36 Following

The Book Vortex

“Push yourself. Don't Settle. Just live well. Just LIVE.”


The Morningstar Strain by Z.A. Recht

Plague of the Dead  - Z.A. Recht Thunder and Ashes - Z.A. Recht Survivors - Z.A. Recht, Thom Brannan

A few spoilers here and there, but you'll still have to read the books to actually get the story.


First of all, I have a ton of respect for author Zachary Recht whom I consider a versatile person. I enjoyed all three of his books, even though the last one was finished by Thom Brannan due to the death of Recht in 2009. 


The Morningstar Saga follows the zombie apocalypse from a military point of view. The first book, Plague of the Dead - written also with the help of Bowie V. Ibarra, really focuses on how every effort of containing the virus fails and how this pandemic goes global. So basically a bunch of people get infected with this virus and they turn into what the characters will call sprinters, these people are still alive, if death occurs they get up and turn into the living dead or shamblers.


We meet Lt. Colonel Anna Demilio of the USAMRIID, who knows the most about the Morningstar Strain and warns the government of the danger that this virus represents. Of course, her warnings are ignored and the virus - stuck in Africa at first - spreads across the entire world. The public is not sufficiently informed either, so when Morningstar hits land the common people are clueless and unprepared.

Colonel Anna Demilio gets into a lot of trouble telling the truth about the virus to an anchorwoman, they both get locked up inside an NSA facility where they will meet an NSA agent who'll help them escape. These three will constitute one of the two groups who plan on meeting each other in the middle.

We get a lot of military stuff and fights but it doesn't get to be too much. After finishing Plague of the dead I felt like I had not connected with any of the characters, I even had a hard time remembering all their names. I didn't actually mind that because for the first time I felt I needed to know more about the story and less about the characters. 


The second book of this saga, Thunder and Ashes follows Francis Sherman and Anna Demilio as they are looking to find a way to Omaha - where there is a research institute.

Who is Francis Sherman? Well he is a General, who also fought in Africa and who now leads a band of soldiers, some survivors and a doctor in the hope that they'll make it out alive. He is friends with Anna Demilio from USAMRIID, whom he communicates with during his stay in Africa. These are the two groups who plan on meeting each other. 

Of course, the remaining survivors of this plague have started to form groups, so we meet bandits too. Some choose to wreak havoc, some are just trying to survive. General Sherman and his crew end up assisting a town of survivors they come across for quite a while in the book. 

There is a plot twist, there is an immune soldier - we really have it all. I did not particularly liked the second book so much, it was predictable here and there but overall it was O.K.. A good, fast read.


The saga ends with Survivors, the third book in this series where we're introduced to a corrupt government which rose from the ashes of what was once the United States of America. Their goal is to find and control the cure.

Some of the protagonists continue on trying to develop a cure for the virus, others struggle to stay alive. They are still looking to meet up. The survivors continue to fight for their future in a world where the Infected still reign. 

I liked this one a lot, but I didn't quite fall in love with it. The characters were still shallow and the story reminded me a bit of The Walking Dead.



The Morningstar saga doesn't bring anything new to the table, it's still zombies, pandemic going global, panic, terror. So I guess what I'm trying to say is - if you're into zombies you'll definitely like this saga, but if you want a good infection novel, Morningstar is not going to do it for you. 

Recommended with some reservations.