Plague World by Dana Fredsti

Rating 6.0/10
A fun romp through zombie town.

Having been ambushed in San Francisco, which is now fully engulfed in the zombie plague, Ashley and the wild cards must pursue the enemy to San Diego. There they will discover a splinter of their own organization, the Dolofónoi tou Zontanoús Nekroús, which seeks to weaponise the plague. But that isn't the worst news. The plague has gone airborne, making it transferable without physical contract. It cannot be controlled by anyone, so reports of the zombie swarm are coming in from across the United States - and across the world.

The third and final book in the Ashley Parker trilogy has us re-joining the wild cards a few moments after the close of the second book. With this instalment the focus is less on the zombies and more on the human enemies who seek to weaponise the plague – indeed the zombie killing action is less raucously good fun than in the previous two books, and is treated almost like a side story. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the focus then goes onto the remaining humans who can potentially do the wild cards a lot of harm, unlike the zombies who they will inevitably kill at every turn. Fredsti seems to have got the one-liners and zombie ass-kicking out of the way, allowing at least some of characters to begin to form identities.

Really this trilogy comes down to what you as a reader want out of a series which claims to be about zombies. If you want the horror, desperation and death that is at the centre of a lot of zombie books then this probably isn’t for you. If you want a bit of zombie killing, some amusing one-liners and a whole boat-load of movie references then you should definitely pick up these books. They’re entertaining enough for what they are, but as I say, if you’re looking for any great journey into the desperate nature of humanity when faced with horrid odds, I would give these a miss.

That isn’t to say that Fredsti is a bad writer. In between the chapters there are snippets from others across the world, all facing their own zombie invasion. Some of these are amusing, and some are bone-chilling – one that stands out particularly for me was about Korean soldiers on the North/South border. They are slightly at odds with the cheerful, sarcastic nature of the main story, and show that Fredsti perhaps could write something haunting if she so desired.

What was the thing that annoyed me most about the series however? The ending. I won’t spoil it for you, but the ending really put a dampener on the series as a whole for me. It was as though, with twenty pages remaining, Fredsti suddenly realised that she had to bring everything to a conclusion.

If you want a fun romp through zombie town, then definitely give this trilogy a go. They’re light hearted, easy to read, but with just enough danger and sadness to leave a lasting impression.

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