A walled city surrounded by lush land, protected by high mountain summits, and fortified by a massive gate to secure the only pass into the valley, The Bastion remained humanity's last hope against the fearsome undead creatures known as the Inferi Scourge. On one fateful day, the valley gate failed and the Inferi Scourge overran and destroyed the human settlements outside the walls, trapping the remaining survivors inside the city. Now, decades later, the last remaining humans are struggling to survive in a dying city of dwindling resources...and dwindling hope.
Vanguard Maria Martinez has lived her entire life within the towering walls of steel. She yearns for a life away from the overcrowded streets, rolling blackouts, and food shortages, but there is no hope for anyone as long as the Inferi Scourge howl outside the high walls. Her only refuge from the daily grind is in the arms of Dwayne Reichardt, an officer in the Bastion Constabulary. Both are highly-decorated veterans of the last disastrous push against the Inferi Scourge. Their secret affair is her only happiness.
Then one day Maria is summoned to meet with a mysterious representative from the Science Warfare Division and is offered the opportunity to finally destroy the Inferi Scourge in the valley and close the gate, reclaiming the lost lands and energizing the populace with renewed hope for the future. The rewards of success are great, but she will have to sacrifice everything, possibly even her life, to accomplish the ultimate goal of securing the future of humanity and saving it from extinction.
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better than expected!
i downloaded this audio book a long time ago, but i've put off listening to it b/c of the narrator. i couldn't get past the robotic sounding narrator. i started and stopped a few times, not being able to get past the first 10-15 minutes of it. but i decided to give it one more try before returning, and i'm glad i did!
it took me about an hour to get used to the way the narrator read the book, but i was soon engrossed by the story. the dialog between the characters is read in different tones with emotion, but the descriptions are read robotically. well at least at first. either i got used to it or the narrator got better as the story progressed.
regarding the story, i ended up liking it. it's definitely different than a lot of the zombie stories i've listened to. the story takes place some time in the future. the inferi virus has wiped out the world. the last bastion of survivors live in a walled city in the mountains. it's kind of like helm's deep from the lord of the rings. the survivors have been pushed back to the walled city because one of the gates mysteriously opened one day in the past, and the infected swarmed in unannounced. ever since then, the surviving population has been trapped in their walled city. the infected now crowd what was once farmland and houses. millions of infected crowd around the 12 foot thick, 3 story walls. with supplies running dangerously low, the survivors mount one last stand to push the infected away and close the gate in order to reclaim the land.
those infected with the inferi virus are not flesh eating zombies. the inferi virus preserves the bodies of the infected, but it turns people into mindless, hard-charging animals whose only purpose is to spread the virus to the uninfected.
something strange happens during the battle with the infected that causes maria and a few others to remember the old horror stories about zombies. after narrowly escaping, maria receives a communique from the science warfare division (swd). the swd offers her an opportunity to be part of a newly created elite squad of soldiers that will be able to go toe to toe with the infected. so, maria makes a deal with the devil in hopes of helping the people of the city survive.
i actually liked this book more than i thought. once i got past the narration, it was a pretty good story. the science warfare division (swd) is a secretive group, and i think the author did a pretty good job building them up as a spooky, power-hungry group who'll go to any lengths to defeat the infected. their foil is the constabulatory. the constabulatory are the military police. they man the walls, fight the infected, and act as police inside the walled city. if the swd are like the cia, then the constabulatory are like the fbi. as the story progresses, the tensions between these 2 groups continue to rise until things come to a head. even though it was predictable, i found it entertaining.
there is a relationship between the main character, maria, and another character in the book. the author uses the relationship to tell the reader what is going on inside the city and outside the city. the relationship is also used to delve into the depths of the different ways people can start to lose their humanity.
while some of the story was predictable, there were some nice twists. the ending was satisfactory. however, the future of the city is only alluded to. i think the author should've said more in the epilogue instead of only resolving maria's story.
overall, an enjoyable story once i got past the narration. i recommend you give it a try b/c you can always return it.
- Mike Naka
A zombie novel that is more than hack 'n slash