Thunder and Ashes (Book 2 of the Morningstar series)
Z. A. Recht
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A LOT CAN CHANGE IN THREE MONTHS: Wars can be decided, nations can be forged . . . or entire species can be brought to the brink of annihilation. The Morningstar virus has swept the face of the planet, infecting billions. Its hosts rampage; its victims don’t die, but are reborn as cannibalistic shamblers.
SCATTERED ACROSS THE WORLD, EMBATTLED GROUPS HAVE PERSEVERED. For some, survival is the pinnacle of achievement. Others hoard goods and weapons. And still others leverage power over the remnants of humanity with a mysterious cure. Francis Sherman and Anna Demilio want only a vaccine, but to find it they must cross a ravaged landscape of the infected and the lawless living.
THE BULK OF THE STORM HAS PASSED, leaving echoing thunder and softly drifting ashes. But for the survivors, the peril remains, and the search for a cure is just beginning. . . .
Returning to the terrifying vision of his “awesome zombie novel” (David Moody) Plague of the Dead, Z.A. Recht “will once again make you turn your lights on” (J.L. Bourne) with this chilling apocalyptic thriller.
Keaton signaled a fellow guard to raise the bar that crossed the road. Sherman stepped back and waved the convoy onward. The vehicles rolled slowly past the towers and into the security of the chain-link fence that surrounded the small town. Guards directed them to park alongside a squat concrete structure just within the town limits that was marked clearly as the Sheriff’s office and dispatch center. Grass had already begun to grow up in the springtime air, and had gone uncut. No doubt the townsfolk thought gasoline was better spent on vehicles and generators than lawnmowers.
He drove until he found a wide gravel shoulder next to an open field and pulled off. Dust billowed up around the truck’s wheels as he braked to a stop, shifting into park and turning off the engine. The occupants of the vehicle were unnaturally silent. Even Matt and Junko, whom Trev knew loved to argue back and forth, were subdued and withdrawn. They had all seen friends and acquiantances killed in the pandemic, but those people had been felled by the Morningstar strain. This was the first time any of them, save Mason, had actually seen a person killed by another uninfected person.
Brewster’s attitude had been on the antagonistic side for the few days since Wilson’s death. Months of traveling together could make anyone friends, and Brewster and Wilson had been no exception. Nor, for that matter, had Denton and Krueger. All of them still felt as if Wilson should still be riding in the truck bed with them, ready to interject with a witty comment or carefully timed smirk. “Anyone who survives, my friend,” Denton said, answering Brewster’s question. “Think about it. Who’d want to remember the Hindenburg?
They looked out into the darkness, growled deep in their throats, let fly with the loudest roar Sherman had heard so far that night, and charged across the meadow. They made it less than halfway before being cut down. In the ensuing silence, Sherman sat in his crook in the tree, breathing a heavy sigh of relief. He kept silent. His rescuers might be raiders, after all, and he still didn’t feel right giving up his position until he heard a familiar voice. “General! The way is clear! ” It was Thomas. “Thomas!
He was locked in. More importantly, the carriers were locked out. “All right, Stiles, stay frosty, you’re not out of the shit yet,” he mumbled, reaching up to his webgear for a flashlight, recently liberated from the sporting goods store a few blocks away. He clicked it on and let the narrow beam play over the interior of the store. A counter stocked with collectible cards and snacks stood at the far side of the floor. Between Stiles and the counter were several double-sided shelves all lined with comics and game books.