The Last Bastion of the Living is the best zombie novel I’ve read and one of my favorite overall reads this year. Rhiannon is quite a story-teller and not only did a good job at world-building but also created characters that I cared about from the start.
A zombie virus (affected are called Inferi Scourge or Scrags) has been released into the world and the majority of the population has become infected. The survivors have moved together into a walled city (the Bastion). But, they have no way to grow enough food and electricity can be sporadic. There is a valley outside the Bastion that would allow them to have a power plant, mining, cattle and to grow food. But, the valley was overrun by the Scrags when the gate failed. A branch of the government, the Science Warfare Division, comes up with a plan to allow a group of soldiers to walk among the Scrags while taking them out. They will close the gate, kill the Inferi Scourge and the population can move back into the valley. One of the soldiers chosen is Maria, a war hero from a prior battle with the Scourge. She is tough as nails but still a woman. Her boyfriend, Dwayne, is also her superior officer (I know, I know…it’s okay! These are tough times.) Dwayne is part of the Constabulary (military) and isn’t included in the planning or execution of this mission. When Maria leaves they find a way to still communicate covertly. And, it’s a good thing that they do.
This story has it all – action, relationships – both romantic and friendly, political maneuvering, hacking and more. I loved, loved, loved Maria. She is a dedicated soldier, friend and kicks butt! If there is a zombie apocalypse, I definitely want her on my side. Dwayne was the perfect partner for her. They had a real relationship. There were a few plot twists towards the end (one in particular) that I didn’t see coming. I love that!
There were several typographical errors but it’s an E-book and I loved it so much that I cannot deduct for them. Definitely 5/5 stars. I would give it more if I could! Recommended for everyone.