ARC Review: Plague Nation by Dana Fredsti

Posted April 3rd, 2013 in book review / 12 comments

Plague Nation

Ashley Parker Series, #2

by Dana Fredsti

Publisher: Titan Books (April 9, 2013)
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Horror, Zombies
Format: ARC Paperback (336 pages)
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 stars)

The undead have been defeated in Redwood Grove, CA, but reports of similar outbreaks are coming in. What seemed to be an isolated event is turning into a pandemic.  The last thing Ashley Parker wanted when she went to college was to join the military, but she is one of a select few who are immune to the virus. Gifted with enhanced speed, strength, and senses, she’s recruited by a shadowy international organization that’s existed for centuries, its sole purpose to combat the zombie threat.

Dark secrets begin to emerge, and when an unknown enemy strikes, Ashley and the other zombie hunters—known as “wild cards”—embark on a desperate mission to reach San Francisco. If they fail, the plague will sweep the nation unchecked. And the person she cares for most may die. Or worse.

At A Glance
Plague Nation is another great zombie book from Dana Fredsti, though I do feel like it left a little to be desired.

The Good
It’s no secret that I loved Plague Town. I love zombie books with a sense of humor, and that’s what Dana Fredsti delivers. Her characters are entertaining as hell and her zombies are grosser than maggots roasting on a hot, sunny day. (EWWW, I just grossed myself out.) Now I’m sad that I have to wait for book three to come out.

Ashley Parker. She is the kind of best friend everyone wants. Her sense of humor is right up my alley. I love her pop culture references and her ability to make me laugh at the most inappropriate of times. Ashley can have zombie viscera dripping down her face while she sticks her katana into a teen zombie’s gut and with just one sentence I’m rolling on the floor with laughter. Ashley also has the biggest heart. She takes care of a lot of people, not matter how stressed or scared she is. And her braveness is endless. She is always risking her life for others. Ashley is a very well-rounded character that anybody can love.

Despite Ashley’s snarky personality, Plague Nation becomes very somber and serious in some places. As the zombie outbreak worsens, Ashley and her band of Wild Cards (peeps who are immune to the zombie virus) are finding it harder to control the upcoming pandemic. And now an unseen enemy is trying to stop the creation of a cure. With humans and zombies coming down on the gang, not everyone makes it out alive. I was so sad about who we lose in this book. And the ending What!!?? But…but…you can’t do this to us, Dana. Cliffhanger extravaganza!

I also really loved the side stories and glimpses of happenings in the world as the zombie apocalypse spreads. I wasn’t as into them in Plague Town but this time around, they were awesome. We get a lot of information through these different perspectives. Oh, the sweet foreboding. Loves It!

OMG. JT. He. Is. Amazing. I won’t say much about him because I don’t want to spoil anything, but his addition to this story is perfect. I loved every second he was on the page.

As always, Dana writes a gruesome and scary story with detailed descriptions and intense suspense. She really sets the mood and gives each of her characters life with her words. I cried, I laughed, I screamed. And loved every minute of it.

The Bad
This is another book in which it’s hard to pinpoint what I didn’t like about it. I think it lacked a little direction. There was really no main goal until two-thirds into the book. All the zombie fighting was fun, but their was no point to this story until about half way through when we realize someone is out to stop Ashley and the gang from doing their jobs.

The Snuggly
The romance was lacking in Plague Nation (which isn’t really a bad thing since it’s focus is zombies). Gabriel was a jerk most of the time (which was reasonably explained later) and Ashley just gives him space. But there are a few cuddly moments and a non-descriptive sex scene.

Final Thoughts
With a little more solid structure, this book could have been 5 stars. But even with that annoyance, I loved reading Plague Nation. Ashley is the same hilarious and brave heroine I loved from Plague Town. I can’t wait for book three. Highly recommended.

There was a crash, and three zombies stumbled out from behind the shelves stacked high with cases of hard liquor, beer, and wine–two of them in store uniforms, and a young woman in bloodstained jeans and a T-shirt proclaiming “I’m a Princess,” the words outlined in rhinestones.

No, you’re a zombie, I thought, giving her a permanent frontal lobotomy. Does it make me a bad person to admit I kind of enjoyed it? I mean, unless you’re Honey Boo-Boo, who the hell would wear something like that?

Ashley Parker Series:
Book #1: Plague Town
Book #2: Plague Nation

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12 Responses to “ARC Review: Plague Nation by Dana Fredsti”

  1. Jaclyn Canada

    I’m a newbie to zombie books so I don’t know how I feel about them just yet. I have a zombie month coming up for my paranormal challenge and have been on the lookout for some good ones to read. I enjoyed your review of Warm Bodies so I will be reading that one for sure. Plague Town sounds really good too and this one looks like a nice follow-up so I’m going to put them on my list. I really like the your mention of her sense of humor which I will probably enjoy. I’m thinking about World War Z as well. Have you read that one? Great review! Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven

    • Jennifer Bielman

      This is perfect for you challenge coming up. I really have liked both books so far. It’s funny which is a nice change of pace for a zombie book. Rotter World is another good zombie book.

      I have not red WWZ. But I want too.

      Also try out The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I heard it’s amazing.

  2. Elisa

    I am sooooo excited to read this book and even though it is slightly aimless for a bit, I can’t wait to visit with the gang as they try to stop a flood with a spoon (or some sort of metaphor that isn’t so sucky). Great review – I don’t know about you, but I was slightly squicked by the romance in book 1…what did you think?

  3. laura thomas

    May have to try this series. You did a wonderful review and I’m a zombie fan.
    Always on the lookout for some new characters to fight the zombie horde with. Sounds like some of these are back for round two.

  4. Dana Fredsti

    Thanks for a lovely review, Jennifer, and for using what’s actually my favorite quote in the entire book for your excerpt. Apologies for the Empire Strikes Back type ending.. 🙂

    • Jennifer Bielman

      LOL, I like to choose quotes that don’t give anything away but give a good sense of the humor or mood of the book. I thought this one was perfect.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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