Wednesday, 25 June 2014
Juggernaut by Adam Baker
A group of seven mercenaries and one Iraqi guide set out on a covert mission to locate a large stash of gold hidden away by men loyal to Saddam. They fly to their destination in two helicopters but upon arrival find nothing but death and destruction on a large scale. The valley they land in was the scene of a fierce battle that left no one alive, apart from an Iraqi diplomat/scientist who was hired to lead the survivors here. He knows far more than he is telling and through a series of flashbacks we learn the truth of what really happened in that valley of death.
The mercenaries are lead by a tough ass female called Lucy Whyte, which is rather unusual but then again, these are mercenaries. Her closet friend is Amanda Greenwald, the team's sniper. The rest of the team are made up of Huang the medic, Toon the SAW gunner and Voss the South African shotgunner. These five have worked together for many years. The two helicopter pilots, whom no one trusted, were hired at the last minute. They were called Gaunt and Raphael. Finally, was their Iraqi guide, Jabril, a man with many secrets. It must be obvious from the outset that few, if any of them, would survive this encounter. Sure enough, once the team learn the horrible truth that the dead can come back to life as zombies the body count rises. Lucy and Amanda are not without their faults, indeed none of them are exactly saints, but these two stand out from the rest as the two you hope will live. Whether they do or not I'll leave for you to find out but they were the only two I was rooting for. I'm just a sucker for strong female leads.
The story is fast paced, well written and exciting. My only quibble with it is the same one I had with Outpost and that is that I am not a fan of the way the zombies are created. They are just too alien for my somewhat traditional preferences. The story goes into more detail about how the zombies originated. Don't let my opinion put you off as your views may well differ to mine. I'm just not a big fan of techno-zombies.
The outbreak in the desert is ultimately contained but the final chapter sets the wheels in motion for a follow up novel in which the virus must surely go global to set up the events of the Outpost novel. Despite my reservations about the techno-zombies, I enjoyed Juggernaut enough to give it an 8 out of 10 rating. It is worth checking out, especially if you have already read Outpost.