> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Thunder and Ashes: The Morningstar Saga (Review)



Thunder and Ashes: The Morningstar Saga (Review)

Let me start this off by acknowledging the pass of the brains behind the Morningstar Saga, Z.A. Recht. I learned of his untimely passing a few weeks and was moved to get my hands on this book. I want to express my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. His family has established a non-profit scholarship in his memory--details can be found here.

I read Recht's first book, Plague of the Dead (just re-released) a while ago--it was a fun read, with its fair share of shortcomings. On this, the second novel in his planned trilogy, Recht's writing showed noticeable improvement for this novel--overall, the writing is cleaner and the plot is more focused.

The characters from the first novel have returned, all heading towards a medical center in Omaha to find a vaccine for the deadly Morningstar/zombie virus. They must fight their way through a full-on zombocalypse; the undead wait in every corner and the survivors must scrape by, scavenging supplies on the way to their destination.

Thunder and Ashes is fairly-straightforward zombie book read, leaning more towards the entertainment-end of the spectrum. It's not a suspense novel--the characters get into trouble, but you're never especially concerned for them, and they generally make it out unscathed. You won't be scared or lose sleep over this one.

Thunder and Ashes is fun, though--kind of a popcorn action-flick of a book. It moves quickly and keeps you engaged. But, like a popcorn action flick, it's light in several departments; character development being a big one. As it is, most of the characters are limited to a name, nationality and profession. Recht would probably have done well to cut down the cast of characters and focusing on robustly developing a few. It's not particularly distracting, but the series may have been better served with fewer, more thought out characters.

Thunder and Ashes does not go especially deeply into preparation or survivalism--it's no Patriots or Lights Out. There are some fun anti-zombie vehicles, general scavenging, and fighting off zombie hordes/bandits gangs. It's a light, fun read; your mind won't be blown and you won't be taking copious notes for your preps

Overall though, Thunder and Ashes is a good zombie-slaying time.

A word of warning: The Morningstar Saga has more than a little profanity throughout. If you're sensitive to that kind of thing, then skip this one.

Thunder and Ashes is the second book in a planned, and leaves off with a middle-book style cliffhanger. With Recht gone, I'm unsure if the trilogy will be completed with the third novel in the trilogy, Survivors. On Recht's personal website, he mentions working on and editing the manuscript; from the sounds of it, he was working with the publisher to put together a final draft. I would imagine that if there was even a close-to-final manuscript completed, the novel will eventually be released and the trilogy fittingly completed. I certainly hope so, and will keep you updated if I find anything out.

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