Review: “THEM Book Zero: Invasion”, M.D. Massey

Pros: Some interesting new twists
Cons: Definitely need to know more!
Rating: 3 out of 5

I don’t know why I’m so hooked on zombie fiction and post-apocalyptic fiction right now. I guess I’m going through a phase. As you can see by the looong subtitle, M.D. Massey’s THEM BOOK ZERO INVASION: A Scratch Sullivan Paranormal Post-Apocalyptic Action Novel (Volume 1) hits pretty much all of my buttons.

Aidan is an ex-soldier who’s spent time in Afghanistan; he came home with a case of PTSD. I think this is portrayed well at the start, but the PTSD kind of faded away with very little explanation after that. A zombie invasion has started, although so far we have no idea how, why, or courtesy of whom. But wait, there’s more! Some mix of countries has started a nuclear war–we have very little info about this at all (just a need to avoid populous areas). I’m pretty sure that was mostly included to justify the EMP that’s knocked out everything from cell towers to cars. But we’re still not finished! There’s something running around that skitters like a spider, is terribly fast and destructive, and certainly seems to be a vampire judging by the way it sucks down blood. But where on earth did that come from? I enjoyed much of this zombie tale, but there are currently too many questions left open. Hopefully the sequel will have some answers.

 

The characterizations range a bit. The main character, Aidan, doesn’t seem that different from other zombie tale protagonists (military background, tough and practical), yet he can set that aside to help others when he feels he has to. Naturally he’s a loner and has access to a large quantity of guns. Just about the only thing he failed to have was the semi-requisite sexy girlfriend picked up along the way (nice change of pace!). About the only thing that didn’t seem so familiar was his merciless push forward to find his parents. I was fond of that plot. The teenager he picked up was a bit better than the usual–he’s more than just a burden to make things harder on our protagonist. He has a strong influence on Aidan, especially later in the book.

The first-person narrative started out a little slow with plenty of rumination. Things did eventually pick up. I was disappointed with the Army “safe zone”–it really seems like we’re going back to a 1980s view of military lately. They’re always up to something, and it’s almost always a pretty obvious “they’re eeeevil” kind of thing.

There were a couple of incidents within the military compound where I couldn’t understand how so many shots could be fired without immediately attracting attention. Aidan’s escape seemed too easy.

This book was entertaining enough that I’ll probably read the next installment, but I hope some of these (rather important) questions will get answered!

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