Book Review: Juggernaut / Author: Adam Baker / Format: Paperback / Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton / Release Date: Out Now
In Juggernaut, prequel to the successful Outpost, we follow Lucy and her group of hardened mercenary’s intent on recovering gold hidden deep in the Iraqi desert. These are a highly accomplished group of ex Special Forces, comparative old-timers in the grand scale of things, and they have had their fill of war. They want out; they want to see their remaining years living in wealth and luxury.
Of course, things are never quite so straight forward. Pretty soon Lucy and her team learn that the gold comes with a price. Something else is buried out there beneath the golden dunes, and it doesn’t take much to be disturbed.
Adam Baker is like a breath of fresh (or should that be foul) air in today’s zombie apocalypse. It takes a lot – quite frankly - to make a novel stand out from the shuffling crowd of wannabes. Being a walking cadaver just doesn’t cut it these days - you need a twist. Adam Baker, in this regard, comes out trumps. Juggernaut is populated with believable characters, strong dialogue and impeccably researched detail. These characters live, love, fight and betray their way through to the book’s explosive finale.
At its heart Juggernaut is about survival, in this case surviving the zombie menace. It digs into these ill-fated characters and shows us what man is capable of doing if given the most extreme of circumstances. For the zombie enthusiasts amongst us, it delivers the living dead by the bucket load. And with the zombies come the standard tropes of the genre: headshots are the only thing that work, and a bite spells certain death and infection. Juggernaut treats the readers to plenty of big guns, chase sequences, and enough military jargon to make your average jarhead clutch his pants in semi-orgasmic joy. You could walk away from that feeling happy that the zombie plague has been handled in time-honoured fashion. However, Adam Baker delves deeper, and the characters become more than simply talking heads with guns. These are tougher than the tough mercs of the Iraqi war, but they also hate and hope along with the best of us. And if that wasn’t enough, Juggernaut offers a thought provoking view of what war can do to men if given the right motivation.
For fans of Juggernaut’s predecessor, Outpost, we learn a little more about the virus and its origins, not all the answers are explained – rightly so – and one gets the sense of a possible third book in the works.
It’s not all praise though, Juggernaut – like its namesake - takes a while to get going. In the first hundred pages, characters and setting are laid down in intricate detail at the expense of action. But the novel’s slow start can be forgiven, because about mid-way through the tension begins to mount, characters are thrown into ever increasing desperate situations: fighting zombies, the desert, and ultimately each other. Soon the conflict resonates within each page, and it becomes impossible to put down.
If you like zombies and survival horror then this is the book for you. If you like to see just what man is capable of doing when his back is against the wall then this book definitely is the one for you.
Juggernaut offers a new perspective on the zombie apocalypse and is well worth the read.
Read our review of Outpost HERE
Catch up with Adam Baker HERE