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Hollowland is the first installment of a two-part series set in a world where a deadly rabies-like virus has mutated leading to the creation of creatures that closely resemble the living dead. In true Zombie tradition, these creatures are compelled to feast on the flesh of the living....with just one bite or drop of saliva being enough to infect those upon whom they feed. Remy, the main character who comes over as a cross between Ellen Ripley and Resident Evil's Alice, is thrust into the midst of this world but has another agenda above and beyond merely surviving; she needs to find her brother. One of the only people on the planet who may just be immune to the zombie pandemic!
Along the way, we get to meet all manner of other survivors who join forces with Remy to better their chances of reaching the final page ~ amongst them former rockstar, Lazslo (who is very much inspired, one thinks, by Stephen King's Larry Underwood from The Stand) and a handy medic, Blue who helps keep everyone up and running~ and also get to visit a post-apocalyptic vision of Las Vegas, complete with a former pet lion who joins the crew and quickly sets about helping to dispatch zombie predators!
It will come as no great spoiler to learn that the book ends with the group reaching apparent safety but even then, all is not what it seems with a shocking twist that leaves you grasping for more....
This is a book, aimed at young adults, that has largely been dismissed as derivative and cliche but I kinda liked it despite the main characters coming over at times a bit two-dimensional and almost cartoonish. This is not a slight merely that I felt no more association with them than I would the protagonist in a computer game I was playing ~ say Resident Evil for example!
I actually thought there was a lot here to like and didn't mind the fact that it borrowed from other sources and used their influence as there were still lots of original touches like the friendly lion for example.
If you are looking for a kinda zombie-lite read then this is good stuff. If you are looking for something harder hitting and real, then avoid. As this was free for Kindle, I find little reason to complain and will eventually get round to purchasing the follow-up not just because I want to know what happens next but also because, even though this wasn't one of my best books of all time, I still got a lot out of this and throughly enjoyed it!