Friday, October 3, 2014

Islands of Rage and Hope by John Ringo

 Too much of the early going in Islands is devoted to the struggle Faith is having with acting as a Marine Lieutenant, being a 13 year old girl, mind you. Of course, after any marine sees her in battle, their respect for her borders on hero worship, so Ringo could have foregone all of this angst and moved the plot along a little more swiftly. The second flaw for me in this book was that the whole plot feels like a big wargame, "if we had to retake the entire world after a zombie apocalypse, where would be the best place to start, given the resources stipulated, etc." When the strategy gaming overwhelms the zombie killing, then you've really lost most of what holds my interest in this series. Third, for whatever reason, Ringo decided that the results of "what happens in the compartment..." would be a couple thousand pregnancies, and combined that with the statistics on pre-modern medicine mother and infant mortality, and devoted a big chunk of plot time to our heroes figuring out how to minimize the damages - the jury remains out at the end of the book.

That said, once things got rolling in the latter third of the book, there was plenty of whack-a-zombie for everyone. We finally get to find out who "Walker" was in his previous life, which is cool, too. I got to thinking about about Ringo's basic premises here, that there would be no land-based cities still active after a zombie plague, and while I get the idea of limiting the Vs in multi POV, here, I think it likely that there would be far more survivors in some of the rural areas, given their lesser dependency on technology in the first place, the lesser population density, and the fact that a ton of heartlanders have thousands of rounds of ammo for the guns to which they bitterly cling.

Anyway, I was glad I didn't pay over $20 to add this book to the collection, but borrowed it from the local library. I'm interested to see where the story goes next, but I hope it goes there without so much ado about nothing, this time.

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