The outbreak began in Manhattan. Within hours, the quarantine was sabotaged, but it was too late. Nowhere is safe from the undead.
Tom Clemens has been living in the shadows for years, searching for those responsible for the death of his family. Framed for murder, he is on the run when the first outbreak occurs. With thousands of others, he fights his way out of New York, and joins the exodus searching for a safe refuge in America. On that journey he learns the identity of those responsible for the betrayal of the species, and of a scientist who might be able to stop the living dead. So begins his quest to save humanity.
Here We Stand 1: Infected and Here We Stand 2: Divided are part of the post-apocalyptic series Surviving the Evacuation. This story of patient zero and Sholto's attempts to halt the collapse of America can be listened to before or after Surviving the Evacuation Books 1-7.
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Stand Struggles but Holds Up
Stand tells the back story Santos; a shady character from Tayell's Evacuation series (for which this is the prequel). Santos (who goes by Tom here) has fallen from grace while trying to prove that a small group of powerful elites has initiated a conspiracy to rule the world. They have to destroy it first (with zombies) but once its in chaos they will control everything. There are some problems in that logic but as Santos himself says, "they are crazy."
Tayell's writing is good and he has obviously thought the conspiracy itself through well enough. The plot is slowly revealed as Santos, pursued by minions of the conspirators, escapes NY just before it is quarantined and heads for the home of a scientist he knows that may be able to solve the riddle of the zombie plague. The weakness lies with his actions while on the run. Although he figures out early on that zombies are attracted by noise and motion he proceeds to make as much noise as possible fairly often, bringing he and his companions into danger. While camped out at a secluded cabin he shoots a lone zombie, several times, which of course draws in all the others in the area. Later, although safely barricaded at a motel in the mountains they choose to gun down all the zombies walking down the road... which of course just brings more. Santos is supposedly a smart guy, why waste ammunition and make all that noise? Especially, when they could just hunker down, be quiet and let them walk on by. It makes for good action sequences but not without a high 'why did they do that?' factor.
Theodore Copeland does an excellent job with the narration which helps hold up the story despite it's weaknesses. I enjoy Tayell's writing and am already listening to book 2 so the flaws are annoying but not that big of a deal.