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Book Review

Book Cover

Plague Town
(An Ashley Parker Novel)


Author: Dana Fredsti
Titan Books
RRP: £6.99, US $7.99, Cdn $9.99
ISBN: 978 0 85768 635 0
Available 27 April 2012

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 organisation that offers her the chance to fight back. Finally 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...?

Plague Town is another one of those generic zombie novels that are all too commonplace these days. The hook for this one is... well, actually there isn't really a hook - unless you count strong female central character as a new twist.

The book follows Ashley Parker's life as she's plucked from normal society and placed at the centre of a team of elite killers whose job it is to despatch a zombie plague that has infected the local area. It's uncertain whether this is an isolated pocket, or if the virus has spread worldwide, but that's not overly important when surviving day to day is a struggle.

Ashley discovers she's what is known as a "wild card" after she and her boyfriend are attacked by an undead. While her boyfriend is transformed into a zombie, Ashley weather's the storm of the illness and comes out the other side fitter. Realising her potential, the head of a small group introduces her to the new world order - a place where the undead must be taken down for good. Being a wild card doesn't mean that you can't die if the zombies rip you to shreds, it just means you can't be turned if they bite or scratch you.

Being a teenage girl novel, there's a couple bit of steamy, romantic scenes - but nothing too naughty.

While I enjoyed Dana Fredsti's book and characters, I couldn't shut up that little voice in the back of my head that kept asking what was special or new about this book - and I'm afraid I can't answer that as there is nothing here that's actually that special. Still, for teenagers who want a bit of fluffy nonsense, this is pretty enjoyable.


Nick Smithson

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