Book Review: Zombie Maelstrom by Bryan Cassiday

Virulent pockets of plague, first reported in China, break out worldwide and spread with mind-boggling speed. CIA black ops agent Chad Halverson flies to Los Angeles to visit his brother after receiving a call that his brother has been hospitalized after a car accident. Halverson's Boeing 737 crash-lands in an eerie Los Angeles shrouded with an impenetrable haze of smog. But that is only the tip of the iceberg of Halverson's nightmare. Lurking in this mist are legions of plague-infected living dead who are driven by an all-consuming lust for human flesh. Halverson's reunion with his brother must take second place to his own struggle to stay alive.

As civilization crumbles into chaos, it will take all the skills and wits Halverson and his fellow passengers possess for their hunted party to survive in a world overrun with hordes of flesh-craving zombies. Which will pose a bigger threat to Halverson and his ever-dwindling band--their own bickering as they try to organize and defend themselves, their enemies the living dead, or the new "civilization" of men that is superseding the old?


Zombie Maelstrom is filled with the repetition of killing the virus riddled dead. It tells the story of a group of survivors trying to make it through the zombie apocalypse with limited information.

Chad Halverson knows that something is amiss with the so-called plague, because he works for the CIA. Chad keeps what information that he has to himself, as he, and a group of plane crash survivors try to make heads or tails of what is happening. The action keeps rolling as the group is devastated over and over by the onslaught of the undead.

The story reminded me of Night Of The Living Dead, but in a bug out scenario. My biggest complaint about the story is that I couldn’t find anything that hasn’t been portrayed in every zombie movie or book in the last 40 plus years: A couple of leaders, an over opinionated jerk (that everyone wants to see get offed), a girl that seems to lose her marbles, some one that flips out under the pressure, a group of renegades that want to build their own government, and then a few stragglers that just seem to waste space and resources.

There are a two things I consider when I read a zombie book.

ONE: What makes this different from every other one that I’ve read?

With Zombie Maelstrom I couldn’t seem to find anything that struck me as different. But with that said, there are quite a few zombie fans that love the repetition of the zombie ‘slash and dash’ story. They want the gore and carnage, and they aren’t looking for anything but the overflow of an all-consuming virus. For those people I would suggest this book.

TWO: Being a zombie coinsure, I look for whether or not I would have stayed with this group if I were there.

I’m sorry Bryan Cassiday, I would have cut and run from this group as soon as possible. The inevitability of my death would have had me hightailing it out of there as soon as I was able to obtain a weapon. With this group they took too much time overanalyzing their every move, and bickered amongst themselves under the siege of zombies.

If you like the tried and true zombies of 1964 then Zombie Maelstrom is for you.

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