The Horror Honeys: Hardcover Honey's Haunted Book Club ~ Time of Death: Induction

Hardcover Honey's Haunted Book Club ~ Time of Death: Induction

Book of the Week Review by Jocelyn

Time of Death: Induction by Shana Festa 

Being a Horror Honey is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had, not least because I have met all kinds of interesting people!  One of these is Shana Festa, who runs the terrific book review website The Bookie Monster (what a great name, right? Find her at www.bookie-monster.com).  

Shana is a MUCH faster reader than your Hardcover Honey, with new reviews seemingly every day.  So basically, she makes me feel like a lazy slug!  Luckily for me, however, Shana found a book she can’t objectively review and she turned it over to me.  Why, you ask?  Well, it seems after reading about a bazillion zombie books, Shana decided to try her own hand at the genre and with her first book, “Time of Death: Induction”, she pretty much knocks it right out of the park.  This girl knows her zombies!

The books takes place in Florida (that’ll be important later on) and focuses on feisty nursing student Emma Rossi.  Emma is happily married to alpha male Jake, a former Army corporal, and dotes on her tiny dog Daphne.  Everything is going great…….until one night at the hospital where Emma’s patient, an elderly woman, complains of being bitten by a man while she was waiting in the McDonald’s drive-through. In my opinion, that’s another good reason to stay away from McDonald’s, but hey, I know some of you love the Golden Arches, so no judgment here.  Emma’s patient quickly codes, and the ER turns into chaos.  Although Emma is given the OK to perform CPR, her best efforts go unrewarded and the patient is pronounced dead.  Emma is shaken as it’s the first death she has witnessed.  Sadly, it won’t be the last.  DUM DUM DUM cue ominous music.

Once home and cleaned up, Emma is shocked to get a text from a co-worker telling her to turn on the news, which is broadcasting an implausible story of a woman mistakenly declared dead at the hospital who seems to have regained consciousness and has been killed by police (re-killed?) after attacking numerous other patients.  I think we all see where this is going, right?  And in fact the zombie apocalypse quickly swings into full force and effect – at the same time a major storm is approaching.  Shades of Season 8 of Dexter here and the Florida setting is no accident.  It works well to heighten the anxiety – for both Emma and the reader!

Emma’s street is quickly overrun by zombies and while she and Jake (and Daphne) are able to escape, Emma sees some things even more disgusting than her hospital “Code Brown” experiences (use your imagination).  Great job with the gore here in these early scenes – very cinematic.  Eventually, Emma and Jake find their way to an area Target store where they convene with some other survivors and stay for some weeks, reunited with Jake’s sister Meg.  Target is situated right on the water, which is great from a strategic standpoint, and several weeks are spent there with groups heading out to look for other survivors and such.  But it wouldn’t be much of a zombie book if the zombies stayed away for long, right? And so our little band of survivors is soon on the run again, with Emma extra distraught as Jake has not returned from a reconnaissance mission.  Emma is not willing to give up on Jake, though the rest of her group (including Meg) assumes he’s a zombie snack by now.

Author: Shana Festa
The group is lucky enough to find a boat to hide out on, which gives them some small measure of safety.  Emma gets tougher as the book progresses, training on firearms and doing her best to care for the other members of her group with her limited nursing training.  Aside from Emma and Meg, survivors include widower Adam, and pregnant Noelle, plus her husband Finn.  Noelle’s condition means a supply run is necessary, which accounts for several tension-filled pages.

I don’t want to give too much away here – suffice it to say that Festa surprised me in lots of ways, which is always welcome.  Characters I assumed would make it sometimes didn’t – unpredictability I love as a reader.  And each action sequence was well-rendered.  It was a fast read and perfect for a road trip.  If I had one complaint, it would be that the zombie trope is so well-worn by now that we all know the beats – infection, attack, temporary survival, attack, lather, rinse, repeat.  But that is in no way Festa’s fault and she has certainly made this story her own.  I am definitely looking forward to reading more of Shana’s stuff!


Hardcover Honey Verdict: Four sarcastic kick-ass nurses out of five for this one!