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Zombie Maelstrom Paperback – December 19, 2011
From the Author
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
When the plague hit, it hit hard.
That was what the president called it, anyway. Plague.
Plague was just a euphemism for zombies, Chad Halverson knew. The president could call it anything he wanted. Halverson knew a zombie when he saw one. These things, diseased creatures or whatever they were, may have been infected by plague, but the creatures themselves, not the plague, were the most imminent threat at this point. The creatures bore an insatiable lust for human flesh.
Thirty-six-year-old Halverson worked for the National Clandestine Service, otherwise known as the black ops division of the CIA. The Agency had been tracking these worldwide outbreaks of plague ever since they had originated in China several weeks ago. The outbreaks were spreading like wildfire.
The director of the CIA, the sixtyish and donnish Ivy League-educated Ernest Slocum, suspected terrorists of engineering the outbreaks of pox. In his mind, terrorists had concocted some kind of supergerm warfare. The question was, which terrorists?
The Agency, therefore, was treating these outbreaks as acts of war and was operating accordingly. As of yet, no outbreaks had been reported on American soil. Slocum, Halverson knew, figured it was only a matter of time.
At that moment, Halverson was flying on a 737 Boeing passenger jet bound for LAX. The jet was beginning its descent.
Seven hours earlier Halverson had received a call at Langley's CIA headquarters from the UCLA medical center. The receptionist had told him his younger brother by a year Dan had been involved in a car accident. As Chad had been listed as Dan's next of kin in Dan's wallet, she was notifying Chad.
Chad had not seen Dan in over three years and was looking forward to reuniting with him. Chad could only hope that Dan wasn't too seriously injured. Dan was Chad's one close relative left, now that his parents had both died in, ironically it seemed to Chad considering Dan's current predicament, a car accident.
As the jet descended, Halverson wondered if Dan's accident had anything to do with the plague. Halverson had no reason to believe this. It was just that he had plague on his mind after having been bombarded at Langley with myriad reports of the epidemic burgeoning all over the world.
The plague probably had nothing to do with Dan's accident, Halverson decided. The hospital receptionist would no doubt have told him if the plague was in any way involved with Dan's hospitalization. But, then again, how long could America go before being invaded by the plague?
As of this day the germ or virus or whatever it was that was causing the plague remained unidentified, Halverson knew. Without determining a source for the plague, scientists could not even begin to discover a cure or vaccination.
It looked even smoggier than usual over LA, noted Halverson, glancing out his port window. Impenetrable fuscous clouds of smog mantled the entire landscape below him. What landscape? he wondered. He could be flying over the ocean for all he knew.
The jet suddenly bucked wildly up and down. Halverson grabbed ahold of his armrests. Luckily, he had his seat belt fastened. He dug his fingers into the vinyl-covered metal supports.
The jet began jerking back and forth. The rocking motion threw Halverson's head against the fuselage near the window to his left. He blacked out with the impact of his head's collision with the fuselage. He had no idea how long he was out. The next thing he knew he heard a voice.
"Ladies and gentlemen, please keep your seat belts fastened as we continue our approach to LAX," announced the pilot ever the loudspeaker with a Texas drawl. "We're running into a little turbulence here. It should be over momentarily. Thank you."
The jet bucked again. This time worse than before. Halverson felt his seat belt ripping into his hips. He couldn't wait to get this flight over with.
Copyright © 2011 by Bryan Cassiday
About the Author
Bryan Cassiday graduated from UCLA with a BA degree in English. He wrote the Chad Halverson zombie apocalypse series, which includes Zombie Maelstrom, Zombie Necropolis, Sanctuary in Steel, and Kill Ratio (July 2013). He also wrote Helter Skelter, The Anaconda Complex, The Kill Option, Blood Moon: Thrillers and Tales of Terror, and Fete of Death. He lives in Southern California.
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Top customer reviews
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The find a place to hide but of course an idiot screws it up for them in less than a few hours and them their escape plan goes to hell. Oh, and all but a couple of the main characters start to mentally flake "having had too much of this".
More escape failures and on the road they go. At best 15 hrs from the start.
Only to be caught by a militia nut job who has established a camp and started crucifying zombies and having zombie games. Bring on the incompetence angle again and you have "zombie hoard in the wire". So, a militia nut establishes a camp and followers less than 24 hrs from the start? Its just garbage.
It devolves some more from there. I dont give it a one because clearly the author is trying. I love zombie books. Chesser, Patton, Lundy, Lechter. All awesome. This? Not so much.
Now let me be very clear here, I am a big fan of horror, especially zombie horror, and I have no fear of self published or small house publishers- I expect typos and type setting issues. What I cannot abide is an author that does not even seem to be trying. No character development, no empathy, no sense. The protagonist, Halverson, is supposed to be a seasoned spook, but he comes off as a putz and an idiot. His failure to put together the insider knowledge he has about the "plague" and the strange events at the airport marks this book as loser from the first few pages.
Don't waste your time. Plenty of better books out there.
The story was different. I've read many different zombie books, and a lot of them even start out with the main characters not knowing what was going on. But this one still felt unique to me. The main characters in the story felt hashed out by Cassiday.
The book fell just a little flat for me with the confusion of characters (two or three of them just felt like they were the same person). I think slightly more back-story (without getting boring) would be needed to really explain what makes some of these people tick. The turn towards the end of the story (not trying to give anything away) was probably the best thought out part of this book. They could have spent slightly less time trying to figure out what to do, and more time in and around the camp.
The camp's leader felt like the most explained character in the book, but maybe because he was easily hated. But not as easily hated as the main antagonist, Leamans, who is with the survivors the whole time (seriously I haven't hated a character in a book that much in a long time). Writing a character who is that much of an a-hole couldn't have been easy.
Overall, the book felt like it had some new and different aspects to add to the zombie fiction/post-apocalyptic genre. And it had some other aspects that felt very "been there, done that." This book was a pretty quick read, and the audiobook was enjoyable.
When a flight has to land with no communication between the plane and LAX, the passengers don't know what to expect. They don't expect a place shrouded in fog and seemingly empty though. They can barely see a few feet in front of themselves, but some of the passengers break off, while some head to the airport to see what's happening. While on their way there, they hear moans and screams, just what is going on?? As they arrive at the place, a person seems to jump from the tower, screaming. Their initial thoughts are terrorists in he building, but what they get is something worse.
Who would have thought that a book based in an airport a lot, would grab my attention so much, yet this one did! The plot was relatively fast paced and quite eerie! Anything taking place in a fog is eerie, but add in an abandoned airport, Zombies and an awful camp, and you have a decent read!
All the characters are well written and developed. I liked Halverson a lot. He is capable, smart and a take no prisoner kind of guy. He does his best for his fellow passengers and tries to keep them all alive! There isn't many books out there that make me despise a character as much as this one did, but despise Leamans I did! The man tried his best to become leader and was so arrogant and a down right despicable man! He seemed to do his best to get on the wrong side of every character!
Anyway, this was a really quick read for me, and I look forward to checking out the rest soon. Give these books a go, you won't regret it!
I really enjoyed the narration done by D.G. Chichester. With the amount of characters in this, he did a great job distinguishing each. I hope he is narrating the rest of the series!
*I received a copy of this for review. This in no way affects my thoughts.*
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