The Remaining by D. J. Molles
(Description nicked from B&N.com.)
“In a steel-and-lead-encased bunker 20 feet below the basement level of his house, a soldier waits for his final orders. On the surface, a plague ravages the planet, infecting over 90% of the populace. The bacterium burrows through the brain, destroying all signs of humanity and leaving behind little more than base, prehistoric instincts. The infected turn into hyper-aggressive predators, with an insatiable desire to kill and feed. Some day soon, the soldier will have to open the hatch to his bunker, and step out into this new wasteland, to complete his mission: SUBVENIRE REFECTUS. TO RESCUE AND REBUILD.”
Okay, the situation with this book is kind of interesting. If you have an e-reader, you can get this book right now, but if you want print, you have to wait until May. In fact, you can download the first four books by this author right now, but print is not to be found. Not yet, anyway. So, if you’re a print person, should you grab this when it finally shows up?
Well, that’s a hard call for me to make. The answer is mostly a “yes”. There’s no shortage of action in this novel. Zombies are rampaging across the country. Hordes of them converge on our intrepid hero, Lee Hardin, who often has minimal weaponry and little more than his brains to help him through dangerous situations. He perseveres in his mission to rebuild society one little group of people at a time, valiantly braving danger to save the uninfected.
If you’re thinking that this sounds a little campy, you’d be right. This is not a novel in which things are going to surprise you. If you’ve seen a B-grade horror flick—or even a Saturday-afternoon action movie—you can see where a lot of this is going to go. But, as everyone knows, sometimes those kinds of movies (or books) can be just what you want. Not every story has to challenge and enlighten in order to entertain.
On the other hand, by following some of the tropes, Molles has perhaps unintentionally set up Hardin as something of a dunderhead. He makes mistakes that even I, inexperienced at combat as I am, know are things that you really shouldn’t do. There are also some elements that are so typical that I had to shake my head. On the first page, not only do we meet Hardin, we meet his dog Tango. The minute I saw that dog, I thought “Poor puppy, you’re just here to die, aren’t you?” I won’t confirm if that’s the case or not, but you can probably read between the lines of this review and figure it out for yourself.
I enjoyed The Remaining for what it was: a quick, breezy action story, heavy on fighting and terribly injured bodies wandering around, light on any plot beyond “Run around and try to survive”. I’m not sure if I’m going to go on to the next book or not, but it’s pretty inexpensive for an e-book, so I may just give it a try.
Series: The Remaining
Page Count: 352
Publication Date: E-book January 7, 2014; print book May 27, 2014
Acquired: Provided by the publisher
Read an excerpt