Augustus Berry lives a day-to-day existence comprised of waking up, getting drunk, and preparing for the inevitable day when "they" will come up the side of his mountain and penetrate his fortress. Living on the outskirts of a city and scavenging for whatever supplies remain since the demise of civilization, Gus knows that his next visit to undead suburbia could be his last. Not only does he face a corpse-infested urban hell, human scavengers, and unending loneliness, but now a new mystery has risen - the undead are disappearing from the streets. A force is gathering, beyond the mountain man’s darkest nightmares, even more relentless and terrifying than the roaming tides of dead flesh. And it’s preparing to hunt.
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safari picks up right where the mountain man left off. gus has just fought off roxanne and her boyfriend's gang. his house is trashed and full of dead bodies, but there's no rest for gus. even though he has had the crap beat out of him by roxie, he has to attend to things, and the first being his shattered teeth. roxie's knee to his face has broken some of his teeth, and in one grisly scene, gus has to play dentist.
gus is haunted by his betrayal and the loss of his friend, scott. he drowns his demons with booze and killing zombies. safari is darker than the mountain man as gus' loneliness causes him to hallucinate and to start losing some of his humanity. reminiscent of the movie, cast away, gus has an imaginary friend in the form of a captain morgan's bottle. their banter is funny and touching at times.
there is tension throughout the story, and you wonder when gus' boozing is going to catch up with him, especially since he's solo. there are a few holy $hit scenes, where you're definitely thinking how in the heck is gus gonna get out of this hornets nest.
i think safari is faster paced than mountain man, but the plot does not feel rushed. there is a lot of zombie bashing as gus dons his nomex suit, neck brace, and helmet.
the mystery to the disappearing bodies is revealed, and i have to say it's quite shocking. it's definitely unique, and something you won't be expecting! no, i'm not going to tell you!
once again, rc bray does a great job narrating the story. he is definitely one of my favorite narrators.
overall, an excellent follow-up to the mountain man. if you liked that story, then you'll really like this one.
- Mike Naka
One trick pony