Review: Mountain Man

Posted on: June 24, 2012
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Mountain Man by Keith C. Blackmore

Reviewed by Juanima Hiatt, Nonfiction Editor
Mountain Man tells the apocalyptic tale of Augustus “Gus” Berry as a lone survivor on the outskirts of a town laden with the undead—a town which he must frequent in order to stay alive.
Gus has managed to distance himself from the danger by commandeering an upscale, abandoned home on the mountain overlooking the infected city, but ransacking those homes down below for canned food and other necessities is Gus’s ticket to survival. There’s just one problem: even the undead need a roof over their heads, and Gus never knows when they’ll meet him at the door, or come flocking to him from across the street. He’s geared up with enough weaponry and leather to fight an army of zombies, and he’ll need it. He’s learned to count on confrontation in numbers. After two years, he figures he’s the only human left after “the change,” until one trip to town unexpectedly becomes a mission to save a life. He also discovers the undead are not his only enemy. There’s another darkness out there, and it’s killing every survivor it can find.
It’s nice to have a companion, though, and Scott turns out to be an ally indeed—and a friend. As they team up, the tension revs up, bringing even more action, a traumatic brush with death, a lengthy, breathless entrapment with zombies clamoring nearby, and something neither of them expected: a woman. Rough around the edges and fairly ungrateful, she joins the men; but can she be trusted? Is she all-things-wonderful like Gus thinks she is? He’ll find out soon enough, but, of course, there’s another dilemma: all the zombies Gus is terminating are disappearing.
If you’re beginning to think you won’t find another original zombie tale, think again. With twists and turns that will leave your chin dropping, Mountain Man delivers edge-of-your-seat tension, timely belly laughs, gripping suspense, and characters who draw you into the page right along with them. It’s a remarkable story of resilience, as Gus defies the odds of survival by digging his heels into the ground saying, “I’m not going to die. Not today.” His resourcefulness and diehard spirit keep him alive, and though his methods of coping aren’t admirable, it’s hard to blame him when he’s a lonely survivor in a city of zombies that want nothing more than his flesh.
With a flare for exceptional dialogue and action writing, the author sets you on a journey you won’t want interrupted; and when you’re finished, you’ll be begging for the sequel.

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