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Zombie book review: 'At the End of the World' (Sheriff Penny Miller Series #3)

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The Hungry 3: 'At the End of the World' by Steven Booth & Harry Shannon

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Three weeks after their previous adventure in 'The Wrath of God', Penny and friends leave Lovell and an injured Rat behind in Utah. On Scratches suggestion, the group heads to a remote community in the Rocky Mountains; Hope Springs, Colorado. After weeks spent sleeping in the van, with the absence of showers leaving the minivan stinking to high hell, they arrive at the beautiful mountain lodge. The sexual tension between Penny and Scratch is reaching critical mass, but Sheppard is quick to remind them that the virus is still very much alive inside Penny and there's no telling what could happen to Scratch.

When the lodge's caretaker slinks away in the middle of the night with not only their cash, but their only means of transportation, the group is forced to fortify the lodge and make nice with the townsfolk. In true fashion, Hope Springs goes from quaint mountain town to an undead buffet in no time. Once again, Penny Miller and her band of merry men must fight for their survival against the evolving undead and a renegade militia.

'At the End of the World' is the first real emotional loss readers have faced in the series. The comic relief is still present, but this book gives the action and character development center stage. Science geeks will enjoy the clinical explanation of the virus on the host bodies.

Fans of The Walking Dead will enjoy a Hershel-esque outcome in what is one of the series darkest moments. More is revealed in the ongoing progression of the zombies, and the series as a whole has fallen into a nice rhythm. With the ebb and flow of an ocean wave, the authors push and pull the story line and characters, generating just the right amount of intensity and reader anticipation; making it virtually impossible to not continue on to the next book.

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