeremiah reaches a critical point and the man starts to lose all sanity, attempting to turn everyone against Eddie so that Isaac can take control of the ranch. But Isaac is not interested in overthrowing Eddie, and Eddie himself is setting his own plans in motion to stop the religious fanatics from destroying everything that he has fought for. The survivors are turning on each other while the zombie enemy becomes a lot more dangerous than what they have seen before.

I liked this book and it kept a good standard moving on from the first book. I also liked the way the author was able to bring the story to a satisfactory and realistic conclusion. I would look out for other books by this author.  

Read March 2017.
star rating photo: 35 star rating 3-5-stars.jpg

4 comments:

  1. This one looks pretty good (love that cover). I like how the guy's out fishing when it happens! Surprise buddy ha ha. Running zombies too are scarier- I mean in The Walking Dead you can just like run, but if they can run too, you're screwed ha ha!

    Same with teen angst. Yes all thoughts of love would have to take second fiddle to survival I would think lol.

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    1. I had my niggles over it but it is still a good solid zombie apocalypse story and I want to be near someone like Eddie if the world goes to hell!

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  2. This sounds like an entertaining series. I like the fact that the young girl's character is done so well. It is nice when that happens.

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    1. Too many kids in dystopia are whiny brats and not much fun to read about. Eddie trains his daughters to handle themselves in a crisis and they deliver when it counts. I like seeing intelligent and capable kids instead of dumb teens!

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