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Ringo combines humor and horror in this strong series debut, the thinking reader's zombie novel. When an ecoterrorist attack instigates a worldwide epidemic of naked zombies, laid-back Australian expat Steven Smith leads his family to sea as New York is overrun. Steven's determination to rescue survivors and defeat the triumphant zombies provides incentive to enlist support from humanity's tattered remnants, a cause that carries its own risks. Australian references and high-spirited family banter ("We are not going to a concert at night in a park in zombie infested New York! And that's final!") enliven the well-worn catastrophic scenario. Ringo fleshes out his theme with convincing details of the devastating virus and attempts to develop a vaccine. The zombie-fighting zeal of Steven's younger daughter, 13-year-old Faith, provides an overwrought comic-book atmosphere, but the action never falters. Like Odysseus, the wily, resourceful Steven combines valor and prudence. Ringo's offbeat but vivid cast of characters will attract readers who enjoy a chuckle as civilization collapses. Although the comic effect is too pronounced to facilitate a suspension of disbelief, the proceedings become oddly plausible. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Best-selling military sf author Ringo (The Last Centurion) hits the open seas to take zombies where they've rarely ever been. Steve Smith has prepared his family for any emergency, including a zombie apocalypse. When ecoterrorists launch an airborne "zombie" plague, the Smiths take to the Atlantic Ocean to avoid infection. But Steve, his wife, and his two daughters are not content to wait for help. Instead, they start searching the thousands of stranded boats and rafts for supplies and survivors to aid them in the slow rebuilding of organized society. This series launch combines a fresh setting for a zombie novel with a cast of well-drawn characters whose preparedness prevents them from ever being in over their head. What results is an interesting perspective on a well-versed trope that lacks the adrenaline rush of fear that most zombie fans crave. VERDICT Despite the lack of abundant deaths and the omnipresent veil of despair that most zombie novels rely on, Ringo's reinterpretation will offer great fodder for zombie-fiction fans who enjoy discussions of how to get ready for and survive a zombie apocalypse.-Matt Schirano, Grand Canyon Univ. Lib., Phoenix (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.