The Remaining by D.J. Molles is the first book in the Remaining series. This post apocalyptic zombie thriller will surely have you staying up well past your bed time! As with movies, there are many times where I would pick one to watch without knowing anything about it. I wouldn’t care who would star in it, who directed the movie, how much money or promotion went into the effort nor even what the genre is. Well, I often do this with books as well although I do select the genre since reading a book takes much more time than watching a movie. With The Remaining, I had no idea what it was about prior to reading it. Heck, I don’t even know if the author is a male or female! Personally, I am not a zombie person. I really don’t mind reading a book or watching a movie about them just as long as it’s not too cheesy. After reading The Remaining, I can personally say that my love for zombies haven’t changed an ounce. However, I read the book with an open mind and I see a lot of potential in this one.
In The Remaining, captain Lee Harden of the United States Army is commanded to hole up in a bunker under his house. His government is currently dealing with a crisis dealing with a deadly plague that somehow turns humans into seemingly mindless zombies with a hunger for human flesh. Should Lee not hear from his superiors, he along with about 47 other soldiers similar to himself but each from a different state will be given the ultimate task of gathering survivors and rebuilding human civilization. Story creativity wise, I give the author some credit but not a whole lot. The overall scheme is pretty interesting but the whole secret bunker thing while the world is being torn apart above is not really what I would call breathtaking. Because Lee was holed up in his bunker when this crisis was underway, he has pretty much no clue as to what he is up against at first. However, I was a little disappointed that even after finishing the first book, I still have no idea as to how this whole plague thing got started. All the author mentions is that the plague first began at a couple of major international airports. But other than that, not much is revealed. Hopefully more details will be spilled in future books. I also find it kind of funny how we as readers all relate that those infected with the plague as “zombies” but in the story, I don’t think that word has been used once to describe the infected. It’s as if the characters in the world have never heard of that word before although its strange because the timeline is our present day and we all know how much people love their zombies!
As far as character goes, the author did an OK job. Lee Harden is a well trained military soldier and I love how the author shows that through Lee’s survival tactics and train of thought. Lee is no superhero with super powers but he is the type of soldier that makes the most with what he’s got and doesn’t complain about it. Make no mistake about it. The Remaining, as you probably can guess when you read a story about zombies, is all about survival. The added twist about Lee having tasked to gather survivors and rebuilding civilization definitely make things a bit more interesting. It will be awesome to see how Lee, as a member of a military that no longer seems functioning, persuade different factions and people whom may have very different goals in this now post apocalyptic world to do just that.
Action wise, this is what will keep you on the edge. As with most post apocalyptic worlds, it’s every man or group for themselves. Many of them will have bad intentions. In The Remaining, Lee will have to do battle constantly and the action sequences are quite satisfying. As a trained soldier, Lee does have a slight advantage over other survivors with a loaded gun but where he loses out on is the numbers game. Many encounters Lee will find himself outnumbered and its pretty fun to read about how he will have to deal with those situations. All in all, the pace in The Remaining is quick and fast. If action and having characters constantly running around is your thing, then you won’t be disappointed here.
Will I be continuing with the next book in the series? Well, that’s a definite yes! The very good news is that the author seems to work overtime in getting his books published. He already has three books published in this series within the time span of just one year! When I think of zombie stories, they all relatively remain the same to me in that some plague is released, a huge population is infected, survivors must find ways to continue on while in the mean time they meet resistance from other similar groups and so on and so on. This zombie formula doesn’t change all that much with The Remaining but it still does make for a good read.