Thursday, 6 April 2017

Book Review: Empire of the Dead by Michael Stephen Fuchs (Arisen #8)

The ARISEN series returns - putting Alpha team, MARSOC, and One Troop Royal Marines face-to-face with their most lethal adversaries ever - in the most blistering and heart-stopping chapter yet of the epic saga.

With Juice in heavy contact on the do-or-die shore mission, Ali in a blistering sniper duel over the south Atlantic, and Homer all alone and massively outnumbered deep beneath the keel of the JFK, the Alpha operators are in the fight of their lives - against tactically outstanding, pain-invulnerable, and utterly merciless Spetsnaz commandos - and with no guarantees about who will be left standing at the end...

Perilously low on ammo, fuel, planes, pilots, and options, and seemingly outmaneuvered at every turn, the beleaguered John F. Kennedy engages in a lethal game of cat-and-mouse with the gigantic and weapons-bristling Russian battlecruiser - with not just their lives on the line, but the lives of everyone on the planet...

As London comes under unrelenting siege, Jameson and the Royal Marines face down a lightning-fast and terrifyingly uncontrolled outbreak in CentCom's Strategic Command Center - the beating heart of humanity's last defenses against the dead - and with no one but them standing in the way of total collapse and utter devastation...

My Review: 
The JFK faces a crisis as the Russians prepare to attack again and Drake is in no fit condition to be in charge. Jameson and his team rush into CentCom to try to take control of the situation while Rebecca's group try to get there safely. Juice is trapped onshore while his teammates battle Spetsnaz in the air and under water, and a bioterrorist is working on a way to redeem himself by destroying the zombies.

Juice resorts to a desperate solution to try and gain partial victory over the Spetsnaz forces, and get the warehouse secured as the zombie horde closes in. His team are retreating back to the dock to return to the JFK and it seems that help will not be coming for him. Homer is proven right when he finds mines on the hull of the JFK and is suddenly involved in a deadly underwater knife fight with enemies testing all of his skills. Ali's helo races to get to the downed pilot but comes under fire from a sniper in the Russian helo. She is furious to be coming out second best and her panicking crew are not allowing her to kill the sniper, allowing the Russians to grab the pilot.

On the JFK Abrams and Campbell become increasingly frustrated by Drake's decision making as he tries to hide the fact that he is now seeing dead people around him. As his sanity wavers, he is refusing to listen to anyone as they try to take control from him, and his decisions are putting everyone at risk.

Jameson's group hear the outbreak sirens and rush into CentCom to try and take control but find the place in chaos with Mayes the last man standing, but not for long. It is now going to be up to Jameson to try and get CentCom back on it's feet, control the outbreaks in the south and get help sent to them all. (no pressure then) The Para defence lines around London are starting to crumble, Eli is hunting for Grews and Charlotte takes to the air over CentCom to ensure no zombie escapes the building. Rebecca's group find trouble on the London streets as they are pursued by armed men while Alan arrives at CentCom.

Up in the Chinese mountains in an isolated retreat, the bioterrorist Aliyev who designed the original virus has made a new virus which will kill all the existing zombies but releasing it would kill all the survivors as well. Hearing on his radio that his old colleague Simon may have a cure, he decides he must get to London to help, if he can find a way to stop survivors dying from his new virus.

The action moves along as usual with Jameson's entry into CentCom to try to stop the new outbreak and the Paras outside the city fight a desperate battle to stay alive and hold back the zombie hordes as they move towards London. Homer's underwater adventures were like something out of a James Bond film and added a whole new element to the book, while Ali battles an enemy sniper in the air. It was all pretty exciting. For me, Homer really steps up in this book and shows what he is made of and I liked that. The same can be said for poor Juice who is alone and far from rescue. Ali is having to face coming up second best for once and I liked seeing her character deal with that.

It was interesting to get a new character in Aliyev, who sold the original virus to the Al Shabaab terrorist group, which then somehow mutated into a zombie virus. He is a character you think you should hate but I found myself liking him from the start as he perfects a way to kill all the zombies. He now needs to find a way to stop his cure from killing the survivors as well, to redeem himself somewhat. I think his adventures could be interesting as the series progresses.

Overall, I loved this book again and can't get enough of this series.  

Read February 2017.
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg

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