3 out of 5 stars
★ ★ ★
When 16 year old Xander’s older brother Moto left him at Vandenberg Airforce Base he only had one request – don’t leave no matter what. But there was no way he could have known that one day zombies would gather into groups big enough to knock down walls and take out entire buildings full of people. That was before the rise of the horde!
Now Xander is on the run, fleeing south to Port Hueneme to locate his brother with nothing but his martial arts training and the katana blade left to him. Along the way he’ll have to fight for his life against other survivors, neo-Nazi’s, outlaw bikers, gang bangers, cannibals, cult members, and a seemingly endless sea of flesh hungry zombies.
But Xander is far from alone. Traveling with him are Benji, a 12 year old comic book geek, and Felicity Jane, a childhood celebrity with wild mood swings. Will they make it together in one piece to the safe zone or will they become the next meal for a hungry horde of wild zombies?
Zombie Attack! Rise of the Horde Zombie wasn’t a contemporary classic, it’s not written so eloquently that my heart couldn’t take it, nor was it some horror-filled masterpiece, but it was fun. It was similar to the zombie movies and television shows I’ve seen with the whole “people are the true monster’s not flesh eating parasites,” which I actually happen to enjoy.
I know what you’re thinking. What possibly possessed me to read a novel with that title, well I’ll tell you why.
The only reason I read this novel was because it happened to be free on Amazon for kindle unlimited. At first I was completely perplexed with the title, so I told myself “don’t judge a book by its title”, but an exclamation point and then zombie and horde in the same book – I honestly didn’t expect much. However, it wasn’t that bad and I actually had moments where I was actually engrossed in the story. So let’s get this review started!
So, zombies are getting smart (yup, you read that right) and learning to attack the living in huge hordes. This happens the day, Xander and Benji escape the military base where everyone dies (I’m not certain if that’s a spoiler since it can be read in the sample). After this, Xander becomes Benji’s primary protector and travels with twin brothers (hell, if I remember their names) to find Xander’s brother, who’s a soldier, where they run into problem after problem. They literally run into more trouble than the Grimes wolf-pack on The Walking Dead.
Their first encounter is with a group that takes them to a neighborhood they’ve secured and turned back into a civilized society. Hot water, hot food, and soft beds. It’s HEAVEN! Well, except for the Unity Gang which has some of the worst criminals ever; they pillage, rape and torture (remember the Reavers on Firefly? They’re like that) – so don’t get caught by them – but Xander doesn’t trust anyone, including the nice people that picked his crew up.
After escaping that situation we’re on the road again where Xander and Benji see some disturbing things, too disturbing for kids, and you really appreciate the simplicity of Sagliani’s scene and his respect for the reader’s maturity to understand the toll the zombies have taken on the world. This last until they arrive in a very rich neighbor to scavenge for supplies and are ambushed by Felicity Jane, former child star and current love interest for our male lead, and her longtime friend (don’t know his name). Felicity is an interesting character, although she may seem like a spoiled, diva brat, you’ll learn her history and feel for her.
Soon enough they’ll leave and encounter ANOTHER set of bad guys, but they’re a religious group recruiting long-before the zombie apocalypse started. This was actually done very well, especially the child bride thing (oops, is that a spoiler?) and really gave me the creeps. However, this is also the point I stopped liking Xander some. He does something that just rubbed me the wrong way and just lessened my enjoyment of his character.
The end is what really intrigued me and made me decide to read book two. There’s this amazing revelation at the end where I went
If you’re in the mood for some “light” zombie, horror, post-apocalyptic, survival, YA, adventurous fun that mentions fast food, video games, and reality television (in a bad light) then you’ll LOVE this book.