This was my second Jason Brant novel. I had previously read Gehanna - his West of Hell series book 1 and really enjoyed it. In fact I bought the West of Hell Omnibus edition and fully intended to read it but then I got to looking at the cover of this book: Devoured (The Hunger Volume 1) and it just drew me to it so I thought I'd read the sample to see what it was like and I was immediately sucked into a swirling vortex of pure awesomeness and was unable to put the book down so I ended up buying it and those two seconds waiting for it to fully load on my kindle were pure torture.
Jason Brant doesn't mess around. One of the things I loved about this book is that the action starts up right out of the gate and doesn't let up until the very last harrowing page. Everything you could want from a good post-apocalyptic zombie invasion was here. A mutant zombie horde - check! Lots and lots of action - check! Just enough gore to satisfy you but not enough to make you hurl while eating your lunch - check! The one thing I generally don't like about some action heavy oriented novels is that the characters usually suffer from it but have no fear, Mr Brant has seemingly mastered the fine art of balancing action and character depth. The characters in Devoured are ones that you can not only relate to but also root for and for that this book gets a huge nod from me.
Lance is the main hero of the tale. I love the fact that he's just an ordinary guy. In fact life has been very unkind to Lance York. In the real world he hasn't been able to hold down a job in years, his wife can't stand the sight of him and his marriage is crumbling faster than a zombie can eat your brains. Lance has pretty much lost what self esteem and self respect he once had and as the world begins to go to the zombies he finally starts to come into his own. He's a good guy, the kind of person you'd want on your side if you all of the sudden found yourself at the bottom of the food chain while zombies and crazy militants ran around killing everyone.
Lance survives the initial destruction of mankind by hiding out in a restaurant for a while and when things quickly turn for the worse and it looks like his brains are going to be eaten after all he is saved by one of the most unlikeliest heroines to ever grace the pages of zombie fiction. Enter Cassie or Cass as she demands to be called She carries a big axe, is full of attitude, (and I mean that in the most awesome way possible) and has a whacked out sense of fashion, and ho she's the true bada** (self censored) of the tale. Her interactions with Lance are priceless and I love how his self confidence goes way up after meeting her. I also love the fact that the woman is the true action hero of the tale. She's athletic, strong and quick on her feet as well as her mind. Lance on the other hand is a bit out of shape not that he let's that stop him but Cass, well she's something else.
I had such an amazingly fun time reading this book. It's not your average run-of-the-mill zombie book and these are in no way your average zombies and trust me, this makes all the difference in the world. If you are looking for an action-packed read with witty dialogue, colorful characters and a unique take on a genre that already has so many books to choose from then you can hardly do better than Devoured. I've already bought and started reading the second book: Consumed and I happily give this one a very enthusiastic 5 Stars. Heck, I wish I could give this an extra star just for Cass alone. She's freaking awesome! Great read and I highly recommend it!!!