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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Audiobook Review - The Last Bastion of the Living: A Futuristic Zombie Novel by Rhiannon Frater

AUTHOR: Rhiannon Frater 
NARRATOR: Kristin Allison 
PUBLISHER: Lyssa-Noel Rhiannon Frater
PUBLICATION DATE: September 12, 2012
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook, 11 hrs and 56 mins
GENRE: Science Fiction/Dystopia, Horror
ASIN: B0099KFKUC
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.

MY REVIEW:  

I received this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own. 

Rhiannon Frater has done it again! She has totally sucked me into her zombie-infested world!!

The Last Bastion of the Living: A Futuristic Zombie Novel is a post-apocalyptic story, where zombies (now named “Inferi Scourge” because they were infected by the Inferi Scourge Plague Virus or “ISPV”) have taken over the world. About 40 years prior to the current setting of the story, a walled city was established and Earth’s remaining survivors were flown there. The bastion was capable of housing 2,000,000 people and included a valley for cultivation so that the residents could be self-sustaining. The valley also included the city’s water and power sources. An immense 10-story wall, which was 12-feet thick, encompassed the fortress to protect the city from the Inferi Scourge (aka “scrags”). Due to what was believed to be a mechanical malfunction, the gate to the wall in the valley was opened and the scrags overtook the valley.

The residents of the bastion are prisoners. Because they no longer have access to the resources in the valley, their supplies are dwindling. To conserve power, there are nightly black-outs. There are some people, like Special Sergeant Maria Martinez, who have never known life outside of the walled city. She is a constabulary officer, and she is a part of the army that is responsible for protecting the city from the scrags. They keep watch atop the walls for any breaches in the perimeter. She had participated in a previous mission into the valley to try to rid the valley of scrags, but the attempt failed. She sustained critical injuries, but she survived. She dreams of life outside the walls, but she fears that it is an unattainable fantasy.

When Maria is summoned by the Science Warfare Division of the government to a top secret meeting, she is informed that the Division has developed a serum that will enable her to walk among the scrags undetected so that she can neutralize them. Desperate to make her dream a reality, she agrees to the assignment. Maria soon discovers, however, that she has not been told the entire truth.

Frater’s sci-fi element adds something different to the typical zombie story. I was worried that the story might be too similar to her other zombie series, As The World Ends trilogy, but the futuristic components gave this book a fresh feel. Maria is a totally kick-ass heroine, and I loved her right from the get-go. Her strength and bravery are limitless, and I love her devotion to her family notwithstanding being shunned by her mother because she fears for her daughter’s safety. Frater makes us sympathetic even to Maria’s mother, whose husband was also a constabulary officer who was killed by scrags. She cannot bear to lose her daughter as well. The romance between Maria and Dwayne, an officer who is nearly twice her age, had the right combination of passion, vulnerability, and sweetness.  

Narrator Kristin Allison is new to me, and I quite liked her portrayal of Maria. Her pace was excellent, and I found her reading to be enjoyable. You could hear the different ranges of emotion in Maria’s voice, and Allison held my attention.

I have to add that the cover is totally hot! Whoever designed it did Maria justice! She manages to look both kick-ass and wickedly hot at the same time!

I have no idea if this is a stand-alone or if there are plans to continue he series, but I want more! Frater is my favourite author that I have discovered this year, and I can't wait to read more of her work!

MY RATING:
 
5 stars!! It was superb! I loved it, and I will likely re-read it again in the future! You should definitely read it! A big thanks to Rhiannon for the opportunity to review this audiobook!

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