Tag Archives: Pandemic

Can We Stand?

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For Which We Stand cover

Ian and his group of security professionals that some call mercenaries are leaving El Paso. They have killed Dr. Sanjay and retrieved intel on safe houses throughout the United States. In the process, a man named Ram that was being used to inject variants of the virus into was rescued, and he and his partner, Jesse have now joined Ian’s group. The writing is on the wall for El Paso and Ft. Bliss. With millions of infected attacking the walls each day and food and other supplies running low for the over four million refugees something has got to give. It’s only a matter of time before tensions explode.

Hanson’s novel in the Five Roads To Texas series, For Which We Stand: Ian’s road follows Ian on his quest to find answers and those responsible. It is a much more zombie-ish tale than I would have liked. But, that is my opinion and in no way reflects on this review. The story is full of hard-hitting action and nail-biting suspense. The pace is quick.

This storyline is my favorite of the five. The mystery of who and why are explored along with the response from those able to rise and fight back. There are moments to cheer and moments for anger. I found this to be an emotional book. The fate of the United States is not so clear. Will Ian’s group be enough to make a difference?

As much as I’d love to give this book 5 stars I cannot. It has too many errors and is not as well edited as the other two books in the series. Therefore,

4 out of 5 stars.

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A Brilliant Combo

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The Bitter Earth

Shaw’s fifth installment in the Graham’s Resolution series, The Bitter Earth: A Post Apocalyptic Thriller masterfully blends the past and the future with a prequel and a sequel of the beloved tale into one novel. The prequel introduces us to some new characters as well as gives us insight into some of our old favorites. We meet Officer Lincoln Archer, Sheriff’s partner before the pandemic. Clarisse’s character is fleshed out even more. And, of course, the ever lovable Sheriff has his backstory brought to life.

The sequel continues eight years after book four with our intrepid cast of characters still struggling to survive in the new world. A lot has happened and we are quickly brought up to speed. Without the pre-pandemic world conveniences, life is much harsher and sometimes deadlier. Just when it looks like things have settled down in this new way of life an old/new nemesis rears their ugly head.

Shaw delivers another blockbuster story with The Bitter Earth. She leaves us chomping at the bit for even more.

5 out of 5 stars.

Knowledge in the Shadows

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Fire Storm

Chang and the gang have made it outside the quarantine zones of Indianapolis where they will part ways. David will take his son, the Harpers, and Larsen to his parents’ home. Sanderson’s people will take Chang and Dr. Hale to continue the virus research. Shortly after parting, the evil that unleashed this hell rears its ugly head. Will either group make their destination or will the evil powers that be rain down upon them?

Konkoly’s third novel in The Zulu Virus Chronicles. Fire Storm: A Post-Apocalyptic Pandemic Thriller, finally reveals who is behind the virus and the lengths that they will go to keep that information contained. This book is every bit as action-packed as the first two. Fortunately for me, there are no zombies in this installment.

Larsen’s deadpan humor helps break the tension and has even become expected. Even David is starting to use Larsen’s turn of phrase. To me, Larsen has become the antihero of the series and one of my favorite characters. I’d enjoy seeing more of him in future books.

This series has focused on the micro while the virus was unleashed across the nation in strategic cities. I don’t know if Konkoly has plans for another series of books that will explore how the world is viewing the United States in this dire situation. It would also be fascinating to see how our own people deal with the repercussions of the virus on the economy.

Regardless of where Konkoly goes next, this book is a must read.

5 out of 5 stars.

Who Will Teach The Children?

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Viral Misery

Arthur and Wendy Steele have established themselves by pretty much living off their land. They feel that they are prepared for most anything that life can throw at them. All their skills will be put to the test when Wendy finds herself stranded on a cruise ship while Arthur is at home tending the farm as the world struggles with a flu pandemic.

The Watson’s first co-authored novel, Viral Misery: Book One, takes the reader from the very beginning of the flu and shows how quickly and quietly it is spread throughout the world. It then goes from the worldview to following Author’s and Wendy’s plight. It’s a slow read at first but picks up speed quickly about a third of the way through.

At first, I did not like the Steeles. Something about their personalities rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe I was a little jealous of their lifestyle and a bit insulted by their crudeness. But, once the flu filtered into their lives I came to like them both very much.

The subject matter is rather grim and the scenarios presented are for the most part feasible. I did find some of the interactions too good to be true. The most telling being that a sizeable group of children was always well behaved and disciplined.

What I appreciated the most was levity interjected to break up the tension of the subject matter. I will forever have pictured in my mind a two-year-old running around in pink cowboy boots after she has stripped off all her clothes with others chasing after trying to redress her. And, I can still hear the others gagging as a stinky diaper was being changed in the close quarters of a closed vehicle. Too funny!

All in all, it is a good read. I look forward to book two.

4 out of 5 stars due to typos.

Escaping Indianapolis

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Kill Box

The gang’s all here and then some. Dr. Chang, Larsen, Emma & Jack, and David & Justin are hiding within NevoTech in downtown Indianapolis trying to access Chang’s research and get it to . . . who? Who is the $64k question. Someone wants Chang captured or killed because of his research. He is one of the few in his field that has studied the virus before it was unleashed in over 20 major cities across the US. Unbeknownst to the powers that be Chang has studied this new version of the virus and determined it has been weaponized. Who can he trust to give this information to? And, can he get his group to safety at the same time?

There are zombies everywhere. That is the best way to describe those infected with the weaponized virus. They are a murderous bunch attracted by the least little sound or at night, to light sources. Getting past them and the two quarantine zones are some of the challenges Chang and his group face trying to leave NevoTech.

Konkoly’s second novel in The Zulu Virus Chronicles, KILL BOX: A Post-Apocalyptic Pandemic Thriller, takes off running and never stops. There is a sense of urgency throughout the story to get out of the quarantine zone and hopefully, to safety away from those that caused this outbreak. The odds are not looking so good in that regard.

Even amongst all the chaos and confusion, Konkoly is able to interject some moments of levity. My favorite quote is “Yeah. I’m fine. But I’m taking up cross fit when this is over,” said Jack. “I didn’t realize the apocalypse would be this demanding.” Larsen continues to use his sarcastic wit to take the edge off and to defuse serious situations. And, even David is starting to add humor to his dialog.

This book is very well written. It grabs your attention immediately which makes it hard to put down. I do not like zombie books but will make an exception in this case. I like this book. I don’t like that it is full of zombies. That is a personal preference and in no way reflects upon Konkoly’s ability to spin a tale. I would dare say that this is one of the better books that he has written.

5 out of 5 stars.

There Must Be Some Way Out Of Here

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Hot Zone Cover

We meet an entire cast of characters from diverse backgrounds whose lives will intertwine as a result of a maddening viral outbreak. Each of them will tell us their story as they seek to understand what is happening to the world around them. They will do whatever it takes to escape the city as it turns into a murderous chaos. This is a look at a pandemic in the making from the very start from the view of average citizens.

Konkoly’s first novel in the Zulu Virus Chronicles, Hot Zone, is a startling realistic drama that shows us what could easily happen in a major metropolitan area hit by a weaponized virus. Who released it and why? There are too many variables all pointing in a direction that is hard to believe, but with no other conclusion available.

The multiple storylines give it a very personal feel. As you get to know each of the characters you can feel their confusion and desperation. It is clear to me that this series is destined to be a bestseller.

5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Long-Term Post Pandemic Survival

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The Jakarta Pandemic cover

Alex Fletcher and his family have been prepping for years. But, even they are not wholly prepared for the devastation that a new strain of influenza wreaks upon the world. This story focuses on the microcosm of a small neighborhood in Maine during the pandemic.

Konkoly’s first book in The Perseid Collapse Series, The Jakarta Pandemic, delivers a heart-wrenching tale of survival. It draws you in with real world situations and keeps you there with a solid plot and believable characters. You feel the struggles of the Fletchers and their friends as they try to stay alive and defend their neighborhood. Konkoly writes in such a way that you either love, hate or tolerate the characters.

This study in human interaction in the face of a long-term crisis is eye opening. It is not a prepper’s manual or a zombie book (thank goodness!). He addresses how quick drastic events change people. If nothing else, it should make you think about how you would deal with a most probable scenario. 5 out of 5 stars.