Plague Town : An Ashley Parker Novel, Paperback Book

Plague Town : An Ashley Parker Novel Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Ashley was just trying to get through a tough day when the world turned upside down. A terrifying virus appears, quickly becoming a pandemic that leaves its victims, not dead, but far worse.

Attacked by zombies, Ashley discovers that she is a 'Wild-Card' -- immune to the virus -- and she is recruited to fight back and try to control the outbreak.

It's Buffy meets the Walking Dead in a rapid-fire zombie adventure!


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Horror & ghost stories
  • ISBN: 9780857686350

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

After a short prologue where you read about a young mother who is exhausted, taking care of her sick husband and child then having them turn on her...Plague Town segues into a first person account of Ashley Parker.Ashley Parker lives in a college town, Northern California, and she's recently become sick from a very strong flu called Walker's flu. Seems people are dropping left and right from this flu, even the people who have been getting flu shots. Ashley notices that she's not looking too good - in fact, her skin has a kind of gray cast to it...After being sick for quite a while, she finally attends her first day of classes. Only she's missed quite a few because of her illness and has to deal with a rather judgemental teaching assistant. The next time she goes to class she notices that the lines at the local coffee shop are shorter, less people are about and even in the class where she had such a hard time finding a seat, there is now plenty of seats...and the judgemental teacher's assist is now absent. Seems this Walker's flu has really knocked people on there asses.Later she goes out with her boyfriend, they're in a secluded area, making out (sound familiar? we've watched a variation of this in many movies, lol) when they are attacked by rotting people, one of whom manages to bite her. Luckily for her, she's rescued and spends the next few days suffering from what feels like the worst flu ever - when she finally comes out of it, there is her teacher from that one crowded class (which was about plagues and diseases through the ages...hmmmm). Ashley finds out that she's fortunate - she's immune to the the zombie virus. And her teacher is actually part of a covert black ops type of company that has been around in one form or another through out time - taking care of the zombie plagues that have taken place. Wow.One of the side effects of Ashley being a wild card (immune to the zombie virus) is increased senses and strength - as well as healing ability. However, Ashley and the few other wild cards are not immortal. Just resistant and a stronger. Nice. Except that now she and the others are now strongly recruited into service with the army branch and the zombie fighting co. They are trained and sent out to do battle with the zombies.You could view parts of this book as familiar - you could also view it as a nod to all the zombie movies that have been made. I had fun reading it, though some parts of the story might considered cliche - but hey - how many truly original stories are really out there? Most of the novels we read are variations of a variety of plots. It's the different writers that give the novels depth and interesting narration, subplots, dialogue (so very very important, people! Extremely important!!!!! You could have a wonderfully narrated book, with sweeping vistas and grand plots....but the lame dialogue can totally turn it into a ....well.....okay - a piece of crap, okay? haha. a little harsh, but really, the wrong dialogue can totally ruin a book for me.) Dana Fredsti had a couple of twists in her novel and she mentions quite of few of those zombie movies and books that have become legendary in our entertainment culture. (Max Brooks-on impulse I bought my oldest son the first survival guide novel this guy wrote-Dawn of the Dead, etc) I love reading a book that has mentions of other writers and movies.Her main character was able to make new friends and keep a snarky wit about her (though it wasn't too snarky) . There were a few characters that I enjoyed reading about - the other wild cards were from a varied cross section of personality types. There was a shy girl, a postman, a punkrocker type, a handsome young black man, and a very aloof thirty something white woman, so aloof she's basically unfriendly. Now I bring up the black man because when I came across his character, I thought...oh boy, here it is. The cliche. This is the one guy that's going to get killed. With every single time that they went out, I expected him to get killed. Just remember all those movies - whether it's a slasher, horror or zombie movie - who usually gets it? The one black guy - the black guy who so handsome/personable/helpful/or even daddy-figure like. Yep - they always end up being one of the victims. Ask anyone who watches any of those films - usually that's what happens - like the red shirts in Star Trek...they're always doomed.But Nooooooooooo. At the end of Plague Town, this man was still alive - not only alive, but one of the best characters - even though he's portrayed as a playa'. There is the inevitable asshat army guy - the one that's such an asshole, yet in charge of the group. Except he's not around for long.....Mwhahahahaha....Anyway - if you like zombie horror with a bit of humor to take the edge off of what's going on with all the gore and mayhem, this is a good book. It's entertaining, humorous and shivery. Oh Yeah.

Review by

In the small town of Redwood Grove, Ashley Parker contracted a mean case of Walker's Flu right at the beginning of the semester, causing her to miss the first couple weeks of school. Just as she recovered, everyone else seemed to get sick with it. Her classes are mostly empty and few of those that showed up seemed healthy. Everything goes to hell when the dead start walking, which Ashley discovers in the middle of a sexy, romantic picnic in the woods. Her boyfriend panics and leaves her while she is savaged by the dead. Instead of becoming a zombie like most other bitten people, she discovers she is a wild card, remaining immune with some cool perks like increased stamina and keener senses. The government enlists her to join their zombie fighting team with other wild cards in order to prevent the infection from spreading outside of their small town. Let's hope they succeed or the world may be doomed.This book grabbed me from the first pages with the clear, sarcastic voice of Ashley Parker. Her point of view was a joy to read, peppered with pop culture references and humor. She is a formidable mixture of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Ripley from the Alien films: kickass and strong without giving up her humanity. Dana Fredsti borrows the Buffy concept and makes it her own. Ashley has a romantic picnic with her boyfriend in the forest, a classic slasher film trope where her and her boyfriend would have been eviscerated within the first fifteen minutes of the film. Instead, she gains special powers and is trained to fight the undead hordes in order to save the world. The Ripley element comes in when Ashley accepts that physical survival is all well and good, but emotional and mental survival is just as important. One of my favorite parts of the novel is where Ashley goes with her friend Lili to save Lili's cats and bring them back. Even though it's a really stupid thing to do survival wise, I would probably do the same thing because I would be worried about them and it's my job to take care of them. I like that this novel definitely keeps humanity in an apocalypse setting.The zombie situation in this novel is different than anything I've read before. The government across the world is aware of the existence of zombies and the periodic outbreaks over the centuries. Whole civilizations have been destroyed to stem the undead plague. Zombie films are either documentations of actual events to warn and prepare people or planted to make zombies a part of pop culture and convince people they are fictional. Our government has provisions and trained military for this, but it's different this time. People in staggering numbers get the flu first until they die and become zombies. The actual zombies are fairly normal types that shamble around and eat people. However, in large droves, they become almost intelligent and have strategy when individually, they are simply brainless. I liked this slight deviation from the normal mythos.Plague Town is a fun, fast read that combines horror, humor, and zombies in an entertaining and engrossing way. I loved Ashley and the world Dana Fredsti created. The cause of the plague has far reaching consequences worldwide. I can't wait to see what they are in Plague Nation.

Review by

Read for BookclubOverall Rating: 4.25Story Rating: 4.00Character Rating: 4.50First Thought When Finished: What an absolutely fun ride! Perfect addition to my zombie shelf!What I Loved: The thing I loved most about Plague Town: the banter. I was pretty much living for the moments of dialogue between the characters. There were some pretty witty, fast-paced barbs traded and I loved each and every one! Ash was a great leading lady! She manages to get in and out of so many troubling spots that you can't help but root for her. Plus, you have to love her little screw you's to the system. Nathan was my favorite male character! Once he got in the mix the fun level just sky rocketed!What I Liked: Pretty much the rest of the characters in the book were dead-on perfect for the story. Each brought something to the table and had moments to shine. I really liked all the action too. Plague Town had a great combo of action/story.Final Thought: I will be counting down to book 2! It needs to be here already :)Some great lines: "At least part of me sparkled. Although not in a Twilight kind of way""Yeah. Zombies. unless you have a better word for people who look dead, smell dead, and act dead, except for the whole walking-around-and-trying-to-eat-flesh part.""Guess I've learned we're not always what we eat.""Oh, Christ on a crutch." Nathan shut his eyes and rubbed a hand on his forehead, as if trying to massage away reality. "Simone Fraser. I should have know you'd be part of this whole clusterfuck."

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