Z PLAN SERIES by MIKHAIL LERMA
Z Plan series by Mikhail Lerma
Published by: Permuted Press
Genres: Adult, Horror, Zombies
BLURB – BOOK #1
Blood on the Sand
Cale was sent to Iraq with the usual thoughts any Soldier going to war might have; being lonely away from his family, not wanting to take another human’s life, and above all, the fear of never returning home. Although well trained, nothing could have prepared him for the horror he was about to face.
Cale never thought the thing that could keep him from ever seeing his wife and daughter again would be a zombie apocalypse. As he and a handful of fellow Soldiers escape their base after a massive zombie attack, becoming deserters in order to survive, he begins the long and unexpected journey home through the harsh terrain of the desert; a barren landscape now swarming with not only undead cannibals, but also the enemy he was originally sent to fight.
The newly formed group plans to travel west, find a boat and maybe, with a bit of luck, make it back to America. Cale is tested beyond his imagination and brought to the brink of insanity as he loses friends while fighting the flesh eating masses. He risks his life for weeks, focused on holding his wife and daughter in his arms again. It seems all hope is lost when he finds himself alone and adrift at sea … but is hope really lost?
Inspired by my experiences as a U.S. Army Soldier in Iraq, BLOOD ON THE SAND delves into the idea of not just surviving a zombie apocalypse but making the seemingly impossible trek home.
BLURB – BOOK #2
After barely escaping the Middle East alive in Z PLAN:BLOOD ON THE SAND, Cale finds himself on a journey not many men could endure. When he deployed to Iraq he never could have known the world would soon be overrun by a deadly virus, turning the human race into a walking nightmare. His story picks up right where it left off in BLOOD ON THE SAND. After days of drifting alone in the open sea, he is sure the chance of rescue is hopeless. His thoughts nearly drive him mad until finally a voice crackles over the boat radio. Only his rescue isn’t quite what he imagined it would be. Cale will have to trust his instincts, and let his wits aid him as he continues his grueling mission to make it home. Follow Cale as he travels land and sea in book two of the Z PLAN series.
*MY BOOK REVIEW*
DISCLAIMER: The books/eBooks being reviewed were provided free of charge in return for an honest review.
Okay, so I’m pretty sure this is the strangest review I have done to date! Let me say, right of the bat, I REALLY disliked Book #1 but completely LOVED Book #2. Plus, at the end of the day, even though I didn’t like Book #1, I am still going to recommend you read it because it will enhance your experience with Book #2.
As a result of this, I am breaking my review up into sections so you can easily see what I liked and disliked about each book:
- Even though I didn’t like this book, I still found myself eagerly turning pages, desperate to know what was going to happen next. Can’t believe the author managed to do this and I am ever grateful for it.
- After reading Book #2, Book #1 felt like a hastily tacked together prequel. Book #2 is rich with story, character development and overall feels in general. Seriously, I thought it was written by two different people! Honestly though, this is what happens when authors are made aware of their faults with previous novels and love what they do so much they refrain from lashing out at readers and actually fix the problems – I wish so bad there were more authors out there like this!
- Women get a say in this book whereas in the first book, they are just there to get killed. Also, the author spends some time from the main character’s wife’s perspective and I am happy to say the author has gotten a grasp of writing from the female perspective just nicely. While I loved Cale’s story, reading about the struggles his wife and child are going through enriched the story immensely.
- Having chapters from the zombie perspective. LOVED THIS! LOVED THIS! LOVED THIS! There was just enough of it to intrigue the reader but not too much that you get over the fact that zombies don’t have a lot going on in their heads. I really wished more authors would include the zombie perspective in their books.
- The author actually made me feel physically ill with some of his descriptions – nice work Mikhail! 😀
NOT SO AWESOME
- Gaming. I actually checked the author name because I thought Eugene Porter from AMC’s The Walking Dead had released a novel and this was it.
- Dumbing down army terminology. I really didn’t like the author assuming all civilians have no knowledge of what the army does, their procedures or the terminology used. In the age of Google there is absolutely no need to spell out an acronym…
- Sexism. Yeah, in this book women are objectified red shirts and not much else…
- No emotional connection with characters.
- POV issues. The author would flip between the minds of characters mid scene and the reader would be left trying to work out which character they were now.
- There were a few moments in this novel when I wasn’t sure I really believed the protocol.
- Still some POV issues but nothing like in Book #1
Overall, while I clearly didn’t like the first book, I am going to insist you read it anyway – and persevere with it – in order to appreciate the second book! As for rating the books, this was really hard. I would probably only give Book #1 2-2.5 stars – and this doesn’t sit well with me for a book I am actively asking people to read. As for Book #2, if I hadn’t read the first book, I probably would have given it 3.5 stars. Having read the first one though, I would be inclined, based on the vast improvement, to give it 4.5 stars. So, in the end, I settled on 4 stars for Book #2.
BOOK #1: 2.5 stars out of 5
BOOK #2: 4 stars out of 5
On a side note, I seriously can’t wait for Book #3 to come out as I am itching to follow Cale’s story! 😀
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mikhail Lerma was raised in the small town of Holdrege Nebraska. In the third grade he wrote his first short story, in which the main character was a monkey. Not taking his career as a writer too seriously after that, he finished his high school years by joining the army when he was only 17.He spent 10 years in the army starting as a truck driver and eventually becoming a combat medic.
While deployed to Iraq in 2007 he spent missions in a turret as gunner. In his free time he began writing a story having nothing to do with monkeys. Only time will tell if this was a good career move. With encouragement from his friends and family he decided to start taking his writing seriously. Storytelling has become a passion of his, with a strong interest in horror and science fiction.He is currently going to school to become a paramedic, and finishing his first series for Permuted Press.
He lives in Iowa with his wife and three daughters. He does not have a pet, but if anyone would like to donate a male dog to level out the hormones in his house that would be much appreciated..