Monday, December 1, 2008

Book Review: After Twilight - Walking with the Dead by Travis Adkins

Travis Adkins’ After Twilight: Walking with the Dead is his 2008 follow-up to last year’s Twilight of the Dead. Though I haven’t yet read Twilight, Walking with the Dead is a very enjoyable, fast-paced book that can almost stand on its own.

Years after the zombie apocalypse a group of survivors have holed themselves up behind the fortified walls of Eastpointe, which used to be a resort. People live there in relative safety and comfort. The community has its own farmlands, people live in their own houses and they’ve even established a kind of government to keep order. The community utilizes a special ops unit called the Black Berets when they need to go out into the zombie-infested world for supplies. The Black Berets are skilled in combat against the flesh-eaters, but when they don’t come back from escorting a mysterious doctor to retrieve a cure, people start to worry.

Yet one Black Beret is slowly making his way back to Eastpointe…with a plan for revenge against those that nearly cost him his life.

Travis Adkins has a very clear, very direct style of writing that makes reading Walking with the Dead a pure pleasure. The pacing of the novel is very quick and once you start reading it is hard to stop! I also liked the way Adkins introduces the characters and shows us just who they all are. This makes it easy for readers who haven’t read his previous work to familiarize themselves with his characters. I also enjoyed how we get glimpses of different characters’ pasts, which gives us a better understanding of who they are and what they believe in.

Adkins dialogue is very realistic and most of the characters’ actions are believable. With that being said, the only character’s actions I didn’t find believable were Vaughn’s. Since he is such an integral part of the story, this is a huge problem. Perhaps his motivations and his personality were better explained in the first book, but his actions just didn’t ring true in Walking with the Dead.

There were also some plot holes that never got wrapped up, unless of course they were already covered in the previous novel. The storyline involving Vaughn’s sister/lover never really goes anywhere and is dropped towards the end of the book. Perhaps Adkins is waiting for his third book to resolve this and some of the other plot points.

On the plus side, the villainous betrayal of Eastpointe and the infiltration of its walls by the moaning hordes of zombies is quite exciting and will keep you on the edge of your seat! The gore is vividly described and the narration of the fight scenes is expertly done!

Despite its flaws, After Twilight: Walking with the Dead is a highly enjoyable, fast-paced and exciting z-novel that’ll have you drooling for more!

Available from Amazon!

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