Friday, 9 June 2017

Interval by Jason Kristopher (Dying of the Light #2)

The world has ended, and the few who are left struggle day by day to survive. They hoped that the worst thing they would have to deal with in this new world would be the walkers, come to rip and tear and kill. They were wrong.

There are worse things than zombies.

A refuge for the last remnants of the United States has gone silent and dark, while another has succumbed to the basest parts of human nature. Yet all is not lost, for in the farthest and coldest corner of the globe, marooned in an icy prison, a scientist has made a stunning breakthrough. A desparate rescue mission is launched to bring back the one person who can save them all, but the trip is long and dangerous, and its fate is uncertain.

My Review: 
Word of the superflu reaches Antarctica along with the last supply flight in and a zombie, showing the scientists what a dangerous situation they are in. Seeing the news broadcast where the President tells the nation about the zombie apocalypse is a shock and they realise that they are now on their own and must join with other research groups to survive. A plan is also made to send their final plane to New Zealand to their supply base to try and find somewhere safe to evacuate their people to. The people left behind have to wait and watch their supplies run low...

At the bunker Beoshane's people are constantly on the attack to try to find a way to get at the supplies inside and the bunker defences are beginning to look a little shaky. The other bunkers are having a mixed time too with one falling under the command of a madman, one falling to the zombies and others no longer willing to cooperate in the joint ventures. Mary also has mixed news about Kim and David's blood tests which causes a rift between the couple over the prospect of having children and whether they will be immune or infected.

Bill leads the team to Christchurch and they plan to try and use the terminal building as a base inside the fences. However there are already people living there who have turned to religion to survive though they offer to help Bill's people. But their help is going to come at a terrible price when Bill discovers the secret to the food that these people are eating.

The bunker is surprised to intercept a message from Antarctica, sent out by a Russian agent seeking extraction by her people. Knowing that there are more survivors motivates them into planning a complicated rescue which will take the combined efforts of several bunkers. Is the rescue worth risking to save these people?

I loved the first book in the series which followed the military as they set up zombie task forces to deal with small outbreaks and then start building the bunkers when they realise that they are losing the war. This second book starts with the people safely in the bunker and a few groups of scattered survivors in Antarctica and New Zealand, trying to survive in different ways.

What I liked was the idea of the Antarctica story and especially the plans for the rescue teams going there. The rescue plan was the best bit of the book actually. I was less keen on the power struggle in Antarctica by corrupt men and the Russian agent sleeping her way through the communications men until she was able to persuade one of them to send her message over the radio. The men involved were extremely dumb and broke every rule in the book for her but in the end it did cause a rescue attempt. It just wasn't an entertaining plot device. I also liked the bunker being under attack in different ways from Beoshane's people which kept things tense for a while.

My issue with the book was the way it was written. It moves from the as it happens narrative that I liked so much in the first book, where we followed the military teams on and off the bases as they dealt with the various outbreaks and prepared the bunkers for the chosen people. In this book we would get a chapter on the Antarctica group then time would jump ahead to what was happening in the bunkers or the supply run in New Zealand. There would be a very dramatic story like Bill's and the next chapter would jump 2 years ahead to the starving people in Antarctica then a year on to the latest attack on the bunker. The time jumps I found irritating because I wanted the story to flow and see what happens to each character instead of jumping years ahead each time. I get that the author was trying to cover a big period of time but I just found the whole thing clunky, disjointed and lacking the tension and cohesion from the earlier book.

It was still a decent book but the format did affect my enjoyment of it, along with the limited contact we have of favourite characters in other bunkers.  

Read March 2017.
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

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