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Posted May 16, 2012
Having read this first installment, I can only assume the favora
Having read this first installment, I can only assume the favorable reviews have been written by friends and family of the author. "Fortress" comes off as less of a Zombie Apocalypse tale and more of a "Wouldn't it be cool if...?" zombie fantasy cooked up by the same people who plan their lives for when this actually happens.
We're given 2 or 3 pages on how the main characters happen to end up with years to plan and unlimited resources. Along with that, the brothers seem to have an unerring ability to find and woo the best and brightest in, literally, any and every field that may prove useful. With all this on their side, they manage to build and populate a medium-sized, heavily fortified city deep in some mountainside.
The heart of any good zombie survival story is...survival!. "Fortress" removes any and all worries about that. The characters live better in this new world than most of them did before the apocalypse happened. Food grows, schools teach, hospitals heal and armies patrol and defend while these "survivors" sleep peacefully, deep in their NORAD-style bunker.
Along the way, we're treated to a glimpse of what life's become in a few other places (Inverness, Scotland and Drummond Island, Michigan) although, given Mr. Brown's bio, these chapters read more as a shout out to friends and fellow Highland gamers.
An interesting side-effect of this particular apocalypse is the lack of ability to use contractions while speaking. How many of us use "Have not" and "Will not" instead of "Haven't" or "Won't"? It tends to get rather jarring and stilted. Speaking of dialog, the majority of it is poorly written. "You seem troubled" said so-and-so. "Yes, I am troubled" replied so-an-so is pretty indicative of the conversations throughout "Fortress".
By the time the "Bag Guys" and their cookie-cutter back story are introduced, I found myself rooting for them in the stories final battle.
A convenient love story and a ridiculous (and possibly incestuous) religious cult round out this failed first attempt.
I have no idea if the author's writing style has improved over the following books, but given my experience with the first, I won't be wasting time or money to find out.
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