Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Plagued: The Rock Island Zombie Counteractant Experiment (Plagued States of America, #2) by Better Hero Army

20649140
This review was written by: B and C
Received: Free e-book from author in exchange for an honest review (we would love to give a huge thank you to Better Hero Army!)
Publication Date of Book: March 25, 2014
Pages: 188
Stars: 5/5

"What do you need me to do?” he had asked Kennedy. She hadn’t given him an answer, at least not a good one. She smiled and finished her drink before telling him she would be in touch, that she had to talk it over with the Senator, and that he should just keep doing what he was doing.

“What am I doing?” Mason asked.

“Blending in,” she had told him.

-Plagued: The Rock Island Zombie Counteractant Experiment

With six months left to serve, Lieutenant Mason Jones pulls the dreaded red card.   Being assigned to Moaning Coast's defensive duty at the Rock Island Prison Defense Facility isn't exactly the ideal placement for any given person, especially if you have the graveyard shift.  However, Mason doesn't have much of a choice after what happened in Egypt.  He has to take it.  Of course, Mason is not your typical all brawn and no brains type of guy.  He possesses high qualifications due to him being a medic, having expertise skills in hand-to-hand combat, plus experience in combat duty.  He's even a Ranger.  However, why would someone like that be given a red card?  You only receive one if you have caused trouble before and need a place to go as punishment.  It's a last resort.  Mason doesn't seem like that type of guy.

It's been ten years since the zombie outbreak ravaged the lands.  They're used in slave trading and some are held at the previously said Rock Island Prison Defense Facility.  Hundreds are placed here, originally for studying purposes.  Mason's job is to assist in cleaning out their "cells."  This occupation is, as some might describe it, hazardous.  One nibble from a biter and you're most likely a goner.  Intimidation and danger lurks around every corner.  Assigned to work with Matty, an eight year Navy Seal, their first night on the job together is not a good one...

What everyone fails to realize is that a Senator contacted Mason before his arrival to this forsaken place.  The Senator talked about ending the zombie plague, a near impossible task in everyone's eyes, and he needs Mason's help to do it.  What does he want with Mason?  What is Mason's new role supposed to mean or even do to help the Senator?  What happened in Egypt?  Read Plagued: The Rock Island Zombie Counteractant Experiment to find out!            

“Hardest thing to do is stare at freedom all day knowing you aren’t allowed to go near it.”
-Chavez

Whoever said that sequels never live up to the first book has obviously never read the Plagued States of America series! Better Hero Army definitely surprised us with this book!  We loved it even more than Plagued: The Midamerica Zombie Half-Breed Experiment.  This was largely due to Mason himself.  His character is ultimately our favorite out of the two books we've read thus far.  Even though this book is rather short compared to others we have read, we found ourselves understanding the characters very well and falling back into this world with ease.  He's smart, courageous, and daring.  Plus, while he was tough as tough can be, he also had a secret and sadness within him.  It was not a stretch to care for him.  All in all, we were not disappointed with Beter Hero Army's work to say the least.

One of our favorite aspects to this novel was its pace.  Once I (B) reached the middle, I had to sit down and read the rest without any interruptions.  The nonstop action that ensued was enthralling and packed with great writing and other noteworthy elements as well.  There was intrigue, mystery, suspicion, and, of course, zombies!  These are great combinations for sure!

It's only been one month after the fiasco at Biter's Hill took place from the first installment, and for this we were grateful.  A continuation of the story through a new character's eyes was surely welcomed.  The world building was once again excellently done, and the twists and turns that occurred were definitely not expected and unpredictable from the start.  We particularly enjoyed the flashbacks and italicized parts in the story that relayed important information about the characters.  We've already excitedly began the third book, and can't wait to see where we're taken next!  We're sure not to be disappointed.                                                          

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