#Zombies Review: Crossbones by John L Campbell

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I have enjoyed previous installments of the Omega Days series, so I felt a little let down by Crossbones.  Xavier and his ever dwindling band of survivors have made a somewhat comfortable home on the U.S.S. Nimitz , a grounded Navy vessel.  Things are finally looking up, until Evan and a crewman go missing on a helicopter run.  While Xavier is frantically trying to determine their fate, three of the children on board start playing in a forbidden area of the ship.  When one of Calvin’s sons leads a zombie away from the other children, he becomes trapped in an uncleared area of the ship.  To add to Xavier’s headaches, a group of survivors requests sanctuary onboard, and the kind hearted priest feels he has no choice but to let them aboard.  He doesn’t know that they have only their own best interests at heart, and that they are going to instigate a slaughter of his friends.

I was completely engrossed with the beginning of the story.  We are introduced to Elizabeth Kidd, a Coast Guard captain whose quick thinking during the outbreak of the zombie plague saves herself, her murderous brother, and a small crew for her ship, which hasn’t even been fully outfitted for service.  With minimal functioning systems and hardly any stores, Liz is forced to make harsh decisions to keep her ship and crew alive.  I was impressed with her integrity and intelligence, and how calmly she faced the challenges threatening the lives of the people under her command.  Then somewhere along the way she let the grimness of her situation change her, becoming more of a monster than the zombies.  I wasn’t happy.

The villains were flat, flat, flat, especially Chick, Liz’s brother. I am getting frustrated with the series because a bunch of the good guys met completely senseless deaths, and then our little group of survivors endured an unlikely cataclysmic natural disaster that is going to force them out of the safety of their hidey hole. I’d like to see some rebuilding that lasts, instead of constant destruction and despair. When I mentioned this to Dean, he kind of made fun of me, and stated in no uncertain terms that that’s NOT what zombie stories are about.  Why not??  I want to see some growth and development of the little community of characters that I’ve come to know over the last few books of the series.  I’d like them to get a little break from murder, violence, and natural disasters for a book or two.  I will continue to follow the series, at least for the next book, but the feelings of hopelessness for the characters is occasionally overwhelming and makes it difficult to jump into the next installment with any amount of enthusiasm. 

And what was up with the Hobgoblin????

Grade:  B-

Review copy provided by publisher

Campbell returns to his “impressively convincing vision” (Publishers Weekly) of the apocalypse, as humanity’s last hopes struggle to outlive the end of the world…

Leading the U.S.S. Nimitz survivors has forced Father Xavier Church to make some hard decisions, but he’s protected his flock. Only, his fortress is about to fall, and, this time, he might not be able to save them all…

Most people lost everyone they loved to the walking dead, but Evan Tucker didn’t have anything to lose. The folks on the Nimitz are the closest family he’s ever had. He’ll fight to his last breath to make sure nothing comes between them—no matter whether its the undead or the living…

Coast Guard captain Elizabeth Kidd has always been a consummate professional, the opposite of her cruel pirate ancestor of the same name. But the Omega Virus didn’t just change people into zombies; for some, the change was more subtle, and much more nefarious…

As the safe-haven of the Nimitz is besieged by vicious marauders and terrifying Hobgoblins, they come up against the most deadly obstacle they’ve faced yet, one they have no chance of defeating—the cruel whims of nature itself…