Short Take: “Nobody Lives Forever,” Michael Todd, Michael Anderle

Pros: Very intriguing setting
Rating: 4 out of 5

Michael Todd and Michael Anderle’s novella Nobody Lives Forever: Soldiers of Fame and Fortune, Book 2 is the second book in the series Soldiers of Fame and Fortune Full Series Omnibus: 12 Book series. Holly returns to FUBAR for a second night of stories of the Zoo. J.B. tells her about greedy, self-serving merc “Jumping Jack Flash”, and then she meets a former large animal veterinarian–Sarah–who got originally roped in by the government. She ended up leaving her job and becoming a merc herself.

We see a little more of the flora and fauna in the Zoo. It turns out several of the species regenerate, some even from death. Mostly we see the locusts, the man-eating plants, the vines, and the jaguars with antlers, all of which were introduced in volume one. We’re told that one should never pull a whole plant from the ground, because it will cause everything in the jungle to go for the kill. There’s a tiny bit of information about how the creatures and plants are somewhat “alien,” but there’s still no information about how this came about. I’ll have to hope for the next volume.

There’s a nice variety of characters. J.B., Holly, Dan, and Sarah are the most interesting so far. The only problem with the Jack stories is that they all have way too much of an over-the-top “Wild West” feel to them, when this is not a historical. It’s just something about how Jack and others around him interact and deal with each other.

This series hasn’t blown me away, but it’s a solidly good read. I hope they’ll get into the Zoo itself more in later volumes!

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