(A copy of this book was provided by Titan Books for review.)
Ashley Parker is an ordinary woman, just trying to get by. Like so many of us. However, unlucky many it turns out she is also a “Wild Card”. When the zombie apocalypse happens she is one of the few people in the world immune to the virus. This is how Plague Town begins and over the course of three novels readers will fall in love with Ashley and tremble alongside her every step.
She is such a refreshing change from the majority of leading women in horror. Horror novels cant use skimpy clothing as a replacement for character development, and thus they’re usually a bit better than many women in horror movies (but not all). However there are still many crutches or tropes that keep hindering horror novels. Most of the problems come down to the women looking weak. Either they need a man to save them, and to “complete” them or worse a man makes the lead woman feel powerless.
Thankfully Ashley Parker is none of this. Sure, she meets a man – its a three book series, this is bound to happen. But he helps in ways that make her stronger, not weaker. And she is one hell of a strong woman. She stands up not just to zombies, but to humans who might be in her path as well. Due to being a Wild Card she can do things ordinary humans cant. Like fighting off the zombies. This gift leads to so many exciting scenes in the book that would be incredible on screen. Its like Resident Evil, but with plot.
One of the other great ideas Dana came up with here is the history of zombies. (Semi spoiler alert.) This is really a brilliant thing to do because it takes Ashley Parker from the star of a couple books into the main character of a potential franchise. Zombie outbreaks throughout history are stories that demand to be told in other books. Where there were previous zombies there must also have been previous Wild Cards. I’m all set for a couple books a year. Plague Rome. Plague Atlantis. Plague Mars!
However, these potential other Wild Cards could not be as fun as Ashley Parker. As a lover of pop culture there is nothing I like to do more than make sarcastic comments and break out obscure references with my friends. Ashley Parker could be considered a friend. Assuming I’m a Wild Card too and survive in this world.
Check elsewhere on this site for the Plague Nation review. I don’t want to reveal too much about Ashley Parker and her three novel world but I’ll leave you with the knowledge that this is the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups of strong female characters and zombie horrors.