by Frank Tayell
Genre: Zombie Horror, Political Conspiracy
Wasteland is the second book in Frank Tayell's Surviving the Evacuation series. Once again, I love his choice of cover art. It's straightforward and eye-catching. I'm a voracious reader. The only pitfall of this is the fact that I read so much, continuing in a series not read back to back, I often have to whip out the first book and skim it to refresh my memory. No need to do that with this one. I wholeheartedly thank Tayell for beginning the second book with "The Story So Far". I was up to date with the important stuff in no time!
Still sporting a strong political/conspiracy theme, our main character Bill continues his journey toting his laptop. Looking to charge the battery so he can see what were in the files from his informant, he hopes to get to the bottom of the infection. You know times are tough when when you're pinned down by snipers and basically say meh, whatever.
Bill continues getting bitten. Thank goodness he's immune. You may remember from book one, he was healing from a broken leg. Without proper medical care, his leg didn't heal properly, leaving him finding it difficult to run. In a zombie apocalypse, not being able to run can be quite the hair-raising experience.
Wasteland picks up right where London left off, continuing in journal entry format, new arrival Kim picking up the slack at times. Poor bill is surrounded by estrogen! Bill and Kim rescue a teenage girl, Annette, and infant, Daisy. Annette lost her parents in the evacuation of London. She finds Daisy and is bitten by the infants brother. I would have liked to hear more about this encounter. It was just kind of brushed past as matter of fact. The first book was the all Bill show. Wastelands addition of new characters changes the tone of the book. I found I enjoyed Wasteland much more than London.
British writing has a lot of words we don't use in the States...nappies, pram, lorries, chip shops, buggies. I had to really stretch my deductive reasoning to get an idea what these words meant. Each time I came across a new word, it took me out of the moment and became a bit distracting at times.
The survivors return to the abbey, but they're not alone. Now, just outside the walls, hundreds of the undead await them and the inevitable moment they will need to venture out. With the addition of new mouths to feed (there are nine of them at final count), their situation becomes bleak.
On a side note, what is it about a diary that brings out the inner sleuth of even the most angelic souls? Bill's poor luck has everyone and their brother invading his personal thoughts and feelings. And even worse, his role as the architect of the evacuation plan.
Argh Frank, you're killing me! Now, in addition to having to know what became of Jen, I need to know about Thompson. Are the immune carriers? The words "to be concluded" end this installment of Surviving the Evacuation; remind readers this is a trilogy. I'm waiting with baited breath in hopes all my old and new questions will find themselves answered.
There was a great plot reveal (in addition to the tangled web that's already been weaved) at the end. The pacing of Wasteland out lapped its predecessor. While Book one earned a solid 4 stars, Wastelands twists and turns, and conspiracy wrapped in conspiracy, lands this book FIVE stars from The Bookie Monster. Tayell will have to put everything he's got into completing the series and satisfying my appetite. Thankfully, I feel confident that he will succeed. More, please!!
The Bookie Monster's Rating:
Billions were infected. Nations fell. The evacuation failed.
Bill Wright's journey has only one destination, the research facility that created the virus. As he meets other survivors in his struggle across the wasteland to reach it, he discovers that it is not just the undead who need to be feared.
This is the second volume of his journal. The series will conclude with Book 3: Family, due out in 2014.
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About the Reviewer:
Shay Festa A.K.A. The Bookie Monster reviews horror and paranormal books, with an emphasis (but not limited to) zombie fiction. With a background in Psych Nursing, Shay brings her unique perspective to the online reading community. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook. And keep an eye out for the future release of her debut novel, Time of death.