Lone Survivor by Christian Jensen — A Review

lone survivorLone Survivor by Christian Jensen

RaeleighReads rating: 4 out of 5 coffee cups

“Exhaustion wore on me like a leaden blanket, but still I continued inching through the frozen mud and snow. My hands ached, my back was one giant knot that belched fire, my shoulder screamed with each motion, and my face was a raw, open wound that felt like it was filled with broken glass dipped in alcohol.”

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

I REALLY liked this! As a huge fan of The Walking Dead, I wasn’t sure how I would react to this zombie novel, but I was oh so pleasantly surprised. The writing was clear, descriptive, and engaging. Jim, the main character, was so human it hurt. Kudos for the plot twist that makes this not-your-typical-zombie novel. Throw in several amazing action scenes, and this is a winner in my book! So, why not five coffee cups? Well, the cursing got a little gratuitous for my taste, and there was one scene that just didn’t quite work for me (more on that below). But don’t let that stop you! If you like the zombie genre AT ALL, add this to your collection.

Warning: spoilers ahead.

This novel follows the story of Jim, a massive redneck who is surviving the zombie apocalypse alone. Alone, that is, until his path bumps into a few others. First, there is Bigfoot. Yup, you heard that right. Bigfoot! I couldn’t believe it when that happened, and it could have gotten really cheesy, really fast. But Jensen is so good that he just makes you feel like, oh, sure, well of course Bigfoot could totally appear after the world falls apart. It’s only natural right?Β At least, that’s how I felt, and I have absolutely no tolerance for cheese. And then!, Bigfoot gets bitten by one of the undead! Jim’s got to be a goner for sure now, right? But, no! Jim manages to conk the big guy out before he turns. Jim is basically my hero, and if the zombie apocalypse ever occurs (and that’s inevitable AMIRIGHT) I absolutely want a guy like Jim on my side.

Some time after Jim leaves Bigfoot (hopefully dead) he runs into two very damaged young women. After some internal battling on both sides they decide to remain a group. Then, they manage to pick up another young girl who was in desperate need of their help. The world after the apocalypse is a very grungy and disgustingly rapey place (yes, I just used rapey as a word). The whole time Jim is trying to survive with these three girls, he is constantly thinking of his old friend Bigfoot. He knows it is only a matter of time before the big guy finds him and kills them all, so he decides to go on the offensive. They have a very intense battle royale (a wonderfully descriptive scene) at the end of the book.

My only two complaints: 1)Sometimes the cursing felt unnecessary BUT who am I to know how we will talk after the world literally goes to hell. 2) There was one scene where Jim turns on a car radio to distract the dead. I’m thinking the whole time I’m reading this page (and for several pages after), how would there be any sound if there are no longer any radio stations? So that led me down this tangent: maybe one of the radio stations was hooked up to a generator (that is somehow miraculously still functioning) and maybe they put a broadcast on repeat and that is what is coming through the car radio. Anyway, I just got very distracted by that little element and it took away from some of the awesome.

So, who is going to like this book? Zombie fans (duh), but this does sometimes feel like a guy’s guy view of the zombie apocalypse. There’s nothing wrong with that, but ladies if you don’t like gore, rape scenes described in detail, or a lot of cursing you might want to steer clear. I thought it was fantastic, and I’m hoping (*clasps hands together with a plaintive look on her face*) that there will be a sequel.

Some opinions you may be interested in:

I truly enjoyed the concept of this storyline. Its hard to find an original twist with Zombie stories and this author accomplished that for me. The story is full of action and graphic details so the pace of the narrative is fairly fast.“– Dave B. on Goodreads

“Be prepared to be sitting on the edge of your seat, this is a gripping read, scary as hell in places, sad in others, but there is also some really comical parts, you have a bit of a roller coaster of emotions with this book. The author has done a brilliant job portraying how Jim would live, and how he would describe his life, very realistic and believable.”– Lilian Flesher on Goodreads

Some other opinions you may find useful:

The publisher told me this book is considered a novel. I was surprised as it was short. The main story and side story read more like a short story than a novella or novelette and certainly not like a novel. The author used up a lot of words describing his battle plans and exactly now he killed each zombie and what happened when he killed them. These detailed descriptions were not necessary for the story telling. I think this would have made a clever one sitting short story“– Pamellia on Goodreads

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