I admit I thought that this would be the typical zombie apocalypse story; where a group of people fight zombies,themselves, and by the end of the book most of them are dead. I hate to say that my assumptions were wrong, but that pretty much sums up the book. However, Esmont weaves together such a colorful and un-cliche bunch of people that I was thoroughly entertained for the entire novel.
Despite having a huge cast of characters, there was plenty of screen time for each group. Although Megan was the main character, a hooker turned survivor leader, Jack was my favorite to read. I must say that Jack's episodes were so poignant and I wonder if I could of done the same necessary actions if I was in his predicament. Besides the zombies, this book claims an unusual villain - a military woman who makes a lot of bad decisions for her own survival.
What starts out as many different plot-lines and settings dwindles to one major one as the story is told. Necessary actions drive these characters from one chapter to the next. For anyone who knows zombie books and movies - necessary actions means shooting people in the head. That's the only way to kill these things and there is quite a bit of gore accompanying these necessary actions.
It's nothing unique to the genre, but for any fans of zombies, this story is told well. Its a good, quick read for anyone that enjoys their meat and books extra rare.
**I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Overall: I was completely prepared for this story to get a mediocre rating up until about 70% read. The middle of this book really suffers from an identity crisis as the book shifts from a historical fiction to a paranormal novel. The ending, however, was nothing short of awesome. I’m so thrilled that I pushed through and finished this novel, because it ended up being very entertaining and dark. But, was it really necessary to hurt the poor kitty cats? PETA does not approve of this novel!
Characters: Pontius didn’t begin as an evil man and I liked how complex he was. Even as he committed the most inhumane acts, you couldn’t help but pity him and his predicament. He has a very human reaction to his encounter with Jesus and though it might appear blasphemous to Christians, I think the author’s creative freedom with the historical events involving Jesus was done respectfully. I believe that all the words Jesus spoke were taken directly from the bible. Pontius’s relationship with his wife is very touching and genuine. He is so devoted to her and its very Romeo and Juliet at times. Not what you’d expect from a monster. Surprisingly, Claudia was Pontius’s complete opposite in personality and if anyone had morals in this novel, it would be her. I also liked Anticus, who had more common sense than anyone else.
Plot: It begins as a retelling involving the crucifixion of Jesus from Pontius Pilate’s POV. After Jesus dies, Pontius ends up losing everything of value to him. This is where the novel really lags and as a reader I’m really confused to what the plot is. The characters feel in limbo for couple chapters. There are a few characters that do things that don’t make much sense at the time. Pontius is on a downward spiral and everything he does only makes his situation worse.
I wish that the first part of the novel was shorter or at least had more hint of the paranormal. By the time Jesus died (spoiler?), I was bored. It took pages for the story to get my attention again. The novel becomes pretty amazing after the word “Absolom” makes an appearance. Lots of dead bodies. I liked the romantic twist at the end. I haven’t been this in love with an evil vampire since Lestat.
Ending: If you love dark vampires and Romeo and Juliet romances, then you will love this ending. I only wish the entire story was this captivating. This is a 3 1/2 star book, but for sites that don’t allow half stars I’ll give it a 4.