Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Plague Town (Ashley Parker #1) by Dana Fredsti

Release Date: April 3, 2012
Page Count: 368 pgs
Published by: Titan Books
Source: Purchased from Amazon

Ashley was just trying to get through a tough day when the world turned upside down. 

A terrifying virus appears, quickly becoming a pandemic that leaves its victims, not dead, but far worse. Attacked by zombies, Ashley discovers that she is a 'Wild-Card' -- immune to the virus -- and she is recruited to fight back and try to control the outbreak. 

It's Buffy meets the Walking Dead in a rapid-fire zombie adventure!


A new must-read series for fans of intense, gory, action-packed novels.

Fredsti has a real talent for creating zombie fiction. The carnage and details of the zombie infestation were spot on and I looked forward to every moment that would bring Ashley back into contact with one of the infected. 

The zombies are very descriptive, which I loved. Young female zombies in Juicy velour and bear-sized flannel shirt wearing zombies are detailed individually and not just collectively as a horde. It created action scenes that were more vivid and entertaining. 

The original cause of infection remains a mystery to the characters, but not the reader. I enjoyed the anticipation of wondering how and when they would discover the cause. There are also rare individuals, like Ashley, who are immune to the infection along with one other twist that involved a scene that had my jaw dropping in surprise. It was so disturbing and vomit-inducing...and I mean that in an entirely complimentary way. 

While the story is told from Ashely's point of view, we are occasionally given glimpses into situations minutes before people become infected and some scenes from the zombie's point of view. These brief glimpses tie back into situations that correspond to Ashley, her team members, and the spread of the infection. I was a little disappointed when these scenes became scarce after passing the halfway point in the story, simply because I wanted more. 

Why, might you ask, am I giving this story a four star rating as opposed to a five when I've done nothing but sing its praises? Well, Ashley's character was a little difficult for me to warm up to in the beginning. She's a 29 year-old college student, but her dialogue and behavior came off as a little immature. Fortunately, she became more likable and this became less of an issue as the story progressed. 

Also, there were some social interactions between characters that didn't feel believable and occasionally had me scratching my head. But these were minor issues and weren't enough to take away from my enjoyment of this story.

Overall, I highly recommend this to any of my fellow addicts who enjoy a good zombie novel. And as I'm sure you've gathered from the synopsis, this is ideal for those of you who enjoy The Walking Dead

Dana Fredsti has been generous enough to donate an autographed copy of her debut. For a chance to win fill out the Rafflecopter below. 

International followers can also enter to win a paperback copy of Plague Town shipped from the Book Depository.

 But first, you'll want to read this excerpt.

 The following includes explicit language, sexual situations, and violence
You've been warned...or if you're anything like me, you're now intrigued.

“What was what?" The sound had stopped, and it was pretty obvious Matt hadn’t heard a thing. He continued stroking my hips, insinuating his hand between my thighs, stroking me through the denim. I squirmed with pleasure even as my ears strained to pick up anything out of the ordinary. 
Nothing except the cracking of ancient redwood branches. The forest gave off an almost sour loamy smell tonight, causing me to wrinkle my nose a bit.
Giving a mental shrug, I turned my attention back to Matt, specifically the bulge beneath his jeans. I teased him, rubbing one hand along the outline of his erection while nibbling gently on his neck in a way I knew he liked. His free hand caressed my breasts, first one, and then the other, thumb softly flicking against the nipples, a move guaranteed to drive me wild.  
We were both moaning with desire at this point, all panting with eagerness to take things to the next level ... when suddenly his hand squeezed my left breast way too hard. 
“Ow! That hurt!” I smacked him on the shoulder, hard. 
“Huh?” Matt lifted his mouth from my earlobe. “What the hell did you do that for?” 
But he squeezed again, nails digging in this time. A rattling moan sounded close to my ear. The ear not next to Matt's mouth. 
Suddenly the forest smelled rank. 
“What the fuck?” I said. “Get off me!” I shoved Matt and rolled away from the moaning. The hand on my breast stayed there, accompanied by a nasty tearing noise, like the sound of a drumstick being ripped off a whole chicken.  
Matt grabbed the lantern and flicked it on. I looked down and gasped in grossed-out disbelief. The glow revealed a rotted hand clutching my 34-C, ragged nails digging into the flesh. Even worse, said hand was attached to an equally gross arm ... 
And nothing else. 
“Omigod, that's disgusting!” I suppressed the urge to hurl the contents of my stomach.
“Jeez, babe, what is your damage?” Matt sat up, sounding mortally offended. 
I didn’t have time to deal with his petulance. I was too busy dislodging what looked like a cheap Halloween prop from my boob. It didn't take much effort; the thing seemed to have lost all of its oomph.  
As Matt lifted the lantern, I found out why.
The top half of what was once a young woman squirmed on the mossy ground next to our blanket. Her torso trailed off into strings of intestines and other bits of unidentifiable organs. Chunks of flesh were missing from her face and neck. 
Two spooky, milky-white eyes stared at me above a bloody hole, chewed gristle sticking out where her nose used to be. Her mouth opened and closed hungrily as she used her remaining arm to pull herself onto the blanket.  
I choked back a definitely hysterical laugh as I wondered if this counted as a lesbian encounter. Then my stomach twisted in serious knots, and I threw up.
“Holy shit!” Matt got a good look at our visitor as she pulled herself slowly, relentlessly towards us. “Holy shit! What the fuck is that?” I shook my head, holding back my own “holy shits” through a sheer force of willpower. 
“I don't know," I said, trying to stay calm. "But it's ugly and it felt me up and I think it's trying to eat us.”

For additional giveaway entries, just answer the following question -

It's Monday morning when the virus spreads and you've become one of the infected. Where are you and who is your first victim?
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Dana Fredsti said...

Thanks for the great review, Cat!

kathy miller said...

Wow. Plague Town sounds pretty intense. Definitely something that I would enjoy reading.

Megan Monell said...

I'd be at home on a Monday morning, so I'm guessing my next door neighbor who mows almost everyday would be the victim. =)

Megan Monell said...

By the way, great review and thank you for hosting the giveaway!

traci16 said...

Monday morning I am at home and the only person here would be the hubs and he would make a GREAT zombie mate, so its on like Donkey Kong!!!
Great review and giveaway!!! Thanks again!!!

Braine @ Talk Supe said...

Zombies in Juicy! I love it! I'm not into zombies but I love the question so my answer is I'll probably be out getting groceries so I would most likely infect mY least favorite cashier just for the fun off seeing her lose it. Lol

Michele said...

I'm at school and my first victim is the teacher I hate the most!

Jaime @ Twisting the Lens said...

Thanks for what sounds like a great read! I would be at home Monday morning, so I guess my cats are in trouble...

M.A.D. said...

Zombie-dystopians are my favorite reads!!!
Per the Q: I'd be picking up my mail, so probably
the mailman lol

Thanks for the very awesome giveaway :D

Gabbie said...

What I'd like to happen(because I don't like him): I'm on my neighbours front lawn and about to break into his house because he is my first victim.

Plague Town sounds awesome!

arteemus37 said...

I'm at home on Monday morning; my first victim would be my mother-in-law, who lives downstairs. Mwaahaahaa!

Can't wait to read this book!

ChristyM24 said...

I'm at work at a hospital on Monday I guess my first victim would be a patient.

Thanks for the giveaway! I love zombie books/movies/tv shows.

Lauren Mackesy said...

I'm at the bus stop putting my kids on the bus when I become infected. I then turn on the mean witch mom and infect her.

Na said...

I'm at home so my neighbor is definitely getting infected.

PuttPutt1198Eve said...

Monday a.m. I would be at home and my poor hubby would be my first infected victim. Sorry, dear!

Jamie said...

@Lauren- Mwahhhhh!!!! Yep - those witchy moms at the bus stop should get it every time!!

AprilAlvey said...

I Am At Home In Ky And My First Victim Would Be My Husband lol.

Dana Fredsti said...

LOL! I love all the Monday morning "who would be my first victim" comments! Michele, I would save your cats, just so you know... That's my (and Ashley's) job!

Alexa said...

I just saw this one in stores a few days ago and instantly thought it would be perfect for Ashley over at The Bookish Brunette but after reading you review and part of the steamy excerpt I now I need to get this one even though I normally don't go for these darker stories. I swear you Terrible Girls are going to bring me over to the dark side of literature!

Thanks for the great review/giveaway/excerpt!

Emmy said...

Sounds awesome! Can't wait to read it.

LOL... I tweeted it incorrectly. Oh well...

Emmy said...

I'm in Southern California and I go for my hubs. Mmmm... Brains...

Anonymous said...

I would be at home Monday morning and my victim sorry to say would have to be my son :( Yum, food...

Chenise Jones said...

Definitely the first annoying person to sit beside me on the bus to school!

bn100 said...

I'd be at work, so it'd probably be a stranger.

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