Beyond Exile by J.L. Bourne

The first book of Day by Day Armageddon took us deep into the mind of a military officer and survivor as he made a New Year's resolution to start keeping a journal. The man kept his resolution and brought to us the fall of humanity, day by day. We see the man transition from the life that you and I live to the prospect of fighting for his very survival against the overwhelming hordes of the dead. We see him bleed, we see him make mistakes, we witness him evolve. The highly anticipated sequel to the bestselling underground cult classic, Day by Day Armageddon begins where the first novel left off.

Armies of undead have risen up across the U.S. and around the globe; there is no safe haven from the diseased corpses hungering to feed off human flesh. But in the heat of a Texas wasteland, a small band of survivors attempt to counter the millions closing in around them.

Day by day, the handwritten journal entries of one man caught in a worldwide cataclysm capture the desperation—and the will to survive—as he joins forces with a handful of refugees to battle soulless enemies both human and inhuman from inside the abandoned Hotel 23.

But in the world of the undead, is mere survival enough?
In an effort to maintain a shred of humanity, our anonymous narrator has made a resolution to daily pick up his pen and record his experiences facing a world decimated by hoards of undead zombies. With his military background, he's an ideal leader to watch over the various survivors he's rescued from a gruesome fate, now concealed in a bunker-type facility called Hotel 23.

To be honest, I was hoping this narrative would be reminiscent of the thrilling first-hand account based novel World War Z by Max Brooks - which I eagerly devoured. J. L. Bourne's narrative unfortunately can only be described as periodically gruesome and oftentimes dry at best. Yes, in the face of certain death on multiple occasions, our narrator is always resourceful and cunning yet I found his account lacking in any emotion that I could connect with as a reader. Perhaps that was due to the format - diary entries - which did not allow for much interaction with other characters; which could provide a more complete picture of his character. Additionally the large of amount of technical/military and weaponry jargon was confusing and distracting more often than not since I am not what you would call 'gun savvy.'

Sad to say, the blah cover is nothing to write home about either. But it does stay true to the overall feel of the novel: there is nothing fluffy or endearing about Beyond Exile. It's dark and horrific and full of the dark moments. For true zombie fiction fanatics, I'm sure this one will be instantly gobbled up; but since I like my books with a little more heart and character interaction, it just wasn't my cuppa.

series reading order:
~ Day by Day Armageddon
~ Beyond Exile

Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
Books and Things review 
Gnostalgia review
Lorrie Jeanne review
Must Read Faster review
Wayfaring Writer review

book source: provided by the publisher

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