Book Chat: Safe Haven Rise of the RAMS Book 1
by Christopher Artinian
A deadly disease has the UK by the throat, sweeping through and turning people into zombies. We follow ordinary people as they try to survive this terrifying new world.
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.
From the multi-award-winning author Christopher Artinian, comes the first book of the post-apocalyptic zombie series people are calling, “Gripping”, “fast paced and full of action”, “very realistic”, “captivating”, “inventive”, and “emotional”.
The planet has succumbed to a monstrous virus. Those who die from the infection return as savage predators hell-bent on spreading the virus to the rest of the human population. The UK and Ireland are the last hold-outs, but when the infrastructure supporting their self-imposed quarantine collapses, it’s everyone for themselves.
Mike Fletcher and his sister Emma live in Leeds. With the city’s streets overrun by the dead, their only option is to flee. They take their younger siblings and set off to find their last remaining relative in the far north-west of Scotland.
As they travel north they encounter other survivors – but who can they trust? Their terrifying journey will require them to confront horrors both human and inhuman, in the outside world and within themselves. Will they ever find a safe haven?
Mike, along with his sister Emma and two young siblings are trying to survive the day–to-day grind. Keep the kids occupied, go get supplies when it’s their turn once a week, and oh, be on the lookout for the undead. So far they haven’t seen any, but then Alex, Mike’s beloved stepfather turns. The young man had to put Alex down and it was a harrowing experience.
Then, unexpectedly Doctor Lucy and Nurse Samantha show up at their door seeking shelter. They had recently been to the house to check everyone for infection after Alex’s death was reported. When the two women share their terrifying day running from the RAMS (reanimated corpses), they decide to go with the family when invited. Mike plans on traveling to his Grans house in Scotland, which is isolated. Everyone knows the journey will be perilous, but there is no safer place Mike can think of taking his family.
Their trip is fraught with dangerous encounters with zombies, but they still stop to help a farm family who had been attacked by raiders. Joseph and his family decide to join the group. The farmer invited them to his brother’s farm near the town of Candleton, which is much closer. Mike wants to head to his Grans, but they’ll stay a night or two to recuperate. Before they can make it, a horde of RAMS attack them when one of the vehicles breaks down. Mike leads the zombies away, while the families regroup and head toward Candleton. When they make it to the area, they are surprised how organized and safe it is; almost an island with a river around the community. The only 2 access points are bridges, guarded by soldiers who escaped to Candleton when things fell apart.
When Mike doesn’t return, everyone assumes he is dead and sorrow runs through the group. Meanwhile Mike did barely escape being devoured and makes it to the local library. He needs a map so he can find Candleton. He discovers 3 survivors in the building, but they refuse to leave with him. They have a good setup, but already decided on a suicide pact when their supplies run out. When Mike arrives at the town, the joy is overwhelming. Lucy and Mike finally realize their feelings for one another. He agrees to stay for now in the virtual paradise compared to the horrors of the world outside. There’s only one fly in the ointment; Joseph had been scratched by a RAM earlier and is slowly turning.
I really liked Mike’s character. At only 20, he is very determined to keep his family safe. He makes some tough choices that some people would find abhorrent; killing the raiders who raped and killed several of Joseph’s family. I agreed with Mike. There are no more courts or judges, criminals have to be dealt with harshly. This is not a world for the PC culture or Safe Spaces.
There is a lot of action I couldn’t cover in this review. Also much heartfelt sadness and joy as the characters experience the gut-wrenching world around them. Recommended for zombie fans, followers of the author, and those looking for an exciting series.
NOTE: All my reviews are published in Uncaged Book Reviews emag. This review will be in the April issue.