After training and leading his small band of survivors through the desert, Travis Combs just wants to get back home to his son in Denver. However, an emerging force in the mountains of Flagstaff poses a threat to his plans, and they will stop at nothing to obtain what he has. This novella is the second installment in the First Wave series.
Travis was once part of a Special Forces team who tackled bioterrorism. With him recently quitting the team including Logan and Talia continue on without him. When Jim's handler went dark and the zombies appeared, Logan was lacking resources and unable to find Jim or Travis and is now looking for them with urgency, unaware of what the group has already been through.
Crawford's team know that they have to take out the enemy helicopters before they can take off or the whole mission will be a failure. Travis and Pete are gathering intel near Flagstaff and Travis decides to sneak through the tunnels towards the Command Center, unaware that Nikki's cameras are watching every step he takes. The Jerome people and the rest of the Travis group prepare to begin their attack on the enemy. Nikki's satellites ruin any chance they had of a surprise attack. The battle for Flagstaff is about to begin and the living dead are also coming to the party in their droves as an added danger for both sides of the battle.
The virus mission takes on new focus as Travis agrees to lead a small team to the coordinates that Jim gave him. They begin the journey in the helicopter, unaware that someone on the team is not who they claim to be and will do anything it takes to stop them. Travis is certain that someone has deliberately sabotaged the helicopter to force them to continue on foot but who is the traitor? Logan arrives to meet Crawford but Crawford is unsure whether or not to trust him and is reluctant to tell him where Travis is or what the mission is about. Finding the dead body of one of his men who was supposed to go with Travis is a disturbing development and Crawford may have to gamble on Logan's help.
This book delves more into the conspiracy surrounding the virus and the vaccine which I did find quite interesting. I had fun trying to decide if Logan and Talia should be trusted, and working out who the traitor was in the group with Travis on the mission. We also find out that Travis and Nikki have encountered each other before and their showdown during the battle was good. There is also plenty of action as the battle for Flagstaff gets underway, and we follow each of our groups as they fight. I liked some of the tactics that were being used and the zombies coming out to play was obviously enjoyable!
I actually read this novella about eighteen months after the first one but it was easy to slide back into the story without any trouble. It picks up exactly where the first one stops with Pete and Travis heading out on their mission. It continues with a good plot and the characters we liked in the first one but there is new information and new people to add to the developing story. It was another solid part to this novella trilogy.
Read March 2017.