Staff Sgt. Kate Dunajski is military through and through. Eighteen months ago she was in the reserves, hoping to pay for school. Then she was called upon to serve in Afghanistan and finds, after three deployments, that her niche is helping the people of that country. Instead, the military decides she belongs in Somalia, Africa. This is where it starts.
Her arrival is met with utter chaos, spilling throughout the town and a certain amount of confusion at Camp Lemonnier, her station. People are firing guns and fighting to get through the gate, onto the base. Helicopters are bringing in wounded soldiers and suddenly the bullets are coming her way. About this time I was able to put myself in her shoes and wonder, “What would I do in this situation?” She does the same thing I would have. She ducks and hides. After that she makes the decision to run for the JOC, or Joint Operations Center. FYI: There are a ton of acronyms in this book, so you might want to jot them down for reference.
At first I was completely confused, until I realised, just keep your eyes on the people; that’s where the action is. Bullets herald her boisterous entrance into the building, but the numerous people around her, sitting at tactical stations, hardly take notice. Each person has a specific job and each is utterly absorbed by it. Thankfully, she is approached by a soldier who introduces himself as her teammate, Elijah. He takes her under his wing and she is able to observe, without the fear of being shot.
From this point on, the story becomes more about the team. All, except for Kate, have been together for a long time and know each others’ quirks, vices, and aspirations: the fun they have quoting movie lines that fit any given moment in their daily lives, to knowing that when times are frighteningly serious they can count on each other to have the primary goal of protecting the team.
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. There is a lot of action and it’s not just about Kate. It’s about her blending into the unit and being a soldier just as much as anyone else. It’s about these capable men realizing that she is as driven as any other soldier when it comes to the fight. The title alone informs readers that there is a nemesis. However, is it Triple Nickel or is it someone else? That question is part of the excitement of the book. Even though there is an epidemic and, unfortunately, there are zombies running around, that is not the focus of the story. This is a large series with plenty of room for zombies and everybody else. The undead do affect how some things get accomplished or not, but I recommend this book for several other reasons. First, the action is a huge draw, then there are the exhilarating wins and devastating losses, and overall, I wasn’t bored for a single minute. The characters were engaging and the ending was a surprise. Although, I did find that the epilogue is just a lead-in to the next book and it was not particularly interesting.
- Genre and reading age: Definitely action. I think a teenager interested in military action would enjoy this book and, of course, adults.
- Level of sexuality: Very little.
- Was there graphic language? Some, but not too bad.
- Did I cry? No. It’s almost as if the story prepares you for the fact that there are losses in battle. Was I saddened? Absolutely.
- Is it part of a series? Yes, there are several other Arisen novels, including a prequel.
- Level of character development: It was very well done.
- Did I laugh? The subject was serious, but there were a few grin-worthy moments.
Overall, I give it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars.