~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
Hi I'm chucklesthescot from Chuckles Book Cave and I'm a zombie-holic! *waves* I am delighted to be asked by the lovely Velvet to talk about my three favourite zombie prepper books. For those not aware of what it means 'prepper' is basically someone who decides to get ready for potential disasters before they happen to give them a better chance to survive, and in this case the people in the books have to face a zombie apocalypse. These three books feature different kinds of preppers and are my current three favourite zombie prepper books!
by JW Vohs
Amazon | Goodreads
Jack and Carter meet in a US squad in Afghanistan and witness a zombie outbreak which is barely contained. When returning to the US, both men are concerned about future outbreaks and begin work on a fortress capable of housing their loved ones with supplies to survive should the virus escape and come to their land. The day when the news reports a new pandemic outbreak in Afghanistan with injured soldiers being brought back to the US and it is only a matter of time before the outbreak starts there.
The book starts strongly with the first outbreak in Afghanistan where Jack and Carter see their first zombies, going through the whole experience fighting together to survive. The book then jumps forward nicely to the completion of their fortess project ten years later, with the Castle ready. It is just in time as disturbing news reports catch Jack's attention and he knows that the virus has escaped and a deadly invasion of zombies is coming. The strength of this book is that we follow our heroes as they make final preperations and get their loved ones to the Castle, setting up defences and plans. We are with them as they follow news reports charting the start of the US outbreak with the tension rapidly building as the outbreak gets closer to where they are. I loved the detail of how the Castle, the town and local residents start trying to get ready for what is coming, with everyone involved.
The book is different from the 'shoot 'em up' zombie novels in that there is more human to zombie combat. With zombies having good hearing, survivors are trying to keep quiet to avoid attracting the zombies and using old fashioned quiet weapons to do most of the battle with. I assume the title Zombie Crusade is connected to the fact that the Crusades used these spear and hammer type weapons before guns came to the fore. The other good thing about the book was the building of the three safehouses to house civilians who didn't want to remain in their homes, and having the response teams ready to go to the aid of those still in their homes when zombies invade the area. This leads to some exciting zombie action on a regular basis in the book, which nicely breaks up the described preperations. The action at the safehouses and the zombie attacks did not disappoint! I liked the fact that Jack made glaring errors in his planning which would happen when you're trying to man manage every detail and overlooking the obvious. It added in realism.
Niggles? For me there could have been a bit more character depth to the supporting cast who we don't get to know as well as I'd have liked. I think the focus was always on our heroes which did neglect characters I was interested in hearing more about. I'd have liked to have seen more group imput in planning and more interaction between the characters. The romance I think was rushed in too quick and felt forced and would have been better introduced slowly so we get to know Andi before the attraction to Jack begins. That is of course personal preference.
If you like good zombie action scenes, building tension throughout the book and following the outbreaks as it happens, you might well enjoy this book.
by Rachel Aukes
Amazon | Goodreads
Closing the border to Mexico failed to stop the zombies from entering the United States and Cash has to flee from her workplace as the dead swarm the living. Reluctantly rescued by former Army man and prepper truck driver Clutch, Cash has to prove that she can pull her weight and help or be turned out on the street to fend for herself in a world of zombies, rapists and armed militia, all ready to take what the survivors have fought so hard to find. As Clutch makes local enemies, the zombies become the least of their worries.
Clutch is a loner but gradually start to see the bright side of having an extra pair of hands around the place and someone to assist him on dangerous supply runs into town. I liked him because he was straightforward, capable and not much of a people person which I can certainly relate to! He has been ready to look after himself in any scenario and I liked the way he had his farm set up. I always find the preppers in these books fascinating and enjoy reading about what they do to protect their property. Trouble really begins when the army nearby sets up local militias to protect their own areas and stockpile anything they find of use for future distribution. Clutch has had dealings with some of these locals before and refuses to accept that these people have the right to take everything in town for themselves. Doyle, their leader is issuing demands for survivors like Clutch to hand over their own supplies or be attacked. When it is clear that even the army men cannot control Doyle, Clutch and Cash have to find ways to defend themselves and start thinking of a way to stop Doyle from taking everything.
This is what I term a typical zombie novel and I mean that in a good way. It has the excellent zombie action, the tense supply runs, psycho armed men, the daily struggle to survive...all of the elements I love in a zombie book. It also has a different storyline for a zombie prepper book in that the army are trying to help the civilians, moving them into well equipped and safe army camps instead of the horrific FEMA camps you read about in other books in the genre! The army men are decent, law abiding and want to work with people like Clutch. They set up militias as added defence and so that these people could keep the camps supplied. Doyle of course is keeping most of the good stuff for himself and is now viewing the army as a threat to his empire. So there are several interesting plotlines woven together, meaning lots of action.
The book blurb indicates that it is based on Dante's Inferno but not having read the book, I can't tell you if this is an accurate description or not. For me, I can only say it was a good zombie novel. I thought the book was well written and I've already bought the rest of the series to read in paperback. It will be fun to see what happens next!
by Joseph Talluto
Amazon | Goodreads
John Talon flees home with his baby son when the zombies reach his town and with two other survivors Tommy and Duncan, they start looking for somewhere safer. Along the journey they encounter other survivors, evil opportunists and hoardes of the undead and it is clear that working together in a survivalist community is the only way to stay safe. Can the survivors set up a safe place and learn the skills needed to survive the apocalypse?
This is the type of zombie book I love. It starts with the zombie threat already facing John and the survivors and it is a tension filled, fast paced zombie thrill ride! There are scenes of zombies chasing people, zombie attacks on cars and buildings, evil men holding hostages and demanding safe passage tolls, tense supply runs...all the things you expect from a good zombie book. The run to the school and the following battle was very exciting and well written, and the community growing introduces us to more great characters like Charlie, moaning faced Frank, Nate, Sarah etc. The big scenes like the school and the supply runs bring plenty zombies to the story which keeps me happy but it was also about the humanity of the survivors and how important it is to work together to stay safe. John also has to juggle the leadership and safety of the group with his duties as a single parent, which adds a new dimension to the plot.
I also liked that the group want to have a good quality of life and not just survive inside a big building. John and his friends are looking at building a gated community with safe parks and things to allow everyone a better life. It was ambitious but added something new to the story. I also liked the way the zombies were slowing developing and learning to adapt to the hunt. I'm not going to spoil the book but they were interesting changes and I look forward to seeing what they are going to do in later books. I also liked that the two weak and moaning characters were both men. Frank whines, complains and tries to get out of pulling his weight, wanting others to do the dirty, messy and dangerous jobs. As for Kevin, the man is a piece of scum and I kept hoping that he would get eaten-I hate him! But despite disliking them both, they also add more interest to the story. I don't get the need to add a romance into these apocalypse books. Seriously, John has lost his wife yet it doesn't seem to take him long to get attracted to Sarah. Still, it doesn't dominate the story the way it does in some zombie books so it wasn't really annoying.
This book is loaded with action and emotion, and it doesn't go stale because the author keeps changing the scenes and the form of the action, which was good. Traditional zombie fans should enjoy this and I look forward to the rest of the series.
There we have it.
If, like me, you love your zombies and like the idea of zombie preppers then these are three books worth checking out and I have a lot of zombie book reviews on my blog (here) and at Goodreads (here) if you are interested in checking them out. You can find me here daily so don't by shy about dropping by to say hello!
Enjoy your brains!
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
* part of December Zombies (schedule)