Most helpful critical review
Slightly Better then the Original
on 29 August 2011
Contrary to some other reviewers I actually preferred Beyond Exile to the first book. I thought that the author did a better job of building tension then in the first novel, I thought that the supporting characters were more fleshed out and the military aspects were completely accurate (not counting some of the more sci-fi stuff, of course). Also, not that I'm implying that this novel is as well written, but the middle section reminded my allot of "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy.
I'm still only giving the book three stars for a couple of reasons. I feel that this book could have easily been split into two separate novels and they both would have been better for it. The first quarter of the story raises allot of issues that could have sustained the entire novel (what happened to the bad guys from the end of the 1st book, what happens when you force civilians into close quarters with military when resources are scarce, how do you make rules "based on the US constitution" in a wasteland), but then the book takes a sharp left turn and none of the original issues ever get brought up again.
Also, I still have some issues with the journal format. The entries all read like the protagonist is writing a series of e-mails to his commanding officer rather then a personal diary designed to keep him sane in a post apocalyptic wasteland. He has significant personal and emotional developments that get about 2 lines, meanwhile we get pages and pages describing his car hot-wiring procedures.
I will say that I like some of things that the author's doing with the Zombies, and that I will buy the final book when it comes out.