“Downfall” Blood Survivors Book II by Nerys Wheatley

We dive back into the Zombie-infested England of Alex, the Survivor of the zombie virus, whose super powers aren’t enough to save those he loves from being inundated by the wave of undead that moans and munches its way through the countryside. This book focuses on the real villain, Boot, the megalomaniac multimillionaire who started it all.

This gives the story some focus, which it needs. Even so, in the middle section we get sidetracked into a series of zombie attacks that after a while tend to blur together until we wonder where the story is going.

The characterization is great, as we have learned to expect from the first book. Even smaller bit parts are fleshed out (oops; I think I’m over-zombied). However, we have the usual problem with sequels. The conflict between the two heroes gets solved at the end of the first story, so little of it is left except the buddy humour. Which is still pretty good, but it doesn’t have the same punch as in the first book. Once Micah loses his redneck attitude towards Survivors, the thematic power fades.

There is also a rather awkward strain of light anti-gay humour running through the story. It’s like the author knows that guy-type guys make silly jokes about kissing each other, but she isn’t quite sure how it goes. I did like the conversation about hand moisturizer, though.

And the zombie battles, guts, goop and gore continue to be entertaining right to the edge of humour. The scene where our heroes attempt to clean up the icky remains of a zombie who has been torched with lighter fluid is a classic.

Recommended for those already hooked by Book I. Read that first. The Book II is definitely a follow-up.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

About the Author: Gordon Long

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