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This Shattered Land by James N. Cook

This Shattered Land

by James N. Cook

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Good sequel. I enjoy the story and am looking forward to reading the next one in the series. The character development is great and I'm invested in the characters plight. I do wish they had picked a better editor though. SPOILER: I still don't understand why there was mention of a survivor on the dock (in No Easy Hope) that ran off and no further mention of her in that book or this one. I kept thinking she would pop back into the story, but when I realized she wasn't going to, it felt like a let down. This in no way takes away from my enjoyment of the story though. I will definitely be keeping up this series. ( )
  AMidnightSoul | Nov 1, 2013 |
"This Shattered Land" by James Cook is the second book in the trilogy of "Surviving the Dead". I downloaded the first book in the series for free and soon discovered that this unknown author had a talent for writing. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, finding it engaging and entertaining. Mr. Cook had me hooked and I quickly purchased and downloaded the next two books, confident that I would enjoy them as much. I was not disappointed.

In book two, we learn that after two years from the outbreak, the zombies are less of a threat to the living because they've learned how to distract and kill them. As a result, survivors are grouping together and developing small communities. Crops are grown, specialty stores open, limited manufacturing begins - money doesn't exist anymore, bartering is now a way of life with caravans and trading between communities growing. The U.S. government survived and is trying to regroup the country from deep within the Colorado mountains. Unfortunately, not everyone in the country remains loyal to them, splinter groups and outlaws have joined forces and roam the country in search of these caravans and small communities; once locating them, inhabitants are murdered and their supplies confiscated.

Eric and Gabe come upon a family of three prior to leaving their fortress in the Appalachians, then band together for the trek to Colorado. En route, they continue to battle zombies and outlaws. Once in Tennessee, they are ambushed by one of these outlaw groups - intent on taking the lone female and all their supplies for themselves. Outnumbered three to one, the small team hold their own and kill many of the attackers. However, three in their group are wounded - Eric is the worst and need immediate medical attention. Suddenly, a lone sniper comes to their aid, an acquaintance of Eric's from the first book, taking them to a nearby safe community with a medical doctor and supplies. Their totals number less than a hundred souls, and already have an elected mayor and sheriff; all pitch in to defend the perimeter against the undead and outlaws; both wanting and needed what they are defending.

Eric recovers from his wounds and finds a love interest within the small community. Both he and Gabe decide to stay on for a while, accepting the challenge to develop and train a militia group to destroy the outlaw forces that now have the community surrounded.

Once starting, you don't want to put the book down. The benefit today is that book 3 is already available and I jumped right into it before even writing this review. The first two books in the series are highly recommended...I remain confident that book number 3 will be just as good! Great job Mr. Cook!

John Podlaski, author
Cherries : A Vietnam War Novel ( )
  JPodlaski | Jul 27, 2013 |
This Shattered Land took the Surviving the Dead series to another level altogether. The characters seemed to grow and the author obviously put a lot of thought into their growth and the direction the story would take.

Eric and Gabe are all set in the cabin Gabe had prepared for the long haul. They had pretty much everything they needed, including solar panels, hot water, guns and ammo. What they didn’t have, they foraged/scavenged for in the neighbouring towns.

But, as can be expected, it was not an easy existence. I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it must be for two people, even good friends, to live in such close proximity to each other for months, or years on end, without interaction with other people. It would drive anyone crazy after a while.

Added to that, was the fact that they had to be constantly on the lookout for zombies, or even worse, other survivors. As in real life, those who do not have, will want what you have, nothing changes, it just becomes more dangerous – a matter of life or death, so they need to be vigilant at all times. This added to the fact that they needed interaction with people eventually started to wear on them and they eventually decide to leave their safe haven, and try and get to Colorado.

While searching for medical and other supplies they would need on the trip, they meet a family of three and decide to join forces and try and get to Colorado together, and so their journey begins.

This was a very good read, but left me with the awful feeling you get when you know you will need to wait months for the next installment. Highly recommended ( )
  Rosemary_Montgomery | Jun 20, 2013 |
I eagerly awaited James Cook's sequel to No Easy Hope (Surviving the Dead), to learn the fate of his memorable characters Gabe and Eric, last seen settled in their mountain cabin bunker to survive the zombie apocalypse. This Shattered Land did not disappoint, delivering more of the same believable character development, survival scenarios and action as the first book.

I enjoy this series equally for the realistic friendship and relationship Gabe and Eric share, as well as the exciting, often nerve-wracking plot. With the addition of new characters, a never ending supply of bad humans and fledgling outposts of civilization struggling to gain a foothold in this new world, and of course, zombies, this book keep me turning pages until my eyes ached. As with the first book in the series, with the exception of a few minor typos, my only complaint about the sequel is that I have to wait for the next one. I have a lot of questions and curiosity about what will happen next, not just to Gabe and Eric, but to the new characters I've met. I hope Mr. Cook's fans don't have too long to wait. ( )
  readaholic12 | Aug 15, 2012 |
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