Monday, 17 July 2017

Chuckles Retro Reads: Extinction Horizon by Nicholas Sansbury Smith (EH #1)


Master Sergeant Reed Beckham has led his Delta Force Team, codenamed Ghost, through every kind of hell imaginable and never lost a man. When a top secret Medical Corps research facility goes dark, Team Ghost is called in to face their deadliest enemy yet--a variant strain of Ebola that turns men into monsters.

After barely escaping with his life, Beckham returns to Fort Bragg in the midst of a new type of war. The virus is already spreading... As cities fall, Team Ghost is ordered to keep CDC virologist Dr. Kate Lovato alive long enough to find a cure. What she uncovers will change everything. Total extinction is just on the horizon, but will the cure be worse than the virus?

My Review: 
Delta Force Team Ghost are being sent to a facility in California where contact has been lost with scientists who were working on a cure for a new Ebola outbreak. To make matters worse, the team are told of a supersoldier vaccine experiment VX99 that took place in Vietnam and went wrong, and it may be linked to this facility going dark. Beckham's orders are to breach the facility, rescue anyone alive and find the cure if one exists but what they find in the dark is from their worst nightmares...

Can I say that I loved this book as much as the Arisen series that I rave about? This is another series that rolls along at breakneck speed with action and horror all over the place, and characters that you give a damn about. And there are lots of zombies to enjoy!

Beckham is the leader of the group, stong, capable and loyal to his team. He is not happy at the lack of information that they are receiving from the army guides who are briefing him but is resigned to doing his job and getting in and out of the facility as quickly as possible. When they go inside and find dead bodies infected with both Ebola and VX99 viruses, it is clear that something bad is going to be lurking down in the dark. It reminds me of a Resident Evil video game as they move through the dark facility, waiting for something to jump out at them. I was as tense as they were! It was an exciting mission to read as they face monsters trying to kill them. Lets just say that those who came out alive were darn lucky to do so, and it gets the book off to an explosive start.

The infection of course is not going to be contained as an infected scientist leave the facility before lockdown occured, and he is about to turn on an aircraft landing in Chicago. The city is soon falling to the monsters while other planes start spreading the infection through the country. When the infection hits Atlanta, two scientists, Kate and Michael, are stranded there as they try to work on a cure before the zombies take over everywhere. They are pretty much the planet's last hope and the remains of Beckham's team are sent to the CDC to rescue them and get them to safety. Beckham has serious doubts about fighting his way into the building with so many infected to find the scientists, never mind getting them safely out of the city...

I liked the prologue of the book where we see the utter failure of the experiment in Vietnam which Brett's team were told would keep the troops safe from chemical warfare weapons. Instead as the men inject themselves, the agony of the injection causes them to feel compelled to kill and they turn into violent psychopaths and turn on each other until only Brett is left alive. We last see him in the jungle seeking out other people to kill. Brett suspected he was being used as a guinea pig and he was right-VX99 was actually designed to create super soldiers but turned out to be too lethal and was discontinued. Until the scientists try to use it to kill the Ebola virus and create something worse...

It is also interesting that the man in charge of the army base on Plum Island, Gibson from USAMRIID, was the man who wanted to create a virus that would stop the need for US soldiers going abroad to die after the death of his own son in the military. Instead, they created something too powerful and contagious and now it is on the ramage and will kill millions. I found myself feeling sympathetic to his aims but of course he is the man to blame for the situation. I like the fact that it is more complex than a bad guy releasing a virus kind of thing.

The zombies in this book are lethal and pretty dang scary! They are not the actual living dead as they are humans who suddenly mutate into monsters but their behaviour is so zombie like that that is what I call them. It is their blood which infects and that is how the plague spreads. They are also constantly evolving through the book which keeps things interesting. You're never quite sure what was coming next and I love a book that throws up twists and surprises. The action is full on with several critical missions that put our characters into danger, all of which are well written, tense and heart in mouth. The characters are well written and developed and you very much care every time they are in danger, which is vital to me in a book. This series looks to have everything I want from a zombie apocalypse and I loved the book.

It really is a rollercoaster ride for zombie fans.

First Read October 2016, re-read May 2017.
5 stars   


  1. I need to read more zombies. This sounds like an exciting story. Great review!

  2. This sounds great! I may have to give this one a try. This author does seem to have a knack for writing tense scenes in a way that makes the reader feel just as tense and anxious. And don't worry, I call everything Zombies LOL.

    1. It's a bit confusing to have things that behave like zombies but aren't so I also tend to just call them zombies to make life easier! I love this series and the last book is out later this year...