I finished reading Season of Decay by M.W. Garza and ….

download-1…It’s amazing!!!

“Our world decayed and a new world arose from the ashes of the old.

The Canaan tribe formed from the ruins of their oppressors, struggling to build a new world for themselves, challenged by the rise of a threat within and a familiar foe at their doorstep.

Mia’s position among the tribe has put her at odds with Rowan and their former way of life. Rowan is determined to strike out on his own, but his loyalty to Mia has become a constant battle. The lives of all the members of the Canaan tribe hang in the balance as the council struggles with a path forward. A horde of the dead push toward Canaan driven by the infected, and Mia must choose between the people she loves and the tribe she has sworn to protect.

Evolution always finds a way…” M. W. Garza

Season of Decay is the second instalment in the Decaying World Saga, and boy, it did deliver! It is already known that Garza is one of my favourite authors of apocalyptic/zombie books. He nails the storytelling, enough actions to make your knees weak, politics, and at the centre of it all: the human condition. This is what makes me come back to Garza time and time again: the human condition present in his books, characters that live through each word he writes. The apocalypse, the zombies, everything else is the scene in which he pushes his characters to act, think, live, and that’s what makes it so good.

For someone that particularly enjoys reading books that are not in a series, Season of Decay managed to keep me enthralled. Like in the first book, his characters are the ones that pull me into his stories as I am investing a lot of emotions into their existence. During this Season of Decay, Mia fell off my graces due to her whinier than usual behaviour and let herself be comforted way to often by Ashen, whilst Rowan was riskingi_heart_zombies_ani_400 his skin with the others, but very impressed with the evolution of Jonah, her brother. Although young and inexperienced, Jonah transitions to a character that it is willing to step to the next level, and although he is afraid, he is never afraid to act, regardless of the cost to his own self. Rowan is hands down my favourite character, as in my eyes he is the one who stayed true to his self, unflinching and unmovable whilst i_love_rowan_bumper_sticker-r718b119609994bbcb0062e576e803d20_v9wht_8byvr_324everything he knew changed, including the woman he loves. His struggles and desires are real and my heart goes to him throughout the story.

The descriptions are so vivid, that I was heart and soul with the characters in their need to escape death.  The action scenes were artfully painted, so it felt like I was there, side by side with Rowan (by now my favourite character) doing some pretty badass stuff. At some point during an intense scene, I psychically flinched, it was that good!

newzombietagIn terms of the Zombies, I didn’t thought that it was possible to be pleasantly surprised, however Garza nailed this too with the maddening combo between the normal, slow flesh eating Zombies, and the Infected. The plot thickens, with new revelations coming up ahead, however I will not be spoiling this for you.

If you read his book, let me know in the comments down below, if you haven’t, I suggest you read it ASAP!

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Tribes of Decay by Michael W. Garza

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Book cover

Evolution results in death and destruction. Mia and Rowan are members of the Chayenne tribe surviving in a decaying world ruled by the zombies and the infected. They were born in a world already dead, a world where death cries every night, where each step can be fatal and nobody is spared.

When I began reading this novel, I was surprised from the begging in a very good way. I am a zombie fan, I would devour anything with zombies in it, but I knew it was more than just zombies, it was about humans, about feelings, about how you survive death without losing your humanity.

Mia and Rowan are the main characters and we see the world alternating between the two. At the beginning of the story, Mia and Rowan are trying to overcome the obstacles that keep them from being together. After a hunt goes wrong and his partner is killed, Rowan discovers that the dead are evolving in their behaviours. He tries to warn the tribe, however he is expelled from their protection and forces Mia to run away from the tribe to be with him. These characters are credible and grow immensely in the outside world, forcing them to take hard decisions in order to survive. The choices these characters are forced to make propel the story forward, delivering an action packed novel.

The zombies are very well created, with a clear distinction between the mindless zombie and the infected, which possess more cognition and abilities to communicate with zombie-784914_1280each other. The zombies/infected were exciting and freaked the hell out of me with their death cries every single damn time. I loved it!

Without spoiling the book is really hard to actually say how much I loved the world underneath and how survival changed those who remained alive. The story of Rowan and Mia is beautiful, and it shows that even in the face of death, the beauty of humanity can still shine through, restoring hope. The story was well written and it delivered, even though sometimes it lost me in the action sequences when everything was happening at a fast pace. Certain action scenes were a bit too much described in terms of how they actually managed to escape. I’am a bit of an impatient reader who wants to know and wants to know it now, so maybe that’s why, however it did not infringe on my opinion of the book: AWESOME! I am not a massive fan of dual POV’s but he made it work in this book.

If you haven’t read anything written by Michael, I recommend that you do.

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4-5-star

 

LZR-1143: Infection by Bryan James

LZR-1143: Infection is THE Zombie novel to read if you are a fan of the genre!  I don’t just like this guy’s writing, I absolutely love it!

Mike McKnight (ha!), and ex-action movie star is a mental patient at the high security facility after he was convicted of brutally murdering his wife. More than a year passed since they locked him in there and one morning he wakes up from his normal stupor, the door to his room open and nobody in sight. But he is not alone. From deep within the darkness, something hideous comes out in search for flesh.

Soon after his encounter with the first flesh-eater, Mike finds himself in the company of a young female psychiatrist and some other inmates, my favourite being Fred. This forms an off pair in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by Zombies. They manage to escape the institution and facing more and more dangers in their quest for food and safety while their numbers fall short as the ravaging infection takes over.

I loved the style of the book and the fact that the story is shown through the eyes of Mike’s character. I liked the witty banter and the way the writer decided to express himself and keep me on the hook.  Also the fact that the main character was a hunk with a memory loss and prosecuted for murder makes him unique and entertaining, especially when people, the few ones still alive, recognise him.

There isn’t much character development, but I think it sort of like makes sense since half of the book the guy is unsure if it’s real or not, but there is some emotional evolution happening there; at least he is not a shallow, boring guy. Then we have the psychiatrist girl, Kate who’s as badass as you can get without being over the top. She’s a tough girl, keeping on top of the situation and thinking things through without rushing in the dark in her knickers and no weapon… She has the brains and the faith to see through our convict here and supports him in his quest to find the truth to what happened and the possibly a cure that can safe humanity of this disease.

And then it’s Fred and man, I loved this guy so badly, that I almost cried after the helicopter scene! Fred is another inmate, admitted in there after he witnessed his father bashing his mum’s brains with a pan at breakfast and he’s not talkative, not at all, all he says, is “Pancake!” There’s this scene when this zombie attacks Mike and almost bits him and Fred hits the zombies head with the pan so hard that brain and gooey things fly everywhere whilst he’s screaming .. “Pancake!” I laughed so hard at that scene.  I admire how he managed to create these memorable characters that stick with you for a long time.

There are also gruesome action scenes and moments that are eye-rolling, characters that make you scream in frustration and cars that just stop working! As a whole, this book is highly entertaining and I truly loved the way the story was sewn around the characters.

I am looking forward to reading his next zombie book and find out what happened with Lazarus…!

PS: You can get the book on Amazon: LZR-1143: InfectionAt the moment the book is free on the Amazon UK website.

Brian James on Twitter @lzr1143