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Plagued: The Midamerica Zombie Half-Breed…

Plagued: The Midamerica Zombie Half-Breed Experiment (Plagued States of…

by Better Hero Army

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4 stars for this new take on the world of zombie books.

I really enjoyed the idea of half breeds that is cooked up in Plagued. It is what set this apart from the other zombie books out there- a fresh concept about how zombies might act. The description of the setting is brief, but it is enough to set the scene of how the world is after the zombies came. I liked the main character, Tom - we got enough back story to know him and then as we followed him through the book we got to see the stand-up personality that he has. Also really liked Penelope (aka Kitty) and even though she's a zombie half breed, I found myself carving out a soft spot for her. The techniques used by the characters to maintain their ground was awesome- some ideas that I haven't read in other books.... and the duck boat!... FINALLY someone writes a book realizing the advantages of one of those. Whenever I visit Boston and see the duck tour boats I always think about how great they'd be in the apocalypse. Nice to see my idea is a key to survival in Plagued! :)
Overall, I thought this was a great fast paced read. Definitely interested in reading the other Better Hero Army books!

** I won this book in an Apocalypse Whenever group giveaway. Thanks to Evan for signing my copy! ** ( )
  littlebirdreads | May 5, 2015 |
Tom has to go to zombie territory, the plague states, with his brother for the first of what are likely to be many trips to come. He’s looking for his sister, a child, a zombie, lost in the outbreak.

Of course his brother, like so many others, is really blasé about the zombies now. There’s no reason to be afraid, he was assured, certainly not reason to carry a weapon.

Then there’s the zombie escape. Tom flees for his life, relying on his father’s connections to rescue him – and a handful of grizzled veteran zombie hunters to keep him and his fellow novices alive.

I liked it, but where’s the rest of it?

That’s kind of how I felt after reading this book. I liked the story, I liked the characters, I liked the world setting. But I think more could have been done with just about every aspect of it. It had a huge amount of potential, some excellent frame work and raised some really impressive concepts and issues and didn’t follow through

The protagonist, Tom, has some major baggage – he was there during the outbreak, he saw his sister turned into a zombie and he blames himself, despite being a child when it happened. Not only does he blame himself but so does his family and a number of other people who have completely forgotten what it was like during the outbreak. Because zombies have been rendered somewhat harmless, a lot of people have no concept of how dangerous they are – and that same attitude means that people scorn Tom for not having the knowledge and skills then that professional hunters have now

This is a really interesting point that is somewhat reinforced by the group travelling through the zombie wilderness, with the contrast between the tourists and the experienced hunters. The tourists are inept, helpless, ignorant and argumentative – not in a comic or over the top way, but in a very human, realistic way; because scared, angry, confused people are some of the most annoying creatures on the planet. They contrast perfectly with the ruthless, very prepared and very skilled hunters and it not only shows how dangerous zombie hunting is, but also how unreasonable the accusations Tom faced were.

And so much more could have been made from that! And his fraught relationship with his dad and his brother! And the way he treats the Hunters compared to the other tourists.

Tom’s mission in the zombie-lands is to find his zombie sister – and, again, so much more could be made of that. His guilt and grief, the question of what to do when they find her, the impossibility of the task – it’s all touched on, but it’s just touched on.

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  FangsfortheFantasy | Jul 20, 2014 |
Finally a Zombie story with a new twist! While I am always down for a Zombie end of day apocalypse type book I can say that I’m happy to see a new storyline that is not a forgone conclusion. Plagued: The Midamerica Zombie Half-Breed Experiment is an amazing novel that I spent the better half of my Sunday reading and enjoying to the fullest.

Tom and his brother Gary really set the stage in this suspenseful thrill ride that lead you deep into the heart of a zombie slave trade. There, Tom is separated from his brother and encounters a half zombie woman who he has a connection with. I wont let any spoilers but it is defiantly a must read.

Words that come to mind when reading this novel are, Original, Suspenseful, Adventurous, and Moral Consciousness that puts the reader fast track express train that leaves you wanting more.

5 Stars for Plagued: The Midamerica Zombie Half-Breed Experiment and a must read for all! ( )
  strump.michaelbeas | Mar 16, 2014 |
I haven't read many zombie stories, so I can't be certain if this book is original. It certainly seems like it to me though, and I am impressed!

With a world set several years after a zombie outbreak, we follow a young man searching for his sister. We learn about him and his shame-filled past, his family, and the state of America after a virus-like epidemic turned thousands of people into zombies. We learn what the government did about it, how the country is set up, and how the zombies are dealt with.

I was impressed with the cultural and environmental details the author had in the story, and the foundation he laid for this series. At the same time, I enjoyed the lack of details about small things, such as clothing color, and tedious details that don't really need to be explained. The author is a very good writer, in my opinion, and I enjoy his writing style.

The book flows quickly, painting a clear picture of the world around the characters, and the adventure they find themselves dropped into. There are several surprises, and I love the ending. I'm very excited to read the sequel, and certainly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good zombie story.

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Rose.Wallin | Mar 13, 2014 |
Set years after a zombie outbreak has swept through the USA, Plagued follows Tom Jefferson, a privileged young man who lives in one of the safe districts of the new America. In this new world, de-venomed zombies are used as slaves and sold in large trading posts. Tom and his older brother are sent out to one of these posts to check the slave records in an attempt to find his sister Larissa, who was turned during one of the initial outbreaks. Here he finds a half-bread captive zombie, Penelope, who he thinks might know where his sister is. When zombies swarm the trading post Tom escapes into the wilderness with Penelope and a band of zombie hunters and visitors, and may have just gotten the chance he needs to find Larissa, but can he survive long enough?

I was extremely impressed with this first offering from Better Hero Army. Unlike some of the more formulaic offerings that fill the shelves of bookshops under ‘Zombie Fiction’, Plagued takes a very different path, although this is not immediately obvious from the summary. Better Hero Army takes some common plot elements, for example a survivor searching for a loved one and turns it on its head. I can’t say more or I’ll ruin the ending. The novella felt more like a snippet from a much longer novel but at the same time didn’t leave the reader wanting. I would however love both a sequel and a prequel.

The book throughout is well crafted, I could not fault the characters or the writing. If anything my complaint is that the book ended so soon! The background to the story is effortlessly woven into the story, which means there are no whole chapters devoted to back story to slow the pace down. The relationships between Penelope and Peske, and Penelope and Tom, are sympathetically written, although simple.

Overall an impressive novella, with an intelligent and unique take on the zombie world, which should be ranked up there with the works of Recht and Brooks in the Zombie genre. A must read for Zombiephiles, and a rare example of the genre which should appeal to a much wider audience from thriller fans to romance readers.

Plagued is available from Amazon UK for £2.03 and Amazon US for $3.02.

[A review copy was provided by the author] ( )
  tomesofthesoul | Jul 28, 2013 |
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