Monday, June 1, 2015

Prepare To Be Judged

JE Gurley is one of my favorite authors in the zombie genre, and his Judgement Day series is some of his best work:

Judgement Day: Zombie Apocalypse by JE Gurley is a rather exciting release from Severed Press. I thought Ice Station Zombies by Gurley was pretty good, but the author’s new series is far better. This time, through several POVs, readers are shown how survivors are further victimized by various groups after a flu vaccine and a mutated virus mix for catastrophic results.

One storyline follows a doctor trying to retrieve his wife and son from a camp holding people against their will, another storyline follows the escape attempt of some members of the same camp, yet another storyline follows a soldier struggling with his orders, and a fourth storyline follows a group of scientists frantically searching for a cure. Eventually all the storylines converge as all four groups realize that there is more to the zombies than meets the eye, and the military has horrifying plans for the immune survivors. I enjoyed the way the POVs overlapped, so readers get to view certain action scenes with incredible depth.

Judgement Day: Redemption by JE Gurley continues the story. In the sequel, readers find out what happened to the group that sought safety at the Biosphere. There is also an introduction of a new group: religious fanatics…ORGANIZED religious fanatics – and they are making life VERY difficult for the groups from the first book. The second installment has much more action than the first, as well as a fast-paced storyline.

What is most interesting about this series is how Gurley tackles the often-debated issue of rotting flesh (i.e., why the zombies don’t just fall apart): the zombies are a stage of evolution among the infected. Underneath their rotting skin, the former humans are transforming into something else far more difficult to kill. The groups of undead also have pack-like traits emerging, with alpha males, and…well, a critical development that I haven’t read in any zombie book in all my life. Basically, the survivors need to stop fighting amongst themselves because they are about to be royally screwed by the worst kind of STD.

Retribution reveals how personal relationships between main characters have unfolded, while adding new characters and storylines that widen the scope of this trilogy. The result is not just incredible action sequences, but also very emotional drama within a three-way battle to exist in a post-apocalyptic world…a battle between those who are immune, those who need a vaccine, and…The Children.

I’m good with how the trilogy winds down, rather than ending with a cut-and-dry finish. It leaves some unanswered questions, but touches base with the surviving main characters.
Gurley’s Judgment Day series does a spectacular job of exploring the mutating zombie virus from several angles.

Jake’s Law is another great zombie novel by Gurley, but the book description doesn’t do it justice. It was non-stop action mixed with the right amount of drama. The focus is more on the personal war between Jake, former law enforcement officer, and Levi, an escaped convict, rather than the zombies, but the undead do have a few key scenes.

The story begins with Levi’s POV, and rotates between the POVs of Jake and two other survivors, Reed and Jessica. Random events bring them together, but revenge motivates them all. Levi wants to rule over the other survivors, but Jake has already laid down the new law of the land, so, while the two men try to kill each other, Reed and Jessica find themselves unwilling pawns caught in the crossfire. What really stands out about Jake is that he is a Type 2 diabetic. I thought Gurley did a fairly accurate job portraying Jake’s medical concerns. I think fans will also appreciate a character that is less than perfect.

If you haven't read any of Gurley's work, I suggest you get started.

As always,

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