Under A Graveyard Sky
Updated: Oct 6, 2019
I remember when I saw this in the bookstore and thought 'Welp, the zombies got Ringo too'. But hey, its still John Ringo right? So I bought it. And read it.
And it turns out that he sort of shied away from going full zombie, despite how often the word is tossed about in the book. For one thing, the infected aren't undead. They are simply people infected with a disease that regresses them to the level of apes. Angry apes. Angry apes with no palate even.
At first I had some issue with just how custom tailored this family is to a zombie apocalypse, until it occurred that it would be one of the many survivalist families out there that would be positioned to do what is needed. Really they aren't that different from what I've read about such families except for one child suffering from Gigantism. As it turns out her condition is possible, which just makes Faith the most bad-ass 13 year old ever. Even more so than Tiny Tina!
Another diversion from the norm is the fact that this zombie story takes place in the ocean. Fairly early in the book the family acquires (mostly legally) a boat and heads out to the high seas to wait the crisis out. They'd probably still be there if they hadn't had to board a ship for supplies and found a lone surviving, and very emaciated, girl. From then on the father makes it his mission to save as many as possible.
The older daughter Sophia (she's all of 15 years old) helps out initially by doing clearance, but ends up excelling at driving boats. By the end of the book she's running her own crew. The younger daughter, Faith, on the other hand excels at killing zombies. And she certainly seems to love it. Their father, Steve, becomes the official head of Wolf's (named for his handle in the Australian Paras: Wolf's Bane) Floating Circus, an ever increasing group of small boats, crewed by rescued survivors trying to make a dent in a zombie apocalypse. Just remember, no matter how dark the night, all you need is a big Faith . . .
Overall the book starts a little slow, as it meanders through the outbreak of the plague, but it finishes strong. I enjoyed watching the family change and adapt to the new circumstances, and watching their father wrestle with how to go about saving as many people as possible. Personally I think it would make a good competitor to The Walking Dead's dynasty. Being that this was clearly a book designed to set up a series I'd give it a very satisfying 85%.