Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Sci-Fi Undead

The dead are rising. The island of Manhattan is quarantined. Helicopters guard the airways while gunships patrol the waters. Bridges and tunnels are closed off. Anyone trying to leave is shot on sight.

For Jack Warren, survival is out of his hands when a group of armed military men kidnap him and his infected wife from their apartment and bring them to a bunker five stories below the city.

There, Jack learns a terrible truth and the reason why the dead have risen.
With the help of a few others, he must find a way to escape the bunker and make it out of the city alive.

In MACHINES OF THE DEAD by David Bernstein, nanobots are to blame for the zombie apocalypse; Dr. Eugene Reynolds was originally attempting to create a way to heal wounded soldiers while at the same time speeding up their recovery. The military wanted to use the new technology as a weapon, prompting Dr. Reynolds to alter his experiments, but one of his test subjects, a homeless man named Derek Mayfield, escaped from the underground lab into the city above them.

After the initial outbreak, Jack and Zaun are two of the last survivors in the city, and they are given refuge in the underground bunker where the laboratory is located. Jack discovers many of Dr. Reynolds dirty little secrets, including his sadistic plans for the few remaining survivors. With the help of some soldiers who want no part in the ongoing experiments, they escape the bunker, only to find that the government was not able to contain the outbreak.

Sounds like a straight-forward plot, but Bernstein throws in a lot of surprises that I wasn't expecting, and the various levels of action made me feel like I was on a rollercoaster in an undead hell - just when things appeared to be slowing down, I was thrown through another loop of terror. The book ends when the group of survivors decide to split up to search for any family members that might have found a way to stay alive despite the chaos.

Check back for my review of the sequel...

As always,

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