Sunday, February 1, 2015

Book Review- Z Plan: Blood on the Sand by Mikhail Lerma

Z Plan: Blood on the Sand (Z Plan #1)
by Mikhail Lerma
Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies, Horror, Military Add on Goodreads
Buy links: Amazon ll iBooks ll Smashwords ll Kobo ll B&N

Cale was sent to Iraq with the usual thoughts any Soldier going to war might have; being lonely away from his family, not wanting to take another human’s life, and above all, the fear of never returning home. Although well trained, nothing could have prepared him for the horror he was about to face.

Cale never thought the thing that could keep him from ever seeing his wife and daughter again would be a zombie apocalypse. As he and a handful of fellow Soldiers escape their base after a massive zombie attack, becoming deserters in order to survive, he begins the long and unexpected journey home through the harsh terrain of the desert; a barren landscape now swarming with not only undead cannibals, but also the enemy he was originally sent to fight.

The newly formed group  to travel west, find a boat and maybe, with a bit of luck, make it back to America. Cale is tested beyond his imagination and brought to the brink of insanity as he loses friends while fighting the flesh eating masses. He risks his life for weeks, focused on holding his wife and daughter in his arms again. It seems all hope is lost when he finds himself alone and adrift at sea … but is hope really lost?

Inspired by my experiences as a U.S. Army Soldier in Iraq, BLOOD ON THE SAND delves into the idea of not just surviving a zombie apocalypse but making the seemingly impossible trek home. It is the first book in the Z Plan series.

All that Cale wanted was for his mission to end so that he can go back to his wife and daughter, Lauren and Marie. His mission did come to a halt
along with the rest of the world.

Of all the characters, I am honestly in love with Cale.
His integrity, loyalty not only to his fellow brothers but also to his close friends, his level-mindedness and complete devotion to his family are some of the qualities I liked about him. He seemed such a strong person and yet, further into the series, we get to see Cale lose his calm armor and a glimpse of his vulnerable side. (For my review of the second book, Z Plan: Red Tides, click here.)

And yet, I cannot disregard the stories,of the others in the book. With the story narrated on a third-person perspective, one gets to see not only what Cale sees and goes through but also his comrades, those that he may have only interacted once or even those whom he treasures most (Lauren). It gave the story a more complete feel. It also showed Cale a sliver of hope that would turn to hopelessness, then hope once more. It was a vicious cycle. It is present throughout the entire story but there were those times that were truly powerful and has made me, the reader, go through that cycle as well.

The book at first started a little slow for me but by 40%, it finally gained momentum. And I don't just mean it by the number of people killed. I began to see them less as characters in a story but as real people with stories to tell. Stories that are powerful and shaped Cale to the man he was becoming post-undead. It also shapes me, the reader, to prepare as Cale prepares, to be as watchful as him and at the same time shout at him whenever he lets his guard down.

Z Plan is more than just a zombie-killing, brain-smashing, survival-mode book. It opened to me how people would truly be, interact and survive a mass epidemic.

For those who love both drama and suspense in The Walking Dead, this is for you. It's not only about blowing zombie brains to pieces but also the person as he tries to survive in the land of the undead.


Mikhail Lerma was raised in the small town of Holdrege Nebraska. In the third grade he wrote his
first short story, in which the main character was a monkey. Not taking his career as a writer too seriously after that, he finished his high school years by joining the army when he was only 17.He spent 10 years in the army starting as a truck driver and eventually becoming a combat medic.

While deployed to Iraq in 2007 he spent missions in a turret as gunner. In his free time he began writing a story having nothing to do with monkeys. Only time will tell if this was a good career move. With encouragement from his friends and family he decided to start taking his writing seriously. Storytelling has become a passion of his, with a strong interest in horror and science fiction.He is currently going to school to become a paramedic, and finishing his first series for Permuted Press.

He lives in Iowa with his wife and three daughters. He does not have a pet, but if anyone would like to donate a male dog to level out the hormones in his house that would be much appreciated..

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  1. I love a good Zombie book and when the main character is someone you can get attached to even better I say. Thanks for the great review I’m definitely adding this to my to be read list.

  2. Hi! Thank you for reading my review and yes, this series should definitely in your currently-reading list :)


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