Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Plague Town by Dana Fredsti - review

Plague Town


cover-the only thing this cover is missing is the helmet and body armor that Ash really wears when she's out killing zombies...but everything else kind of fits the tone of the novel, even the main character NOT being a young nubile woman - she's in her late 20's (which is still young and nubile compared to my age, *g*) I kind of like the cover - in fact, the cover did do a good job of grabbing my interest - combined with the title.

You might have guessed from the cover - if the title didn't give it away - this is a zombie book, and there's a twist that you don't find out til the end.

After a short prologue where you read about a young mother who is exhausted, taking care of her sick husband and child then having them turn on her...then it segues into a first person account of Ashley Parker.
Ashley Parker lives in a college town, Northern California, and she's recently become sick from a very strong flu called Walker's flu. Seems people are dropping left and right from this flu, even the people who have been getting flu shots. Ashley notices that she's not looking too good - in fact, her skin has a kind of gray cast to it...

After being sick for quite a while, she finally attends her first day of classes. Only she's missed quite a few because of her illness and has to deal with a rather judgemental teaching assistant.

The next time she goes to class she notices that the lines at the local coffee shop are shorter, less people are about and even in the class where she had such a hard time finding a seat, there is now plenty of seats...and the judgemental teacher's assist is now absent. Seems this Walker's flu has really knocked people on there asses.

Later she goes out with her boyfriend, they're in a secluded area, making out (sound familiar? we've watched a variation of this in many movies, lol) when they are attacked by rotting people, one of whom manages to bite her.

Luckily for her, she's rescued and spends the next few days suffering from what feels like the worst flu ever - when she finally comes out of it, there is her teacher from that one crowded class (which was about plagues and diseases through the ages...hmmmm). Ashley finds out that she's fortunate - she's immune to the the zombie virus. And her teacher is actually part of a covert black ops type of company that has been around in one form or another through out time - taking care of the zombie plagues that have taken place. Wow.

One of the side effects of Ashley being a wild card (immune to the zombie virus) is increased senses and strength - as well as healing ability. However, Ashley and the few other wild cards are not immortal. Just resistant and a stronger. Nice. Except that now she and the others are now strongly recruited into service with the army branch and the zombie fighting co. They are trained and sent out to do battle with the zombies.

You could view parts of this book as familiar - you could also view it as a nod to all the zombie movies that have been made. I had fun reading it, though some parts of the story might considered cliche - but hey - how many truly original stories are really out there? Most of the novels we read are variations of a variety of plots. It's the different writers that give the novels depth and interesting narration, subplots, dialogue (so very very important, people! Extremely important!!!!! You could have a wonderfully narrated book, with sweeping vistas and grand plots....but the lame dialogue can totally turn it into a ....well.....okay - a piece of crap, okay? haha. a little harsh, but really, the wrong dialogue can totally ruin a book for me.) Dana Fredsti had a couple of twists in her novel and she mentions quite of few of those zombie movies and books that have become legendary in our entertainment culture. (Max Brooks-on impulse I bought my oldest son the first survival guide novel this guy wrote-Dawn of the Dead, etc) I love reading a book that has mentions of other writers and movies.

Her main character was able to make new friends and keep a snarky wit about her (though it wasn't too snarky) . There were a few characters that I enjoyed reading about - the other wild cards were from a varied cross section of personality types. There was a shy girl, a postman, a punkrocker type, a handsome young black man, and a very aloof thirty something white woman, so aloof she's basically unfriendly. Now I bring up the black man because when I came across his character, I thought...oh boy, here it is. The cliche. This is the one guy that's going to get killed. With every single time that they went out, I expected him to get killed. Just remember all those movies - whether it's a slasher, horror or zombie movie - who usually gets it? The one black guy - the black guy who so handsome/personable/helpful/or even daddy-figure like. Yep - they always end up being one of the victims. Ask anyone who watches any of those films - usually that's what happens - like the red shirts in Star Trek...they're always doomed.

But Nooooooooooo. At the end of Plague Town, this man was still alive - not only alive, but one of the best characters - even though he's portrayed as a playa'.
There is the inevitable asshat army guy - the one that's such an asshole, yet in charge of the group. Except he's not around for long.....Mwhahahahaha....

Anyway - if you like zombie horror with a bit of humor to take the edge off of what's going on with all the gore and mayhem, this is a good book. It's entertaining, humorous and shivery. Oh Yeah.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a book I'd love and I've just added it to my wishlist. Thanks for the review!