Book Chat: Zombie Road IV
by David A. Simpson
The exciting 4th book in the series, centering on one of my favorite characters – The Road Angel.
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.
The world is recovering from a near extinction level event.
Fortified enclaves and barricaded towns have managed to survive the long winter. Spring brings new hope and new beginnings.
One boy, thrust too quickly into manhood, is learning to find his way in the new wastelands. With hopped up machines and purpose built muscle cars to run the roads, a new breed of pony express rider is born. The Road Angel.
While Most of the novel focuses on Jessie, the Road Angel, other characters are interwoven as well.
A new threat grows in the North – Scarlet’s dad has started a unique religion, claiming he is the divine conduit for the ancient Egyptian God Anubis. Scarlet is the young woman who gave Jessie a shot in Book 3 that kept him alive. Unbeknownst to Jessie, he was given an earlier version of the super soldier cocktail. He has grown stronger, faster, heals quickly and even his hearing is amazing. But Jessie fears being seen as a freak and hides his abilities from others. He is anxious to get back on the road, with his mission to help survivors. He is happy when Lakota offers him the job of emissary; to search for new camps, see how people are doing, and set up trade if they wish.
A poignant scene was Jessie’s encounter with his first lover, an older, attractive woman. It was sweet; a coming-of-age scenario, but also sad. Jessie cannot be convinced he doesn’t look like a freak with the scar running down his face. A time which should have been filled with wonder, was fraught with his awkward fear.
Jessie meets a large group of people who had a good set up, at least at first glance. They have a secure compound, many guns and packaged food, plus canned goods. But he realizes they were not rebuilding, not even replanting crops. He convinces them that they need to take the town nearby from the zombies, then they can gather any supplies such as seeds and gardening equipment that they can use to rebuild. These people had not ventured outside the fence since the outbreak, and had no clue how to survive against the undead. The Road Angel taught them.
Later, Jessie runs across an interesting group, securely set up in a self-sustained, high-tech building. These folks had everything from solar power and computers, to gardens on the roof top. The CEO had no use for Lakota’s offer of help or trading. But Captain Macon, head of security, felt differently. He realizes that Casey’s Raiders could cause them problems, perhaps even invade their safe space.
Meanwhile, Casey the Cannibal established a home base in a resort in Mexico. His men continue to murder, rape and recruit. Knowing their future is not secure with Casey alive, Gunny and his crew are determined to hunt and kill Casey and his Raiders. These savages victimized too many of the scattered survivors – people who didn’t deserve this new terror. Plus, Gunny knows eventually Casey will try to take Lakota. While hunting down the Raiders, Gunny and his men get into several confrontations with them and rescue survivors. It is non-stop action, heroics and angst as the characters push forward against seemingly insurmountable odds.
Concurrently, Scarlet’s dad, who is based in Canada, sends her out to scout the U.S. compounds. He wants to know locations of survivors and how fortified they are against attack. She runs across Jessie again and begins following him. Scarlet is intrigued by his helping others and wonders if she can talk him into joining their cult movement. Near the end she is ambushed by Raiders, captured and badly injured. Jessie rescues her. After a while they begin to interact like teenagers, telling each other dumb jokes and having a good time. I am hopeful that in the next book Jessie and Scarlet become friends. I hope that Scarlet leaves her father’s cult, which she often questions internally.
Recommended for zombie fans and those following the Zombie Road adventures.
NOTE: All my reviews are published in Uncaged Book Reviews emag. This review will be in the January issue.