Sunday, 11 November 2012
Meta Horde by Sean T. Page and John McCuaig
This novel concentrates on a group of survivors holed up in the walled town of Carcassonne in Southern France. They are in the direct path of a meta horde that numbers over ten million zombies and is growing in size. Most of continental Europe has been wiped out by the undead menace.
Dr. Raymond Carter is one of a very small group of scientists tasked with finding a way of stopping the meta horde. His solution is to take a small strike team to a nuclear power plant in Belgium, that lies in the path of the meta horde. His plan is to turn the nuclear reactor into a bomb that will wipe out most of the meta horde when it reaches the power plant.
All goes well at first, until a traitor in the group reveals himself and with the help of a covert group of soldiers from the Vatican, who were already hiding at the facility, prevents the reactor fom going into meltdown.
Carter and a few others escape by a helicopter piloted by an Italian who brought the Vatican team in and they travel across the North Sea to York in Northern England. Here, a small group of survivors have held out in the walled city. But, they too face a threat from a meta horde, albeit a much smaller one, numbering a couple of million. That is still more than enough to devastate York's meagre population of a few thousand. However, the defenders do have an ace up their sleeve - three M.O.A.B.s, which stands for Mass Ordnance Air Blast or more colloquilallly as the Mother Of All Bombs! The only problem was that the defenders had no aircraft to carry the bombs and were intending to drive out with them on a suicide mission for the drivers and detonate them amidst the zombies when they got far enough into the meta horde. To say more would take me too far into spoiler territory.
I enjoyed this novel a lot although I did have some criticisms of it. My biggest gripe was with the splinter group of the Roman Catholic Church, who saw the meta hordes as a good thing and who wanted them to wipe out humanity as God's punishment for all their sins and evilness and to cleanse the earth. I found them too silly to be at all credible. And when you see what happens to the group at the end of the novel I did question how they gained so much power and influence in the first place?
Without doubt, the best thing about the novel was the meta hordes. The very idea of them is such a frightening concept that if they ever did become a reality, humanity could well face extinction. The authors did suggest that walled cities like York and Carcassonne offered the best chances for survivors to hold out. But they also pointed out that given the sheer numbers of the meta hordes that it would only be a matter of time before the cities were overcome by the relentless tide of zombies. As Sean T. Page mentioned in The War Against the Walking Dead the best way to stop a meta horde is to prevent it from forming in the first place.
This was a good novel but not a great novel and so I'd rate it with a 7 out of 10 score.