Book review

I Dream of Zombies, book 2: it started with a dream and then London went to hell.

Marla, Ellen and Tommy have reached Haven in Rickslaw, England. Once a secret government building, Haven has become a refugee centre, offering sanctuary, and its scientists are focused on finding a cure for the virus that is sweeping across the UK.

But what if the greatest danger isn't the dead outside?

The facility appears to offer everything that its inmates could possibly need: food, shelter, companionship, safety and even entertainment; everything except freedom. People are advised not to leave the building – the dead drifting across the fields are a daily reminder of the peril lurking outside.

Suffering a bad case of cabin fever, Marla chooses to join the guard, under Commander Caballero. Their job is to protect the regular Joes and search for survivors in the nearby villages that the army failed to evacuate in time.

Meanwhile, Dr Grice, fascinated by Ellen’s dreams of the dead, is convinced he can cure her, if she will first face her darkest fears.

Excerpt from Prologue: Ellen’s dream

So hypnotic, the man’s eyes draw her in, but they are different. White in colour, their irises erased; translucent, staring globes of nothing with lines of red etched across. He offers a grim smile as bile slides out from between his cracked lips, once so full and sensual. It drips upon the surface of her hand, burning into the skin, searing, and she withdraws it quickly, yet it remains there on top of the bed. Why doesn’t her hand move? She gazes down at her skin turning red from the liquid, bubbling, as a stinging pain spears all the way through to her palm.

Fear grips her senses, squeezing. Turning, she wills her body to run in the direction of the exit, stumbling into a wild sprint, not daring to glance back. She feels the movement, slow but sure, like gliding through a thick fog, yet her body is still there; she can see it frozen by the bed as the man gapes at her, his eyes fixed on her face, the mouth opening wider to reveal a black endless nothing.

She screams, but its existence snaps silent. Out of the corner of her eye she notices the tick-tock sway of the bulb flickering its last and she senses she is doomed; knows it as surely as the fact that the rusting chain will swing again, back and forth, relentlessly, forever.

His face moves closer, the skin flaking in the way of old paint curling away from a wall, the edges creeping up. Then it disintegrates altogether. Beneath, the muscles continue to ebb and flow like water as he smiles. Blood oozes, dripping, as his teeth sink into her flesh.

From the far distance creeps the incongruous ripple of laughter.

Haven (I Dream of Zombies, 2) by Vickie Johnstone

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Author
Vickie Johnstone
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