Book Chat: Vaccine: Last Man Standing Book 3
by Keith Taylor
An exciting, satisfying ending to an interesting zombie series.
MYRA’S HORROR BLOG REVIEWS : I wanted to write reviews as if I were sharing the love of a book with a friend. What I liked about it, from storyline to characters; to include any parts that had a negative impact on me as a reader. Join me on the couch as we explore today’s exciting read.
There is no safe zone. The United States has been infected from coast to coast. Countless millions are dead, and yet more are infected. Every American is dead. Some of them just haven’t noticed yet.
But wait. Just when all hope seems lost an old ally arrives, and he brings with him the faintest glimpse of hope. Hope that the human race may yet win through. Hope that some may survive. Hope that this great nation may still have one last fight left in it.
The group is trying to escape the compound after the intense fire fight at the end of book 2. They are confronted by a heavily armed, masked man. Tom is shocked when the man removes the mask; it is Private Rhodes, who had been his guard for a short time back at Camp One. Rhodes had been decent to the prisoners. But Vee is angry. Why was the private working with the murderers in this place? Rhodes explained he had been conscripted and was waiting for an opportunity to escape. He has a very important mission. A doctor at Camp One had given him a notebook and begged him to get it to the CDC near Vegas. The doctor stated she’d discovered a vaccine but didn’t have time to create it. Now the camp is being overrun and she wants to be sure the notebook gets in the right hands.
Rhodes tells them that the Chief had kept young women as sex slaves and the friends quickly decide to execute a rescue mission. Sadly, when they arrive at the room where the girls were, all except one were zombies, having been attacked earlier. After a gun fight with Lawrence (the Chief), Tom releases the ropes tying the undead down and they take care of Lawrence, a fitting end for a human monster.
Kaylee, the young woman they rescued, went through a harrowing experience being locked up in jail, before being caught by Lawrence’s crew. The friends notice she seems a bit “spacey” and for good reason; she uses drugs. They are surprised and wary when Kaylee states she knows where there is a plane that can carry them all to Vegas. Oh, and she can pilot it. Her dad supposedly owns a small airport, and they are happy but cautious when they discover a nice plane in a hangar. Can Kaylee really pilot it? Kaylee’s smoking pot while flying the craft makes them question their decision, but she does land them near Vegas. The group doesn’t know the residents of Las Vegas were doing well with electricity and running water. It was isolated and no infected had shown up yet. Fifty soldiers from a nearby base had organized the remaining people
Meanwhile, Jack, a 25 year old soldier, found himself in charge of the city, but he doesn’t feel he should be, but there is no one else. Nonetheless, he makes a correct decision when he takes down an approaching plane with a stinger missile. It was one of the planes sent to distribute the infection; target Vegas. It was pure bad luck that the craft Tom and the others were on, was thought to be another plane send to spread the deadly disease. Jack shoots down their small plane, but it’s a near miss, and they all survive, except Kaylee.
Following their interrogation, the friends are put into the Luxor hotel. Shortly after, Jack comes storming in, accusing them of bringing the plague with them; an outbreak has erupted. After convincing the young soldier otherwise, things quickly get out of control and the hotel is surrounded by zombies. Hearing soldiers reporting to Jack via a 2-way radio and Jack’s ill-informed response, Lieutenant Vee assumes command from Jack. She bolts out orders to protect the citizens, then she and Tom go to rescue the doctors ensconced in the Luxor. Vee stays behind on the first floor, allowing Tom to escape on the elevator. She tricked Tom by jumping out as the doors close, and he almost goes back, but he realizes all hope lies in the doctors upstairs. Unfortunately, all were killed except Dr. Wyatt.
Tom is shocked when later a blood-soaked Vee shows up, having fought her way out of the hotel. Thankfully, after studying the notebook, Dr. Wyatt realizes the vaccine is easy to synthesize and sets about to create a batch. As word spreads, survivors begin showing up in planes, from across the U.S. to some from other countries, to pick up the vaccine. The ending where Tom is thinking about their last minute “save” was very poignant. I like an ending this intense and heartfelt.
This was my favorite book in the series. Lots of angst, fighting, and Vegas was an interesting stop in the apocalypse. Recommended for zombie fans and those following Keith Taylor.
NOTE: All my reviews are published in Uncaged Book Reviews emag under Myra’s Horror Blog Reviews for September.