Review: “THEM Book One: Incursion”, M.D. Massey

Pros: New players in the game; gradual dissemination of more info
Cons: Still need to know more!
Rating: 4 out of 5

PLEASE NOTE: It’s nearly impossible to write this review of book one without giving away points from book zero. You have been warned. Also note that there is a book zero, which is considered volume one, therefore this book–book one–is volume two. No, I have no idea why someone would do that to their poor readers.

 

M.D. Massey’s THEM Incursion: A Scratch Sullivan Paranormal Post-Apocalyptic Action Novel (Volume 2) informs us that it’s been eight years since the bombs fell and somehow loosed zombies (and more) upon the world. We still don’t entirely know why and how and where the bombs hit, other than to introduce the EMP effect. We find out odd details here and there: We know that nos’ (nosferatu, vampires) have hard heads and sternums, so it’s much better to aim for the joints and thus put their limbs out of commission. ‘Scratch’ (Aidan) actually has a girlfriend, Kara–and she’s righteously pissed that he’s going to keep pushing further out, increasing the chance that he might never come back to her. I’d still like details on the effects caused by the nuclear bombs. Other than the EMP we’ve seen virtually nothing. Whatever happened to the specter of nuclear winter, or other expected problems?

There’s even a whole new taxonomy to learn:

  • Zombies: Slow but strong
  • Ghouls–Zombies 2.0–quicker, with thick skulls
  • Revenants: Undead humans who reason, and are strong, fast, and wily.
  • Vampiric Humanoids: These come in multiple flavors. Most prominent are the ‘nosferatu’: quick, tough to kill, and creepy as all hell
  • “Atypicals”, such as lycanthropes (…and?)

In this volume there’s the post-apocalyptic standard “save the women and children from being raped” scene. At least this book doesn’t threaten rape in every other paragraph the way some do. We also meet some new characters: Gabby, who is young but shows great skill at dealing with zombies. Also Bobby, a lycanthrope who accepts Scratch as an alpha. A doctor is working nearby on super-soldier type experiments, and the doc would be happy to take Scratch on as a guinea pig. He spends a good portion of the book debating with himself as to whether he should do this or not. Meanwhile, there are civilians to rescue and monsters of the human variety inside a quasi-military compound.

“Being chased by zombies tends to change your priorities.”

Scratch gets some weird things going on, opposing forces fighting for control of him. At the same time, he’s gained a great deal of endurance and amazing reflexes. Still, that might not be enough to save him from what’s coming.

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