Title: Love and Decay: Season 2, Episode 3
Author: Rachel Higginson
Source: eARC from author
Zombies- as if that wasn’t enough to ruin any girl’s dream of a happily ever after.
During a routine nighttime watch, Reagan, Hendrix and Vaughan make a discovery that could have devastating consequences for the war on Zombies.
Caught far from the compound with limited weapons and surrounded by a horde of super-evolved Zombies, they are forced to fight their way to safety. That’s only the beginning of their problems though as the night from hell drags on.
Besides epic battles with Feeders and fighting for survival, Reagan must also contemplate her future. Vaughan asks something of Reagan that will weigh heavily on her for the rest of her life. Even while the answer seems obvious, she quickly learns how deep-reaching the consequences of her decision are.
And when one of their own goes missing, Reagan must fight through injury and exhaustion in order to keep their family whole.
The Zombie Apocalypse is tough. Reagan feels this every single day. But there are also good things about her stressful life, things that make this struggle to survive worth every minute.
Love and Decay, Episode Three is the third episode in Season Two of a novella series in a Dystopian Romance about Zombies, the end of the world and finding someone to share it with.
This story takes place over multiple episodes, with a release date every two weeks. Approximately 20,000 words.
My mind played through this predicament over and over again. That Feeder spoke. She communicated with those other Feeders. Maybe it wasn’t a language that we understood or would ever understand… but she verbalized her thoughts to the other Zombies and they knew what she wanted.
I couldn’t even begin to comprehend that.
Holy shit. In two years, Zombies had either evolved or de-evolved, depending on how you looked at it, beyond grunting and moaning animals blinded by their addiction to flesh into intelligent creatures fueled by their addiction to flesh.
The consequences this had on our war with the undead was… staggering.
And not in a good way.
The rumors of actual 'thinking' zombies building an army down south near Mexico have halted any plans for traveling there for the crew. But after a routine walk around the complex turns disastrous, Reagan, Hendrix and Vaughan realize that threat is starting to make its way north. When they happen upon a small herd, they are overcome with realization that the war against the dead is becoming more complex. What will this mean for the living? And seriously, how many concussions can Reagan take? Soon her head is bound to fall off, right?
Their screeching moans crawled beneath my skin and warred with their dying yelps of last second pain. They were disgusting and haunting. They were everything that should not be real. And when they looked at me with those deadly, blood-red eyes, I wondered if we even stood a chance against such an ominous enemy.
Was this it?
Was this how I would live out every day forward until I either ended up just like them or succumbed to be their next meal?
Did it matter? One end was as gruesome as the other.
Ok, enough with the existential crisis, I had Zombies to kill.
Un.Freakin.Believable. That is what this episode was. And not in a bad way either. Just a fabulous, holy cow, I am in love with zombies sort of way. Higginson amps up the tension yet again and has us cowering on the floor in a fetal position thinking that Reagan is finally going to lose this battle. Oh wait. Was that just me acting that way? This gal has to have already wasted all of her 9 lives after all the crap she has been through since the beginning of the ZomApoc right?
But things seem to be better between Hendrix and Reagan. Thank goodness. I couldn't take it if they were to fall apart. My heart would be broken into a million little pieces just ripe for the eating. But all seems well, and they were back to their normal in love selves. And that makes momma happy. I enjoyed their banter and found it reassuring.
He kissed my bandaged forehead and then leaned over so he could kiss my scraped temple and cheek. “Always be selfish with me, Reagan.”
And the angels in heaven swooned!
Another great scene of the story is Reagan's newest concussion. I think readers are going to get a laugh out of that once they see she is out of harm’s way. I know I was snorting my way through that part. Higginson is great at adding a little funny business to this world just to bring us down from our zombie fueled high we get caught up in. It is definitely needed in this world, that is for darn sure.