Even The Dead Will Bleed: Book Three of TELL ME WHEN I'M DEAD Kindle Edition
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'Even the Dead Will Bleed' was the perfect ending to the 'Tell Me When I'm Dead' series. The storyline was intense. Full of creative scenarios, on the edge action and some suspense. Oh, and gore, lots of gory details. The way it played out had me laughing at Dave's sarcasm, cringing when things got crazy, smiling at the budding romance and saddened when things went south. The characters were a great cast of personalities and talents. I was hooked on this series from book one. I liked that this isn't the typical zombie apocalypse story. Steven Ramirez put his twist on it and made it awesome. A great add to your tbr list. Definitely recommended.
The action in all three books is non-stop. The pacing is perfect. The descriptive gore is enough to frighten the hell out of you, without repelling you. Most of all, the author is an exceptional writer who was able to keep all three books at the same level of excellence in terms of editing and story telling. I can see this book trilogy as a great TV series, like 11 23 63 (the Stephen King book.) Note: I likened the author's writing skills and story-telling ability to Stephen King's in my first review. An exceptional author who has written a gripping horror trilogy.
Zombie/undead novels tend to lose steam when it comes to the third part of the trilogy. It is rare that a story will continue to evolve in a dynamic fashion. The more common case is a story that stumbles to a conclusion. The last installment of the "Tell Me When I'm Dead" saga suffers from no such problem. Allow me to explain...
In our last edition of "Tell Me When I'm Dead" our hero Dave Pulaski was in a bad way, having seen his wife Holly and his unborn child murdered at the direction of Will Freeman. Now, Dave has found his way to LA to exact revenge on Freeman. Why LA? It just so happens that the plot with Robbin-Sear corporation has now come full bloom. This bloom looks like a corpse flower; it may look like heaven but it smells like the devil. Worse yet, the mutation of the virus first seen in Tres Marias is complete; a new race of creatures that Dave calls "cutters". Cutters are people afflicted with the virus that flay people alive and eat their skins and entrails.
Now, the efforts of Robbin-Sear and "Hellborn" are on full display; government-sponsorship, conspiracy, police cooperation and the like. It would seem that Dave's plan is going to end badly. However, he ends up being on site when Sasha - a young Russian woman subjected to experimentation - escapes and finds her way to his truck. Dave is fully committed to his plan of revenge, but the entrance of Sasha seems to put those plans on the back burner.
It is often said that someone has nothing to lose - in fact, I said it myself about Dave Pulaski in book #2. However, the treat we get here is an actual look into the mind of someone who feels like not making any long term plans beyond what to have for his next meal. Dave is dead on the inside, attempting to push away anything that keeps him from what he feels is his mission to deal with Walt Freeman. Along the way, Dave picks up more allies who help him to see that not only will his plan not end well, it won't even solve the problems that nearly destroyed Tres Marias.
One of these new allies is Mari, who is a superstar reporter for the ABC affiliate in LA. One of the weakness of the book is this character. She comes out of the barrio to become a local celebrity and is a good reporter, but she throws herself at Dave? Mari seems to be pulled and stretched to fit what the situation requires. To my mind, it is the literary equivalent to taking Silly Putty, placing it on Beetle Bailey comic in order to make Sarge look like Herman Munster. It is a minor weakness, but one that stood out to me.
The story comes to a satisfying conclusion; not perhaps as Dave would have wished, but he is satisfied with the result. Dave even states that his first-person account is done. Yet, this reviewer is left to wonder if a future series based off one of the characters is in the offing. There is a nugget that suggests that we may have a Milo-type character from "Escape from the Planet of the Apes" within this story.
Author Rodriguez resists the temptation to flex his nerd or gun cred in this book. A Glock, for instance, is just a Glock. There's no "gun porn" to calibers or magazine sizes; it's irrelevant information for story purposes. I will give him credit for using a "Blade Runner" reference on one of the cutters...plus, anytime you can work in SpongeBob, you get points as well.
BOTTOM LINE: If you've read books 1 and 2, read this too. If you haven't, read them and then this.
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