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DiLouie + McKinney + Knight = AWESOME!!

THE-RETREAT-by-Craig-DiLouie-199x300Pandemic, Episode One of The Retreat, is the first in a series co-authored by Craig DiLouie, Joe McKinney and Stephen Knight…and they have created another version of zombies that is nothing less than exceptional!

“The world was going to die laughing.”

While I am not familiar with the writing style of Knight, I can say that Pandemic will absolutely live up to the expectations of fans of Craig DiLouie and Joe McKinney. The story wastes no time pulling readers into the middle of a horrific viral outbreak in Boston. Through the eyes of a doctor treating the infected within a quarantined hospital, the sadistic nature of “the Bug” is revealed, going so far as to name the afflicted, Klowns. (I couldn’t help but imagine Heath Ledger’s Joker high on crystal meth and bath salts.)

“Soldiers couldn’t make mistakes, but men did.”

When the POV switches from the doctor to one of the soldiers, readers will no doubt feel conflicting emotions regarding the characters, their actions and their justifications. (I immediately had flashbacks to the brutality of Tooth and Nail and the desperation of Dead City.)

“Conventional doctrine, aggressive action, flawless execution.”

The POV continued to switch around among military survivors, which was a change from the usual stories that center on civilian survivors. I was especially impressed with the inclusion the POV of a group of injured soldiers. The contrasts between the various military groups made for some great drama, as well as some powerful action sequences.

Last, but certainly not least, I love the characterisitcs of the Klowns…I’m so used to seeing infected act with rage in outbreak stories that I found the Klowns to be a refreshing change. The infected provided some terrifying entertainment that I hope to see more of in the series.

Zombies moan. Zombiephiles moan back.

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