Book Review: Under a Graveyard Sky & To Sail a Darkling Sea by John Ringo

Under a Graveyard Sky & To Sail a Darkling Sea together are yet another excellent offering from John Ringo, one of the masters at writing combat sci fi today.  These are the first two books in the Black Tide Rising series, the next book in the series, Islands of Rage and Hope is due for release in August, 2014.

The concept behind the series is the Zombie Apocalypse, a popular theme in fiction in the past 5-10 years.  This is a variation on that theme with the difference being that the zombies are not undead, they are still alive just infected.  The zombies have been infected with a virus that essentially eliminates higher order thinking in its victims leading them to revert to unthinking savagery.

The story essentially follows the activities of the Smith family consisting of a father, mother, and two daughters as they try to rebuild society.  Book one focuses on the outbreak of the viral plague and the way in which the Smith family escape the mainland and end up starting their rescue efforts on the high seas.  Book two is focused on the efforts of the Smiths to rescue as many people as possible from boats and ships stranded or parked in the Atlantic in the months after the virus outbreak has turned out the lights on the world.  The eventual goal of the Smiths is to retake some medical facilities at Gitmo to allow them to synthesize enough vaccine to inoculate the crews of the US subforce and the last American command center in Omaha, Nebraska allowing them to surface and rejoin to effort to start clearing the mainland of the continents from the legions of infecteds, as they are termed.

Ringo does not stint on the action scenes and as usual he is very inventive when it comes to devising weapons systems and TTPs for attacking the enemy, in this case zombies.  It is a rollicking good read and at just over 350 pages a decent length.  I finished the book in two days but then I always do that when I find a good book.

If you like combat fiction or enjoyed Ringo’s Posleen War series then you will love the Black Tide Rising books as well.  I highly recommend this book and series.

The third book in this series is due out later this summer.