For Budd Ashby, the last day before the end of the world went rather well. He scored a stay in London’s most expensive hotel and spent the night with Juliette, a beautiful French pop star. By the following dawn, however, things are very different. Almost everyone is dead. The power is out and the airwaves are empty. Isolated inside the hotel, the few survivors discover that the rest of London is much the same.
And things only get worse.
A dense fog descends from the sky, plunging the city streets into darkness. Then, the innumerable-dead return to life, the walking corpses hungry for living flesh. To Budd and Juliette, staying alive seems an impossible task. Only one man knows that mere survival will not be enough. The zombies are simply the beginning, and the real terror is still to come. But, as desperate as it seems, he believes there is a chance to save the world. And whether Budd likes it or not, he is the key. He is mankind’s last hope.
Ah, jolly old London, home of the Queen, fish and chips, Jack the Ripper and now….zombies! Last Hope, Book One: Onslaught introduces us to Budd Ashby as he gets lured into taxiing a scientist to London where he then get put up in the newest, swankiest hotel and beds a gorgeous pop star over half his age, not bad for an old “chopper jockey” in the Marine Corps. The problem is when he wakes up…things have changed. Nearly everyone in the hotel is dead,there is an eerie thick fog outside limiting vision to less than an arm’s length and no one knows what is going on. But that is just the beginning because soon those dead bodies begin to get up and that’s when our story truly begins.
When it comes to characterization the author, Drew Brown, seems to have done rather well depicting the type of people who would typically be staying at one of London’s newest and most exclusive hotels. In other words, there weren’t many likable characters, which made killing them off a lot of fun. Oh there were a few that I came to find that I wanted to see stick around, but most of them…zombie fodder. Our protagonist, Budd, of course, while initially questionable as to whether I would care much for him became quite a believable character to me. While not a take charge kind of guy, he did step in and take control when needed. He took care of who/what was his and only on went further than that when it was absolutely necessary. I liked that, because those characters who are constantly jumping up to help out every Tom, Dick and Moe are realistically going to end up getting themselves killed. I realize this is fiction, but when I’m reading a book that has real everyday people as characters, I like when they act the way a real person would.
Last Hope, Book One: Onslaught is filled with lots of undead action, conflict and death. The violence was graphically visual, but without being intensely gory. The zombies are slow moving shamblers, but still vicious and menacing, especially when in large groups. Not too surprising there is much conflict within the ranks as nearly each survivor seemed to think their plan was the best plan and we all know there are no perfect plans in this type of world…only the one that is least likely to get you killed.
With a well developed plot that definitely leaves you wanting book two to come out yesterday, Last Hope, Book One: Onslaught, is a must read for all fans of the zombie genre.
Learn more about author, Drew Brown at his blog: Drew Brown’s Horror Blog or by following him on Twitter: @DBHorror. Also, check out Twin Star Media for more of the best and most unique blend of products you love – music, novels, cookbooks, calendars, novellas, fiction, and non-fiction!
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Espresso rating: Triple