The sequel to the “pick-your-own-path” adventure Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?—the Jacksonville Florida-Times Union hailed, “may just be the best thing to happen to literary zombies since Max Brooks.”
You’ve probably read your fair share of zombie stories. But this time it’s different. In a horrific and hilarious cross-country road trip (or rather, suicide mission), you must overcome obstacles of every kind to save zombified America from utter collapse.
The book begins with you inside your prison cell, waiting to be released. Your name is Jimmy el Camino, and you’re a badass—in fact, you’re a supreme badass. Rambo with style. Snake Plissken with a failing liver. You’ve killed more men than cancer. But more men than the zombie apocalypse? That’s questionable…
Your mission? Drive your heavily armed 1967 el Camino from New York City to San Francisco. Along the way, you’ll encounter Mr. Death’s Undead Circus and Animal Show; you’ll battle zombies gladiator-style; you’ll be forced to help a band of lunatics defending the Alamo. And every step of the way, an army of drivers in armored vehicles is hot on your tail—because there is one man, the mayor of New York, who will stop at nothing to keep this apocalypse of the undead alive.
Brallier's second choose-your-own-zombie-adventure book (after 2011's Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?) delivers solidly on its concept. An imprisoned former U.S. soldier who now calls himself Jimmy El Camino is offered his freedom if he carries out a secret mission in a world that has been laid waste by a plague of the walking dead. But before Jimmy can learn the details, he must agree to a test by participating in the Death Derby. Each of the reader's choices leads down a different path (e.g., "If you want to unload, giving the zombie rhinoceros everything you have, turn to page..."). The various possible endings aren't always pleasant, which isn't surprising given the book's premise. Brallier tosses in some light touches, as when Jimmy ends up in a Spam-themed museum; despite the requisite gore, the structure makes it hard for him to create a sense of terror.