on May 17, 2011
Nate Southard's Scavengers has got everything fans of the zombie genre crave. Huge cannibalistic crowds of the undead. Violent, almost continuous action. Mounting paranoia and dread. And if he had stopped there it would probably have been enough to secure Scavengers a spot on the short list of great zombie fiction. But Southard's real gift is showing us the psychology of the regular guy - guys like you and me. Not since Richard Matheson have we had a writer so adept at dangling the average American guy on the end of a rope so we can watch him twitch and turn in the wind. Scavengers is great stuff!
on November 2, 2015
I have to give this book five stars because it's well written and....different. there are hero's and sacrifices. This story is probably as close to how it would actually be in certain cases if an apocalypse of this type were to happen. Not every one can know what to do in a case such as this BUT, I have to say, I hated the ending. It was disheartening. When I read a story, I will say that again, a story, I want there to be hope, somewhere, somehow, hope has to be present or why even try. Because of this, this tale is a dark tale, in my opinion. Please, don't take my word for it, read it for yourself and make your own decisions based on who you are.
on July 3, 2011
Scavengers by Nate Southard is a story of survival. It takes place after a zombie apocalypse has decimated America. It centers around a handful of people in a small, fortified town that has run out of food. A small group of people are randomly chosen to take part on a mission to scavenge whatever food they can from a neighboring town which is overrun with zombies. The odds are against them, but they know the town needs food, so they gather together whatever courage (and weapons) they have, and head out.
They are not prepared. They are not super heroes, or even well-equipped. They are normal, average, could-be-me people who are unskilled and unlikely to survive. This makes the story poignant, believable, and riveting. The thoughts, feelings, and back-stories of each member of the team are beautifully described as the mission progresses. I felt compelled to finish it in one setting, because I absolutely cared about the characters and wanted to know if they make it or not. A bit gory, but it is a zombie story, after all. Well worth reading.
on May 27, 2012
this book was ok at best, but that may be pushing. it was your typical zombie story. but the plot wasnt well thought out. so the story is there are like 500 people in a survival camp, and they are running out of food. so they have a lottery to pick folks to go out and gather supplies for the rest of the population at the camp. they end up sending 5 peeps out to gather food for 500....really? and they send them out in a regular size pickup truck. once the men get into town they figure out they someting bigger to gather enough groceries for 500 peeps, so they find themselves an extended cab pickup instead? that will get enough groceries....not! but wait it gets worse...one of the lottery winners is like 14 yrs old or something. for one i wouldnt send a 14 year old out to use my brand new john deer riding mower, much less gather groceries for 500 people. to be fair there was some action and intense moments but it wasnt a real page turner. i did finish it, hoping they would make it back to the camp with something....but im not going to spoil it incase you want to read it.
on May 26, 2013
This one really kept me sitting here reading! I kept thinking wait they are in trouble here!..... No I think they are going to be ok!.... Oh no! Trouble!... Boy I feel intensely bi-polar after finishing this book. I tend to lean way harder toward the series/ trilogy style of writing so that's why only 3 stars, but I have to say that this book kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I think the author is a very, very good writer. The characters all had heart and depth, the plot was a good one. I guess what mainly keeps me from going up to 4 stars is that it is a pretty simplistic book and a forth star would put it into the range of some pretty detailed & involved books that I gave such a rating to.
Do I think it is worth reading? Absolutely! I have to say yes! Read this book! It was a very enjoyable book & most definitely worth the time.
on September 24, 2013
First, I am a little bit biased since Nate and I are cousins, which in all honesty is the reason I bought the book in the first place. I'm not a zombie fan, but I do love good horror stories. So I sat down and read the book to get a little glimpse into Nate's head.
I found the story to be interesting and the ideas of the zombie's actions and behavior was also interesting. I was very pleased by the story and the writing style. Reading about the character's experiences during the initial attack was an added plus, giving a little back story into the character actions and behavior. Now I will need to get more of Nate's work and see what other ideas he has.
on July 24, 2013
Bought this on a whim and kept putting off reading it time and time again, i finished today and am truly glad to have read it Nate Southard creates characters you'll love to hate, his zombies are brutal and unrelenting.
The story can be slow at times developing over several chapters and the flash back sequences come and go leaving the story somewhat broken but they are essential to the story over all.
In the end the book is worth reading and has made me a fan of the writer.
on June 17, 2011
Having read some of Nate's short works already, I knew I was in for a treat. I'm a big fan of the zombie genre (from George Romero to Brian Keene), and love it when an author takes a firm, no holds barred approach to the writing of the zombie subject. This novel doesn't disappoint, has action and suspense all the way through, and plays out like an action packed movie. Five members of a town, names picked out from all the others, on search for food to keep the town alive. Up against a neighboring town filled with zombies. Where can you go wrong with that?? The back stories of the characters that tell how they got to the town they now live in are great too. Whereas some books can go off into character back stories and create a sometimes boring situation, this book goes above and beyond to deter from that. Great addition to the genre, and I can't wait to see more of Nate's work in the future.
on October 25, 2015
Review from HorrorUnderground.org
Sinister Grin Press
Author: Nate Southard
Millwood is a sanctuary. This little community, isolated from most of the large cities with booming population, it has become a welcomed safe haven amidst the end of the world. When food and supplies are running short, the community holds a lottery in order to select a group of five people, scavengers, on a mission to collect food from the nearby town of Rundberg, a town with a population of three thousand rotting, mildewed corpses filled with a hunger that can only match that of the citizens of Millwood.
Hatching a crazy plan, one of the residents leads the charge to raid a grocery store in Rundberg called Tandy’s. The familiarity and local of this potential goldmine makes it for the best option when all options have been exhausted. The five embark on what is surely a suicide mission and will endure levels of terror and horror that even the survivors of Millwood could not have expected.
Scavengers is a zombie novel, obviously, that upon first glance looks a bit formulaic. We have seen movies and read books where people go on a supply run in effort to survive. What makes this story standout is the fact that the events take place over just a few short hours, half a day tops. The real-time presentation of the story adds a clever flow that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Every single second of this supply run is accounted for in the narrative and makes it hard to put the book down. As you get sucked into the story, you’ll find that there really is no good place to stop as you just want to see it through to the end.
As a once great fan of zombie culture, I have become bored and annoyed with the amount of garbage that has been churned out. The undeserving success of The Walking Dead television series is largely to blame, but so too are all of the authors that churn out zombie fiction because they feel it is easy and may provide a chance to gain some sales by capitalizing on a current fad. Trust me when I say that I have read heaps of zombie books and comics and watched the movies most of you would not even bat a lash at. I can honestly say that Scavengers is easily one of the greatest zombies stories ever told. The concept may not be the most clever, but it doesn’t need to be. Most authors spend too much time developing a reason for their existence and silly plot twists that turn a horror story into a boring snoozefest. Here, Southard manages to bring the uncontrollable fear of zombies back into the stale genre.
The use of fast zombies, despite the overwhelming hate of them, is not only horrifying in a panic inducing way, it also gives the story a fun and visceral feel that almost every zombie story has been missing. The fast paced action on every page charges your body full of adrenaline and sends you into a frenzy. The only solace Southard gives you are in the backstory moments in between the chaos. Even some of these are frightening. The balance of past and present flows like a beautiful symphony as the story manages to hold your interest and grow your concern for these survivors.
Never relying on tricks and plot twists, Southard’s amped up story keeps you guessing at every turn of the page, mainly due to the fact that everything happens to damn quickly. The reader, much like the characters in this book, have little time to think and react. The pacing of this story is no joke. Nothing comes easy and the brutal reality of this situation is a looming presence that none of characters are able to shake.
Scavengers is one of, if not the best zombie novel ever committed to paper. This vicious story is a rollercoaster ride from start to finish. Your heart will race, your eyes will dilate with excitement, you will forget to breathe… Trust me when I say that this is a phenomenal story that will satisfy even the most hardened, jaded fan of zombie fiction. I know this because I am one of them. This book will not restore your faith in zombie fiction, Southard cannot write every zombie story out there, but it will remind you how truly great this subgenre of horror can truly be.
on September 28, 2015
This was a decent zombie survival story.
The entire novel consisted of a group of survivors making a risky food and supply run. Five survivors against an estimated 3,000 zombies seems like a no win situation, but they have no choice as their food is running out and their crops are failing. A lottery is held to determine who the five scouts are going to be.
A back and forth format between the past and the future is utilized, giving the backstory to each of the scouts. Problem being, I didn't care much for any of them. Oddly enough, the one guy I did like was the biggest jerk of them all!
The zombies here were fun, though, that's for sure. No explanation was given as to how they got to be that way, and that was just fine with me. I think most zombie stories fall apart when they try to explain the unexplainable. These zombies were fast, they were hungry and there were lots and lots of them, and that worked in this story.
Overall, this was not a bad addition to the zombie genre. However, in light of shows like The Walking Dead where the characters OWN the story, (NOT the zombies), I felt this novel needed a bit more in the character building department. I did enjoy the writing and the world building and for that, I probably will give Nate Southard's work another look in the future.
*I was provided a free e-copy of this book by Sinister Grin Press in exchange for an honest review. This is it.*