- File Size: 1112 KB
- Print Length: 318 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Smarmy Press (October 26, 2017)
- Publication Date: October 26, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B075THX3JB
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,423 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Scattered and the Dead (Book 2.5) Kindle Edition
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"Beneath a Scarlet Sky" by Mark Sullivan
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The series is written as a collection of letters, notes, and memoirs of the survivors of a zombie apocalypse. The zombie apocalypse has become a popular genre, but this series of books focuses more upon the individuals and their feelings rather than trying to explain WHY there was a zombie apocalypse, or going into detail about the guns and weapons used to fight the zombies. In some ways, it reminds me of the Walking Dead, especially when contrasted to series like John Ringo's "Dark Tide Rising" series. I am a big John Ringo fan as well, but for different reasons.
The stories skip around chronologically, which sounds confusing, but isn't. The stories are labeled with a time delta, such as "6 days before," or "9 years, 133 days after."
In particular, this book focuses a lot on the characters Delfino and Erin, who were both first introduced in Book One. This book tells more of their story, and helps you understand WHY they are the way they are. I love the way McBain and Vargus describe scenes vividly, and this book is no exception.
I would recommend reading the other books in the series before reading this one, but it's not essential. You are supposed to be sort of lost with this type of book, and part of the fun comes from finding out the story in bits in pieces over time. If you enjoyed their other books, you will almost certainly enjoy this one as well.
Written as a series of letters from two of my favorite apocalypse-survivors, this Scattered and the Dead follows Erin's time in the refugee camp Before and a few days After. We learn how she met Izzy, what happened to Erin's family, and maybe even what happened to the camp Decker wandered into in 0.5. Hopefully. I hope it was the same camp, and I hope a certain National Guardsman from 2.5 is the one who got it in the face. He deserves it. You'll see. It might be a cliche, but the apocalypse really brings out the best and the worst in people. In a true embodiment of art imitating life, we find out (along with Erin) that the worst isn't the dictatorial a-holes who gleefully perpetrate crimes against the weak and innocent at the drop of a hat, the worst is the supposedly good people who turn out to be too selfish or cowardly to stand up to the a-holes. We also get to read some of Delfino's background, written by the man himself, which is as charming and fun as huffing gas and them-or-me killing can ever be. Which is actually pretty darn charming. Our humble narrators, Delfino and Erin have such endearing voices; I could read a thousand-page knitting manual if either of them had written it. But add in the fact that The Scattered and the Dead 2.5 is riddled with thrills, heart punches, and creep-fests, and you can see why starting it before bed is a guaranteed late night.
You wouldn't think an ending like this one could be life-affirming, but it was. The story shined a spotlight on all of the ugliness and evil and unexplainable horrors that are everywhere in the world, but ultimately reminded us that people like Erin and Delfino are still out there, too. They can still tell right from wrong, and they still protect the people who need to be protected. It's awesome.
In short, this book was amazing. I couldn't put it down. I dare you to try. Once you pop, the post-apocalyptic thrill ride won't stop.
That said, there are some great characters in this book, each with their own pre-collapse issues that impact them post-collapse and affect their ability to interact, function, and ultimatley survive. I very much like the jumping between characters and different times of the story, anywhere from days before the collapse to 9 years after. And, I like how some of the characters have been tied together. Some you just knew were meeting up, and others you stop and say “ohhh...”. There are pieces slowly being put together. I see why people have made the comparison to The Stand. Respectfully, it is *not* on the same level as The Stand, but it does have that epic “good v. evil” feel, but in a more subtle way. I am interested to see if some of my predictions for characters turn out to be correct.
Overall, solid writing. My only criticism is that there are points when a particular storyline goes on and on and on. I’m thinking specifically of one character’s turn into a zombie, and another’s spiraling into depravity. And I suppose it is not the event itself that goes on too long, but the characters internal monologue that does.
Regardless, recommended series. I’m looking forward to more books.