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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fairly standard zombie romp
I was looking forward to reading this book as it had been recommended by several sources of zombie fiction fans, and by the author Travis Adkins in the book itself. Bowie Ibarra explains in his notes at the end of the book that he's a zombie fiction fan himself and a teacher, so I expected the novel to be better than average for a first attempt. I guess that it is...
Published on 8 Nov. 2009 by Andy Phillips

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars down the road on a well trodden path
I've read a great deal of apocalyptic zombie fiction lately and this is probably the book I liked least. I was very excited after reading the introduction by another author (forgot his name sorry) when they said they had not been effected so much by a book since Stephen Kings 'The Long Walk'. I loved 'The Long Walk', its one of my favorite short stories ever,it effected...
Published on 4 Feb. 2008 by Mr T P Lanetos


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fairly standard zombie romp, 8 Nov. 2009
By 
Andy Phillips (Leicestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Down the Road: A Zombie Horror Story (Special Edition) (Paperback)
I was looking forward to reading this book as it had been recommended by several sources of zombie fiction fans, and by the author Travis Adkins in the book itself. Bowie Ibarra explains in his notes at the end of the book that he's a zombie fiction fan himself and a teacher, so I expected the novel to be better than average for a first attempt. I guess that it is better than average, but it's not a masterpiece.

The story centres around a teacher living in Texas ("write what you know"!) who makes a trip through a zombie plague to get to his home town. This sort of perilous journey idea has been covered a lot in zombie fiction in the past. Several similar books I've read include "Monster Island" by David Wellington, "The Rising" by Brian Keene, "Dead City" by Joe McKinney and several non-zombie apocalyptic fiction books in my Listmania lists. So, the basic premise behind the story is nothing new.

There are a couple of (sort of) new elements to the story, the main ones being sex scenes and FEMA camps. The sex scenes are a little bit awkward in that they're not totally necessary and the language used sounds very prudish at times. There's nothing really wrong with that, and I'm not saying that they should be graphic and crude, but using euphamisms like "George's sensitive area" seems a bit out of place among detailed and gory death scenes. The idea of including FEMA camps is good, but the descriptions of their methods seem a bit biased. There's basically nothing good to be said in the book about FEMA, which I think is a bit unfair as the organisation would surely feature at least some people trying to help and doing something in an attempt to protect the public. The novels "Eve of the Dead" by Nathan Tucker and "Hater" by David Moody also feature (what I feel to be) unfair and somewhat biased views of the military and authorities. Let's hope the governments of the world can do better if the zombies ever rise for real...

The book is generally well written and proof-read, with only a couple of typos that I noticed. The characters have a bit more depth than many found in the genre, and the situations are fairly well described, but this isn't a literary masterpiece. If you like zombies, you could do a lot worse than reading this book, and check out a couple of the others that I've mentioned above if you like the novel and are looking for something similar.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A promising start, 30 May 2008
This review is from: Down the Road: A Zombie Horror Story (Special Edition) (Paperback)
Ibarra is not a professional writer, just a man that enjoys writing stories and is fulfilling a dream of being published. For all his efforts the book culd have been also worse. On the other hand it could have been better and is far from the best in the genre.

George returning to the school where he teaches to fetch a gift from his late girlfirend was a nice human touch (to me at least), irrational and placing him in some mortal danger. In times of great stress and strife, we are not the most rational of beings, proven time and again throughout this book and others in the genre.

While short on substance in places, I did feel for some of the characters and somethings wondered if we really needed to know every last detail of them being eaten alive. Some of the detailing is very gratuitous and while I am a gore fan, I thought some went a little overboard.

The FEMA camps and initial reactions to the plague did have me reminiscing over other disasters that have happened in the USA (and some of these are also mentioned!), so it makes me wonder how many of Ibarra's on personal views made it into the book, seeing how he's placed as much of his own personal experiences into it.

The flashback of Georges' girlfriends death wasn't needed, but it did add about 8 ages to the books length. The reason I thought it's not needed though is because it gives away to much. The mystery should have been kept there so some parts of the book are not ruined by the early spoiler.

A promising first book and I look forward oto reading the second in the series with hopes of seeing further books from him in the future.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars down the road on a well trodden path, 4 Feb. 2008
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This review is from: Down the Road: A Zombie Horror Story (Special Edition) (Paperback)
I've read a great deal of apocalyptic zombie fiction lately and this is probably the book I liked least. I was very excited after reading the introduction by another author (forgot his name sorry) when they said they had not been effected so much by a book since Stephen Kings 'The Long Walk'. I loved 'The Long Walk', its one of my favorite short stories ever,it effected me so much that in my copy in pencil at the end is written 'and they all sat down and had a nice rest'. Do not take the introduction in this book seriously, the man who wrote it is wrong.
There is nothing wrong with the story, its well paced and the plot is sensible if not a bit staid and well trodden. However there were a few things wrong with it that annoyed me to the extent that I had to write about its flaws. Firstly this genre has been covered extensively over the past few years and for me Ibarra doesn't bring enough new to the party to satisfy my critical appetite. To his credit he explores the theoretical role of the FEMA camps set up by the US government in a very cynical way and some of his observations are well thought out in his description of their governance in such an emergency. However the down side is that I was not scared by the situations the character found himself in, the zombies were almost a second issue to the whole plot, with just occasional run of the mill gory descriptions to try and add substance to them. Sometimes the same description was given 2 or 3 times, like 'he exploded his heart' when someone was shot. The thing that grated most on my nerves was the gratuitous tacked on sex scenes, he may as well of written, 'oh terrible this plague isn't it?' 'yes it is, do you fancy a shag on this desk here?', 'yes might as well, might be dead tomorrow, go out with a bang eh what?'. I may be over critical but i've read some very good books in this genre (Autumn series to name one), and Ibarra's apocalyptic world just is not frightening enough because there is hardly any substance to it. Its a pulp gore filled zombie novel, so if you like them then you might find something to like in this, but if you want some substance then read Moody or Keene.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fast paced and gritty post-apocalyptic zombie tale., 30 July 2006
By 
Chris Hall "DLS Reviews" (Cardiff, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Down the Road: A Zombie Horror Story (Special Edition) (Paperback)
Bowie's tale sets off in a world that is slowly falling apart. The reader is quickly thrown in to the action packed tale of George (undoubtedly named after George Romero after reading about Bowie's fixation with the director), who struggles to survive as he tries to reach his hometown San Uvalde.

The characterization is somewhat simplistic throughout the novel, but this doesn't seem to detract from the tale too much. Bowie's military group FEMA is a fabulous addition to the tale, screaming of a `Brave New World' paranoia. The FEMA camps in particular deliver a haunting image that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Only lasting for a mere 149 pages, this post-apocalyptic zombie story is fast paced throughout, but ends somewhat abruptly. Packed with gory zombie violence, oppressive government actions, die hard militias and a revenge laced sub plot - this novel packs it all in.

The special edition version includes a three page introduction by Travis Adkins (author of the zombie novel Twilight of the Dead) which sings a mass of praise for the author and his novel. There is also a seven page "director's commentary" from Bowie Ibarra, detailing his inspiration for the novel and its writing. Finally the book finishes with a nine page snippet from the sequel entitled "Down The Road: On The Last Day".

All in all, this is a great read and a must have for any fan of the zombie horror genre.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Wow. This is really, really bad., 10 Jun. 2011
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This review is from: Down the Road (Paperback)
This book is so bad that i'm almost ashamed to say that i read nearly half of it. I'll always read a book through to the end even if it's not that great because i hate leaving books half-finished but after i'd struggled through this astonishingly puerile waste of paper i wanted to take my eyes out and wash them. This book is absolute filth and the author should stop writing until he's learned how to do it properly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good but weak end, 25 Jun. 2010
By 
Martin Loughlin (Belfast) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Down the Road: A Zombie Horror Story (Special Edition) (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this compare to the dirge that was the Monster series. It had an ordinary guy just trying to make it back home to his parents house. I thought it was all good apart from when you get to near the end, then it takes a turn down zombie cliche alley. I won't spoil it for anyone but you won't be surprised. It would make quite a good movie or short as well
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3.0 out of 5 stars Gory... but not enough!, 3 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Down the Road: A Zombie Horror Story (Special Edition) (Paperback)
I had high hopes for this as I am currently really getting back into the zombie genre, but was ultimately left disappointed. The ideas and themes are fine, however the actual prose feel more like a fan story than a professional novel. Not enough tension and plot development. Shame

That being said, if you're after some zombie gore this will do for a quick fix!
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1.0 out of 5 stars awful!!!! one star is a star to much!!!!, 6 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Down the Road: A Zombie Horror Story (Special Edition) (Paperback)
lately I have been reading quite a few zombie/apocalyptic books and this is so far the worst, the story is shallow, Ibarra vision of a world devasted by a zombie plague is absurd and not at all convincing, nothing work in this book,a complete waste of money and time. My twelve years old son would have done better Shallow shallow.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very cunning read..., 4 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Down the Road (Kindle Edition)
I am writing this review following a second reading of the book. There was something refreshing about it that I just could not put my finger on at first. Then it hit me...Mr Ibarra has a gift. He writes with a 'real-time' feel, that makes you believe you are in the story with the characters. This is something I have only seen with some directors, but never a writer. It seems each of the Permuted Press writers have a gift - well this is his. Not only does the story flow well, but it also taps into our own worst fears. We see a hero, an ordinary man, who all of a sudden realises the world is now kill or be killed, and is willing to move any obstacles in his path to get 'Down the Road' to his home. The ending is somewhat sad - unexpected to be honest, but in some ways adds to the whole overview of the story. Not gonna tell you what happens, I don't believe in spoiling things for folk, but I would certainly recommend this to anyone who looks for an absorbing story line, and above all a bit of an adrenaline kick during their reading sessions.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zombie lovers will not be disappointed, 18 April 2007
By 
Mr. M. ATTREE "Treedon #1" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Down the Road: A Zombie Horror Story (Special Edition) (Paperback)
'Down the Road' is a masterpiece of zombie literature from author Bowie Ibarra.

The story, set in modern day America, is the tale of George Zaragosa, a school teacher who longs to return to his home in San Uvalde from his teaching post in Austin. This sounds like a simple task, but when you throw in hordes of the living Dead, hell-bent government officials, power mad militia as well as a world that has imploded on itself, the reader is in for a real treat, with plenty of ups and downs along the way for the stories main character.

The story is action packed from start to finish, with sub plots and twists around every turn. The tale is never lacking in detailed gore, as well as relationships forming, and tensions breaking.

Bowie Ibarra invites us into his terrifying world of a human race that has been let loose upon itself. Throw in the massive hordes of undead and FEMA outposts that resemble WW2 concentration camps, and this is a story that should not be missed.

This story is a real treat. Any lover of the zombie genre, that includes work from Romero, Raimi, Argento, etc should not miss out on 'Down the Road.' Ibarra's work ranks up there highly with the rest of the living dead genre.
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Down the Road: A Zombie Horror Story (Special Edition)
Down the Road: A Zombie Horror Story (Special Edition) by Bowie Ibarra (Paperback - 15 May 2006)
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