Rabid Heart – Jeremy Wagner
Reviewed by D.K. Hundt
The novel featured in this review, Rabid Heart, written by Jeremy Wagner and published by Riverdale Books in October 2018, is one of my favorite books that I read last year. The story opens with twenty-one-year-old protagonist, Rhonda Driscoll, a former hair stylist, newly engaged to the love of her life Brad only six months ago, now longs for the days of civilian life, instead, she’s now a soldier in a war against the walking dead, aka ‘Cujos’, and Brad is now one of them. Rhonda was one of the lucky ones, she wouldn’t have made it out alive if it weren’t for her dad, Colonel Kenneth Driscoll, her only living family member and the man in charge of Fort Rocky aka ‘Camp Deadnut’, a Marine Base in North Carolina that is now home to two hundred survivors.
After returning from a firearm and ammo run, Rhoda’s told she and a few of her fellow soldiers are going to Levendale, her hometown, a place she hasn’t been to since this nightmare started, in search of survivors and supplies. Despite her protest, Rhonda is told by Sergeant Harris that she doesn’t have a choice in the matter, being the best artilleryman, or in this case woman, they have. The Colonel warns her, under no circumstances is she to return to the place she and Brad called home, but of course, she does. As you read this love story, you may ask yourself what you would do if the one person, who you planned to spend the rest of your life with, your soul mate, though now a member of the undead, is standing right in front of you; a decision made harder for Rhonda because Brad seems to recognize her.
Rabid Heart is the first book I’ve read by Jeremy Wagner and one I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m a huge fan of zombie movies, novels, and shows that pull me in by way of well-rounded characters and a narrative that rips my heart out at every turn, and Rabid Heart hit the mark perfectly. I enjoy tales of horror that have a strong woman as the main character, and after everything Rhonda goes through, fighting the living and the undead, she never appears weak, even in her darkest moments, and I like that.
In closing, if my review or the synopsis of Rabid Heart sparks your interest, then, by all means, take a bite, and delve into the creative mind of the author – you may be surprised what you find lurking within.
How far would you go for love when all you love is DEAD? Six months after the Necro Rabies pandemic has turned the world into hordes of rabid undead known as “Cujos,” 21 year-old Rhonda Driscoll discovers her zombified fiancé, Brad, in her old hometown. Fearing that her Marine Colonel father will kill undead Brad, Rhonda flees, taking a road-trip with Brad in tow in hopes of starting a new life in a frightening and uncertain world complicated by numerous perils, pure horror, joy, heartbreak, and unconditional love.
D. K. Hundt is an American writer with a BA degree in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. When she’s not writing contemporary fiction and horror/supernatural stories, she likes to spend her free time working as a volunteer in her community, being a minion for her cat Simon, warding off carnivorous spiders, and throwing herself into and around the dark alleyways of Stephen King novels in search of inspiration. D. K. resides in California with her husband, and she is currently working on a horror novel titled, Cheveyo–a story about a young boy who goes to live with his grandpa on a reservation, and soon discovers that the malevolent creatures that lurk in the Okanogan Forest aren’t the only deadly secret the locals are hiding.
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