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Taking on the Dead: The Famished Trilogy Book One: 1

Taking on the Dead - Annie Walls Courtesy of Smash Attack ReadsInterest in Book: Zombies! Character-driven plot! End of days nightmarish world-building. Great heroine and smoldering, sexy romantic tension. And the author isn't afraid to write gore.  Wooooty woot!World-Building: Oh, the world-building was just incredible! The setting is 4 years after the zombie apocalypse. The main character, Kansas, has been living on her own most of that time and has learned to take care of herself. When a group of survivors stumble upon her secluded home, she reluctantly welcomes them in. Kansas learns a lot about herself, the people of the new world and just how much has been going on outside her little bubble. When she ventures out to explore, she learns that zombies and humans have both evolved in some form or another.The author was not afraid to write gore! Yahoo! This made me happy, but should be a warning for those of you who do not like blood and guts. There are also some pretty disturbing scenes involving humans and how they treat zombies in a settlement that Kansas stumbles upon. I think those scenes were more horrifying than any bashed-in brain or putrid zombie explosions. Some of the people in this new world are just as crazy as the zombies, in my opinion. Their humanity is teetering on the edge of a cliff throughout the entire book. And, of course, we get a nice dose of  fanatical cult fun. Cult mentality is so fascinating to me!Characters: Kansas is a great character. She has issues letting people in, due to being alone for so long and being wronged in the past. She has become a lean fighting machine from being secluded and relying on her own physical finesse for so long. She also has wicked long dreadlocks because she got sick of brushing her hair. I really loved this about her, because dread locks just look cool -  on the right person, anyhow. She has moments of clarity and moments of utter despair, but one thing is for sure, she wants to survive and will mow down a cult, a zombie horde, or a few indecent assholes if they block her path.Kansas meets Rudy along her journey. He saved her life out in the wild and they end up becoming close friends in a settlement that takes her in. Rudy's quite the looker, if you ask any of the settlement's hookers that want to go for a ride on the Rudymobile. Rudy and Kansas have a very interesting relationship throughout the book. They don't always say what they feel and give mixed signals. They do, however, remain supportive, respectful and protective. Love blossoms under the surface but the dangerous, chaotic environment leads to missed opportunities. And yes, there is a love triangle and some nice sexy time. I don't want to say more than that. It was not annoying, for me, but I am hoping and praying that Rudy comes out the winner. His smile won me over, not to mention most of his personality.Lasting Impressions: This book is a fantastic start to a new zombie post-apocalyptic series. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, the wacky mentality of the settlement, the cult action, the zombie lore and the romantic tension. It delivered on all aspects of what makes a book entertaining for me.