***Reviewed by Kristin from My Bookish Ways ***
Down the Road
Release Date: January 4, 2011
Publisher: Gallery Books
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 fiancée. 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