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Down the Road
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on August 5, 2009
I agree that the author of this book has some personal issues he explored in text for us all to read. I think he probably does have certain racial and anti-governmental bents as well as sexual fetishes he wishes to expound on and on and on. That having been said, I think that aside from those issues he doe's show some promise as a writer. Frankly, I wish there were more zombies in this book about zombies rather than the human on human pique he likes. Now that reviews of his work are easily found on the internet and this site it is up to the reader to make up their own minds regarding his value as an author. I've bought his second book already. Go figure.
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on September 30, 2013
My 13 year old niece found it a bit predictable and slow apparently, harsh words coming from somebody who's favorite book is just titled "Horses".
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on April 11, 2012
As Bowie early work you can tell where he got his start and how he has strived to improve over time. This story introduces us to a world where the Zombie Apoclyplse has started and how various people deal with it in various ways. Shows hus how Fema and the government is likely to act and how useful or unuseful they would be.

I enjoyed seeing Austin featured and reading a solid Zombie story where not everything goes the way you expect and the various back stories adding up to how the end comes, just Down the Road.
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on October 2, 2009
This book is not written well by any standards...seriously. The characters are extremely simplistic---NO depth whatsoever. The plotline is shallow and unbelieveable as well.

Throughout the book, I kept imagining that the author must be a horny 12 year old boy because that's the only demographic that this book might possibly appeal to. Sex, violence, and drug lords...that about sums up the amount of thought that was put into this plot. The sex scenes detailed in the book are written in the manner of graphic comic book--- delicate, lustful women and strong dominant males. And then when the sex is done Ibarra turns to implausibly written drug lords as well as some raping. There is no actual thought put into this book whatsoever; it just jumps from one extreme to the next without any consideration for quality in writing.

If you're a horny, volatile teenager that is willing to believe an outlandish plotlines and perverse extremes, then go for it. If you're intelligent in any way and just want to read a good zombie novel...look elsewhere!
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VINE VOICEon April 16, 2007
Down the Road: A Zombie Horror Story is Bowie Ibarra's first novel and is a respectable effort. The book follows George Zaragoza, a teacher, as he tries to make his way home through a zombie infested wasteland. Along the way he has to fight through zombies, FEMA road blocks, and other survivors. While the story keeps you interested and the book is well paced, it just lacks the moxie that some of the better zombie novels have.

I'll start with the good in the book, which makes up most of it. First, Down the Road explores the possible role of FEMA in apocalyptic situation. It seems that FEMA in Down Road was heavily influenced by the reaction to Katrina. It also feeds into the heavy conspiracy theories that several of the characters have. I also like that the Ibarra never really gets into trying explain what caused the outbreak as generally it just bogs down the story and in many cases strains your suspension of disbelief. Instead Ibarra uses the characters speculation on what may have happened.

Down the Road does several other things right. The action scenes are very well described and I, at times, could feel my heart rate rising. Now that is an indicator that the scenes are framed well. Another thing that I enjoyed was the description of how small towns and civilians reacted to the outbreak. I think that Ibarra portrays the small town "call the men to duty" defense down properly. There are also some very nice twists to the story that will throw you for loop, and maybe one of the best endings I have read in a zombie novel.

Now the things that I didn't like so much. The first thing that jumps to mind is that the zombies, while Romero style, had no personality. In most zombie novels the zombies have some defining moment. Like in Kim Paffenroth's Dying to Live there are several and in Z.A Recht's Plague of the Dead when there is an outbreak at sea. Down the Road just never has that one moment where the true terror of a zombie plague shows through.

I'm not against sex and romance in zombie horror, but the sex scenes in Down the Road did not seem to serve any other purpose in the story than just to have a sex scene. These scenes did not in anyway move the story forward or contribute anything meaningful to it either. The only thing it does show is how people hump like bunnies when faced with certain death. Nothing new there.

Ibarra's writing style, while not bad, was not inspiring either. At times the story just seemed to jump from one thing directly to the next leaving the reader questioning why. I point the finger at the first sex scene as an example. Overall, though, for a first novel the writing is pretty good.

So, where do I stand on Down the Road? Well, it's an entertaining read with an interesting main character and does introduce some new elements to the zombie genre but lacks the character of some of the better zombie books. However, if you are a zombie fan this a good read and should not disappoint too many.
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on June 3, 2014
Bowie Ibarra invites you into the world of George Zaragosa. George is just a regular guy who wants to find his way home again. Unfortunately for George the dead have begun to rise and seek the flesh of the living. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Down the Road finding the authors tale refreshing. In a world of stale like minded zombie novel Down the Road stands out blending together action and story with a beautiful mix of culture. Anyone can do zombies but not everyone can make it interesting. Bowie Ibarra does both as George navigates his way home fight the undead and living as they stand between him and his ultimate goal.
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on December 31, 2010
I found this to be a generally disatisfying work. The characters are two-dimensional and the action less than exciting. This combined with the author's obvious obsession with the perceived evil of FEMA (and it seems the government in general) along with a gratuitous sex-scene (that is both unrealistic and more than a little gross) and a needlessly depressing ending make this a less than enjoyable zombie read and one that I cannot recommend.
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on July 24, 2007
Well done Texas Zombie tale, I appreciated all the references to Austin, San Antonio, and towns in South Texas. That definitely set it a part from all the other zombie genre books. Some parts of the book were gruesome and brutal. Some parts were outrageous like good ole school teacher, George, killing and beating up other humans like he was always a tough guy (a real OG). Surprising but I guess in desperate times it calls for desperate actions. And George is down for anything which made the book overall amusing. It brought a new twist to the zombie genre. The ending is great.

Only two minor gripes about the book which stall the flow of the book. In the midst of a zombie apocalyptical crisis, the random sex scenes in this story is bizarre to say the least. George having sex with some random co-worker was out of place and annoying but I guess that's George! Also the fact that he was still getting over his ex was cheesy since he was sleeping with random female characters in the story. Of course, his ex was killed in a drug related incident though she neither sold nor did drugs. It was a random sub-plot to the book. That being said I think Ibarra is an excellent writer and I look forward to more of his zombie work. Its great to have this type of talent in the lone star state!
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on December 21, 2006
I found this book by surfing through recommendations on amazon. I really love a good zombie book, especially one that follows the romero rules. This guy tried something new, I give him credit for that. But it wasn't great. I think he keep trying to make the main character cool, but he kept on trying to justify it. The guy has sex with like two hot girls, and always saves the day. But in the end he's kind of a nerd. Don't get me wrong, this book is entertaining, I read it in two days, and I don't regret it, its just not fantastic. The one thing the author did that was really cool is when he describes a zombie in the first person. Really interesting.
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on April 24, 2013
Because these books are addictive. He takes you through the heart of Texas on a undead adventure that you hope never ends.
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