Author: Keith C. Blackmore
Publication Date: December 15, 2011
Augustus Berry lives a day-to-day existence comprised of waking up, getting drunk, and preparing for the inevitable day when “they” will come up the side of his mountain and penetrate his fortress. Living on the outskirts of a city and scavenging for whatever supplies remain after civilization died two years ago, Gus knows that every time he goes down into undead suburbia could be his last.
When I was first approached by the author to review this book, I almost declined. Not because of anything I had read about him or his books, but because of this one reason: zombies scare the hell out of me. I can't watch zombie movies because my overactive brain loves to play cruel tricks on my while I sleep. I have never read a zombie book before in fear of that very same reason. But instead of being a scaredy-cat and declining, I decided I had to start somewhere and this might as well be that start. That, and I'm really loving this cover! So, I happily agreed to give it a go, nightmares and all.
I made a very, very good choice. Mountain Man was far more than what I expected. In fact, I read this over two days, ignoring all attempts by my husband to get me to put the book down and pay attention to him. The story starts after the world has fallen victim to a horrible virus, leaving only a small amount of humans left to scavenge for survival. Gus, our main character, has been lucky enough to come across somewhat of a fortress in the side of a mountain that the owners had abandoned. It has almost everything he needs, including solar panels for electricity, and a wall surrounding it. Unfortunately, Gus still has to make many trips into the city to scavenge for food, water and other supplies.
On each of these trips, Gus is forced to battle the undead, and there are a ton of them. No trip goes easily for him, but he does manage to survive for two years on his own without being eaten or catching the virus himself. On one of these trips, he comes across Scott, another survivor out scavenging to survive. Scott has been through quite a nightmare of his own and is almost dead when Gus finds him. After recuperating at the mountain side home, Scott and Gus team up and learn that working together is far better than going at it alone. And also much safer.
The banter between Gus and Scott is hilarious. I don't know if I'd be able to keep up such a great attitude after going through what they went through, but I'm sure the fact that they love to drink has something to do with it. I had no trouble connecting with either Gus or Scott and could see myself in their place or even sitting around playing drunken Scrabble with them. Even though these are just two people who just happened to come across each other in a horrible way, you can tell that they start to care about each other and look out for one another. Even with the bickering and constant picking on each other, they know that they are all each other has and they are willing to fight an onslaught of undead to keep the other safe.
Aside from the comedy, the writing style is also something I loved. Not overdone with unnecessary descriptions, the story flows nicely and is straight to the point. Blackmore tells you how it is and that is that. Even so, you are still able to get a very clear image in your mind about the characters, surroundings and even those very creepy undead.
Overall, I only had one issue with Mountain Man: I wanted more! I didn't know this was the beginning of a series, so unfortunately I was pretty bummed when it ended. However, according to the author's website, there will be two more books! This makes me a very happy reader. There were some plot points left unfinished so I am extremely excited to read the next two books and see where this story goes.
I can't recommend this book enough. It was something completely out of my comfort zone and I was truly amazed by it. If you love a good scary story, zombies, a good survival story or are just looking for a great new read, please don't pass this one up.
Oh yes, one more thing: no nightmares! This makes me extremely happy and now I can go back and pick up all those awesome looking zombie books that I didn't dare read before :)
You can get your own Kindle copy of Mountain Man by Keith C. Blackmore at Amazon.com for just $3.99!