Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Guest Review: Down the Road by Bowie Ibarra

***Reviewed by Kristin from My Bookish Ways ***

Down the Road
Author:Bowie Ibarra
Release Date: January 4, 2011
Publisher: Gallery Books
ISBN13: 9781439180693
Genre: Horror
Review Copy Source: Publisher for blog tour

From his small apartment in Austin, Texas, George Zaragosa watches in awe as surreal reports of a bizarre plague flood the national news. Until today, his life as a local theater teacher was stable and ordinary, if overshadowed by the unsolved murder of his beautiful fiancĂ©e. Now, hearing how those who died from an unstoppable virus are coming back to life in growing numbers, George knows what he has to do: leave everything behind in the city and get home to San Uvalde, just down the road. 

It began in New York City, when the dead arose from the hospitals and morgues, attacking the living and pulling them into their growing hordes. State by state, the nation goes into lockdown, whole cities and towns fight for survival, and George must navigate military roadblocks, FEMA camps, and street thugs to make it home. But most of all, his journey down the road will require him to stave off the horrifying creatures hungering for his flesh. . . .

When I saw that the dedication for Down the Road was to George Romero, I admit, I got my hopes up. I love me a good zombie novel. I even love a good horror novel, and when horror is done well, it can be a real treat. However, it only took me a couple of chapters to realize this was just not my cup of tea. This is Bowie Ibarra’s debut novel, and it shows. Down the Road follows George Zaragosa as he attempts to return to his family home in the midst of zombie apocalypse. I just could not sympathize with George, especially when the book goes from describing him as the consummate gentlemen, to cold bloodedly running down a police officer for taking bribes to let people through a roadblock. Last time I checked, this was rotten, but not necessarily a killing offense. For me, one of the most important part of my reading experience is sympathizing with the main characters on at least a few levels. I couldn’t sympathize with George at all, nor could I relate to him. The narrative was awkward and at times clunky. In the end, I couldn’t finish it. That said, I am a huge supporter of indie writers, and I can honestly say the effort is there, it just didn’t come together for this zombie fan.

Kristin gave it 1.5/5 stars


  1. I still feel bad about this review, LOL

  2. You have to tell it like it is. Nothing to feel bad about.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I agree with Stacy. Thanks for taking the time to reveiw the book. I"m sorry it didn't pan out like you (or I! LOL!) hoped it would.


    Bowie V. Ibarra

  5. Full disclosure. Ibarra is a close pal of mine. That said, yes, this is very much a beginner's book, and it shows in at least a few spots. But honestly, this book has one of the best endings I've ever read. You should do yourself a favor and finish it.

    And on that note, you should also read the sequel, "DTR: On The Last Day." It's pulp fiction in it's truest form. Ibarra has vastly improved as a writer between books 1 and 2. Give them a try.

  6. A Zombie Horror Story by Bowie Ibarra is a very good first try by a new writer in keeping the tradition of the zombie tale alive during this second Golden Age for the subgenre. While there's flaws in this first novel, the story itself moved at such a fast pace that I barely noticed the flaws until after I was done and by then I was already hooked by the world he had put on paper. I hope that with all the feedback he's received from fans and fellow writers both, Ibarra's sequel to this novel will be less of a jewel in the rough and more of the polished gem that I feel he has in him to write. I highly recommend this first novel to all fans of the zombie genre.


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