Friday, 1 April 2016

Book Review: Beyond Exile by JL Bourne (Book #2)

Armies of undead have risen up across the U.S. and around the globe;there is no safe haven from the diseased corpses hungering for human flesh. But in the heat of a Texas wasteland, a small band of survivors attempt to counter the millions closing in around them.

Survivor, Day by day, the handwritten journal entries of one man caught in a worldwide cataclysm capture the desperation; and the will to survive;as he joins forces with a handful of refugees to battle soulless enemies both human and inhuman from inside an abandoned strategic missile facility. But in the world of the undead, is mere survival enough?

My Review:
This review will contain plot spoilers for those who have not read book one so please use caution!

Our hero has been injured in the blast but the raiders have been pretty much defeated and we find out what happened during the battle. It is decided to use the plane to go and get supplies and scout out the area for signs of trouble. At an airfield, they find a note from a woman seeking help for her and her grandson and a rescue is launched. At Hotel 23, reactions are mixed about helping a group of marines in a broken down vehicle in case they want to take over the facility, but in the end a rescue begins. It does leads to an armed standoff with local troops until the soldiers surrounding the facility realise that our hero is the highest ranking officer and peace is declared.

The marines are grateful for being rescued and are now happy to help the survivors set up the systems inside Hotel 23 and joint cooperation is suggested. The military will give them help and a helicopter to aid them on recon if they assist in a few government operations to back up or rescue their troops. If our man re-enlists, so to speak, the civilians can stay at the facility. It seems the best deal under the circumstances and things improve at the facility. Our hero goes on the recon mission but things go wrong when there is a crash and anyone surviving it has a long walk back to the safety of the facility with limited weapons, food and water, and a lot of zombies to deal with.

The first half of the book is really good, having our survivors trying to get over the battle, and the rescues of a few more people-civilians and soldiers. There is decent action and tension, similar to the first book. It was shaping up to be a good read. I liked the new characters and like other reviewers, I kept imagining Naveen Andrews in the role of Saien! I found the character intriguing and I kept wondering what his story really was. However, there were things I didn't like and most of that came in the second half of the book.

The book changes format from the first in the series, which is why I didn't like it as much as that one. The main focus of this book is the aftermath of the helicopter crash and the long journey home with the dangers faced. While it was interesting, just having one character for a lot of the book meant that it didn't have the same emotional tension as the first book. We barely see the characters from the first book like John, Annabelle, Jan and William. We only really hear about Tara when she becomes the sexual love interest which is a bit disappointing. I don't get any chemistry between the two as he hardly ever mentions Tara and we barely see her. John is my favourite so not seeing much of him after enjoying his adventures in book one was a bit of a let down. And so little of the cute and cuddily Annabelle!

The other thing about this book is that the second half of the book is more focused on military weapons and tactics, technical things, the actions of Remote Six, the introduction of a man who may or may not be a good guy. All of the jargon and weapons talk went way over my head as a non military person and it found it confusing and a bit boring. The long journey back from the crash also had boring and slow parts which made it less exciting to read.

Overall it was a decent enough read but it was lacking most of what made the first book so great. And now at the end we discover that our hero is going to be sent to China to investigate where the outbreak began with alien spaceships and a plot resembling The Thing? I'm not convinced and it sounds like we'll barely see the likes of John and Anabelle again. I'll read book three as I already own it but I'm not greatly excited about reading it.
star rating photo: 35 star rating 3-5-stars.jpg


  1. But is the dog still alive!!!! I hate that when a second book is below par.

    1. Yes she did make it to book two which was a relief!