Title: Zombie World-Werewolf Defender
Publisher: Finch Books
Book one in the Zombie World series.
Jerrica Barnes has longed to experience life outside her settlement’s walls, but living in a post-apocalyptic world where zombies outnumber the living, she knows she’ll never get to fulfill her dream. But the day Calan, the werewolf defender, comes and saves her from a zombie attack, she finds her life turned upside down.
Calan has never allowed anyone close since he was turned a hundred years before at age eighteen, but Jerrica makes him long for things he hadn’t known were missing in his immortal life.
Jerrica and Calan have to overcome those who would keep them apart while Jerrica has to make a decision that could keep them together for all time or have Calan walking out of her life forever.
BUY FROM PUBLISHER
Jerrica nodded, then continued onward. She kept downwind of the buck as she approached from the side, keeping hunched over as she ran through the field. So far, he hadn’t seen her. He was too busy munching on grass. Once she was within shooting range, she reached over her shoulder and quietly pulled an arrow out of her quiver. With a quick look behind her, she saw Austin standing a good distance away, watching her, as were some of the other workers.
She straightened to her full height, nocked the arrow and pulled back on the string. The buck took no notice of her at all. Jerrica took a deep breath, held it and let the arrow fly. It caught the deer in the chest, close to the heart. He tried to bolt, but stumbled and dropped to the ground. She quickly ran toward it, already pulling a second arrow out of her quiver to finish him off. She didn’t want him to suffer.
The howl of a zombie was the only forewarning Jerrica had before the first creature burst through the tree line farther down from where she’d shot the deer. Acting on instinct, she changed her aim to the undead creature that ran toward her. She just had a few seconds to get a shot off. Zombies could run at incredible speeds, faster than when they’d been alive.
Her aim true, she caught it in the eye, the arrow embedding itself straight into the monster’s brain. The male dropped like a stone and lay unmoving. Jerrica didn’t have time to catch her breath as five more zombies burst through the trees, their dead-eyed gaze searching for prey—her. She focused her attention on her targets and let loose arrow after arrow, each one hitting a zombie in the head with a sickening thud.
“Jerrica! Run!” Austin yelled.
Jerrica quickly looked behind her to see a couple stronger boys dragging Austin away toward the horse and wagon. They were going to leave her. It was the way of her world, and she accepted it. She was too far away for any of the others to risk helping her. She’d be left to her own fate.
More zombies ran toward her, their eerie howls combining with the sound of the horse and wagon leaving the field at great speed. There were ten undead left, and there was no way Jerrica could take them all down before they reached her. She didn’t even try to run. The final outcome was already decided. Either she’d be killed and eaten or bitten and turned. Not ready to give up yet, she continued to fire arrows, determined to take out as many as she could while she still had the chance.
Another howl ripped through the air, not any sound a zombie could make. A wolf, the size unlike any Jerrica had seen before, ran out of the forest. It was gigantic and covered in black fur. It charged through the remaining zombies, biting off heads or slicing them literally in half with its sharp claws. She lowered her bow and watched the wolf decimate the undead like a hot knife going through butter. Once the last one had fallen to the ground, the wolf looked in her direction and met her gaze.
More zombie howls heralded the arrival of another group of ten. The wolf ran toward Jerrica, then stopped once he reached her. Its head was a couple inches above hers when it came to stand at her side. It quickly lowered to the ground. She didn’t think twice. She slung her bow over her shoulder, climbed up onto its back and dug her hands into the thick fur of its neck as it gained its paws and took off at a run toward the walls.
Jerrica glanced behind them to see that the zombies gave chase, but the wolf ran faster and soon put a great amount of distance between them. She held on tightly. Her heart raced at how close she’d come to losing her life and the situation she now found herself in. This was no ordinary wolf or wild animal.
Once they cleared the gates, the wolf came to a stop in the center of the spacious, open area that was the center of the settlement. The large portals were quickly shut, keeping out the zombies that were still in pursuit.
Jerrica looked around to see nearby settlers gathering around, but they kept a fair amount of space between them. Austin, Mathias and the other workers were among them. Whispers of “Werewolf Defender” were said in a hush as everyone looked at the wolf with awe.
She knew the stories of the Werewolf Defender. Everyone did. He was the one who’d turned the tide on the zombies eighty years before. No one knew where he’d come from, only that he could take out the undead far easier than anyone else. He was also immune to their bite, along with seeming to be immortal. Over the years he’d been categorized as a myth rather than real, since no one Jerrica knew had ever seen him. She couldn’t refute that she sat on the back of a living legend.
The wolf lowered to the ground, and Jerrica climbed off. She didn’t move away as an almost blinding bright light surrounded him. She held up her hand to shield her eyes but kept her gaze on him. It lasted all of a few seconds. As it died away, she saw the wolf had disappeared and a boy who looked to be her age had taken its place. She looked into his ice-blue eyes and found him staring directly at her.
5 Stars, Top Pick: I absolutely loved this book. The story line was well thought out and an absolute blast to read. In this apocalyptic novel we are becoming extinct. A virus has changed humans into zombies. One bite and in less than a minute a human becomes a zombie. Jerrica is a member of an isolated settlement. She happens to be good with a bow and arrow. Calen was changed to combat the threat over 100 years ago. He is immune to a zombie bite and lethal with his teeth and claws. Can they find a life together, protect the settlement, and overcome all other obstacles to find out if they even have a chance.--Angibabi4, Night Owl Reviews