I read pretty much anything, from fantasy (City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett) to romance (Bared to You by Sylvia Day) to classics (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad). The only genres I don't read are self-help and comic books/graphic novels.
10/5 - Another zombie book with the possible involvement of a mutant parasite? What a strange coincidence that I've just finished The Troop, my first book with zombies that aren't your usual run-of-the-mill zombies, and only a day later I start this one which has a now familiar theme running through it. I think this could be a five starrer for me, depending on some important factors. I like the language and style of this, the way Maberry is very confident in his descriptions of the sophisticated weapons, the hand-to-hand combat (usually pretty hard to describe without sounding dreadfully boring), and the science angle (can be a bit dry, but Joe Ledger's voice makes it enthralling reading). To be continued...
11/5 - Who is The American on the other end of the phone? No idea, no clues, no suspects, possibly an unimportant character who we haven't met yet. Who is the mole? Many suspects, many clues (also known as false leads), but no definite idea on that one either. Everyone except Joe is suspect until the mole is caught and properly 'interrogated' to ensure there are no accomplices or secondary moles (like in the case of secondary sleeper agents, neither would know about the existence of the other). There are those I don't think could be the mole, but you can't be 100% sure until someone's had a bit of truth serum pumped into them, I'm only 95% sure (or less in most cases) of anyone's true motives till then.
There have been some strange phrases scattered through the 200 or so pages I've read so far, this one for example from page 126
'I shifted to stand in front of Sergeant Rock. His dark brown skin was criss-crossed with scars, old and new. "Name and rank."
"First Sergeant Bradley Sims, U.S. Army Rangers, sir."'
Okay, that all makes sense, but then a paragraph on down the page there's this confusing sentence
"My daughter Monique lost both her legs in Baghdad last Christmas when a mine blew up under her Bradley."
What does that mean? What's 'her Bradley'? Is that a typo related to Sims' first name? To be continued
Later on page 242 - Reading this is as exciting as watching the best Resident Evil movie. I keep saying to myself "I'll just read to the end of this chapter and then I'll go... (do some important, but highly irritating job)" but then I get to the end of the chapter (most of the chapters are only a few pages long, anyway) and there's a mini-cliffhanger and I can't possibly stop reading at that point, I need to know what's going to happen next. That's how it happened that I spent an hour longer than I intended in the bath this morning and homemade pizza for dinner this evening was slightly late. Fortunately, Mum didn't mind eating her special request Mother's Day dinner later than usual.
I think the action scenes in this are particularly special. Often, when reading an action scene all I see are the words on the page, rather than the images they're describing, that is quite boring. The way Maberry describes the fights really creates a picture, and for me it's like a movie running through my head and I want to go back and re-watch my favourite fight scenes all over again. I have no real picture of Joe, Grace, or Mr Church (I'm not saying Maberry didn't adequately describe them, just that as soon as the fighting started their physical descriptions became supremely unimportant) because all I want, all I care about, all my brain is clamouring for, is more fighting. Also, who the hell is the mole? To be continued...
13/5 - I thought the mole reveal was a bit of an anti-climax, it didn't seem that big of a surprise. As soon as the mole told Joe who went through the door and why my immediate thought was "Why are you so sure that this person isn't the mole and isn't telling you what you want/expect to hear regarding who you think is the mole. I mean the mole was there when the fake mole was revealed and heard what was and wasn't said and saw your reactions to the news." It would have been exactly what the mole was looking for in order to not only set up the fake mole, and hopefully have him die before anyone realised it wasn't him, and send Joe into a trap that the mole would think would be the end of him. I'm sorry to anyone who didn't understand any of that, I didn't want to ruin the surprise of who the mole is and I didn't want to spoiler tag the whole paragraph, so there you go ambiguousness personified.
Final thoughts? I thought this was fantastic and would highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good action-filled zombie book. The one detraction was a hint of romance that I thought was unnecessary to the story. I'm glad this is only the first in the series as I can't wait to read more about Joe and the zombie plague - I can only imagine it's going to get worse, and therefore more exciting as the books go on.