Hi guys!! I am so excited to be a part of this tour!! I love Rhiannon Frater so when I saw that she was doing a tour for The Last Bastion of the Living, her new Futuristic Zombie novel, I knew I needed to be part of it. I have my review and a Guest Post today. For the full tour schedule click on the above tour banner.
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Publisher: Rhiannon Frater
Publish Date: June 12, 2012
Source: eARC provided by author for review
Purchase: Amazon | Rhiannon's Website
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.
I'm going to start this review by saying I have some major friggin love for Rhiannon!! She is seriously awesome. So you all know that I totally love the As The World Dies series so I was super excited to read yet another zombie novel written by her. This book was incredibly amazing!! I was instantly hooked. By the end of the Prologue I knew I was going to devour it and love it!! I loved the characters, I loved the setting, and I loved how invested I became. This book is full of action, surprises, and emotion. It is told from Maria and Dwayne's POV's and it couldn't have been done better. I could feel their every emotion. I was so caught up in them and everything else they were going through.
Maria is one bad ass chick!! She has seen a lot of death, she has fought the Inferi Scourge. When she is sent on a special top secret mission, she is scared, but is totally invested on getting rid of the Inferi Scourge for the good of everyone. She is highly trained, very healthy, and as far as the Science Warfare Division knows, unattached. She takes on the mission, but things aren't really as they seem. I can't really go into it without ruining anything so I won't, but I will tell you that she is much tougher than I could ever be and accepts what is happening because she wants to get rid of the Inferi Scourge for good. Through all of this she still has a means of communication with Dwayne and every time they talk, I feel for her. Even if they only have a minute, you can feel how much she loves him and it was breaking my heart for her to be away from him in this situation.
Dwayne is much older than Maria. She actually had saved his life in the last push against the Inferi Scourge. At that time he was married so there was nothing between them. They grew closer while they were both in rehab after that battle, and eventually got together. Dwayne is still going through his divorce so they are keeping their relationship secret, but he is absolutely the sweetest person. I love how much you can tell he loves her. Dwayne is so worried about Maria and he has inside contacts that are working to try to get him information about the mission. He finds out that there has been a lot of lying going on, and besides the Inferi Scourge things are getting really bad. I love what he is willing to do and sacrifice for Maria. He is the total package. The perfect guy for her. I just loved him.
I really don't know what else I can say without saying too much. I am just about bouncing in my seat wanting to tell you about this book, but I don't want to give anything away. I will tell you that these Inferi Scourge are not like your typical zombie, in fact they are not really considered zombies at all. The virus that makes them Inferi Scourge actually preserves them, so they aren't rotting and they don't eat people. They bite to infect and that's it. Yes they are walking dead people, but at least they won't eat your brains. The other thing I loved that is lacking in a lot of books, is the information on how things got the way they are. I am picky, I like to know the how's and why's and this book does just that. Beyond that it's just an amazing book. There is some awesome action scenes, a lot of tense moments, and yes, things that totally took me by surprise!!! That is not an easy task. I totally didn't see some things coming which had a pretty big shock factor.
I think more than anything, I loved the connections to the characters. Whether it was a character I loved, or one that I didn't, I still really felt like I was part of this story. There are a few characters that we get to know really well, and it's emotional reading them going through some things. Other characters I wanted to jump into the pages and drop kick them in the face. This is a pretty intense book too. Even when things are slower paced, there is still that tension lingering. It was fantastic in every way. I didn't think it was lacking anything. When I finished it and put it down I was still thinking about it for days. Oh, and the ending...I think it was perfect. Yup, that's right. PERFECT!!! 5 out of 5 stars!!
Vampires Versus Zombies:Writing about the UndeadByRhiannon FraterI have three different sets of fans. The fans that love my vampire work, but won’t read any of my other novels. The fans that love my zombie novels, but won’t read anything else I write. And the fans who will read any book that is published with my name on the cover. Since I consider myself to be a horror writer, things can get a little sticky with readers when my imagination envelops all different kinds of monsters and things that go bump in the night.Since I originally self-published the AS THE WORLD DIES trilogy in 2008 (it was later picked up by Tor, revised, and reissued), I have always been stuck in a tug of war between the zombie fans and the vampire fans. Both sides are incredibly vocal.“Why are you writing about stupid vampires?”“Ugh! Write about vampires. Zombies are gross!”“I’ll sit your zombie book out and wait for the next vampire one.”“Why didn’t you write a zombie book? I hate vampires.”I hear it all. Even some of my most ardent, diehard fans staunchly refuse to read a book that has the other kind of undead in it.I know quite a few writers that refuse to budge from their niche in the horror genre, whether it’s writing about zombies, vampires, or some other kind of monster. They’re terrified that their fans won’t follow them. Though I understand their concerns, I can’t allow myself to get trapped in just one subgenre. I just have too many stories in my head aching to get out onto paper.Sometimes readers will assume I’m shunning their favorite undead in favor of the other kind, but this is not the case. I actually like writing about both vampires and zombies, but for very different reasons.I’m terrified of zombies. I know when writing a zombie tale I will have some seriously messed-up dreams. Of course I use those nightmares as fodder for my books, but it sucks to wake up reaching for a weapon to fight off undead hordes. I wouldn’t write a zombie story if it was only about the gore. It has to have something more to keep my interest (and be worth those nightmares). Zombies are mindless eating machines, so when writing about a zombie-infested world the focus is on the survivors. It’s always the characters of my zombie stories that draw me into their worlds and make it worth the nightmares.I love writing about people struggling to survive against seemingly insurmountable odds. It’s always fascinating to do research into the different aspects of survival and how it affects people. I love exploring how humanity survives through community, and yet, they have to learn to work together while not always agreeing with one another. Sometimes I go to very dark places with my characters. That can be exhausting, but rewarding when the character is well-received by the readers.The fun part about writing about vampires is that they are intelligent, so it’s a lot of fun to make the monsters the main characters. I like keeping with the old rules of the vampires: sunlight kills, crosses hurt, etc. It’s enormous fun to write about monsters that are almost all-powerful at night, but severely limited by the day. Also, the concept of eternal creatures that must feed on the living to extend their own lives and what that does to their psyche and alters them is very enticing to me as a writer. I love exploring the mythos and psychology of the vampire. How do they live, love, hate, survive? Is being a vampire liberating? Or is being one of the beautiful undead a form of hell?I have two vampire series at this time. One is a modern-day tale set in Texas, the other is gothic horror set in Eastern Europe in the 1820’s. Both universes adhere to the same basic vampire rules, but it is fun exploring vampires in two very different settings. The cultural and societal differences are an interesting study in contrasts. The modern world that Amaliya exists in is far different from that of Lady Glynis Wright in the Regency era. Yet both female vampires must overcome obstacles set in their path by the world around them to liberate themselves from terrible circumstances.Late last year I had a poll on my Facebook page. I asked which book I should write next. PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS (the second book in the modern day vampire series) or a futuristic zombie novel called THE LAST BASTION OF THE LIVING. As you can tell by the name of this blog tour, the second option won. A tiny piece of me was a little disappointed after spending nearly a year and a half revising the AS THE WORLD DIES zombie trilogy. I wasn’t quite ready to go back to the zombies. But I knew that I had a unique take on the zombie genre in THE LAST BASTION OF THE LIVING and a great heroine in Maria Martinez. Once I started to write, I realized that the plot of the book was going to allow me to do something I had yet to do in a zombie novel. What exactly that is you’ll have to read the book to find out. It’s a major spoiler.Though I love my undead, both the shambling and the beautiful, in the end I am a horror writer. I’ll continue to write about all sorts of monstrous things while keeping intriguing heroines and heroes at the core of the story.
Thank you so much for stopping by my tour stop. Ashley over at Bookish-Brunette has a majorly awesome tour giveaway going on so click here to go to her post. And don't forget to see all the tour stops just click on the tour banner at the top of the post to go to Rhiannon's website!