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Zombie book review: 'Rise of the Triad' (Sheriff Penny Miller Series #4)

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The Hungry 4: 'Rise of the Triad' by Steven Booth & Harry Shannon

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Weeks have passed since 'At the End of the World' came to an exhilarating end. Penny and Scratch arrive in Santa Monica doing their best to blend in. Despite Sheppard's insistence, Penny and Scratch have been indulging in some sexy time. As with the previous books, the prologue introduces a new character. But unlike previous books, this new character becomes an integral part of the story.

Californian residents have been told a creative version of the Nevada incident and continue on with everyday life; oblivious to the danger lurking among them. Penny and Scratch are detained by authorities, but instead of being arrested, they're brought to the Malibu Serenity Center. The staff may appear innocuous on first glance, but their toned and muscular physiques scream military. An orientation to the facility reveals a shocking discovery and so it begins...again.

It doesn't take long to go from bad to really bad. Apparently sex makes the pair uber stupid and they let their guard down. 'Rise of the Triad', while still an excellent book, falls victim to some redundancies in plot. The act of an ally betraying Penny is a bit stale, and the fact that she doesn't see it coming is perplexing. The character is so well rounded that any slip in continuity is glaringly overt to readers. Her judgment has become questionable and her usually authoritative personality is replaced with meekness.

While much in the way of plot lines are revealed, the deceit of characters readers have become emotionally invested in is a disappointing pill to swallow. Once again, references are made to Penny's old flame, Elko County Sheriff Charlie Robinson. Could these mentions foreshadow a reunion in the making? Perhaps he didn't perish after all.

So many new questions arise with 'Rise of the Triad'. Are the zombies truly dead? Or can they be saved? What relevance does Penny's new ability have on things? Could the incessant undead chanting actually be an attempt at communication?

One thing not in question is the need to read more in The Sheriff Penny Miller Series.

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