Botte Louisiana is just a little fly spec on the map. The weather is almost always hot and life is pretty laid back in this small town. Things are changing quickly though, the military has its eyes on Botte and they want to do some experiments on prisoners at the local prison which is referred to as Paradis (French for Paradise). The hope was to create an army of super soldiers but not surprisingly, things don’t work out.
Sheriff Mason Guillot is used to work being easy in his town but now he is in the middle of a zombie outbreak and forced to confront his dark past. Eight years ago he was a soldier and his superior officer Jonathan Hart led him into a trap that caused two people to die. Hart is in charge of the experiments at the prison and Mason must face the man he never wanted to see again. Mason must defeat his personal demons and let go of the past in order to help the people in his town survive the zombie uprising.
Insurgent Z by Mark C. Scioneaux and Dane Hatchell starts off as a military thriller and then turns into a horror novel. The beginning of this book led me to believe it was going to be a very different kind of novel. It starts in the middle east and gives us some background on two of the main characters before it gets into the zombie story line. The opening of this book was fantastic and I loved the dialogue between the soldiers who are being held prisoner in an enemy camp and their torturer, a man they call scarface. This book starts off with a dose of real life horror and then you see how this real life horror shaped Mason before the zombie outbreak 8 years later.
Mason is a man who has gone through hell and you root for him because he still tries to do the right thing even after he has suffered. I liked how this book gets deep into what makes all the characters tick. Even the supporting characters are given back stories, two people in the book, a young couple named Ryn and Deb have had a rough life. They are married and nothing turned out how they planned. Ryn became a drug dealer and Deb works with hospice patients. You see that their relationship is strained but as zombies stumble on to their property, you see them work together to survive. I loved their story and it was one of the scariest parts of the book when they have to fight to survive.
Insurgent Z is everything you would expect in a zombie book. You have interesting characters, flesh-eating monsters, science experiments gone wrong, old school zombies(read it, if you know about the history of zombies you’ll know what I mean.) and lots of action. The characters are what really makes this book worth reading though. Even people who aren’t in the story very long get a back story and the authors make you care about them. This is what makes this book horrifying, you care about the people and you want them to get a happy ending. Insurgent Z is a simple story with complex characters and is a good example of how zombie fiction never gets old.