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Thunder and Ashes (The Morningstar Strain) (Pt.2) Paperback – April 21, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Permuted Press (April 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934861014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934861011
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #977,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The second volume in Recht’s zombie-apocalypse series (after the well-received Plague of the Dead, 2009) at first looks like a typical post-apocalyptic-war story. After a conflict that nearly destroys humanity, two groups of survivors, led by Anna Demilio and Francis Sherman (introduced in Plague), try to find a safe place through enemy territory. Of course, this is no ordinary post-apocalyptic odyssey. The global conflict resulted from the spread of the Morningstar virus, which turns those it infects into zombies, either quick-moving sprinters or slow-moving shamblers but all frightening and deadly. Recht writes a raw, brutal style perfect for the story’s raw brutality, and it’s impossible to read the novel and not get caught up in its characters and their seemingly futile quest to reach safety before they are killed by the infected or, for that matter, by roaming gangs of human raiders, rogue government agents, or other predators. Sadly, Recht died in 2009 at age 26, while working on the third volume in the series, which gives this book a bittersweet aura. It’s a compelling story told in a captivating voice that was prematurely silenced. --David Pitt --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Z.A. Recht lives in West Virginia where he is hard at work on the next instalment of the Morningstar story. He expects to either finish it soon or die trying (and shortly thereafter reanimate). --This text refers to the Digital edition.

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Customer Reviews

Good Zombie book, can't wait for the third book.
Jeffrey T. Elder
This is definitely a book I would recommend to anyone who likes a zombies, or even just a good read.
Edwin Vega-Roman
The writing is fast paced, the characters are entertaining, and the story is fun.
Patrick S. Dorazio

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Patrick S. Dorazio VINE VOICE on May 7, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thunder and Ashes starts out where the first book left off in this trilogy. We have the split story, one of General Sherman and his team of army men and civilians making their way from the west coast towards Omaha, hoping to meet up with Anna Demilio and her much smaller group coming in from the east coast. They are racing towards a facility where they hope to hatch a vacine for the Morningstar virus, the plague that has swept over the world creating two forms of plague victims, one still alive, fast, and brutally violent, and one undead, slower, but just as dangerous and canibalistic.

I could have given this story a full five stars, it does rate that based on the action in the story. General Sherman's march was far more interesting to me, especially his pit stop in a little town in Kansas, than the more brief excerpts from Anna and Mason's more silent trek, but their stories tie together nicely, with plague victims, raiders, and rogue government agents all nipping at their heels. The story is cohesive and written with a certain amount of zip to it.

I am no military expert so I have no reason or desire to punch holes in the author's use of various terms and equipment. Again, the story and its use of military armaments are smooth and seamless. We are provided with an action packed zombie thriller as two sets of people are racing against the clock, not even sure what they are racing towards will mean anything in the end, but they are determined to do whatever it takes to get there and try to spare humanity any more agony from this brutal virus, if at all possible.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jarrick A on February 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
Thunder and Ashes is a very solid follow-up to Plague of the Dead. I give it 4 stars with some very nitpicky complaints. First of all, the jet fuel in trucks issue I can't let pass without comment. I will not give away the scene but the author does lead us to believe that trucks can run on jet fuel without problems or consequences. So before you pull up your truck to that learjet for some gas, do some research first! I looked this up, and though technically true, Recht does not explain that in the long run this is not good for a truck engine. In fact if a truck uses jet fuel for too long, it can ruin the engine. I think Recht should have used the fact behind this to sweeten the plot and suspense a bit, as it would have made for a real problem down the road for Sherman's group. Especially as there are situations later in the book that would directly resolve the problem. Yes I admit, I am nit picking on this but sometimes readers will catch these things. Maybe change this in a re-write or expanded addition of the book.

I just have some points of criticism on this otherwise solid book. First of all the pace of this story is just like the first book, excellent. Recht's narrative moves you along quickly and the action is well thought out and executed. The pace of the story when it focuses on Sherman's group is wonderful. You care about these characters and you want to know what happens to them next. The pacing doesn't work as well with Mason's group though. When the story focuses on Dr. Demilio and Mason it does weaken a bit (maybe to a *** story vs. ****) and you find yourself counting pages until Sherman's group is focused on again. The pacing in the first book overcame the characterization flaws but it is starting to wear thin as the saga goes on.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Minnesotan on March 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read the first book, Plague of the Dead, and in general I enjoyed it. There were few real problems with it, the characters were interesting, and the action was enough to make one's heartbeat increase if read at night while all alone in an old house. Good fun, nothing absolutely revolutionary, but reasonably smart and well thought out, etc. Z. A. Recht, who recently passed away, showed definite potential as a writer, and POTD was a nice addition to the zombie apocalypse genre.

Thunder & Ashes, however, seems to read almost like a piece of zombie youth fiction. The dialogue is much more simplistic and obvious, the description of action is extremely literal and soft-hitting, the infected appear to have devolved into pansies (even the sprinters, who should continue to unsettle people like the 28 Days/Weeks Later infected they appear to be related to) that are easily dispatched by a high-fiving crew of one-dimensional characters. The last of these is very strange, because in the previous novel these characters had at least some depth, but now they are just a bunch action figures giving lines that alternate between grinning, scowling, chuckling, and swallowing. A standard exchange of the dialogue/narrative might read:

"These blood-spraying, very infectious, scary zombies are easy to kill, and fun!" Brewster grinned.
"Keep your head screwed on straight, soldier," scowled Thomas.
"Don't worry about him, Brewster. He's still upset about yesterday, when you killed more raiders and made better jokes about combat against armed and non-infected foes than he did," Krueger chuckled.
"That's right.
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