Zombie Field: The Rise And Fall
by Razorback, futuristic (2008)
Booksurge, $20.99, ISBN 978-1-419-68865-2

Zombie Field: The Rise And Fall is billed as a "thinking person's military science fiction". It is also supposed to be a satire of some sort. I don't think so. A thinking person would be taken aback by errors in phrases like "has thinks". This person would also wonder why the story is supposed to be examined by two proofreaders but still boasts so many spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes. I'm not an expert when it comes to English, but even I can discern right away many glaring mistakes in this story. The mistakes are really obvious and distract me from the story. And as for the story being a "satire", I have this feeling that the publicity people and I have very different definitions of the word.

Let's see, in the near future, there is some kind of international pressure to have only one army in the entire world, under the control of the United Nations. This leads to many military men in the USA to be without a job (apparently only a small army is enough to govern the world), causing the country to sink deep into economic recession. Some folks band together to form VENOME ("Vast Empowered Network of Military Elite") to take on the UN. Under the leadership of one Major General Riley, whose spelling ability is rather suspect if you ask me, VENOME begins taking on USA and Europe, thus forcing the UN to form the Resistance Force in response.

And then we have Commander Brandi Schofield who believes that Riley is abusing his position in VENOME for his personal interests and does away with the Robespierre. She intends to install the super-duper Mary Sue foil of hers, Debbi Smith, the most intelligent woman in the USA (really), in Riley's place. Alas, absolute power corrupts and soon Brandi is on her way to become as bad as, if not worse than, Riley.

I believe that this book is the first in a planned series, which would explain the minimal role Debbi has in this story. This is Brandi's story, in other words. While it is always interesting to see a bad-ass female in charge, especially an antihero like Brandi, the execution of the story is riddled with so many unfortunate flaws that mark this one as a shoddy self-published effort. There are too many long, awkward, and stilted "you already know this, but let's discuss it anyway for the sake of the readers" type of exposition-driven conversations present in the story. The characters are cardboard-thin. The story often goes into tangents, presenting me with dry textbook-like exposition about subject matters that end up having little relevance to the main storyline. This book is like an encyclopedia of bad storytelling techniques.

That's not to say that the author lacks good ideas when it comes to this story. It's just that this book isn't ready for publication in its current state.

Rating: 40

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