Blood on the Sand (Z Plan) by Mikhail Lerma

Blood on the Sand (Z Plan)
by Mikhail Lerma
224 Pages
Self-Published, August 18, 2012
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Zombies, Apocalyptic, Military

Reviewed by Stevie Kopas

Cale was sent to Iraq with the usual thoughts any Soldier going to war might have; being lonely away from his family, not wanting to take another human's life, and above all, the fear of never returning home. Although well trained, nothing could have prepared him for the horror he was about to face.

Cale never thought the thing that could keep him from ever seeing his wife and daughter again would be a zombie apocalypse. As he and a handful of fellow Soldiers escape their base after a massive zombie attack, becoming deserters in order to survive, he begins the long and unexpected journey home through the harsh terrain of the desert; a barren landscape now swarming with not only undead cannibals, but also the enemy he was originally sent to fight.

The newly formed group plans to travel west, find a boat and maybe, with a bit of luck, make it back to America. Cale is tested beyond his imagination and brought to the brink of insanity as he loses friends while fighting the flesh eating masses. He risks his life for weeks, focused on holding his wife and daughter in his arms again. It seems all hope is lost when he finds himself alone and adrift at sea ... but is hope really lost?


The world is in a state of disarray in Z Plan: Blood On The Sand as news spreads quickly of a highly infectious, deadly disease coming out of Africa. A new strain of the rabies virus is turning the masses from normal, everyday people into walking dead cannibals, capable of immense violence and decimating the world’s population as we know it. 

Cale, our story’s main character, is deployed in Iraq, thousands of miles away from his wife and daughter. All forms of communication are down, cutting Cale off from the rest of the world. Minimal media reports are flowing through, showing widespread infection and chaos in the world and soon enough panic sets in. Out on a convoy operations mission, Cale and his buddy Zach notice civilians packed into their cars like sardines; traffic is backed up as far as the eye can see as the local inhabitants are attempting to flee the area for reasons unknown to Cale and his crew. Imminent danger is around the corner as terror soon becomes reality: the infection is closer than they think, and the dead are coming for them. 

Z Plan by Mikhail Lerma was an enjoyable story with fast paced action and realistic human responses during the zombie apocalypse. Cale was a very likeable character and very friends and family oriented. The story had a main theme of brotherhood meets survivor’s guilt, which I loved. As Cale’s world crumbles around him, he’s left in a prison of his own thoughts, doomed to replay his actions and movements over and over again in his mind, constantly asking “what if” and wondering if his family is safe as he desperately tries to find his way back to America. 

You find out early on that in the desert, there isn’t much to do in your free time other than play video games. It’s an important part of the story to understand how much Cale enjoys the video game Halo because my favorite part in the entire book was when Cale had to face the reality that the zombie apocalypse was happening right before his eyes. “This was real, it wasn’t like Halo” the author states, describing the sheer terror and surreal circumstances that Cale has to suddenly face. Z Plan is an adventure indeed, and I recommend this book to any zombie apocalypse lover; you won’t be disappointed. 

The only parts of the book that I found repetitious and overdone, were the Romero movie references. Had the author left them out completely, it would have taken nothing from the story at all. Z Plan is a quick and fun read and I am excited for the next installment in the series! 

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About the Reviewer:

Stevie is the Jersey Girl turned Floridian author of the post apocalyptic survival adventure, The Breadwinner. You can stalk her and talk about video games or the end of the world anytime on Twitter or Facebook.
Twitter:  @ApacoTaco 

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