As weird as there’s only two book reviews that stand out in that section according to my WordPress stats, I was given the opportunity of reviewing the advanced copy of fellow blogger, Jack Flacco’s debut novel, Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse. It will be launched on October 22. As late as this review may be due to some technical difficulties on my alarm not ringing, I had to read this over the last two days. I love the world of zombies and even though, I don’t read a tremendous amount of it, I do enjoy watching zombie flicks a lot. Very much like Jack in THIS POST, I may not have hated zombies (unlike Jack) but my love for zombie flicks did start with 28 Days Later also. Over the years, I’ve watched Dawn of the Dead (remake), 28 Weeks Later, Zombieland and the most recent World War Z. The list goes on but those are some of my favorites.
Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse is about an Oklahoma shotgun wielding man who is determined to figure out what started this zombie apocalypse and how to end it. He is teamed up at a military silo with a teenage boy he saved that he nicknamed Wildside. Wildside is not ordinary either, he has some very nifty skills, one in particular that could be very useful but also extreme. Along the way, he picks up siblings, older sister Matty and her younger brother Jon who had been wandering by themselves. Later on, another teenage boy joins them in the attempt to save the world from the zombie apocalypse. This boy, Randy, is special as he escaped from a prison where he was possibly put there for a specific reason due to the belief from the military that he is the saviour. However, nothing can be sure as when he woke up in that prison, he had also lost his memory prior. As each have their own reasons to join together to figure out how the apocalypse started and why they want to end it, they all know one thing for certain, it was going to be one where they had to fight to stay alive.
I’m quite inexperienced when it comes to zombie novels. The only ones I’ve read prior to this one is Warm Bodies, which I reviewed earlier this year. There is nothing to compare to for me however, Ranger Martin and The Zombie Apocalypse is an engaging read. There were some parts that felt a bit lengthy here and there but the down times were never long enough to make it slow. Its a good debut for Jack.
There are a few things that I liked about the book
First of all, I liked a lot that its beginning wasn’t overly descriptive in a way that it was a drag (which happens a lot). It was a fun way to introduce us to all the characters and what generally brought them together. Because its from a third person, we see how everyone interacts and their reactions instead of just one person’s view and that works really well for how the story pans out.
Second, we get a good idea of the contrast of the personality and the value their abilities have to make this a good team. Definitely its a team with their own sets of problems and kinks they need to work out but with Ranger Martin’s over the top entrances powered by his anger towards the situation, the tough and protective Matty who protects her brother Jon from growing up before he actually has to amidst the situation and the two teenage boys. We get emotional clashes and bonds that develop and that brings on character development.
Third is what I mentioned on the top, the book has quite a bit of intense action especially in the last few chapters. However, aside from it being very much action, in a way that you feel like you are reading a movie. Jack’s writes in a way where I had an easy time picturing and seeing in my mind what was really going down. Its a pretty fun experience for the most part and especially in most situations, we always have Ranger Martin bringing in some witty smartass comment to loosen up the intensity sometimes.
How about it? Halloween book review featured a novel written by one of our very own about zombies. Jack does a great job in this first novel and I urge you to grab a copy when its released on October 22 (thats next Monday!). I promise it’ll be fun! I read this over 2 days and there were many times I didn’t even want to put it down, not because of time constraint to get this review up but because it just had so much action going on. I loved it and totally recommend it! 🙂