Monday, 12 June 2017

Book Review: First Wave by JT Sawyer (First Wave #1)

Special Forces veteran Travis Combs just wanted to forget his weary years of leading combat missions while taking an extended rafting trip through the Grand Canyon.

As he and his group complete a 22-day trip on the Colorado River, they find the world has unraveled from a deadly pandemic.

Now, he has to show his small band how to live off the land and cross the rugged Arizona desert, while evading blood-drinking zombies, gangs of cartel bikers, and a rogue government agency.

My Review: 
Ten days before the start of the deadly pandemic, a friend calls Dr Pearson to tell him to flee with his research and go into hiding. Europe has been contaminated and the scientists are about to be murdered by a shadowy group who want control of the cure vaccine. Dr Pearson flees for Flagstaff and he hopes, to some kind of safety.

Pete is leading a rafting trip down the Colorado River and one of the men on it is Travis, an ex military man looking for some quiet time in the wilderness. There is little hope of that when at one of their camp sites, a river ranger appears and bites two of the group. By morning both of the bitten have turned and the group wonder what is happening. Travis and his fellow rafters are totally unaware that during their trip a pandemic has brought on the zombie apocalypse. At the main road they find the ranger's wife dead, a lot of abandoned vehicles, a town half burned and covered with the shells of spent bullets and old newspapers telling of the zombies. As they rejoin the real world, they will need all of the survival skills that Travis can teach them if they are to live.

Being quickly inserted into a zombie apocalypse is hard for the group to adjust to but their first mass encounter sends them fleeing. There are plenty of exciting events through the book like the cavern escape, the line shack incident, the bikers, the airport trip, and there was also the interest of the general fight to survive without the comforts that they took for granted while trying to avoid the bad guys. There was plenty of tension and action to enjoy along with the inter relationships of the characters.

I really like the characters in this book. Travis is your take charge former military man who now wants a quiet life and to reconnect with his son. He is a survivalist, a natural leader and the ideal man to help them through the apocalypse event. Also in the group are his friend Pete, ER nurse Katy, helicopter pilot LB, school principal Evelyn, antisocial Jim. They quickly meet Evan and his granddaughter Becka who fill them in on what has been happening while they were gone. There are other good characters that they meet throughout the book that I also liked, especially Tom but I'm not saying any more about him as it might spoil the story.

We also have a sub plot which follows the more unsavoury survivors. Nikki is a deadly former military woman with a skill for torture and she is looking for someone who is in Travis' group in the aftermath of the zombies but for what purpose? She is happy to use local bike gangs and drug cartels to control the area for her while she looks for her target, and nobody will stand in her way. She is also determined to wipe out the survival compound put together by the people of Jerome to protect themselves from lawbreakers and zombies. The bikers are taking advantage of the situation to kidnap and rape any women that they find. There are other dangers lurking out there too which Travis and his group are going to discover.

Travis thinks that he is charged with looking after a small group of people but what he finds out during the line shack incident means that he is now going to go on a new mission to stop the zombie virus and those who are looking to do his group harm. There is always something going on in this book, with the plot going in different directions just to keep you interested. And of course there are zombies!

If you like a zombie book with a compelling conspiracy plot, action, great characters and a human story to it all, then you should consider giving this a try. You can get all three novellas in the series in one handy paperback book now.
Read August 2015.
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg


  1. I'm trying to remember if I have this one on my kindle app or if it's another with the same title. I'm going to have to look and see.

    1. It's a good series with emphasis on the conspiracy more than the zombies.

  2. oh man 'm gonna have to read this series! :)

    1. As the trilogy progresses there is more on the conspiracy than the zombies so you might do ok with it.

  3. This one sounds good! I like the idea of coming back from rafting to find that the world has gone to heck! Oops!!

    1. It would be a bit of a shock wouldn't it! I enjoyed the trilogy.