Rusty Moss has raised his niece Mia since she was a baby. Now that she's almost eighteen, he's worried that the life he's...

Review || Ferocious by Jeff Strand

Zombie bear with ribcage showingRusty Moss has raised his niece Mia since she was a baby. Now that she's almost eighteen, he's worried that the life he's given her—living off the grid in a cabin deep in the woods—is holding her back from her full potential. But that angst gets pushed aside when the undead forest animals arrive.

At first, it's just a squirrel—shockingly violent and almost impossible to kill. Followed by a grizzly bear, also aggressive and resilient, even when point-blank shotgun blasts to the face are involved.

Now the cabin is surrounded by all manner of zombie creatures. They have no way to call for help. The truck that could take them to safety is three miles away, stuck in the mud.

But Rusty and Mia have their courage. They have their wits. And, most importantly, they have an axe and a fully fueled chainsaw...


I typically take my horror in two forms: (hopefully) frightening supernatural or B-movie funny. Ferocious sets itself firmly in the later. If you don't like over-the-top action and sarcasm, this is not your book.

Strand has created characters that you can care about. Rusty and his niece, Mia, come complete with backstory and banter. They are both extremely likable characters to find yourself rooting for. And boy, do you! When they first encounter the squirrel-that-would-not die, it's laugh out loud funny. When the stakes get higher and the animals bigger, it's a glorious fight for survival that doesn't shy away from the humor.

The dialogue between Rusty and Mia was the best part, although Rusty's own inner voice had a lot to say as well. At some points later in the novel, both the chatter and the action droned on a bit but it didn't take long before something else outrageous happened. (Zombie porcupines anyone?)
"Are we sure it was dead?" Mia asked. "Was it an optical illusion that you stuck a machete right through its torso?" "I'm just saying, we didn't chop off its head or do a thorough medical examination of it." "You turned it into a shish kabob."

Ferocious is a full-on riot of dastardly destruction. It turned out to be exactly what I was in the mood for!! Though I don't know what kind of person it says I am that I had Ray Stephen's The Mississippi Squirrel Revival in my head for most of it.

Author of a bunch of demented books, including PRESSURE, DWELLER, A BAD DAY FOR VOODOO, WOLF HUNT, SINGLE WHITE PSYCHOPATH SEEKS SAME, BENJAMIN'S PARASITE, FANGBOY, THE SINISTER MR. CORPSE, and lots of others. Four-time Bram Stoker Award finalist. Four-time Bram Stoker Award loser. Ten-time Bram Stoker Award Master of Ceremonies.