The Hungry 3 At the End of the World
By Stephen W. Booth and Harry Shannon
Genius Book Publishing
Reviewed by Rick Hipson
I’ve got a confession to make. Originally, I picked up The Hungry 3 for two main reasons. One, it promised to be a quick read, weighing in at less than 220 pages. I can be a slow reader so a shorter book was a plus. Second, I’d heard good things about Harry’s writing (Sorry, Stephen, but I wasn’t familiar with you, yet.). Then I found out it was a zombie book and thought, “damn!” Another zombie book? I wasn’t sure the world or I needed another damn zombie book, not to mention I hadn’t even read the first two books in the Hungry series. Luckily, I’m an easy sell when it comes to all things undead so I took a chance. Next thing I know, I’m completely immersed in a violent, enthralling brand of hell on Earth which wasted no time throwing this humble reviewer straight into chaos.
The story begins in the back of a travelling mini van with Sheriff Penny Miller, her annoying ex-husband, Terrell Lee, a bad ass murderous biker named Scratch, and Sheppard, a man of science who was responsible for kick-starting the entire zombie apocalypse thing in the first place. In an effort to flee from the growing population of brain munchers currently taking over the world, the group seeks out a mountain resort in search of refuge for the winter. What they find instead is an expensive lesson in small town hospitality as their situation accelerates from bad to much worse. Caught between a band of fanatic survivalists and an unstoppable wave of zombies, the mini van group is forced to draw upon their sharp wits, fast guns and all the luck they can muster in order to avoid perishing in the onslaught of a world gone dead..
The central plot is simple enough. Don’t become zombie food, protect your friends as best you can and whatever you do, don’t catch the zombie virus or your friends will have to shoot you. Readers will find The Hungry 3 to be fuelled by its believable, highly motivated characters who had me nailed to the edge of my seat from beginning to end. This story definitely has cinematic appeal. Each action sequence stayed low on narrative details and relied instead on allowing the reader to ride on the shoulders of heroes and villains as they clashed with the undead and each other. And anytime the action did manage to slow down long enough for anyone to take a breath, each word rang out with a clear and justified purpose. Even the narrative inner voices of the survivors, though used sparingly, was used to help push the pace forward. Despite a few misplaced, repeated or altogether missing words that would have benefited from one last editorial sweep, never was there a more daring, adrenaline pumping time to be caught up in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.
Oh, and for those like me who haven’t read the first two books in the series yet, you needn’t worry. This third instalment stands well on its own and offers a brief history summation whenever an occasional past reference is mentioned. So, whatever your motif for picking up The Hungry 3 might be, all I can say is get ready to hold on to something sturdy because for better or worse, it’s going to be one hell of a ride.