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Slow Burn: Torrent, Book 5 Kindle Edition
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I absolutely loved book 5 of the series. I bought and read the first four in just a few days back in April and was thrilled to see that the next book in the series was out! It was great to be reunited with our friends in Texas. The storytelling is well done and I couldn't tear my eyes away.
I'm not amazing at writing reviews but if you loved the first four, you won't be disappointed with this installment. There is no lack of danger, drama, blood or gore. I wish book 6 was ready, I'd get started right now!
I also like that the environment has started to play a role. I hope that wasn't just a small hurricane, but rather a taste of how our environment would become twisted as most of humanity dies off and all industrial, transportation, heating/cooling and agricultural activity just stops. In The Plague Year series by Jeff Carlson, the rapidly shifting environment becomes a huge factor as human activity falls off a cliff.
That said -- here come SPOILERS -- this thing still needs editing. Adair obviously doesn't want a real editor at this point (and I can't really blame him, because a real editor would reduce page count). Five installments would become four, and where's the fun in that? But I'm pretty sure an editor would not have allowed Nico in installment four, which would have been a good thing, since we wouldn't have had to deal with him in installment five. He's a useless diversion. We already know that life without law and courts and structure will be difficult, especially with the problem-case people. Thank goodness we won't be seeing Nico again. But I guess we're sooner or later going to have to wade through a showdown with Mark, the evil ROTC smart one. He's back for another sighting or two, unfortunately. And Jeff Aubrey shows up as well. I'm just waiting for Freitag. And then I'm going to scream.
The almost-romance between Zed and Steph is tough to swallow. Picture Zed by this point. He's emaciated. His diet has mostly been crap. His hands must still be torn up some. He's got to be covered in bruises. He's certainly covered in cuts and scabs from charging through the woods. He has zombie pallor. All his hair has been torn out and presumably his scalp is a big scab. He has a huge gash on his forehead. He's often an unpredictable lunatic. A scabby, bald, philosophy major barista zombie lunatic. Who carries a very bad infection. Yeah, that's an attractive package. Sure, Steph's immune - maybe. And Zed is a stand-up guy. Still.
Zed is a real problem. Adair is writing two or three guys into this role, and it's just far too much. If I were Steph, I think Dalhover would be the more attractive one at this point, bad breath and all. Plus, Zed is generally prone to lecturing, and show me the woman who'll put up with that! ;-)
When is the military going to put in some sort of appearance? We understand that Camp Mabry was overrun. It was in a fairly high density area and probably had significant civilian traffic. The infection was in deep before they could react and it collapsed. Sure. We get it. But that's certainly not the case for every military installation, American or otherwise. Cold Lake, Canada's answer to Nellis, for example, sits north of a low-density town in northeastern Alberta. It probably locks down unscathed with firepower to burn long before the infection gets that far north - if it ever does. And there must be hundreds of other installations world-wide in the same situation. And what about boats and subs? It amazes me that Zed, Steph, Murphy and especially Dalhover have not thought to pick up a radio and batteries to see if there's a broadcast of some type. I know the Internet's down, and cell service, but international (especially military) communication existed before the Internet and mobile. Our heroes have got to witness at least a fly-by or something pretty soon. All communications cannot possibly be down.
But I still enjoyed it. And the hints are piling up. Zed's eyesight. The fact the boys have seen very few infected as they make their way to join up with Dalhover and Steph. Somethin's up. Good storytelling. I'm in for another installment. But I'm capping this sucker at $15 total. ;-)
First of all, it is a testament to the author’s skill that he is able to write these books in the first person point of view. As I read the first few paragraphs I considered stopping right there because first person is severely limiting and is not done well nearly as often as it is attempted. But by the time I read a few more paragraphs, I was hooked. I read the nine books essentially non-stop.
Second, the main character is relatable, not so much because of his personal history pre-zombie times but because of how he thinks of himself, generally speaking. He’s a guy with a few emotional scars and a few strengths, and he’s just trying to find a place in the world. Now that the world has been zombie-fied, things get a bit more dramatic than before.
Third, the whole “slow burn” concept is a great twist on the whole zombie setting, one that I can’t recall being used in any other zombie story, ever.
Fourth, the author’s inventiveness surfaces over and over again, in clever and surprising ways. I don’t think there was a cliché or even a slightly tired scene in any of the 9 books. I won’t give anything away here, but you’ll see what I mean when he figures out how to refuel a piece of farm equipment.
Fifth, the author knows a few things about animal behavior, which he applies to the zombies. Clue: various groups of zombies exhibit radically different behaviors.
Sixth, the pacing is great. Something is either happening or about to happen, and nowhere in the books does the author bore you with useless exposition.
Seventh, the dialogue is done well. Different characters sound like different people, and even in quiet scenes they talk like people exhausted and stressed in a world gone wacky, not like characters in a soap opera or half-baked sitcom. Oh, and there are some rather funny lines throughout the books.
Lastly, there are human interactions and emotions and growth that just happen to take place in the middle of some very wild zombie craziness. Long after you read these books, you WILL remember the main characters.
So, all in all, the Slow Burn series is VERY nicely done. I’ve told a bunch of people about these books, and only when I do that do I give a book 5 stars.