“Horde” by Bryan Cassiday

Horde

Bryan Cassiday
Independently Published (2021)
ISBN: 978-1732976368
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (06/21)

“Horde” is the sixth book in the Chad Halverson Zombie Apocalypse series. Ironically, the zombies were created by a plague that began in China. The first book in the series was written in 2011. The timing of reading this novel, during a pandemic, was perfect.

In this sixth episode, the story begins with the protagonist having no memory of how he ended up alone in a desert, or any recollection about who he is. Two men help rescue him and take him back to a compound where they reside with a ragtag group. Naming him “Box,” it quickly becomes apparent that he has had some elite military training and it is well ingrained into his psyche. The residents of the compound are not receptive to Box being there. They fear he might be a carrier for the plague. When the compound is taken by force, things get even more precarious for Box and several others who have aligned themselves with him. The new leader is demented and cruel, and he doesn’t trust Box or his friends. The residents of the compound soon show that they are weak willed and will do anything to show support to their new leader. This means putting Box’s group in danger. They have to fight both the new regime and the zombie attacks in order to survive. When Box remembers who he is, which is Chad Halverson, he also remembers that he needs to resume his mission in hopes of saving the country.

“Horde,” moves quickly. Readers will get so caught up in the story, they will have to remember to breathe! This is the first book that I read in this series and I was very impressed. While I suspect readers will enjoy reading the books in order of the series, it is actually not necessary to do so, because it stands well on its own. If I had read the previous books in the series, I would have known the identity of the protagonist, and what he had already gone through, but again, not necessary. I enjoyed discovering who he was, as the character himself regained his memories.

While I love a good zombie apocalypse with a lot of blood and guts, such as this one, I also enjoyed watching how sociological aspects of the story affected how the residents of the compound treated the protagonist and his group. I felt that the desperate struggle to survive had them easily following a leader who made them act in ways in which they wouldn’t have in normal circumstances. This would be a brilliant book for a sociology student to read!

It was also interesting to read this while being in lock down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It kind of made me grateful that our symptoms usually aren’t as bad as the plague in this series, but the horror aspects of the story also made me a bit fearful about what our future holds. Yes, I know it was fiction, but I have an imagination that tends to wander and wonder. Fans of zombie apocalypse adventures will really enjoy “Horde.”


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