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Zombies, Sharks & Idiots [Book Review]

Sanctuary in SteelSanctuary in Steel by Bryan Cassiday was like a crazy ride on a roller coaster of nightmares, with a lot of great character lines. For example:

“We’re still alive.”

“This is more like death on the installment plan.”

This book is actually the third in a series, but could be read as a stand-alone…I know because I didn’t read the first two. In this follow-up, the story begins with Halverson and Victoria out at sea in a sailboat that is not theirs. They have no choice but to make landfall to gather more supplies, and everything goes terribly downhill from there. As one of the characters accurately describes the situation for the survivors,

“This is like Jaws meets Night of the Living Dead.”

Even though I found the storyline to be highly entertaining as far as horror goes, the stupidity of the characters was exasperating at times. I suppose some people might consider that being “realistic,” but considering Halverson’s background as a government agent, I expected more from him than what he delivered. Of course, he’s not entirely to blame – the poor guy is stuck with a group of survivors that includes a doctor who thinks the zombies are just infected living, and refuses to shoot any of the undead attacking the group. (I personally would shoot the doctor.)

The only complaint that I have about this story is that it read like a rough draft, although the quality of the writing improved the further that I read. I think the story could have benefited from a bit more editing, but I don’t think it would be an issue for most readers.

Based on the reviews of the first two books, I have a sneaking suspicion that Sanctuary of Steel is the best of the three; instead of stopping with a trilogy, Cassiday has continued with Kill Ratio. Here’s hoping Halverson might finally catch a break.

Zombies moan. Zombiephiles moan back.

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