Sunday, May 8, 2016

ARC Review: North to Zombieville by Meg Bawden

North to Zombieville
The year is 2028, and Dallas and Raleigh Jenson are torn apart when a worldwide zombie apocalypse ravages their home of Townsville, Australia. After a year of searching, Dallas, a former Australian army rifleman, finally reunites with Raleigh, but it’s not like old times. Not only do they have zombies to contend with, but also other humans, changed by desperation and willing to do anything to survive.

Dallas and Raleigh have changed too. So much so, that Dallas struggles with the idea that Raleigh no longer needs or wants his protection. But they will need to rely on each other and find strength in their love as they are forced to evade zombies and watch their friends die. As they fight for their lives in a brutal landscape where every supply and every step toward a potential cure is a battle to the death, only their trust in each other can keep them from perishing.

Todd's rating:

And they lived happily ever after...

Oh, wait. SHIT! Is that a... And are they... Oh, God, RUN!

That's pretty much how the book started out, with Dallas and Raleigh at a fancy restaurant to celebrate their second anniversary. Which also happened to be the day that all hell broke loose. And the day that they were separated during the mayhem.

Fast forward one year and Dallas' unending search finally sees him reunited with his husband. Then there's sex. Then there's some more sex. Then maybe a little more. Which was pretty hot, actually.

Since the fall, Dallas has been leading a community of about fifty survivors, hold up in a mall, not only trying to stay alive, but also rescuing other humans and trying to hold out hope that there may be a way to set the world back to rights.

For the most part, the story is about surviving in a world filled with the walking dead, and not just the slow, lumbering ones, either. There are 'souped-up' zombies, too, able to break through brick walls and tear a human head clean off. Scary shit, right?

And no, this story isn't one where everyone makes it out alive. There is a full cast of characters, then a few less, then a few more. Rinse and repeat. So not everyone escapes being bitten, or even eaten alive, which made the story more realistic and not all sunshine and rainbows, with a bit of zombie on the side.

I loved Dallas' character, who is ex-military and willing to help those less able to protect themselves. As long as they understood that his top priority was finding his husband and are willing to help with his search.

I liked his partner, Raleigh, too, but he could be a bit of a damsel in distress when the shit well and truly hit the fan. And since damsels trying to prove that they aren't damsels any more can be pretty reckless, bordering on stupid, that's where the main drama comes into play, as he tries to keep his newly-found man safe.

The hope in the story comes from rumors of a scientist still alive in Townsville, which at the end of the book, the group is gearing up to find, but haven't quite located yet. They need a cure to turn the rising tide against the undead and he's their only hope.

This was clearly a setup for a second book, which I will most definitely be reading the moment that I can get it in my greedy little hands. I can't wait.

I'm a sucker for a good zombie story and I'm very happy to say that this one totally fit the bill for me on all levels, with its constant action and nerve-wracking suspense.

So all that being said, I'd have to rate this one around 4.25 stars for pulling me in, grabbing my attention and never letting go.

My copy of the ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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