Review: Plague Town by Dana Fredsti

Posted April 9th, 2012 in book review / 10 comments

Plague Town

Book #1 of the Ashley Parker Series

by Dana Fredsti

Publisher: Titan Books (April 3, 2012)
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Horror
Pages: 368 (paperback)
Source: Review Request by Publisher
Purchase: Amazon / Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)

In the small university town of Redwood Grove, people are succumbing to a lethal strain of flu. They are dying—but not for long.

Ashley Parker and her boyfriend are attacked by these shambling, rotting creatures that crave human flesh. Their lives will never be the same again.

When she awakes Ashley discovers that she is a “wild card”—immune to the virus—and is recruited by a shadowy paramilitary organization that offers her the chance to fight back. Fatally attracted to her gorgeous instructor, and bonding with her fellow wild cards, Ashley begins to discover skills she never knew she had.

As the town falls to ever-growing numbers of the infected, Ashley and her team fight to contain the outbreak—but will they be enough?

The Good
Though I love zombie movies, for some reason I don’t read a lot of zombie fiction. So I was super excited to get the chance to review this book so I could finally see if the whole zombie craze is something I would like to be a part of. And guess what? I have been zombiefied! I loved this book. It was action packed, had tons of gore, and even had a little lovin’ on the side.

Wild Card…
After a vicious attack by zombies, Ashley wakes up to find out she is a wild card, a person immune to the zombie virus. There are only a few of her kind in the town overrun by the dead flesh eaters. But together they have to fight to keep the virus from spreading outside town borders. They may have enhanced strength and senses, but how can only a small group of people go against a town full of zombies? With the training from the sexy and mysterious Gabriel and the backing from a secretive government agency, Ashley and her ragtag group of wild cards may just win the zombie war.

The best part of Plague Town was the amazing foreboding we experience for most of the book. There were so many hints that were slickly and strategically placed throughout the novel that I knew they might mean something in the end but couldn’t imagine the extent of what was revealed later on. I love being surprised like that. It really made this book a roller-coaster of a read.

Humor, the Cure All…
Ashley was an intriguing, likable, and snarky character. She was also very relatable, especially to me since I tend to find humor in everything. Even when it’s inappropriate. But that’s the fun part, laughing when you want to cry or scream. Ashley is that kind of person who takes things in stride and it made me respect her. She was also fiercely loyal to her friends, pretty much doing anything for them. I also loved her reluctance towards liking Gabriel because it seemed realistic. Gabriel was that kind of character that was a total jerk, then kind of a bully, then a jerk again, then for some reason he starts to grow on you. He loses some of his cockiness and all of a sudden he’s a little adorbale and all out sexy.

A Zombie’s Perspective…
Fredsti took a fantastical concept and made it seem plausible. The writing was streamline and the description really helped me visualize and even smell each scene. I really liked the short chapters about the zombies’ perspective or how others got infected that were sprinkled throughout the novel. It added something special, something I haven’t seen before. The references and quotes from popular movies and TV shows really drove home that this book is set in our current world and time, which made the zombie concept even more creepy. There was a perfect amount of action and suspense. Even the small romance was just enough to help me care about the couple. I can’t wait for the next book, which was very nicely set up by this book’s end.

The Bad
I truly can’t think of anything I disliked about Plague Town. Maybe I could complain that there was some lull moments, so the book didn’t hold my attention the whole time but that was pretty rare. The ending also felt a little unfinished but since this is going to be a series, I didn’t mind too much.

The Snuggly
This is not a romance novel but we do get some budding love and some sex. Nothing over the top. Ashley and Gabriel were a cute couple, though it took them a long time to figure it out. We get a lot of misunderstandings before they give into their desires.

Though I haven’t read a lot of zombie books, this one is by far the best. The characters were realistic and I ended up caring about them. I was genuinely scared half the time and couldn’t believe the kinds of situations Ashley got herself in and actually survived. Plague Town was a well written thrill ride that took me by surprise. Highly Recommended.

We were both moaning with desire at this point, all panting with eagerness to take things to the next level…when suddenly his hand squeezed my left breast way too hard.

“What the f**ck?” I said. “Get off me!” I shoved Matt and rolled away from the moaning. The hand on my breast stayed there, accompanied by a nasty tearing noise, like the sound of a drumstick being ripped off a whole chicken.

Matt grabbed the lantern and turned it up. I gasped in grossed-out disbelief. The glow revealed a rotted hand clutching my 34-C, ragged nails digging into the flesh. Even worse, said hand was attached to an equally gross arm…

And nothing else.

I backed away into the blackberry bushes, hemmed in by zombies on both sides of the path. No retreat, no way forward. Thorns dug into my back, poking through the fabric of my sweater and jeans, and grabbed at my arms. My hair snarled in some branches, trapping me as effectively as a fly in spider web, no matter how hard I tried to pull free.

Death closed in from all sides, reaching for me with implacable hands and ravenous mouths.

I gave one last scream of despair mixed with fury. This was so not how I wanted to die. I mean, zombie chow?

F**k my life.

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