I will say right up front that the primary reason I requested this book is because of the great cover. If you grew up enjoying pulp fiction, you will know that often the covers were the doorway to fabulous action and intensity. If you could picture the hero, based on what you saw on the cover, the rest of it was a breeze.
The story here is also pure pulp and Wagner does it very well.
It’s been six months since the Necro Rabies pandemic devastated the planet and now the dead walk the earth looking to feed the disease with living human tissue. Rhonda Driscoll is holed up with her Marine colonel father in a fort with a rag-tag band of military personnel keep the ‘Cujo’s’ (the name for the walking dead) out of the fort.
Rhonda has a problem (other than the normal ‘the world has gone to hell’ problem). Rhonda’s fiance, Brad, is a Cujo. But Rhonda is convinced that Brad isn’t like all the other diseased dead. He’s gentler, calmer, and even manages to growl her name as if he recognizes her. Of course her dad wants Brad dead and buried so that he doesn’t rise again.
Left with little choice, Rhonda steals a humvee from the base and talks her way through the front gate, with Brad strapped safely inside the vehicle. Her goal is to get to the Florida coast where she can live happily ever after with Brad and wait for him to come out of his necrosis. (Well, no one said anyone was thinking clearly during such a pandemic.) Along her drive she encounters some non-infected humans who behave worse than the dead, and rescues some children who in turn rescue Rhonda.
This is really a fun book – pure pulp enjoyment. Author Jeremy Wagner keeps the action flowing and gives us a pretty good, kick-ass heroine in Rhonda. She’s not super-human like many of the characters on a popular zombie television series, and she makes mistakes that nearly cost her her life. It’s this human aspect to her that makes the character appealing – even if she isn’t thinking straight.
This really is a great blend of pulp fiction and the popular zombie horror fiction.
Looking for a good book? Rabid Heart by Jeremy Wagner is a modern take on pulp fiction featuring zombies and very real female heroine who tries to find her own way in a wacked-out world. Fans of pulp fiction or horror fiction should definitely buy this!
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Jeremy Wagner
publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books
paperback, 258 pages