Plague Town by Dana Fredsti (Book Review)
Plot: Ashley was just trying to get through a tough day when the world turned upside down. A terrifying virus appears, quickly becoming a pandemic that leaves its victims, not dead, but far worse. Attacked by zombies, Ashley discovers that she is a ‘Wild-Card’ — immune to the virus — and she is recruited to fight back and try to control the outbreak. It’s Buffy meets the Walking Dead in a rapid-fire zombie adventure!
My Review: I was asked to review this and had no idea what I was getting into other then it was a zombie book. I haven’t read many of those so I figured why not. I immediately took to the main character and storyline. The main character is 29 year old college student Ashley. She’s been through a failed marriage, is dating a younger guy, and feels like the oldest one attending college. She just so happens to be taking a course all about diseases and other nasty plagues, which is a little ironic due to the zombie outbreak there on campus, but definitely makes sense later on. Ashley also comes across as a “badass” right from the beginning. Whoever described it as sort of like Buffy The Vampire Slayer with zombies was correct. I personally LOVE the Buffy The Vampire Slayer series, and I think other fans would get a kick out of Ashley, and Plague Town.
I had no idea where this book was going to go, no clue that it was going to go the Military route. Its a mission to stop the outbreak, not just survive it, like so many other Zombie books/movies are about. Instead, come to find out there is an extensive lab beneath the school where they run tests on survivors, zombies, and “wild cards” – those immune to the “virus”. Ashley’s professor happens to be helping run everything and they go on to explain its not the first outbreak to happen, they’ve “been there done that” so many times before that they‘d rather not make a big deal out of it if they don‘t need to. They‘d rather contain it with a small group of military so they can keep the outbreak quiet and cover it up with some excuse later. Its funny because in this “world” we learn that some zombie horror movies are actually based on real outbreaks that happened in the past. I thought that was cute. There are tons of pop culture references throughout the book. Its fun to come across them and I was always looking for the next one. Mainly about horror movies, zombie movies, and TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (of course!) and The Walking Dead. Little did I know until I got to the end of the book, that the author was an actress who had actually been a sword fighter in Army of Darkness. Neat!
Of course once the Military was involved and found out about the lab under the school, I was immediately reminded of the season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Riley and the Initiative, a group of Military soldiers lead by one of their professors in the fight against demons and other nasties. Honestly, as a HUGE fan of the show, that was my least favorite season, due to the characters and plot. But I didn’t have that problem with this book.
There are a good amount of characters, so many, I’m afraid if I tried to name them all, I’d fail. They sort of take a backburner to Ashley except for her roommate, Lilly (aka Lil). They actually break out of their encampment to go try to rescue Lilly’s cats that might be starving in her apartment…that’s if the zombies haven’t already snacked on them! There was a love interest for Ashley too, and it was heated. I loved it. I only wished the author had let it build up a little longer.
The dialogue between some characters feels a little like a young adult novel. The only thing that doesn’t make it a young adult novel would be the sex, language, and graphic gory details. This author is not shying away from the gore. There are graphic scenes of children being zombies and being killed, or attacking people. Some may find that in poor taste, but I find it realistically “horrific” and refreshing from other zombie movies/books. I always find that most books and movies are lacking this sort of stuff.
Sometimes with books I have a VERY hard time picturing what is going on. I’m not sure if this is due to my ADD worsening as I get older, but I had no problems with visualizing every scene in this book. Maybe it was the detailed writing on the authors part, or just the fact that I was really into this book, more so then a lot of recent reads, or maybe it was a combo.
Overall: I really did love this book. I was sad as it was coming to an end because I didn’t want it to be over. I loved reading all the references to other horror books/movies. I would HIGHLY recommend this if you are a fan of movies/shows/books like Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I’m so glad I was asked to review this book otherwise I might have never come across it. I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel!