Title: Plagued: The Midamerica Zombie Half-Breed Experiment
Author: Better Hero Army (AKA Evan Ramspott)
Series: Plagued States of America
Publisher: Storyteller Press, LLC
Publication Date: July 2013
Rating: 3.5 stars
“It took an insane kind of bravery to hunt zombies.”
*I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Tom grew up in the Districts, a community walled-in and safe from the Plagued States of America. When the outbreak first started, before the walls went up, there was absolute chaos, and in that mess Tom’s sister was bitten and turned. Ever since, Tom has been blamed by his father and his brother Gary for what happened. Twice a year, Tom and Gary travel to Biter’s Hill, a trading outpost where zombies are brought to be logged and sold as mindless slaves. There, they pour over dozens of log books, searching for their sister’s face. Their father would give anything to have his baby girl back, still clinging to the hope of finding a cure. It’s during this trip that Tom discovers Penelope, a strange half-human, half-zombie. It’s also during this trip that the zombies break lose and overrun the outpost. Suddenly, Tom finds himself stranded in Midamerica with Penelope and a band of other survivors. Tom hopes that with Penelope’s help he can find his sister and maybe assemble a rescue mission before the zombies close in and tear them limb from limb.
I haven’t started a series in a long time…I’ve been on a stand-alone marathon, I guess. I also haven’t read a zombie book in awhile, and even though they absolutely terrify me (irrationally), I love them. Plagued: The Midamerica Zombie Half-Breed Experiment is an interesting take on the whole zombie apocalypse craze. We typically think of zombies as shells of the person they once were. In Plagued, however, there are half-breeds, zombies that have been experimented on and administered a possible cure. Although they are not brought back from the dead, they are clearly more human than the full-on zombies, kind of like R in Warm Bodies.
The writing was sometimes a little hard to follow, but the plot was interesting and fast-paced. I thought the characters needed to be a little more developed; I liked Tom and Penelope, sometimes Hank and Peske, but I didn’t really care about anyone else. Like, when a member of the survivors died, I just kind of shrugged and said eh, and kept reading. It didn’t really hit me too hard like the death of a character normally does.
Oh, and I really liked the cover – very simple with a gorgeous model (even though she is half-dead) and helped me picture Penelope in the story.
The book was quite short and made for a quick read. Although it didn’t end with a cliffhanger, I’m still curious to see where book 2 will pick up and where the story will go from there. Not bad!
*I read and reviewed a galley edition of the novel – if anything is misquoted in comparison to the published version, please let me know.