Deadland’s Harvest (Deadland Saga #2) is a 2014 zombie apocalyptic novel written by Rachel Aukes and published by Surprisingly Adequate Publishing. Serving as the second installment in the Deadland Saga, the story is set one hundred days since the zombie apocalypse, and Cash, Clutch, and the Fox survivors learn that massive zombie herds are on the move…and headed their way.
- Great, well-written characters
- Great character development
- Good action
- Good world-building
- Smart writing
- Compelling, well-written story
Plot: The story follows Cash, Clutch, and the Fox survivors who deal with the aftermath of the Dog’s attack as well as the threat of other human survivors and an army of zombies marching across the country. There are more intimate subplots, especially between the characters. There is the Clutch/Cash romance that doesn’t feel intrusive nor distractive. Clutch is trying to recover from his injuries he sustained in the previous book. The survivors of Camp Fox have to find a safe haven from these hordes of zombies. This definitely raises the stakes for the characters. The overall idea of the zombie herds is actually genius as it does raise the stakes for the characters, which also helps to flesh out the fact that the zombies exist around the country other than just around the main characters and it makes for a compelling story. (4 out of 5)
Characters: The characters return and they are great, even more so by the new characters who add their own uniqueness to the cast. Cash returns and the strength she’s gained from the previous book is prominent here. It’s nice to see a strong female lead that isn’t cartoonish. She’s not Black Widow from the Avengers. She’s not Laura Croft from Tomb Raider. She’s a woman who has trained herself to survive and to be a fighter but is still a woman. Her, Clutch, and Jase are a great team and the events of the story increases that bond. Even after Clutch received his back injuries in the events of 100 Days in Deadland he still plays a strong role. He’s a bit more brooding due to feeling useless but his input is invaluable. There are great characters introduced such as Griz and Tyler. Tyler is a great character who, although does have strained relationship with Clutch, does work well with him and Cash. I like how as much as Cash is in love with Clutch, Tyler is kind of the guy that’s also caught her eye even though she holds resentment towards him for leaving her for dead. Griz is a great character who fleshes out another part of Clutch’s personality. I love their camaraderie as both were Rangers. There are some great characters that bite the bullet and it makes for some pretty emotionally intense moments. It’s really easy to hate the opposing survivors who constantly but our heroes in jeopardy through selfishness and ruthlessness. (5 out of 5)
Writing: The writing is just exceptional and Rachel Aukes shows her talent through caring, thoughtful presentation. The stakes are definitely higher with Cash, Clutch, and Jase helping to protect the survivors of Camp Fox. Time is running out; supplies are dwindling, winter is coming (no Game of Thrones reference intended), legions of zombies are marching towards their home. Loved the thought of the zombie herds crossing the land, destroying everything in their wake. It gives personality to the zombies, an aspect I haven’t seen since The Walking Dead or Z Nation. Again, the writing supports that the characters have more to fear than just the zombies. There are two bands of survivors that become extreme threats to the characters. The narration is done pretty well and manages to keep the pace fast. Many of the events of the story flow well making for a more realistic reading experience. Well-written character developments remain solid and helps with the characterization. There is a lot of suspense and the tension just keeps building and building. The descriptions good enough to paint a vivid picture. The zombies, the gore, the violence are handled pretty well. (4 out of 5)
The Verdict: In the end, Deadland’s Harvest (Deadland Saga #2) is a terrific follow up to 100 Days in Dead. There is little to not like about this book. The characters are freaking awesome, the writing is done exceptionally well, the story is engaging with interesting twists, the action is written well, and the world-building is fantastic. Deadland’s Harvest (Deadland Saga #2) gets 5 out of 5.