An army advances...
In Europe, Master Sergeant Joe Fitzpatrick and Team Ghost return from a mission deep into enemy territory only to find that the Variant army has grown stronger, and they are advancing toward the EUF's stronghold in Paris.
On the brink of Civil War...
Back in the United States, President Ringgold and Dr. Kate Lovato are on the run. The Safe Zone Territories continue to rally behind the ROT flag, leaving Ringgold more enemies than allies. But there are still those who will stand and fight for America. Commander Rachel Davis and Captain Reed Beckham will risk everything to defeat ROT and save the country from collapsing into Civil War.
Having loved the six books and novella in this series, it was kind of bittersweet earlier this year to get my hands on this last book in the series. There is always the worry that the series will end as a damp squib or an unsatisfactory ending of some kind. Thankfully, I really enjoyed this book and was pleased by the way things concluded.
Beckham and Jim have strategic differences on how to go about things as they try to survive the hell that is Chicago and get a vehicle to help them to escape. Now they have to reach an outpost where there is a chance that they can call for help but the place could be crawling with variants or Wood's soldiers who want them dead. Rachel and Diaz fail to carry out their daring plan and they are now left hiding alone in the woods and considering what to do next. They decide to kill as many as they can and then board the ship to take control and blow up the ship to destroy the remains of the virus there but that plan hits a problem when Rachel doesn't take account of a variant monster in the water.
Jan, Kate and Horn with the rest of their group are in hiding after their escape but not knowing who to trust leaves them at risk. If they call for help, will they find troops loyal to Wood or to Jan? A seal team may be willing to risk everything to save their President but is it safe to try? Kate also has to face the prospect that Beckham is dead and she might be required to make yet another bio weapon. She puts a coded message out there for him and hopes he is alive to hear it. Jan's remaining supporters are wary of trusting each other so can they pull together to find a cure?
Fitz is horrified to hear that Jan is being accused of killing her own people-and that the madman who is doing it is the brother of the man he killed to save his friends, and has declared himself President. He has little time to think about it when Reavers suddenly attack his camp and a battle begins. Even if Team Ghost survive this mission, someone will have to go to the site of the dirty bombs to see what has happened to the variants. Piero and his mouse Ringo are doing some spying and realise that the radiation bombs that were dropped have done more harm than good, turning the variants into fully mutated monsters that are harder to kill. As he watches, the bugs begin to hatch around him and his life is in danger.
The action is ramped up again in this final book as we follow the action in Europe and America. We follow Beckham and Jim on an escape from Chicago, Jan's people trying to find a way to defeat both the variants and Wood and Rachel as she tries to take back her hijacked ship. It also switches to Piero and Ringo's solo adventure and Team Ghost battling for survival. There is a lot going on so the switching between each group keeps things moving at pace. There really is no let up in the tension as the climax of the series approaches. I also had a dog and a mouse to worry about again which really shreds the last nerve!
My one complaint was that at the start of the book, we join things at a stage after some action has happened off-page and we are instead told what just happened instead of seeing it unfold as it did in other books. I wanted to see what happened when Rachel led the assault on the ship rather than just be told how it had all went wrong as she hides in the woods brooding over it. For the sake of an extra chapter in the book, I really think we could have seen it happen. It was a little disappointing but it doesn't ruin the book so I can't complain too much.
I'm not going to go into any more detail about plot as this is the last book and I hope that some of you will want to read the series for yourself. It is not actually a zombie novel but the behaviour of the mutated humans does mirror that kind of thing so zombie fans should like it. Likewise as the books progress, the mutated people actually evolve into all types of monsters and giant bugs to adapt to their environment so people who like a bit of creature feature will enjoy it too. The characters are people that you like-the Special Forces team that fight to save everyone, the dedicated scientists, the varied civilians and the animals of course. The plot is always moving and continually evolves which keeps things interesting as you don't know what is coming next.
If you like apocalypse, zombies or creature features, why not give this series a try?
Read March 2018.