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Although it couldn't be finished by Recht himself, as the author sadly passed away before the third novel was finished. I'm also hoping that someone gets in touch with Amazon to re-word the now quite tasteless product description. But hey-ho, back to the novel...

The ghost writer that assisted with finishing the novel Survivors and the final installment of the Morningstar Strain did not disappoint.

I do not like to litter my reviews with spoilers, so you will just need to read the book to find out exactly what happens. But Survivors is, like Recht's other novels, crammed with action and runs at a pace that is not too quick to be rushed, but still keeps you wanting to turn the pages. I read this one sitting, I just *had* to know how things turned out for Sherman and "his" crew (and how many more times Becky would ask for gauze).

I was surprised by the somewhat sweeping ending, but I was also moved almost to tears in places. Well worth the read, and a deserving close and tribute to a writer the world will miss.
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on 13 July 2012
Sadly Mr Recht passed away in 2009 so he was unable to finish the book himself but I believe that Thom Brannan did an excellent job of finishing it in his stead. It makes a good ending to the trilogy and I wasn't even aware at the time of reading, that it had been written by someone other than the author, I only found out about Mr Recht's death after finishing it. I think the style is as close an approximation of the original that you could hope to find.
This book did NOT disappoint me.
It is my opinion that you should read it if you have read the first two of the trilogy and decide for yourself.
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on 28 April 2013
It's been YEARS since an ending to a zombie story ripped my guts out like that! I love authors that aren't afraid to kill off characters, especially some of the main ones, and - after everything the survivors have been through in the three books just to get to Omaha, NE - they deserved an ending with such spectacular action sequences.

In Plague of the Dead: The Morningstar Strain, the virus outbreak begins overseas. At first the carriers, nicknamed "sprinters," behave like the infected from 28 Days Later, and can be killed with any mortal wound. However, they reanimate as "shamblers," and can only be put down with a head shot. It doesn't take long for the Morningstar virus to spread worldwide, and in the chaos, two groups emerge: a General leading his people and similar survivors to the U.S. in hopes of finding a safe haven, and a military doctor trying to make her way to a research lab to engineer a vaccine for the remaining population, which is quickly dwindling in numbers.

In Thunder and Ashes, readers are shown how much devastation can take place in just three months after the initial outbreak. The General's group has dwindled to almost nothing, and the doctor is being hunted down by a rebel faction that has broken away from the main government. Despite all the new obstacles, both groups are still trying to make their way to the research facility in Omaha, NE.

In Survivors, several characters from the first two books decide to follow the General's group, bringing with them new hope for a vaccine: an immune survivor. All of the different storylines converge on the research facility, leading into one of the bloodiest battles that has ever appeared in the pages of a zombie saga.

I couldn't have predicted the events of the third book if I had tried...specifically, the way the ending went down. I was left with a few questions...for example, was the nature of the virus changing? It appears that the Morningstar virus was mutating, but it wasn't addressed directly by the characters, so I was left to guess what it might mean for the survivors. Even with a few loose ends, I wasn't disappointed at all.

If you haven't already, you need to add The Morningstar Strain series to your zombie-lit collection.
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on 7 September 2013
The final book in the Morningstar Strain series has a sad story behind it. Author Z.A. Recht tragically passed away in December 2009 at the age of 26, eighteen months after the publication of book #2, and before Survivors was finished. More than two and a half years later, Survivors was finally published after being completed by Thom Brennan, although how much was written by Recht and how much by Brennan is something only Permuted Press and Thom Brennan himself know. It took me nearly another year before I could pick up Survivors, because the Morningstar Strain series was the zombie series that really got me addicted to our undead friends, and as well as being sad to see the series end, I was pretty wary of this book.

If, like me, you are tentative about finishing this series, I personally recommend reading the other books again if it's been a long time since you read them. Time has a way of changing our memories of books, and I probably would have been disappointed with Survivors if I hadn't read Plague of the Dead and Thunder and Ashes again right beforehand.

Both the first books in the series have multiple perspectives, but Survivors goes one further and includes one more group that haven't really been sighted since the beginning of Thunder and Ashes. Unlike many multiple-perspective books I read, this one didn't have me reading quickly through perspectives I cared less about to get to the 'good stuff' - all the perspectives were relevant, interesting and added an extra level to the story.

Part way through I was thinking that the character development was a little bit lacking, but it definitely picks up in the second half as the psychology of survival and guilt starts to come into play with some of the original characters and it begins to affect how they function both negatively and positively.

The big question is whether I could tell the difference between the writing of Z.A. Recht and Thom Brennan. To be perfectly honest, even with reading Thunder and Ashes immediately before starting Survivors, I couldn't really discern a difference. Survivors is certainly paced on the same level as the first two books, and although it felt more 'military ops', that feeling was also there in Thunder and Ashes in particular.

Whether it was the intention of Recht or a product of the writing of Brennan, one thing that I always appreciate (enjoy is the wrong word) is a writer who isn't scared of killing off characters that you think are going to make it through - it makes the story more realistic and intense, even if it's emotionally shocking and there were a couple of them that I wanted to make it through that didn't.

And the ending? Whilst I didn't want the book to end, I found the ending to be rather fitting although for some readers it may be a little bit more open-ended than satisfying. I'm sad to say goodbye to this series, but I am glad I read the final book.
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on 6 August 2012
the ghost author has done Recht proud this book does not dissapoint i was even slightly tearful to see an end to this fantastic 3 part adventure !!!!
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on 2 September 2012
really enjoyed this, i've been waiting a long time for this final instalment of Morningstar, sadly Recht couldn't finish what he'd started but the ghost writer did a fantastic job staying true to his style, fast paced zombie action, great finale followed by a slightly abrupt final chapter, still can't quite believe i've finished this journey, without doubt one of my favourite "zombie" books, a must read and many thanks to the ghost writer for taking it on.
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on 6 July 2013
It was sad news when I heard that Recht had died and Thom Brannan has done an excellent job finishing the series. A fitting tribute. I you want to pick a zombie read, this is the one. Day by Day Armageddon started out well but has tailed off I'm afraid to say. This did not despite the possibility that it could have given the circumstances.
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on 28 January 2013
Really poor ending to a good series. I really think the author ran out of ideas. What happened to it being a zombie series?? You have no feelings for the characters even when main people are killed off. Feels like a lot of random ideas thrown at it without any real thought.
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on 15 July 2013
I really enjoyed this book and it could not have come quick enough after reading the first two. could not put this book down and infact i have read this book again and enjkoyed it just as much the second time around.

I do hope we see more from the story line.
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on 21 July 2013
Great series I have really enjoyed the books loved the characters. My only criticism is that because of how many characters there were it felt a bit rushed at the end to draw the book to a conclusion.
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