Pulled back from the brink of death, Michael Talbot is determined to protect his loved ones against not only the zombie plague, which has taken over the planet but the threat that Eliza, the vampire holds. Even a reinforced military base may not be enough to keep her at bay. The government may have Humvees, heavy artillery and helicopters loaded with missiles, but Eliza has an ace up her sleeve. Talbot depends on Tommy to give him the right information at the right time, but their pop tart loving guide, who hears Ryan Seacrest in his head, might not be as innocent as he seems.
I cannot believe I made it through all three hundred and fifty-five pages of this novel. I am telling you right now Fangs readers, you owe me one. Michael Talbot continues to be an epic Gary Stu. Everyone around Talbot exists to constantly prop him up, and follow his lead. Even Alex and Paul, who have decided to travel in a different direction than Talbot, in order to find their families and avoid Eliza's clutches, spend their time chastising themselves for leaving Talbot, while talking about how amazing the trained marine is and alternately angsting about their disloyalty for abandoning Talbot in his hour of need. Brendan even pays for his abandonment of Talbot and the questioning of Talbot's leadership with his life. No one even bothers to try and think up any kind of plan on how to survive because they are all sure that somehow, Talbot will pull their asses out of the fire. Of course, Talbot has to get up to some practically superhuman shenanigans (that is when he isn't being saved by the family dog) but he somehow constantly manages to save everyone because that's what a man does - save his family. I spent much of the book hoping that a zombie would eat Talbot.
There were quite a few female characters in this book but luckily, there really is no real need for them to be strong characters, when they can depend on Talbot. Tracy, Talbot's wife, is still alive and kicking but she never really gets into the action. Why would Michael bother to teach Tracy a practical skill like shooting a gun, when he can take his teenage sons out on missions against the zombies. Surely, a teenage boy has to be competent than an adult woman and besides, it teaches the young men that their job is to protect the womenfolk, just like dear old dad. Mike constantly acts like he is afraid of his shrewish wife but at no point does he bother to consult her for advice. Tracy exists to give Talbot something to save and is only humanized when dealing with her mother Carol, who has suddenly become frail and in need of Michael's protection, despite surviving by herself on a farm at the beginning of the apocalypse and her son Justin, who struggles to fight back against his link with Liza. Carol however does end up earning her keep, by pushing Mike's sister Lyndsey out of the kitchen. Everyone complains loudly about Lyndsey's cooking and none louder than Mike but since his job is saving the world, actually entering the kitchen and cooking for himself is inconceivable. Besides, it gives the women something to do while they are waiting to be saved.
Then we have Nicole, who from the sounds of it is about six weeks pregnant. Nicole at this point is practically an invalid, who spends most of her time puking and expressing some kind of weakness. Nicole is in a sense nothing more than a walking womb but she's precious because she carries the future of the Talbot line. Nope, I couldn't make this shite up if I tried. This is par for the course because daughters are trouble - something Mike knows all to well.
Rachael is 10 and she is my only daughter.”
“Be thankful for that.”
The doc wouldn't understand the backhanded compliment at least not for another two and a half years when his daughter turned from a sweet daddy’s little princess into a multi-headed demon from hell, as all teenage girls must.
“She is without a shadow of a doubt, the strongest personality in our house. She is the most wonderfully devious of children. If there is trouble to find, she's not only in it but in it to win it.”
I had learned the hard way after punishing my own boys way too much, that my daughter not only sought out trouble but was usually the root cause of it.
“Rachael's very smart but loves to tell you that she's not (the better to get away with things). She is a mini version of her mom, entirely too cute to be as cunning as she is. She scares the hell out of me because she is going to need to be locked in a closet VERY soon.”
Maybe that secret desire of all fathers to be able to lock their daughters away from testosterone infused boys could now be realized. So maybe a zombie invasion wasn’t all bad.
Women in this series exist to be shrews like Tracy and Mrs. Devereaux, wild precocious teenage girls in need of taming and weak victims in need of propping up like Carol, that is when they aren't in the kitchen doing their biologically mandated job. Yes, join me in a good eye roll.