Monday, June 20, 2011

Keith Melton - The Zero Dog War

The first bullet is always free. After that, you gotta pay.
After accidentally blowing up both a client facility and a cushy city contract in the same day, pyromancer and mercenary captain Andrea Walker is scrambling to save her Zero Dogs. A team including (but not limited to) a sexually repressed succubus, a werewolf with a thing for health food, a sarcastic tank driver/aspiring romance novelist, a three-hundred-pound calico cat, and a massive demon who really loves to blow stuff up.
With the bankruptcy vultures circling, Homeland Security throws her a high-paying, short-term contract even the Zero Dogs can’t screw up: destroy a capitalist necromancer bent on dominating the gelatin industry with an all-zombie workforce. The catch? She has to take on Special Forces Captain Jake Sanders, a man who threatens both the existence of the team and Andrea’s deliberate avoidance of romantic entanglements.
As Andrea strains to hold her dysfunctional team together long enough to derail the corporate zombie apocalypse, the prospect of getting her heart run over by a tank tread is the least of her worries. The government never does anything without an ulterior motive. Jake could be the key to success…or just another bad day at the office for the Zeroes.
Product WarningsContains explicit language, intense action and violence, rampaging zombie hordes, a heroine with an attitude and flamethrower, Special Forces commandos, ninjas, apocalyptic necromancer capitalist machinations, absurd parody and mayhem, self-deluded humor, irreverence, geek humor, mutant cats, low-brow comedy, and banana-kiwi-flavored gelatin.

Comment: This is one of the funniest books I've read. And the best part is that it doesn't make the book look silly. The storyline is coherent in the middle of all the nonsense. It really is.

The story is interesting to follow, the Zero Dog mercenaries are having a busy but complicated day and it gets worse when things don't go according to plan, but in the end the job is done. However, the bad part of it is they don't have much money, so they'll need to do any job that comes their way..and that's when Jake Sanders comes along.

I think the best part of the series is the characters. They all bring something to the story and not just the funny dialogue. Which, by the way, it's another of the best things in the story. I lost count of the times I laughed and laughed because of the things they said. Andrea is the captain and she's a bit serious but her thoughts are quite funny..and we get to see  from her perspective, except the parts where we get what the villain is thinking.
Sarge is also serious but sarcastic, Gavin is always saying something ironic and Rafe is a horny werewolf with a taste for nakedness. Then there's Mai, who runs a horde of furry animals from...hum, somewhere, there's Hanzo, a white medic who lives the life of a wannabe ninja and Tiffany, a shy succubus. Oh and there's Stefan, the too lazy vampire to be noticed and the alien pet cat.
This whole bunch is funny, they say what they want and behave like five year olds sometimes. It's amazing. I had such a great time reading about them and their job. It's all very funny, I can't stop repeating myself.

But the author also managed to give a semblance of order to the plot, so despite all the craziness, it makes sense when we read it.
And also, like I said, there's a consistency in the writing, and among all the laughing, there's a balanced way of telling the story, of making things go forward, which makes the book solid instead of simply silly.
I enjoyed it a lot and will get some more books by the author in the future.

Grade: 8/10 

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