MUTATED by Joe McKinney is the fourth book in his Dead World series, and the weakest one, in my opinion. I can't even believe McKinney wrote this. The writing style is nowhere near the same level of storytelling found in the first three books, and the characters leave a LOT to be desired.
In particular, Niki is a joke. Not only is she unrealistic, she is more suited to a campy comic book than a dramatic survival novel. Even the bad guy, the Red Man, is not as bad as the cheerleader turned terminator. There were so many quality characters (not to mention the variety) in the previous installments, I can't begin to imagine what McKinney was thinking when he decided to make Niki's mission the main storyline.
Not only is Niki a poor excuse for a character, just having someone like her in the story took away from the potential of the rest of the characters. The Red Man could have been more sinister, Ben could have been a bigger source of strength for the group, Nate and Avery could have had more of a relationship, and Sylvia should have been THE main character. Even Fisher and Stoler could have been more involved.
After having to put up with Niki and her over-the-top action scenes throughout the story, the ending is a disappointment as well...too simplified and rushed. If you love the series, do yourself a favor, and skip this one. Whatever you think happened to the group who escaped from Jasper will be better than what McKinney did to his survivors.