"Take care of my little girl." The last words Karl Weiss said to him before he sacrificed himself are still fresh in Dave Stewart's mind after he crashes in Kansas City. With only the contents of his cache tube, his wits and two Marines to help him, he is determined to keep the promise he made to Amy's parents, and get her safely out of the zombie infested inferno they find themselves in. All that stands between the four survivors and freedom are millions of zombies, ghouls with terrifying mutations, a cult leader bent on ruling the city with an iron fist and a river with almost no way across.
Along the way, he will uncover more about the Asura virus, reunite with old friends, find unexpected allies and learn things about himself that will change his life forever. But even in the depths of Hell, an old enemy hunts him. Can Dave lead those who have put their faith in him out of the inferno without getting burned?
I read the first book in this series over a year ago and now I'm finally getting to review the next two books which I read last week.
The helicopter has crash-landed on the roof with Dave and Amy surviving the impact. They are joined by military personnel Kaplan and Hernandez. Still reeling over what happened before the crash, Dave quickly realises that they have crashed onto the hospital roof in the middle of Kansas City and are going to have to go through the building to escape, without being bitten by the dead. If they get out of the building alive, they must find a way to get out of the city to reunite with Maya at Nate's ranch.
The inside of the hospital is like scenes from the Doom or Resident Evil console games as you never know exactly what is lurking around the next corridor. Dave is interested to note that somebody was there before them. There is evidence of a major gun battle between the security officers and special forces personnel. Dave wants to take some time to search for information on the virus, as the company responsible for the virus seem to have been experimenting in the hospital. He is also aware that they need to try and avoid alerting the zombies that a food source has arrived. Kaplan and Hernandez prove to be the ideal companions for a dangerous expedition amongst the infected and Amy has to start learning to defend herself too.
I did sometimes find it difficult to follow the action in the hospital as it sounded like a maze they were going through but I just ignored that and read on. It is highly likely that was more about my own issues with following a scene in my head than any specific fault in the author. It was certainly easier for me to follow things when the hospital part was finished and Dave was on the loose in the city. The other thing I wasn't 100% sure about was the alpha zombie talking and planning things. I'm not usually keen on the smart zombie thing. Part of the problem might be that it had been a year since I read the first book which introduces the idea of these alpha zombies so I had actually forgotten that they were in the series. Again, they don't feature too heavily but when they do there is a lot of interesting action!
The survivors meet self-named Daniel who is a big fan of Dave's apocalypse books. He claims to be a prophet of God, running a cult compound where the men have to slave for him to get food and security away from the zombies while women and girls become his wives and lovers. When Daniel gets his eye on Amy as his latest wife, Dave is determined that they must escape. Daniel wants Dave as his right hand man and he doesn't like it when he doesn't get what he wants. I'm not a fan of religious cults in the middle of an apocalypse, I never have, but thankfully that is just a small part in this book and only lasts a few chapters so I was ok with it this time. It gives the excuse for a good action packed scene which was nice. The other bad guy who rears his head again is Agent Keyes who is still gunning for Dave.
I liked the introduction of Dave's old friends and it added an interesting new element to the book. A couple of the survivors like Chris and Beth were such morons that I personally wanted to feed them to the Alpha zombie! It was a bit disappointing that we only saw a couple of short pages in the form of diary entries to tell us what was happening to Maya and her friends. I would have loved to have the occasional chapter with her, Porsche and Cassie, as I liked them from book one. It would have been exciting to switch from Dave to Maya!
Overall it was a strong sequel with lots of scary zombie action in the hospital and the city itself. I went straight on to read book three.
Read February 2018.