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Thunder and Ashes (The Morningstar Strain) (Pt.2) Paperback – April 21, 2008
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Attention Science Fiction Fans
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The second volume in Recht’s zombie-apocalypse series (after the well-received Plague of the Dead, 2009) at first looks like a typical post-apocalyptic-war story. After a conflict that nearly destroys humanity, two groups of survivors, led by Anna Demilio and Francis Sherman (introduced in Plague), try to find a safe place through enemy territory. Of course, this is no ordinary post-apocalyptic odyssey. The global conflict resulted from the spread of the Morningstar virus, which turns those it infects into zombies, either quick-moving sprinters or slow-moving shamblers but all frightening and deadly. Recht writes a raw, brutal style perfect for the story’s raw brutality, and it’s impossible to read the novel and not get caught up in its characters and their seemingly futile quest to reach safety before they are killed by the infected or, for that matter, by roaming gangs of human raiders, rogue government agents, or other predators. Sadly, Recht died in 2009 at age 26, while working on the third volume in the series, which gives this book a bittersweet aura. It’s a compelling story told in a captivating voice that was prematurely silenced. --David Pitt --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Z. A. Recht lived in West Virginia, where he authored the Morningstar Strain trilogy: Plague of the Dead, Thunder and Ashes, and Survivors. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I could have given this story a full five stars, it does rate that based on the action in the story. General Sherman's march was far more interesting to me, especially his pit stop in a little town in Kansas, than the more brief excerpts from Anna and Mason's more silent trek, but their stories tie together nicely, with plague victims, raiders, and rogue government agents all nipping at their heels. The story is cohesive and written with a certain amount of zip to it.
I am no military expert so I have no reason or desire to punch holes in the author's use of various terms and equipment. Again, the story and its use of military armaments are smooth and seamless. We are provided with an action packed zombie thriller as two sets of people are racing against the clock, not even sure what they are racing towards will mean anything in the end, but they are determined to do whatever it takes to get there and try to spare humanity any more agony from this brutal virus, if at all possible.
Where I would be critical of this book is in more or less minor details that unveil themselves towards the end of the story and I hesitate to spell them out because I have no interest in revealing plot points. Suffice it to say that there were two key things that happen that I did not feel were specifically needed to advance the story. One scene simply felt redundant, an echo of a scene from the first book in the trilogy having to do with one on one combat...almost laying the groundwork for a very similar scene in book three. The other issue I have lies within the epilogue and what I would deem an incredibly convenient story element revealed that will play a huge part in the final installment of this trilogy. I suppose I am just not a fan of something that the odds of happening are one in a billion revealing themselves so conveniently. Please understand, these are really minor issues for me and as such do not want them to be considered deterents for anyone interested in picking up this story.
The writing is fast paced, the characters are entertaining, and the story is fun. Perhaps some of the characterizations are a bit exagerated, but when you are dealing with an end of the world type plague, I can certainly understand how some folks would seem a bit over the top. I found myself growing attached to quite a few of the characters and really look forward to finding out what happens in the final chapter of the Morningstar Trilogy. This was a genuinely fun and exhilerating zombie romp.
The reason for this though is because it isn't a sequel in the traditional sense. Not like Jurassic Park or Jaws type sequels but like Kill Bill. Just one long story broken into three parts. Thunder and Ashes starts out fast because it pretty much picks up where the last one left off. Yeah a few weeks-months take place between books but it is the same plots and same goals of the same characters. I don't mean that as a bad thing...like I said, it was hard to put down and I knocked this one out in half the time I did the first one--and this one is only a few pages shorter.
I'll have to see where Survivors goes. Right now I'm not too happy but I'm only 4 pages in so we shall see. I felt the same way when I started the first one. The email format of how Plague started just annoyed me right away, but it turned out to be a good read. Here's to keeping an open-mind and staying hopeful!
General Sherman and his contingent head out of Oregon and end up in Kansas, fighting off all kinds of zombies - sprinters and shamblers - and all kinds of bad guys (naturally bad - not because they are infected). They are able to help a small town in Kansas and then head to the rendezvous point in Nebraska, where General Sherman is meeting Dr. Anna Demilio.
Demilio, meanwhile, has her own problems as she travels with companions, trying to stay ahead of the zombies and bad guys.
There's a big twist at the end of the book. Maybe things are looking up!