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Kill Ratio (Chad Halverson Series) Paperback – July 9, 2013
PRAISE FOR BRYAN CASSIDAY'S ZOMBIE BOOKS
"Cassiday blends thoughtful suspense and pulse-pounding terror to deliver a novel with both bite and creeping dread."--David Dunwoody, author of Empire
"Written with the epic scope of World War Z and infused with the gritty spook works derring-do of a Robert Ludlum spy thriller, Sanctuary in Steel is full of zombie mayhem through and through."--Joe McKinney, author of Dead City
From the Author
Copyright © 2013 by Bryan Cassiday
All rights reserved.
"We're completely screwed. So what else is new?"
At the wheel of the pitching twenty-foot sailboat named the Costaguana, Halverson was luffing south along the Southern California tidewater through choppy seas, a smattering of grey clouds racking overhead. For the time being he didn't see any flesh eaters along the shore.
"I didn't say anything," said Victoria, sitting on the thwart in the stern, peering up at him as the water sloshed against the sailboat's hull.
Painted avocado green, the hull had seen better days. Its paint was peeling in spots and it bore nicks in its wood. The exposed wood was suffering from salt and water erosion. Wedged in a hole in the hull to prevent leaking just above the waterline on the port side was a severed human hand, its fingers extended seaward.
Victoria was wearing a peach blouse and blue jeans with one of the front pockets torn and hanging down like a flap, courtesy of a flesh eater's attack. She wore it like a battle scar.
The plague that had contaminated the world had not aged her one bit, Halverson could see. She still looked her years--twenty-eight.
"I was talking to myself," said Halverson.
Clad in jeans and a torn T, he looked at her with his ginger eyes, the color of a lion's. A few years shy of forty, he wondered if he'd ever reach that age, what with the pandemic.
Hearing the mast creak above her, Victoria craned her neck up and saw two legs in torn trousers kicking spastically. Its arms bound behind its back, the one-handed fortyish male flesh eater was hanging by the neck from the top of the mast and twisting in the wind.
"Why do we have to have that thing up there?" said Victoria.
"To scare away other flesh eaters," said Halverson. "Like a Jolly Roger."
"It's not like we're gonna meet up with a bunch of them on the ocean."
"What about when we dock?"
"It gives me the creeps hanging up there."
"Hopefully it does the same to the flesh eaters."
"I doubt it."
"It's also handy for plugging leaks." Halverson glanced at the flesh eater's arm that was missing a hand.
Victoria rolled her eyes. "What's the point of keeping it alive?"
"The flesh eaters won't pay attention to it if it's not moving."
Head tilted back, Victoria squinted at the ghoul, the sun shining in her eyes intermittently as the creature swung to and fro in the wind. The creature's jaws were champing the air like it was dying from hunger.
Halverson's thoughts were elsewhere.
"We're going about this the wrong way," he said. "Instead of running away from the walking dead, we should be running toward them."
Victoria screwed up her face and squinched her blue eyes at him. "The sun's addling your brains. We've been out here too long on the ocean."
"It's only been about a month."
"Seems like a year," she said, head down, getting depressed thinking about it.
"What I'm saying is, we need to touch base with the people in power. That means we need to make land and then head east."
"Right into the mouths of the flesh eaters."
"We have to find out what's left of the government." Even as he uttered them, he regretted his words. After all, he had found out the hard way that somebody high up in the government was out to kill him.
She raised her head. "Do you have some messianic complex to save the country?"
"I want to see if there's any country left."
"Why does it matter?"
"Sailing out here on the ocean isn't getting us anywhere."
"Where do you want to get? We're still alive. That's what counts."
True enough, he decided. As far as it went. "I don't want a bunch of infected zombies taking over. We have to fight them."
"Back to your messianic complex. Why do you have to save the country?"
It was his job, Halverson knew. He worked for the National Clandestine Service of the CIA. But he couldn't tell her that. Nobody knew what he did. She believed his cover story that he worked as a journalist.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's actually happened: the zombie apocalypse is among us. Caused by a virus spreading exponentially through the population, it looks like there's no end in sight. Chad Halverson, however, is going to do his best to make it out alive. See, he knows exactly how this all started, and the government--his own co-workers, in fact--want him dead for that knowledge. Meanwhile, the President and his council are holed up in Mount Weather, ready to make some chilling decisions that will affect the entire world. Who will win, who will lose, and will we ever be the same again?
I thought this was a captivating book. The characters are intriguing; the story is one that could eventually happen, what in this day of germ warfare and other craziness; and the general tone of the book is depressing but hopeful at the same time. Jumping back and forth between Chad's group and those at Mount Weather was a very neat concept, as you could see what was REALLY going on in the world versus what the government fat-cats could see and were debating about. That group in itself was great; I felt like that's exactly what would happen in a situation like this, and the ongoing tension and escalating tempers were just perfect.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good zombie story, but also for those who want to know just what the government would do in this situation. I believe it's depicted quite accurately; will you?
P.S. I may have shortened my boyfriend's life by showing him the cover upon just waking up. =)
The author creates a unique and interesting plot by taking the reader back and forth from the action in zombie infested parts of America, to the difficult decisions being made in the government.
The main character, Halverson, is traveling through zombie infested areas, picking up traveling companions as he goes. Halverson was a difficult character for me to connect with. I couldn't understand his desire to "save the world" while the government was trying to kill him. His patriotism, I guess, was hard to understand. Especially when seeing the corruption and decisions being made by the government.
On the plus side, the author did a great job of illustrating decision making and governmental powers. The collection of people making decisions voiced realistic concerns, options, and consequences. Dialogue and situation were well written concerning governmental affairs.
Also, the book is well written. The author writes in a style and diction I found appealing.
I reviewed at the request of the author, who provided a digital copy for review purpose.
The fourth installment of the Chad Halverson series is suspenseful, engaging, and action packed. At the core it's a zombie tale and "Kill Ration" doesn't disappoint in this area.
While reading, I kept visualizing it as a big action/horror flick with blood, guts, and explosions. A few characters I felt were a bit cliché(most noticeably The President), but it went with the vibe I was getting of an over the top action flick.
I have not read any of the other books in the series and I never felt lost. The author know how to weave suspense and zombies with skill.
Having already read the book preceding this one, I knew about the main characters already. However, I still would like to read the first three books to get some background on how they got to this point. And, I can't wait for the next zombie adventure that the main characters go on.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.