Drifters by John L. Campbell

drifters“Helicopter pilot Vladimir Yurish is a man of his word. The last thing he wants is to abandon the safety of the U.S.S. Nimitz and his newly adopted son Ben. Still, a promise is a promise, no matter how close to death it brings him…

Angie West has fought hard to keep strangers alive, but now it’s time to tend to her own. Only, when she finds her family missing and their hideout burned and looted, she realizes the threat to her family isn’t just the undead—the living can do so much worse…

Halsey has done well for himself, given the circumstances. Between his secluded ranch and precise shooting, the plague hasn’t touched him. Until a Black Hawk crashes on his property, bringing the war to his front door…

Amid the chaos of a destroyed civilization, the survivors encounter a new threat. And these new monsters can’t be outrun—or outwitted…”

If you had told me a couple of years back that I would be thoroughly enjoying a zombie thriller series, I would probably have said you were crazy.  I just didn’t see the appeal of the genre.  John L. Campbell is one of the authors that broke my preconceptions of stories of the living dead, and this third book in his series has all the action, campy thrills, and gore you could want in a zombie book.

I think that what I like about this novel is that it’s a straightforward action story.  A lot of what I read is more complex, and the Omega Days stories are a nice change of pace from all of that.  Understand, I don’t mean that as an insult.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with a good action-heavy book from time to time.  The problem comes when such books dumb down their tale to appeal to the lowest common denominator, but Campbell doesn’t do that.  For all the zombie slaying and daring escapes, the author does ask you to contemplate issues of morality as they might manifest in a post-apocalyptic world.  He just hides it in some kick-ass action sequences.

I think that readers will get really invested in these characters.  None of them are safe, and bad things happen to good people here.  Children are put in jeopardy.  Hard choices must be made.  Most of the good characters are “everyman” types, ones that you can easily imagine yourself as.  The bad characters edge close to being caricatures, but never quite get there, so you’re free to love hating them.  (Also, the bad guys tend to get their comeuppance, which is so nice to watch…)

Lastly, I like that the zombie storyline is changing and evolving.  It isn’t just “dead people roaming around eating everyone in their way”.  There are hints of other things going on–natural disasters threaten, and the type of zombie we see through most of the series may not be the most dangerous thing to arise from the Omega virus.  There are just enough teasing details of what’s to come to keep me wanting to read more.

Looking for a good novel for a vacation afternoon?  This is one to consider.  It’s not for the terribly squeamish, but if you can stand some blood and guts, this is a great example of the zombie genre.

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

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