*I received this book from the author for an honest review.*
I’m a zombie fan. From classic films like The Night of the Living Dead to intensely addictive TV shows like The Walking Dead, funny and memorable films like Zombieland and the heart-stopping 28 Days/Weeks later film franchise—I love them all.
The problem with zombie books (and films) is that sometimes its all just more of the same and it can be hard to make the subject interesting— that didn’t seem to be a problem with this book. Better Hero Army aka author Evan Ramspott managed to take the zombie genre and give it his own spin.
When Tom, the wealthy son of a senator was 14, the first zombie outbreak claimed his 8-year-old sisters humanity. She was bitten while he was supposed to be taking care of her and she was taken away, as were all other infected— to be “cured” and experimented on.
Years later he and his brother Gary are still looking for her. They leave the safety of their district (walls were built to keep the infected out) and visit one of the plagued states, were zombies are kept in cages, almost like a zoo. They’re salivary glands are removed, making them no longer contagious and they are displayed and sold to whoever has the cash to buy. Manual labour and the sex-trade (ick) seems to be some of the main uses for zombies who no longer pose a threat. Then there are half-breeds; the result of the government testing for cures on humans. Not quite human, but not quite zombie. During the search for their sister, Tom sees a halfbreed and immediately feels a connection with her. Of course disaster strikes and their visit is cut short when the zombies are mistakenly let out of their pens and start attacking. Just because they are no longer contagious, doesn’t mean they’ve lost their appetite for flesh.
The brothers get separated—Gary to safety and Tom stranded with slave traders, the half-breed and some visitors. They set off towards MidAmerica to find a way back to safety, while Tom uses it as an opportunity to continue the search for his sister.
The one problem I had while reading this book was the whole premise was that the brothers were going out to rescue their sister, yet when Tom finally finds her he just lets her go! He was more interested in saving the halfbreed then rescuing her. It just felt like the build up to finding her was all for nothing, because he didn’t really fight to bring her back.
The world building, the descriptive writing, the fast-paced action, the unique plot —was all amazing. It was a different kind of zombie book and I honestly recommend it. It’s a quick read and it definitely leaves you yearning to learn more about the world Ramspott created.
Have you read Plagued? Let me know below!