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“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”
― Voltaire

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Magic Breaks
Ilona Andrews
The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel
Helene Wecker
Fighting to Survive - Rhiannon Frater Sometimes when a plan goes awry, it still works out as intended, side effects and all. After finishing Frater's first book, The First Days, I quickly ordered the sequel from the library, planning to save it for a slow and deadly boring night of the living dead shift. Unfortunately, I was placed 'on-call,' which meant while I didn't have to work that moment, it was quite possible in the next eight hours I would be needed for brains to work. I celebrated my night almost-off by staying up afraid of zombies to read "Fighting," taking another hour to ratchet down from zombie-caused tension and ended up being up until 4 a.m. anyway, accomplishing the goal of reading and wakefulness--however unnecessary. Briefest of summaries: survivors are walled off in a town center post-zombie apocalypse. Survivors are trickling in, putting pressure on space and resources. The goal becomes expanding into a store block for resources, and a nearby hotel to provide living space. Relationships continue to grow among the central characters, and individuals continue to deal with emotional fallout after having their loved ones turned into zombies. As the camp is taking a breather, internal malcontents trouble the group's unformed justice system, followed by problems from external marauders. A bundle of improvements since the last book made it more compelling than the last. Similarly to the first book, the plot moves briskly along, making this a quick and engaging read. There are plenty of zombies, all the better to eat you entertain. you. As far as writing style, there was more sophistication in word choice, making for a better reading experience. However, there is still a tendency to describe repetitively people in single notes, which seems more of an author issue with characterization. Jenni, one of our heroines, is the loca one, Nerit is the icy sharpshooter, Curtis the red-faced inexperienced cop, etc. I get that a large group of people new to each other might tend to repetitively generalize, but eventually it's too easy for the author and the shortcuts make for shallow graves characters that are defined by one or two traits. Speaking of characterization, my hackles rose a little when it was pointed out the bisexual character was finally in "comfortable shoes and casual t-shirts." Because, isn't that where all lesbians bisexuals (yes, we are still making an issue of her sexuality in this book) prefer to be? And why did the heavyset young black female come with stereotypical gay-boi sidekick with equally stereotypical dialogue? The rich people were right out "Rich Snob Here" character casting, and it is only a matter of time before the trophy wife becomes zombie bait. Honestly, Frater, you aren't being inclusive in the post-apocalypse community if the only thing you are including are stereotypes.Still, the zombie bits are done well, and the (as always) living human meat-heads in and outside the fort are providing much of the threat. The scenes clearing the hotel were hair-raising and contained the full shiver-inducing complement of horror movie tropes. I devoured read that section very quickly! I also give Frater full credit for a creative set-up for her survival situation. The downtown construction site is creative and seems possible, with the materials enabling survivors to build sturdy zombie-barriers. However again, the brief appearance of the internet was a bit much. CB radio is slightly more believable, as the tech and electricity is so much lower.I can't seem to help it; despite the aforementioned glaring problems, it was an addictive read, and I've got the next book on hold at the library. I guess that tells you all you need to know about the book, or about my addiction. I wonder if there's an opening in Z.F.A.? (Zombie Fans Anonymous)Three stars for being a challenge to survive put down.