Review of Robert R. Best’s “Ashton Memorial”
Ashton Memorial starts off where Lakewood Memorial left off, with Angie, her two kids, and Parker, the man they met at the hospital in the first book, on the run as the zombie apocalypse has begun. Robert Best continues to heap plenty of action onto this saga, with rarely a page going by without some sort of zombie mayhem taking place. Maylee and Dalton, the two kids in this tale, have learned how to deal with the undead-particularly Maylee, who has become somewhat of an expert with the use of a baseball bat.
The quartet make their way to Ashton, a larger city where Park’s twin teenage daughters live with their mom and step dad. They figure out upon their arrival that the girls have made their way to the Ashton Memorial Zoo, where Gregory, the step dad of the girls, works. The story works well as an study of how people react to intense situations and start to crumble under pressure and fear. I do think that perhaps a few of the folks were a bit over the top in how zealous they were and how devolved they were in the face of the horrible situation they faced, but still this was a intriguing journey for the main characters with how they dealt with the undead, the living, and the animals, which have gone berserk as the dead have risen. The changes in the animals was the most interesting part of the book for me. They aren’t infected, or so it seems, and they don’t have any interest in the undead, but they want to kill the living human beings, as if they blame them for what has happened to their world. It would be interesting to see if that plays a part in the third book or not, but I thought it was a highly interesting and creative approach to involving the rest of the animal kingdom in the zombocalypse.
Mr. Best has also done an interesting job of embracing swearing in both books in this trilogy. I know there are some authors out there, and plenty of readers, who would prefer that there be no swearing or cussing in their stories, but Robert has gone the opposite route, making an effort to have his characters become master vulgarians. It serves as comic relief, in my humble opinion, as you read the story. Certainly, I think the story could have been done with less cursing, but some of the verbal combinations are so creative they are actually impressive. So I guess the key is to note that the cursing is ample here and just embrace it.
Overall, this book, like the last one, are fun, gory, action-packed zombie apocalypse novels filled with mayhem and chaos aplenty. The author has no fear of killing people off, and does toss in some good surprises for the reader along the way. Again, I think there were perhaps a few overreactions by some folks in terms of how desperate they become and how willingly violent they are just a couple days into the zombocalypse, but I certainly wouldn’t put it past some folks out there to go completely bonkers within a few hours of seeing the dead rise. Beside that minor gripe, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to the final chapter in the Memorial trilogy.
Ashton Memorial can be found at: http://www.amazon.com/Ashton-Memorial-Book-Zombie-Trilogy/dp/145365268X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1290014638&sr=1-1