The small college town of Redwood Grove will never be the same, and neither will student Ashley Parker. An outbreak of Walker’s flu has been running rampant through the town, creating bedridden and sometimes delirious citizens, many of whom die from the virus. Unfortunately, they don’t stay dead for long, and they rise again with one horrendous goal: to seek out and consume fresh flesh. Welcome to Plague Town, a new book by Dana Fredsti. I received a review copy and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Parker, our heroine, recovers from the flu and returns to school, hoping to get on with her life. That’s not in the cards, it seems, as Parker and her boyfriend, out on a picnic, are attacked in the woods. Waking in the infirmary, she discovers she’s been bitten and begins waiting for the inevitable, which never comes. She discovers she is immune to the virus, and is drawn (in more ways than one) to a strange instructor at the college who turns out to be involved in a secretive paramilitary branch of the government whose mission is to track and destroy outbreaks such as the one in Redwood Grove.
Parker finds out she is a “wild card”, and there are others like her who have been recruited into the fighting group, trained, and sent out to fight zombies. Parker reluctantly joins the group and thus begins a new phase in her life – soldier. At first I was hoping that someone would put a bullet through her head; she seemed like such an annoying freshman, crushing on the young instructors, looking gorgeous, etc. However, as she began to mature (quickly) she changed and took the role of soldier seriously and with valor. By the end of the book, I liked her and was impressed with her level-headed thinking and her ability to handle the M-4 rifle, sword, and other weapons. Looks like humanity has a hope, and hope just happens to be beautiful, which is why I’ll think of this book as “The Rise of Ashley Parker.”
There are many surprises along the way for Parker and her newly-formed group of wild cards, and you’ll enjoy yourself as things get real ugly, real fast, which is of course why you read zombie novels. The author, Dana Fredsti, is not a new author, but this is a new branch of her writing, and there are plenty more leaves on her tree. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, partly to see what Ashley will do next. If you’re a female fan of the zombie genre, get this book. If you’re a male, get this book – you’ll also like it.