Machines of the Dead 2 by David Bernstein was a great follow-up to M.O.D., and continued to maintain the mixed theme of sci-fi and horror. Although Jack managed to escape the underground bunker, and reverse the effects of the nanobots that reanimate the dead, he faces a new challenge in the second book, in the form of a psychopath called Cannibal.
The first book ended with Jack deciding to look for his sister. In the sequel, he heads north, and finds himself in the middle of war between two compounds: the people of Cliff House, and the escaped inmates that follow Cannibal. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but one of the inmates proved to be a far more interesting adversary than Cannibal, and his fight scene with Zaun was pretty damn good.
While I loved the detail that Bernstein has put into the development of his main characters, I have to admit that I wasn’t impressed with Cannibal at all. True, it’s completely repulsive that he consumes human flesh, but so do the zombies, making the storyline a bit redundant this time around. I get it: people – alive or undead, who eat human flesh, are scary, but I think Bernstein could have come up with something more original and frightening than the whole “crazy guy leading inmates & attacking the peaceful group” scenario. I know because I’ve read other work by the author, and Bernstein has a sick, twisted imagination – perfect for the zombie genre.
If you’d like to know more about the author, I recommend that you check out my past interview with him. In the meantime, I look forward to M.O.D. 3, and I’m hoping Bernstein will give us something that will tear our guts out.