Down the Road: On the Last Day Paperback – Feb 1 2006
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A showdown to about to happen in this small Texas town. The residents will have to not only fight the endless hordes of the bloodthirsty dead, but a madman and his army of thugs that wants to destroy all remnants of American life. The town will have to unite and fight for not only their way of life, but their very existence. It is time to go back Down the Road.
I loved Mr. Ibarra's first story so when got my copy of On The Last Day I was expecting nothing but great things, but I must say that my expectations were actually exceeded. I enjoyed On The Last Day more than I did his first installment. I was completely consumed in the world Mr. Ibarra created. Zombie fans will be completely satisfied with this story. It has loads and loads of blood and guts, and action from beginning to end. On The Last Day is also a very deep story with great pacing and deep characters. Mr. Ibarra is starting to perfect a writing style all his own. He is becoming one of the premiere names of Zombie fiction and he will be a force to be reckoned for a long time. Permuted Press is producing some of the best Horror Fiction available today and On The Last Day has to be one of the best releases to date. I cant wait to see what they give us next.
I highly recommend On The Last Day to all Zombie Fiction fans. It is one of the best Zombie stories ever written in my opinion. Go grab a copy for yourself and see what I mean.
Down the Road: On the Last Day is an enjoyable book that is just pure fun to read. I found the only times I put the book down for an extended time were when I was trying to fend off book-induced nightmares. For the past several years, I've read zombie fiction to almost the total exclusion of any other type of recreational reading, and to a certain extent I tend to believe I've read it all. This extensive background still didn't have me prepared for the horrific sights and scenarios in this book! If you are a fan of purposeful gore, this book should be right up your alley. Ibarra certainly isn't one to throw around gore without a reason!
The ending was amazing. It fit the book perfectly - which means that it wasn't a quick fix and then everyone is happy forever kind of ending. The book ends just as it starts, gritty, heart-wrenching, and utterly unforgettable!
The book is a fast read and the action is good. The gore is described well, and it turns out to be a very fun read.
The sex scenes, like in the first book, seem a little awkward and uneccessary, as if they were thrown in mostly for the author's enjoyment, but it's not enough of a negative to impact the story. Also, the story could've done with a few less characters, but that's just me nitpicking.
Both books are heavy on the NWO\Illuminati\Global Elite conspiracy theory, with the U.N. attempting to take control of the country. I don't neccessarily subscribe to those consipiracy theories, (I do know people who do), but I do find them wildly entertaining, so it only added to the story for me.
All in all, it's a fun read. If you enjoy Zombie fiction, than by all means, buy not just this book, but the first Down the Road book as well. You'll be glad you did.
It was my hope that the author would continue to improve in his story telling technique with this new novel and that this sequel would be a compelling follow up to his first book, which was not spectacular but had great promise. Unfortunately, I have to say that I was sadly disappointed with this effort. Regrettably, I feel that the author has regressed with this book and the story lacks any compelling feel to it. The characters, though quite human, feel somewhat wooden. We are given both their warts and positive side but I did not find myself rooting for any of them. Perhaps other readers found a way to latch on to these people but I found myself not really caring one way or another for the majority of them.
We are greeted with the same hardened viewpoint from the first book for virtually everyone with any sort of authority. Even the local police in Beeville, who are doing their best to keep their town safe, are quite willing to mow down survivors from other towns who are pleading with them to be allowed entry into the safe confines of their town. While we are given the sense that what they are doing is necessary, there is a feeling of emotional detachment as the police eliminate both the infected and uninfected with equal zeal. Even so, these folks are practically angels compared to even more powerful groups. We are reminded again and again that FEMA, Homeland Security, and the military are all just vicious and brutal thugs in their efforts to suppress both the undead and the living. Add to the mix in this book the UN Peacekeeping forces who have been dispatched to Texas to get rid of everyone who stands in their way. We are treated to a sociopath of a leader, Captain Phillip Carson, and his gleefully malignant foreign troops who rape and execute a bloody swath across south Texas, all under the guise of regaining control of our nation. The comparisons to Nazi Germany and the suppression of the Jews are agonizingly obvious here-people are loaded onto cattle cars, anyone who resists is dealt with swiftly and violently, and they all end up in concentration camps.
Of course the politicians we are made aware of in this book are all sanctioning these efforts. President Herbert M. Walker (huh?), who presided over the nation during the attacks of 9/11 has agreed to allow the UN Peacekeepers on our soil. Former President and now UN Secretary General Jefferson Williams (who?) is also there to speak up in favor of this move, along with Massachusetts Senator Ted Kinney (uh...) and New York Senator Carl Shumer (ohhh kay). The thinly veiled fake names was a bit off putting, especially since the author mentions at one point that one of the characters started becoming mistrustful of the government during the Clinton administration. Would that be Jefferson Williams or William Jefferson Clinton that this person is referring to? Sorry, I know this is nitpicky but again it was rather distracting to me.
I guess I found it really hard to believe that the U.S. Government, run by Herbert M. Walker or George Walker Bush, whichever, would authorize the United Nations to dispatch troops on U.S. soil when this is a global epidemic and I am guessing those troops would be better placed elsewhere. Instead it would be my guess that U.S. troops from around the globe would all be recalled to the home front instead. It's not like this administration is all buddy buddy with the U.N. these days.
Please understand that I am not saying that all of this is totally unfeasible or am I bashing political views. Certainly a crisis of this magnitude would bring out the ugliest inclinations in many people. But I also have to believe that somehow, in some way, that not every soldier (American or foreign), every person in a leadership role at the federal level, and basically much of the police force would be willing to discard every last bit of their ethics and humanity in a mad dash for power and utter and complete domination of everyone. Perhaps I am a bit naive in hoping for something different than what the author proposes here.
Beyond all of that, the story itself is simply not all that intriguing. There are no big shockers or surprises here. The zombies in this book are almost a completely secondary element and are rather dull. They do end up eating their fair share of the living but they seem to be more of a nuisance than anything else. The author tries to liven things up by putting a few small dream sequences in as well as some gratuitous sex but essentially we are just waiting for the final scene to unfold. Sadly, our town folks do nothing creative or interesting in an attempt to save themselves and the story ends with very little that shocks or surprises the reader.
Even with all the above said I am willing to admit that Mr. Ibarra has a strong voice and hopefully will continue to write and sharpen his skills. Although I did not necessarily enjoy this story he certainly can craft a tale and I am sure his efforts will continue to improve.