Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Book Review: Ground Zero by Nicholas Ryan

Aboard a freighter bound for Baltimore harbor, an Iranian terrorist prepares to unleash an unimaginable horror upon the United States. The ‘Wrath’ is an undead plague – an infection that consumes its victims with a maddening rage and turns them into mindless blood-thirsty killers.

Jack Cutter is just an ordinary guy dealing with a dreadful guilt when the virus tears through his home town. Before it’s too late, Cutter will have to find a way to survive, and find a reason fight: HIS REDEMPTION.

My Review: 
A zombie outbreak begins in Baltimore when a terrorist unleashes a deadly virus in himself, and it swiftly spreads to the streets. The CDC loses control and the virus starts to sweep the country. Jack Cutter is one of the many running for his life and he is helped to sanctuary in a book store secure basement. But with food, water and electricity about to run out, should they stay and hope for rescue or try to find a way past the zombies and out of the city?

Jack is already dealing with the trauma of losing his wife and son recently, the guilt of it all screwing him up and in the apocalypse he sees a chance to redeem himself by trying to help others to survive. I like him as a character for the most part although sympathy wanes when this distraught grieving man starts eyeing up Sam during the crisis. Jeez man, you claim you are heartbroken but can't resist thinking how hot Sam was. Concentrate on the damn zombies FFS!

I have definite issues with the women in this story. Jillian offers herself to Hos in the hope that he will like her enough to take her with him when he makes a break for his prepper home outside the city. Glenda attempts the same move on Jack which disgusts him, and me. Why are these women so useless that their only aim in the book is to offer sex to the big brave men? Jillian does the same when she meets the soldiers. Why can't these women prove their worth by handling a gun or showing brains instead of being useless pointless slags? It really pisses me off.

The male characters are much more interesting. Hos who works in the bookstore is a prepper who has been preparing a safe house outside the city in case of disaster and now plans to make his way to it. He is portayed as somewhat selfish for refusing to take any of the others with him but I don't agree with that. He set up his safe house with his own time and money, collecting supplies and weapons just in case, and his work colleagues looked at him as a bit of a paranoid nut. Now that things have gone to hell, they beg Hos to look after them? Why should he suddenly have to take care of a whole group of people who only want to be his friend AFTER disaster strikes? I feel that Jack's attitude to Hos was a bit unfair. I would have liked a bit more on the other characters in the book store which would have been nice but being a novella, there was not enough time to explore them. I also very much liked Father Bob and his sub plot.

OK so the book has a few sexist and anti-prepper moments but those are the plot niggles. The actual story was well written by the author and it kept me reading it the whole time. I wanted to see what was going to happen to the characters and if there was a way to get to the safehouse of Hos. There was plenty of tense and exciting zombie action which of course is required in any good zombie novel. I liked the pacing of the book and the way it didn't lose itself in lots of pointless description, just getting right to the story. There were good action scenes with danger from both zombies and humans to enjoy.

It was a good zombie novella, with everything you would expect from a zombie plot. I will certainly be looking at other books by the author.
Read June 2015 
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

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