5 Stars ~Kami’s Review
Goodreads blurb ~ A walled city surrounded by lush land, protected by high mountain summits, and fortified by a massive gate to secure the only pass into the valley, The Bastion remained humanity’s last hope against the fearsome undead creatures known as the Inferi Scourge. On one fateful day, the valley gate failed and the Inferi Scourge overran and destroyed the human settlements outside the walls, trapping the remaining survivors inside the city. Now, decades later, the last remaining humans are struggling to survive in a dying city of dwindling resources…and dwindling hope.
Vanguard Maria Martinez has lived her entire life within the towering walls of steel. She yearns for a life away from the overcrowded streets, rolling blackouts, and food shortages, but there is no hope for anyone as long as the Inferi Scourge howl outside the high walls. Her only refuge from the daily grind is in the arms of Dwayne Reichardt, an officer in the Bastion Constabulary. Both are highly-decorated veterans of the last disastrous push against the Inferi Scourge. Their secret affair is her only happiness.
Then one day Maria is summoned to meet with a mysterious representative from the Science Warfare Division and is offered the opportunity to finally destroy the Inferi Scourge in the valley and close the gate, reclaiming the lost lands and energizing the populace with renewed hope for the future. The rewards of success are great, but she will have to sacrifice everything, possibly even her life, to accomplish the ultimate goal of securing the future of humanity and saving it from extinction.
Oh man I am in awe right now. It took me a while to get to this one, even though it has been on my Kindle since it came out, but I am so glad I finally got it read!
Vanguard Maria Martinez is a soldier of The Bastion, once known as the New Eden, it is the last stronghold against the Inferi Scourge (zombies). Once a thriving community it is now slowly dying since the gate to the Valley, where all their produce and livestock came from, was opened letting in the Inferi Scourge.
After a failed attempt the prior year to close the gate, the SWD (Science Warfare Division) has come up with a plan to kill off the estimated 4 million Scrags in the Valley. They attempt to inject an altered strain of Inferi Scourge, knows as Inferi Boon, into some Constabulary soldiers. This will result in them being able to walk among the Scrags as one of their own, but still have their minds intact. They are told that there is a cure and they will be brought back to life after they finish their mission.
Vanguard Maria Martinez is the first one to volunteer for this special ops assignment. She was not told exactly what has happened to her until after they have killed her and brought her back. With the successful changing of Maria, the SWD enlist 39 other volunteers who are then infected with the Inferi Boon virus. They are all promised a parcel of land in the valley and a furnished house of their own with extra amenities based on how many Scrags they kill. The more they kill, the bigger and better their house will be. After weeks of training they are finally set loose in the Valley.
All communication with the soldiers and other citizens of The Bastion have been terminated. They have no way to contact anyone outside the SWD. Maria and the love of her life Dwayne installed a secret app onto their wristbands before Maria left on her mission so that she can contact him while gone. Without this act of rebellion, this story would not have turned out the same.
The soldiers soon learn that everything is not as it seems. Secrets and lies follow them and Maria is soon learns she can trust no one but Dwayne. Months of killing the Scrags pass, while the depth of deception goes deeper and deeper. With Dwayne working on the outside to uncover the real story, and Maria fighting to stay alive, things are soon coming to a head.
Going into the last chapter of this book I was seriously terrified. With Ms. Frater’s penchant for killing off her MC’s I was sure I knew how the story was going to end. Ah but I am not going to tell you, you will have to read it for yourself.
I loved this book. I loved the characters, the plot, everything. I even loved the bad guys since Rhiannon makes them so easy to hate. You all know I am a sucker for a bad ass female lead, and Maria was not a disappointment. Great book, one I am very likely to read again.