Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Book Review: Mutated

They Outnumber The Living. . .
25 to 1. Those are the odds of being struck down--and resurrected--by the savage plague that's sweeping the country, forcing survivors to band together against the dead.
They're Growing Stronger. . .
Even among the living, there is dissention. A new leader known as the Red Man has risen up and taken charge--and he's nearly as dangerous as the hungry dead. Some, like Bob Richardson and his friends, strike out on their own. Because if the men with guns don't get them, the zombies will.
They're Getting Smarter. . .
Fleeing the cities, Richardson and his crew find sanctuary in an abandoned farm. But their stronghold may not be strong enough. Something strange and terrifying is happening to the undead. They're banding together. Working as a group. Hungering for a common goal: human flesh. And lots of it.

First, can we just have an honest and open conversation about typos? I edit all day for a living, I do not expect to buy a book and mentally edit your book as I'm reading it. Some of these typos and grammar mishaps were just inexcusable, with the most egregious being on the summary on the back cover which also seems like an easy fix. Who the frak is Bob Richardson!? The main character is definitely named BEN Richardson. Is Bob a nickname? He is never referred to as Bob in the book? Bob... Robert. Ben... Benjamin. See where I'm going with this. Rant ended.

It took me a while to get into the book and a while to finish it. It just wasn't as compelling as the other books in Joe McKinney's  Dead World series. I like that each book in the series is its own separate story that way you don't have to read the previous books to know what's going on in the next. I have read the first book in the series and the third and now the fourth and the first book was definitely my favorite. While Dead City was reminiscent of The Walking Dead... at least it was reminiscent of The Walking Dead. That's never really a bad thing. The fourth book was just dull by Chapter 5 but I made myself push though.

In Dead City, Apocalypse of the Dead and Flesh Eaters those stories were about surviving the zombie apocalypse and groups of survivors banding together, but there were elements of each one that made each novel different and interesting enough to read the next one. There are characters that I connect with in this novel and want to learn more about, Nate, specifically but the other characters... I'm not sure what it is but I don't connect with the others as much as I connected with the characters in Dead City. I think Nate is the only character that seems like a well developed character. You see his flaws. You see him grow and change and learn to trust people. There is a somewhat lack of character development with the other characters.

I guess you can say that all zombie apocalypse stories focus on survival but it would be nice if every now and again an author tried to flip the script and switch things up. I have read zombie novels like Stefan Petrucha's Dead Mann Walking and Diana Rowland's My Life as a White Trash Zombie that do and phenomenal job of bringing life to a somewhat overdone genre. 

McKinney also relies of characterization of gender roles. The women are portrayed as being whiny and needy. One character, Niki, constantly relies on her "womanly wiles" to try to outsmart the guards and the Red Man, despite being a powerful leader of a group of survivors. With the exception of Gabi, the women spend most of the time crying, fearful or not thinking things through clearly. I hardly think this is fair especially since Ben, who was only an observer previously and was always terrified of getting involved, somehow has an epiphany overnight and morphs into a badass who would do anything to protect from his newfound group of survivors who just so happen to be women.  The generalizations are ridiculous.

Yeah there were too many negatives for me to ignore in order to enjoy this book.

Review: 1/5

Look for Mutated on or wherever books or e-books are sold.


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