The third installment in author James N. Cook’s Surviving the Dead series, The Warrior Within, brings us a set of very large dramatic scenes. With a community to call home, Eric and Gabe find themselves helping their new fellow citizens using the skills they ply best.
Under threat from a large and nearby community, we see Gabe confronting a military that wants him back, and Eric offered a freelance job helping the very same. With newly vested interest in this new place they call home, and people important to them both, the two friends double down on protecting the community they are residing at. Here in book three, Eric and Gabe are separated, and we see the individual resolve on both ends for the first time.
Within this 3rd installment, we start seeing the first demonstrations where there is a honey pot of resources available to our main characters and their friends. Support available from the remaining U.S. Government is unusually high in quality and quantity compared to popular zombie fiction works. This can be seen in the originally of the author, or an easy catch all for the good guy’s success; I leave this to the reader to decide which they like better.
Also of note, we get a detailed view of a community that allows slavery, an idea that U.S. citizens, once affected by a post apocalyptic world, would contain those who would enslave people who were once members of their community. The zombie fiction I grew up with, and that has arrived of late had yet to cover this topic. It was of course possible such groups could develop in this type of setting, as it has in real life (minus reanimated corpses).
As a stand alone book, this one is pretty good at holding it’s own without the previous stories. You get to see the characters in full blossom, and vivid settings on all sides. The is quite a bit of detail on the how-to’s of what everyone is engaged in, and the usual detailed descriptions of firearms, but overall, the grand nature of the book’s events keep the story moving.